Kevin McSweeney, DVM, Bovine Reproductive Specialists, Loveland, Colo., offers these five reasons for synchronization program failure, and how ultrasound can help these these programs succeed.

1. Poor compliance

  •     Injections not given or given outside of optimum time period
  •     AI performed outside of optimum time interval
  •     Needles too big, poor injection location such as in scar tissue or abscesses.
  •     Injections should be given in good vascular muscle.

   2. Poor record keeping

  •     Cows not presented to start, inseminations not recorded

3. Poor AI technique

4. Refractory cysts/pyometras

5. Synch program not started at the right time during cow’s estrous cycle

How ultrasound can help

A significant percentage of cattle are not “fitting into” the synch program because they are started at the wrong point in their cycle. You can incorporate ultrasound into estrous detection by scanning cows prior to breeding. Ultrasound provides complete visualization of ovarian structures, gives a better idea of where a cow is in her cycle and allows veterinarians to identify cows that are not syn-chronized,” McSweeney says.

By increasing data collected, such as with ultrasound, you can vastly improve reproduction. However, if you use ultrasound to scan cows on the day of prostaglandin, such as McSweeney does, you could potentially add more times that you handle cows.