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Epididymal Freezing

Post Castration Epididymal Sperm Extraction
‘It’s not too late’

 

 

When should this technique be used?

Equine epididymal sperm extraction can be used as a terminal procedure in stallions with irreparable conditions, such as when fractures or colic have occurred or where the testes have suffered a severe trauma or testicular torsion.  This procedure enables us to salvage valuable genetics at a time when there is no other option

How?

The stallion has one or both testes removed which are then chilled and couriered to the centre in Shropshire.  The testes are dissected and the sperm cells are harvested from the epididymis using a combination of techniques including aspiration, flushing and flotation.

How many doses will be harvested?

The number of doses collected will vary from stallion to stallion depending on testicle size and the density of the semen collected.  On average the final number of doses varies from between 10-40 based on harvesting from both testes.

Does the stallion need health testing?

All stallions must be tested for EVA, EIA and CEM this can be done at the point of castration.

Does it work?

Although there is not an abundance of data on the fertility of semen harvested and frozen in this manner, using a variety of specialised processing techniques we are now seeing post thaw results of up to 50% Progressive Linear Motility (PLM) and positive pregnancy results have been achieved.

Picture Courtesy of Gallery South

Stallion AI Services Recommendations:

We would always recommend that this should be used as a last resort and not as a replacement for traditional methods.  Although pregnancy results are being achieved, fertility is likely to be much lower than that of semen collected and frozen in the traditional manner.

Important Information for Veterinarians

The success of this procedure is very much dependent on the speed at which the testes are transported to our centre from the time the animal was castrated or the time of death.  It is important that the testes are washed and packaged correctly.  It is advised that all blood is washed from the testes prior to transportation and that when possible the vas deferens is clamped.  The testes should be kept chilled, but must not come into direct contact with ice or ice packs.

For more detailed information on this procedure please contact Tullis Matson