Practical implementation of lung ultrasound in dairy calves
Keywords:ultrasound, dairy calves, lung, thoracic
Routine thoracic ultrasonography is a developing service offered by veterinary practitioners that acts as an accurate, rapid, calf-side diagnostic tool to aid in calf health management. Bovine practitioners competent in the technique can provide this service to progressive producers by way of client education, demonstration and evidence of impact of bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in pre-weaned dairy calves. Routine, strategic scanning demonstrates trends in new infection rate, cure rates, and severity of lesions in those affected. Utilizing the data to establish benchmarks for individual calf programs allows practitioners and producers to make prudent, evidence-based decisions on treatment and management changes to aid in prevention. Routine thoracic ultrasound is a tremendous opportunity for new and recent veterinary graduates who are looking to expand clinic services and can be offered with little additional overhead. Consistent veterinary involvement brings the practitioner to the forefront in calf management and consultation.