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Alertys is ideal for Vets

Quick and accurate testing for cattle-focused veterinary practices

Make your veterinary practice future-proof with Alertys tests

With Alertys, you can maintain the level of service you want to deliver, and the level of service your customers expect.

Alertys does away with the physically demanding and potentially dangerous work of manual, invasive pregnancy diagnosis testing - which is stressful for the Vet, stressful for the cow. 

Instead, we've developed a comprehensive range of sample-based pregnancy tests that need only milk or blood to confirm pregnancy status.

Cattle Vet.jpg

Alertys tests detect PAG,
which is very specific for pregnancy

Unlike progesterone testing, the IDEXX Alertys tests detect pregnancy-specific proteins called pregnancy-associated glycoproteins (PAGs). Because progesterone is a hormone that occurs with peaks and troughs during the normal reproductive cycle and is not pregnancy-specific, progesterone testing is not seen as a reliable method for pregnancy diagnosis.

The pregnancy-specific proteins targeted by the Alertys tests from IDEXX are expressed in the embryonic regions of the placenta and detected in maternal fluids such as blood and milk. They are therefore only produced in the presence of an embryo or foetus, which means that the test is highly reliable.

  • What is PAG and how do the Alertys tests detect it?
    ​PAG is shorthand for Pregnancy-Associated Glycoprotein. The PAG test which has been developed by IDEXX is called the Alertys Pregnancy Tests*. It is an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test. It has been developed to accurately detect PAG molecules in blood, serum or milk. It is validated to be used for pregnancy diagnosis in cattle, sheep, goats, water buffalo and bison. Unlike other chemical tests for pregnancy using progesterone as an indicator, the PAG test is very specific for pregnancy. *The Alertys Rapid Visual and OnFarm pregnancy tests can be run without ELISA instrumentation.  PAGs are detectable as early as 28 days after insemination, so it is recommended that the test can be used from this point and throughout the whole gestation period.
  • What lab equipment do I need to perform the Alertys Milk and Ruminant Pregnancy Test?
    For performing these tests, you should have a lab equipped for ELISA testing, including pipettes, pipette tips, distilled water, a 96-well plate reader, a microplate washer, and a plate shaker/incubator. All details can be found in the kit inserts.
  • What is the difference between PAG and Progesterone?
    Progesterone is a hormone that occurs with peaks and valleys during the normal reproductive cycle and is not pregnancy specific. The Alertys pregnancy tests detect pregnancy-specific proteins called pregnancy-associated glycoproteins (PAGs). These specific proteins are expressed in the embryonic regions of the placenta and detected in maternal fluids such as blood and milk.
  • What are the differences among IDEXX Alertys products?
    The Alertys Milk Pregnancy Test uses milk samples collected during routine milk recording or collected from self-sampling pots, which will be most suitable for dairy farms. The test cannot be performed on-farm as specialist laboratory equipment is required. The Alerty Ruminant Pregnancy Test, which uses blood samples, on the other side, may be more convenient for beef herds. Again, the samples are tested in a lab as specialist equipment is required. For smaller-scale testing organisations, such as individual veterinary practices, the Alerty Rapid Visual Pregnancy Test can be used. A blood or serum sample is required, and the test can be completed in around 30 minutes. Some technical skill is required, and this isn’t a cow-side test, but there is no necessity for specialised laboratory equipment to observe the colour change to make a pregnancy diagnosis. Finally, there is an Alertys OnFarm Pregnancy Test, which was recently introduced in 2021. This lateral-flow style test can be used on farm and requires no technical expertise, other than to collect a blood sample (EDTA sample). A measured amount of blood is dropped onto the test cartridge, and a pregnancy diagnosis result is ready in a matter of minutes, not unlike a human home-pregnancy test kit. This is suitable as a cow-side test.
  • What is the return on investment from using Alertys tests?
    Open cows can have a major impact on profitability. Research shows that the average cost per open dairy cow is €5 a day*. These costs include the value of the milk the cow would have produced, the value of her calf, and other relevant factors. Dairy farms can optimise profitability by shortening the calving interval and reducing the number of days that cows are open. For beef farmers, shorten calving intervals with safe, ongoing confirmation of pregnancy status at critical stages, saves an estimated $77 per head** by identifying and removing sub-fertile cows early. * De Vries et al, Economics of improved reproductive performance in dairy cattle (Publication AN 156), Gainesville FL, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agriculture Science; 2005 ** Cook B, Biermacker JT, Childs D. The value of pregnancy testing beef cows. Paper presented at: 2007 Southern Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting; February 4–7, 2007; Mobile, Alabama.
  • Can all the Alertys tests tell anything else besides pregnancy?
    No, the test will provide a pregnant, open/non-pregnant or 're-check' result. It cannot tell the stage of gestation, the sex of the calf or if the cow is carrying multiple calves.
  • Why test more than once during gestation?
    During the normal gestation process of a cow, approximately 10-25% of pregnancies will be lost between conception and full-term due to unknown causes. Pregnancy testing at specific times throughout gestation helps improve reproductive efficiency by finding cows who have experienced pregnancy loss. It is recommended to test 2-3 times throughout gestation; first at 28-30 days post- breeding, again at 60 days post-breeding, and before dry off to be sure only pregnant cows are kept on farm.
  • Does PAG testing replace the need for a Vet?
    It is clear there is a strong case for early and accurate pregnancy diagnosis in dairy herds. The method used for pregnancy diagnosis is somewhat a matter of personal choice, depending on individual circumstances and convenience. Both transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) and PAG testing are reliable methods of early pregnancy diagnosis. Most dairy farms find that working closely with a progressive veterinary practice carries many benefits. This remains the case whether you choose to use the Vet for TRUS pregnancy diagnosis, or not. Of course, transrectal ultrasound can play a role in other areas of fertility management too, such as diagnosis of non-cycling or cystic cows. A mix-and-match approach can be a sensible way forwards for many herds, taking advantage of PAG pregnancy diagnosis for its timeliness, simplicity, and accuracy, whilst reducing the numbers of cows needing to be separated and presented at the routine vet visits. Some farms find this then frees up their Vet to focus on valuable tasks, such as fertility data analysis, training, and other beneficial work.
  • Is there an influence of breed on all the tests?
    No breed influence on test performance has been described.
  • Do antibiotics influence the PAG tests?
    IDEXX has no evidence to date to suggest that antibiotic treated milk has a negative effect on the test results.
  • After early embryonic losses or abortion, does the test still detect PAGs?
    Yes, PAGs will circulate in milk and blood for a certain period of time after embryonic loss or abortion. For early embryonic loss, we estimate PAGs will disappear within 6-10 days. In case of late term abortion PAGs may be present for a longer period of time (40-60 days). It should be noted that it can take up to 60 days for PAGs to drop below the test threshold post-calving.
  • I have a bull in my herd or use a bull at the end of my AI period. Can I still use PAG testing methods?
    You can still use one of the Alertys tests, you just need to apply some rules around testing. For example, test 50 days after the cow is put with bull (21 days for heat plus 28 days to earliest test), or test 28 days after the bull is removed from the herd. If the bull is running with the herd all the time, you may need to test monthly, BUT remember, the test will not tell you how far in calf the cow is. And a negative result does not mean not-pregnant if test is done less than 28 days since service.

Alertys Rapid Visual as an optimal cow pregnancy testing option for veterinary practices

Save yourself the physical labour of countless individual cow examinations. When it comes to in-clinic pregnancy diagnosis, use Alertys Rapid Visual (RVPT) to switch your time and expertise into focused, strategic advice – and help your customers increase herd health, fertility and productivity.

Designed for veterinary practices and clinics, and requiring no laboratory equipment, Alertys Rapid Visual is the only whole-blood test that can deliver a fast and accurate on-farm pregnancy diagnosis on up to 25 cows in just 20-30 minutes.

Alertys Rapid Visual can detect pregnant and open cows as soon as 28 days after service. Reliant on detection of pregnancy-associated glycoproteins (PAGs), which are only produced in the embryonic regions of the placenta, the test is highly accurate.

Sample Type
Plasma (EDTA)
Whole blood (EDTA)

¹Mayo, Lauren & Moore, Stephen & Poock, Scott & Silvia, W.J. & Lucy, M.C.. (2016). Technical note: Validation of a chemical pregnancy test in dairy cows that uses whole blood, shortened incubation times, and visual readout. Journal of Dairy Science. 99. 10.3168/jds.2016-11224. 

How it works

Alertys Rapid Visual is an enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) that provides a rapid and accurate visual result, without ELISA instrumentation.

By measuring pregnancy-associated glycoproteins (PAGs) in whole blood (EDTA), plasma (EDTA) or serum, the test can detect pregnant cows and open cows as early as 28 days after service, with no interference from a previous pregnancy after 60 days post-calving. 

Alertys RVPT

Reproductive performance improves when farmers, veterinarians and breeding companies work together

Alertys Rapid Visual is one of four tests from IDEXX, all designed to make cow pregnancy diagnosis less stressful for the cow and more useful for the farmer

For the Vet, adding Alertys to your reproductive advice toolbox gives you the opportunity to focus your time, expertise and specialised knowledge on providing strategic advice and addressing individual cow fertility problems. 

While some of our tests have been designed to be farmer-led, the entire Alertys range is devised to add value to the farmer-Vet relationship. IDEXX encourages farmers to use Alertys as a pregnancy diagnosis tool within a whole-herd health plan, in conjunction with expert veterinary advice.

Alertys Milk
Alertys Ruminant
Alertys RVPT
Alertys OnFarm
Test format
Lab ELISA (5/strip/480)
Lab ELISA (5/strip/480)
Manual strip ELISA (2/strip/192)
Lateral Flow (25 individual sets)
Max # of samples tested/kit
Product code
Bovine, caprine, ovine, water buffalo
Bovine, caprine, ovine, water buffalo
Bovine, caprine, ovine, water buffalo
Bovine only
Sample type
Serum, Plasma
Blood, serum, plasma
Whole blood (EDTA), serum, plasma
Sensitivity ≥ 28 days post breeding
98.7% bovine milk (94.9%-100% others)
99.3% bovine serum (98-100% other)
98.6% bovine blood (89.7 - 100% others)
Specificity days post calving
94.4% ≥ 60 bovine (94.4-100%)
93.8% ≥ 60 bovine serum (91.4-100%)
92.4% >60 bovine blood (92.4-100%)
98.1% >70 days post calving
Assay Time
4 hours
3 hours
30 minutes
5-20 minutes
Test location place and temp
Farm or clinic office
On-farm at 10-40°C
Storage Temp

"Ultrasound and Alertys tests are both reliable pregcheck methods. A mix-and-match approach can be a great way to move forward for many herds"

Owen Atkinson

Founder and Director of Dairy Veterinary Consultancy Ltd

Owen has worked in farm animal practice for over 25 years. His current firm is providing independent health, production and welfare advice, training to farmers, other Vets, and professionals in the dairy and allied industries.

Check out his latest series of 4 videos which he explained what PAG is and how to best integrate Alertys tests into your farm.

(EN) IDEXX PAG Explainer | The best way to use the milk PAG test
(EN) IDEXX PAG Explainer | The benefits of early pregnancy diagnosis
(EN) IDEXX PAG Explainer | What is PAG?
(EN) IDEXX PAG Explainer | How accurate is the milk PAG test?

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