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E.I. Medical Imaging Portable Ultrasound Solution Blog

E.I. Medical Imaging Goes Back To School

Posted by Jim Turner on Fri, Aug 16, 2013 @ 12:02 PM

back to schoolMany of us here at E.I. Medical Imaging have kids and we are all gearing up for them to head back to school.  My kids were not excited at the idea that summer vacation was over and they were lamenting about having to wake up early to get ready for school. I quickly reminded them that they did not have to wake up extra early to do chores such as milking cows before school and I think they realized at that point it was falling on deaf ears.  Nonetheless they headed back to a season of learning and that is what we here at EIMI are aiming to do for our current customers and potential customers--teaching them all about the benefits of ultrasound.  

If you are a livestock producer or veterinarian, portable ultrasound can be a huge benefit to your business and your bottom line.  If any of you are right now asking yourself "How?", you are not alone. We aim to answer that very question in the coming weeks and mDr. Erika Wiermanonths ahead with a series of webinars, seminars, how-to videos and eBooks. If you are here reading our blog or have followed along on Facebook and Twitter, you know that we are putting information here and there for you to read and use for your business.  We hope to expand that to the other areas I mentioned.

One of the initiatives we will be implementing over the next few months is our education and training programs prepared and supervised by our very own staff veterinarian, Dr. Erika Wierman.  Dr. Wierman has provided us with an outline of the areas where ultrasound can benefit all practitioners, from bovine, to equine, to small ruminants and companion animals.  We look forward to the program as it develops further.

ULTRASOUND BUTTONOLOGY

Our first look into the webinar series will be an informative talk our President, Chas Maloy likes to call "Buttonology". This is a rundown of how to use the Ibex® Portable Ultrasound System from turning on the machine, to recording images, to how you can change your settings and many other basic instructions on the operation of the Ibex® Pro and the Ibex® Lite.  Pete Temple, our service manager, knows the workings of the Ibex® Portable Ultrasound System like none other and he will be on hand to teach what he knows, and more importantly will be responding to customer questions and providing information related to your feedback.  Once we have set the date we will be inviting all of our current Ibex® customers and those interested in how our system works to take some time to really see how easy our the Ibex® is to use and how it can help you with your business.

Some of our other educational topics and items we plan to have as training are, Ultrasound 101, veterinary topics such as Fetal Viability, Fetal Sexing, calf lung checks to ovarian and follicular dynamics. We even want to provide a few topics like business marketing and financing your equipment!  If there is a specific topic or area of training you would like to learn more about as it relates to using the Ibex® ultrasound in your business or practice, we would love to entertain your suggestions.  In the meantime, if you are ready to learn, welcome back to school!

Contact Us About Important Education and Training Opportunities NOW!

Tags: portable ultrasound features, Bovine fetal aging using ultrasound, Ultrasound Education, benefits of bovine ultrasound, E.I. Medical Imaging, ultrasound training, Veterinary Business, portable ultrasound, bovine fetal sexing, preg check cows, bovine ovary ultrasound

Benefits of Using The Ibex® Ultrasound to Bovine Fetal Aging

Posted by Mia Varra on Fri, Jul 12, 2013 @ 04:00 AM

written by: Mia Varra and Dr. Paul Chard


beef ultrasound paul chardIn the heat of the summer when all your time, energy and effort is devoted to raising and bailing hay, combining corn, fencing and keeping clean cool water flowing for your cattle it's hard to think that it's time to start preg checking. But we all know how the time flies, especially in the busy summer.

Using ultrasound to preg check heifers and cows is an invaluable money making management practice for any herd. Finding females in your herd of cattle that did not breed early will completely pay for the extra cost of using ultrasound and allow you to make management decisions with those cull animals right now! 

Another benefit of using ultrasound to pregnancy detect your cows is increasing your knowledge of what's coming down the road. My husband and I started using ultrasound to group our cows in the Fall on corn stalk fields and winter pasture in smaller more manageable groups for calving. We sorted these smaller groups by determining the fetal age of the calf at preg check time. This allowed us to get the absolute most out of our low cost Fall feed and to have smaller more manageable groups to calve. This has proven to pay our cow-calf operation back in profit and labor. 

We've learned from trial and error that as our veterinarian, Dr. Paul Chard, preg checks using the Ibex® ultrasound, he calls out "Pregnant" or "Open" he also adds the fetal age so that we can sort them into pens as the cow or heifer comes out of the chute. This pregnant female will now be managed through the next 6-9 months by this fetal age group sort.

If you are a bovine veterinarian and looking to improve your knowledge and skills in fetal aging with your portable ultrasound, here are a few tips from Dr. Chard.

 

How is this information (i.e. fetal age) best used by the cattleman?


Most producers have recognized that reproductive efficiency has a very direct impact on their herd profitability. Many operations are opting for a shorter calving season (45-60 days). This helps to increase weaned calf uniformity and eliminate less productive individuals. These operations will often cull cows that will calve later and therefore wean a smaller and less valuable calf. It is essential to have accurate fetal ages in order to ensure that these culling decisions are based on solid information.


If you were training a veterinarian or intern how to properly fetal age, what steps would you go about to teach them?


The first step in learning how to properly age pregnancies is to gain a decent amount of manual palpation experience so that the mechanics of entering a cow and maneuvering around the anatomy is familiar. I firmly believe that the only way to establish that an individual is non-pregnant is to scan the entire reproductive tract starting from the cervix with the body of the uterus and down each uterine horn to the tip. Only then can you truly be sure that the uterus does not contain a pregnancy. This maneuver does require some amount of skill in manipulation of the reproductive tract. There is little value in providing ultrasound pregnancy exam as a service to beef producers if your accuracy of finding non-pregnant animals isn't 100 percent. Each pregnant animal that is misdiagnosed as open will cost the producer several hundred if not thousands of dollars, may cause an unnecessary loss of life and will get the veterinarian fired.

With a basic understanding of ultrasound technology, the trainee should then review captured sonogram images and videos to familiarize themselves with fetal anatomy targets of interest as well as what normal looks like in various stages of gestation. The trainee should also become familiar with gestation tables that are used for fetal aging in various stages of gestation.

bovine ultrasound fetal aging

 

The next step is for the trainee to actually ultrasound some cattle with the trainer observing the live ultrasound images. This is best done with the trainee using a portable ultrasound with the trainer observing by simultaneous wired headset monitor or by using a wireless monitor. The wireless monitor is truly the best and most efficient way of training as the trainer does not have any physical interference with the trainee but can give audible directions. The wireless monitor also allows an otherwise reluctant producer to observe first hand the images that the inexperienced trainee is generating. This is a teaching opportunity for the trainer veterinarian to build trust with the client and the trainee.

Initially it is easiest for a new trainee to start with cattle that are somewhere between 45 and 90 days in gestation so that there is a reduced amount of required physical manipulation and the entire pregnant uterus is easily reachable in the pelvic canal. Several hundred head of cattle are required for a new trainee to become proficient at fetal aging, but with proper equipment, trainee preparation and coaching the learning curve is very steep.


Why do you use crown measurement?


I use fetal head diameter to determine fetal age in most cases because it is the most accurate measurement across the widest range of gestation in cattle. The head is the easiest place to capture a consistent measurement of the same anatomical position on every fetus.

 
Does fetal aging require more time in each cow for examination? Approximately how long does it take to examine every cow?


Fetal aging does require more slightly time than just calling "bred/open". I argue that this difference is negligible if you are comparing "open/bred" to fetal aging while assessing fetal viability to ensure accuracy in both cases. Time required for a proper ultrasound pregnancy exam depends greatly on other circumstances such as ultrasound equipment, cattle restraint equipment, cattle temperament and cattle handling skills of the crew that you are working with. While wearing my IBEX portable ultrasound with InSite headset monitor the actual amount of time that I spend in the cow is somewhere between 10 and 30 seconds for a complete fetal aging and viability exam. This quite often allows me enough time to also operate my portable hydraulic chute and not be holding up the flow of cattle.


Any final comments or tips to give a ultrasounder that may be “guessing” fetal age instead of measuring or using the grid to age?


I use the full-screen grid for measuring head diameter for fetal aging with great efficiency and accuracy. I think that there is a great enough advantage in accuracy over guessing that I owe it to my clients to use this technology.

 More videos of bovine crown fetal aging ultrasound by Dr. Paul Chard:

 Bovine Fetal Crown

Bovine Fetal eye

Bovine fetal nostril and nose

Bovine Fetal Crown

Bovine Fetal Crown

 

Click Here For A Free  Ibex® Portable Ultrasound Demo

Tags: Bovine fetal aging using ultrasound, cattle preg check, benefits of bovine ultrasound, bovine fetal aging, beef cattle ultrasound, beef cow ultrasound, beef heifer ultrasound

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