Can anyone help with info regarding the general standard used in the USA & Canada of sperm per million used in a 0.5ml straw. We have imported semen and have been told that the .5ml straws have 500million sperm in each. We are used to using at least 3/4 0.5ml straws. Can this be done? Is it usual? Thanks in advance
Jos Posted From: 220.127.116.11
Posted on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 10:41 am:
Half-ml straws are most commonly packed at the rate of 400 million/ml, so 200 million sperm per straw. That is not to say that it cannot be packed at a different rate, and in fact in North America there are 2 businesses that I know of that pack 800 million sperm to a straw, and only one straw is therefore required for an insemination dose.
If you are uncertain, you should contact the freezing business before use, or you can count the sperm concentration using a hemacytometer post-thaw.
Whelan Posted From: 18.104.22.168
Posted on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 11:00 am:
Thank you! We have been given 1 0.5ml straw per breeding dose supposed to contain 500million sperm, however the post thaw motility is only at around 10% ! Unfortunately we are in Australia and the semen is from os so cant get hold of the stallion owner or their vet, and our mare is at the vet now almost ready to breed. Would you suggest using three straws? Any tricks of the trade we can try? Quite a few have used the semen and no success but three mares concieved on the first insemination with straws from the same batch. Can you give a little info on Deep Uterine Insemination and would it help in our case? Thanks Whelan
Jos Posted From: 22.214.171.124
Posted on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 08:09 pm:
50 million progressively motile sperm (PMS), which is what you would have, is a little on the low side. I do not get too alarmed with frozen semen as long as I have 100 million PMS, and of course as long as I have proven fertility with the thawed frozen semen from that stallion. One of the advantages of one technique used with frozen semen is that it forces us to inseminate close to ovulation, so we can in fact reduce the PMS and still have good pregnancy rates.
Options will certainly include use of more than one straw, although I suspect you could get away with two rather than three - although if you have enough, then using three may be the way to go. The addition of another straw will certainly not hurt!
Deep horn insemination is certainly an option that may prove beneficial. DHI is where either a video endoscope with a biopsy channel or a flexible insemination pipette is used to place the semen at the utero-tubule junction. If your veterinarian does not have a suitable video endoscope, then certainly a flexible pipette is a possibility. I am not sure what equipment suppliers you have available to you in Australia, but IMV market a suitable flexible pipette that I have used to good effect for deep horn inseminations. The technique is not hard - one introduces the pipette throught the cervix as one would normally, then removes one's hand from the vagina (while stabilizing the pipette and maintaining it's intra-uterine position) and goes in rectally. One then manipulates the pipette in the uterus (by a combination of flexure of the pipette and "straightening" of the uterus) and up the uterine horn to the utero-tubule junction of the horn on the side of the preovulatory follicle. Once positioned, the syringe plunger is depressed to achieve sperm deposition.
Points to ponder... you mention that there have been pregnancies with this batch of semen, which is good, but you also say there have been a lack of pregnancies. Is there any chance that the semen may have been thawed out and refrozen accidentally? Although that would typically reduce PMS to zero, if thawing was not complete, but merely sufficient exposure to heat above -140° C to cause some damage, that could explain some differences in success. Remember too - especially depending upon freezing techniqe - that variances within the freeze are possible.
If you or your veterinarian would like to contact me directly by e-mail with more questions, please feel free to do so by using our contact page. We are lecturing over the weekend, but will check e-mail each evening.
Hi Whelan, I would love to catch up with you regarding DUI and using frozen semen. I am also from Aus. and we are using this method on our mares and also visiting mares. Please email me - firstname.lastname@example.org
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