Equine reproduction has become very complicated. This is in part due to the infertility humans are producing in all breeds of horses. It is also in part due to the options that the breeder now has to increase fertility. When that special mare has to get in foal, it is these options that can come to the rescue. At Conley and Koontz Equine Hospital we employ the most modern techniques to maximize your mare's odds of carrying a foal or your stallion's odds to sire a foal. With that goal in mind the following are some of the techniques we perform to achieve that goal.
Mare breeding soundness evaluation - For the mare it starts here. Many factors can take a toll on the fertility of mares, regardless of how many foals she has had. With proper diagnostics, management and communication we can help you decide the best options for your mare. We can help you maximize the chances of pregnancy.
Diagnosis and treatment of problem mares - This is perhaps the most challenging and frustrating aspect of equine reproduction. There are many factors that contribute to sub-fertility of the mare. To obtain results hard work and commitment from the veterinarian and the owner is required. With constant adherence to scientific principles and management techniques we can maximize the possibility of conception and maintenance of pregnancy in your problem mares.
Artificial insemination with fresh, cooled or frozen semen - Semen quality and timing of insemination are the most important factors in determining pregnancy. By monitoring the estrus cycle and correctly timing our insemination we can greatly increase the odds of conception.
Embryo transfer, embryo freezing, and shipping of embryos - If your mare is unable to maintain a pregnancy or needs to stay in competition embryo transfer may be your solution. With embryo transfer the mare is bred normally. Approximately 7 days after ovulation the embryo is removed and immediately transferred to a recipient mare, cooled and shipped to a recipient mare or frozen for transfer at a later date.
Oocyte Transfer - Using oocyte transfer the mare's uterus is bypassed all together. The oocyte (egg) is surgically removed from the ovary using a minimally invasive technique. The oocyte is shipped to a laboratory where it is matured, inseminated, and transferred to a recipient mare.
Management of high risk pregnancy - Mares with a history of abortion, early delivery, premature foals, or weak foals should be considered a high risk pregnancy. We monitor these mares starting at 7 months of gestation to identify problems and treat them before you lose a foal.
Stallion breeding soundness exam - Similar to the mare, a breeding soundness exam is where it all starts for stallions. Stallions, regardless of their use, should have a breeding soundness exam performed prior to the breeding season, prior to purchase, or prior to the start of a collection program. It is not wise to wait until problems arise; by the time that problem is diagnosed and treated you may have lost the breeding season or the confidence of your clients.
Stallion management and semen evaluation - Frequency of collection, type of extenders and behavioral problems can affect the ability to use a stallion. At Conley and Koontz Equine Hospital we can do a thorough evaluation of your stallion to help manage him to his fullest potential. It is not uncommon to have a stallion with great genetic merit and poor semen. Proper diagnostics and management of these stallions can significantly improve their fertility. Proper semen evaluation can also help maximize the number of insemination doses per collection. (Remember you are not only competing with genetics but service and semen quality)
Training stallions to collect with an artificial vagina (on the ground or on a phantom) - Every stallion regardless of age or previous breeding experiences can be trained to collect artificially. With patience and experience the staff at Conley and Koontz Equine Hospital will help you train your stallion.
Deep uterine or endoscopic (fallopian) insemination - In order to reduce sperm transport time and sperm numbers, using a flexible pipette or endoscope semen can be infused close to the uterotubal junction. This technique can be used when small numbers of spermatozoa are available, such as when breeding to stallions with limited output or when using frozen semen.
Semen Freezing - Preserve your stallion's genetics by freezing his semen. We can collect your stallion year around, freeze the semen, and save it for future use. Properly frozen and stored semen can remain viable indefinitely.