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Does oral administration of the amino acid tyrosine affect oestradiol-17β concentration and sexual behaviour in the bitch?
  1. S. Spankowsky, DVM,
  2. W. Heuwieser, DVM, Prof.Drmedvet and
  3. S. P. Arlt, DVM, DiplECAR, Drmedvet
  1. Clinic for Animal Reproduction, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  1. Email for correspondence: sonja.spankowsky{at}


The oral administration of the amino acid, tyrosine, has been for years recommended in order to improve fertility, especially to improve copulation behaviour in female dogs. However, evidence is comparatively poor. The objective of our study was to determine whether oral administration of tyrosine has an effect on oestradiol-17β concentrations and the oestrous behaviour in the bitch. Fifty bitches were randomly allocated to one of two treatment groups in which each dog received 100mg/kg/day of either tyrosine or milk sugar orally between Day 3 and Day 9 of heat. Every two to three days, a gynaecological examination was performed and blood samples were taken to determine oestradiol-17β and progesterone concentrations. The day of ovulation was estimated by clinical findings, and according to the specifications of the laboratory, once progesterone values exceeded 12.7nmol/l. The observed copulation behaviour was not different between the groups. No differences in volume and visual nature of vaginal discharge were observed. At the day of ovulation, mean oestradiol-17β concentration in the treated group was 163.4pmol/l and 162.2pmol/l in the placebo group, respectively. In conclusion, feeding tyrosine to female dogs between Day 3 and Day 9 of heat did not alter visual signs of heat or copulation behaviour, and did not alter oestradiol-17β concentration.

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