Latest articles


Meconium staining of newborn calves is a red flag

This spring think of meconium as an early warning sign of many things

As a veterinarian over the past 35 years I’ve been called many times to assist with difficult calvings or malpresentations that resulted in meconium (first manure) stained calves. The jury is still out on what causes this and what we should do about it. Veterinarians have many opinions on this topic, as it is a […] Read more


Improper cervical dilation at calving

Recognizing when it's happening is your first step

One of the hardest calving dilemmas you or your veterinarian face, is improper cervical dilation. Before expulsion of the fetus the cervix normally relaxes, softens and opens up essentially as wide as the vagina to allow the fetus to enter the vaginal vault. When this does not happen normally, or is delayed, the health of […] Read more



Extra equipment for your calving kit

Calving/Equipment with Roy Lewis, DVM

Just as a good mechanic has specific tools for specific jobs you too need specialized equipment during calving season. Each piece should be clean, disinfected and accessible when calving, and a little practice with this equipment beforehand is always beneficial. You may not need these particular tools often, but when you do they can save […] Read more


Practical ways to reduce our use of antibiotics

The livestock industry has made great strides in addressing the topic of antimicrobial usage and indirectly lessening the opportunity for the formation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. From veterinarians setting treatment protocols to cow-calf and feedlot producers implementing effective coping strategies, progress is being made in minimizing the incidence of disease and thus reducing the need for […] Read more



Steer clear of fatigued cattle syndrome

Animal Health with Roy Lewis, Dvm

A few years ago cattle from an Amer­ican feedlot went down during transport to a packing plant and others developed severe lameness. This condition was eventually labelled fatigued cattle syndrome and became a huge animal welfare issue due to the appearance of severely lame, non-ambulatory cattle. Initially beta-agonists were incriminated but numerous studies have essentially […] Read more


The benefits of palpating heifers

There are both economic and health benefits for your cattle operation

Many commercial or purebred producers and auction markets are realizing the benefits of palpating heifers pre-breeding. This can also be done at pregnancy checking and involve a more thorough exam than simply a determination of whether they are pregnant or not. I will try and high­light some of these and explain how this may economically […] Read more



vaccinating a calf

Criteria for selecting the right antibiotic

There are a lot of factors at play and all of them need to be 
considered in every case where antibiotics are an option

Although a few very effective antibiotics have been removed from the marketplace over the years, the choice has never been greater. The challenge is there are so many factors hinging on the outcome, so deciding which antibiotic to use — or if one is necessary at all — can be a very difficult decision. Also […] Read more




Monitoring the suckle reflex in calves

Some recent research has revealed a test that easily predicts which calves should receive supplemental colostrum at only a few minutes old. It was the result of some work by Dr. Elizabeth Homerosky, a veterinarian at the faculty of veterinary medicine at the University of Calgary, as she was comparing various testing procedures to determine […] Read more