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Semen PH levels

Equine-Reproduction.com Bulletin Board » General Stallion Questions » Semen PH levels « Previous Next »


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jennifer
Posted on Monday, December 15, 2003 - 10:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This story is far too long (been going on since about June ) to tell all the details, so I will abreviate a bit:
New pony stallion arrived, all seemed well. He has good libido, after many trials and errors, he is finally a pro at ground-collecting and I am getting very good at the AI aspect. We have been working closely with our vet all year.
By the end of August, none of the mares are in foal, all have been bred both AI and live cover (on separate heat cycles) and most of them are very easy broodmares.
Soooo...off to the clinic for Mr. Dud's swimmers for some closer investigation. A culture reveals an infection that is then treated with Enrofloxicin. Treatment seems to work and culture comes clean after 5 weeks.
We are by this time too far into the year to keep breeding, so the rest is simply experimentation to try to get Mr. Dud fertile.
(At this point, I should say that all samples including the first sample that the culture was taken from showed EXCELLENT morphology and great quantity of sperm, but absolutely 0 motility. At the time, we were collecting at home and taking the semen to the clinic (about 40 minute drive). We were hoping that the lack of motility was from possibly a change in temperature or other influence.
Last weekend, the vet came to the farm for a collection and immediate evaluation.
Mr. Dud gave us a lovely sample, again, great morphology, great count and this time, THEY WERE MOTILE. The downside? After 10 minutes, every last one was dead!!!
We decided to do a simple PH test, and he is off the charts almost at 8.9 - it is my understanding that 7 is considered neutral, and a slight variation either way is normal. In essence, his body fluids are frying his sperm!!

So, now my question is:
1. Anybody ever experienced this before?
2. Any suggestions for reducing the PH level?
3. What are the overall effects on the whole body when the PH is this high? I am assuming that if his semen is that high, the rest of his body must be high too.
4. Prognosis?
5. Would gelding him affect the PH in the rest of his body? (At this point, if we can't fix this problem, he is going to some kid's lovely show gelding)

Thank you all for reading my long-winded story and for any input you may have.
Jennifer
 

J Bivin
Posted on Friday, January 23, 2004 - 07:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

First question: what kind of extender are you using?
 

D. Spink
Posted on Sunday, January 25, 2004 - 05:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am no repro vet, but my understanding is that semem PH levels will begin to change dramatically within 10-20 minutes after collection. This is one big reason for extenders, most all of which have PH buffering systems built into them.

So, if you were driving to your clinic with the collected semen but had not extended it, that's why your semen was dead on arrival. Semem isn't meant to "keep" for extended periods of time - that's why we use extenders. Even 10 minutes is often enough to kill semen, pre-extension.

Some stallions can go 20 minutes or so without extension, and I expect that somewhere in the world there's one that can go for hours. But, for the normal stallion, 10 minutes is sort of the outside window on semen viability pre-extension. That's why we collect and extend right away.

As I said, I'm no vet and I'd be interested in being corrected if I am off the mark here. However, we had some issues last year and during our testing we reviewed these types of questions with a top-level PhD researcher (Dr. Samper). This is my recollection of his information, though if I am remembering it wrong it reflects on my bad memory, not Juan's knowledge!

PH levels are a measure of free ions in a liquid. Buffering systems act to stabilize PH levels by "soaking up" the excess ions in chemically clever ways. Un-extended semen doesn't have much in the way of PH buffering skills built-in, since it is never expected to live outside the mare, evolutionarily speaking.

So, I'd suggest you collect your boy, extend (with a few different extenders, to test which one works best for him), and then check the samples under the scope in 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, and every 2 hours from there. I suspect you'll find your boy is just fine, so long as he is extended properly!

Regards,

D. Spink
www.stallions.net
 

Kendel Hofer
Neonate
Username: Kendel_equd

Post Number: 1
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Thursday, March 05, 2009 - 05:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What you are feeding your stallion can all so afect his PH levels. If you are feeding sweet feeds or High starch feeds such as corn barly and cearul grans otes or ok,it well all so rase your PH levels in your horse. sarry a bout spelling
 

Jamie Anderson
Nursing Foal
Username: Jamieander

Post Number: 12
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 09:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The semen pH you give is too alkaline. "Normal"/fertile semen generally has a pH range of 7.2-7.5 (although a wider range has been reported, I think).

Have you not been extending the semen at all? Semen should -always- been examined, and extended even if it is being inseminated on-site within minutes of collection.

Even if extension alone doesn't work terribly well, you always have the option of centrifugation to remove the majority of the seminal plasma (the liquid part of the semen, i.e. not the sperm cells).



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