In our last blog, we looked at fetal aging via ultrasound as a big benefit of imaging over traditional palpation in bovine reproduction.
Fetal aging via ultrasound exam is another big benefit of imaging over traditional palpation in bovine reproduction, as being able to visually assess the pregnancy improves accuracy significantly. Aging is employed in many situations; it can be done to delineate AI from bull-bred pregnancies, to separate animals into calving groups and monitor for dystocias, and to maximize nutritional efficiency throughout the stages of pregnancy, to name a few. While aging via ultrasound is traditionally done prior to 120 days of gestation, we are able to obtain measurements later than ever with the advent of deeper-penetrating, wider field-of-view transducers.
Discovery of rectal palpation to distinguish features and structures of the female reproductive tract dates back to the 1800’s.
Since then, there has been widespread adoption of this technique as a reproductive tool in the veterinary field to determine various aspects of the cow’s reproductive status. Such aspects pertaining to palpation include uterine manipulation for determining pregnancy status, palpation of ovaries for presence of ovarian structures (i.e. corpus luteum and follicles), and diagnosis of reproductive abnormalities such as abscesses, adhesions, ovarian cysts, etc…