Semen is not sterile and cannot be collected without bacterial contamination due to presence of normal bacterial flora on the urethral mucosa. Bacterial growth in stored semen is presumed to be controlled by addition of an extender to the semen, a liquid medium containing nutrients, buffering agents, and antibiotics.

There is evidence in large animal species of varying efficacy of antibiotics in controlling bacterial growth in extended semen, raising concerns about passage of disease through semen. To date there are no studies in the dog documenting control of growth of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, and mycoplasma through use of antibiotics in commercially available canine semen extenders.

Dr. Kustritz will evaluate whether growth of aerobic, anaerobic and mycoplasma species will be controlled in semen extended with commercial canine extender when held at refrigerator or room temperatures for up to 48 hours. The results will provide practical information to breeders who ship and receive semen.

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agsdcf_logo_smallThe American German Shepherd Dog Charitable Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization devoted to funding research projects that improve the health of the German Shepherd Dog.

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