Applications of diagnostic ultrasonography in small ruminant reproductive management

P R Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Modern portable ultrasound machines provide the veterinary clinician with an inexpensive and non-invasive method to further examine the reproductive tract of both male and female sheep on farm which should take no more than 5 min with the results available immediately. Unlike cattle, ultrasound examination of the ovaries is not undertaken because failure to cycle during the normal season is rare in sheep and there are no common ovarian conditions causing acyclicity. Accurate diagnosis of foetal number has greatly improved the nutritional management of late gestation ewes over the past 30 years. Late gestation nutritional supply in response to foetal demand greatly reduces perinatal lamb mortality by ensuring lamb birthweight and ewe colostrum accumulation. The contents of vaginal prolapse have been determined using ultrasonography which has led to an improved method for correction. A retained foetus when second stage labour is considered to have been completed, and uterine torsion, can be identified during ultrasound examination allowing timely correction. Ultrasonographic examination of palpable scrotal abnormalities can provide much useful information particularly in the diagnosis of epididymitis, orchitis and testicular atrophy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-6
Number of pages3
JournalAnimal Reproduction Science
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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