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  1. #1
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    Default ET success stats - freezing embryo's versus implanting them???

    Have any definitive studies been done with regards to the success rates on flushing and freezing embryo's and then implanting them into a recip mare at a later date, as opposed to having a recipient mare standing by and implanting it into her as soon as it has been flushed?

    The logical side of me says that co-ordinating the "fresh" flush with the standing-by recip mare may not be 100% optimum timing wise, but if you had the recip mare standing by and could thaw and implant that embryo at the perfect time when she is smack in the middle of ovulating, your success rates *should* be higher doing it that way ...

    Is that in fact how it DOES work???

    What are the pros and cons of doing it one way or the other?



  2. #2

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    Always easier to use a frozen embryo for sure. Recip mare can be used anytime that way. I have used both types, Pedro obviously preferred freezing them, but you add another chance for failure each time you fuss with the embryo (in this case freezing)
    But I havent ever not had a successful flush either way.
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  3. #3
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    My repro guy says he has at least as good luck, if not better, and you don't have all the fuss of trying to synchronize mares and order semen or hope the donor mare won't have a bad reaction with fluids to the frozen, etc., etc., etc.. The only real difference is that you have to harvest the embryo even earlier as you will rupture/destroy the embryo if it is past that stage, which would be the stage for implanting one fresh. But, practice makes perfect.
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  4. #4
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    Success rates are comparable, but you need to find someone with lots of experience in freezing. It is becoming more and more common, but not everyone who has ET experience has experience freezing embryos.

    Also, one small point; you don't put the embryo into the recip as/when she is ovulating. You wait several days so that you would transfer the embryo when it would normally be "arriving" in the uterus of the mare (which doesn't happen until around day 5 post ovulation).
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  5. #5
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    When and only when it's truly reliable I will use it, if it was genuinely commercially viable the Europeans would be using it constantly, it's not so they are not. I'm sure it will be one day.



  6. #6
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    Default

    Also, one small point; you don't put the embryo into the recip as/when she is ovulating. You wait several days so that you would transfer the embryo when it would normally be "arriving" in the uterus of the mare (which doesn't happen until around day 5 post ovulation).
    Thanks Hillside - I didnt know that, but to be honest, when I do embark on this endeavour it will likely be with a facility like New Bolton and I will leave everything, 100% in their capable hands. So based on what you are saying then if you are flushing and implanting right away instead, the recip mare needs to be at that 5 day post ovulation state and the exact moment you are flushing the donor mare? So if she (recip mare) is lagging behind or has shot through her ovulation and is at Day 3 or 7 instead of Day 5, if you dont have another recip mare available to use, you may be totally screwed on that flush / implantation?

    When and only when it's truly reliable I will use it, if it was genuinely commercially viable the Europeans would be using it constantly, it's not so they are not. I'm sure it will be one day.
    Interesting observation but I am not 100% convinced it is because the European breeders dont believe it is commercially viable or attractive to buyers, as much as they simply dont have the technology and the facilities available to them, to do ET breedings

    Someone correct me if I am wrong on this one, but wasnt it Sporting Chance Farm that has sold some of their ET youngsters to European buyers, so if there is no credibility or commercial attractiveness attached to youngsters conceived in this manner, why are the Europeans purchasing and importing them???

    I'd love to hear other comments on this statement as well ...



  7. #7
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    I think it's probably more that Europe is small and very easy to ship fresh. I've had problems with frozen from Europe when they couldn't even tell me what the thawing protocol was. It was more like, "Hey, you asked for frozen, you got it!" It seems, but I may be wrong, that Europe basically freezes for export, not for local use. They have stallion stations all over the place where you bring your mares for not a long drive.
    Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FMulder View Post
    When and only when it's truly reliable I will use it, if it was genuinely commercially viable the Europeans would be using it constantly, it's not so they are not. I'm sure it will be one day.
    Flawed logic. Most Europeans mare owners are still reluctant to use frozen semen...



  9. #9
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    One persons flawed logic is anothers commercial reality.

    If it was truly worth doing it would have been done on an industrial scale in Europe. Say you owned the full sister of Indoctro, Corrado, Carthago etc etc etc, you'd be freezing embroys like there was no tomorrow because you'd know what the commercial value of those embryos would be.

    Thus the logic is based on pure commerce, if the technology really worked (ie included those results which were chucked in the trash because they didn't suit the company sponsoring the research) the big outfits in Europe would be using it.

    I asked the guys at Keros in Belgium about this recently, and Peter Dahls and Gaby Van Dahler are the two most commercially minded people I've ever met, with over 700 recipient mares stored on six farms (and they are taking embryos from the mares listed above).

    Their joint response to me was "if it worked, don't you think we'd be doing it?"



  10. #10
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    Well I think regardless of what you do with the embryos, each donor mare only has a set number of embryos you can flush. While there are exceptions I have always heard that its unlikely that you will get more than 15 foals out of a mare, regardless of whether the mare carries it or you do ET.

    Now you can certainly try super ovulation with ET although I don't think that has been successful in the grand scheme of things.



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrueColours View Post
    Thanks Hillside - I didnt know that, but to be honest, when I do embark on this endeavour it will likely be with a facility like New Bolton and I will leave everything, 100% in their capable hands. So based on what you are saying then if you are flushing and implanting right away instead, the recip mare needs to be at that 5 day post ovulation state and the exact moment you are flushing the donor mare? So if she (recip mare) is lagging behind or has shot through her ovulation and is at Day 3 or 7 instead of Day 5, if you dont have another recip mare available to use, you may be totally screwed on that flush / implantation?



    Interesting observation but I am not 100% convinced it is because the European breeders dont believe it is commercially viable or attractive to buyers, as much as they simply dont have the technology and the facilities available to them, to do ET breedings

    Someone correct me if I am wrong on this one, but wasnt it Sporting Chance Farm that has sold some of their ET youngsters to European buyers, so if there is no credibility or commercial attractiveness attached to youngsters conceived in this manner, why are the Europeans purchasing and importing them???

    I'd love to hear other comments on this statement as well ...
    If you are doing a flush and transfer directly to the recip mare, then you want a recip that has ovulated anywhere from 1 day before the donor to 4 days after. It is better to have one that ovulated on the same day or those 4 days after, than to have one that ovulated too soon.
    Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
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  12. #12
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    FMulder - I am trying to grasp what you are saying here and not having any luck ...

    I asked the guys at Keros in Belgium about this recently, and Peter Dahls and Gaby Van Dahler are the two most commercially minded people I've ever met, with over 700 recipient mares stored on six farms (and they are taking embryos from the mares listed above).

    Their joint response to me was "if it worked, don't you think we'd be doing it?"
    If they have 700 recipient mares on 6 farms, does this mean that they are flushing and freezing/implanting 700 embryo's into them each year? And if not - what are the recipient mares doing instead - just sitting around and eating or ???

    Thus the logic is based on pure commerce, if the technology really worked (ie included those results which were chucked in the trash because they didn't suit the company sponsoring the research) the big outfits in Europe would be using it.
    Exactly WHAT technology are your referring to? The ability to flush an embryo, freeze or implant ir and have the recip mare carry to term? Because we all known that has been done successfully and will continue to be done successfully going forward ... with probably more refinements and better technology as we do move forward ...

    Or to achieve the same "perceived" results from mating Stallion "A" with Mare "A" using a recip mare to carry the foal to term, as some people feel is not achievable unless Mare "A" is doing the carrying and nurturing and raising on her own? Is "that" the technology you are alluding to?

    If so, it almost borders on Tesio's theories which is that anything OTHER than Live Cover can never achieve a superstar offspring as by splitting the ejaculate into multiple doses, the "best" swimmer may not get to the finish line first and you are actually achieving anything other than Live Cover pregnancies with sub par / below average sperm - on average ...



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandra6500 View Post
    Well I think regardless of what you do with the embryos, each donor mare only has a set number of embryos you can flush. While there are exceptions I have always heard that its unlikely that you will get more than 15 foals out of a mare, regardless of whether the mare carries it or you do ET.

    Now you can certainly try super ovulation with ET although I don't think that has been successful in the grand scheme of things.
    There are plenty of donor mares out there that have been successfully flushed for many, many more offspring than 15. The number of embryos that you can get over a mare's lifetime has the potential to be much greater than that which she could naturally carry. We have many clients that flush 2-3 embryos/year out of their mares, and some have been doing that for 6 or 7 years now, with really no end in site!
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  14. #14
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    There are plenty of donor mares out there that have been successfully flushed for many, many more offspring than 15. The number of embryos that you can get over a mare's lifetime has the potential to be much greater than that which she could naturally carry. We have many clients that flush 2-3 embryos/year out of their mares, and some have been doing that for 6 or 7 years now, with really no end in site!
    Hillside - since a mare is born with all of the eggs she will need in a lifetime, from the time she starts cycling as a yearling -2 year old, she is ovulating - what - 4-7-8 eggs per year (???) or more (???) that just get "wasted" and re-absorbed back into her body - correct? If they arent being used to achieve a pregnancy, they are - virtually - an untapped resource ...

    So - technically speaking - if properly managed and maintained - there really isnt any long lasting or forever damage that would be done to a mare if you chose to, and had the money to, flush out those 2-3-4-5 embryo's a year. Correct? Or am I missing something here ...

    Thank you for your input - very much appreciated ...



  15. #15
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    There is some damage done, in the sense that the more flushes you do, the more inflammation that you create in the uterus. Often this isn't a problem when flushing a couple of times a year, but when you start getting into 4, 5, 6 flushes/year, then sometimes you really get the uterus inflammed. Most often this isn't long term damage, in the sense that you can get more embryos the next year, but it can limit what you can do in a year. But, this is very mare dependent, as there are some mares that seem to really be embryo machines and some that are not.
    Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by FMulder View Post
    One persons flawed logic is anothers commercial reality.

    If it was truly worth doing it would have been done on an industrial scale in Europe. Say you owned the full sister of Indoctro, Corrado, Carthago etc etc etc, you'd be freezing embroys like there was no tomorrow because you'd know what the commercial value of those embryos would be.
    Mmm...sorry, but just because they aren't doing it in Europe doesn't mean it isn't effective. That dog just doesn't hunt. It "does" require someone that is skilled in the freezing and thawing of embryos and like many things, that takes practice to get proficient at. I'm fairly decent at doing ET's, but am busy enough that I just don't have the time to sit down and practice learning to freeze! And I'm not going to offer a service that I'm not proficient at. Maybe this Fall I'll play around with it a bit and give it a go.

    Before thinking that something doesn't work simply because "no one" is doing it, you need to take a long hard look at the TB industry . It's well known that frozen semen, AI, cooled transported semen, embryo transfer, etc., is effective and more so than live cover. It's also financially lucrative. But, the TB industry still does not accept any of it. There's always more than meets the eye when something isn't necessarily embraced.

    Thus the logic is based on pure commerce, if the technology really worked (ie included those results which were chucked in the trash because they didn't suit the company sponsoring the research) the big outfits in Europe would be using it.
    See above. Commerce while usually is the driving force in many industries, there "are" holes in your logic.

    I asked the guys at Keros in Belgium about this recently, and Peter Dahls and Gaby Van Dahler are the two most commercially minded people I've ever met, with over 700 recipient mares stored on six farms (and they are taking embryos from the mares listed above).

    Their joint response to me was "if it worked, don't you think we'd be doing it?"
    <lol>...Okay Ken, think about this! If one simply has to freeze an embryo and ship it off to someone, then one would lose the income from doing the transfer, as well as all the money for having all the recip mares!!! One of the advantages of freezing embryos is that you can thaw it out when a recip mare is ready thereby eliminating the need to have large number of recip mares available.

    I suspect it just has more to do with individuals not having the training and practice to do the procedure. And, if you're busy enough doing what you're doing, it's tough to justify taking the time out to learn the process! I can't do it right now, but I "do" recognize the advantages of it and have seen the research. It "is" a viable and effective method. Sorry, just because it's not being done in Europe does not mean it isn't effective, financially lucrative and a viable marketing tool.
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  17. #17
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    Thank you Kathy. As ever, the voice of reason.



  18. #18
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    I don't have any dog in this fight, and there seems to be a desire to create a Europe v USA thing going on here, which is of no interest to me.

    Freezing embryos is definately of interest to me, because I only buy mares that are worthy of ET

    Commerce/profit will always be the driving force behind innovation in breeding. Let's face it, if you had 700 recip mares (and Keros normally perform around 660 embryo transfers a year), surely you'd love to make life easier (and therefore cheaper) and freeze embryos to be able to implant them at your leisure? Wouldn't you? Trust me, I know they would, and the two other ET centres I use in France who between them hold something like 500 recips.

    Spalart and Dahls are well respected in their fields, and do have a scientific bent in fact, whilst having an eye for profit.

    What I'm saying, is that if it truly worked on a commercial level, those who are the most commercial would be using it (that's the freezing of embryos for any not following this). I'm in any way saying that it doesn't work period, evidently it works on a level, that is to say that some people have had some successes, but from what I have seen these successes have not been at a level sufficient for some of the big guys over here to use it. Perhaps those centres who do not have much land and very few recips would be more interested for obvious reasons, and perhaps they are using it, but we'd need to see all the results to see if it is truly succesful.

    Okay Ken, think about this! If one simply has to freeze an embryo and ship it off to someone, then one would lose the income from doing the transfer, as well as all the money for having all the recip mares!!! One of the advantages of freezing embryos is that you can thaw it out when a recip mare is ready thereby eliminating the need to have large number of recip mares available. Not really, I'd say that they'd love for freezing to work, because they get to use every one of their recips every time their were available, and their client base would be harvesting embryos like there was no tomorrow. In fact they'd probably have to go and buy even more recips to keep up with demand. The reason they have so many recips is becuase of demand, not just because of having to have enough mares cycling at the right time.

    I also don't agree that the education/knowledge is that complicated. A standard ET, I could teach my labrador to do it, it's not exactly heavy science after all. I'm sure that freezing is more complicated, but it's not going to be that much more, and as these guys are vets of many years standing, I'd be surprised if they couldn't pick it up after a couple of days of training, outside of embryo preparation and the use of various fluids and freezing mediums, a lab tech two weeks out of college could do it falling off a log.


    Personally I would be very happy to see it work commercially, because I would use it myself, but I want to see more than 60% success (ie pregnant at 45 days) on recovered embryos before I'd consider it. Our personal record is 90% (pregnant at 45 days) on recovered embryos, and whilst I'd accept a small drop in results, I'd prefer it not to be too much.



  19. #19

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    FMulder, are you in Europe? because if so, and even if not so, have you contacted Ton Vullers at animal embryo center in Mariahoop, Netherlands?
    His staff was taught flushing and freezing embryos by Pedro Jou, and they used to do good business, havent been in touch with them lately, but they may well be still doing well. They froze embryos out of Cento's dam, as well as Ferro's dam or sister, cant remember now.
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  20. #20
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    So if I follow comments above..there is a possibility of an emerging market for buying embryos? If so, is there a "bank" here in the US?



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