Yes, but use some caution to protect the ultrasound. All of the ReproScan ultrasound units are splashproof and will resist moisture but they are not waterproof. Very few electronics are totally waterproof and all electronics can be damaged if moisture gets inside. When ultrasounding in steady rainfall or wet snow, put the ultrasound unit in a backpack or hang it at the chute in a protective water resistant bag.
Plastic bags will work but watch for overheating if you are in a wet and warm environment. Check during the day to make sure your ultrasound protection is working and water is not accumulating near the unit. When you are finished scanning for the day, always leave the ultrasound unit out to dry and do not leave it in the case. This will result in internal corrosion.
The ReproScan ultrasound products all have a heat plate to help dissipate heat which is generated under normal operating conditions. Leave the heat plate exposed to the air on hot days. Use while hanging up at the chute, on a waist strap, in a light backpack or other method that doesn’t trap the heat.
As mentioned in #1 above, use some protection during rainfall and wet snow. There have been a few incidences of ReproScan ultrasound units over heating. These incidences happened on very hot days when the ultrasound units were kept in protective cases for sanitary reasons.
Use the maximum depth setting when pregnancy testing advanced pregnancies in cattle. (22cm for XTC, BoviScan Curve; 20.8 cm for Flexx with convex rectal probe; 16cm for linear probe units).
If you are using the ReproArm and are having difficulties finding deep pregnancies, consider changing techniques. First, reach into the rectum with a sleeve and identify the cervix. Follow the uterus manually over the brim of the pelvis. Now remove your arm, dip the ReproArm in lubricant and re-trace the direction to the uterus with the ReproArm. With practice, it will be easier to find these deeper pregnancies and not need to put your arm in the cows.
This is a common problem with outdoor ultrasound examination of cattle, horses, small ruminants. Let’s trouble shoot this problem.
Is this a sunlight issue? If so, consider the following options:
Turn up the brightness on the monitor.
Turn up the backlight on the ReproScan 2.0 monitor.
Change the angle of the monitor for a more direct view. The Ram Mount kits helps with setting the angle of your monitor or Flexx unit.
Increase the shade around the monitor. There are lots of things that can be tried.
Is this a dry manure issue in a few of the animal? If so, consider the following:
Manually remove some manure from the rectum and re-scan using lube.
If using a ReproArm, carefully slide under the dry manure.
If scanning by hand, increase the downward pressure on the probe face.
Is this a contact issue while scanning sheep and goats?
Increase the amount of lube.
Increase pressure against the skin of the small ruminant.
The basic rule of veterinary ultrasound is that changing ultrasound settings to increase the brightness of the image will lower the resolution. That is why human ultrasound examinations are done in a darkened room. We don’t have that option so we must optimize the settings to get the best diagnostic image for the conditions that we are in. Consider the following changes to increase brightness:
Near Gain - may need to reduce Near Gain as there is considerable reflection from near field
Far Gain - increase Far Gain (25 to 30) to compensate for tissue/manure absorption
Dynamic Range (Dynamic or DYN) - This setting changes the contrast of the image. A higher Dynamic setting gives a lower contrast image with more shades of grey. A lower Dynamic setting gives a higher contrast image with a less shades of grey (more extreme black and white). An optimum level for Dynamic Range with ReproScan ultrasound units is 70 to 85. A lower level will provide a brighter image which may be less diagnostic. There is a user preference to the Dynamic setting as well.
Compression Curve - alters the display of the range of echo intensities by compressing them into fewer shades of gray. Not all ultrasound units have this feature With ReproScan units, a lower Compression Curve setting gives a brighter image and a higher setting gives a darker but more diagnostic image. The usual settings range on ReproScan XTC or a BoviScan is 4 to 7.
Image Processing (IP) - increases the amount of processes that the ultrasound unit does. On most ReproScan units, the IP range is 0 to 3. 0 gives a much brighter but less diagnostic image. IP 3 may be to dark for most scanning.
First steps in “brightening up an image”: