Featured Blog: Declining Fertility in the Aged Stallion

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May 06, 2015

Posted by Dr. Regina Turner in Stallion Management

Age-related testicular degeneration is a common problem in older stallions. This type of testicular degeneration is different than the degeneration that can be seen after, for example, an injury to the testes in a younger stallion. Following testicular trauma, many stallions are able to fully recover. However, age-related testicular degeneration results in progressive deterioration of the testes and an associated progressive decline in testicular function. Over time, affected stallions become progressively more subfertile and eventually may become sterile in association with decreases in semen quality, sperm numbers and testicular size. There is no proven treatment for age related testicular degeneration, although many therapies have been tried.  In this article, Dr. Regina Turner of the New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania, discusses the causes of age-related testicular degeneration, current research and how one can manage the breeding career of an aged stallion until a treatment or cure is found.

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Why Colostrum Transfer is Critical to a Foal's First Weeks of Life

March 29, 2015

Posted by SBS in Foal and Neonate Care

Foaling season is officially upon us and right about now equine veterinarians have little else on the brain but colostrum. That’s how important colostrum is to a newborn foal; it can literally mean the difference between life and death.  In this article the members of FullBucket, a company providing veterinary strength supplements for horses and dogs, discuss the foal's immune system, why colostrum is such an important factor in the their first hours of life, and what you can do to ensure their life starts right.

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Biofilms in Mare Reproduction

February 27, 2015

Posted by Dr. Ryan Ferris in Mare Management

A biofilm has been proposed to have a significant role in chronic infections in the horse. It has been suggested for over a decade that chronic uterine infections resistant to antimicrobials may be due to biofilm production. The involvement of a biofilm in cases of bacterial endometritis has not been clearly elucidated, but many reproductive specialists suspect a biofilm plays a significant role in infectious endometritis. In this article Dr. Ryan Ferris, a board certified theriogenologist from Colorado State University, explains the lifestyles of bacteria, how a biofilm is formed, how they protect bacteria and their implications on equine reproduction.

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Cryopreservation of Equine Embryos

January 30, 2015

Posted by Dr. Dave Scofield in Mare Management

Embryo vitrification doesn't sound much like "freezing embryos,” but the end product certainly is a cryopreserved equine embryo, frozen in liquid nitrogen for the preservation of genetics and transfer into a recipient mare at a later time. For the sake of some readers of this blog, an embryo is the result of fertilizing an oocyte (egg) with sperm and allowing the initial stages of development to occur. Embryo vitrification is the process whereby we freeze equine embryos for storage for indefinite periods of time prior to transfer into a recipient mare. We have the technology to cryopreserve equine sperm and equine embryos, but not equine oocytes. Herein lays the answer to the most common question that comes up in conversation regarding this blog topic. Some readers assume that since we can freeze the male generated sperm, we can likewise freeze the female generated oocyte. Unfortunately, due to some very sensitive cytoskeletal components in the oocyte, the technology does not exist to freeze equine oocytes. As we proceed, you will understand the process of embryo vitrification and we will delve into areas of research that are improving the success rates of vitrified embryos in generating live foals.

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Please Note - photos used in these news articles are available in the public domain, have been purchased through istockphoto or (when referencing breeders or horses) have been submitted to Select Breeders Services Inc. by the breeding farm or horse owner. Photo credit has been provided where applicable. If at anytime you see something that needs to be addressed please feel free to contact us directly.

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