Sometimes in life, things don’t go as planned. When it comes to equine reproduction, timing is everything and it pays to be prepared for whatever life throws at you. This is a success story about Sir Attitude or “Pee Wee”, a stallion that Dr. Talbot was able to harvest semen from post mortem in order to continue a legacy.
Pee Wee, whose registered name was Sir Attitude, was a beautiful chestnut saddlebred stallion that had suffered a debilitating spinal injury in his past that rendered him unable to perform as a breeding stallion. Pee Wee had great bloodlines that his owner wished to be passed down to future foals. So, she worked with the veterinarians at Carolina Equine Hospital to try and make those dreams a reality.
With their knowledge of Pee Wee’s past injury and a breeding soundness exam, the doctors got to work trying multiple collection methods including training Pee Wee to be collected on the ground with significant assistance (typically stallions are collected using a breeding phantom but Pee Wee wasn’t able to use this method) and using chemical collection.
Due to Pee Wee’s spinal injury, he was unable to produce sufficient quality semen to create a pregnancy. The doctors at CEH spent the Fall and Winter of 2017 to early 2018 preparing him for a second attempt at breeding using new techniques like manipulated lighting, various semen motility supplements, and supportive hormones.
Whatever It Takes
Five days prior to the team’s first attempt at a 2018 semen collection, Pee Wee suffered a massive stroke or coronary event and died in his stall after being brought in from turn out. In an emergency attempt to salvage some of his genetic material, Dr. James Talbot rushed to the scene and removed Pee Wee’s testicles post mortem. Dr. Talbot was able to harvest viable sperm using a technique called Epididymal Sperm Flushing.
Dr. Talbot’s quick thinking allowed for 11 doses of viable semen to be taken from Pee Wee and cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen for future use. Through appropriate management and the estrous synchronization of four broodmares, Carolina Equine Hospital was able to create three viable pregnancies from Pee Wee’s semen that are all due to be delivered between 3/15/19 and 6/1/19! As of the time this post has been published, two of the three foals have been born!
Carolina Equine Hospital
Are you interested in breeding your horse or receiving general information about what to expect when breeding? Give us a call! We are open Monday – Friday, 8-5 and always have an emergency vet on call.