An IVF service for pets is travelling to Cairns and northern Queensland.
An IVF service for pets is travelling to Cairns and northern Queensland.

New pet IVF service breeding success goes on tour

A NEW pet semen freezing service is touring up to Cairns to give pet owners the chance to ensure their furry friend's reproductive future.

Pupsicles is a Rockhampton-based service that is debuting its touring facilities next month.

The business's embryologist Shauna Heinrich said it was a new service to much of north Queensland.

"We're offering this service to breeders or to anyone who wants to freeze their pet's semen for use in the future," she told the Cairns Post.

Australian Reproductive Surgeries is offering canine semen freezing to Cairns and Far North residents at the Marlin Coast Veterinary Hospital. Mehaley Nish plays with her staffordshire terrier Maggie along Vasey Esplanade, Trinity Beach. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Australian Reproductive Surgeries is offering canine semen freezing to Cairns and Far North residents at the Marlin Coast Veterinary Hospital. Mehaley Nish plays with her staffordshire terrier Maggie along Vasey Esplanade, Trinity Beach. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

"It's a simple procedure, and after we do it, we check the dog's motility to make sure that it's a good collection."

She said the cryopreservation involved separating the sample into "straws" and keeping them frozen in liquid nitrogen.

"When the female dog is on heat, you do a progesterone test so see if it's the right time for insemination. Then the sample is thawed at the vet clinic and placed in a syringe and put into the uterus," Ms Heinrich said. "We expect after two weeks to be able to do a pregnancy test to see if it's been successful."

The embryologist said it had been a successful service since its inception in 2010.

"One of our clients had 11 puppies and another had nine at the start of the year," she said.

"We're really excited to launch our mobile van. We can't wait to see all of the puppy photos."

Trinity Beach dog owner Mehaley Nish said she thought the service was a great idea.

"I have a purebred english staffordshire. She's very cool, calm and collected, just like you'd expect the breed to be," she said.

"She's so loyal and I love the blue colour of her coat."

Ms Nish said she did a lot of research before deciding to buy a purebred dog.

"It's definitely worth looking into having a purebred dog, as long as you do your research," she said. "Join local Facebook pages and make sure the people doing the breeding are reputable."

Pets brought to Pupsicles for semen extraction undergo a manual procedure during which a trained staff member attends to the dog.

"Our staff use a manual procedure that is done by hand," Pupsicles embryologist Shauna Heinrich said.

She said there was a lot of interest in the procedure from owners of specific breeds.

Labradoodles were their top breed through the door, closely followed by staffies.

Ms Heinrich said the number of staffies being brought in was increasing.