ROUTINE examination of stallions, particularly non-thoroughbreds, by veterinary surgeons before the start of the breeding season or prior to purchase is far less common in the UK than in the USA. Unless a visible genital or behavioural abnormality is detected by the owner, very often the first sign of a problem is failure of the stallion to achieve satisfactory pregnancy rates. In many of these subfertile stallions, no abnormalities will be identified until the semen is analysed. For the purposes of this article, the causes of fertility problems are divided into five categories: behavioural abnormalities, ejaculatory dysfunction, poor semen quality, infection and mare management.
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