Index of topics:
December 22: Fails
December 28: More fails
January 2: I found the bladder! (SMH)
January 7: Steps I learned from an ADGA Presentation
January 10: Learning from mistakes
January 11: Some scans tracking the progression of pregnancies
January 16: Early pregnancy detection
January 25: More on early pregnancies
As predicted, after some epic bumbling around, I am feeling competent and confident in my abilities to detect pregnancies using my VIS Scan Pad. Yay me! (link to buy your own!)
It helps that I know my learning process, otherwise this would have been really discouraging.
Finally, I'm not going to sweat counting fetuses or looking for specific body parts. I've got way too much on my plate to worry about that level of detail. For more information on those topics, check out the FB Dairy Goat Ultrasound group.
To scroll through the tabs, hover above the far left or far right until an arrow appears.
Isn't the bladder fun? Isn't it the most interesting thing to ultrasound?
December 22, 2021
I've been obsessing over ultrasounds lately, trying to improve my skills. I have definitely gotten better at finding bladders in my goats.
At least that was the feedback when I shared Clover's videos with some other ultrasound enthusiasts. That's her bladder, along with more feedback about changing my settings.
Clearly there was a lot more that I needed to learn.
Anyhow, here are some lovely photos of her bladder on 12-22 (25 days post AI).
On a technical note, here are the settings that I've found effective in pregnancy detection. Or, at least helpful when trying to see stuff.
Let's throw in some wishful thinking.
P.S. My baby bottle warmer ended up being perfect for warming the ultrasound gel.
It's her bladder.
January 2, 2022
Clover was displaying a weak heat this morning. She was standing on the fence line, getting the boys' interest, but not flagging. I'm not rebreeding her because she looks too thin to my eyes. If the AI didn't take, then she's officially retired.
After ultrasounding Clover (again), she hopped down and peed.
I tested my hypothesis (see the 12-30 entry) by putting her back up on the stand and ultrasounding her again.
She is so done with me.
It was her bladder. Either that or she drained fluid out of her uterus, which is pretty unlikely.
Girl, you need to pee more often so that you don't get a bladder infection!
Which leaves me wondering what those sacs were.
I dropped a blood sample from Clover in the mail. But, I'm sure that she's open, because there's no obvious signs of a fetus and it's 33 days post AI.
My sweet mamacita is now retired.
Find the bladder
For more on this topic, see the ADGA Presentation. The link is at the bottom of this page.
The results are in
I just received the blood test results on Clover.
Why share this information?
I'm sharing this information because mistakes are an essential part of the learning process. I'm also sharing it because mistakes provide valuable information, provided that we take the time to reflect and learn from them.
Here's a great TED talk on the topic of learning from mistakes.
Let's try again . . .
NEW RULE: If I don't see anything obvious after 5 minutes or less when the probe is correctly placed, the bladder identified, and the depth at 8-9, then I'm going to call them open or too early to tell.
To be fair, members of the Ultrasound group have repeatedly shared that pregnancies should be easy to find by 30 days. I guess that I had to quantify for myself what "easy to find" means. (face/palm)
The short version is that Cielo, Leia, Sugar, and Adele were all open/too early to tell.
Finally, I thought it might be helpful to include the progression of a couple of confirmed pregnancies.
Progression of confirmed pregnancies
Cleo at 25 days - I'm not calling this confirmed yet.
Barbarella at 30 days - lightened picture
Barbarella at 39 days pregnant
As the pregnancy advanced, I had to increase the depth to get all of the image in the screen. Here I'm at 9.5.
Barbarella at 46 days pregnant - depth was set at 10.5.
Martini at 60 days pregnant - depth was set at 12
Martini at 76 days pregnant - depth was increased to 13.
Early pregnancy ultrasounds are so fun!
Here's how I found these images:
Cielo's images were not as crisp as Sun Hat's. Even a day can make a difference at this point. Adele is at 24 days, Ice Jam and Hazel are at 21 days, and there was nothing to see yet. They may be open, but I doubt that all three are open at this point, it's not like they were AI'd! ;)
Detecting early pregnancies
Today my goal was to get systematic about detecting early pregnancies.
Here's what I learned after annoying several does in the five-day window (25 days-post breeding).
1. Make good contact high up in the armpit (plenty of lube)
2. Rotate probe so that it points horizontally towards the body
3. Apply a light pressure
4. Settings between 6-8 depth
5. Fat goats are harder to ultrasound
Bewitched, who had been giving up zero information (she's a chonk), displayed her lovely little gestational sacs.
I've made a vague effort to list these in order of helpfulness.