GFM Network News


Cattle in the field on a January day.

Milk fever in beef cows

Veterinary Case Study with Dr. Ron Clarke

Matt called early on January 1, 1975, worried about a downer cow on a field of swathed barley damaged by hail in July of the previous summer. Matt let the crop volunteer through the growing season with plans to swath it near the end of harvest as winter graze for his herd of 200 Hereford-cross […] Read more

Cold weather also poses a challenge to newborn calves, but with good cow nutrition, shelter and disease management, they’re better prepared to survive those conditions.  


Preventing weak calf syndrome

Factors ranging from cow nutrition to weather to disease can cause this often complex condition

Weak calf syndrome is a general condition rather than a specific disease, and can be caused by several different factors, sometimes multiple factors at the same time. The newborn calf is weak, unable or slow to rise, stand or nurse. These calves often die within three days of birth. They are sometimes called “dummy calves” […] Read more


Farmer and veterinarian talking in a barn with cows in the back.

Herd health consultations necessary to buy antimicrobials

A veterinarian shares the process of establishing a veterinarian-client-patient relationship through a herd health consultation

While establishing and maintaining a veterinarian-client-patient relationship takes some time and effort, it’s likely simpler than expected, according to one beef cattle veterinarian. Creating a relationship with a veterinarian can provide great value to producers, says *Dr. Cody Creelman, beef cattle veterinarian at Veterinary Agri-Health Services in Airdrie, Alta. Although a large percentage of producers […] Read more

An animal health tale about us

An animal health tale about us

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

October. The cattle come off the mountain pastures and the prairie grasslands into the corrals where the calves will be separated from their mothers. The lucky ones will stay on the farm or ranch as replacement breeding stock or be fed on the home place so the stress of weaning is minimal. Others will be […] Read more


Shortages of Vitamin A and E will have an impact on calf survival and breeding season this year.

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

Farmer With Vet Examining Calf

One Health: Recreating the future

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

On November 3, 2016, individuals, academics, nonprofit organizations and the corporate world recognized “One Health Day.” This was an opportunity to address the inextricable interaction between animals, environment and humans, and how the veterinary and medical health professions should interact. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, MD speaking at the 2016 Hill’s Symposium, recognized that the human medical community […] Read more


Storage and care of livestock vaccines

Storage and care of livestock vaccines

We can’t always control how an animal responds to the vaccines we give (in terms of immune response, which can be affected by many factors including health issues and stress levels) but we do have complete control over how we handle and store the vaccines, to make sure they will be optimally potent. Russ Daly, […] Read more

mother cow and calf

Five steps to a successful calving season

Preparations in advance makes calving season both easier on you and your herd

Calving season is an exciting time of year in most operations. It is exciting to see new calves hitting the ground, but it can also be exciting in more of a pending emergency sort of way. Most herds that have successful, low-drama calving seasons have several things in common, regardless of their calving season, most […] Read more


With diagnosis, more mistakes are made from not looking than not knowing. The clues are there if you look for them.

The importance of field diagnosis

Health: The most common reason a treatment fails is due to a wrong diagnosis

If an animal has a health problem, it’s crucial to have the correct diagnosis before attempting treatment. Dr. Chris Clark of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon says the most common reason that a treatment fails is a wrong diagnosis. “We often complain about disease not responding to treatment. But the drugs we […] Read more

Can cattle be “fattened up” on pasture without grain supplementation?

Can cattle be “fattened up” on pasture without grain supplementation?

News Roundup: Virtual on-farm necropsy, VBP animal care module progresses, and calls to suspend COOL

Forage Can I do that on grass? By Jack Kyle, Ontario forage specialist With increased interest in grass-fed beef, people ask if it is possible to fatten cattle on pasture without grain supplementation. The answer is yes, with a few conditions. When grass finishing animals remember that the market is generally not looking for as […] Read more