Collected a first time stallion today, with av, on phantom (mostly), penis angle was about 90° when he finished. Attending vet checked for motility etc. But all sperm was dead. Is this common? Will retry next week. Av temp and pressure seemed good. His libido is not as evident as some but he was behaving normally to the very in heat standby mare.
Change your AV lubricant in case the one you were using is contaminated (with something spermicidal);
Are you using a disposable liner (you should be!!)? If not, you have to make sure that there is no cleanser residue inside the AV after washing it out after use;
Is the collection area treated with flyspray (particularly the automated devices) - it's spermicidal.
You're probably starting to get the idea - look for absolutely anything that might have been spermicidal in the collection "chain".
If you can rule out any possibility of the above, then you probably should be considering the fact that you are seeing a spermiostasic situation. Stallions produce billions of sperm a day, and under normal conditions, they shed billions of dead sperm a day in their urine. If a stallion is suffering from spermiostasis, it means that he is unable to shed those dead sperm in the urine, and only release them when he ejaculates - hence billions of dead sperm in the ejaculate. Typically one will see concentrations in the billions per ml (as opposed to the more usual millions/ml) with just about zero motility. Another classic indication is a high percentage of separated heads (i.e. tail-less sperm). This condition is seen in around 25% of stallions in our experience. The solution for most cases of spermiostasis is to collect them multiple times (until all or most of the dead sperm are cleared out) and then collect them 2 or 3 times a week even if one does not need the semen (in order to prevent the dead sperm build up).
So the short answer to your question "Is this common?" is - not unless there is something wrong!
Hey Mary, I hope your boy isn't a cumulator, last week I had to ship semen from a friends stallion that had to be collected 5 times 12 hours apart before getting a good collection.
I saw on your profile that you have Paso Finos, I was wondering what size of AV your vet was using? Was your stallion ejaculating in or did he extend out the end of the AV. As a pony breeder I have found that most vets have only one size, a large horse size AV. My 14.1 welsh/tb stallion can use a 16" while my 13.3 welsh uses a 14" anything longer they will be ejaculating in the AV where temperature is around 50 degrees celcius which is good for my stallions but not so much for the sperm. I wish you luck.
While one will definitely see a drop in motility - and particularly progressive motility - with ejaculations within the lumen of the AV, even when the AV temperature is towards the hot end of the spectrum at 54° C, it is typically not going to result in all dead sperm. Lots of circling sperm; maybe twitching sperm; but not all dead - there will still be some movement unless there was prolonged (likely 5 minutes or more) exposure to the heated lumen, and typically in that time frame, some of the semen will have drained down into the collection bottle (and hence have survived). It will however translate into early death of the sperm owing to cellular damage when trying to transport the semen.
One exception to the above could be if there was a twist in the disposable liner that prevented the semen from getting to the collection bottle and resulted in prolonged exposure to the heated lumen. That certainly could result in all dead, but again that would have to be a reasonably prolonged exposure and in most cases, the AV and semen would have been taken into the lab for evaluation long before that might happen.
Another thought did spring to my mind. Did you have a gel filter in place? And even if you did, was there an excessive amount of gel? Gel will typically kill sperm if there is a fairly large amount and it ends up in the collection bottle or if there is so much that it clogs the in-line filter and prevents the non-gel portion of the semen from draining through.
And BTW, the non-technical descriptor term for a stallion with spermiostasis is that he is an "accumulator"...
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