For dog breeders planning an efficient mating and rearing strategy, predicting the date of ovulation is a critical indicator of the ideal mating and likely date of whelping. Detecting the surge in Luteinizing Hormone (LH) equips vets and breeders to ascertain to date of ovulation.
LH Controls Ovulation Timing and Prepares For Pregnancy
Luteinizing Hormone (LH) is one of several important chemical messengers (hormones) produced by the pituitary gland, which sits just beneath the base of the brain.
When LH is released by the pituitary, it starts a chain reaction that ultimately results in the release of eggs (ovulation) from the ovaries into the fallopian tubes where fertilisation normally takes place. The fertilised eggs pass down the tubes to the uterus (womb) where they implant and develop into the growing foetus, nourished and fed via the placenta and umbilical cord.
LH also stimulates the formation of the corpus luteum. This is a structure that develops in the ovary after ovulation and produces the pregnancy-maintaining hormone progesterone. Progesterone prepares the lining of the womb (endometrium) for pregnancy, and acts on the pituitary to prevent further ovulation.
LH Surge: The Key Indicator of Ovulation In 36-48 Hours
For animals in the wild, a surge of LH production ensures that ovulation only occurs when there is the best chance of successful mating, and that subsequent offspring will have the best chance of survival in the womb, and of reaching maturity themselves.
This surge of LH production is a key indicator of when ovulation is likely to occur. Reliably detecting the LH surge allows dog breeders to not only arrange the time of mating or insemination, but also estimate the likely arrival date of litters.
Infertile bitches, the LH surge is followed by ovulation 36-48 hours later. Typically, the ideal time to mate a bitch and achieve the best chance of fertilisation is 4 to 6 days after the LH peak.
Fast Colour Change Test Detects LH Peak in Bitches
FASTest LH is the simple and reliable on-site test for predicting the time of ovulation, mating, artificial inseminating and likely birth date. This 20 minute, colour-change test detects the Luteinising Hormone (LH) peak in the serum and plasma of dogs. This test is also applicable to cats.
Starting 4 to 5 days before the likely start of the oestrus cycle, testing at 12 to 24-hour intervals will show negative LH results up to the LH surge. Possible positive results are re-tested after 2 hours. If the second test is positive, and a follow-up 24-hour test is also positive, then peak LH production is indicated.
Trio of Test Kits Help Vets and Breeders Plan with Success
FASTest LH completes a trio of veterinary diagnostic test kits supporting vets, breeders, and animal charities. TARGET Canine Ovulation Test measures progesterone levels as a further method of determining the best time to mate, while FASTest RELAXIN helps confirm that a bitch is pregnant or exclude a false or pseudopregnancy.