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


A 60-day breeding season is an ideal goal to shoot for.

Keep your cattle breeding season short

Breeding: News Roundup from the June 2018 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

It is my experience that there is no single best calving season for all operations. Each is unique in terms of labour, facilities, feedstuffs, and ultimately, the selection should be determined by the likelihood of achieving the highest conception rates and calf crop percentage weaned with your available resources. Regardless of when you calve, there is […] 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


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

Knowing when to act to help ensure a successful birth is crucial if problems occur during calving.

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


The purebred herd starts calving in January and the commercial cattle about March 10.

Calving at Tannas Ranch

A family-run, fourth-generation ranch in Alberta

Mark and Ingrid Tannas, their son Luke and his wife Ceanna run 300 purebred Angus and 125 commercial cows at their ranch west of Water Valley, Alta. Mark is the fourth generation on the ranch. “Our family has been here about 50 years, and we built our first calving barn about 40 years ago. It […] Read more



There are few fractures today that cannot be dealt with in an economical fashion, says Saskatchewan veterinarian Andy Acton.

Dealing with broken bones in calves

There are many options for setting a broken bone

Occasionally cattle suffer fractures, and it’s generally a leg bone. Often it’s a young or newborn calf, and the fractured limb should be cast or splinted for proper healing. When Dr. Andy Acton with Deep South Animal Clinic at Ogema, Sask., gets a phone call from a producer about a possible fracture, he asks about […] 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