Developing your skills


10
Jul 2019

Ultrasound is not (yet) an exact science. Machine learning is helping to bring us closer to it, but even when this day comes – and it’s currently only in the research stages – it’s unlikely that the human component will ever be completely replaced in our lifetimes. There will always be exceptions to rules, and at the moment, only a human brain is capable of thinking around these instances. Because ultrasound can be so subjective, it’s important that you are part of a supportive community that you can turn to when you......

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09
May 2019

Tissue Harmonic Imaging is a relatively recent discovery that greatly improves image quality, primarily due to a great reduction in the amount of ultrasound artifacts (see Chapter 14 of Ultrasound for Canine Pregnancy Scanning). Put simply, it involves sending out ultrasound at one frequency, but only using higher returning frequencies (that we didn’t used to know were even generated!) to generate the image. These higher frequencies are created as the ultrasound waves pass through tissue, so are particularly helpful when scanning larger animals – less helpful when scanning shallow structures that are......

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09
May 2019

Dogs and cats with significant mitral regurgitation (MR) may show pulmonary venous flow reversal. Flow reversal is a supporting measure only, and not specific enough to be used as a standalone method of grading MR severity.   Normal pulmonary vein flow pattern The normal flow pattern of the pulmonary veins shows two forward-flowing waves – systolic (S) and diastolic (D). The S wave should be of equal or greater velocity than the D wave. There is also a small reversal wave (Ar) that occurs at the time of atrial contraction. This is present even......

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07
May 2019

An increasing number of AUA members are turning to scanners with Doppler capability as their next ultrasound machine. Primarily, this is due to the higher resolution images they tend to produce (colour Doppler systems use higher spec graphics cards and other components, so even if you never use your colour, you still benefit from improvements in performance), but there are ways you can put your Colour Doppler to good use.     Remember that Doppler imparts higher levels of ultrasonic energy, and should be used sparingly over the foetus itself. Obstetric sonographer......

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30
Apr 2019

Below is a tour from Yvette Lovis around the foetal anatomy. Taken at the canine pregnancy scanning course run in Edinburgh last month, identifying: – Foetal heart – Foetal stomach – Foetal liver – Foetal bladder – Chord insertion – Spine – Head and neck   Yvette also delivers a walk-through on measuring BPD, available to AUA members. Simply sign into your account and view her video here.   With thanks to Kilnhurst Collies...

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14
Feb 2019
Short axis cat

Screening for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) can currently only be performed by a veterinarian. Yet, with increasing numbers of breeders becoming proficient in the use of reproductive ultrasound, there is a growing interest in expanding their skills to heart scanning. In the world of pregnancy scanning, a number of trained and experienced scanners work closely with their veterinarians. Some scan inside their local practice, and others scan independently, receiving referrals from their veterinarians and referring any concerning cases back in return. Most vets simply don’t have the time for performing detailed pregnancy scans......

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28
Dec 2018

As the New Year dawns, it’s common for people to get in touch about 2019 training courses for animal ultrasound scanning. Given that January is typically a time for making new commitments and investing in one’s self, this is hardly surprising. Ultrasound scanning to detect pregnancy in dogs is becoming increasingly mainstream, and whilst many people do appreciate the time and study that goes into it, one unfortunate byproduct of its increasing popularisation is the impression that it’s something that can be mastered after a single day’s training and a relatively low......

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08
Nov 2018

I recently listened to a Podcast interview with Anders Ericsson, a Swedish psychologist who studies how humans become experts. He looks at masters of everything, from professional athletes through to grand master chess champions and world-leading scientists. In this particular interview, he discusses his 2016 book, ‘Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise’ and the topic of deliberate practice. Optimal methods for training and practice interest me because I spend a significant amount of my time learning and teaching. Anything that can accelerate my own progress or that of my students is......

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23
Sep 2018
canine pregnancy

The publication date of the book ‘Ultrasound for Canine Pregnancy Scanning’ is fast approaching, and with that, some final touches and triple-checking research into some of the remaining puzzles of ultrasound imaging. Those with scanning experience already will know very well how bone appears on ultrasound. Not only does it return very strong reflections, making it appear bright white, but solidified bone also affects imaging of surrounding tissue, casting a shadow behind it. This is due to both its high reflectivity (and why it’s so reflective is explained thoroughly in the book) but......

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08
Aug 2018
Scanning a pygmy goat on Bassetwood Farm

The following article is a short introduction to getting started with goat scanning using the Scan Pad ultrasound machine. This machine has been reviewed against other systems in our goat ultrasound road trip article. We have produced a free downloadable quick start guide for the Scan Pad, which covers setting up your system and adding your name to the top left, saving images and videos, adjusting basic controls, and a final section on more advanced controls once you become more confident in your scanning. You can claim yours here.   Probe positioning......

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