GFM Network News



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


Ionophores are used most extensively in feedlot cattle diets, but are generally considered a good investment regardless of the diet fed.

The complicated life of an ionophore

Ron Clarke outlines the basics of how these widely used feed additives work

Ionophores are a class of compounds frequently talked about in animal nutrition, yet infrequently understood by many. First marketed in the 1960s and derived from soil-borne organisms, ionophores are best described as feed additives that reversibly bind ions — chemical entities possessing an electric charge — then subsequently facilitate their transport across membranes. Commonly used […] Read more

Sweet clover is high in coumarin, which converts to dicoumarol – a potent vitamin K antagonist and anticoagulant– if the plant is spoiled or damaged.

Vet Advice: Avoiding sweet clover poisoning

A variety of bacteria and moulds can grow in sweet clover once baled or put up as silage

Preparing forages and getting them stored in perfect condition seldom happens. Spoilage is often linked to the production of moulds and a broad spectrum of mycotoxins in grains. Syndromes in domestic livestock following consumption of feed containing mycotoxins varies depending on the species of animal involved, the stage of the production cycle when it is […] Read more


U.S. vaccine supplies are sufficient to control foot-and-mouth in only about four per cent of Iowa’s swine herd or 14 per cent of Texas’s cattle herd.

Foot-and-mouth disease remains a threat to North American livestock

North America needs to prepare better for an outbreak of this economically important disease

Foot-and-mouth disease virus and the disease it causes have been intensively studied for decades. Although we know a great deal about the virus and vaccines used to prevent foot-and-mouth disease, it remains endemic across large parts of Africa, South America, the Middle East and Asia, and is a constant threat to North America. Globally, it […] Read more

According to the report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a half-billion people already live in places turning to desert, and soil is being lost between 10 and 100 times faster than it is being produced.

Reading the U.N. report on climate change and food supply

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Everyone involved with livestock industries should be aware of what the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published in their latest report. First, it’s important to recognize the existence of this enormous and noteworthy group of international scientists, experts, advisors, authors, editors and reviewers. Then, more importantly, to understand the message incorporated in […] Read more


Digital dermatitis.

Vet Advice: Digital dermatitis not just a dairy problem

Acute active digital dermatitis lesions can cause pain and lameness in cattle. It can become a significant production problem and a serious animal welfare issue in both beef and dairy herds. Digital dermatitis (DD) — also known as hairy heel warts, strawberry foot rot, raspberry heel, foot wart and hairy heel wart — first appeared […] Read more

Foot rot.

Vet Advice: Spot and treat foot rot early

Foot rot is an acute and highly infectious disease of cattle characterized by swelling and lameness. The condition is extremely painful. If not treated promptly, the infection invades other structures in the foot including bones, joints and tendons, complicating treatment and delaying recovery. Foot rot originates between the claws of the hoof. It is more […] Read more