Latest articles


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



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