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Semen with broken tails

This category is to be used for general stallion questions that are not covered by other category descriptions.

Moderator: Jos

Semen with broken tails

Postby Lridgeway » Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:08 pm

Hi. It's been a while since I've posted here.

I did a search to see if my question had already been answered but I couldn't come up with anything.

I've been performing collection and AI on a limited basis and just this year (on Fri) had to ship cooled semen.

I offered a free breeding to someone in TX if they were willing to be my guinea pig for trying to ship this stallion and they agreed.

So their vet got the shipment today and mentioned it was 30% motility with forward motion and there were a lot of semen with broken tails or that were swimming in circles.

This was the stallions first mare in about 3 years but 2 days before I collected to ship, I collected him so that what I shipped would be relatively new.

So my question is, what causes sperm to have broken tails and/or swim in circles?
Lridgeway
Neonate
 
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Re: Semen with broken tails

Postby Jos » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:57 am

Tertiary abnormalities, which commonly involve the tail section of the sperm, are most often caused as a result of some action after ejaculation. Common issues which may result in tertiary abnormalities include heat or cold shock of the sperm (e.g. the semen passing over the heated lumen of the AV on its way into the collection bottle - heat shock; not having a heated cover on the collection bottle in cold weather - cold shock; extender temperature incorrect - either); osmotic shock - extender that is of a significant osmotic difference from the semen or not allowing a period of stabilisation when step-diluting.

If the tails are not broken, but are separated from the head, then that is possibly an issue that you perhaps didn't catch at the time of evaluation after collection, and the stallion is an accumulator stallion.

Having said that, 30% progressive motility is OK as long as an adequate number of progressively motile, morphologically normal sperm are present. Motility percentage means little by itself, but the number of sperm means a lot. Read our article about "what constitutes a bad shipment of semen" for more details.
We're always happy to try and help, but don't forget to check the articles section
of the website too, which has a search engine to help you look for answers!
:)
User avatar
Jos
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Re: Semen with broken tails

Postby Lridgeway » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:42 pm

The vet in TX decided it probably wasn't enough to get the mare pregnant but that they would check it over the next few days to see how it held up. They also mentioned they thought it was over diluted but I only diluted 1:1.

Based on what you said, I think it was the temperature. It was cold, about 45 degrees, I do have the heated cover for my AV and tried my best to keep everything at temp but I'm guessing I failed. This stallion is slow to breed, I left the thermometer in until last minute but it ended up taking 3 tries and a change in jump mares before we collected. I had the extender in a water bath.

My preference is to breed in the spring, when it's much warmer.

I guess I'll have to figure out a way to do this when it's cold out.

I appreciate your time and am going to read your article.
Lridgeway
Neonate
 
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:51 pm

Re: Semen with broken tails

Postby lotsofponies » Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:43 pm

Did you check the concentration before diluting?
lotsofponies
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