IDEXX Rapid Visual Pregnancy Test
Reproductive ability of your cattle can be a concern, especially when you are ranching for profit. As a result, finding out the status of pregnancy in its beginning stages is very important. That is because this way, you can identify if the fertility of your animals is doing well. Alertys Rapid Visual Pregnancy Test from IDEXX is designed to detect pregnancy early on. You can use it 28 days after breeding in cattle and goats, 35 or 60 days in sheep (serum or whole blood), and 40 days in water buffalo. You do not need ELISA instrumentation to run this test, and you can read the results visually.
IDEXX Rapid VIsual Pregnancy Test, photo from IDEXX website
A high-quality pregnancy test is one that gives accurate and precise results early after breeding. Apart from that, this test also has to be safe. Instead of manual methods of testing for pregnancy, chemical testing offers an alternative solution. A study has found that the rapid visual test is as accurate and sensitive as traditional tests. This is a helpful finding for cattle owners who can now turn to chemical testing instead of relying on old methods. Rapid visual testing is less invasive, quick, and effective. By using the test protocol manual, you can perform the test yourself, or a vet can do it for you.
When to use IDEXX Rapid Visual Pregnancy Test
IDEXX Rapid Visual Pregnancy Test looks for Pregnancy Associated Glycoproteins (PAGs). These are proteins produced by placenta cells as it develops. By using a serum or whole blood, the test identifies the presence of these proteins. It is accurate even soon after mating because PAGs appear at the early stages of pregnancy. But there might not be enough of the proteins to show on the test if it is done too early. That is why the optimal time of testing is after at least 28 weeks from breeding. Besides, PAGs also remain in the body of the animal after it gives birth. So, it is best to wait at least 60 days after calving before testing again.
Rapid Visual Test vs. Heat Detection
If you are not ranching for profit, you might be relying on heat detection of pregnancy. If the animal does not go in heat after mating, you would assume that it is pregnant. But the estrous cycle can be disrupted by many conditions. That is the reason why the heat detection method is not as reliable as traditional or chemical pregnancy testing. The IDEXX test is very accurate. It can detect pregnant animals with an accuracy of 99.3% and open animals with an accuracy of 93.8%. Some animals might lose pregnancy soon after testing. As a result, it is best to run tests throughout pregnancy to know the status of the animal. And if the problem occurs in many animals in the cattle, you might need to consult the vet about possible causes.
IDEXX Rapid Visual Pregnancy Test gives accurate results
How to Use IDEXX Rapid Visual Pregnancy Test
The IDEXX Rapid Visual Pregnancy Test gives vets and producers a way to avoid traditional invasive methods of testing. The chemical test was also shown to be no less accurate, which only speaks more for its use. For different animals, see how to use the test below.
Cattle: You can use serum, plasma (EDTA), or whole blood (EDTA) starting from 28 days after breeding. Make sure to check that previous pregnancy does not interrupt in any way 60 days after calving.
Water buffalo: Use whole blood starting from 40 days after breeding.
Sheep: Use serum starting from 35 days after breeding and whole blood from 60 days.
Goats: Use starting from 28 days after breeding.
More on Ruminant Pregnancy
Identifying non-pregnant animals can help the producer evaluate conception rate with more accuracy. Apart from that, this will also help identify any diseases related to infertility and the effectiveness of artificial insemination (AI). Ranchers should know which animals are not pregnant. This info is vital for rebreeding and as a result, increasing ranch profits. But profit is only one of the reasons. Another reason is that knowing which animals are pregnant helps the rancher adjust the feed to meet their nutritional needs. Producers can also use this knowledge to get vaccines for preventing abortion.
Are there any signs of pregnancy you can notice without testing? The animal’s heat will stop with the onset of pregnancy, so this can be one of the signs. Apart from that, you can notice the female becoming quieter and less active. A bit later, the animal’s belly will grow larger, and it will start producing less milk than before. If you know when AI took place or when the animal was mated, you will be able to estimate the time for parturition (birth).
Pregnant animals need additional care.
How to Care for a Pregnant Animal
Animals during pregnancy need more care, especially in the last three months before giving birth. Make sure to provide proper nutrition during that time, give them more feed, and add some grain to the feed. Good nutrition during pregnancy will help to prevent diseases that result from deficiencies. Those include ketosis and milk fever, for example. Milk production also largely depends on proper nutrition. Apart from the feed, water is also vital at this time. Make sure that pregnant animals get at least 75 liters of drinking water every day.