Bull brown semen

Brown semen from a bull

Looking for advice on a case(s) I was presented with this week.

First Case: On Tuesday I was referred by a DVM (also original owner of bull) a yearling bull that passed a satisfactory BSE in January (for sale) and then was recollected by the buyers DVM 2 weeks ago and the DVM noticed “blood in the ejaculate and told the buyer to take it back to the seller (DVM) and of course without any information of the BSE. The seller sent it my direction for a second evaluation. Everything physically with the bull was adequate. The ejaculate was brown in color (see attached images). Testicles and all accessory sex glands were ultrasounded with normal findings. Any idea what this would be caused by? I have seen frank blood in ejaculates but nothing like this. I assume this is just metabolized blood (hemoglobin) giving me this color since on the motility I was not seeing any small cells resembling RBCs. I also assume that this is coming from an accessory sex gland (even though palpation and ultrasound did not reveal any changes)and not the urinary tract since sperm cells were 80% progressively motile (see video attached) with 84% normal morphology, and not dead from urine contaminants. Also, is anyone else seeing ejaculates like this? I ask because the following day, I was doing 8 bulls from a different farm unrelated to the previous bull and one of the bulls gave me identical sample with similar exam findings. Interestingly enough this second bull would give me what looked like a normal ejaculate (white) and then would discharge brown colored fluid. We repeated both bulls with same results.

Any suggestions on how to figure out where the brown ejaculate comes from? Which tests? Chemistry profile (and is there a good reference of what is normal)?

Nutritionally, the first bull is getting fed a TMR with silage/hay and corn, other is on grass for the past 3 weeks. Is there a potential of a toxin or nutritional component?

My thoughts: coming from accessory sex gland (seminal vesicles) since we see yellow/orange tinge coloring from yearlings and others that concentrate riboflavin-niacin complex, early onset vesiculitis (even though no WBCs noted on microscopic evaluation)?.

I put both bulls on meloxicam (for possible unknown inflammation) for now and told owners I would investigate my lack of knowledge. 

Any insight or help would be much appreciated. Been racking my brain to try and figure this out since I saw 2 in less than 24 hours and have no good explanation.

Thanks in advance,

Interesting frozen semen problem

This question came from an A.I. Centre in India.

3 Gir bulls, Semen Processing Centre in India. Collected together, processed together (Andromed), same LN container. Same canister?

Problem in post thawing motility in one of these bulls, only.

Post-thaw motility (PTM) of sperm similar in all bulls immediately following freezing and up to 1 week later. Then, gradually decreases, viz


 – after freezing, 50 %
– > one month, 35-40 %

– > 2 months, 20-25 %
– > 3 months, 10-15 %

– > 4-5 months, 0 %

PTM does not change over this time in the other 2 Gir bulls.

Suggestions, solutions?

morph defects, sperm DNA integrity and protamination of bovine sperm

The association between sperm morphology characteristics and DNA conformation and integrity is still controversial. In bulls, major morphological sperm abnormalities have been associated with reduced fertility, and morphological assessment is used to provide an indication of potential fertility of the individual. Sperm DNA fragmentation and damage has a negative effect on embryo development and subsequently fertility, with bull spermatozoa generally displaying low levels of DNA damage and tight chromatin. However, sensitive methods for detecting chromatin damage may reveal associations with morphological defects.
The objective was to determine whether morphological sperm abnormalities and variables expressing sperm DNA integrity and protamination are correlated in bulls, using the sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA) and the sperm protamine deficiency
assay (SPDA). Electroejaculated samples (n = 1009) from two-year-old tropically adapted bulls were split and fixed and submitted to microscopic sperm morphology assessment, and snap-frozen for sperm nuclear integrity assessments by SPDA and SCSA.
For SPDA, the variables were defective (MCB) and deprotaminated (HCB), and for SCSA, the variables were DNA fragmentation index (DFI) and high DNA stainability (HDS). HCB correlated with DFI; sKen2 = 0.317 and HDS; 0.098, and MCB correlated
with DFI; 0.183 (p < 0.001). The percentage of morphological normal spermatozoa was correlated negatively to DFI; sKen2 = 0.168, MCB; 0.116 and HCB; 0.137 (p < 0.001). HCB and DFI were both positively correlated to head defects, proximal
droplets, and spermatogenic immaturity, but not to distal droplets, vacuoles, or diadems. Sperm DNA integrity and protamination, using the SCSA and SPDA, respectively, in bulls show associations with morphological parameters, particularly with head shape abnormalities and indicators of spermatogenic immaturity, including proximal droplets. The vacuoles and diadem defects were not correlated with sperm nuclear integrity, and hence, these are likely physiological features that may not directly affect sperm chromatin configuration.  [Andrology 6: 627-633, 2018]