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Ultrasound lab

Wet lab participants tried their hand at scanning reproductive tracts with various ultrasound machines.

Hands-on Ultrasound

Wet lab participants try their hand at using ultrasound for pregnancy diagnosis.

During the Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle Workshop hosted Aug. 29-30 in Manhattan, Kan., a wet lab demonstration of ultrasound technology for pregnancy diagnosis was presented by University of Tennessee animal Scientist Ky Pohler and representatives of companies that market ultrasound equipment commercially.

Pohler demonstrated the use of the equipment on a live pregnant heifer while talking his audience through the process and pointing out various reproductive tract structures visible in the ultrasound images that were projected on a large screen.

Pohler demonstration

Ky Pohler demonstrated pregnancy diagnosis procedure during ARSBC Workshop wet lab.

Pohler noted that the chief advantage ultrasound provides, compared to pregnancy diagnosis by rectal palpation, is earlier application — as early as 28 days after the breeding date. In Pohler’s opinion, another advantage is the ability to “see” what the technician can only “feel” during palpation.

Ultrasound at a later date allows determination of the age and sex of a developing fetus. Based upon blood flow, a skilled technician can also estimate the viability of a pregnancy and likelihood that the pregnancy will carry to term.

Following the demonstration, wet lab participants were allowed to try their hand at scanning several prepared bovine reproductive tracts, using different makes of ultrasound machines.

For additional coverage of the 2017 ARSBC Symposium, visit the Newsroom at The site Newsroom features comprehensive coverage of the symposium, including PowerPoints, proceedings papers and audio of the presentations. Compiled by the Angus Journal editorial team, the site is made possible through sponsorship by the Beef Reproduction Task Force. To access video of the presentations, visit the Beef Reproduction Task Force page on Facebook.

The 2017 ARSBC Symposium was hosted by the Task Force and Kansas State University Research & Extension. Next year’s symposium will be Aug. 29-30 in Ruidoso, N.M.

Editor's Note: This article was written under contract or by staff of the Angus Journal, an Angus Media publication. To request reprint permission and guidelines, contact Shauna Rose Hermel, editor, at 816-383-5270.