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  • Writer's pictureConstance Wilmoth

Ultrasound a Tool for Herd Health...

Over Christmas I was extremely lucky to get an ultrasound machine and probe. This has created a flurry of new activity for me, learning where to ultrasound the goats, how much of the ultrasound gel to use, and how to read the ultrasound! Last but not least is the very subtle movement of my hand and wrist in order to visualize the kids. Spoiler alert it is literally the difference of moving your wrist a few degrees. The other learning I have had since last week, was the amount of pressure that you need to apply to the probe, its quite a bit of pressure, I was worried about hurting the girls!

Almost immediately we had success! I put the probe on Zoey and I was bombarded with the little C shaped Cotelydons! I knew just from owning and working around Zoey every day that she was pregnant. She is very wide and has not come back into heat from her first breeding cycle. So I was not surprised to see those tell tale signs of pregnancy. I pushed and I scanned and I found what I thought were a set of legs and hooves, but I was not able to determine the number of kids inside of her. I am hopeful that as I learn to read the machine, I will be able to estimate the number of kids each doe is carrying. This will help me to understand how much to feed the does and which ones to watch extra closely, if I can only find one single kid, to ensure healthy and safe kiddings for does and kids.

Then I got Stella and put her on the stand and I also was able to immediately see ribs, spine head and little kicking hooves on one of her babies. I have not been able to find more than one kid inside of her, so I look forward to having an experienced ultrasound technician work with me to scan her to see what else can be found! If anyone has any suggestions on how to learn to ultrasound please let me know!

Overall I am looking forward to a healthy and productive 2021. I hope you all had a wonderful New Year. Happy Goating!!!

These are the cotelydons I was seeing in Zoey!

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