GFM Network News


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


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

Poking the beehive

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

COVID-19 may never go away — with or without a vaccine. Dr. Vineet Menachery, a coronavirus researcher at the University of Texas medical branch, is guarded in his forecast of how we will adapt to COVID-19. The future has a lot to do with immunity. Menachery points out that we haven’t been successful at eradicating […] Read more


Foot-and-mouth disease is regularly found in many parts of the world and threatens Canada’s livestock industry.

Much to learn about foot-and-mouth disease: Part 3 of 3

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

In a crisis, affected people act on information differently than during non-crisis situations. They often exaggerate communication responses as they revert to more basic or instinctive “fight-or-flight” reasoning. Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in previously FMD-free countries always creates crisis circumstances because economies collapse. Plus producers are thrust into disorder of a magnitude that frightens most because […] Read more

Foot-and-mouth disease is regularly found in many parts of the world and threatens Canada’s livestock industry.

Much to learn about foot-and-mouth disease: Part 2

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious, acute, viral disease affecting cloven-hooved animals including pigs, cattle, sheep and goats. Controlling FMD in countries previously free of the disease and wishing to re-establish freedom is a sophisticated process requiring technical expertise, persistence and tough decisions. The disease is characterized by formation of vesicles and erosions inside […] Read more


Foot-and-mouth disease is regularly found in many parts of the world and threatens Canada’s livestock industry.

Much to learn about foot-and-mouth disease: Part 1

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

This article is the first of a series of three dealing with foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and emergency planning. Through May and June of 2020, 88 veterinarians and registered animal health technologists from across Canada and the U.S. participated in a series of webinars dealing with the control of FMD. A panel of experts from the […] Read more

(KTSimage/iStock/Getty Images)

Vet Advice: mRNA transforms science behind vaccine development

Vaccination is one of the major success stories in human and veterinary medicine. Modern vaccines reshaped approaches to animal health and production medicine. On the human side, vaccines greatly reduced the incidence of infectious diseases such as polio, and were instrumental in eradicating, on a global scale, killer diseases such as human smallpox and rinderpest […] Read more


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