The importance of vaginal cytology and challenges encountered when investigating infertility cases of breeding bitches in Kenya

  • N P Gitonga
  • G J Agumbah
  • V T Tsuma


The aim of the investigation was to determine the cause of infertility in 7 previously fertile bitches referred to the Small Animal Clinic University of Nairobi. Clinical, vaginal cytology and bacteriological evaluation of the bitches were performed during proestrus. Based on vaginal cytology, four of the bitches presented with prolonged proestral bleeding and were found to be in the fertile period of the oestrous cycle (80% “superficial” cells) although clinically presenting as being in proestrus based on the nature of vulval discharge. These bitches had been presented for breeding based on vulval discharge and were infertile due to improper timing of mating. Infertility in two other bitches was associated with Brucella canis primarily, and probably beta-hemolytic Streptococci super - infections. Infertility in the remaining bitch was due to the stud dog owner's assumption that mating had occurred after the stud dog and the aggressive bitch were put in the same kennel for the duration of the bitch's fertile period. The authors recognized that most breeders and some veterinarians did not understand the physiology of the canine oestrous cycle resulting in the misdiagnosis of causes of infertility in healthy bitches. This article highlights the challenges met when investigating infertility and the importance of vaginal cytology in breeding of bitches in Kenya.

Kenya Veterinarian Vol. 31 (1) 2007: pp. 40-44

eISSN: 0256-5161