Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What kind of animals do you see?

We typically see companion animals, such as cats and dogs. Although we specialize in canine reproduction, we offer “full service” in many veterinary fields of care, including but not limited to: vaccinations, radiography, ultrasound, surgery, and dental procedures tailored to your pet’s stage of life.

We see both small and large animals, including cats, dogs, horses, cattle, small ruminants, and camelids.

Where are you located?

Abilene, Kansas. Go to the “Directions” tab of our website for detailed driving directions and a map.

How do I make an appointment?

Please call our office at 785-263-3221 to schedule an appointment with our friendly receptionist! Small animal appointments are typically seen between 9:00 – 11:00am and 1:00 – 3:00pm. Walk-in appointments are also welcome, with the understanding that you might have to wait for a veterinarian to be available. We offer wellness visits, vaccination, medical, and surgical services to our small animal clients.

Do you offer after-hours care/emergencies?

Please call our clinic and listen to the prompts for the emergency contact number. We typically see emergencies for our current clients (on a case-by-case basis) or may refer clients to an emergency facility to best suit the care of their animal.

What does (applicable procedure) cost?

There’s lots of answers to this question! For a specific estimate, please call our clinic during business hours of 7:00am to 4:00pm Monday through Friday. The variables involved can be discussed in more detail.

Do you offer boarding or grooming?

We do not offer pet boarding or grooming services at this time. Boarding is offered for the purpose of estrus timing/stud collection. We recommend Country Kennel (located east of Solomon) for boarding only and Prim & Popper (located east of Abilene) for grooming and boarding services to our pet clients.

Why is there a barn next to the clinic?

Symbioun, Inc. has been at its current location since 1984. Prior to this, it used to be a locally owned dairy farm that served the populace of Abilene, Kansas with fresh milk. Built by the hands of the patriarch who owned the dairy, the old farmhouse, which served as a small animal clinic, was moved to its new location on 4th Street, Abilene, Kansas in 2002 after the new building with complete veterinary facilities was erected on the property adjacent to the farmhouse. Now our large animal facilities are housed in the barn.

Do you do farm calls?

Yes, we offer ambulatory services as well as in-house services.

What large animal services do you offer?

We offer routine individual or herd health care as well as sick animal evaluations and emergencies. Some of our services include, but are not limited to:

  • Ruminants: breeding soundness exams, preg checks, vaccinations, processing, reproductive services, health certificates
  • Horses: wellness exams, Coggins, vaccinations, dental, health certificates, castrations, reproductive services

Do you see large animal emergencies?

Yes, we see large animal emergencies. Please call our clinic and listen to the prompts for the emergency contact number. Our large animal veterinarian will see most emergencies but may refer clients to another facility to best suit the care of their animal.

Canine Reproduction Questions

What reproduction services are offered?

Female dog services:

  • Timing of estrus with in-house progesterone testing and cytology
  • Surgical inseminations
  • Side-by-side artificial inseminations
  • Endoscopic trans cervical inseminations

Male dog services:

  • Stud dog semen collection and evaluation
  • Semen Cryopreservation
  • Long or short term frozen semen storage (including quarantine for international exportation)
  • Frozen semen shipping, logistics
  • International Frozen Semen import/export services

Medical reproduction services:

  • Obstetric exams
  • Caesarean sections
  • Breeding soundness exams and evaluations for studs and dams
  • Pregnancy diagnosis
  • Neonatal care
  • Consultation

How do I ship semen TO Symbioun Inc.?

The first step is a phone call to us.

We are not a brokerage, so usually multiple parties will need to be involved and we will do our best to make it as simple as possible and eliminate unnecessary last minute concerns. The sending party will need to know our full address to eliminate any hassles. The sending party should also include semen owner information.

How do I ship semen to another facility FROM Symbioun Inc.?

We will first need clearance from the semen owner and details of destination as well as payment information before shipping and we will handle further arrangements. Due to the nature of frozen semen, it is NOT necessary to wait until a female enters estrus to ship. Planning ahead for future breedings is encouraged and can drastically affect the shipping cost. Frozen semen needs to be stored immersed in liquid nitrogen. If the receiving facility has storage capacity, we can send the semen well ahead of time using our shipping tanks to those at the receiving facility. Shipping tanks do not have a long hold time, so if the receiving facility does NOT have storage capacity we would not be inclined to send the frozen semen unless the receiving facility can procure a temporary storage tank.

What if I want to use fresh chilled semen instead of frozen?

Respectfully, we prefer to work with frozen or fresh semen. Chilled semen has a lot of work involved that must be orchestrated and executed perfectly in order for it to be a successful breeding. Weekends and holidays make it even more difficult to coordinate because of lack of shipping options at that time. It typically is more expensive due to shipping costs and the fact that multiple breeding may be needed.

What is involved in timing a female? When should I bring her in?

We prefer to start timing a female between 5 – 7 days after the onset of proestrus, as indicated by a bloody vaginal discharge and/or vulva swelling. We use vaginal cytology and serum progesterone levels to determine how far along a female is in her cycle to identify the most ideal time to recheck. We give each case individualized attention and recheck anywhere from 7 days to the same afternoon, depending on test results. Timing can take as little as a few days to a few weeks with multiple cytologies and progesterones. Expect 3 – 5 progesterones per estrus timing before breeding.

Some things to consider prior to bringing a female in for timing:

1. If you females cycles are irregular or she has had trouble becoming pregnant in the past, earlier evaluation of breeding soundness before she is in estrus is the prudent choice.
2. Prior shipment or confirmation of semen stored at our facility will ensure your female can be bred at the most optimal time without missing a breeding opportunity because of shipping delays.
3. Finally, use a proven stud.

How are females bred at your facility?

Females are bred by surgical insemination, trans cervical artificial insemination (TCI), or side-by-side artificial insemination. We also assist in timing natural matings, but rarely assist with live matings at the clinic. Usually natural matings are done at the owner’s kennel or farm.

Descriptions of each are provided below.

Surgical insemination:
Our facility primarily performs surgical inseminations with frozen or fresh semen. Surgical insemination requires general anesthesia and semen is implanted directly into the uterine horns through a small abdominal incision. The advantage of this procedure is the frozen semen (which typically has a shorter life span due to rapid capacitation as opposed to fresh semen) has the best chance of reaching the eggs of the female. This approach requires a health exam, fresh or frozen semen stored or shipped to our facility in an adequate time frame and accurate estrus timing. Surgical insemination has two approaches: right flank (on the side of the abdomen, preferred for greyhounds and performance dogs) or ventral midline (on the belly, preferred for wide bodied dogs, or for cosmetic purposes in dogs that may be currently showing). Shaving the fur is required for adequate sterile preparation. The surgical sire which is shave is typically 8-10 centimeters (4-5 inches) and the incision is typically less than 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 inches or 3-5 cm for the procedure. Post-surgical care is required and includes restriction of activity, close observation, and avoiding long distance travel for 2-7 days. Females may be picked up the next day after the procedure is performed for females boarded or owned locally. This procedure is limited to only one breeding per season to limit anesthetic and surgical risk to the patient.

Trans cervical Artificial Insemination:
As an alternate to surgical insemination, trans cervical insemination uses a small medical grade endoscope with a camera and CRT screen to visualize the cervix for catheterization and implanting semen into the uterus. This requires no anesthesia and rarely requires sedation. It is preferred for clients who do not want their animals to undergo surgery but still want to use frozen semen. The patient will be required to stand very still for up to ten minutes to allow the procedure to occur. Fresh, frozen, or chilled semen may be used for this procedure.

Side-by-Side Artificial Insemination:
The stud and dam to be bred are both presented to the clinic. The male’s semen is then collected, evaluated, and then vaginally placed into the female. No anesthesia is required for this procedure. Depending on the quality of the semen and the female’s estrus cycle, this may be done multiple times in order to have the best chance for a pregnancy.

How much does it cost to collect and freeze semen from my stud?

We are an American Kennel Club (AKC) and National Greyhound Association (NGA) affiliated/approved frozen semen facility. We also work closely with the United Kennel Club (UKC), Professional Kennel Club (PKC), American Field Stud Book (AFSB), North American Versatile hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA) and most other registries.

Our fee for “teaser” acquisition, collection of stud, evaluation of semen, cryopreservation and associated record keeping is a bundled service. Each registry, however (AKC, UKC, PKC, AFSB, etc.) has different criteria regarding DNA services and reporting, each with varied fees. We are happy to assemble, complete and process all necessary documentation and routinely collect and submit DNA as required as well as maintaining detailed records on each and every freeze we perform.

We provide both long and short term storage as well as offering domestic and international shipping.

Please give us a call to discuss options, costs, appointments and necessary documentation prior to cryopreservation.

How much does it cost to breed my female?

There are fixed costs such as the surgical implant fee or trans cervical insemination fee, but there are several variable costs depending on how long the female is boarded at our facility, how many progesterone tests are needed to time the female and how many times she is bred. Only one breeding is necessary with surgical implant, but trans cervical or side-by-side AI ay require multiple breedings.

Please call for an estimate.

What is our conception rate?

For racing greyhounds, our pregnancy rate is currently about 90% with an average of 5.9 pups per litter (as of December 2015, updated bi-monthly).

Do you have a guarantee? What if my female doesn't take?

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees with breeding dogs. Many variables must be met when trying for a successful breeding, and while we can give them the best chance possible, sometimes it does not work. If this is the case, please contact us so we can reassess that particular breeding and recommend changes towards a successful pregnancy.

I am a Veterinarian/Professional breeder in need of advice.

Medical consultation is available through Dr. Law or Dr. Steele. Any of our staff can advise on the logistics of timing and breeding a female.