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What's up with the availability of hCG?

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  • What's up with the availability of hCG?

    I stopped by my repro clinic last night to pick up a shot of hcg to give to a mare is wass bred today. My buddy at the front desk dispensed Deslorelin, and said they couldn't get any hcg at the moment because it was unavailable.

    Now, I don't MIND Deslorelin, except it's about $35 more a shot that good old cheap hcg.

    Anyone know what's up?
    "No matter how cynical I get its just not enough to keep up." Lily Tomlin

  • #2
    We have also switched to Deslorelin.


    My vet said that hCG probably wont be available again for at least 4 months.


    Not sure why though :S
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    • #3
      I wonder why?

      I just used it at my clinic last week - but my vet mainly uses deslorelin anyways...

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      • #4
        Deslorelin screws up 2 of my mares. I will NOT use it on them. It shuts them down. I dont' know why, but i've lost entire breeding seasons when a vet wouldn't listen to me.
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        • #5
          Oh my -- I wouldn't touch Deslorelin after I had a bad experience with it with one of mine last year. She did not respond to it at all and then we could not get her to take all last season (3 tries, twice with frozen and the last with fresh). This year she took on the first try; no deslorelin. But, I have heard that my mare's response (or lack thereof) happens in only about 10% of mares, fwiw.
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          • #6
            hCG is no longer being sold, due to abuse by body builders. They use it in place of steroids since it doesn't show up on drug screens. From what our vet said, it will not be made available again.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dressurpferd01 View Post
              hCG is no longer being sold, due to abuse by body builders. They use it in place of steroids since it doesn't show up on drug screens. From what our vet said, it will not be made available again.
              Well thank you, bodybuilders. UGH. Can't they make it available for vet use only? Isn't that how pergolide is still available, despite the fact it causes cardiac problems in humans (it was used as a Parkinson's treatment for a time)?

              Edited to add: It appears that although Pergolide was withdrawn from the market for human use early last spring, in May 2007 the FDA approved its veterinary use (via compounding from bulk) in horses. Are you sure about the withdrawal of HcG from the market, though?It is also used to treat some types of infertility in women, and imo that value should seem to outweigh its use by a few cheaters in bodybuilding.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by dressurpferd01 View Post
                hCG is no longer being sold, due to abuse by body builders. They use it in place of steroids since it doesn't show up on drug screens. From what our vet said, it will not be made available again.
                Our reps have told us it is on indefinite back-order. However, if it is due to abuse by bodybuilders I imagine it will be available in the future, but it will more than likely become a controlled substance in some form.
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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Count me now as one who is NOT a Deslorelin fan. Mare received a shot Friday night. She ovulated today. That's 84 hours after her shot.

                  Bred her with the second dose yesterday, which was stil holding at 40% at 80 some odd hours post collection. So there is hope, but I am TICKED.

                  I've never had a mare not respond to hCG within 36 hours, and I've never had a mare develop resistance to it either.
                  "No matter how cynical I get its just not enough to keep up." Lily Tomlin

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                  • #10
                    AHF, that stinks. Sending fertility jingles your way.
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                    • #11
                      Ahf - I think I can beat that.... (not that I want to), but my mare was given Deslorelin on Friday as well and as of this morning (TUESDAY) she has not ovulated yet!!!!! I had to courier semen to my vet in order to make sure it would be available in case the mare finally did ovulate. I just love to spend my hard-earned money on courier services! NOT!

                      So what's the alternative if HCG is not available?

                      Yankeelawyer - I think the number must be bigger than 10%, don't you think?
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by siegi b. View Post
                        Yankeelawyer - I think the number must be bigger than 10%, don't you think?
                        Hmmm - My repro vet prefers to use Deslorelin much more then hCG, and so don't the other top 3 repro vets within 3 hours of me...they say it leads to ovulation with a much quicker ovulation 'window' then hCG, and if you are using frozen they don't really give the option of hCG.....

                        What size follicle are you using it on? I am under the impression that they only use it on follicles >34mm, and will not use it on anything less, even though it should work on the smaller variety.

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Oh, this is definitely an ovulation contest I didn't want you to lose.

                          If it's any consolation? This mare was scanned at 5pm. If I had scanned her this morning, she still would not have ovulated.

                          Fingers crossed for you Siegi.

                          I am not aware of ANY substitute. Just discussed this with my vet tonight.
                          I guess there might be hope if the formulation is "abandoned", and there is no legislation to dictate that it NOT be compounded. So maybe we'll be buying all our "hCG" from BET or Wedgewood nest year. Here's hoping.

                          THis will impact a lot of frozen breeding I would suspect.
                          "No matter how cynical I get its just not enough to keep up." Lily Tomlin

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Good morning:

                            Given on a 38.

                            Not all vets love the stuff. My vet is also a therio.
                            "No matter how cynical I get its just not enough to keep up." Lily Tomlin

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                            • #15
                              Interesting. I've had really good luck with Deslorelin so far. Every mare we've given it to has ovulated as they should have this year. So far it's been 5 times with 3 different mares this year. Obviously 2 have not caught the first time around, but it was not an ovulation, or lack of, issue nor was it a stallion issue. It's been given on follicles >35mm. UC Davis is doing my repro work FWIW.

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                              • #16
                                I have used both and have problems with both at one time or another. I had a mare last month go 81 hours post hCG injection given on a great 35. I use quite a bit of frozen and like Deslorelin better for timed insemination. Sure, there are those mares that seem to enjoy being ultrasounded every six hours and hold on to a follicle for a ridiculous amount of time (62 hours is my longest with Deslorelin) before ovulating.
                                The vet is on his way now to hopefully breed three mares. All had between a 35 - 38 yesterday morning. Two were given hCG and the other was given my last dose of Deslorelin. I will let you know if any are ready to breed!
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                                • #17
                                  With the compounded Deslorelin I am beginning to get the feeling that it is not as stable as the ovuplant was. I try to order small amounts (5 ml vials) frequently and am having better results using it this way.

                                  I am a diehard HCG fan (w/ lots of frozen semen use)- so this recent turn of events is depressing. I am very lazy and like to check my mare at 36 hours after her HCG injection and then breed my mare. We have not wasted many doses with this protocol. Once I started to freeze the remaining HCG into individual doses immediately after reconstituting the vial, I have not had a failure to ovulate w/ it.
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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by siegi b. View Post
                                    Ahf - I think I can beat that.... (not that I want to), but my mare was given Deslorelin on Friday as well and as of this morning (TUESDAY) she has not ovulated yet!!!!! I had to courier semen to my vet in order to make sure it would be available in case the mare finally did ovulate. I just love to spend my hard-earned money on courier services! NOT!

                                    So what's the alternative if HCG is not available?

                                    Yankeelawyer - I think the number must be bigger than 10%, don't you think?
                                    Her Royal Highness didn't just have a delayed response -- she did not respond at all and then wouldn't take even though the subsequent cycles looked good, no fluids, etc. But the 10% figure wasn't given to me by our vet -- a different vet told me that when I commented on my displeasure with that drug. He may have been speaking loosely. HRH did much better this year without it, that is for sure!
                                    Roseknoll Sporthorses
                                    www.roseknoll.net

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                                    • #19
                                      There are a couple issues with why hCG is not available right now. First, as noted in a previous post, it is being used by bodybuilders (male) to increase testosterone levels. Remember, hCG is given to young colts that have a retained testicle in order to increase testosterone levels in the hopes that it will force the retained testicle down through the inguinal canal. I know, probably TMI <smile>. Secondly, it is being used by some women as part of a weight loss protocol - so definitely off label use. There is also another concern with regards to the source of hCG (pregnant women), but I haven't heard sufficient information one way or the other with regards to that issue to want to open that rumor for discussion <smile>.

                                      With regards to the reliability of hCG versus Deslorelin, we've never had any real issues with either, but due to the lower costs associated with hCG, we've tended to use it more often. However, with the current shortage of hCG, we're using more Deslorelin. This time of year, lower dosages of the product can be used. And, we've not had any issues with mares not returning to estrus when using either product, although occasionally, the mare has not read the book and hasn't ovulated as promptly as we would have preferred.

                                      Hope that helps!

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Equine Reproduction View Post
                                        And, we've not had any issues with mares not returning to estrus when using either product, although occasionally, the mare has not read the book and hasn't ovulated as promptly as we would have preferred.
                                        Mine apparently only skimmed the Spark Notes last year
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