2014 SFT meeting: news I need to share with you (Part II)

Ok here is the second part of my blog on what I learnt during the last SFT meeting in Portland, OR (if you missed the first part, have a look here). Busy meeting I can tell you, and this second day was of great interest to me because of the particular topics that were discussed. Here is a summary of what I consider the 3 most interesting presentations that were discussed there and that I consider important to share with you!

TCI vs surgical implant: finally !

#1: First presentation of the day was about a comparison of TCI (=Trans Cervical Insemination, also known as intra-uterine insemination under endoscopy) with surgical implant when it comes to frozen-thawed semen insemination in canines (more about the two techniques on my previous post here). First study ever to do this comparison that we were all waiting for. Results: on 118 frozen-thawed semen inseminations (40 surgical implants vs 78 TCIs), they obtained 65% pregnancy rate with TCI vs 45% with surgical implant. The authors conclude that, when available, TCI was the best option for frozen-thawed insemination in dogs.

 

Oxytocin and maternal bonding

 

#2: I attended to an interesting talk on maternal bonding in the bitch. From a hormonal standpoint, this phenomenon is somehow controlled by prolactin and oxytocin. And it is often an issue after a bitch received a C-section. Not a lot of current therapies available when this happens, and in order to keep the puppies safe after the procedure, it mainly comes down to surveillance of the bitch and physical restraining. The results presented tend to show that intranasal injection of oxytocin every 2 hours after the C-section help improve maternal bonding (since it increases the concentration of oxytocin in the brain). Good mothering was usually obtained 12-24h after the onset of the treatment. This led to lots of discussion on whether or not this therapeutic possibility could be used as well in bitches which exhibit poor mothering as well. Unfortunately data are still scarce and how relevant these findings are still raise lots of question. On the bright side, it offers us an eventual therapeutic alternative that could be worth trying, according to the speaker’s clinical experience.

Uterine biopsies, important diagnostic tools

#3: Canine uterine biopsies are now considered as part of the infertility work-up in canines. These can be collected during surgery, or also via endoscopy in a non-invasive procedure. Since the authors started to implement this approach in bitches with unknown cause of infertility, they were able to highlight how important these diseases are (a study published earlier this year showed that 44% of subfertile bitches were suffering from endometritis, an inflammation of the uterus that usually goes totally unnoticed under ultrasounds). Some of these disease are still not clearly understand: for instance they describe a condition referred to as “endocrine mismatch”, in which the aspect of the endometrium (=the inner part of the uterus) was totally different from what it should have been at the stage the biopsy was performed. This could definitely explain why infertility was observed in these cases, but to date unfortunately, we don’t really know how to approach and treat this condition.

To sum up on my experience at the 2014 SFT: great meeting, learned lots of new stuff that would definitely be helpful in the field. Indeed, we never stop learning ! Don’t forget I posted several notes and pictures of the lectures I attended to so if you want to have a look at them, go to Twitter and search for the hashtag #SFT2014!

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