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Infertility in male dogs is not a common occurrence as in the case of bitches. the most common causes are due to injury or infection. It also may be brought about by a sudden hormone change.

Fertility in the male dog is dependent on normal behavior and libido, physical ability, and adequate semen quality.

Proper ovulation in females and ejaculation of fertile and normal sperm by males are regulated through a sequence of events in the brain, nervous system, and sexual organs. For best results, ovulation and deposition of semen into the female genital tract must be closely synchronized. Failure of any step in either sex leads to infertility or sterility.

Infertility can result from poor breeding behavior, poor libido, musculoskeletal problems preventing breeding or poor semen quality.

Certain dog breeds are predisposed to thyroid insufficiency and therefore have a higher prevalence of dog fertility issues. Breeds that are at particular risk of hypothyroidism include; Boxers, Doberman Pinschers,Dachshunds, Golden Retrievers, Great Danes, Irish Setters, Miniature Schnauzers, Poodles

Causes of Infertility in Male Dogs

  • Age of the dog — he may be too young, or too old
  • Injuries
  • Disease
  • Drugs
  • Physical defects — unable to mount due to arthritis or some other problem
  • Unable to ejaculate
  • Unable to ejaculate into the female
  • Congenital abnormalities are infrequent but do occur, particularly in certain breeds
  • Sperm count is low
  • Degeneration of the testes

Symptoms of Infertility in Male Dogs

  • Fever
  • Uneasiness or discomfort
  • Bloody discharge from penis
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Swelling/pain of testes
  • Depression
  • Pain in lumbar region
  • Retrograde ejaculation (sperm is expelled into the bladder instead of the urethra)
  • Changes in libido
  • Failure to ejaculate
  • Refusal to breed


Your veterinarian’s workup will begin with a comprehensive physical examination. A rectal exam will be performed to assess your dog’s prostate gland and a general physical examination will be performed to assess for other conditions that may be associated with infertility.

A number of diagnostic laboratory tests will then be performed to look for possible underlying causes of your dog’s infertility.

Treatment of Infertility in Male Dogs

Infertility can be treated by administration of hormones that act directly on the ovaries or regulate their functions, or act to help maintain pregnancy. Hormonal treatment can also work on male dogs with low sperm counts or poor libido.

Antibiotics are used for treatment of infection of the reproductive tracts. The selection of the antibiotic is based on tests that determine the nature of the bacteria or infectious agent. The only infection that has been confirmed to cause infertility in dogs is brucellosis, which is highly contagious.

Proper nutrition is also important. They can suggest supplements that may help to increase sperm production and quality. If everything looks good, then all that is needed is a healthy, ovulation–timed bitch that’s ready for breeding!


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