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NZVA Bovine Ultrasound Course (Intermediate & Advanced)

November 29

The NZVA will host Intermediate & Advanced Bovine Ultrasound courses in association with BCF Ultrasound. These courses will increase your confidence and competence in all aspects of ultrasound pregnancy diagnosis, fetal ageing, ovarian scanning and fetal sexing in cattle. Application of accurate and early pregnancy test data will aid reproductive management in dairy herds and add value to the farm and the vet business.

About this course

Intermediate course – pregnancy detection and fetal aging

A high level of accuracy in pregnancy detection and fetal ageing is both expected and required for optimal herd reproductive management. Increase your knowledge and skills scanning cattle accurately, diagnose and age bovine pregnancies using the latest ultrasound equipment and scanning techniques.

The course includes: types of ultrasound equipment available, how they work and how to look after them; how to find the fetus and use fetal size and structures to accurately age pregnancies; the limitations of ultrasound scanning and how to make it easier for you and the cow. You will learn how to use and interpret pregnancy test data in the InCalf Fertility Focus Report and become familiar with how MINDA and Infovet can assist with data management. By improving your competence in bovine ultrasound scanning you will minimise complaints and risks to your patients, yourself, and your practice.

Advanced course – ovarian scanning and fetal sexing

The ovaries are scanned to aid diagnosis of the physiological state of the animal (e.g. non-cycling vs. cycling for ‘not detected in oestrus cows’), early pregnancy diagnosis to determine which horn the pregnancy may be or where ovarian pathology is suspected (e.g. nymphomania). Ultrasonography has a higher sensitivity and specificity detecting follicles and CL’s than manual palpation. This has clinical application for refining breeding programmes.

The sex of a bovine fetus can be easily determined using rectal ultrasound scanning by identifying the genital tubercle and the genital swelling (scrotum). These structures are visible from about 55 days after conception.

The management applications of fetal sexing are numerous and include the following:

  • Sale value of bred heifers or cows if they carry a heifer or bull calf.
  • Grouping bred heifers by sex of fetus for calving (dystocias are higher with male calves).
  • Culling decisions of older pregnant cows if she carries a bull or heifer calf.
  • Twins, fetal sexing can distinguish between same sex twins and freemartins.
  • Embryo transfer recipients can be sexed to determine if desired sex is achieved fond flush.


The new updated bovine ultrasound course is a combination of two weeks online learning followed by a one day intermediate and a one day advanced ultrasound on farm scanning workshop in two locations (central North island and South Island)-providing high quality practical content.


Steve Cranefield BVSc, BSc

Steve has 24 years experience in mixed animal practice with the Veterinary Enterprises group where he was involved in clinical work, practice management and veterinary training. His focus over the last six years has been on mastitis management as he helped to establish PureMilk as a senior mastitis consultant. Steve recently joined Agrihealth as a technical manager with a focus on veterinary education. He has tutored the Bovine Ultrasound Roadshow, and the Advanced Mastitis Course and he is a member of the National Mastitis Advisory Council. Steve was recently elected onto the DCV committee and he also sits on the Veterinary Professional Insurance Society (VPIS) board and is an assessor for dairy related insurance claims.


NZVA Member Non-Member
Earlybird (until 29 October) $870 $1020
Regular (from 30 October)   $1305 $1455




November 29
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