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Postmortem Semen Extraction From The Boer Buck Epididymis

Dr. Gabriela Flores-Foxworth

Global Genetics and Biologicals
4011 SH 47, Bryan, TX 77807
979-822-4000 fax 979-822-4022

As livestock producers, we are always planning for that fall conventional semen collection in order to preserve our superior Boer buck’s desirable traits. Unfortunately, in our everyday farm life, we encounter unexpected situations, like the sudden death of one of our “never collected animals” or of “our best animal in the herd.” When the unthinkable occurs, we can be so overwhelmed we cannot think of anything but the great loss, and possibly we try to call the vet to figure out what happened. All too often, we forget that we can still salvage genetics from the animal.
The death of your Boer buck is not a total loss; the semen he has been storing can be recovered and used for breeding!
Remarkably, even though the animal has died, cells in the body remain viable for several hours. Postmortem semen extraction can be performed; and if the cause of death is not related to a chronic and debilitating disease, it is very likely that all the semen produced and stored in the tail of the epididymis is recoverable and processable.
Most of the semen produced in the testicles matures and is stored in the epididymal duct. The caudal part (tail) of the epididymis is the major site of sperm storage. Spermatozoa develop their ability to fertilize ova during their transport through the epididymis; therefore, the spermatozoa extracted from the tail of the epididymis is capable of fertilizing eggs.
If you, or somebody you know, experience the untimely death of your genetically superior breeding stock, consider calling us or sending the testicles to us as soon as possible to improve the success of the procedure.
For better results, please follow these instructions as soon as possible after death or immediately following euthanasia:

1. Testicles should be left inside the scrotum if possible.

2. Collect as much of the ductus (vas) deferens, and tie the ends prior to cutting it off.

3. The testicles should be allowed to cool slowly. The most detrimental aspect is to cool the testicles too quickly.

4. The testicles, in the scrotum, should be placed inside a plastic bag and sealed.

5. As shown in the diagram, the bag should be placed over an insulatory material (wadded newspaper, styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap) on top of ice packs inside a cooler. The cooling setup should be prepared immediately before placing the testicles inside the cooler and tape it. The cooler should not be cooled prior to use. This setup allows the testicles to be cooled slowly.

6. If within driving distance of Bryan, TX, call Global Genetics as soon as possible for drop-off (8am-5pm Mon.-Fri. 979-822-4000).
7. Otherwise, place cooler inside a cardboard box and ship to Global Genetics at address above as soon as possible by OVERNIGHT DELIVERY. Call Global Genetics (979-822-4000) on day of shipment with expected time of arrival and tracking number.


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