Using Small Ruminant Ultrasound to Build Your Practice

Marketing sonographic examination for pregnancy diagnosis and gestational aging can be a great way to break into the camelid and small ruminant community and service producers as few practitioners are currently offering that service. There are a few considerations to take into account when preparing to add this service to your practice. If you have ultrasound ability for cattle clients, you can probably integrate ultrasound into small ruminants and camelids as a profit center into your practice. If you have a curvilinear rectal probe, you already have all that you need to perform the service.

One consideration is how much time you will tie up in the work. As with cattle, for calling the animals open or bred, the timing basically boils down to how fast animals can be worked through the set-up they have. Even in more advanced examinations, unless a chute and alley is present, the 1-2 minutes needed per exam will likely be quicker than the producer’s ability to bring the next animal. Because of this, in most cases, an hourly rate is going to be best for groups over 10 head, as the producer will be the limiting factor.

Another consideration is how to get the word out about your new service. In this day and age, social media is a tremendous marketing tool, and posts about the new service can spread word extensively. A more old-fashioned strategy is to post flyers in feed stores and extension centers, and to reach out through feed stores, extension agents, and breed associations. This more “boots on the ground” approach can be a great way to make initial connections, and provide opportunities for images and video clips to be made for the aforementioned social media postings. It also provides the opportunity for word of mouth and referral to aid a practitioner.


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