Page 15 - MWC 09-9-2021s
P. 15

The Midwest Cattleman · September 9, 2021 · P15
      Choosing a Method for Pregnancy Diagnosis
      Choosing a Method for Pregnancy Diagnosis

          By Rick Funston, Nebraska Extension Beef Cattle Reproductive Physiologist

         Previous     research     has      IDEXX Laboratories has
      shown the benefit of pregnan- developed a test that utilizes
      cy diagnosis and how it adds  the same principles as a labo-
      to a producer’s bottom line.  ratory test, but results can be
      Keeping  one  cow  over  winter  acquired in 21 minutes. This
      can cost $100-$200 in feed  still may not be practical to
      and supplements so removing  certain producers as it would
      open cows can help decrease  require a holding pen or sepa-
      winter feed costs. Pregnan- rate sort. Other blood tests are
      cy diagnosis is a very valu- available using BioPryn (Bio-
      able tool in the beef industry,  Tracking Inc.) or DG29 (Con-
      and it is grossly underuti- ception Animal  Reproduction
      lized. Only about 20% of pro- Technologies). These tests can
      ducers employ some sort of a  be done in labs located around
      pregnancy diagnosis in their  the country. They can receive
      herd. Producers have options  your shipped blood samples
      for pregnancy determination  and have the results back to              Pregnancy diagnosis is a very valuable tool in the beef industry.
                                                                             Photo courtesy of Troy Walz.
      that vary in price and diffi- you  in  a  24-hour  turnaround
      culty-  transrectal  palpation,  time.                                very accurate, but the accura- realize that pregnancy diag-
      transrectal ultrasound, and a         The earlier a cow can be        cy is highly correlated with the  nosis prior to 40-50 days bears
      blood test. All three options re- identified as pregnant or open      experience level of the techni- risk of greater pregnancy loss
      quire a cow to be contained in a  the more beneficial it is in        cian. Blood tests will accurate- due to the stress caused by the
      chute or alley for an examina- making a decision to keep, sell,       ly (95-99%) determine preg- pregnancy diagnosis during
      tion or blood collection. Rectal  re-breed, etc. With experience,     nancy from as early as 28-32  the fragile stage of early preg-
      palpation and ultrasound can  rectal palpation can determine          days. For the blood tests to be  nancy.
      determine pregnancy immedi- pregnancy as early as 35-45               accurate calving must have           Prices can vary greatly be-
      ately while the blood test has  days pregnant. Ultrasonogra-          occurred at least 75 days prior,  tween veterinarians and labo-
      a waiting period as the blood  phy can determine pregnancy            so the hormones of the previ- ratories. Processed blood tests
      samples  have  to  be  shipped  even earlier from 25-30 days.         ous pregnancy have had time  are generally $2.40-$3.75 per
      and processed at a lab.            Both of these methods can be       to disappear. It is important to                continued on page 17

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