Blog


08
Jan 2019

Many AUA members save images and videos for their clients when they perform a pregnancy scan. For those of us who began scanning many years ago, it’s become habit to export the images off your scanner and email them over as attachments. Some people even let the client photograph or record from the ultrasound screen. The problem with both of these methods is that it transfers control and ownership of your work to the client (ok, perhaps not legally, but that’s not what we’re talking about here). They can now forward those images......

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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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06
Dec 2018
Ultrasound showing third fat layer

Using the correct terminology to describe the work that we perform when scanning animals is important. For most AUA members, this will be mainly or even exclusively pregnancy scans of animals like dogs, cats, goats, sheep and cows. First of all, using the correct terminology is integral to being respected and recognised by the veterinary profession, and therefore to being able to continue to scan. If you are lucky enough to live in a country (like the United Kingdom) where we are allowed to scan for other people, it’s important for legal......

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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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29
Sep 2018
Beef cattle

I’ve been working with the British meat grading industry for 6 years now, and earlier this month, I also had the opportunity to visit Switzerland for the second time to work on ultrasound meat grading for sheep. This week, I flew to Ames in Iowa, to see how the CUP Lab are running their ultrasound technician training programme, and learn how the Americans are collecting data on intramuscular fat percentage (IMF%) in cattle. There are other data processing laboratories in the USA, but it was Quality Assurance Manager Emily’s willingness to discuss her......

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27
Sep 2018
Dog breeding

New regulations announced in 2016 are coming into force this Monday, the 1st of October 2018. The catchy title for this new legislation is the ‘Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.’ This act repeals both the Breeding of Dogs Act 1991 and the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999 and also revokes the Sale of Dogs (Identification Tag) Regulations 1999 and Breeding of Dogs (Licensing Records) Regulations 1999. Lack of knowledge regarding this legislation is not a defense in the case of non-compliance – yet, with 4......

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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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11
Sep 2018
A weekend in Switzerland

The Swiss Sheep Society (Schweizerischer Schafzuchtverband or SSZV) have just introduced an ultrasound machine for the first time, supplied by Vet Image Solutions in Bromley. Using a linear probe, they will begin collecting data on fat and muscle depth in sheep across Switzerland. I visited the society on Saturday, and we spent the day going through the controls of their new system – particularly the importance of frequency, depth, gain and focal point. Optimising image resolution is particularly important for meat grading work, where measurement accuracy is so important (you can read......

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08
Sep 2018
Lamb meat grading

Fat and muscle depth have been measured using ultrasound in cattle, pig and sheep meat grading work for well over two decades. In sheep, measurements are most commonly taken at the 12th-13th ribs, although using the third to forth lumbar vertebrae has been shown by some to give greater correlation with actual carcass measurements (Thériault et al., 2009). Signet Breeding Services are UK leaders in such work, and using tailor-made ultrasound equipment from Bromley-based Vet Image Solutions, they also favour this site. Obtaining these measurements involves a steep learning curve, but once......

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11
Aug 2018

Is competition good or bad? Does it drive you to do better, or does it simply drive you insane? A recurring topic of discussion on social media for professional canine scanners is the explosion in the number of people offering a scanning service. For 8 years, Vet Image Solutions were the only company offering training for lay scanners, and referrals all came through word of mouth. It was recognised quite early on that active marketing in the towns and cities of preexisting customers would be counterproductive and, ultimately, unsustainable. Restricting training locations......

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