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Semen evaluation questions....

Equine-Reproduction.com Bulletin Board » Breeding Methods » Semen evaluation questions.... « Previous Next »


Author Message
 

Terina Graham
Neonate
Username: Terina

Post Number: 3
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Monday, December 08, 2008 - 10:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hello all,
I hope I put this in the correct spot!

I am brand new at the whole AI method of breeding, and I am taking my stallion to a vet at the end of this month to test his sperm.

What does an evaluation consist of, and what questions should I be asking?

Thanks very much in advance,
Terina
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 2226
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2008 - 11:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It is likely that they will perform a basic evaluation, which consists of determining sperm concentration, (gel free) volume of the ejaculate, total sperm numbers and sperm motility (both overall and progressive).

If they perform a more advanced evaluation, they may include a stain with morphology evaluation.

Minimum desirable parameters for an ejaculate are:
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.

It does not necessarily indicate an issue if one or more of these parameters are not fulfilled, but it may suggest a potential problem.

If you "want to do this right" you would be well advised to determine your stallion's EVA status (follow that link for details) and vaccinate if appropriate (which it probably will be - don't accept a response of "it's not a problem around here" - it has a potential to be a problem everywhere, and will be if people are not more pro-active). Additionally, if you will be shipping semen, you need to determine what extender is appropriate - your vet may be able to do that for you, or as you can see from that linked page it's a service we can offer. Note that some vets simply have one or two extenders that they use and do not test in a variety of different extenders, which is not going to necessarily produce optimum results (not saying that this is the case with your vet, but it's best you be aware that the condition exists).
 

Terina Graham
Neonate
Username: Terina

Post Number: 4
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2008 - 08:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thank you so very much Jos. I am writing that all down!

Is the morphology evaluation something I should do?

I just read that very link on EVA two days ago, and rest assured, he WILL be vaccinated, after testing of course!

Once again, thank you very much for your time, wisdom, and advice!
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 2227
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 - 10:53 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We recommend that morphology be evaluated several times a breeding season in the event that the horse is being bred a lot. It is also more important if he is older, or if one gets an impression of morphological issues when evaluating the raw semen on each collection.

Having said that, I suspect that most stallions do not have morphology evaluated until there appears to be a problem... :-( It is useful though as a harbinger of problems, so I would suggest at least getting a "starting point" evaluation.



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