Latest articles


Blackleg: A pasture nemesis

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Blackleg is an acute, febrile, highly fatal disease of cattle, sheep and goats caused by Clostridium chauvoei characterized by swellings with pockets of trapped air that produce crepitation (crackling) over affected areas. Although blackleg can affect any muscle in the body, including the heart and diaphragm, heavy muscles of the front and hind limbs are […] Read more


A vaccine that saved the cattle industry

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Blackleg, a disease of many ruminants, is universal. It is most commonly seen in sheep, cattle and goats. Outbreaks have been reported in farmed bison and deer. The acute nature of the disease makes successful treatment difficult. Although the efficacy of commonly used blackleg vaccines has been disputed by the occasional academic based on the […] Read more



Fake News: A chance to learn about forbidden places

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

The story appeared in the Scottish Sunday Herald, Saturday, March 31, 2018. “A group of Russian oligarchs is bidding to buy Gruinard Island off the northwest coast of Scotland. Gruinard is known as Anthrax Island after being used for testing biological weapons during the Second World War. It is uninhabited today due to fears of […] Read more


Livestock industry faces trouble ahead from vitamin shortage

Health: News Roundup from the May 2018 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

My all-time favourite TV show remains the 1990s comedy “Home Improvement,” and my favourite actor: Tim “The Toolman” Taylor (Tim Allen). Since the show aired three decades ago, I have crossed paths with remakes of every character in racehorse barns, in feed alleys, at stock shows across Canada, and in western Canadian branding corrals. I’ve […] Read more



Public trust is a ticket forward for the food industry

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

The economic, social and political environment around agriculture has changed. The public, particularly consumers, have influenced the landscape of food production in ways never before recognized. The closer an industry sector’s shift is toward the supermarket meat counter and grocery shelves, the more advanced is the call toward public reckoning about matters involving the food […] Read more


cattle grazing

Good grazing means manage for what you want

Soil and grass health is vital to achieve sustainability in our cattle industry

For many, rangeland represents a tough, unresponsive “thing” that resists use and abuse with unlimited regeneration potential. Good cattlemen know that the actual restoration potential of rangeland and pasture is limited. Preservation and rejuvenation of rangeland must be carefully managed. Soil and grass health is an earmark for the cattle industry and a vital signal […] Read more



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