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Featured News: 2017 SBS Annual Meeting Review

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December 09, 2017

SBS Annual Meeting Group Photo_2017 This year the 17th Annual Meeting of SBS Affiliated Laboratories returned to Chesapeake City, Maryland on December 4th and 5th. Each year our team members from around the world gather to review procedures and policies, share information and experiences, discuss recent developments in the industry and set plans for the future. Our network is ever expanding as we include more affiliate laboratories. This year we welcomed Jadem Arabians in Belgium and we will welcome our newest affiliate member, Dr. Elizabeth Martinsen of Bella Vista Equine in St. Louisville, OH, to our team in 2018.

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Featured Blog: Management of Late Gestation Pregnancy Loss in the Mare

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December 11, 2017

Breeding season in the northern hemisphere is over and hopefully all mares are in foal. Waiting for the arrival of the foals next year has begun. But what if something goes wrong? Abortion after day 45 of gestation occurs up to 3 to 15% in different horse populations. Infectious and non-infectious causes can be involved. It is important, that as long as the etiology of the pregnancy loss is undetermined, every abortion should be assumed as infectious until proven otherwise. How do you best handle the situation when a mare aborts and how do you prevent further damage to the mare or her fellow broodmares?

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Featured Question

My veterinarian says that you must breed mares in the middle of the night with frozen semen because it doesn't live long after thawing, is this true?

MAYBE (lifespan) and NO (breeding in the middle of the night).
It is a common belief of many veterinarians and breeders that the lifespan of frozen semen within the mare’s reproductive tract is reduced compared to fresh semen. However, no experimental fertility trials have been conducted to address this question. Certainly the type of damage that can occur to sperm membranes during the freezing and thawing process theoretically could reduce the longevity of semen and there is in vitro evidence that frozen-thawed sperm do not bind as well to the oviductal epithelium. Therefore, it is generally accepted that the optimum time for insemination of frozen semen is in the period from 12 hours prior and up to 6 hours after ovulation.

Traditionally frozen semen has been sold by the dose imparting significant pressure on the veterinarian to use only one dose per cycle. The most reliable way to use one dose is to inseminate post-ovulation. Post-ovulation inseminations must be made within 6-8 hours of ovulation due to the lifespan of the ovum in the oviduct. Obviously, the closer to ovulation the insemination is made, the better the results. This is true for fresh and frozen semen. Therefore this method generally necessitates checking the mare at 6hr intervals to determine if ovulation has occurred. In this case it may mean you have to check and/or breed the mare in the middle of the night. However, the misconception that all frozen semen lasts only six hours has persisted as a result of this marketing system. HOWEVER, there is an alternative option.

SBS recommends to their stallion owners that they provide at least 2 doses per cycle to the mare owner. We have developed and tested a simple and effective protocol for managing mares being inseminated with frozen semen. The protocol involves a single daily examination until a 35mm pre-ovulatory follicle is detected, administration of an ovulation agent (hCG or Deslorelin), and insemination with two doses of semen; one each at 24 and 40 hours after administering the ovulation inducing agent. Use of this protocol insures that viable sperm are available for fertilization in the mare’s reproductive tract during the time of 12 hours before to 6 hours after ovulation for mares ovulating 18 to 52 hours after administration of the ovulatory agent. This protocol does not require checking and/or breeding the mare in the middle of the night.

See also: 

The History of the Timed Insemination Protocol

Effect of Number and Timing of Equine Frozen Semen Inseminations on Fertility

The Pros and Cons of 1 or 2 Dose Insemination Protocols

Management of Mares for Frozen Semen Insemination

Is Deep Horn Insemination Beneficial When Breeding with Equine Frozen Semen?

Breeding for success? Follow the experts!

What Our Clients Say

Rebeca Martin - Show Me the Buckles and Rebeca "SBS ensures that only quality semen is shipped and every step is done in a supervised, professional manner.  Their lab is filled with the most up to date equipment..."

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