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Breeding Season is upon us. Mare Owners- EDUCATE yourselves!!!

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  • Breeding Season is upon us. Mare Owners- EDUCATE yourselves!!!

    Educating yourself is key. DONT rely 100% on your vet as being God and knowing what to do especially those Mare Owners with vets that perhaps dont specialize in repro work.

    When a client would phone and ask for semen, unless I knew the vet and the clinic they were using and KNEW they were fabulous vets, I would always ask them to ask their vets how large the follicle was? Was there any uterine edema? Was there any evidence of the follicle starting to soften? And in many cases they'd put the phone down, call out to the vet and come back with these answers (my 2 favorites!)

    * Tell your stallion owner she asks too many questions that I dont have the answer for

    * The mare is at a 29. And remind your stallion owner that I went to school and she didnt and just ship the damned semen!

    Okaaaayyyyy ...

    In case Number One, I referred the client to a lot of websites she could go to and she started to educate herself and she PUSHED the vet for answers to her questions and would then email or call me and ask if I agreed with what he said - and did I think we needed to ship semen now or not? Really not my call to make, thousands of miles away, but we did feel sorry for her spending her money when there was no reason to do so ...

    In the 2nd case, the mare was a big Dutch WB mare. Those WB mares usually produce follicles in the 40-60mm range before they go and in ideal situations, that follicle will progress about 3 mm a day, so to order semen on a 29mm follicle was insane - completely and totally insane - and I told the client as much but said its her mare, her vet and her money. This was on a Friday. We ended up shipping the semen on the following THURSDAY instead. The mare was inseminated on Friday - a week later after her vet wanted the semen - and was in foal off the first insemination ...

    The other pet peeve I have is the vets that insist on dumping as much semen as possible into that uterus as "more is better" ... ... and then they dont follow up with oxytocin protocols or ANYTHING to help that mare get rid of excess fluid in her uterus and bingo - she doesnt get in foal because of the inflammatory reaction that has occured. These are the ones that insist on 2 syringes and INSIST on dumping both in there. Why - I have NO idea. More is NOT better ... why not time it properly and order one syringe with more concentration and less extender being stuck into them???

    You honestly need a good repro vet that you can trust and YOU need to be aware of what sounds right and what doesnt, ask questions, educate yourself, come onto this forum and ask all of us for our opinions on what you are being told - the whole works - in order to make this as successful and inexpensive as possible

    Another story for you ... a new-to-the-breeding-world lady tried for 2 YEARS to get her mare in foal with semen from the West Coast USA to us here on the East Coast of Canada. 2 YEARS and God knows how many shipments and this mare wasnt getting in foal and she was up to just under/over $10,000.00 at that point in collection, shipping, vet bills.

    The vet she was using was/could be first rate, but he also believed he was God's gift to the repro community and he didnt need to answer to anybody

    This lady switched vets in desperation and when the first shipment of the season arrived, the vet took a sample of the semen, put it under the microscope and pronounced every single swimmer as dead as dead could be. There wasnt even ONE that was moving! So - they called up the stalion owner and asked what extender she was using and turns out that she hadnt been using ANY extender for the last 2 years - none at all - as 99.9% of her clients were local to her area, they didnt need extender and the semen was put into the mares within about an hour or two of collection, so she never knew she was doing anything wrong, the client didnt know to ask and the first vet? He told her that "you never PAID me to look at the semen and analyze it. You just paid me to inseminate your mare which I did every time"

    Next shipment, extender was used, mare was inseminated and got in foal

    You honestly come across this stuff ALL the time and as a stallion owner I shake my head SO many times as breeding season starts once again ...

    And I wont even get INTO the vet that ordered semen for an Arab mare off a 19mm follicle either ... and then told me that "he got lots of mares in foal off 12's" ... and just collect the damned stallion and get the semen over here ... he was waiting to inseminate her ...

    I am sure there are MANY more stories from Mare and Stallion Owners alike out there ...
    www.TrueColoursFarm.com
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  • #2
    Yikes! Makes me want to hug my vet
    GreenGate Stables
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    Comment


    • #3
      yup, that is about the caliber of our vet experience here in central virginia. we finally switched to a protocol where we breed the mares on day 17 of the protocol. last year 100 per cent of the mares settled on the first breeding. we did finally find a vet that could accurately tell us that a mare was in foal after a couple of seasons of our previous vets getting it wrong about 30 per cent of the time. I am in a strange area geographically in that I am just out if the range for several vets so our choices are limited. unfortunately there is a very good local vet but his wife runs the office and is too nutty for us. so we just trailer the mares now for the repro. plus we paid a local place that's name includes the words equine reproduction to teach a young stallion to collect and $1000. later they did not get it done. new vet taught him on the first try. geesh! boy do I hate paying when they don't get the job done. do not mind paying when they do. so what do you think these vets think? gee it is breeding season let's make some money? it is especially bad when the practice has several vets. they will send the kid right out of vet school every time for repro. huh? ok that is my I hate vets rant for the day!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        As many inept veterinarians that I've seen, I have to say that there are just as many stallion owners who don't know what the heck they are doing, either. Much like the lady you mentioned that wasn't using extender to ship her semen. I have known multiple, multiple stallion owners with no idea how to extend semen, how much to ship, etc. and you would be amazed at some of the crap that gets shipped to us by undeducated stallion owners. You would think that if you went to the trouble to stand a stallion and you wanted to be a do-it-yourself operation that you wouldn't just take clients money without providing a good "product".
        Anyways, there are plenty of good repro vets out there, and often they are questioned out the wazoo by the stallion owner/mare owner who really don't know what they are doing. I agree that you need to educate yourself, but what you really need to do is educate yourself on how to find a good veterinarian and then have some faith in them. They aren't all inept, bumbling idiots and sometimes on this board we seem to forget that! I for one (and sure, I'm biased) think that this is the time of year we should thank god that our vets aren't burning out and quitting there jobs for a job that has more appreciation, regular hours, less hard physical labor and more monetary rewards !

        As far as why not send more concentrated semen with less extender in them...actually not a good idea. The extender can actually help minimize the uterine inflammatory response, since it is actually the semen that cause inflammation in the uterus. Extender is often your friend!
        Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Hillside H Ranch View Post
          As far as why not send more concentrated semen with less extender in them...actually not a good idea. The extender can actually help minimize the uterine inflammatory response, since it is actually the semen that cause inflammation in the uterus. Extender is often your friend!
          I agree 100%
          http://www.blazingcoloursfarm.com

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          • #6
            I wuv my vet

            But it is true, the more educated everyone is the better the outcome. That's pretty plain logic.
            www.EquusMagnificus.ca
            Breeding & Sales
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            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Hillside H Ranch View Post
              As many inept veterinarians that I've seen, I have to say that there are just as many stallion owners who don't know what the heck they are doing, either. Much like the lady you mentioned that wasn't using extender to ship her semen. I have known multiple, multiple stallion owners with no idea how to extend semen, how much to ship, etc. and you would be amazed at some of the crap that gets shipped to us by undeducated stallion owners. You would think that if you went to the trouble to stand a stallion and you wanted to be a do-it-yourself operation that you wouldn't just take clients money without providing a good "product".
              Anyways, there are plenty of good repro vets out there, and often they are questioned out the wazoo by the stallion owner/mare owner who really don't know what they are doing. I agree that you need to educate yourself, but what you really need to do is educate yourself on how to find a good veterinarian and then have some faith in them. They aren't all inept, bumbling idiots and sometimes on this board we seem to forget that! I for one (and sure, I'm biased) think that this is the time of year we should thank god that our vets aren't burning out and quitting there jobs for a job that has more appreciation, regular hours, less hard physical labor and more monetary rewards !

              As far as why not send more concentrated semen with less extender in them...actually not a good idea. The extender can actually help minimize the uterine inflammatory response, since it is actually the semen that cause inflammation in the uterus. Extender is often your friend!
              Good post!
              "Sometimes you just have to shut up and color."

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Hillside - I agree with a lot of what you have said 100% and I know if the client says "ship the semen to Dr XXX" thats all I need to know - they are excellent vets with terrific reputations and nothing needs to be questionned.

                But when clients with WB mares are asking to ship on 29's (???) and Arabian mares on 19's and you know the Mare Owner doesnt know enough to question what they are telling them and you know the vet isnt a repro vet either - he is just a good local vet who does some repro work on the side for a few months of the year, I feel obligated to tell the MO that perhaps they need to be questionning what they are being told to do - for their sake and the sake of their pocketbook and their mare's uterus ...

                And I do love my repro vet who doesnt mind the fact that I do question him when I dont understand or agree with what he is saying and we bake lots of nice things for him ALL the time as a small "thank you" for the wonderful job he always does for us ...
                www.TrueColoursFarm.com
                www.truecoloursproducts.com

                True Colours Farm on Facebook

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yikes! A 19?!?! Come on, seriously, that is pretty bad.

                  I agree with you, especially on dumping the semen in. My vet only uses one dose, and we always use Oxytocin, at least one shot. It's what saved us last year, and from now on, we will be using it on every mare.


                  Fantastic pos!
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                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Excellent post, TC.

                    Not only is it imperative for mare owners to read up about breeding and ask questions, I will also add this:

                    If you are spending thousands of dollars to get a mare bred, ALWAYS ERR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION.

                    I take notes every year, I write down dates and follicle size, what the vet tells me about edema, uterine tone, follicle softening, any abnormalities, etc etc... so I can refer to that the next year and say "well, thing is, she usually grows them about this big, or she usually progresses about this fast".

                    Case in point - in 2007, i had my vet out on Monday morning. Mare was at a 29. Vet said she should be ready to breed by Friday or Saturday - she said she'd be back on Thursday morning. I said "NO WAY JOSE - I want you to come back and check her Wednesday morning". She thought it was an unnecessary call fee/expense for me, but she agreed. She shows up Wednesday morning and says "uh.. wow... she's at 39... order the semen!".
                    My mare's follicle grew 10 mm in 48 hours. Just goes to show... being willing to pay for a few extra ultrasounds/checks here and there can save a lot of $$$ and heartache in the long run.
                    www.jlsporthorsesales.net

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I *was* that Mare Owner! I tried about four times over two breeding seasons and at least two if not three of them were absolutely perfectly timed -- but no pregnancy. When I got into discussions with the SO, I found some protocol gaps on that end -- but did we EVER look at the semen upon arrival? Nope. It was never mentioned or offered and I didn't know any better.

                      Stallion is in some bizarre "missing horse" custody battle now and I'll never see a foal or my breeding fee. Lesson learned... siiiigh.
                      Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.
                      Starman

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I am very thankful for threads like this!

                        I admit to knowing a smidgen more than diddley squat about breeding and am planning on breeding my mare this year. To add to the fun we are also going to do ET with her. I am so fortunate to have a great and very experienced repro vet that really happy to share information and point me in the direction of learning and research.

                        So.... keep the great info coming! Most times I don't even feel like I know the questions to ask!
                        Kanoe Godby
                        www.dyrkgodby.com
                        See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Yikes! A 19?!?! Come on, seriously, that is pretty bad.
                          You think THATS bad???!

                          The same vet (who doesnt own an ultrasound machine, BTW, as he feels palpations are far more accurate ... ) lectured me on how he got LOTS of mares in foals on "12's". I am not kidding you - on 12's ... ... when I questionned him as to why he was ordering semen on a 19 ...

                          Can you even FEEL a "12" on palpation??? I dont think you can even see something that small on an ultrasound, can you?

                          So - let me ask the stallion owners this question as well. How many questions do YOU ask of the Mare Owner or vet if semen is ordered, especially if you know the mare owner is new to this and/or the vet doesnt specialize in repro work? Do you question what the vet is telling them to do?

                          I just feel so damned bad shipping semen when I know the mare doesnt have a hope in Hell of getting pregnant and wasting their money in the process ...
                          www.TrueColoursFarm.com
                          www.truecoloursproducts.com

                          True Colours Farm on Facebook

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Oh YIKES, i go thru this all the time. My stallions semen is tested and a printed report is sent with each shipment. We KNOW what we are sending, and it is good.
                            '
                            On the other hand, what about the vet who called, regarding the mare who was having trouble getting in foal, and asked us to ship the next day. I said , oh dumb me, what is the size of the follicle. He said " a 12", but i have to go out of town until next Tues, so i think we should do this now". OK, sounds good to me LOL. I was horrified. Told him so. Customer fired that vet and the next one was with the program and got the mare in foal. By the way, I TOLD the customer her vet was wrong.

                            Our goal, at our farm, is to get the customers mare in foal the first time. We are ready and willing to please. Its just a shame when the mare owners are not more educated. I do try to work on that .
                            Last edited by Sugarbrook; Feb. 5, 2009, 07:40 PM. Reason: typo
                            Sandy
                            www.sugarbrook.com
                            hunter/jumper ponies

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TrueColours View Post
                              You think THATS bad???!

                              The same vet (who doesnt own an ultrasound machine, BTW, as he feels palpations are far more accurate ... ) lectured me on how he got LOTS of mares in foals on "12's". I am not kidding you - on 12's ... ... when I questionned him as to why he was ordering semen on a 19 ...

                              Can you even FEEL a "12" on palpation??? I dont think you can even see something that small on an ultrasound, can you?

                              ..
                              Perhaps this vet thought that something was a 12 and it was much bigger. Maybe his perception of size was off since he has no accurate method to measure follicle size. So maybe in reality the 12 was a 22 and the 19 was a 29? I can't see one getting a pregnancy off a 12, there must be human error in there if he did indeed get so many mares in foal on a "12".
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                              Comment


                              • #16
                                A friend of mine had a client call to order semen on a weekend when the stallion was off at a show. It was clearly stated on the stallion’s website and on the contract that he would be unavailable on certain weekends, including that one. The client had not notified the SO that the mare was coming into heat (as required in the contract) – just called out of the blue and said, “Vet says you have to ship semen NOW. He has already given her HCG.” This was a VERY well known and highly respected vet.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Wellll, can it be said that one man's 19 is another man's 29...one man's bb gun is another man's 22?!?
                                  http://www.selahwaysporthorses.com/

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by TrueColours View Post
                                    Educating yourself is key. DONT rely 100% on your vet as being God and knowing what to do especially those Mare Owners with vets that perhaps dont specialize in repro work.

                                    When a client would phone and ask for semen, unless I knew the vet and the clinic they were using and KNEW they were fabulous vets, I would always ask them to ask their vets how large the follicle was? Was there any uterine edema? Was there any evidence of the follicle starting to soften? And in many cases they'd put the phone down, call out to the vet and come back with these answers (my 2 favorites!)

                                    * Tell your stallion owner she asks too many questions that I dont have the answer for

                                    * The mare is at a 29. And remind your stallion owner that I went to school and she didnt and just ship the damned semen!

                                    Okaaaayyyyy ...

                                    In case Number One, I referred the client to a lot of websites she could go to and she started to educate herself and she PUSHED the vet for answers to her questions and would then email or call me and ask if I agreed with what he said - and did I think we needed to ship semen now or not? Really not my call to make, thousands of miles away, but we did feel sorry for her spending her money when there was no reason to do so ...

                                    In the 2nd case, the mare was a big Dutch WB mare. Those WB mares usually produce follicles in the 40-60mm range before they go and in ideal situations, that follicle will progress about 3 mm a day, so to order semen on a 29mm follicle was insane - completely and totally insane - and I told the client as much but said its her mare, her vet and her money. This was on a Friday. We ended up shipping the semen on the following THURSDAY instead. The mare was inseminated on Friday - a week later after her vet wanted the semen - and was in foal off the first insemination ...

                                    The other pet peeve I have is the vets that insist on dumping as much semen as possible into that uterus as "more is better" ... ... and then they dont follow up with oxytocin protocols or ANYTHING to help that mare get rid of excess fluid in her uterus and bingo - she doesnt get in foal because of the inflammatory reaction that has occured. These are the ones that insist on 2 syringes and INSIST on dumping both in there. Why - I have NO idea. More is NOT better ... why not time it properly and order one syringe with more concentration and less extender being stuck into them???

                                    You honestly need a good repro vet that you can trust and YOU need to be aware of what sounds right and what doesnt, ask questions, educate yourself, come onto this forum and ask all of us for our opinions on what you are being told - the whole works - in order to make this as successful and inexpensive as possible

                                    Another story for you ... a new-to-the-breeding-world lady tried for 2 YEARS to get her mare in foal with semen from the West Coast USA to us here on the East Coast of Canada. 2 YEARS and God knows how many shipments and this mare wasnt getting in foal and she was up to just under/over $10,000.00 at that point in collection, shipping, vet bills.

                                    The vet she was using was/could be first rate, but he also believed he was God's gift to the repro community and he didnt need to answer to anybody

                                    This lady switched vets in desperation and when the first shipment of the season arrived, the vet took a sample of the semen, put it under the microscope and pronounced every single swimmer as dead as dead could be. There wasnt even ONE that was moving! So - they called up the stalion owner and asked what extender she was using and turns out that she hadnt been using ANY extender for the last 2 years - none at all - as 99.9% of her clients were local to her area, they didnt need extender and the semen was put into the mares within about an hour or two of collection, so she never knew she was doing anything wrong, the client didnt know to ask and the first vet? He told her that "you never PAID me to look at the semen and analyze it. You just paid me to inseminate your mare which I did every time"

                                    Next shipment, extender was used, mare was inseminated and got in foal

                                    You honestly come across this stuff ALL the time and as a stallion owner I shake my head SO many times as breeding season starts once again ...

                                    And I wont even get INTO the vet that ordered semen for an Arab mare off a 19mm follicle either ... and then told me that "he got lots of mares in foal off 12's" ... and just collect the damned stallion and get the semen over here ... he was waiting to inseminate her ...

                                    I am sure there are MANY more stories from Mare and Stallion Owners alike out there ...
                                    This post should be required reading for owners wanting to breed their mare. Excellent advice.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      This is so good, i may make it required reading for my customers. Lets get some more good stories to add to this thread.
                                      Sandy
                                      www.sugarbrook.com
                                      hunter/jumper ponies

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I will admit that last year (2008) was my first actual season breeding mares. I read book after book and read through forum after forum (equine reproduction especially). I educated myself the best I could. I even went with an actual repo vet who is further away from me that my "normal vet" only because my "normal vet" knows a little about a lot and not a lot about reproduction. My repo vet was more than willing to let me do the "in-between" work only because I asked and because I wanted to learn more. I asked question upon question to both "repo vet" as well as "SO". They were both so happy to educate me, and luckily they were both on the same page. TrueColors, I thank you for this post. I can easily and happily admit that I still have SO much to learn, but educating myself saved me a LOT of money last year (as well as heartache), especially with the "awful happenings" that took place I know I still have more than a lot to learn (there is the understatement for 2009), but I am willing and open to learn, and I think that is what counts.

                                        Edited To Add: One thing I learned just from books and forums was to always ask for a copy of the Stallion's reproductive "information". I asked that every stallion owner (whether it be the true stallion owner or a collection facility) to send me a copy of the semen analysis before the semen leaves their lab. All three stallions had amazing semen, but, as I said, due to unfortunate happenings, I got to leaern a bit about how time effects semen quality. Definitely a MUST for all mare owners as well as vets IMO!

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