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Embryo Transfer and ICSI Breeding Programs



REMEMBER: When You Breed Via ICSI to a Silver Spurs Stallion You Receive a 10% Discount Off These Already Economical Rates!


What Is ICSI And When Should You Do It

ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection), where an individual sperm cell is microscopically injected into each egg, is useful for mares that cannot make embryos on their own or for situations where supplies of semen are limited. The ability to recover multiple oocytes (eggs) provides the possibility for multiple embryos to be produced. For this procedure oocytes are collected from the donor mare’s follicles and cultured to finish maturation. The oocytes are fertilized in the laboratory by injecting a single sperm cell into each egg. The fertilized oocyte is then cultured and allowed to divide to become an embryo; each cellular division cycle takes about 24 hours. Once the embryo becomes a blastocyst (7-9 days), it is transferred to the uterus of a recipient mare or frozen (vitrified) for storage. Since only a single sperm cell is selected and injected, ICSI can utilize very small quantities of frozen semen.

Silver Spurs ICSI Services


The advanced reproduction programs at our SILVER SPURS ICSI SERVICES LAB (SS) offer several options: 1. You can bring your mare to our facility for us to breed the mare, recover embryos for transfer or freezing; 2. You can bring your mare for oocyte recovery and ICSI with embryos transferred, shipped, or frozen; or 3. You can have oocytes recovered at another facility, shipped to SS for ICSI and embryos can be shipped back to another facility for transfer, or frozen. Fees vary between our programs, but as you will see there are several common aspects of each program. The recipient mares provided by SS are leased to the owner once they are 30 days in foal. SS recipient mares are to be returned to SS within 6 months after foaling. There is a live foal guarantee for SS recipients after the recipient mare is 30 days pregnant, the owner will receive a credit towards future embryo transfer services if the recipient loses the pregnancy. There is an annual enrollment fee for each program, but not for the transported oocyte program. The enrollment fee is for each donor mare, it is non-transferable, non-refundable, and good for the calendar year you bring your mare to our facility in Arizona.





Our Embryo Transfer Program

The standard program has an annual $1,000 enrollment fee. This fee is designed to pay for routine management, ultrasound examination, and artificial insemination. Stallion fees, transportation of semen, registration, blood typing, etc. are the responsibility of the owner. Board fees for the donor mares vary with accommodations. Paddock

board (with 3-4 other horses) and stall board is $20 per day, mare and foal board is $26 per day. The fee for each embryo collection flush is $350, and $200 to transfer each embryo. Once the recipient mare reaches 30 days gestation with a viable pregnancy, the owner leases her for $3,500. Board and care of the recipient mare after 30 days are the responsibility of the owner, who is encouraged to pick her up at this time. Board for the recipient mare starting at 30 days is $20 per day, and after 90 days of gestation recipient board will be $26 per day.


ICSI Program

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The ICSI Program is similar to the Embryo Transfer Program. There is an initial entry fee into our ICSI Program of $1,000. Like the Embryo Program this is to pay for normal breeding management of the Donor mare. It is a one-time fee for the year and does not vary with the number of pregnancies achieved. Each oocyte collection session costs $475 (we will not perform more than 2 sessions per

year). The fee for oocyte maturation is $175 and ICSI $450. There is an $875 fee for each Blastocyst produced. Once a recipient mare reaches 30 days of gestation with a viable pregnancy, the fees for leasing the recipient mare and board are the same as in the Embryo Transfer Program

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ICSI: The Sperm Cell, in Pipette on Right, is About to be Injected into an Oocyte

Transported Oocyte ICSI Program

The Transported Oocyte for ICSI program allows for ICSI for oocytes recovered at another facility and shipped to SS with SS shipping embryos back to the referring veterinarian or another center for transfer or freezing for future transfer. This program has no initial entry fee. The oocyte maturation and other fees are the same as in the ICSI Program.

What to Expect

The results depend on the number of oocytes recovered and this is influenced by the number of follicles a mare has that are available for aspiration. The oocyte recovery rate varies widely per follicle aspirated, as does the percentage of recovered oocytes that will mature to be fertilized. Further, the fertilized oocytes have to divide and grow in culture to the blastocyst stage for embryo transfer. The number of oocytes that will mature into viable blastocysts are highly variable between mares and even stallions. Oocyte quality declines with the donor mare’s age so that older donors, especially those into their 20’s tend to have lower success rates than young mares. Finally, pregnancy rates for ICSI embryos are a little lower than for flushed embryos, but hopefully this will be counterbalanced by the increased number of embryos available. The pregnancy loss rate is also slightly higher for ICSI embryos than flushed embryos.

It is our opinion, with a healthy stallion and mare, Embryo Transfer is a far more economical tool than ICSI. However, as noted above, there are certain circumstances where Embryo Transfer is simply not possible. It is in those situations that ICSI becomes an invaluable tool. In that regard, SILVER SPURS ICSI SERVICES veterinarians employ the most up to date techniques with the most modern state-of-the-art equipment available. In fact, all of our equipment was developed for human in-vitro implantation.

We will work with you every step of the way to achieve
the highest success rate possible.

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