GFM Network News


Three men in Alberta wearing face masks in 1918 during the Spanish influenza epidemic.

Vet Advice: Pandemic amnesia

Rarely is there perfect information about emerging disease

Face the North Wind is the compelling true story of cousins Fred Darbyshire and Ed Theriau, two young men from Sturgis, Sask., who ventured 1,000 kilometres north to Wollaston and Cree Lakes by canoe and dog team in search of fur. For 25 winters they survived on bear grease, caribou, fish and tea in the […] Read more

Writing history during a pandemic

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

It’s a trying time for those who try to convert current events into numbers in search of meaning for what’s happening today compared with what happened yesterday. Veterinarians are expected to know about viruses and bacteria transmitted between animals and people, but obviously important pieces are missing. It is especially frustrating with how little is […] Read more


Where are we at with antimicrobial resistance?

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), often incorrectly labelled antibiotic resistance, has been the subject of immeasurable media attention through the past three decades. It’s a relentless rabble of potential health threats, what and who is to blame, and where do we go from here. AMR has spawned at least two generations, maybe three, of academic scrutiny, dissection, […] Read more

The coronavirus identified in Wuhan, China, is new and until now, had not been found in humans.

Simple goes bad

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, a public health emergency. It’s just another stop on the Zoonotic Highway, a simple respiratory infection that matured into a global health emergency. Health agencies around the world have tried to smother the threat, but efforts seem flawed. History repeats itself: the novel […] Read more


The real issue around the red meat study is scientific credibility

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Dr. Bradley Johnston, an associate professor of community health and epidemiology at Dalhousie University, escalated the protein war when he published a report contradicting existing nutritional guidelines related to red meat consumption. According to Johnston, “Most adults shouldn’t worry about how much red or processed meat they eat. This is not just another study of […] Read more

Controlling disease will become more difficult as new diseases constantly emerge, and novel environmental, social and financial pressures across the globe change the face of disease control.

Addressing zoonotic diseases on a global scale

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

In March 2019, the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Organization for Animal Health launched a guide for countries using a One Health approach to control zoonotic diseases. The guide became available internationally in multiple languages in October 2019. Zoonotic diseases such as avian influenza, rabies, […] Read more



It’s important to keep in mind that animals don’t have to be completely parasite-free to be healthy and productive.

Managing resistance to internal parasites in cattle

Producers need to tailor parasite control to align with their herds and management systems

Managing internal parasite resistance starts with asking the right questions and understanding the principles of antiparasitic resistance and the range of control products. From there, a producer needs to develop a deworming strategy and pin it to the spring and summer grazing calendar. A veterinarian can help. Antiparasitic resistance is typically defined as the genetic […] Read more


Livestock should not be allowed to consume feeds containing more than 0.5 per cent nitrate if they have not been previously exposed.

Got livestock feed with high nitrates? Here’s how to manage it

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Hail, drought, spray drift or frost can all disrupt the normal growth of plants, causing nitrate accumulations that can lead to nitrate poisoning. This year, depending where you’re from, had them all. The number of animals affected by acute nitrate poisoning on the Prairies is usually low, but when losses occur, they occur suddenly and […] Read more

When anthrax spores get inside the body, they are “activated.” Bacteria rapidly multiply and produce powerful toxins resulting in vascular collapse and death.

Anthrax: A disease of antiquity spread by ancient human migration

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Historians think anthrax originated in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Biblical scholars suggest that during Moses’ time and through the 10 plagues of Egypt, anthrax may have caused the fifth plague, captured in ancient script as a sickness affecting horses, cattle, sheep, camels and oxen. Homer described a plague that many believe to be anthrax in The […] Read more