Artifical Insemination Protocols for Mares
Our stud vet Dr Angie Doudle is very familiar with several reproductive techniques such as embryo transfer and artificial insemination with chilled and frozen semen. She brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge of current technology to maximise your mare's breeding success.
We manage and guide you through the process of stallion choice, semen assessment, follicle scans, insemination and pregnancy confirmation
Give us a call today on 08 8388 7489 and we can plan your 2015 AI together
FRESH OR CHILLED AI
Each cycle is likely to include the following:
- Follicle scans before insemination
- Semen assessment
- Post insemination check
- Uterine lavages if necessary
- Any medications that might be needed (eg Oxytocin, Estrumate, Chorulon, Ovuplant)
- Pregnancy Checks as Advised - we recommend one at 14 days post ovulation
Insemination with fresh chilled semen is suitable for mare owners who have selected stallions close enough that the semen can be shipped chilled and still be viable for insemination when it arrives with us. We will scan the mare prior to insemination to follow her cycle and ensure that she is inseminated at the optimum time (normally this is before the follicle has ovulated). You will need to liase with the stallion company/owner to ask about how much notice they need for semen ordering (including weekend deliveries).
At the time of insemination we will assess the semen quality. It is ideal to scan the mare for 1-2 days after insemination to check that the follicle has ovulated as predicted and also that she is not pooling fluid in her uterus. If there is fluid in the uterus when the embryo arrives there at 5-6 days after ovulation, it is unlikely survive. For this reason, mares who pool fluid in the uterus often require lavages (wash out of the uterus with sterile saline and antibiotics) to create a good environment for the embryo when it arrives. A scan at 14 days after ovulation is advised to see if the mare is pregnant!
Follow up pregnancy checks are usually done at approximately 25, 42 and 60 days. These checks are recommended to ensure normal development of the embryo and allow any early pregnancy loss to be detected and the mare re-bred if possible.
If the first scan is negative (hopefully not!) then you can opt to go for another cycle – we can short cycle the mare using a prostaglandin injection and bring her back into season earlier than she would otherwise which saves you time.
This is the protocol necessary if the stallion is situated abroad or interstate, where the only method of getting viable semen to the mare is in frozen straws which are thawed out just before insemination. Each dose of semen will be made up of a certain number of straws (this depends on the stallion), and the viability of the semen will be assessed at the time of insemination.
You will need to arrange for the semen to be delivered to us and for storage as necessary at the clinic – please speak to the vet about this as arrangements for storage must be made and all costs discussed up front with regard to liquid nitrogen top-ups to ensure your semen stays frozen. It is ideal if the mares are kept with us in the clinic for 24-72 hours around insemination. The reason for this is that frozen semen has a short survival time once inseminated and so the timing for insemination is crucial. Normally we scan the mares very regularly during the time coming up to ovulation and inseminate the mare within 6 hours of ovulation – helping to ensure that the sperm are still alive when they reach the egg. Mares are more likely to show a fluid reaction in their uterus with frozen semen and so we again scan them for 1-2 days after insemination to ensure the uterus is not pooling fluid.
There are greater costs associated with frozen semen. This is a result of the close monitoring necessary around the time of ovulation (frequent scans). However good pregnancy rates can still be achieved, and are helped by close monitoring of the mare around insemination which is why we ask these mares to be boarded with us at the clinic.