Latest articles

Cold and abomasal impaction

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Beef cattle on the Canadian Prairies are subject to considerable environmental stress during winter. Starting with the early days of ranching and arrival of U.S. cattle onto the eastern slopes of the Rockies through the mid-1800s, survival of the beef cow meant adaptation to prolonged cold temperatures. Cold and the groundless belief that cattle could […] Read more

Understanding the new drug regulations

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

New regulations governing the purchase and use of antimicrobials (antibiotics) necessitate time spent between veterinarians and producers. Everyone has an opinion. Phrases like “prudent use,” “veterinary-client-patient-relationships,” “veterinary-pharmaceutical stewardship,” “veterinary oversight,” and “documented evidence” pepper the pages of government, academic and veterinary documents issued around antimicrobial use. There is a new vocabulary to be learned, the […] Read more

Farmer With Vet Examining Calf

New drug regulations require adjustment

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

No issue over the past 15 years occupied more space in agriculture, veterinary or public health-related press than antimicrobial resistance (AMR). No single topic appears more often on conference and seminar agendas than topics addressing the use, abuse and prudent use of antimicrobials in humans and animals. Petitions, a plethora of committees of every description, […] Read more

Ergot poisoning: An ancient scourge remains a problem in modern rations

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

The negative impacts of ergot contamination in food were recognized as early as the fifth century AD. Ergot, a plant parasite, commonly affects rye grass, but wheat, rye, barley, oats, brome, fescue, blue, timothy, western and intermediate wheatgrass and other grasses can also be infected. Environmental conditions associated with a cool wet spring followed by […] Read more

cow eating hay

Sweet clover poisoning — an old problem persists

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Mouldy sweet clover poisoning in cattle is caused by the ingestion of sweet clover hay or ensilage containing dicoumarol. Poisoning is characterized by extensive hemorrhages into tissues throughout the body and severe blood loss after injury, surgery or parturition. Coumarol, a normal constituent of many sweet clover cultivars, is converted to dicoumarol through the action […] Read more

Preg-checking scorecard for cow-calf producers

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Pregnancy checking remains one of the most underutilized management tools in the cow-calf business. Overlooking the chance to gather herd information as cows come off pasture in the fall is a missed opportunity for the cow-calf producer. A trip through the chute in fall should be much more than determining which cows to keep and […] Read more

Ticks join new world order in infectious disease

Though only two varieties exist, they are responsible for a wide range of diseases

By scientific estimate, ticks have been around for 100 million years. They represent the most famous blood-sucking arachnids, (eight-legged organisms). The world is now in unchartered territory when it comes to infectious diseases. Over the past century, the number of new infectious diseases cropping up each year has nearly quadrupled. The number of outbreaks per […] Read more

Food label confusion often a dupe

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

[Updated: Sept. 14, 2017] – Success in the “business of food” is subject to telling our story consistent with fact and reality. The legitimate process of marketing food means everyone from the ranch, through processing, then on to the burger stand and supermarket meat counter depends on using the same language. Veterinarians, as professionals trusted […] Read more

The battle against AMR drags on

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

The CVMA (Canadian Veterinary Medical Association) has embarked on an exercise to script another chapter into the debate on prudent use of antibiotics in animals. Its plan: participation in an antimicrobial use (AMU) workshop of Canadian veterinarians, veterinary researchers and educators, government officials and species-group stakeholders working in the areas of swine, poultry, beef, dairy, […] Read more

In search of fescue

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

No story about ranching would be complete without mention of two elements, generically unrelated yet closely coupled to ranching’s origin beginning in the late 1800s and its dominating role into the 21st century. Old texts and oral history serve as background. One component is an ancient grass that provided year-round nutrition for millions of bison […] Read more