Vet and AI Procedures
The choice of vet in the use of frozen AI is extremely important. Generally, the mare needs to be agisted at the vet clinic throughout the time of insemination so that she is available for close monitoring and follicle testing. Choose a vet with a strong commitment to the program and good breeding facilities, including an under-cover laboratory and dust free environment. To obtain the best results in the preparation and use of frozen AI it is important to have the services of a vet with experience in equine reproduction on a 24 hour basis. There are now many vets who are highly experienced in the process of using frozen AI and who have achieved good success rates over many years. We will be pleased to advise you in this regard.
Your vet will carry out a complete reproductive examination on your mare when she arrives. This will involve a rectal palpation and ultrasound scan of her reproductive tract. A vaginal examination will detect any cervical abnormalities and if the mare is showing heat an edometrial swab can be taken if this should be needed.
Mares are examined on the second or third day of standing oestrus. She should have a follicle at least 3 cm at this stage. She will respond to an injection of hCG at around 3.5 to 4 cm and by ovulating approx. 30-48 hours later. Your vet will want to examine your mare 24 hours after the injection and then every 3-6 hours in an attempt to inseminate as close to ovulation as possible. Fertility is highest when insemination occurs at the point of ovulation.
Generally speaking we believe it is better to use a natural cycle of the mare without the use of PG. Higher results can be achieved in this way. PG should be used discriminately and only at the right time. Some mares may react badly to PG.
It is not always possible to gain a pregnancy on the first or second insemination. Should the mare not conceive after two attempts we suggest you review the program with your vet and the options of treatment for the mare being used. If a mare is presented who, on closer inspection of the reproductive tract, is not an ideal candidate for frozen semen, it is good policy to review your program again and perhaps use another more suitable mare. Do not use a suspect or abnormal cycle/follicle, it is wiser to wait for the next. The flexibility of frozen semen allows you to do this.