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Prepping for ET in 2011

Equine-Reproduction.com Bulletin Board » Embryo Transfer » Prepping for ET in 2011 « Previous Next »


Author Message
 

GLA Performance
Neonate
Username: Glaperformance

Post Number: 1
Registered: 07-2010
Posted on Saturday, July 10, 2010 - 03:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hello. I appoligize if I really sound like a newbie with all this. I've been researching a lot in reproduction but it's SO much easier when you have people to talk to.

Anyway. I've been live covering and breeding horses for a short time, working out of a larger barn and have finally had a chance to branch off on my own. I've aquired some choice mares that have either been injured, been permanently damaged because of illness or thrown away because of age. They have become my pasture pets of love but with their temperments, and conformation (and photos of the foals they've produced in the past) I'd really like to get foals from them. I've contacted local veterinarians in the area in regards to being able to do and embryo transfer on them, two of them are willing to do so.

I've read some of the posts before posting this here about the size of mare needed as a recipient mare but I still have a load of questions that I really could ask the vet but everytime I ask one he looks at me like I'm an idiot. So I'll break them down here. (Note: I really do bad at spelling, I appoligize before hand)

1. According to one vet, I have to supply three receipiant mares per donor mare. They explain this is to increase the chances of conception, which makes sense. Is it really necessary to provide three mares, expecially when it's someone who's experienced in doing embryo transfers and I plan on sending both the donor and recipiant mares to the clinic for at least a couple months before the proceedure is done?

2. Can more than one embryo be taken at the same time (or) can the egg be flushed and be fertilized outside the mare and then placed within the recipiant mare?

3. I read an article that there is a clinic that dna tests embryos before they are placed in recipient mares for genetic diseases, deformations and color. Does anyone know more about this and can provide a link to a clinic or clinics that do such?

4. Where can you find good recipient mares and what do you look for in a good recipient mare? What do people typically do with their mares? Can you purchase them?

I think that's it for now. I will probably have more as time goes on. I'm really interested in having a very successful breeding season in 2011 and a wonderful foal crop in 2012
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 2945
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Saturday, July 10, 2010 - 04:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

1. According to one vet, I have to supply three receipiant mares per donor mare. They explain this is to increase the chances of conception, which makes sense. Is it really necessary to provide three mares, expecially when it's someone who's experienced in doing embryo transfers and I plan on sending both the donor and recipiant mares to the clinic for at least a couple months before the proceedure is done?

The donor and recipient mares have to be synchronized so that the recipient mare ovulates ideally no more than 1 day before to 3 days after the donor mare, with ovulation after the donor mare being the most desirable. Although there are hormonal manipulations that can enhance the likelihood of achieving this degree of synchronicity (and which really need to be used if you are planning on using your own mares as recipients rather than using a commercial recipient) they are not absolute in success. Hence, you want to use 3 mares in case one or more do not line up correctly. Also in a perfect world, one would have more than 1 mare lined up correctly in case you flush more than a single embryo - it's disheartening to have to throw an embryo away!

2. Can more than one embryo be taken at the same time (or) can the egg be flushed and be fertilized outside the mare and then placed within the recipiant mare?


You are talking about two different procedures here. Embryo transfer ("ET") is where a mare is bred and the fertilized oocyte (note that the unfertilised oocyte is the "egg", once fertilised it is no longer an "egg") is flushed 7 or 8 days after ovulation. Oocyte transfer is where the oocyte ("egg") is harvested from the ovary and then fertilised externally (typically using another process called intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection "ICSI") or is transferred into another mare unfertilised and that second mare bred. Oocyte transfer and ICSI are considerably more expensive and technically demanding than ET.

3. I read an article that there is a clinic that dna tests embryos before they are placed in recipient mares for genetic diseases, deformations and color. Does anyone know more about this and can provide a link to a clinic or clinics that do such?

This is an up-and-coming procedure. If you do a search on Google, you will probably find some links. Right now it is only available at high-tech operations, typically the more advanced veterinary teaching universities and research facilities.

4. Where can you find good recipient mares and what do you look for in a good recipient mare? What do people typically do with their mares? Can you purchase them?

Technically any mare can be used, with the following ideals:
  • Approximately the same size as the donor mare;
  • Already had one foal and proven to be a "good" mother that gestated and foaled easily;
  • Has not had too many foals (which reduces endometrial and possibly cervical quality);
  • Is reproductively sound;
  • Has a good endometrial biopsy score;
  • Is preferably "people oriented" and easy to handle (particularly with a foal at foot).
As any mare (with the above qualities) can be used, there is no need to specifically seek purchase of an "embryo transfer recipient mare" (indeed, if one is advertised as such, find out why she is no longer being used - there may be a reproductive reason!!!). There are plenty of "throw-away" mares out there that can be used successfully and have a suitable career outside a tin can...
 

GLA Performance
Neonate
Username: Glaperformance

Post Number: 4
Registered: 07-2010
Posted on Saturday, July 10, 2010 - 05:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In response to #1
So lets say that I'm going to embryo transfer 5 mares next year, should I provide 15 mares or do you think that 10 mares should be enough to have them line up to the five that I want to donate embryos? I ask because I would hate to purchase recipient mares to have them sit idle (but then again I'm sure I could have them do SOMETHING). Or would it just be better to provide the 15 mares in case one does not carry full term?

In response to #2
So in the term of ET, the only way to get multiples in one try is if twinning occurs? So that being said, does a donor mare cycle the same as a mare who does not come pregnant? What I mean is, after she is fertilized and flushed, will she cycle again?
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 2946
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Saturday, July 10, 2010 - 07:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If you're not going to do all 5 at the same time to start with, then you could probably start with 8-10 recip. mares, but you might need to add more as time goes by.

You are correct in that the only way you will get multiple foals from a single ET flush is if them are has multiple ovulations. Once the donor mare has been flushed, one gives Prostaglandin F and a few days later the mare will return to estrus and can be bred again. Consequently, although you may only get one embryo from a flush (and statistically you won't even get that), you can perform repeated flushes in the course of a breeding season.
 

GLA Performance
Nursing Foal
Username: Glaperformance

Post Number: 12
Registered: 07-2010
Posted on Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - 01:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Okay, I was just making sure because I have a breeding contract with a woman and a mare that I sold her to get three live foals but because of how fast the business is moving, I'd like to get them all next year instead of spanning out over the course of three years.

Next question:
What is the success rate of freezing embryos? Someone I was talking to brought up freezing and embryo. I didn't really know what to say about it, wouldn't you rather freeze an egg, not an embryo?
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 2948
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - 05:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The successful transfer rate for frozen embryos is approximately the same as that for fresh embryos. Although there may be a slightly higher attrition rate due to damage during freezing, because the embryo is frozen, one can transfer it at exactly the correct time relative to the stage of cycle of the recipient mare (whereas with fresh embryos, one is committed to transfer, no matter if the recip. mare lines up or not), and that increases the success rate slightly, which offsets the loss rate from freezing damage.
 

GLA Performance
Nursing Foal
Username: Glaperformance

Post Number: 18
Registered: 07-2010
Posted on Friday, July 16, 2010 - 03:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Is it better to freeze and egg or an embryo?

And what suggestions to do you have about offering sales of embryos to the public?

I've seen an increase in this over the past year or so and I'm curious.
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 2951
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Friday, July 16, 2010 - 06:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The flushing and freezing of oocytes is pretty close to leading edge technology and not going to be easily available unless you are close to an advanced reproductive facility such as Colorado State University, Texas A&M or some other research facility. Consequently, freezing f embryos is going to be more realistic and practical at this point.

We do not market oocytes, embryos or semen, so you will need to consult someone that does on the subject of marketing.
 

Shelley Housh
Nursing Foal
Username: Sterling_shagyas

Post Number: 14
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Friday, January 14, 2011 - 05:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Has anyone done international shipping of embryos? Can it be done? I have shipped semen to Australia and I would like a foal from my stallion and a mare there. Thought freezing and shipping eggs would be easier, but from your earlier post shipping the embryo sounds like the way to go.
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 3127
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Sunday, February 13, 2011 - 09:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Shipping an embryo will carry pretty much the same restrictions that shipping semen does, so you should be familiar with that. Testing of the animals for various diseases (and that will be both dam and sire) and all done under pre-export isolation conditions (which will probably present a problem if the stallion you are breeding to isn't yours).

Good luck!



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