Posted on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 - 05:27 pm:
A stallion that I was going to use for my mare (chilled semen) shipped Semen 3-4 weeks before I was going to use him. The semen collected at 75-80% when it arrived at its destination, it was 55%. I was told that is pretty standard. 3-4weeks after that shippment, they collected the stallion to ship to me, but only had 10% viability of semen on collection, so of course didnt ship to me. The lady who owns the stallion said she wasnt happy with the way the vet did the collection (the water in the AV wasnt warm, but was quite cool, so then after he wouldnt ejaculate they dismounted him, checked the AV and changed the water for warm water, he remounted then did ejaculate) but only at 10%. The lady did a collection herself 2wks later but when looking under the microscope couldnt see any sperm at all, not even dead ones? She wonders if her microscope isnt very good as its the first time shes used it, she got it off ebay for $400, so wonders if thats the problem. She said the collection that day went really well. The stallion has gotten several mares in foal (live cover) over the last month or 2 and got a 23yr old mare in foal only 2 weeks ago. My question is, is it usual for an older stallions (hes 22yrs old) sperm count to decline so dramatically in just a few weeks or does it usually slowly decline with age? Is the problem likely to be because of his age? Thanks, Tracy
Posted on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 - 09:48 pm:
It is - unfortunately - almost impossible to speculate what is going on, as it seems that nobody really knows what the details are...!
The initial shipment drop in motility is well within the bounds of what one anticipates. The general protocol is to ship 1 billion sperm and assume 50% progressive motility at the time of insemination (thereby providing an insemination dose of 500 million PMS). This therefore is perfectly normal.
I would doubt that a low temperature in the AV would impact motility to the extent of 10% progressive - unless it were VERY low and caused cold shock (which would mean the AV would have to be well below 70° F), and if it were that low, the stallion would be unlikely to ejaculate.
One thing to speculate on - and this is only a speculation - is the possibility of a blockage in the stallion causing a failure to release sperm on a daily basis in the urine. This is not uncommon - more so in older stallions - and is easily dealt with in most cases by repeatedly collecting the stallion until progressive motility improves. What is happening is that when the stallion does finally get to ejaculate, he is releasing all the dead sperm that are normally released in his urine on a daily basis - that could certainly explain the 10% PM. As I say, that is easily dealt with by breeding or collecting the stallion regularly and discarding the ejaculate if it is not needed to bred a mare. I do want to reiterate thought that this is just one possible explanation for low motility in an older stallion, and most decidedly not an explanation of what is wrong with this stallion - if indeed there is even anything wrong!
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