Frequently asked questions about Embryotransfer

Embryo transplantation with the horse. How does that work?

First the donor mare must be inseminated with the stallion of your choice. Depending on the age of your donor mare, the embryo is flushed out of the donor's uterus 7 to 9 days after the ovulation. This is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed standing in a crush. With unexperienced or nervous horses a slight sedation may be required. Sterile flushing fluid is applied in the uterus by means of a sterile catheter. This fluid is then in the laboratory of K.I. Hof Ter Leeuwe controlled for the presence of an embryo by means of a microscope. If an embryo is found, this embryo is washed multiple times, and receives a morphological assessment with regard to embryo quality. The quality of the equine embryo is strongly related to the later chances of pregnancy. Once the embryo is washed, it is raised in a straw and is ready to be transplanted to the womb of the recipient mother, where it then can develop undisturbed.

Do I have to bring my donor mare to K.I. Hof Ter Leeuwe?

The client has the choice to inseminate his mare by the team of K.I. Hof Ter Leeuwe or to have this done by his own veterinarian. The mare can leave the clinic between insemination and embryo flush. Our many years of experience teach us that the chance of an embryo and the subsequent pregnancy results are usually higher when the mare is followed up and inseminated by the team of K.I. Hof Ter Leeuwe. This is even more true in the case of problem mares. If you opt to have the mare inseminated by your own veterinarian, you have the choice to have the donor mare flushed by us, or by your own veterinarian. It is extremely important that you know the exact time of ovulation. As soon as you know the time of ovulation, you must contact us to reserve a recipient mare.

Is the choice of recipient mare important?

The choice of the recipient mare is an extremely important factor in the success of embryo transfer, the good progress of the pregnancy and the development of the foal.

Not only does the recipient mare’s own reproductive cycle has to be synchronized as much as possible with the donor mare, but her physique should also correspond as much as possible. Unlike other ET centers, we will always try to transplant the valuable embryo into a surrogate mare of the same body size as that of the donor. For these reasons, it is extremely important to reserve a surrogate mother in time.

Will the surrogate mare become my property?

The surrogate mare always remains the property of K.I. Hof Ter Leeuwe. If the surrogate mother leaves the BENELUX, we ask to buy this mare. The client may keep this mare until the age of weaning and then the recipient should return to K.I Hof Ter Leeuwe in a good body condition. In case of mortality or any purchase, this will be invoiced at 1200 € exc. VAT.