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The ultimate result of infertility in dogs is the failure to produce puppies. Possible symptoms of infertility include fever, bloody discharge from penis, failure to ejaculate, and pain/discomfort. Treatment varies depending on the underlying cause, but can range from medicinal to surgery.

Some of these have been outlined below.

Common Causes of Infertility in Male Dogs

Canine Brucellosis

Canine brucellosis is a contagious bacterial infection caused by the bacterium, Brucella canis (B. canis). This bacterial infection is highly contagious between dogs. Infected dogs usually develop an infection of the reproductive system, or a sexually transmitted disease. There also is almost no clinical signs and shows itself by testicle swelling and late term abortions in females. But again is very contagious and can spread from dog to dog in a kennel setting. 

Behavioral Issues

Another common reason of infertility is the dynamic between the male and female; if a male dog is introduced to a non-receptive or aggressive female, a refusal to breed is a normal behavior. Additionally, a male dog that is anxious due to his surroundings, is inexperienced, or is not sexually mature may also refuse to copulate with a receptive female.


Prostatitis in dogs refers to inflammation or an infectious disease of the prostate. The prostate is a gland that is responsible for the production of seminal fluids in male dogs.

Prostatitis is more common in male dogs who haven’t been neutered. It can either be acute, meaning severe symptoms appear suddenly, or it can be chronic and develop over time, in which case symptoms may not be detectable at all in some dogs.

Retrograde Ejaculation

Retrograde ejaculation is partial or total propulsion of semen from the posterior urethra into the urinary bladder.

Such abnormality may occur during ejaculation as a result of a partial or complete absence of contractions of the bladder neck during semen expulsion. The bladder becomes the least resistant pathway for seminal fluids coming from the urethra when it occurs, and the ejaculate produced from the penis is either scant or absent, and spermatozoa can be retrieved in large quantities from the bladder.

This condition is considered as a rare event but may occur more frequently than expected. Inadequate manipulation of the dog penis during semen collection can increase the chance of retrograde ejaculation by 60%.


Absence of sperm in a fluid ejaculate may be due to incomplete ejaculation, outflow obstruction of the male reproductive passages as epididymis or vas deferens, or failure of testicles to produce sperms. If ejaculate is found to have no sperm, a sample is collected and sent to a laboratory to test for semen plasma alkaline phosphatase levels so as to localise the cause of such condition. 

Contaminated Dog Food

Environmental contaminants found in many dog foods, including some puppy chow formulations, appear to be the culprits. The findings, published in the journal Scientific Reports, link the contaminant-containing food to the drop in male dog sperm quality.


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