Latest articles

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

cattle on a pasture

Danger stalks spring pastures

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Every spring and summer, livestock producers incur losses as a result of poisonous plants. Acute deaths often go undiagnosed. The more than 200 poisonous species of plants on Canadian range cause chronic illness and debilitation, decreased weight gain, abortion, birth defects, poor reproductive performance, and photosensitization. Some poisonous plants are nutritious when eaten in small amounts, […] Read more

New formulations change dewormer options for cattle producers

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Over two decades, internal parasite control in cattle on western Canadian pastures moved from “not necessary” to “routine” for progressive cow-calf producers. While the presence of internal parasites in cattle is often inapparent, removing the economic burden they represent is now an integral component of health management in many herds. Reasons for the shift toward […] Read more

Keep Q fever in mind this calving season

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Q fever is a potential zoonosis every stock person should keep in mind through calving, lambing and kidding season. The disease, Q fever, and the organism, Coxiella burnetii, when present represent a serious threat to human health. Every gram of afterbirth or fluid from an infected animal contains millions of infectious particles and only a […] Read more

cattle on a pasture with mountains

Bovine TB: An old disease, a modern enigma

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

The TB investigation in southeastern Alberta continues to unfold. The riddle of where it came from and finding ways to deal with the relative “stranger at our door” is unnerving. When the views of an anxious livestock industry, a federal regulatory agency, and a probing public collide, the task of disease control approaches unmanageable. Add […] Read more

Farmer With Vet Examining Calf

One Health: Recreating the future

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

On November 3, 2016, individuals, academics, nonprofit organizations and the corporate world recognized “One Health Day.” This was an opportunity to address the inextricable interaction between animals, environment and humans, and how the veterinary and medical health professions should interact. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, MD speaking at the 2016 Hill’s Symposium, recognized that the human medical community […] Read more