Stallion Breeding Soundness Exams
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What is the purpose of breeding soundness exams?
- select stallions for fertility
- eliminate stallions with heritable defects
- alert owners of fertility problems
- determine causes of infertility
What conditions can occur at any time that affect fertility?
What is a barren mare?
been exposed to a stallion but hasn't conceived
What is a maiden mare?
hasn't conceived before
What are some things to consider when determining the intended uses of a stallion?
- natural services vs AI
- fresh cooled semen
- frozen semen
- size of book
What does a general physical exam check for?
- inherited defects
- parrot mouth
- multiple extosis
Why do you want to be sure your stud is healthy?
breeding is mentally and physically stressful
Why is lameness in stallions a problem?
- affects libido
- lowers sperm count and ejaculate volume
- hocks and back
What lab tests can provide helpful info?
- hematology (blood profiles)
- urine analysis
- fecal egg count
Why do you want to monitor a stallions diet?
monitor weight and nutrition
What is EVA?
- Equine Viral Arteritis
- symptoms: abortion, flu-like symptoms
- spreads easily
- only get it once, but infected stallions can carry it for a long time
What is CEM?
- Contagious Equine Metritis
- bacterial disease
- contagious venereal disease carried by mares and stallions
- affects mares (lowers conception rate and causes abortion)
- symptoms: inflammation of uterus
- test by: swab test/blood test
- can be treated but not vaccinated
What is CID?
- Combined Immunodeficiency
- genetic disorder commonly found in Arabians
- affects immune system
- develop illnesses that are hard to treat
What is Parrot Mouth?
- undesirable conformation trait
- severe over-bite
- horses can't forage like they're supposed to
- odd dental issues
- need lots of special attention
What is Aniridia?
- rare genetic defect
- absence of the iris
- have other symptoms of photophobia
- can occur from trauma
What are cataracts?
- congenital disease
- cause blindness as they mature
- cataract surgery in foals is highly successful
What is Multiple Exotosis?
- generally affect long bones
- bony deposits on ends of long bones, usually where joints are
What do physical examinations of the outer repro tract look at?
- close inspection and palpation of the penis, scrotum and testicles
- make sure everything is in tact and present
- measure size and speculate production
- can predict breeding potential
What is the formula for testicular volume?
TVmL=.5233x width x height x length
How to figure out Total scrotal volume?
- measure each testicle
- figure out its TVmL
- add together for total scrotal volume
Why shouldn't you clean a stallion with soap?
- soap can kill sperm, leave residue and irritate the skin
- use warm water instead
What is smegma?
- epithelial debris
- needs to be cleaned during breeding season because it harbors bacteria and can contaminate collection
What to look for during a visual examination of the penis?
- skin should be thin and pliable
What is Coital Exanthema?
- equine herpes
- start small but can develop into bigger sores
- can develop anytime during breeding season
What is Hemospermia?
- blood in the ejaculate
- indicates infection somewhere in the tract
- treatment: sexual rest for several weeks; antibiotics if appropriate
- infusions into the uterus to treat mares
What is Urospermia?
- urine in the ejaculate
- causes a decrease in viability and motility (ultimately lower fertility)
What can cause Urospermia?
- neurological issue
- bladder paralysis
- EHV-1 infection (herpes virus)
- sorghum/sudan grass toxicity
What is testicular microlithiasis?
- condition diagnosed by ultra-sound
- associated with testicular cancer
What is testicular degeneration?
progressive decline in fertility accompanied by decreasing testicular size and semen quality
What can cause low sperm motility?
- abnormal cells
- accessory sex gland fluid
- sperm stasis
What is sperm stasis?
storage problem in the ampullae (sperm stay in storage for too long)
What can fix the problem of low sperm motility?
- increasing the frequency of collection
- daily collection
- administration of oxytocin or PGF (hormonal treatment)
What is a problem with collecting too often?
get immature sperm
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