Breeder Services

Heritage Animal Hospital is proud to offer a wide range of breeder services for pet owners in Dundee, Ann Arbor, Toledo, and the surrounding area.

Heritage Animal Hospital Breeder Services

We offer pre-breeding health screenings including hip and elbow radiographs for certifications through OFA, PennHIP, and ASTAMP/SV. We also offer prenatal care, timing of ovulation/breeding, artificial insemination and caesarean sections. Once your puppies are here, we provide litter examinations and vaccinations as well as offering temperament testing to help aid breeders in appropriate puppy placement.

Pre-Breeding Health Screenings

For a list of health screenings recommended for your breed please visit the Canine Health Information Center.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Health testing through OFA/PennHIP/SV radiographs is being performed by both Dr. Amanda Bolyard and Dr. Shayne Wireman.


OFA/SV/PennHIP Procedures during COVID-19:

We are excited and hopeful that we are getting to the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic and are gradually taking steps to welcome clients back into the building. During COVID-19 our team grew to account for an increase in demand for services. Through 2022-2023 we are renovating our building to account for this growth. Due to limited space, health testing that requires radiographs will continue to be curbside, as our hospital policy does not allow clients in areas of radiation exposure. As always, our veterinarians will review the radiographs of your dog after they are taken and you will be emailed a copy of the radiographs for your personal records. We are aware that not allowing owners to be present during radiographs is not the policy of all veterinary hospitals. If your desire is to stay with your pet for radiographs we do have a list of recommended veterinarians that do allow you to remain with your pet.

If you or any members of your household become ill before or around the time of your appointment with COVID symptoms, we ask that you contact us as soon as possible. We will do everything we can to work you back into the schedule after you have recovered and you will not have to wait the 4-6 weeks which is typical for our scheduling. Additionally, you may send your dog with someone outside of your household.

OFA Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

At Heritage Animal Hospital, we pride ourselves in taking the best quality radiographs possible through the use of ideal positioning for each patient. Taking quality radiographs is always a team effort that couldn’t be achieved without the help of our highly skilled staff members. When sedation is needed, we try to use only minimal sedation to achieve optimal positioning.

Dogs younger than two can still have radiographs submitted to OFA, however, the result is considered preliminary, and final radiographs are still recommended after the age of two.

OFA recommends but does not require the use of sedation.

Currently, radiographs for hip and elbow dysplasia screenings are taken Monday-Thursday by Dr. Amanda and Dr. Shayne. Appointments may be scheduled 4-6 weeks out, depending on demand and time of year.

Forms for OFA Testing can be found on the OFA website.


PennHIP measures hip joint laxity as a way to predict the onset of osteoarthritis. Three views are required for submission of radiographs through PennHIP. Sedation is required and is included in pricing.

The first radiograph is the same extended hip view as OFA to evaluate for any evidence of osteoarthritis. The second view is known as a compression view. In this view, the hips are positioned in a neutral orientation that mimics the position a dog would be in if it were standing, with the femoral heads compressed fully into the hip socket allowing visualization of depth of the hip socket. The final radiograph is called a distraction view where a dog is positioned the same as for a compression view, but a positioning device is placed between the legs, and the legs are pulled together, showing the laxity of the hip joint.

We typically have results within 3-5 business days. The result is a quantitative number on a scale of zero to one. The lower the number, the less laxity and, in theory, the less risk there is for developing osteoarthritis in the future.

PennHIP only evaluates hips. If you also wish to submit elbows, they’ll need to be submitted through OFA or an alternate registry (SV, BVA, etc.) Since PennHIP requires the same view as OFA, we can submit hip radiographs to OFA for no additional charge other than the OFA application fee.

Please click here for information on PennHIP.

Currently, radiographs for hip and elbow dysplasia screenings are taken Monday-Thursday by Dr. Amanda. Appointments may be scheduled 4-6 weeks out depending on demand and time of year.

ASTAMP/SV (Germany)

Heritage Animal Hospital is also experienced in the submission of radiographs to Germany for their hip and elbow dysplasia screenings. The standard hip extended view (the same view required by OFA) is taken to evaluate the hips, and sedation is required.

The elbow view is slightly different than that required by OFA. Therefore, if you elect to submit to both OFA and SV, two different views of the elbows will be required. All radiographs are submitted digitally to SV. The application form is filled out and signed during the appointment, and the owner is given the original for submission. In most cases, the application is submitted through USCA. However, in the past, we’ve completed applications for other methods of submission based on owner preference.

Currently, radiographs for hip and elbow dysplasia screenings are taken Monday-Thursday by Dr. Amanda. Appointments may be scheduled 4-6 weeks out depending on demand and time of year.

OFA Tracheal Hypoplasia (Bulldogs and brachycephalic breeds)

Tracheal hypoplasia is a congenital condition that occurs when there is a growth abnormality of the cartilage rings that make up the trachea, causing the airway to be narrowed. Tracheal hypoplasia can be a component of Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) that leads to breathing problems we can see in Bulldogs and related brachycephalic breeds.

This test requires a radiograph to be taken of the dog’s thorax (chest) during peak inspiration and for the dog to be over 12 months of age. A ratio of the the tracheal lumen diameter (TLR) at the thoracic inlet to the width of the proximal third rib is determined. Normal results have a TLR greater than or equal to 2.0.

Forms for OFA Testing can be found on the OFA website.

BAER Testing for Congenital Deafness

Heritage Animal Hospital is proud to now be able to offer Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response (BAER) testing to evaluate for congenital deafness. This test can be performed per OFA standards in puppies and dogs 35 days old and older, however most commonly litters of puppies are done around 7-8 weeks of age. It has been documented that dogs can lose hearing up to 16 weeks of age and retesting may be recommended, especially prior to breeding or if test results were questionable or equivocal on the first reading.

This test takes 5-15 minutes to perform based on patient cooperation and is done so by placing small electrodes below each ear and on top of the head. A small ear piece is then placed within the ear that is being tested and a signal equivalent to a normal hearing level (between 70-105 dB) is used to obtain a response in dogs with normal hearing.

Forms for OFA Testing can be found on the OFA website.

OFA Shoulder

Radiographs of each shoulder are taken and submitted to OFA to evaluate for evidence of osteochondrosis (OCD), degenerative joint disease (DJD), or other orthopedic problems. Preliminary radiographs can be sent in for dogs under 12 months of age. Dogs must be over 12 months of age for final certification and results.

Forms for OFA Testing can be found on the OFA website.

OFA Patellar Luxation

This test is done by manual palpation of the stifles (knees) and does not require radiographs. This tests for both medial and lateral luxation. Results will either be normal, with no evidence of luxation or will be Graded 1-4 based on severity.

Forms for OFA Testing can be found on the OFA website.

OFA Thyroid

This sample requires a blood draw and tests thyroid function. Results are classified as normal or abnormal. Abnormal results defined by OFA’s registry include Autoimmune Thyroiditis, which is known to be heritable, or Idiopathically (cause unknown) reduced thyroid function. There are also instances where the result can come back as equivocal, in which case repeating the test at a later date is recommended. Female dogs should not be tested during an estrus cycle.

Fasting for this test is recommended, but not required. The thyroid database is for dogs over 12 months of age.

Forms for OFA Testing can be found on the OFA website.

OFA Dentition

The dentition database is to certify dogs with all adult teeth fully erupted. As stated on OFA’s website, the database does not certify overall dental health, misaligned teeth or dentition in accordance with a breed standard.

Forms for OFA Testing can be found on the OFA website.

Breeder Services

Ovulation Timing
We are pleased to offer same day progesterone testing with results within 30 minutes for most cases. Timing of ovulation allows us to help you accurately time breedings or inseminations to increase success rates in conception.

Timing of ovulation also helps to more accurately predict due dates, which is especially important for breeds that may require caesarean sections. Without ovulation timing, the due date can vary up to a week based on breeding dates alone.

We recommend calling to set an appointment once your dog comes into heat, as we need to see them to start ovulation timing approximately 6-7 days into their heat cycle. At the first appointment, we will obtain a swab for a vaginal cytology. This test will give us additional information about her heat cycle and determine if she is ready to begin progesterone testing. All dogs must be seen as a consult with a doctor to begin ovulation timing, unless they have been recently examined and breeding plans were discussed.

Artificial Insemination
When a natural breeding cannot occur there is an option for artificial insemination. Ovulation timing is always recommended when artificial inseminations are going to be performed to maximize the success of the breeding. Inseminations may be performed vaginally, transcervically (TCI) or surgically. Insemination method depends on the health status, fertility and reproductive success of the female and semen used.

Healthy, young, fertile females may have good success with vaginal artificial insemination. Vaginal insemination is performed using fresh or fresh chilled semen, depositing the semen in the vaginal canal, near the cervix. Then the sperm will need to pass through the cervix into the uterus, where fertilization takes place. Typically the female does not need sedation for vaginal inseminations and the procedure can be performed multiple times per heat cycle. Two breedings 24 to 48 hours apart are generally recommended for vaginal inseminations.

Transcervical insemination (TCI) is a minimally invasive procedure done through the use of a rigid endoscope for visualization and placement of a small catheter through the cervix, allowing the semen to be placed within the uterus. As a result of the semen being placed directly into the uterus, where fertilization takes place, this method may increase pregnancy success rates over vaginal inseminations. This is the preferred method if semen quality is not optimal, if fresh chilled or frozen semen is being used or if other factors are present that may decrease the likelihood or success rate of conception. Typically this method does not require sedation, but may be used at our doctors discretion.

At this time, only certain doctors are handling frozen semen for breedings. Arrangements will need to be made in advance if you plan on shipping frozen semen for your breeding to ensure that we will be able to accommodate you. If we are unable to accommodate due to timing and doctor availability, referral may be recommended.

Semen Collection, Evaluation and Shipping

At Heritage Animal Hospital, we offer semen collection for semen evaluations, for artificial inseminations, and for the shipment of fresh chilled samples. Our semen evaluations include a semen count (for concentration and to ensure an adequate amount for insemination) as well as assessment of the morphology to determine the percentage of normal/healthy sperm. A semen evaluation is performed with all collections in which semen is to be shipped to ensure that a quality sample for insemination is provided.

If you are planning to ship semen on a dog that has not been collected or shipped before, we recommend an appointment prior to when the shipment will be needed. At this appointment we will acclimate your dog to the collection process, perform a semen evaluation as well as a breeding soundness exam (BSE). During the collection process it is beneficial to have a female in heat (estrus) present as it has been shown that this can improve semen quantity and quality. If you are able to bring your own female that is in heat or estrus, this is ideal. If you do not have one available, please let us know and we will try to accommodate you or make arrangements if at all possible.

All fresh chilled samples are shipped using Fedex with your own Fedex account. The price of a shipping container is included in the package price. It is recommended that all collections be performed earlier in the day to ensure the sample is ready for Fedex pickup in the afternoon. Due to delivery schedules, we are unable to ship semen to Canada on Fridays for risk of improper semen handling over the weekend. Similarly, we are unable to ship semen on Sundays due to availability of Fedex services.

Please click here for instructions to set up a Fedex Account and print or email a shipping label to be brought to your appointment.

Caesarean Sections
We offer planned c-sections for our established breeder clientele. For planned c-sections, ovulation timing and pregnancy confirmation will need to be performed to help ensure the correct surgery date for the health of the mother and pups.

We offer planned c-sections for our established breeder clientele. For planned c-sections, ovulation timing and pregnancy confirmation will need to be performed to help ensure the correct surgery date for the health of the mother and pups.

If ovulation timing is not done, daily monitoring of fetal heart rates paired with progesterone testing at the end of gestation will be necessary. In addition, an ultrasound to ensure appropriate fetal development will be required prior to the c-section. This situation will be considered an emergency c-section, as it cannot be scheduled ahead of time.

Every attempt is made to accommodate emergency caesarean sections during our regular office hours for our established clients. However, if it is needed after hours or if we are unable to perform an emergency c-section due to doctor availability, we do recommend referral to Emergency Veterinary Hospital or Ann Arbor Animal Hospital, both located in Ann Arbor.

*Additional fees may apply to emergency c-sections that alter staff hours and for those c-sections needing to be performed on weekends, as we do not typically staff for surgery on weekends.

Pregnancy Confirmation
Pregnancy confirmation can be done with ultrasound as early as 25-28 days after ovulation or breeding dates to assess for early gestational sacs. After 45 days from ovulation and breeding dates, abdominal radiographs (x-rays) may be performed to confirm pregnancy. Typically radiographs performed for a puppy count will be most accurate within one week of the due date. With pregnancy confirmation, good breeding records and ovulation timing, our doctors will be able to establish a plan for your dog’s pregnancy and provide accurate whelping dates.

If you have any questions about Heritage Animal Hospital breeder services, please call us at (734) 529-9177.

Veterinary Services

Below are all of the veterinary services we offer at Heritage Animal Hospital. If you have any questions regarding our services, please feel free to call us.