We talk all things scanning with large animal vet, Sunita McGrath.
With our dairy and beef scanning seasons coming up, the team is busy training and getting fit to ensure they can continue to deliver the best scanning service. We caught up with largies vet Sunita, to find out why scanning is her favourite time of the year.
Why do you love scanning so much, Sunni?
"We work closely with the farmers to get to this point, it's like exam day and everyone gets a bit nervous! It is a great feeling to see the hard work our clients put in to achieve positive results in their herds reproductive performance, such as 6 week in calf rates.
With the actual scanning, it’s a great challenge! Every year you are competing with yourself to be as accurate and efficient as possible. When we scan in rotaries during milking, we can keep up with milking speed and it's good to know we aren’t affecting farming operations too much. In herringbones, it's easy enough in between milkings - working as a team we can get the herd scanned quickly."
So what can you see when scanning?
"The screen allows us to measure the size of the fetus so we can accurately age it (most accurate from 40 to 90 days). We can also diagnose any issues, or record if we see any infections, cysts or twins."
Are the scanners difficult to use?
"We have the latest gear which makes life so much easier compared to when I first started. The older scanners used to be so awkward, slow and the image was very unclear. Now, we can see so much clearer and they are ergonomically designed meaning it's a lot less strain on our bodies which is great. This also helps us keep up with the platform speed or work down the pit faster maintaining accuracy at the same time."
How's training going?
"Scanning is quite a repetitive task, so we have had some awesome training with our local physio to make sure we stretch and train our bodies correctly. Lunch time gym sessions with the team have been fun, it's a long season with scanning going from January until May, so we need to keep our stamina up."
What about the Techs?
"Taking techs out at scanning keeps things efficient. They specialise in accurate data recording, even if it's complicated with 4-digit tags and two vets scanning. Recording straight into Infovet means we can send you detailed reports within 24 hours. Using Infovet also allows us to investigate why things may not have gone to plan or to look for opportunities to improve for the following season."
VetSouth is open to any clients (VetSouth’s and others) with no obligation. Contact our Farm Services team to make your scanning booking on 0800 VETSOUTH.
- Sunita McGrath