GFM Network News


NSAIDs should be used for major procedures such as C-sections at the time of delivery or at the beginning of surgery.

Pain medication at calving and in the feedlot

Pain control is simply the right thing to do in some situations

Pain medication may come with adjunct treatment such as antibiotics but sometimes this is unnecessary. When veterinarians prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain, they may choose based on label claim, past experience in the field, price per treatment or per 100 lbs., duration of activity, ease of administration, advice of associates or slaughter withdrawal. […] Read more

Most cases of scours in calves occur at three days or older, meaning they are most likely viral in origin so electrolytes will do more good than antibiotics.

Lessons from a neonatal disease survey

Calving: Measuring the incidence of early calfhood diseases across Western Canada

A very comprehensive survey was completed a few years ago by Dr. Cheryl Waldner at the Western Veterinary College in Saskatoon looking at the incidence of early calfhood diseases across Western Canada. Surveys were distributed to veterinary clinics across this region and randomly distributed to their clients. Thanks should go to the participating veterinarians and […] Read more


RFID tags can act as a cross-reference to the dangle tag.

Multiple uses for RFID tags

Traceability: There are still many positive uses for the tags

RFID tags can be useful to you, the Canadian cattle producers, as well as for traceability and unique animal identification purposes. More uses are emerging all the time. I will be the first to admit there have been problems in the past such as deadline changes, retainability and in rare cases inability to read them […] Read more

Rabies is a rare zoonotic disease

… and it’s almost always fatal to animals

We don’t hear about rabies being mentioned very often but when we do there is a scary connotation attached to it. It is virtually always fatal to all mammals and zoonotic to humans with no curative treatment once clinical signs develop. Only prevention through vaccination and prevention from contact by strong surveillance programs have kept […] Read more


If you happen to change vaccines it does not necessarily mean you need to start a vaccine program all over again.

How and when to change vaccine lines

Animal Health: News Roundup from the September 2018 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

There are many difficult decisions to be made when changing the brand or manufacturer of a vaccine line. Hopefully this article will clarify how to go about making the decision and avoiding any gaps or overlaps that could develop if the right combinations are not chosen. The real comparisons can be made when you know […] Read more

If a heavily pregnant cow has prolapsed, your veterinarian should have a clear idea when she is due to calve.

A vaginal prolapse is not just a prolapse!

Once diagnosed, it’s critical to treat the medical cause as well as the prolapse

This article will focus on only vaginal prolapses. The act of replacing these is the visible part but there are many other aspects veterinarians consider when working on these conditions. The cause, method of replacement, long-term care and expected force of straining afterwards must all be considered when vaginal prolapses are being corrected. As an […] Read more


Degeneration can happen to any bull at any stage of life which is why we semen test before breeding.

Watch for testicular degeneration in bulls

Breeding: If you suspect degeneration, it’s wise to have a semen evaluation performed

One of the most frustrating conditions to hit our herd sires is testicular degeneration (testicles shrinking up). It often strikes without warning or reason. It causes headaches for both purebred breeders with bulls they have sold and for insurance companies with bulls they have insured. In this article I will go over some known causes […] Read more

Treat individual cows to raise the reproductive rate

Ensure good uterine health to help prepare cows for re-breeding

As herds get bigger and electronic ID tags get used more for record-keeping, more attention can be given to individual cow medicine. We can learn lots from our colleagues in dairy production about looking after individual cows. Health and fertility go hand in hand. If by paying attention and potentially treating cows with everything from […] Read more


Well-timed updates on bull scrotal circumference

The third edition of the Bull Breeding Soundness outlines a few changes

The Western Canadian Association of Bovine Practitioners (WCABP) has published a third edition of the Bull Breeding Soundness manual written by Dr. Albert D. Barth, which contains some changes to the accepted minimal scrotal circumference for the different breeds at different ages. The old standard was a few years old so this new version is […] Read more

Peritonitis in cows and its causes

Health: In acute cases, a post mortem is critical to help determine the cause

Peritonitis refers to the inflammation or infection around the peritoneum which is the inside lining of the abdomen. Any infection involving the abdomen receives the nondescript description of peritonitis. This could be an infection around the intestines, stomachs, liver or uterus in cows and heifers. What is most important here is there are many causes […] Read more