Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Ultrasound, Rinse, Repeat: Part 2

When I woke up on *THE DAY*, I was irrationally nervous. And then the whole FedEx opening late. And then there was an issue with another shipment being picked up at the same time (not mine, but the vet had to sort it out before she could meet me). But then it was time! 

Today's the DAAAAAAAY

At pretty much every previous appointment, there were a gaggle of vet students helping, but the day Ruby got inseminated, they were on a different farm call - so I got to play assistant 😁 I fully recognize that might not be everyone's cup of tea but as a middle/high schooler I actually wanted to be a vet and spent a few summers riding around with several equine vets on farm calls and helping out (in retrospect this was sort of child labor but whatever I loved it 🤣🤣). And I've always been someone who loves to learn. So, once we confirmed Ruby was ready to breed (two big ol' follicles looking ready to ovulate imminently), we cracked open the "man in a can" (breeders got jokes lol) and got to work!

She had no idea this was gonna be different from the 5 thousand other ultrasounds lol

There were two doses of fresh cooled semen, at 50ml each. Because of the follicle size, my vet opted to inseminate with both - it was a high volume of semen and did increase the chances of Ruby retaining some fluid and needing to be flushed, but it was a calculated risk based on how close ovulation looked and I trust my vet's call. I held the little baggies open while she sucked everything up into the syringes, brought her supplies, swapped out the doses when one syringe was empty, etc etc. I feel really lucky that she trusted me enough to let me help! I have been using this particular university as my vet for over a decade, but the therio vets are new since the last time I had occasion to need one, so this particular vet has only known me since April, but I guess we have seen enough of each other that she doesn't think I'm a complete idiot lol. 

Ruby was not nearly as enthusiastic as I was haha

The center standing the stallion put the shipping label over the open latch which was a clever way to keep FedEx from fucking with it - I have heard nightmares about empty equitainers showing up! 😱

Dr. Julia got everything prepped for the insemination, then went in with the tube to deliver the semen - poor Ruby. As a maiden, the vet really struggled to get everything where it needed to be, and I have literally never heard a horse express so much aggressive gas in my entire life 🤣 but everything ended up where it was supposed to be, and then the vet asked me if I wanted to watch her do the initial semen evaluation - um, absolutely! 


To do the evaluation, she took a small sample from each of the doses, mixed them together, and then examined them on a slide under a microscope. She did email me a formal semen evaluation to send on to the stallion owner, and that's not the internet's business 🤣 but it was super cool to see all the little swimmers bopping around on the slide! 

When I got home I managed to perfectly line up the jack with the block again, which felt like a good omen haha
Out with all her friends the evening after the deed was done! 

The vet sent me home with some drugs to induce ovulation just in case Ruby wanted to keep being a weirdo, and the next step was an appointment the following day to confirm ovulation/check for fluid. 

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