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  1. #1
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    Default For those of you who have done frozen! UPATE! She's pregnant,...BUT

    What was your experience? Any tips for a first timer? Did you use your normal repro vet or a specialty clinic? What did your vet charge for the insemination? How many tries did it take? How old was your mare and how many pregnancies has she had? How long did you leave your mare at the vet? Did anyone use P&E to time ovulation and then just take the mare into the clinic for the day of supposed ovulation? What did you do with the extra semen if you were lucky and didn't need all the doses you bought!
    Okay, I think that's enough questions for now!
    Last edited by Reiter; Jun. 23, 2008 at 11:28 PM.
    Hoppe, Hoppe, Reiter...
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  2. #2
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    My number one tip is to find a great vet who has experience using frozen! This will go a long way toward improving your odds of success.That being said, I love using frozen and I will use it exclusively if I can. I've had success on older mares (last year my 17 year old mare produced an embryo for ET off one dose of frozen and then carried her own foal with the second dose).
    Many people use P and E for timed insemination with two doses. I don't do that, but only because I'm miserly with my frozen and would prefer just using one dose if possible! If you are going to just use one dose, then you need to breed post-ovulation, within 6 hours of ovulation. By definition this is going to require several ultrasounds, possibly at all hours of the day and night.
    Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
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  3. #3
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    Reiter, how close are you to Pioneer Equine in Oakdale? I'd seriously consider sending her to Dr Basil there. She is fabulous.



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillside H Ranch View Post
    ]
    Many people use P and E for timed insemination with two doses. I don't do that, but only because I'm miserly with my frozen and would prefer just using one dose if possible! If you are going to just use one dose, then you need to breed post-ovulation, within 6 hours of ovulation. By definition this is going to require several ultrasounds, possibly at all hours of the day and night.
    Is there a reason why 6 hrs before ovulation will not work? Administering hCG and then inseminating ~36 post hCG, then maybe again 6hrs later to confirm ovulation, and if the event hasn't happened, using the remainder of the semen or an additional dose. How do you do it Hillside?

    I too am trying to figure out the best way of going about things, with a mare who really acts like she is in heat at all times I can ship her off to the clinic, but am really trying to avoid this, as her 25yr old 'boyfriend' will be beside himself



  5. #5
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    Spacely, they are a little over 2hrs from me and at the top of my list!

    HHRanch, I don't want to do the P&E 2 dose protocol for frozen, but instead just use it to keep down the number of ultrasounds and time the mare needs to spend at the clinic!
    In a perfect world I would take her there in the morning, she'd ovulate, they'd inseminate and I take her back home! Boy, now I'm really dreaming!
    Hoppe, Hoppe, Reiter...
    Wenn er faellt dann schreit er...

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    forward is like love - you can never have enough



  6. #6
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    I second using someone experienced in frozen. We started at home, but as she decided to hang on to the follicle for an eternity, it was cheaper and easier to give her to the vet until it was done. We got a pregnancy first try, but it adsorbed before a heartbeat. Second try so far has worked, shes due in June.
    Epona Farm
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  7. #7
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    I agree with the other posters about a vet that does it all the time and is a real pro with frozen. I am blessed to live 20 minutes fom a great vet hospital with a repro specialist...so my regular vet (who works for that hospital) does all the checks and then when we seem close to ovulation, we ship her to the hospital. I bred two mares this year...they were each there less than 48 hours.

    I too love frozen...so conveinent. I have used it one several mares...the vast majority conceived with one does...including several maidens.
    Whispered Wish Weser-Ems: Breeding quality German Riding Ponies!
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  8. #8
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    Not to hijack the thread but I am interested in more info on using frozen as well. I want to breed to an older stallion and live cover may not be an option , but they do have frozen. What kind of cost would I be looking at ?

    Thanks !
    K.



  9. #9
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    We had good luck with frozen. Our only issue is distance from our vet. They are 1 hour + away (and further when at calls), so having to come 2x a day to check got really hard on them and expensive for us - big farm calls.

    We followed them and waited until we felt they were just about to ovulate and did one dose. The first mare, a maiden, took first try. Second mare, we simply missed her, did one dose anyway but felt it was too far from ovulation, and she did not take. Second try, right at ovulation, pregnancy. So, if we could drop them at the clinic (building a facility now!) it would be a great option for us, but until that happens it is not cost effective for us due to the distance...but we will do frozen again. It was so nice not to have to guess when to order, it's just right there for you when you need it!!
    Signature Sporthorses
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  10. #10
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    Despite the bad rap it sometimes gets, frozen semen is easy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Reiter View Post
    What was your experience? Any tips for a first timer?
    Have a full repro work up done on your mare first. And, while you'll hear of success stories with older mares, remember that mares between 4 and 10 and who have had at least one foal will have a higher chance of success.

    Did you use your normal repro vet or a specialty clinic?
    With protocols that are available now, your normal repro vet can certainly get the job done if he/she is dedicated and pays attention to detail. It's not rocket science but it does require extra work.

    What did your vet charge for the insemination?
    We personally charge a flat per cycle rate of $375. We breed, as Hillside does, post ovulation and use one insemination dose. But, we're dealing with high dollar semen most times.

    How many tries did it take?
    Success rate with frozen semen will run about 10% lower than with fresh cooled semen. But, thats where all the variables will come in. When purchasing frozen semen, make sure to ask what the per cycle conception rate is. And, as noted above, the age and how sound reproductively the mare is will certainly have an impact. And, of course, the experience of the technician that is following your mare and doing the breeding.

    How old was your mare and how many pregnancies has she had
    While you will most certainly hear about the 19 yo mare that caught on one dose and one cycle, those are not the norm.

    How long did you leave your mare at the vet?
    Most mares that come in to us for breeding are here until pregnancy checked. Average stay is about 23 days.

    Did anyone use P&E to time ovulation and then just take the mare into the clinic for the day of supposed ovulation?
    P&E and timed insemination protocol can certainly be a lifesaver, especially for a vet that has a busy practice or for the mare owner that's going to try and do the process themselves. We had one breeder a couple years ago decide to use P&E on 8 mares and do all the breeding and inseminating herself. Her first try she got 6 out of 8 mares pregnant with absolutely no ultrasounds other than to preg check the mares at 14 days. The next year she decided to give it a go again and go all 8 mares bred on the first cycle. It certainly can be an easy and effective management method and sometimes the costs of using a timed insemination protocol and using two doses of semen can be less expensive than if you have your mare managed intensively at a repro facility. Flip side is if the semen is expensive or the stallion is deceased, that may not be an option.

    If you have a good, competent repro vet, even if he/she doesn't specialize in working with frozen semen, they can often be successful.

    Hope that helps!

    Kathy St.Martin
    Equine Reproduction Short Courses
    http://www.equine-reproduction.com



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Equine Reproduction View Post

    P&E and timed insemination protocol can certainly be a lifesaver, especially for a vet that has a busy practice or for the mare owner that's going to try and do the process themselves. We had one breeder a couple years ago decide to use P&E on 8 mares and do all the breeding and inseminating herself. Her first try she got 6 out of 8 mares pregnant with absolutely no ultrasounds other than to preg check the mares at 14 days. The next year she decided to give it a go again and go all 8 mares bred on the first cycle. It certainly can be an easy and effective management method and sometimes the costs of using a timed insemination protocol and using two doses of semen can be less expensive than if you have your mare managed intensively at a repro facility. Flip side is if the semen is expensive or the stallion is deceased, that may not be an option.



    Kathy St.Martin
    Equine Reproduction Short Courses
    http://www.equine-reproduction.com
    I agree with Kathy when she says that hearing about older mares that take the first time with frozen is the exception rather than the rule. However, I think the above example is an example of someone who had really fantastic luck, too. If you're going to go to the expense of breeding, especially with frozen, then I would definitely reccomend doing some more ultrasounds. While I know Kathy's illustration from above is just an example of how user friendly P and E is and how well frozen can work I would be hesitant to do it that way. I really encourage people to have ultrasounds done to confirm that ovulation has taken place, as well as to monitor post breeding fluid. Frozen semen cause more of an inflammatory response than breeding with fresh cooled. It is not at all unusual for a mare to produce fluid in response to this inflammation and sometimes she cannot clear it on her own. Sometimes using an oxytocin protocol is all that needs to be done, but sometimes uterine lavages are required. I would want to be darn sure that the fluid was gone in a timely fashion, hence the post breeding ultrasounds.
    Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillside H Ranch View Post
    I agree with Kathy when she says that hearing about older mares that take the first time with frozen is the exception rather than the rule. However, I think the above example is an example of someone who had really fantastic luck, too.
    Oh, I definitely agree <grin>. But, I will also say that the woman's mares were all under 10 and she owned the stallion, so she had a sufficient supply of frozen semen that allowed her the luxury of doing the timed insemination protocol! Both were definitely items in her favor!

    If you're going to go to the expense of breeding, especially with frozen, then I would definitely reccomend doing some more ultrasounds. While I know Kathy's illustration from above is just an example of how user friendly P and E is and how well frozen can work I would be hesitant to do it that way.
    I agree. I would not be comfortable using P&E the way the woman did if I was having to expend the money to purchase the semen. Indeed, we strongly recommend that if you are going to use P&E and do a timed insemination, that you have the mare ultrasounded around day 15-16 to see how the mare is progressing, again to check for a 35 mm follicle and again to check for ovulation. But, in defense of this particular woman, there were NO repro vets anywhere within a reasonable distance (100 miles).

    I really encourage people to have ultrasounds done to confirm that ovulation has taken place, as well as to monitor post breeding fluid. Frozen semen cause more of an inflammatory response than breeding with fresh cooled. It is not at all unusual for a mare to produce fluid in response to this inflammation and sometimes she cannot clear it on her own. Sometimes using an oxytocin protocol is all that needs to be done, but sometimes uterine lavages are required. I would want to be darn sure that the fluid was gone in a timely fashion, hence the post breeding ultrasounds.
    Yup. Agreed. But, I also recognize that not everyone has access to a good repro vet and my comment was to illustrate that even if you don't have a vet that is well versed in the use of frozen semen and is reluctant to have to do ultrasounds every six hours does not necessarily preclude you from the option of using frozen semen <smile>. I will say that most of us have to work a whole lot harder to get frozen semen pregnancies than the above illustrated. But, it "can" be done. And as noted, I wouldn't attempt it on older mares and I would most emphatically have a complete breeding soundness evaluation done before attempting it! I should have given a little bit better background information on the entire situation, but it does illustrate just how effective a protocol it can be.

    I should also add that if you are indeed going to use P&E, make absolutely sure that you've had it compounded by a pharmacy that is well versed in it. We've had more than a handful of mare owners who have had the misfortune to have had the product compounded with Estradiol Cypionate instead of Estradiol 17 beta with less than stellar results .

    Hope that helps!

    Kathy St.Martin
    Equine Reproduction Short Courses
    http://www.equine-reproduction.com



  13. #13
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    Apr. 26, 2004
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    I do my own frozen inseminations using the timed insemination protocol (thank you Kathy and Jos for the fab short course that gave me the knowledge/courage to do my own breeding).
    Thawing the semen is pretty basic if you are prepared and have everything ready. Have a good helper. Follow the thawing instructions.
    I was three for three on the frozens I did last year all on the first cycle.
    Hopefully my luck holds because I am inseminating three mares this weekend with no LFG frozen.
    Good luck.



  14. #14
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    I'm successfully doing my own fresh semen inseminations (thanks to equine repro) and would love to learn how to do frozen, but not with this mare. I just have too many bad variables in this case. She's older, she's a maiden (some of you probably remember my prior threads) and the semen is coming from Germany, so I really don't want to waste any!
    Since Kathy recommended several prior ultrasounds even with the P&E protocol, I think what I will do is treat it like a "normal" insemination where I have several ultrasounds done to follow the follicle but then at the time when I normally order the fresh semen I will instead take her to the clinic. Because the repro clinic is several hours away, I will have my normal vet do the earlier ultrasounds and that should save me at least some $$$ I hope!
    Hoppe, Hoppe, Reiter...
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  15. #15
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    I'm so frustrated with the dog and pony show getting fresh semen here on a m/w/f collection schedule, plus the expense of having my vet come here to do the insemination, that I'm going to breed with frozen this time too. At least the semen will be sitting in a can waiting for my mare, rather than the frantic phone calls and 24 hours of panic mode. For me, it is cheaper to take my mare to a repro clinic than to have the vet come to me four or five times, especially when I factor in collection charges. Reiter, I don't know where you are but Dr. Mary Scott in Winters does a great job. She is a therio.

    Last year I had no luck with frozen, but hopefully my odds will improve since I decided to use a stallion who has many successful frozen pregnancies. Wish me luck; the mare goes to the clinic tomorrow.
    Mystic Owl Sporthorses
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  16. #16
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    It saves me money to drop the mare off at the repro clinic. There can be many u/s involved with frozen, like every 6 hours, which makes it hard to work around my schedule not to mention the number of farm calls I would have to pay...not to mention getting pushed back in the event of an emergency. There is always a vet at the clinic while others are doing farm calls. Life is much easier when the mare goes to the clinic.

    We got a 5 year old maiden mare in foal on the first cycle with frozen. I have not tried with an older mare yet but we will be attempting this year with a 13 year old mare (fingers crossed) to the same stallion. Fortunately the stallion's semen quality is excellent (Tanzeln, Trakehner).
    Altamont Sport Horses
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  17. #17
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    Clint, Mary Scott is actually the other vet that I have contacted and she is a bit closer to me. She right away said 2 doses/insemination though whereas Pioneer has a good track record of getting the mare in foal with just one dose. That's the only thing that makes me hesitate there.
    Good luck to everyone else with their frozen ventures!
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  18. #18
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    I did frozen with my maiden mare (7 year old TB). Since we didn't have a teaser and she doesn't show much when she is in season (and I was breeding her late already--competition horse who got hurt). ...I did P&E AND ultrasound. Vet came to the farm to ultrasound her and breed her. We did two doses...one before and one after ovulation....she caught the first time. I wasn't using high dollar semen...and had LFG...and used a stallion whose frozen was known to be of good quality.

    For me it wasn't very expensive to do it this way and since we were already in July....I wanted to make sure we caught on the first try. I also didn't want to send this mare away since we were re-habbing the injury and I wanted to keep her in familar surrounding and on the set schedule.

    I would consider doing it again but my mare was not a big fan of the shots....(she's also not too happy right now about the little one kicking her inside either!!!)
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  19. #19
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    This is not really related to the "frozen semen" topic, but I too am going the "ship her to the repro clinic" route from now on.

    After spending thousands and thousands of dollars on local vets who supposedly have good repro practices, I've determined that if you have an older mare with *any* kind of repro issues I would be throwing my money away with the locals.

    A friend of mine didn't heed my advice with her older mare, and she eventually went the same route I did (and to the same repro clinic) and like my mare, hers was pregnant promptly.

    It makes me want to pull my hair out when working with my mare (who has fluid clearance issues) with local vets- they always have all sorts of theories on what to do, none of which agree with what I now know is standard/correct protocol. And one vet ignored me completely and didn't even do a post-ovulation ultrasound, despite the fact that I hauled my mare to the clinic so they'd have easy access.

    I'm now a fan of treating my horse like a human with respect to vet stuff- take her to the specialist *first* and the local vet for followup, unless it's routine vaccinations, colic, etc. Dentistry? Dental DVM. Repro? Repro facility. Lameness? Lameness specialist and/or chiro.

    And I tend to shy away from vets who insist they are experts on everything and turn their noses down at specialists. From my experience those vets tend to be the ones who make the most mistakes.

    Spectrum.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reiter View Post
    Clint, Mary Scott is actually the other vet that I have contacted and she is a bit closer to me. She right away said 2 doses/insemination though whereas Pioneer has a good track record of getting the mare in foal with just one dose. That's the only thing that makes me hesitate there.
    Good luck to everyone else with their frozen ventures!
    Mary did a single dose protocol for me last year, or would have, had the mare not developed an anovulatory follicle and failed to ovulate. It just requires more ultrasounds.
    Mystic Owl Sporthorses
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