When presented with the unexpected loss or euthanasia of a valuable breeding male, preservation of genetic material is not often at the forefront of conversation. However the ability to harvest semen and thus genetics via the storage site of sperm, the epididymis, makes it a discussion worth having.
Semen can be collected from the ‘storage’ part of the testicle called the tail of the epididymis. Sperm held here has fertilising capabilities but is considered in an ‘immature’ state. Because of this pregnancy rates are not as high as with regular ejaculated frozen sperm. However there are many situations when this cannot occur, so collection of epididymal sperm after castration or sadly after a sudden or tragic death of a genetically and emotionally valuable dog can be performed.
After harvesting the sperm it is frozen (usually, unless you are lucky enough to have a bitch on heat at her ideal day for insemination!). Please see our information of semen freezing and storage.
Please note that this is a very specialised and time-affected procedure. It requires you to contact your local veterinarian ASAP who can then contact VRC immediately to begin the process of harvesting and shipment.