Affordable, High-Quality Bovine Ultrasounds

A bovine ultrasound machine allows farmers and veterinarians to clearly view the reproductive tract of a cow (or bovine animal, including oxen and buffalo) with real-time, high-quality images.

Although transrectal palpation is still the most common method to determine whether a cow is pregnant, being able to see (in real-time) the reproductive tract via ultrasonography offers insights and diagnostic capabilities for better, more efficient pregnancy care, including:

  • Determining a cow’s pregnancy status
  • Evaluating her ovaries
  • Completing several other bovine pregnancy assessments

Vets and trained farmers alike can benefit from on-farm veterinary ultrasounds that include the right combination of features for bovine imaging.

This post will explore some of the key features and technical components of bovine ultrasounds, with the goal of helping you make an informed, profit-friendly purchasing decision.

How Ultrasound Can Improve Bovine Pregnancy Detection and Care

Ultrasound is regarded as the safest and most beneficial tool for real-time diagnostic imaging in cows, bulls, or other animals in the bovinae family. By producing clear ultrasound images of soft tissues, including the reproductive tract, a cattle ultrasound highlights certain advantages over other methods. These advantages include:

  • Earlier pregnancy detection
  • Earlier identification of twins
  • Earlier fetal gender identification
  • More accurate fetal aging information
  • Confirmations of fetal viability
  • Improved ovarian and uterine structure evaluation
  • More accurate information about the best insemination times

Because vet equipment can be expensive (more on that below), owners tend to maximize the profitability of their ultrasound scanner by also using it for non-pregnancy applications. Through ultrasound, you can scan other regions of the animal to accurately diagnose and apply treatments to infections and damages of the mammary gland, lungs, liver, bladder, and kidneys. You can also better identify musculoskeletal and visceral structures.

The fact is, many vet ultrasounds are equipped with the necessary features and technologies to ensure that the entire bovine family stays healthy.

What to Look for in a Bovine Ultrasound Machine

There are no rights or wrongs when choosing veterinary ultrasound equipment, but you should know what key features provide the most benefit for specific needs and requirements. Additionally, because you’ll be using the ultrasound to image bovine animals often in unpredictable on-farm conditions, it’s helpful to filter your search by looking for veterinary ultrasounds with specific qualities, such as:

  • Portable
  • Water-proof
  • Robust
  • Comfortable
  • Durable

Also, you may need to carry the ultrasound to or around the farm, so it’s recommended to choose an ultrasound with a long battery life.

In terms of imaging, a quality bovine ultrasound unit will have good image quality so that you can better visualize soft tissues and the reproductive tract. Many bovine ultrasounds vary in terms of image resolution, the level of power output, size, whether or not it has Doppler (color or pulsed wave), and whether it has DICOM technology.

As always, look for a bovine ultrasound that provides the size, weight, and image quality that you’ll need.

Portability and Durability are Fundamental Features

Among the many different imaging features of a veterinary ultrasound for bovine use, perhaps the most important characteristics include portability and durability.

In emergency situations when you have to rush to ailing cows, a lightweight and easy-to-carry ultrasound can be life saving, helping you get to the animal faster and more conveniently.

Furthermore, a quality bovine ultrasound should be capable of bearing light abuse and disturbances. Due to the nature of the exam and the unpredictable behavior of the cattle, an ultrasound machine could easily be bumped, shaken, or dropped when dealing with an uncooperative animal.

Although small handheld ultrasound machines are popular for this purpose, they are also limited. Handheld devices have a small screen, poorer image quality, and limited image optimization features. Larger portable ultrasound machines have better image quality, improved features, and more versatility for other veterinary needs such as diagnostic use or musculoskeletal imaging. For the most basic reproductive needs, a handheld or small portable ultrasound machine is typically a good choice.

Ultrasound guide

Getting the Right Bovine Ultrasound Transducer

Like the ultrasound machine itself, you should be wise in choosing the right ultrasound transducer (also known as a probe). The transducer must be durable and able to withstand the unpredictable nature of the cattle’s rectum, but this isn’t the only feature to examine when choosing the right bovine ultrasound transducer.

For the reproduction of bovine animals, the usual choice is a linear transducer designed specifically for reproductive bovine ultrasound. This transducer has a very long cable and has a more streamlined design for easily inserting the probe in the cattle’s rectum. Additionally, the probe is designed to operate at ideal frequencies for reproductive bovine imaging.

bovine probe

Chison L50617S-S Linear Rectal Transducer

Ultrasound Costs

Although your specific needs should influence what type of bovine ultrasound is best for you, price is always an important, underlying factor. Making a purchasing decision solely on price, however, can cost a practice both money and precious time.

First, it is important to determine your specific needs: Will you use the ultrasound only for reproductive needs, or will you use it for other purposes and with other animals for reproductive or diagnostic needs?

Second, consider your budget and whether you’ll need features such as pulsed wave or color Doppler.

Most portable bovine ultrasound machines with the linear rectal transducer start around $5,000 and are rarely more than $10,000. These prices include new machines with an extended warranty as well as refurbished equipment. Additional probes will add to this general price range.

Top 4 Bovine Ultrasound Machines

By combining beneficial features for bovine imaging with affordable prices, we’ve included the top 4 bovine ultrasound machines below.

Chison ECO3

The Chison ECO3 is a black-and-white, portable ultrasound, and it’s one of the few colorless machines with Pulsed Wave Doppler (for vascular imaging and detecting infertility in bulls).

With its 12-inch LED monitor and 30-degree tilting ability, the EC03 veterinary ultrasound is also known for its clear imaging capabilities and wide viewing angles.

Other features of the ECO3 include:

  • Compound imaging
  • Speckle reduction
  • Tissue harmonics
  • Built-in battery
  • Linear probe up to 11MHz
  • A minimum 320GB hard drive
bovine ultrasound

Chison ECO5

The Chison ECO5 is an entry-level Doppler ultrasound with a color monitor display. The ECO5 also includes advanced imaging options (speckle reduction imaging, tissue harmonics, and compound imaging), and it’s one of the lowest-priced vet ultrasounds on the market.

Other features of the ECO5 include:

  • 12-inch LED wide-angle display
  • Compound imaging
  • Speckle reduction
  • Tissue harmonics
  • Built-in Battery
  • Linear probe up to 11MHz
  • A minimum 320GB hard drive
Ultrasound training

Siui CTS800v

Designed for farm animals, the Siui CTS800v is a palm-sized ultrasound with a 7-inch LCD monitor. The CTS800v has a long battery life (up to 4.5 hours), it’s waterproof, and it has a gravity sensor that rotates the image vertically or horizontally based on how you hold the ultrasound.

Other features of the CTS800v include:

  • Grid display for quickly estimating measurements
  • Weight less than 2 lbs
  • 2D/M-Mode
  • Software & Report for reproductive system
  • Up to three probes available
handheld bovine imaging

SonoScape A6v

The SonoScape A6v has a notable reputation for being among the best veterinary, black-and-white ultrasounds for its price range. Versatile for many vet applications, this compact and durable ultrasound has five frequency selections for each probe, providing an adjustable frequency range from 2.0 MHz to 12.0 MHz.

Other features of the SonoScape A6v include:

  • 12-inch LCD display
  • 2D, M-Mode
  • THI Tissue harmonics imaging
  • Linear transducer up to 12 MHz
  • Up to 180-degree scanning angle
  • Scanning depth up to 320 degrees
refurbished ultrasound

At Probo Medical, we offer more than low-cost, new and pre-owned ultrasounds for veterinary or bovine use. We personally work with our customers to facilitate the best possible purchase for their specific needs.

If you have any questions or need additional information on bovine ultrasounds, please contact us by phone at 866-513-8322 or use this form and a member of our customer service team will be happy to help you.

About the Author

Brian Gill is Probo Medical’s Vice President of Marketing. He has more than 20 years of experience in the ultrasound industry. From sales to service to customer support, he has done everything from circuit board repair and on-site service to networking and PACS, to training clinicians on ultrasound equipment. Through the years, Brian has trained more than 500 clinicians on over 100 different ultrasound machines. Currently, Brian is known as the industry expert in evaluating ultrasounds and training users on all makes and models of ultrasound equipment, this includes consulting with manufacturers with equipment evaluations during all stages of product development.