Topical Insecticides and Reproductive Health in Dogs

Be cautious about using topical insecticides on breeding dogs, lest they get “Homer Simpson Sperm” syndrome!

I spent Sunday at a very interesting Canine Reproduction seminar. The session, which lasted roughly two hours, was presented by MiniTube Canada, and was a bargain at $15. Unlike a lot of corporate seminars, this one was not geared solely towards selling you equipment, although there was discussion about the equipment the company makes (primarily semen extenders and shipping containers). Our presenter was Dr. John P. Verstegen DVM, MSc, PhD , DECAR, Minitube’s director of small animal reproduction. Since I’ve recently had my first transcervial insemination done on a bitch (Delilah), it was impressive to hear Dr. Verstegen say that he estimates he has performed more than 19,000 of them over the course of his career.

Dr. Verstegen had a lot of interesting information to share, but something interesting jumped out at me during the portion of the seminar devoted to the topic of managing sperm count in the male dog. Dr. Verstegen mentioned a study he had taken part in examining the effects of topical insecticides (ie; flea and tick treatments) on the reproductive health of the male dog.

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