As ranchers find innovative ways to reduce winter feed costs such as bale grazing and corn stock grazing, the pregnancy testing season gets extended. When the cows finally get near the corrals for pregnancy testing, the person doing the ultrasound work should be ready for some additional challenges:
Challenges for late season ultrasound scanning include:
1. The weight of the fetus and fetal membranes causes the uterus to drop lower into the abdomen. You will need to insert the ReproArm deeper.
2. The rumen and intestines may cover the uterus and it will be more difficult to get the probe positioned for a view of the uterine wall, cotelydons, fetus and other diagnostic features.
3. Late season often implies dry manure so be ready to add some extra J Lube to the bucket.
4. Change the setting on your ReproScan XTC or BoviScan Curve to optimize the view of the cotelydons.
5. 2nd and 3rd trimester images are different than early pregnancy testing. It is more difficult to age fetuses at later stages of gestation. Click on these links to review 2nd trimester images in heifers, 2nd trimester images in cows and 3rd trimester images in cows.
6. No surprise to anyone, it may be very cold! Make a plan on how you are going to use your ReproScan equipment during cold stormy weather. You may need to keep your ReproScan unit in a backpack. Always start with equipment at room temperature. At extreme temperatures, your LCD (liquid crystal display) will quit on you if it is exposed to -20 F (-29C) weather for too long. If you are out at -10 F or colder, consider protecting your monitor with an old towel or insulated box.
7. If you have any questions about late season pregnancy testing or ultrasound pregnancy testing in very cold conditions, please give us a call at 1-877-890-2411.
Andrew Bronson DVM