Reproductive Ultrasound for Beef Cattle

ReproScan ultrasound equipment is ideally suited for reproductive ultrasound in cow/calf production, especially pregnancy testing and fetal aging pregnancies in beef cattle.

Here are some key points to consider:

There are 2 main types of reproductive ultrasound on cow calf operations. The
first is the traditional “arm in cow” ultrasound that traditionally has been used for early pregnancy diagnosis and fetal aging (less than 120 days) and fetal gender determination in fetuses 58 to 80 days. The second type of reproductive ultrasound is extension arm ultrasound. With ReproScan equipment, this is done with a 4.0 MHz convex rectal probe on the extension arm (ReproArm). With the larger field of view provided by the 4.0 MHz convex rectal probe, more of the fetus can be seen at one time and pregnancy testings and some degree of fetal aging can be done from 30 days to advanced
pregnancies.

Early Pregnancy Diagnosis (26 to 42 days)

Very early pregnancy tests can be done with “arm in cow” scanning technique starting at approximately 26 days. If clear uterine fluid and a corpus luteum is detected on the same uterine horn, a presumptive diagnosis of pregnant is made. These very early checks where a viable embryo or fetus is not detected, should be rechecked. These very early pregnancy examinations should be done with a 6.5 MHz linear rectal probe ultrasound unit such as a BoviScan Linear. Extension arm ultrasound can be started at 30 days of gestation once the scanner has experience.

Fetal Aging Pregnancies less than 120 days (17 weeks)

Fetal aging provides valuable information. Fetal aging can be correlated to calving dates and used to manage heifers and cows at calving. Fetal aging can be used to determine artificial insemination progeny from bull breds. Fetal aging 30 to 120 days can be done with both linear and convex rectal probes. Using the 4.0 MHz convex rectal probe in an extension arm (XTC or BoviScan Curve and ReproArm), is a fast and safe way to do this. The 1 cm or 2cm grid allows for estimated size of fetal structures which can be correlated to the fetal aging charts that comes with ReproScan equipment. Most experienced veterinarians use crown rump length to age pregnancies from 28 to 65 days. From 65 to 120 days, head diameter is the most commonly used measurement. Veterinarians often age in 5 day increments from 30 to 80 days and 10 day increments to 120 days. Accuracy is reduced with advanced pregnancies for a multiple of reasons including genetic variation and nutritional affects on the dam.

Fetal Aging Pregnancies over 120 days (over 17 weeks or 4 months)

Cattle pregnancies that are greater than 120 days are more difficult to age accuracy. It is best to use fetal age estimated in months. Some sale barn systemsin USA use a trimester system and ReproScan equipment has been used successfully in many of these sale barns.

Fetal Gender Determination (Fetal Sexing)

Fetal sexing is usually done from 58 to 80 days with a 6.5 MHz linear rectal probe such as on the BoviScan Linear. Fetal sexing can be done with the 4.0 MHz convex rectal probe with or without the extension arm. Depending on the type of cattle, sexing fetuses from 70 to 90 days often works out better when using the 4.0 MHz convex rectal probe.

Pregnancy Testing Through the Side of a Hydraulic Chute (Crush)

This is a preferred method of pregnancy testing for many veterinarians and ranchers. The 23" 60 cm "Shorty Arm" works best for heifers and beef cows that are less than 5 months pregnant. Your ReproScan representative can give you more tips on

Pregnancy Testing on Sunny Days

ReproScan’s bright LCD monitor with 1,000 cd/m2 (nits) luminescence allows for great image quality on bright sunny days. The monitor comes in a weatherproof padded bag with sunshade. This allows for all types of pregnancy testing in almost any weather conditions.

Extension Arm Pregnancy Testing

Using a ReproScan XTC or BoviScan Curve with a ReproArm make pregnancy testing beef cattle faster, easier and safer. This method of pregnancy testing cattle continues to gain in popularity as people learn the benefits. Please contact your ReproScan representative to discuss adding extension arm ultrasound into your veterinary practice or cattle operation

Application images