Armani's Plight

Armani's Plight 

If you know me at all, you know how I feel about my boy Armani. He is my first AKC champion standard poodle and a very meaningful animal to me for several reasons. Earlier this year, I decided I would bring him up to the canine semen bank for collection and storage. Many breeders utilize this neat technology for preserving a treasured male for future use. There have been large litters conceived from 20 year old frozen semen- totally cool! I got an unwelcomed surprise, however, on that day. Although Armani was a more than willing participant, his semen viability and motility were subpar- so much so that the collection was deemed to be a poor sample. We were instructed to go to the vet and find out what was killing his sperm. I was a bit miffed as Armani sired a beautiful litter of 7 last Spring with Jacki. I shared this news with Armani's co-owner/breeder Betty Brown, and we decided to take him up to Britmoore, repro gurus in Houston. They made some suggestions, and I've been patiently waiting and hoping. Two months later,  I took him to see my favorite repro vet here in New Orleans, good ole Dr. Diggs at Allstar, in late August. The news was not good. Armani was down to 10% live sperm count and not responding to any of the remedies I had been trying. More still, his sperm had a high white blood cell count, which indicates infection (not previously seen on evaluation). Armani had no fever or outward signs of being ill. Dr. Diggs suggested it might be prostatitis, and prescribed a 6 week course of Baytril. He encouraged me that the Baytril, along with my continued supplements, might bring the count back to an acceptable level of collection, and not to lose heart. He also told me that if I wanted to use Armani as a stud, it would not be harmful to breed him, and that even though the % was low, it was still possible for him to impregnate a female. 
At this time, I am hoping to bring the count back up to a level where he can be collected by the end of the year, when the weather is cooler and the ICSB mobile collection unit comes to town. Please keep your fingers crossed. The only offspring I have by Armani is Clover, although the litter he sired with Jacki has been magnificent and healthy thus far. Clover is a true clown and a gem, and even if I never get another poodle by Armani, she fills my heart and home, as do her littermates to their families. I truly hope that the coming months show some improvement. I am planning to neuter Armani by the end of the year, either way. It is too hard on him to be intact in a home full of intact females. He doesn't eat when they are ovulating, and he remains in a state of stress when he can't breed, knowing they are nearby. I don't have a kennel or outbuilding I can send him to at these times. Once he is neutered, there is a chance I will be looking for the *perfect* situation for retirement. He is a truly amazing and sensitive boy, and a very special poodle for sure.
We have one more card up our sleeves, but I hesitate to post until I am certain of the details. -stay tuned!

Sweet, cuddly, and affectionate 'Armani'



 

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