Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)

Investigating a method for pharmacologic semen collection in alpacas

Anna McAllister; Bernadette Stang; Michelle Anne Kutzler

Downloads: 0
Views: 264


  While semen evaluation is standard practice prior to a sale or when infertility is suspected in other species, it is rarely done in camelids due to the difficulties involved in collecting a sample. The reproductive physiology of alpacas differs to that of other domestic animals and is still poorly understood. In the stallion, a technique was developed for semen collection that pharmacologically induces ejaculation without copulation (ex copula). This study investigates whether semen could be reliably collected by ex copula ejaculation in male alpacas. Eleven male Huacaya alpacas were used in this study, and six ex copula treatment protocols were evaluated: (1) saline (control); (2) xylazine only (0.1 mg/kg); (3) xylazine only (0.2 mg/kg); (4) imipramine only (1.0 mg/kg); (5) imipramine (1.0 mg/kg) followed 10 minutes later with xylazine (0.1 mg/kg); and (6) imipramine (2.0 mg/kg) followed 10 minutes later with xylazine (0.1 mg/kg). Each treatment protocol was repeated two to five times. Azoospermic samples obtained from ex copula ejaculation contained numerous epithelial cells but no sperm. A reliable treatment for pharmacologically inducing ejaculation in alpacas remains to be found.


camelid, ejaculation, imipramine, sperm, xylazine


Abraham MC, Puhakka J, Ruete A, Al-Essawe EM, de Verdier K, Morrell JM, Bage R. Testicular length as an indicator of the onset of sperm production in alpacas under Swedish conditions. Acta Vet Scand. 2016;58:10. PMid:26829925.

Adams GP, Ratto MH, Collins CW, Bergfelt DR. Artificial insemination in South American camelids and wild equids. Theriogenology. 2009;71(1):166-75. PMid:18922569.

Alarcón VB, Garcia WV, Bravo PW. Artificial insemination of alpacas with semen collection by vaginal aspiration and by artificial vagina. Rev Investig Vet Peru. 2012;23(1):58-64.

Axelrod J, Whitby LG, Hertting G. Effect of psychotropic drugs on the uptake of H3-norepinephrine by tissues. Science. 1961;133(3450):383-4. PMid:13685337.

Bravo PW, Flores U, Garnica J, Ordoñez C. Collection of semen and artificial insemination of alpacas. Theriogenology. 1997;47(3):619-26. PMid:16728014.

Bravo PW, Moscoso R, Alarcon V, Ordoñez C. Ejaculator process and related semen characteristics. Arch Androl. 2002;48(1):65-72. PMid:11789685.

Bravo PW, Skidmore JA, Zhao XX. Reproductive aspects and storage of semen in Camelidae. Anim Reprod Sci. 2000;62(1-3):173-93. PMid:10924824.

Breier A, Ginsberg EM, Charney DS. Seminal emission induced by tricyclic antidepressant. Am J Psychiatry. 1984;141(4):610-1. PMid:6703149.

Cavalero TMS, Papa FM, Schmith RA, Scheeren VFC, Canuto LEF, Gobato MLM, Rodrigues LT, Freitas-Dell’aqua CP. Protocols using detomidine and oxytocin induce ex copula ejaculation in stallions. Theriogenology. 2019;140:93-8. PMid:31454723.

Cordel C, Swan GE, Mulders MSG, Bertschinger HJ. Pharmacokinetics of intravenous imipramine hydrochloride in cattle. J Vet Pharmacol Ther. 2001;24(2):143-5. PMid:11442790.

Dascanio J. Breeding soundness examination of the llama and alpaca. In: Cebra C, Anderson D, Tibary A, Van Saun R, Johnson L, editors. llama and alpaca care: medicine, surgery, reproduction and herd health. Missouri: Saunders; 2014. p. 188-93.

Fernandez-Baca S. Manipulation of reproductive functions in male and female New World camelids. Anim Reprod Sci. 1993;33(1-4):307-23.

Giuliano S, Director A, Gambarotta M, Trasorras V, Miragaya M. Collection method, season and individual variation on seminal characteristics in the llama (Lama glama). Anim Reprod Sci. 2008;104(2-4):359-69. PMid:17383121.

Grønli J, Murison R, Fiske E, Bjorvatn B, Sørensen E, Portas CM, Ursin R. Effects of chronic mild stress on sexual behavior, locomotor activity and consumption of sucrose and saccharine solutions. Physiol Behav. 2005;84(4):571-7. PMid:15811392.

Johnson LW. Llama reproduction. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract. 1989;5(1):159-82. PMid:2647232.

Johnston PF, DeLuca JL. Chemical ejaculation of stallions after the administration of oral imipramine followed by intravenous xylazine. In: Proceedings of the 44th Annual Convention of the American Association of Equine Practitioners; 1998 Dec 6-9; Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore: AEP; 1998. p. 12-53.

Kutzler MA, Stang BV, Hoepp N. Preliminary studies on the use of imipramine and xylazine to induce ejaculation in llamas. In: Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Society for Theriogenology; 2005 Aug 9-13; Charleston, SC. Mathews, AL: Society for Theriogenology; 2005. p. 441-818.

Lichtenwalner AB, Woods GL, Weber JA. Ejaculatory pattern of llamas during copulation. Theriogenology. 1996a;46(2):285-91. PMid:16727898.

Lichtenwalner AB, Woods GL, Weber JA. Seminal collection, seminal characteristics and pattern of ejaculation in llamas. Theriogenology. 1996b;46(2):293-305. PMid:16727899.

McDonnell SM, Garcia MC, Kenney RM, Van Arsdalen KN. Imipramine-induced erection, masturbation, and ejaculation in male horses. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1987;27(1):187-91. PMid:3615542.

McDonnell SM. Oral imipramine and intravenous xylazine for pharmacologically-induced ex copula ejaculation in stallions. Anim Reprod Sci. 2001;68(3-4):153-9. PMid:11744260.

McEvoy TG, Kyle CE, Young P, Adam CL, Bourke DA. Aspects of artificial breeding and establishment of pregnancy in South American camelids. In: Abstract of the 12th International Congress on Animal Reproduction; 1992 Aug 23-27; Hague, Netherlands. Hague: ICAR;1992. p. 1963-5.

Rodriguez J, Huanca W, Ramos M, Vasquez M, Espinoza J. Biophysical and biochemical characteristics of alpaca semen after collection by electroejaculation. Reprod Fertil Dev. 2012;25(1):272-5.

San-Martin M, Copaira M, Zuniga J, Rodreguez R, Bustinza G, Acosta L. Aspects of reproduction in the alpaca. J Reprod Fertil. 1968;16(3):395-9. PMid:5673739.

Solomon HM, Wier PJ, Ippolito DL, Toscano TV. Effect of prazosin on sperm transport in male rats. Reprod Toxicol. 1997;11(4):627-31. PMid:9241685.

Sumar J. Reproductive physiology in South American camelids. In: Land RB, Robinson DW, editors. Genetics of reproduction in sheep. London: Butterworth; 1985. p. 81-95.

Tibary A. Male reproduction. In: Hoffman E, editor. The complete alpaca book. Santa Cruz, Calif.: Bonny Doon Press; 2003. p. 323-50.

Turner RM, McDonnell SM, Hawkins JF. Use of pharmacologically induced ejaculation to obtain semen from a stallion with a fractured radius. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1995;206(12):1906-8. PMid:7790305.

Viesselmann LC, Videla R, Schaefer J, Chapman A, Wyrosdick H, Schaefer DMW. Mycoplasma haemolamae and intestinal parasite relationships with erythrocyte variables in clinically healthy alpacas and llamas. J Vet Intern Med. 2019;33(5):2336-42. PMid:31454105.

Yonezawa A, Yoshizumi M, Ebiko M, Amano T, Kimura Y, Sakurada S. Long-lasting effects of yohimbine on the ejaculatory function in male dogs. Biomed Res. 2005;26(5):201-6. PMid:16295696.

Submitted date:

Accepted date:

60ae927ba953954e12144456 animreprod Articles
Links & Downloads

Anim Reprod

Share this page
Page Sections