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Stallion had low sperm counts, but 6 months off regumate numbers are normal

Equine-Reproduction.com Bulletin Board » General Stallion Questions » Stallion had low sperm counts, but 6 months off regumate numbers are normal « Previous Next »


Author Message
 

Jan H
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Jan_h

Post Number: 1096
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 - 10:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have a racing QH stallion who was on regumate for 6 months while racing as a 3 year old. The horse was never diffecult to handle however this trainer refuses to handle/race a stallion unless they are on regumate.

He was retired to the breeding shed in April this year. At the prebreeding exam his scrotal measurement was small. His sperm count 150 million per cc

This past test, his scrotal width is normal for a 5 year old stallion.
ejaculate was 130 cc
400 million per cc
85% normal sperm
15% defective sperm
80% of the sperm were active swimmers PH 7.4

Since I am new at this do these sound normal? The vet said looks like there are no long term effects of the regumate on this stallion, but he has seen problems before when young stallions are given regumate for any length of time. Is he right? are these normal values Jos?

He was bred to 2 mares and looks like he settled them both(by AI) so I am very happy
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 3323
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 - 11:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The total sperm number given is abnormally high at 52 billion (normal would be around 8 billion) which indicates that there is likely something wrong with the evaluation.
  • Either the testicles were not "normal" in size (testicular volume is positively correlated to total sperm production), or:
  • The concentration was not 400 million/ml (this can be in error if the sample was dirty and a spectrophotometric counting device such as a Densimiter or Spermacue was used), or:
  • The stallion is an accumulator stallion, which would mean that the morphological and motility analyses were incorrect.
To put it in perspective a bit for you, when freezing semen, the average stallion will produce between 5 and 15 insemination doses. The most from one ejaculate that we have ever seen is 80, and that horse - which was a mature warmblood - had testicles almost twice the size of a softball.

Hopefully the error is in the count, which is probably the most likely, but something just doesn't quite jive... :-(
 

Jan H
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Jan_h

Post Number: 1097
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 - 11:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

gee, I have got to get another vet to evaluate the semen or the information I am given is incorrect, I am going to seek to get the report directly sent to me instead of having it read over the phone by the farm.

Thank you for your input your so wonderful and accurate with your information, I guess having settled 2 mares out of 2.

What does it mean an accumulater stallion Jos.
 

hedgerow pony farm
Breeding Stock
Username: Lotsofponies

Post Number: 203
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 - 08:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jos was that warmblood stallion Robin Hood?
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 3324
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 - 09:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Stallions produce billions of sperm every day, but typically only get to breed once in a while, so the dead sperm that are past their "best before date" are normally secreted in the urine on a daily basis, by the billion.

With some stallions though, there develops a problem at the ampullae whereby the stallion cannot shed the dead sperm in the urine, and it's only when they ejaculate that the dead sperm are shed (and sometimes not even then). Consequently, that ejaculate will contain billions of sperm and have a high concentration, but have very low motility with the majority of the sperm dead. Typically there are also a high percentage of detached heads on the sperm as well.

The technical term is "spermiostasis".
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 3325
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 - 09:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

Jos was that warmblood stallion Robin Hood?



Actually, yes! :-)
 

Jan H
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Jan_h

Post Number: 1098
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Friday, July 01, 2011 - 03:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Jos,

I just found out they gave me a report that was not my horse, his sperm was not re-evaluated. so they collected and shipped it to the mare owner, the count was good they said. but when the shipment arrived the vet on the receiving end said that it did not ship well.

He was evaluated in April (2 months off Regumate) His scrotal size was considered small.
% normal 57
% abnormal heads 20
% detached heads 1
% proximal droplets 8
% distal droplets 8
% abnormal midpieces 7
% bent midpieces 6
%bent tails 1
% coiled tails 0
% premature germ cells 3
comments were: this stallion has good sperm quality. He has 57% of the sperm that are normal with the predominant abnormality being abnormal head.
He does not feel these abnormalities would reduce fertility if semen is used fresh...If shipped he suggests that a evaluation of motility longevity should be done.

Since that evaluation his scrotal size has increased by 18% 5 months months post Regumante.

One mare he settled was shipped semen
the other was with fresh semen. What do you think Jos?
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 3327
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Friday, July 01, 2011 - 08:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well, I suppose it's good to know that there was an error and that I wasn't completely out in left field when I said there was something not quite right, although from your perspective, the previous analysis would have been preferable! It does appear from the morphological analysis that your stallion was suffering from "Regumate poisoning"... :-(

This new set of figures really doesn't tell us too much other than that. As a general rule, the threshold for "morphologically normal" ejaculates is to be above 60% normal, so based upon that, he is slightly below normal. One has to be cautious though, as there are a variety of different parameters that are generally evaluated and are required to be met for consideration of an abnormal or normal ejaculate (and which I have included below), but in the final analysis what is really important is pregnancy rates. The trouble with using that last statistic for your situation is that you have only bred two mares and although they were both pregnant, it really isn't an adequate number of mares upon which to base a statistical analysis!

You will note from the list I provided that one looks for 10% or lower head or mid-piece abnormalities, while your stallion is showing 41% abnormalities in those areas. There is a little discrepancy in the percentage evaluation, as typically only one abnormality is noted per sperm, so that the percentage as a whole adds up to 100%, while in this evaluation the percentage adds up to 108% (we don't include the germ cells in the total!). It seems likely therefore that some sperm had multiple abnormalities noted, but there is not an indication as to what percentage that was.

So unfortunately, other than to say that he is slightly below the "normal" morphological threshold, and significantly below the desired normal levels for head and mid-piece there isn't much else I can add without a more detailed analysis. Hopefully the morphology will improve, and it should certainly be re-evaluated on a periodic basis to confirm that it has (or hasn't).

These are the generally accepted "normal" statistics, but again, I must emphasize that a stallion may fail to meet all of the parameters, but still have excellent pregnancy rates and therefore not be considered sub-fertile!
  • Total sperm output 6 x 109;
  • Sperm Concentration: 30 million per millilitre
  • Progressive motility of greater than 40%;
  • Velocity (on 1 to 4 scale): 2
  • Normal morphology of greater than 60% with fewer than 10% of major defects affecting the head and midpiece;
  • pH value: 7.33 (reported range 7.2 to 7.7);
  • Gel-free volume of greater than 40 ml.
 

Jan H
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Jan_h

Post Number: 1099
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Saturday, July 02, 2011 - 10:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Again Jos you have opened my eyes to what is really going on. I really appreciate your honesty and unbiased evaluation letting the final conclusion of the data to be my determination. Your the best!

May I ask.....would his 18% growth of his scrotal width indicate anything in the fertility department? Is it too late to think the regumate poisoning damage might be reversible?
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 3329
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Saturday, July 02, 2011 - 11:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Testicular volume is related to daily sperm output - the larger the testicles, the greater the output. Consequently, the increase by 18% is positive.

What that increase will not tell you is whether the likely increased sperm output is an output of healthy sperm or if you still have a high percentage of morphological abnormalities. Only another morphological evaluation will tell you that. If it were my stallion, I would be evaluating both morphology and all other parameters on a regular basis!
 

Jan H
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Jan_h

Post Number: 1100
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Saturday, July 02, 2011 - 06:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am advised by the farm that since breeding season is officially done for 2011 that I should wait until DEC OR JAN to re-evaluate him at the pre-breeding exam, that way he can be cleaned out and a new collection after cleanout and after he has been under lights, they believe it would be the best way to do things.

when you say on a regular basis, what do you mean? How often?

Also the farm was saying that he might be a stallion who needs the semen centerfuged before adding the extender, from what I have gleaned from a few articals I have read, (yes from this site and others)...that it might cause a higher number or disembodied seminal heads, I may not have phrased that correctly...but it would cause more fertility problems then a fix, did I get that correctly Jos?
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 3331
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Saturday, July 02, 2011 - 08:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If you are finished breeding for the year, then indeed there is little point in worrying about doing more evaluations - with the exception of the fact that it will give you an idea of if you should be offering this stallion to the public for next year or not. Advertising for that starts almost as soon as the breeding stops.

We evaluate motility, concentration and total sperm numbers every time we collect a stallion. If we see issues with something like morphology, we would evaluate that every 6-8 weeks or more often if we felt we saw a difference during the basic evaluation.

Centrifugation correctly performed will cause little to no damage to sperm. Incorrectly performed, it will kill them! What is the farm's reasoning for centrifugation? Is his initial concentration too low, or do they believe he has issues with his seminal plasma? If the latter, what have they done to determine that possibility? Have they done a cooled evaluation in different extenders? (Follow that link to learn a little more). Using the incorrect extender can have a disastrous effect on sperm - and there is no one right extender that will work for all stallions!
 

Jan H
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Jan_h

Post Number: 1101
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Sunday, July 03, 2011 - 09:31 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wow Jos, thank you so much for your great information, The farm mentioned the centrifuge (sp) because it is something they think would help with his bit lower numbers....I dont know it is just something they mentioned, they also spoke about the possibility of using a different extender as well, I will ask them to do another evaluation this year before September of cooled semen. Your a wonderful teacher I have got to take some of these classes I am so impressed with everything I learn here. I think every stallion owner should take these classes before they begin breeding. Thanks so much Jos. Your awesome!
 

Diana Gilger
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Kdgilger

Post Number: 3991
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011 - 12:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have to agree and say the same Jan. Having Jos here has been a very valuable resource for many breeders (both professional, and inexperienced). I have really enjoyed having the opportunity to be a part of such a well maintained board that stays focused on the topics. GREAT job managing the site Jos, and your wealth of knowledge has helped so many, and I'm proud to say I know you.
 

Jan H
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Jan_h

Post Number: 1102
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - 08:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well he was bred a mare by AI about 25 days ago. the owner of the mares vet said it did not ship well, however the motility was good numbers were low in his estimation, in fact he told the mare owner he was 99% sure the mare was still open before doing the Ultrasound.....but she took! so it surprised the heck out of everyone!
 

Jan Owen
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: 1frosty1

Post Number: 2826
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - 12:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Congratulations! Can't wait to see pics of your boys babies. So is that 3 mares he has in foal?
 

Jan H
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Jan_h

Post Number: 1103
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - 01:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

sadly no, first absorbed second came up open so far this is it, but there are two more breedings coming up the end of the month so there is still hope for more then 1 foal for next year
fingers crossed.

(Message edited by jan h on July 26, 2011)



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