GFM Network News


Rosie is an Ayrshire-cross milk cow, the kind of cow you could milk anywhere if you offered a handful of oats.

This cow’s coming apart: Photosensitivity linked to dry conditions

Veterinary Case Study: A dry summer likely encouraged Rosie the milk cow to graze plants she’d normally avoid, and the results were nearly disastrous

Kirby’s ranch incorporated a section of short grass prairie and bush southeast of Regina. Kirby’s family lived comfortably on what 30 commercial cows, two sows, a milk cow, 20 chickens and a full-time job at the lumberyard provided. Kirby could have been a stand-up comedian because he had more one-liners than most could imagine and […] Read more



Chokecherry.

Vet Advice: Not all that’s green is edible

Plant poisoning is a common problem throughout North America, causing significant losses from sudden death, reproductive failure, poor growth rates, tainting of animal products (milk, meat) and physical damage. Recognizing toxic plants and understanding the effects of toxins on animals is an important aspect of good range management. Plant poisoning can be largely avoided. Plants […] Read more

Core biosecurity principles and accompanying practices linked to livestock production now envelop all aspects of food production, preparation, manufacturing and human health.

Planes of biosecurity

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Simply defined, biosecurity encompasses procedures intended to protect humans and animals from disease or harmful biological agents. Animal biosecurity is a general description for measures designed to protect Canada’s animal resources from foreign and endemic infectious and parasitic disease agents at national, regional and farm levels. Many of the concepts related to biosecurity formally started […] Read more


Few things in life today remain unscathed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Saying goodbye to normal

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

“Civilizations have marched blindly toward disaster because humans are wired to believe that tomorrow will be much like today.” — Roy Scranton, Learning to Die in the Anthropocene There’s a word for the new era we live in: the Anthropocene. This term represents the idea that we have entered a new epoch in Earth’s geological […] Read more

Cattle in the field on a January day.

Milk fever in beef cows

Veterinary Case Study with Dr. Ron Clarke

Matt called early on January 1, 1975, worried about a downer cow on a field of swathed barley damaged by hail in July of the previous summer. Matt let the crop volunteer through the growing season with plans to swath it near the end of harvest as winter graze for his herd of 200 Hereford-cross […] Read more


Your calving area should be clean, dry and close to shelter.

Getting ready for calving

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

It’s better to look ahead and prepare, than look backwards and regret. — Mark Twain When preparing for the spring season, there are several things to keep in mind. Avoid surprises about the bull battery. Track the start and end of calving season. It should match the start and end of a controlled breeding season. […] Read more

The bacterium Mycoplasma bovis is an economically important pathogen of cattle that contributes to the complex nature of bovine respiratory disease.

Has Mycoplasma bovis jumped the species barrier — again?

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Mycoplasma bovis is an important bacterial pathogen associated with chronic pneumonia and arthritis in feedlot animals, mastitis in dairy herds and middle ear infections in calves. Over the last two decades, Mycoplasma bovis emerged as a cause of troubling respiratory disease and arthritis in feedlot cattle and extended into young dairy and veal calves. A […] Read more


Skunks, bats and wild carnivores run the highest risk of transmitting rabies.

Rabies in livestock often forgotten

Six tips to avoid rabies exposure

Rabies is a disease based in antiquity. It has been described through pictures and text since ancient times. The end result hasn’t changed: living creatures get rabies; they die. Globally, rabies claims over 55,000 human lives every year from every continent in the world except Antarctica. Fortunately, rabies is a relatively rare disease in humans […] Read more

Animals play a role in the emergence and dynamics of infectious disease.

Infectious disease: Transmissibility and herd immunity

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

In November 2019, the world changed. A cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China — the cause eventually identified as a novel coronavirus labelled COVID-19 — turned the world on its ear. While a novel coronavirus trammeled the world, humans stood in awe wondering what might happen. COVID-19 sickened 46.2 million people (as of November […] Read more