Latest articles


Vet Advice: New regs to preserve old and new drugs

I’m often asked why even older antimicrobials are still considered medically important to human medicine. The premise, right or wrong, is to preserve antibiotic effectiveness by reducing the risk of antimicrobial resistance attributed to wholesale use in animal agriculture. While debate still rages over the impact new legislation will have on preserving antimicrobial effectiveness in […] Read more


Cow and a Calf

Lapses in biosecurity create long-standing risks

Reducing risk of transmission of salmonella and other diseases

Salmonella bacteria have been isolated from nearly all vertebrates, and infections have been associated with both animal and human disease. Not uncommonly, foods of animal origin have been implicated as the source of human illness caused by salmonella. Typical signs of salmonella infection in cattle and humans include fever and diarrhea. Severe cases can result […] Read more



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


Fuelling up cows for cold weather and calving

Health: A cow's body condition is closely linked to calving success

It takes a North American prairie cold snap, those first two to three weeks of real winter when outside temperatures plummet where Fahrenheit and Centigrade meet below zero, for beef specialists to dust off and publish articles on managing cows through cold — the -40 C kind. They all make valid points; gentle reminders for […] Read more



Calf health closely tied to cow nutrition

Six problems you may see with calves if cow nutrition is compromised

Many cows came home in 2017 from pastures parched by drought for much of the grazing season. Without proper supplementation of brood cows through the rest of their gestation, vitamin and mineral deficiencies will show up as health issues next spring with economic consequences that often persist for several more. It is well established that […] 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



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