Decline in dog sperm quality 'could be a concern for humans'

Conclusion This animal study aimed to assess changes in sperm quality in dogs over time. Within this, the researchers looked at whether chemicals in the environment may play a role in the observed trends. The study reported a decline in sperm quality in canines over the 26-year study period, as well as an increase in the incidence of cryptorchidism in the dogs' male offspring during an overlapping timeframe. The media interest in this study revolves around the idea that the decline in dogs' sperm quality can be linked to the decline in fertility also observed in men. Further research would need to be conducted in humans to investigate the reasons behind the suspected decline. The researchers also detected the chemicals PCB congeners, PBDE congeners and DEHP in the canine adult testis and semen. But although these findings are interesting, the study did not aim to – and is not able to – confirm a link between environmental chemicals and sperm quality. Professor Allan Pacey, Professor of Andrology at the University of Sheffield, said: "This is an interesting study which suggests that the sperm quality in a population of dogs enrolled in a breeding programme in the UK may have declined over a 26-year period, in a manner which mimics what others have claimed may have happened in the human male over the last century. "Whilst I am not a strong supporter of the idea that sperm quality in humans has declined significantly – we have changed too much ab...
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