Tech Talk: Cattle Ultrasound | VideoJerame Novak | 10/24/2012
Portable technology is helping ranchers get a better idea of what to expect when their cattle are expecting.
Veterinarian Shaun Bouzis with the Mandan Veterinary Clinic is making a house call to about 90 expectant mothers. Since it would be difficult to bring all the cattle to the vet for pregnancy testing, his portable ultrasound machine lets him check the cattle on the farm.
"We use it every day, all day long, during the season and just having it lightweight, having it to where we can haul it to different places, around different chutes and different setups. It`s amazing how important it is," he said.
Not only is it portable, but the ultrasound can give vets a detailed picture of what`s going on.
"Oftentimes you can see a fetus that maybe has a potential birth defect, an abnormal shape, abnormal size, so there`s a lot of advantages to getting that image that you can look at right on the screen," Bouzis said.
For many cattle producers, the more information they can get about their cow`s condition, the better.
"Usually we`ve always just done the traditional way and times are changin, and people, they want to know exactly when they`re calving. So it`s time to change ideas and go with the flow," said Keith Lange, who raises cattle near Hensler, ND.
Pregnancy testing cattle with a portable ultrasound machine may not save a lot of time, but it`s definitely worth it.
"I think that the time is about the same, but the information that you can generate is more in the same amount of time," Bouzis said.
It`s rare to find doctors who still make house calls, but vets who have portable ultrasound equipment, can bring their office to the farm.
In addition to finding possible birth defects, the ultrasound can also give ranchers an idea of when the cow will give birth. Bouzis says that from July to November, they check around 25,000 head of cattle.