Comparison of electroejaculation and transrectal massage for semen collection in range and yearling feedlot beef bulls.
ABSTRACT Two experiments were conducted to compare electroejaculation (EE) and transrectal massage (RM) of the ampullary region for semen collection from beef bulls, and to determine the effect of semen collection method on semen traits. In experiment 1, semen was collected either by EE or RM randomly assigned on an alternate basis in 137 range beef bulls unaccustomed to being handled. The maximum time allowed for RM was 4 min and if no semen was obtained, EE was used. In experiment 2, semen was collected from 39 yearling feedlot beef bulls that were accustomed to being handled, by RM followed immediately by EE. The maximum time allowed for semen collection by both methods was 4 min. In both experiments, sperm concentration, percent of progressively motile sperm, percent of sperm staining alive, and sperm morphology were determined. In experiment 1, RM resulted in fewer (P<0.001) successful semen collections and fewer bulls with penile protrusion than EE (80.9% versus 100% and 54.4% versus 91.5%, respectively). The success of RM was not influenced by bull age or breed, or by the veterinarian performing the massage. Transrectal massage required more time (30s, P<0.001) for obtaining a semen sample and resulted in samples with lower sperm concentration (P<0.001), percent motile sperm (P<0.05) and percent live sperm (P<0.001) when compared to EE. In experiment 2, EE and RM were equally effective for obtaining a semen sample (97.4 and 94.9%, respectively), but the proportion of bulls exhibiting penile protrusion during semen collection was lower (P<0.0001) with RM compared to EE. Percent of sperm staining alive was also lower (P<0.01) in samples collected by RM. Sperm morphology (normal sperm, head defects, midpiece defects, proximal cytoplasmic droplets, and detached sperm heads) did not differ between samples collected by EE and RM. In conclusion, semen could be collected by transrectal massage from approximately 80% of range beef bulls and from 95% of yearling beef bulls accustomed to handling. Sperm morphology was not affected by the method of semen collection, but percent of motile sperm and live sperm were lower in samples collected by RM. A reduced ability to stimulate penile protrusion with RM precluded examination of the penis in a large proportion of bulls.
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ABSTRACT: Evaluation of the breeding soundness of bulls is an important management tool. Electroejaculation has been a reliable method of obtaining a semen sample for the purpose of evaluating breeding soundness, but is considered by some to be inhumane on the grounds that it is painful. This paper provides a review of studies conducted to find ways to both measure, as well as lessen, pain associated with electroejaculation, and to explore alternatives to electroejaculation in bulls. Changes in heart rate, serum cortisol, serum progesterone, relative aversion, and degrees of vocalization, struggling and lying down have been used to assess the pain associated with electroejaculation. Transrectal massage and artificial vaginas, and oxytocin and cloprostenol have been investigated as alternatives to, and facilitators of electroejaculation, respectively. Epidural, intravenous and topical anesthetics have been used to ameliorate the pain associated with electroejaculation. Serum progesterone and degrees of vocalization are useful for measuring the pain associated with electroejaculation in bulls. Transrectal massage and artificial vaginas are not as efficacious as electroejaculation for obtaining a semen sample and drugs used to facilitate or decrease pain associated with electroejaculation have not been efficacious enough to warrant use. Transrectal massage of the ampullae may be of some use as an alternative to electroejaculation in docile bulls and may be also be used to decrease the duration of subsequent electroejaculation. Pain associated with electroejaculation may be influenced by operator technique; therefore, operators of electroejaculator equipment must strive to apply electrical stimulation as gently as possible.Theriogenology 09/2005; 64(3):469-79. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: As electroejaculation (EEJ) is prohibited for use on unanaesthetized animals in Sweden, there is a need for an alternative method of semen collection from bulls in the field. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the use of transrectal massage (TM) of the ampullae to collect semen from yearling beef bulls under field conditions in Sweden. Transrectal massage was performed on 52 yearling beef bulls. Volume of semen collected, duration of procedure, percentage progressively motile sperm, and sperm concentration were measured. Smears were prepared for sperm morphology examination. Semen samples were obtained from 47 of 52 bulls. Mean volume was 3.2 ml (SD +/- 3.7), mean duration of collection was 7.4 min (SD +/- 2.8), mean percentage progressively motile sperm was 43.5% (SD +/- 29.2) and mean concentration was 201.9 x 10(6) spermatozoa/ml (SD +/- 278 x 10(6)). Twenty-three of the 52 bulls were slaughtered 3-4 days after semen collection and aliquots of the cauda epididymal contents were collected for sperm morphology examination. The percentages of proximal droplets, abnormal tails and abnormal midpieces were significantly higher (p < 0.05) and the percentage of detached heads was significantly lower (p < 0.05) in the post-mortem samples compared with those in the TM samples. However, importantly there was no significant difference between the two sample types in the percentages of abnormal heads. This study demonstrates that semen can be collected from yearling beef bulls by TM. We think that TM constitutes a useful tool, when semen collection with EEJ or artificial vagina (AV) is not possible under field conditions, when included in the bull breeding soundness evaluation (BBSE) protocol. However, further studies are needed, and presently being carried out, to evaluate if semen samples collected by TM are comparable with semen samples collected by AV.Reproduction in Domestic Animals 07/2006; 41(3):233-7. · 1.39 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Ejaculates from nine Asian and two African elephants were analysed to gain a further understanding of mechanisms underlying variable semen quality after transrectal massage. Semen analysis was performed after collection (0 h; subjective motility parameters only) and after 24 h of chilled storage at 10 °C (24 h; all ejaculate and sperm characteristics). Ejaculates with ≤50% total motility (TM) at 24 h, which represented >90% of collection attempts, contained a sperm population with a high degree of DNA damage (64.2 ± 19.2% fragmented DNA) and an elevated incidence of detached heads (43.3 ± 22.5%). In contrast, good quality ejaculates designated as those with >50% TM at 24 h displayed higher (p < 0.05) values of sperm kinetic parameters, DNA integrity and normal morphology. Fertility potential was high for good quality ejaculates from two males (one Asian and one African bull) based on in vitro characteristics after chilled storage for up to 48 h post-collection. Urine contamination of semen, as assessed quantitatively by creatinine concentration, was confirmed as a significant factor in reduced elephant ejaculate quality. However, the identification of considerable DNA damage and morphological degeneration in the majority of ejaculates after only 24 h of chilled storage indicates that sperm ageing could be a primary contributor to inconsistent semen quality in the elephant.Andrology. 03/2013;