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Farm Animal Practice
Pregnancy diagnosis in cattle
  1. Martin Sheldon

    Martin Sheldon graduated from Liverpool in 1984 and spent 14 years in practice before joining the Royal Veterinary College in 1998 as a senior lecturer. He holds a PhD, the diploma in bovine reproduction from Liverpool University and the RCVS diploma in cattle health and production. He is an RCVS Specialist in Cattle Health and Production (Reproduction) and is a diplomate of the European College of Animal Reproduction.

  2. David Noakes

    David Noakes graduated from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in 1961. After some time in mixed, mainly farm animal, practice and eight years in research, he returned to the RVC in 1971, where he is currently professor of veterinary obstetrics and diseases of reproduction.


DETECTION of the non-pregnant cow or heifer, as soon as possible after an unsuccessful insemination, is important to ensure good reproductive performance in dairy and beef herds. Pregnancy diagnosis is still the most common procedure carried out during routine visits conducted as part of a fertility control programme. In herds that are not part of such a scheme, pregnancy diagnosis is often one of the few routine procedures performed by veterinary surgeons. This article describes the relative advantages, disadvantages and reliability of the various methods used to detect pregnancy in cattle.

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