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Animal Reproduction

Code: 102661 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2502445 Veterinary Medicine OB 3 1


Maria Jesus Palomo Peiro

Teaching groups languages

You can check it through this link. To consult the language you will need to enter the CODE of the subject. Please note that this information is provisional until 30 November 2023.


Juan Enrique Rodríguez Gil
Maria Teresa Mogas Amorós
Maria Jesus Palomo Peiro


There are no official prerequisites. However, it would be advisable for the student to have acquired some knowledge levels in Animal Physiology, Morphology, Pharmacology, Biochemistry, Genetics and Statistics. It is also recommended to get some knowledge in Computation and English language before taking the course. There will be two seminars where teaching will be given entirely in English, identified as DA.

Objectives and Contextualisation

The Animal Reproduction course is a third year subject that provides the knowledge related to the physiology of reproduction of domestic animals, as well as the methodology required for its control. The specific objectives are that the student:
1.- Recognizes and differentiates the anatomical and functional characteristics of the genital apparatus, both male and female, in the separate species of veterinary interest. Moreover, the student should master the techniques of exploration of the male and female reproductive system in the different species
2.- Understands the neuro-endocrine and gonadal mechanisms that control the appearance and development of the sexual activity of the separate species and evaluate the different existing methods to induce and synchronize the estrus, with special reference, both theoretical and practical, to the different guidelines to follow.
3.- Acquires a methodical and reasoned knowledge of the physiological reproductive processes that leads to the formation of gametes. Furthermore, the student should acquire a similar knowledge regarding the factors that determine sexual behavior, understanding thus the physiological and biochemical mechanisms of fertilization as well as the maternal-embryonic communication responsible for the implantation that takes place in the domestic mammals and the use of the techniques of assisted reproduction and the embryonic biotechnologies (cloning, sexing, transgenesis, etc.).


4.- Knows the physiological changes that occur during pregnancy, both in the mother and in the fetus, as well as their endocrinological characteristics to become acquainted to the use of the most practical methods for the diagnosis of pregnancy. Moreover, the student should know the advantages the disadvantages of each one of these methodsin the different domestic species, being also aware of the zootechnical and economic importance in order to perform a diagnosis of early pregnancy.
5.- Understands when, how, with what and why an specific therapeutic abortion and/or induction of the parturition technique should be used in each domestic species. Furthermore, the student should understand the importance of fetal development (fetal static) as well as the characteristics of the pelvic system (pelvimetría) in the satisfactory resolution of the eutocic parturition. Likewise, the student should also understand the mechanisms that trigger the parturition in the species of domestic mammals as well as the zootechnical and economic importance derived from the correct establishment of the puerperium.

6. - Knows the physiology and management of the newborn animal and understands lactation as the final phase of the reproductive cycle in mammals.


  • Analyse, synthesise and resolve problems and make decisions.
  • Apply the basic cures that guarantee the correct function of the reproduction cycle and the resolution of obstetric problems.
  • Comunicar la informació obtinguda durant l'exercici professional de manera fluïda, oralment i per escrit, amb altres col·legues, autoritats i la societat en general.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the aspects of organisation, finance and management in all fields of the veterinary profession.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of English to communicate both orally and in writing in academic and professional contexts.
  • Draft and present satisfactory professional reports, always maintaining the required confidentiality.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyse, synthesise and resolve problems and make decisions.
  2. Attain a methodical and reasoned knowledge of the physiological reproduction processes that lead to the formation of gametes and to fecundation, as well as the factors that determine sexual behaviour and coupling.
  3. Communicate information obtained during professional exercise in a fluid manner, orally and in writing, with other colleagues, authorities and society in general.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of English to communicate both orally and in writing in academic and professional contexts.
  5. Develop in an applicative manner the different forms of artificial insemination, as well as the different dilution, conservation and semen manipulation techniques (refrigeration, freezing, sexing...).
  6. Draft and present satisfactory professional reports, always maintaining the required confidentiality.
  7. Evaluate the different methods for inducing and synchronising the oestrous cycle, with special theoretical and practical reference to the different guidelines that should be followed.
  8. Evaluate the importance of foetal development (foetal physiology and statics), as well as the characteristics of the pelvic channel (pelvimetry) in the satisfactory resolution of normal delivery.
  9. Explain the mechanisms that cause delivery in domestic mammals, as well as the zoological and economic importance of the correct establishment of puerperium and lactation and the importance of correctly handling the neonate (handling guidelines, use of colostrum, examination guidelines...).
  10. Identify new embryo biotechnologies: transfer of embryos, their in vitro production and conservation, and recent embryonic biotechnologies (cloning, sexing, transgenesis, mother cells, etc.).
  11. Identify when, how, with what and why therapeutic abortion and the induction of delivery should be used in different domestic species.
  12. Master techniques for exploration of the male and female reproduction apparatus in different species.
  13. Recognise the physiological changes produced during gestation both in the mother and in the foetus, as well as their endocrine characteristics.
  14. Use the most practical methods for the diagnosis of gestation and know of the advantages and disadvantages of each in different domestic species.



The content of the “Animal Reproduction” subject is structured in 5 items, which are organizad as follows:

1.- First item: This item review of the functional anatomy and the inspection of the male and female genital tract in the separate domestic mammals. This item consists of the following classes:
Reproduction: Definition. Importance
Inspection of the male: external exploration. Internal exploration
• Inspection of the female reproductive system.
• "In vivo" exploration of the female reproductive system.


2.- Second item: this item analyzes the physiology of reproduction under a chronological system. In this manner. The item starts from puberty, passing then to reproductive physiology in sexually mature male and female and the factors that influence it, and finally ending with mounting, transportation and maturation of gametes, fertilization and pre-implantacional embryonic development. Following the same order, we study the methods and techniques used for reproductive control and genetic improvement. Thus, the methods for the induction and synchronization of zeal and ovulation and their importance in reproductive planning are analyzed by species. Subsequently, we study the collection, evaluation and sperm conservation following by to the study of artificial insemination in the different species. The last section of this item is devoted to the study of “in vitro” fertilization and new embryonic biotechnologies, subsequently analyzing the embryo transfer techniques by species. The item consists of the following classes:
• Estral cycle (by species): phases of the cycle. Changes in behavior and the inspection of the reproductive system. Diagnosis of oestrus. Optimum moment for mounting or insemination.
• Control of oestrus (by species). Hormone and handling methods to synchronize or induce oestrus. Methods for the inhibition and interruption of oestrus.
• Seminology (1): composition of the semen. Biological characteristics. Sperm metabolism.
• Seminology (2): short and long term conservation. Extenders to be used and their features.
• Fertilization: folliculogenesis. Maturation of the oocyte. Sperm capacitation and acrosomal reaction. Fertilization Embryonic development
• Embryo Transfer: applications. Preparation of donor females and receptors. Collection, evaluation and conservation of embryos. Transfer of embryos. OPU.
• Vaginal cytology in the bitch.
• Oestrus synchronization and artificial insemination
• “in vitro” Fertilization
• Cryopreservation of gametes
• Semen analysis
• Obtención de semen en varias especies
• Estral Cycles (DA)
• Artificial insemination on the bitch
• Control of the estrous cycle (DA)
• Reproductive biotechnologies
• Semen analysis
• Germoplasm conservation 



  • Oestrus cycles (DA)
  • Articial insemination in the bitch
  • Control of oestrus cycle (DA)
  • Reproductive biotechnologies
  • Semen analysis.
  • Germoplasm conservation


3.- Third item: this item includes gestation, diagnosis gestation techniques and those that allow us to inhibit or interrupt it. In addition, we study within this item the modifications of the fetus during gestation as well as all aspects regarding pelvimetry. The item consistsof the following classes:
• Gestation diagnosis (by species): Type of placenta. Maternal recognition of gestation. Endocrinology. Clinical diagnosis. Laboratory diagnosis.
• Interruption of gestation (by species): Indications. Products to be used in each period.
• Fetus: Nutrition and metabolism. Endocrinology. Development
• Pelvimetry and fetal statics: fetal diameters. Pelvimetry. Attitude. Situation. Presentation. Position
• Management of reproductive data in pigs


4.- Fourth item: this item analyzes the physiology of parturion as well as the techniques that allow to induce and synchronize it in the separate domestic species. In addition, this item is also devoted to the study of puerperium and the onset of lactation, their control and characteristics as well as the main physiological changes of the newborn and the management that it must receive.
• Eutocyc part. Definition. Induction phase. Expulsion phase (by species).
• Parturition synchronization and induction strategies. Recommendations and strategies (by species).
• Neonatology: physiological characteristics of the newborn (by species). Inspection and determination of the physiologic status of newborns. Newborn care (by species).

• Puerperium: definition and physiological characteristics. Involution, regeneration and reassumption of cycles. Handling of puerperium according to the species.


Learning will be taught in a combined way, with theoretical teaching taught in the form of lectures and practical teaching. In this way the bases will be given in form that students will have to extend their knowledge of the subject with the reading and consultation of the suitable bibliography. The teaching material used in the subject except the complementary bibliographic material, which is of optional consulting by the student, will be available on the Virtual Campus platforms.
Thus, in accordance with the objectives of the subject, the development of the course will be based on the following activities:
Theoretical teaching. Master classes
Master classes will be taught with projected screening aids so that the student can follow the explanations. The necessary and basic information will be given so that, afterwards, the knowledge acquired can be completed with the consultation of suitable texts.
Practical teaching
The practical classes approach the theoretical models to reality and reinforce, complete and allow students to apply the knowledge acquired in the master classes. The student will develop the ability to observe and the skill to integrate knowledge. In the practical classes, by means of work in small groups, the different techniques of exploration of both male and female reproductive system (rectal palpation, ultrasound, vaginal cytology), as well as other techniques such as artificial insemination, semen collection, gametes cryopreservation "in vitro" fertilization.
In some cases the practical classes will be done in small groups in order to make possible the student's contact with reality (instrumental and animal manipulation) and approximate it to real clinical situations.
Clinical cases (7 two-hour sessions)
The aim of this teaching tool will be the resolution and discussion of clinical cases through which physiological concepts and practical applications can be inferred.
There will be specific problems of physiology and reproductive technologies throughout the course. Prior to a classroom practice, two small groups of 4- 5 students will face 2 cases (one each group). These students will be responsible for leading the session together with the teacher. The rest of the group, divided into two other teams of 4-5 students, will have the task of assessing their work and asking questions. The debate will also be open to other students. At the end of each session, each team will have to present a compendium of what has been learned during the course of the session. This compendium must have delivered to the responsible professor as later as 24 hours after the session. These practices contemplate on the one hand the work in small groups supervised by the professor, as well as the discussion in large groups. The practices will have to allow the students to apply the knowledge acquired in the theoretical classes, as well as to familiarize them with the use of different sources of information. Students will be able to identify problems, make a diagnosis and look for specific solutions. Practices at the same time should encourage critical analysis and the ability of students to discuss and communicate among them.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Clinical cases 14 0.56 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 7
Magistral classes 21 0.84 2, 4, 5, 12, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 7, 8
Practical classes 16 0.64 1, 2, 4, 5, 12, 10, 14, 7
Type: Autonomous      
Resolution of cases 22 0.88 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 7
Study 74 2.96 2, 4, 5, 12, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 7, 8


This sublect does NOT foresee the system of single assessment.

The subject will be evaluated through the cases delivered during the year and through two exams.
Each case will be scored from 0 to 10. The final grade of the cases will be the arithmetic mean of the delivered ones. The evaluation of the cases will be carried out by evaluating the participation of each group in the exhibition, defense or examination of the case, the resolute ability of the student shown during the class and the compendium given to the teacher. The evaluation of the two cases taught in English will also include the individual assessment of this competence. Students who defend and deliver case 1, case 2 or both in English will have a bonus in the case note up to a maximum of 1 point. In addition, these students will have a bonus in the final mark of Animal Reproduction of up to 10% according to the following guidelines:
- 0-0.34 points: the student does not receive any type of bonus
- 0.35- 0.84 points: 5% applies to the final mark of the subject
- 0.85- 1 point: 10% applies to the final mark of the subject
Both the first exam and the second test consist of 40 questions. Questions have four possible answers from which only one is correct. Each question wrongly answered rest 0.33 points. The 60% of the content of the exam will correspond to what was explained during the theoretical classes and the other 40% will be based on the matter that has been explained during the practical classes. The duration of each exam is 60 minutes.
Final mark of the subject: The mark of the first exam represents 30% of the final mark of the subject. The second exam's score represents another 30%. Finally, the final notefrom cases will represent the remaining 40% of the final mark. All three parts must be approved with ≥5. Notes ≤ 4.99 will be considered as suspended.
If the mark of the exam is <5 points, the student will be able to present to a recovery exam. If the mark of cases is <5 points, the student will be able to recover this part through the realization and delivery of a work related to a clinical case, where the student will be able to diagnose and provide possible solutions to the problem.
It will be considered not presented when the student does not take the exam
Regarding the students who repeat the subject, it is not necessary for them to repeat the practical classes. In order to evaluate these students, they must be presented to the exams, whereas the final note of the cases will be obtained from that obtained in the previous course/s in which the student performed these cases.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Cases 40% 0 0 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 6, 7
Exams 60% 3 0.12 2, 4, 5, 12, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 7, 8


Veterinary reproduction and obstetrics. Arthur, GH, Noakes, DE, Pearson, H and Parkinson, TJ. Saunders Co. Ltd. 7


 edition, 1996. Text of physiology of reproduction and obstetrics structured by species with a very appropriate approach to the learning of the student. Particularly useful in subjects of the oestrous cycle and the management of the gestation and parturition


Pathways to pregnancy and parturition. Senger, PL. Current Conceptions Inc. 2


 Edition, 2003. Text of physiology and reproduction technology specially designed for the study of reproductive endocrinology, oestrus cycles, gametes and embryo physiology, implantation and gestation. The use of graphs and explanatory diagrams makes it particularly useful for students.



Current therapy in large animal theriogenology. Youngquist RS, Threlfall WR. Saunders Elsevier.  2nd edition, 2007.

Canine and feline theriogenology. Johnston SD, Root Kustritz, MV, Olson  PNS. Saunders Company 2001.

Canine and feline endocrinology and reproduction. Feldman EC, Nelson RW. Saunders Company, 1996.

Fertility and infertility in dogs, cats and other carnivores. Concannon PW, England GCW, Verstegen JP, Russell, HA. Journal of Reproduction and Fertility Ltd., 1993.

Equine reproduction. McKinnon AO,  Voss JL. Lea & Febiger, 1993.

Reproducción del ganado vacuno. Peters AR, Ball PJH. Acribia, 1991.

Veterinary Pediatrics. Dogs and cats from birth to six months. Hoskins JD. Saunders Company, 1995

Manual of small animal reproduction and neonatology. Simpson G, England G, Harvey M. British Small Animal Veterinary Association, 1998


Available specialized on line journals

Animal Reproduction. Brazil

Animal Reproduction Science. Elsevier

Reproduction in Domestic Animals. Wiley on line library


Theoretical content

1. Definition of Reproduction. Male Breeder Exploration (1h)

2. Estrous cicle (3h)

3. Heat control (2h)

4. Seminology (2h)

5. Fertilization (1h)

6. Embryo Transfert (1h)

7. Gestation diagnostic (3h)

8. Gestation Interruption (1h)

9. Fetus (1h)

10. Pelvimetry (1h)

11. Labour (2h)

12. Puerperium (1h)

13. Neonate


Practical contents

RA1: Vaginal cytology

RA2: Exploration of female reproductive tract

RA3:Semen Extraction

RA4: Heat synchronization and Artificial Insemination

RA5: Semen Analysis and Cryopreservation

RA6: In vitro Fertilization



SRA1: Heat detection and Artificial Insemination in milky cows

SRA2: Artificial Insemintion in bitches

SRA3: Heat synchronization in cows and ewes

SRA4: Fertility in sows

SRA5: Seminal Analyses

SRA6: Reproductive parameters in sows

SRA7: New reproductive technologies