Vets deliver high rate of AI success
RAIN has helped Stacey Rae and Matthew Littleton from Monto Vet Surgery come back with a near-perfect success rate in artificial mare insemination (AI) over the past year.
“The rain improves the health of the mare and that makes for a better success rate,” Mr Littleton said.
“Other things that determine the success are things like the age of the mare and her breeding history.”
AI has been around for years now, but its popularity is on the rise as horse owners become more concerned with their animals’ bloodlines.
“Most of the people we see want animals with particular traits for different horse sports,” Ms Rae said.
“And it makes a lot more sense for stallion stud owners to send semen up to us, than for mare owners to take them all the way to the stud, which might be in Victoria or America.”
Once a mare owner has researched a particular stallion they want to breed with, Ms Rae contacts the stallion owner and arranges for semen to be sent up.
“We have been greatly successful with both frozen and fresh semen,” she said.
“Fresh semen generally comes from an Australian stud and was collected within three days, while frozen can come from overseas, like the USA.”
After the AI a scan after 14 days will reveal if the mare is pregnant, and another one at 45 days will check it has been maintained.
“We normally have the mare for seven days though, so we can determine the best time to put the semen in,” Ms Rae said.
In a breeding season Ms Rae said they usually do between 30 and 40 AIs although they are limited for space as they keep the mares for the week.
MONITORING: Matthew Littleton takes care of a quarter horse as vet Stacey Rae screens it to see if an artificial insemination had been successful.