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|0108 EL: Ultrasound III: choosing the right ultrasound for you|
|El Lechero Dairy Basics - A.I. and Breeding|
|Written by Noa Roman-Muniz, DVM, MS|
|Monday, 31 December 2007 17:00|
In the first two ultrasound articles we discussed the uses of ultrasound and the benefits of applying ultrasound technology to the dairy’s reproductive management. Now, let’s talk about things to think about when choosing the right ultrasound equipment for your operation’s needs.Mia Varra, head of sales and marketing at E.I. Medical Imaging (a U.S. manufacturer of portable real-time veterinary and livestock ultrasound machines) recommends asking some important questions if you are in the market for new equipment.
When asked, “What is the most important thing to look at when shopping for ultrasound equipment?” Mia responded, “There are many important questions to ask about the equipment like quality, weight, viewing options like monitor glasses for use in sunlight, battery life and recharging. It is also very important is to ask about equipment service and repairs after you purchase the equipment.”
Mia added, “If ultrasound equipment is priced too low, there is a reason for it! You should expect to pay $9000- $12000 for quality bovine ultrasound equipment.”
Mia also provided a list of great questions to ask if you are shopping for ultrasound equipment.
When buying an ultrasound unit, ask:
• What is the size of the scanner, the entire weight of the system and comfort while operating?
• How do you “hold” ,“carry” or “wear” the scanning equipment when using it? Is this provided, or at an additional cost?
• What is the battery life and the re-charge time?
• Where is the ultrasound system manufactured?
• Who and where is servicing coming from?
• What is the turnaround time for service? How long will service and repairs take?
• What is the most common repair? What are average repair costs?
• Is a warranty included or available to purchase?
• Are references available?
• Is there training available?
No matter what ultrasound equipment you choose, it is very important to understand how to use it and care for it properly. It is also important to have technical support from the equipment company.
One last thought… the benefits from ultrasound technology will be maximized if we see ultrasound as an additional tool to aid with the reproductive management of the herd. Ultrasound should not replace good observation skills, reproductive health maintenance and good record keeping practices. EL
Noa Roman-Muniz, DVM, MS,