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Trying to get to the bottom of something which is why I have joined up.
Were in Australia, we have in the past sent two mares and a stallion to GVE for ET... got nothing.
Trying right now with someone else and having no end of dissapointment and have had the girls and stallion there for three months now
We got a package which is for three flushes. We were told we should 100% get two pregnancies out of that, both mares are in excellent breeding shape, one is a five year old with her first bub running at her side, the other is three. The stallion we sent along is also three, his motility and density are quite good and method of service has been both live and fresh. He got his first mares in foal on farm here no worries, all three are happily pregs.
The first three flushes were done on day five or six, we got nothing and did a bunch of research and spoke to people who are very successful with the breed in America who said, flushing way to early, needs to be day 7 or 8, day 8 better other wise you wont get anything.
She flushed on day seven, embryo was small for age, she put in in the recip mare on Christmas, it was gone today.
Other mare has now put up two hemoragic's in a row!
It is important to recognise that the ET process is only one step in the implementation of a successful procedure. The failings therefore may not lie with the ET process itself, but one of the other areas, and those should be explored with equal integrity.
The first item to consider is the donor mare. Did she have a full breeding soundness examination? I would presume that if she was bred at GVE she would have, but perhaps she was not bred there. Is it possible that there was a problem with the mare or the breeding process? You don't mention the age of the donor mare(s), but certainly embryo recovery from a mare >12 will be significantly lower than one from mares 3-8 in age for example. That is typically as a result of "mare problems" rather than ET.
As the stallion is your own stallion and has other pregnancies, we can probably rule out the possibility of a stallion issue, but if you are using transported or frozen semen, then of course those factors need to be taken into consideration.
Certainly flushing on day 5 after ovulation is way too early. Most equine embryos do not descend into the uterus (out of the oviduct) until day 5½ after ovulation, so flushing before day 6 at the earliest is usually counter-productive, and as noted by others, day 6 flushes are very early as well (they are used typically for potentially freezing embryos). Flushes performed on days 7 or 8 post-ovulation will yield the highest results.
We perform ET's. We have a good success rate, but there is no way that I would tell a client that they should "100% get two pregnancies out of" three flushes!!! Quite apart from any other consideration, such a statement is sure to put a kiss of death on any such possibility!!! Realistically, we will tell people that the average results are 50% for flushes and 75% for transfers, so that - coupled together - results in a statistical return of approximately 1 in three flush/transfer combinations producing a maintained pregnancy. That of course is a statistical analysis. Individual variables play a tremendous part in altering those statistics, and if someone were to tell me that there was a "100% chance of getting a pregnancy" I would immediately be suspicious of their knowledge and competency on the topic. It's a guarantee that one just doesn't make...
You did get an embryo - granted only one - so you are headed in the right direction, but that 75% transfer success came into play, and unfortunately on the wrong side of the statistic. That sadly is the nature of the ET beast. It happens.
I would start with a thorough breeding soundness work-up on the mares. Go back to the beginning...! GVE certainly have a good reputation, so one would hope they could get things sorted out for you. Sometimes however, ET can be a frustrating process, as so many things have to come together just right in order to achieve success.
Yes, both mares given a full check. GVE is where we originally went and flushing was day 6, nothing every time. We are now with someone who worked for GVE and had a very good reputation - due to the amounts spent the previous time we did as much research and asking of clients as we could.
The conceptus ("embryo") is growing at such a huge relative rate at that stage (almost doubling in size each day) that one can see tremendous variances dependent upon when the fertilization occurred relative to ovulation. When calculating "day" one calculates from the time of the identified ovulation. If however fertilization of that ovulated oocyte did not occur for another 12 hours after the ovulation; or if there was in fact a second ovulation that resulted in release of an oocyte that ended up being fertilized as much as a couple of day later, then yes, there can be a tremendous variation!
WOW - it's all so fascinating! Life is incredible and it still makes my mind boggle the way we all begin, pretty much exactly the same, very small and round - can you tell the difference between a Camel and a Human at that stage, no not really but look how different we all are in the end. Love it.
Draught horses as a whole are less fertile than the lighter horse breeds. It is most likely related to that that we see a potential for lower successes with ET's although technician competency always plays a huge part as well.
Bottom line - if she wasn't pregnant in the first place, you ain't gonna flush an embryo!!
I bred a 23 y.o mare last spring at our country's leading equine repro clinic (Equibreed New Zealand) and we finally got a viable embryo on the third attempt. She was flushed on day 8 each time with only one conceptus recovered in total, recip mare is doing her job nicely and my pending superstar is due around Oct 10 so very excited.
This year we used ET with two young fertile mares. They were flushed on either day 7 or 8. Fresh cooled semen was used except for once when frozen semen was used. Mare 1 was flushed 4 times with 3 successful pregnancies resulting in recipient mares; one flush, no embryo. Mare 2 was flushed 3 times with 1 successful pregnancy in recip....1 embryo did not take in recip, one flush produced no embryo (frozen semen). I am quite happy with these results...Cannot say precisely why sometimes we were unsuccessful...just Nature at work, I thought.
The foal we got from our ET is absolutely gorgeous, big & strong, excellent IgG profile, couldn't be happier
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