WHICH ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS AFFECT YOUR STUD DOG’S SPERM COUNT AND MOTILITY?
R esearch has shown that an identifiable set of environmental factors can impact dog semen quality, sperm motility, and increased cryptorchi- dism in canine stud dogs. In 2016, a study released by the University of Nottingham 1 stated that their 26-year research project indicated that the fertility of dogs may have suf- fered a sharp decline with decreased sperm quality. Dr. Richard Lea, Reproductive Biology in the University’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, who led the research, said: “This is the first time that such a decline in male fertility is reported in the dog. We believe this is due to environmental contaminants, some of which we have detected in dog food and the sperm and testes of the animals themselves.” The controlled canine study has also been correlated to a decline in human sperm count over the past three decades. “While further research is needed to demonstrate a link conclusively, the dog may indeed be a sentinel for humans–it shares the same environment, exhibits the same range of diseases, many with the same frequency, and responds similarly to therapies.” This study proved that an increased presence of diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) and polychlorinated biphenyl congener 153 (PCB153) are the primary chemicals responsible for the results in this research. These chemicals are found in typical dog food brands and everyday household and other pet-related products.
BY LISA PATRICK, PETCOUNT
1 Lea, R., Byers, A., Sumner, R. et al. Environmental chemicals impact dog semen quality in vitro and may be associated with a temporal decline in sperm motility and increased cryptorchidism. Sci Rep 6, 31281 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/srep31281
86 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MARCH 2022
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