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Breeding & Reproductive Care

Breeding large animals can requires careful planning and sometimes some extra veterinary help. At Shawnee Animal Hospital, we care proud to offer the following services:

 

Artificial Insemination Using Cooled-Extended Semen

The method of shipping semen to mares or female cows, rather than bringing the mares to another other farm with a stallion or bull, has made breeding to a desirable mate much easier. The cost and safety concerns for shipping animals over long distances are alleviated. Yet, the management of the semen shipping process must be attended to in an expert and time-critical fashion.

Mares are only viable to the process for a short window of time in their cycle, so monitoring their ovulation is an important part of the process. In addition, not every stallion's semen is an excellent candidate for shipment, and semen itself must be packaged with the utmost precision so that it remains viable. Our experienced equine and livestock veterinarians will monitor and assist with the process from start to finish to secure the best odds that the artificial insemination process will be successful.

 

Rectal Exams and Ultrasound to Determine Gestation Period

If attempting to breed a mare or female cow, ultrasound and rectal exams will be an important part of the process for a healthy pregnancy. Ultrasound imaging has the capability to detect both pregnancy and upcoming heat periods. Because the fertility window for mares is short, only about 12 hours, knowing her schedule ahead of time is crucial, especially if artificial insemination is the method of conception.

Whether a mare has been artificially inseminated or bred by a stallion, it can be useful to check for pregnancy via ultrasound every 14-18 days following the potential conception. If the mare is not found to be pregnant, she can be bred again on days 19 and 20.

 

Pulmonary Arterial Pressure (PAP) Testing

PAP testing is an important component of breeding a healthy herd of cattle. In higher altitude locations, this test is key in preventing the passage of congestive heart failure, also known as brisket disease or high mountain disease, to offspring. In some areas, such as the Rocky Mountain region, brisket disease has been known to wipe out up to 20% of a herd. This decimation is preventable using PAP testing prior to breeding, to ensure that the parent is not predisposed to the heart defect.