Abstract #369

# 369
Use of ultrasonography to make management decisions.
George A. Perry*1, Olivia L. Amundson1, Robert A. Cushman2, 1Department of Animal Sciences; South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD, 2USDA, ARS, US Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, NE.

Transrectal ultrasonography has been available for making management decisions since the mid 1980s. This technology allows for the real-time visualization of internal structures (i.e., ovary and fetus) that are otherwise difficult to evaluate. The use of this technology in making reproductive management decisions can be divided into 3 key areas: (1) selection of animals to be kept in the breeding herd, (2) increasing the likelihood of reproductive success, and (3) pregnancy determination. When selecting replacement animals, ultrasonography can be utilized to assess antral follicle counts in females. Antral follicle counts have a direct impact on animal fertility. Around the start of the breeding season transrectal ultrasonography can be utilized to determine puberty status, reproductive tract score, and estrous cycling status. In addition it can be used to determine response to synchronization protocols (presence of a dominant follicle, ovarian cyst, and follicle diameter), or if other assisted reproductive technologies are being utilized it can be used to predict success (superovulation response or presence of a CL for embryo transfer). Following insemination this technology can be used to determine pregnancy status as early as 28 d after insemination, fetal age and sex, and presence of multiple offspring. The largest limitations to the use of ultrasonography include the time and technical skills required, and the strain on the arm and shoulder. While handles can be used for pregnancy diagnosis exams, measurements on the ovary require consistent placement of the transducer that to date can only be accomplished manually. Future improvements that may overcome some of these limitations include better imaging software, larger hard drives allowing the storage of video clips, and improved diagnostic capabilities of the machine (i.e., software that will be able to use pixel density to categorize ovaries). Color doppler images are being explored for earlier pregnancy diagnosis by blood flow to CL. Thus transrectal ultrasonography has and will have a role in the successful reproductive management of cattle herds. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Key Words: ultrasonography, reproductive management

Speaker Bio
Dr. Perry was raised in south-central Texas on a small cattle operation. He received his bachelor’s degree in animal science from Texas A&M University. He obtained a master’s degree and a doctoral degree in reproductive physiology from the University of Missouri, with a large portion of his doctoral research conducted at the USDA research station in Miles City, Mont. Dr. Perry joined the faculty of South Dakota State University in August 2003. He serves as a professor and the beef Extension specialist in reproductive physiology. His research efforts are in the area of factors that influence reproductive efficiency and pregnancy success.