Ovulation Detection

Ovulation Detection in the Bitch
The use of quantitative blood progesterone estimations at specific times after the start of vulval bleeding can help to determine the best time for mating. This is very useful in bitches with reduced fertility or those who have “missed” on previous occasions due to unknown reasons.

Progesterone (quantitative)

A blood sample should be taken about day 7 post vulval bleeding. In most bitches the progesterone concentration will be <3 nmol/L. If the progesterone level is above 6 nmol/L, functional luteinisation has occurred and depending on the actual level we can advise when to sample again if required.


Progesterone <1.0 - 3.0 nmol/L Progesterone >6 nmol/L

Progesterone >20 nmol/L

Progesterone 16 – 20 nmol/L

Progesterone 20 – 38 nmol/L

Progesterone >38 nmol/L

Resample 3 – 4 days

Indicates functional luteinisation, resample again if required

Ovulation has occurred, resample again if required

Mate within 33 – 57 hours

Mate within 9 – 33 hours

Mate within 9 hours

Sample required – 0.5 mL serum (NO GEL TUBES) or heparin plasma.

Ovulation Detection in Other Species
Progesterone may be used to identify that ovulation has taken place in a wide variety of species by serial sampling to test progesterone concentration. Females in anoestrus will normally have undetectable progesterone levels. When ovulation occurs the progesterone rises and this rise can be detected with a sensitive quantitative progesterone.