Bovine Reproductive Services
Washington Veterinary Clinic offers artificial insemination services (A.I.) for cattle, herd synchronization, semen collection and evaluation along with bull breeding soundness examinations. The veterinarians also provide consultation on herd synchronization and will help design a breeding program to fit your operation.
We perform breeding soundness examinations on bulls, either at your farm or at our clinic. We recommend checking your bulls early, every year, to ensure your bulls are ready to breed your heifers and cows in case a replacement is needed. For all herd bulls that pass their evaluation, this is the perfect time to vaccinate, deworm, and apply fly control (when in season). We can also trich test bulls at this time if warranted. Our haul-in facility was built to handle the largest of bulls safely.
We offer any type of pregnancy diagnosis a producer may want, from rectal palpation to ultrasound to milk or blood testing. There are benefits and limitations of each method.
Bovine Ultrasound Imaging allows our veterinarians to diagnose pregnancy in cattle as soon as 30 days in gestation. Ultrasound can be used to find pregnancies earlier than rectal palpation, thereby allowing open cows to be re-bred sooner. It allows us to visualize the reproductive tract assessing the cervix, the entire uterus, and ovarian structures. Having this information can give the farmer great insight in how to proceed with their animal in the process of preparing her for pregnancy.
Embryo Transfer (E.T.)
We are set up to store frozen semen and embryos, as we specialize in embryo transfer work. Embryo flushing and transfer is a great way to add desirable genetics into a herd. It is an opportunity to preserve genetics from a valuable cow in the event of death. This procedure is not fail-safe however, each cow responds differently. There are many variables involved in this procedure and can take a few times to get the best result. Hormone dosage, weight, weather, and genetics can all play a role in the overall success when conventionally flushing.
It is therefore, very important to select recipient cows carefully. She should be free of disease and proven to be a good mother cow. Working with a veterinarian to select recipient cows will increase the success of an embryo transfer program.
We are set up to transfer fresh and frozen embryos as well as cryoprotect (freeze) embryos in lab. WVC offers both conventional flushing (in vivo) and in vitro ovum pickups.
Conventional (in vivo) Embryo Transfer involves specific hormonal treatment of donor cows and heifers to cause multiple follicles to ovulate. The donors are bred using artificial insemination (A.I.) following this super-ovulation and estrus, or standing heat. Approximately seven days after insemination, embryos are collected or “flushed” from the donor’s uterus. Once embryos are recovered, they are cleaned and graded (quality and stage of development). These recovered embryos can be directly transferred into a recipient cow or loaded into “straws” and frozen in liquid nitrogen to be transferred at a later date.
In vitro fertilization collection, or Ovum Pick Up, is the process of harvesting unfertilized oocytes (eggs), directly from the ovaries of a donor. Through this process oocytes are collected then undergo a thorough washing and evaluation before they are sent to a lab to be fertilized. After fertilization, the embryos are incubated for seven days in an environment designed to mimic the cow’s uterus. Once the fertilized embryos are received back at our lab, they are once again evaluated and graded. Any viable embryos have the best result if transferred fresh, but can also have success if frozen.
If you are new to E.T. this may seem a bit overwhelming at first, we have an experienced team that is here to help answer any questions you may have.
Please give us a call today to set up a consultation for your herd.