Artificial insemination (AI) is an important reproductive technology that is increasingly used in cats and dogs to facilitate management of breeding colonies and individual animals. The basic technique of transferring semen from a dog to a bitch was first described in the 1770s. Since then, there have been significant developments in knowledge of reproductive anatomy and physiology, as well as substantial technological advances that make the technique, in many cases, suitable for use in general clinical practice. This article is the first of a series of three that aim to provide a comprehensive, but practical review of the purpose, techniques and likely outcomes of AI in cats and dogs.
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