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.
Identification of fetal anomalies or accidents of gestation can not be done in a practical manner during gestation without the use of diagnostic ultrasound, and is one of many examples that demonstrate the superiority of reproductive ultrasound over manual palpation and other manners of pregnancy diagnosis in cattle.
This week we have showcased some of the more common disorders seen in the bovine fetus.
Many equine practitioners who have not come from a sport horse background can be intimidated by the thought of imaging the superficial and deep digital flexor tendons and the suspensory ligament. Getting comfortable with ultrasounding these structures can help you to pay off your equipment faster and provide an important diagnostic option for your clients.
Tips for good, consistent results!
Use a transducer designed for tendon imaging. These probes are higher frequency (and therefore offer finer detail) than a linear rectal probe, for example. The footprint, or size of the imaging window of the transducer, is also smaller, so the structure takes up a larger portion of the monitor. In addition, a tendon probe is ergonomically designed to make tendon imaging easier. A standoff is useful when evaluating more superficial structures, but is not necessarily required for obtaining a good suspensory image.
Develop a consistent system. There are several “zone” systems out there; what is important is that you use the same method every time so that you know what your labeling means when archived images are recalled.
Always image distal limbs in two planes, and always image bilaterally. Because tendon areas, for example, will differ among animals of various sizes, the best way to judge pathology in one limb is to compare it with the contralateral one. Save images in longitudinal and cross sections, and label them accurately with zone, measurements, and date.
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…
Did you know...
In a recent AAEP survey, respondents say veterinary social media and social networking are becoming more important for their business.
Veterinarians who integrate social media into their marketing strategy see an uptick on new business leads and retain customer loyalty more than those who do not.
E.I. Medical Imaging's C9OPU-HD transducer is not your average TVA setup—we were the first to introduce a one-piece probe that’s lighter, slimmer, and easier to clean than the old screw-on clamshell handles.
While this is the best time of the year to get great deals on veterinary ultrasound, some of you may still be on the fence...do I need it? What uses would it have in my practice? I'm not certified—how can I use it? Will it help my bottom line?