One Year, Five Months Post-Trauma

Today is April 5, 2023, roughly one year and five months since Earl’s trauma. Most of you are already familiar with the accident that nearly took his life but if you need to refresh your memory, you can read his story HERE.

As I mentioned in his one-year update, I wanted to see if Earl was well enough to be safely collected and to have his semen analyzed. Given his genetic importance, I wanted to do my best to preserve his semen through freezing if at all possible. If successful, the frozen semen could be stored for many years to come.

In January, I hauled him 1.5 hours to Performance Equine Vets’ Reproduction Clinic where he stayed for a week. While there, the vets and staff made him comfortable went through the routine of flushing him out. He appeared to jump well the first go-round but something happened during the collection that tweaked his neck. After that, he had a hard time staying on the phantom and also experienced erectile dysfunction, inhibiting ejaculation. The vet theorized that his spinal impediment and pain prevented him from properly performing.

They rested him, provided pain medications twice over without success. He came home, having not been collected. Another equine reproduction specialist recommending resting him for a couple months, then trying to collect him at home.

Last week, under vet supervision, he was collected. It took three jumps for him to actually ejaculate – not a great sign. The vet analyzed the semen and found that it was beyond sub-par with extensive morphology issues from double heads to droplets. Less than 20% was motile and less than 2% was progressive motile. There are many reasons a stallion’s morphology could be off – pain and fever being the biggest culprits in Earl’s case.

I’ve been monitoring his temps twice a day to ensure there’s no underlying fever happening. So far, there isn’t any. What the vet also mentioned was whether his neurological issues have anything to do with his sub-par semen. It certainly has everything to do with his ability to have normal erections. It also certainly impacts his ability to jump and to stay on the phantom. What’s yet to be determined is whether it can effect his morphology.

It takes roughly 60 days for the life cycle of semen to process through Earl’s body, which means something has been going on prior to him going to Aiken right up through today. Given there have been no heightened temps present then or now, one can only assume his neurological condition, or another trauma-related condition, is what’s impeding his ability to produce viable semen.

So what’s the gist? Well, it looks like Earl’s ability to breed may be over. I’ve been discussing castration options with my vets. Semen can be harvested during the castration, but given the sub-par semen he has on-board at this time, that is likely going to be fruitless too.

I will not make any decisions at this time whether to castrate him or not. I think I need more time to let this sink in.

3 thoughts on “One Year, Five Months Post-Trauma

    1. That’s a great suggestion, but one we cannot pursue. He has an impeded spinal cord at C5-C6 and a subluxation at the atlas and C-1. For now, we’re doing NSAIDS, cold laser therapy and massage.


      1. ❤️❤️❤️my thoughts are to do what’s best for Earl in every aspect ❤️he is blessed to be alive and living his life. He has already been through way more than ever expected . He has fought hard to get through such a tragic ordeal ❤️❤️❤️Jerri


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