Although dog prostatic fluid decreases the longevity of ejaculated dog spermatozoa, it also increases their rate of motility and their fertility after vaginal insemination, as well as the fertility of epididymal spermatozoa after uterine insemination. These findings indicate a need to further characterize the effects of prostatic fluid on dog spermatozoa. This study was done to determine the effects (P < 0.05) of homologous prostatic fluid added prior to cooling, after thawing, or at both times to epididymal spermatozoa from 21 dogs. The effects of two extenders were also determined. The one extender was Biladyl* with Equex STM paste** (BilEq) and the other Andromed* (Minitüb, Tiefenbach, Germany (*); Nova Chemical Sales, Scituate, MA, USA (**)). The response variables were percentage progressively motile spermatozoa (Prog) and morphology after thawing. Prog was measured at various times until 8 h after extension (unfrozen spermatozoa) or until 2 h after thawing.
Prog after thawing was higher with BilEq than Andromed, when no prostatic fluid was added prior to cooling, and when prostatic fluid was added after thawing. BilEq resulted in a higher mean percentage of spermatozoa with bent principle pieces than Andromed and the addition of prostatic fluid prior to cooling resulted in lower mean percentages of cytoplasmic droplets and bent principle pieces than when none was added. The optimal combination was BilEq with prostatic fluid added prior to cooling (in order to inhibit the development of bent principle pieces) and after thawing (to achieve higher motility until 1 h after thawing).
This study shows that BilEq is more suitable for the freezing of epididymal spermatozoa than Andromed and that prostatic fluid improves the freezability and post-thaw longevity of epididymal spermatozoa frozen in BilEq.