GFM Network News


A case of acute BVD in a calf. BVD can cause symptoms ranging from nasal discharge to birth defects, as well as diarrhea.  Photo: Supplied by Dr. John Campbell

BVD still a threat to Canadian cattle herds

Even closed herds can be at risk for BVD, making vaccination key to preventing this disease

Bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) can affect cattle in many ways, causing abortion, birth defects, stillborn calves, immune deficiencies in persistently infected animals, and other acute or chronic illness. BVD is also an indirect cause of many other diseases because it has adverse effects on the immune system. An estimate a few years ago suggested that […] Read more

Use a cooler with ice or heat packs to keep vaccines at the right temperature.

Make vaccinations work for your cattle herd

When giving a shot, make sure it isn’t a shot in the dark

As ranchers begin another calving season and vets stock their shelves with vaccines and supplies, now is the time to review vaccination protocols and management practices to make sure the herd is protected. Dr. Glen Griffin of South West Animal Health Centre in Swift Current, Sask., has been serving the southwest since 2004, when he […] Read more


Colombia cleared of foot-and-mouth

Country now aims to double meat exports

Bogota | Reuters — Colombia will look to double its meat exports now it has regained its status as a country free of foot-and-mouth disease, President Ivan Duque said on Thursday. Foot-and-mouth is a highly contagious viral disease found in animals and is one of the most serious to affect livestock, including cattle, sheep and […] Read more

A Styrofoam cooler with heat or cold packs is a simple piece of equipment that keeps vaccine at the right temperature.

Keep syringes and needles clean and working during vaccination

Make sure you protect your vaccine’s effectiveness with a few practical steps

Getting the most out of a vaccine starts with the syringes and needles. Dr. Cody Creelman, a bovine veterinarian in southern Alberta, recently held a free webinar on ways to make cattle vaccines more effective. Part of his webinar covered how to keep needles and syringes clean and working well. Creelman recommends checking and replacing […] Read more


The first phase would see successful small businesses get up to $150,000 to refine their research.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency seeks proposals for vaccine matching

Research: News Roundup from the September 30, 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) seeks proposals from small businesses on developing a computer model that predicts which vaccine strain would best control foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks in cattle, sheep and swine. Foot-and-mouth is highly contagious, making it a serious threat to the agriculture industry. Viral strains can be stored in vaccine banks, but right […] Read more

Hughes works to minimize stress during weaning by vaccinating calves and introducing them to pellets before splitting them from their dams.

Tips for reducing antibiotic use on the ranch

Producers and veterinarians adapt to new rules around livestock antibiotic use

Beef producers used to be able to pick up antibiotics at their favourite farm supply store or local small town co-op, but things changed on December 1, 2018. Since then, Health Canada has mandated that all medically important livestock antibiotics require a veterinary prescription. While producers and veterinarians alike have dealt with some challenges that […] Read more


Intestinal lesions caused by Johne's disease.

Johne’s disease: Cheap to buy, costly to live with

“Biosecurity” often conjures up images of poultry or hog operations with truckers-report-at-the-gate signs, shower-in-and-out rules and workers dressed in hazmat suits. The point of biosecurity practices is obviously to reduce the risk that disease-causing microbes will enter or spread within high-health status herds or flocks. It is much harder to implement high levels of bio­security […] 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


An outbreak in anthrax occurs primarily in wet springs followed by a very hot, dry summer or in very dry conditions.

Preventing anthrax in cattle

In dry years, livestock graze closer to the ground and may come in contact with spores

With the fall 2018 anthrax outbreak in northern B.C., now is an ideal time to review prevention strategies. In 2006 we learned lots about the disease and how to control it with the big outbreak in Western Canada. Cattle are very susceptible, along with a long list of other species including bison and horses. It […] Read more

Subcutaneous lumps can be more visible and last longer than localized reactions from intramuscular injections. But in most cases they’re not very painful.

Be prepared for vaccination reactions in cattle

Vaccines can sometimes hyper-stimulate the immune system

Occasionally cattle react to vaccine. An allergic reaction can be mild and local, with swelling at the injection site. But if the animal goes into anaphylactic shock, it can be serious and even fatal. Vaccines contain antigens that are foreign to the body. The goal is for the body to recognize them as foreign and […] Read more