Scanning for success

Part of VetSouth's guiding mission statements is to provide better rural veterinary services. Focusing on the scanning season ahead, we look into how we are providing that to our clients.

For our team at VetSouth, scanning time is an exciting and rewarding part of the dairy farming calendar, but also one of the most physically demanding seasons.

With the twisting, turning and having to concentrate on many numbers - typically all while the platform is spinning and your team is milking - it’s quite the task. We have physio sessions and bootcamp prior to scanning to ensure our bodies can keep up!

As well as physical preparation, we invest in the best technology to ensure our farmers get the best vet service and your animals are well looked after. 

The headset

The headset our vets wear might just look like some odd-shaped goggles, but it’s these that enable us to measure the size of the fetus so we can accurately age it (most accurately from 40 to 90 days).

We can also diagnose other reproductive issues, or record if we see any infections, cysts or twins.

The wand

The scanning wand is essentially an ultrasound on the end of a long probe - a little intimidating-looking.

It is connected to the headset, relaying the display for our vets to pregnancy test and age the pregnancies.

While inserting the probe when the platform is moving may look complicated, having clear, sharp and fast technology aids the vets in being able to scan your herd with minimal disruption to your day.

The wand is also ergonomically designed, meaning less strain for us.

The vet tech

Our vet techs are a vital part of the process, joining the vets on the stand and calling out the data you have saved in Minda, such as the dates in which the animal was put up for AI.

*This is a helpful reminder to ensure your animals’ ear tags are clean so we can read them.*

The techs also record the information being called out by the vets to provide you with clear scanning results and ageing data, as well as a list of empties to work from.

All of this can make the shed sound a bit like a bingo hall, with so many numbers and repetition.

One of our Winton vets, Sunita McGrath, describes the scanning process from a vet’s perspective:

"We work closely with the farmers to get to this point (scanning). It's like exam day and everyone gets a bit nervous, but it is a great feeling to see the hard work our clients put in to achieve positive results in their herd's 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." 

VetSouth scanning is open to any clients. Contact our Farm Services team to make your scanning booking on 0800 VETSOUTH. 

- Gillian Swinton


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