Equipment Advice


18
Jul 2019
Scan Pad and wireless probe

Wireless ultrasound probes (or ‘ultrasound wands’) went through a temporary boom in popularity in the UK, before their limitations quickly became obvious. Now, many people who originally invested in wireless scanners are looking to upgrade to higher quality systems. But is there a role for these wireless probes, and if so, what is it? I put a typical wireless ultrasound probe to the test against the VIS Scan Pad to find out the key differences, and examine why not all 128 element transducers are created equal. Bladder scan in a Dogue De......

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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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27
Jul 2018
Meat grading in beef

Ultrasound has been used to measure fat and muscle depth in sheep and cattle in the United Kingdom for many years. Signet, part of EBLEX, have been measuring these two parameters as part of their estimated breeding value (EBV) calculations for over 20 years, as well as muscle area for their Breedplan clients. Signet use cutting edge ultrasound equipment and technology, including their own custom-made linear meat grading transducer. Yet, there has been no need to change or add to the standard measurements they take on farm: fat and muscle depth and muscle......

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23
Jun 2018
Used ultrasound machines

From the 23rd of June 2018, audio will now be available for all of our longer posts. Text/transcription will be displayed below the audio file.   The pitfalls of buying privately sold used ultrasound equipment I’ve just finished speaking to a lady who, back in February, bought a used MSU from somebody for £650. Unsurprisingly, she hasn’t got on well with it. The MSU is a great little machine but, as I’m sure any MSU user will tell you, it takes work. It takes longer to “get your eye in” than with......

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19
Jun 2018
Kid at Newholme Farm

Last weekend, I traveled around England scanning goats. Despite having a large number of goat breeders in our farm animal scanning Facebook group, I’d never had much hands-on experience myself, as the vast majority of our goat breeder group members are in the USA. Ultrasound scanning to confirm pregnancy in goats is very popular in the States, even on small farms. I believe the greater distances between the farms and their local scanner or veterinarian is a major contributing factor, but also, goat breeding just seems to be a lot bigger – and perhaps......

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10
Mar 2018
Scan lines from interference

The main components of an ultrasound probe are all encased within its physical housing. As well as being shaped into a tool that you can comfortably hold in your hand, the physical housing also acts as an insulator against electrical and acoustic interference. Lower quality transducers using cheaper, thinner insulation, are therefore more prone to interference. This is not to say that high-end transducers do not suffer from interference. The most expensive £30,000 GE 3D/4D probe and the Scan Pad’s £1000 microconvex probe are all high-quality equipment in their own right, yet......

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06
Mar 2018

Choosing your first ultrasound machine can be quite overwhelming. There is now so much choice, with prices ranging from hundreds through to thousands of pounds, all claiming to offer the best possible solution for your needs at the best price. This short presentation goes through a few examples to help demystify choosing your first ultrasound machine. So, what is an ultrasound machine? The machine itself is simply a computer. It will have features such as processing speed, memory, screen and display size, and it may or may not also have a well......

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03
Feb 2018

‘Dynamic range’ is a control on professional ultrasound machines and refers to the range in amplitude (strength) between the strongest and weakest echoes detected by the transducer. The dynamic range of an ultrasound transducer needs to be wide (typically 60dB) in order to detect both very strong, specular reflections from tissue interfaces, and very weak, scattered reflections from the texture within tissue. The dynamic range of a monitor – the range of amplitudes it is capable of displaying to the ultrasound technician – however, is much smaller (typically 20dB). For all of the received information......

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31
Dec 2017

Ultrasound currently enjoys an impeccable safety record, but it’s worth remembering that this is due to the responsible practices of professionals over the many years of the technology’s development. The current situation whereby untrained individuals can now purchase relatively low cost ultrasound equipment is historically unprecedented, and whilst it offers the potential of fantastic benefits for animal care in the right hands – as many of our own members regularly demonstrate – it’s important not to be complacent about its potential for harm. Ultrasound equipment, by law within the UK, EU and North America,......

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08
Oct 2017

Sonographer Yvette Lovis and I scanned recently some cows at the Museum of Kent Life, having scanned their sheep in 2015. Afterwards, they asked us if we’d check their pigs for pregnancy. We advised them that we may not be able to see anything, but that we’d it a go anyway. We were not successful. Yesterday in our Facebook group, I asked those recently trained in pregnancy scanning to explain why it was that we were unable to obtain useful images using the equipment we had brought along for scanning cows. Most people......

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