Hormonal Abnormalities

As would be expected, stallions with low circulating testosterone levels have depressed DSO as well as decreasing libido. As mentioned previously, testosterone, hCG and GnRH therapy have been used with mixed success to address this problem. The lack of success may well be due to the fact that depressed pituitary function is the cause of infertility in only 1% of cases (Boyle et al., 1991; Roger and Hughes, 1991). Abnormal hormone levels may be associated with hypothyroidism, resulting in delayed puberty, smaller testes, decreased spermatozoan production and decreased libido. Feminization of the genitalia may also be observed. It has been postulated that changes in thyroid function may be the cause of stallion summer infertility associated with elevated environmental temperatures (Brachen and Wagner, 1983).

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