GFM Network News


The bacterium Mycoplasma bovis is an economically important pathogen of cattle that contributes to the complex nature of bovine respiratory disease.

Has Mycoplasma bovis jumped the species barrier — again?

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Mycoplasma bovis is an important bacterial pathogen associated with chronic pneumonia and arthritis in feedlot animals, mastitis in dairy herds and middle ear infections in calves. Over the last two decades, Mycoplasma bovis emerged as a cause of troubling respiratory disease and arthritis in feedlot cattle and extended into young dairy and veal calves. A […] Read more

Skunks, bats and wild carnivores run the highest risk of transmitting rabies.

Rabies in livestock often forgotten

Six tips to avoid rabies exposure

Rabies is a disease based in antiquity. It has been described through pictures and text since ancient times. The end result hasn’t changed: living creatures get rabies; they die. Globally, rabies claims over 55,000 human lives every year from every continent in the world except Antarctica. Fortunately, rabies is a relatively rare disease in humans […] Read more


Twelve hours is the golden window for getting colostrum into a newborn calf.

The ins and outs of stomach tubing calves

New calves in distress or having trouble nursing can still get their first colostrum by tubing, giving them a better shot at good health

Finding a newborn calf too weak to stand or in distress is all too common. Without intervention, calves in this condition will likely die. It doesn’t have to end that way according to Dr. Melissa Wallace of Livestock Veterinary Services, Picture Butte, Alta. Vulnerable calves can receive their first colostrum by tubing, essentially jump-starting health […] Read more

Animals play a role in the emergence and dynamics of infectious disease.

Infectious disease: Transmissibility and herd immunity

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

In November 2019, the world changed. A cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China — the cause eventually identified as a novel coronavirus labelled COVID-19 — turned the world on its ear. While a novel coronavirus trammeled the world, humans stood in awe wondering what might happen. COVID-19 sickened 46.2 million people (as of November […] Read more


The staff at Bow Valley Genetics.

New opportunities to apply embryo transfer

Embryo transfer may start to grow in commercial herds, in conjunction with other genetic selection tools

When you think of bovine embryo transfer, it’s likely you view it as a technique geared toward the seedstock industry. This advanced reproductive technology is a well-established tool for purebred breeders, and now some embryo transfer practitioners are seeing opportunities for its growth in commercial breeding programs. “Embryo transfer or IVF is not a technology […] Read more

Cattle need nearly three times as much oxygen as a similar-sized horse just to stay awake and lie around.

Everything old is new again – treating chronic mycoplasma

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Cattle were ideally created (or evolved) to consume and digest high fibre diets. Whoever (or whatever) was responsible for designing the rumen so elegantly probably should have paid more attention to the respiratory tract. The design of the bovine respiratory tract makes it easy for BRD bacteria such as Mannheimia, Pasteurella, Histophilus and Mycoplasma to […] Read more


Foot-and-mouth disease is regularly found in many parts of the world and threatens Canada’s livestock industry.

Much to learn about foot-and-mouth disease: Part 2

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious, acute, viral disease affecting cloven-hooved animals including pigs, cattle, sheep and goats. Controlling FMD in countries previously free of the disease and wishing to re-establish freedom is a sophisticated process requiring technical expertise, persistence and tough decisions. The disease is characterized by formation of vesicles and erosions inside […] Read more

The project is being funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

University of Calgary expands diagnostic services for livestock industry

Animal Health: News Roundup from the September 28 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

The University of Calgary’s faculty of veterinary medicine is piloting an expansion of its diagnostic service unit for enhanced animal disease diagnosis and welfare. Since the provincial government ended comprehensive veterinary diagnostic services for livestock in 1995, private practitioners have picked up those services. That model has worked for companion animals and, to some extent, […] Read more


Vaccines are an important part of a preventative herd health program, but they aren’t a silver bullet.

An(other) ounce of prevention

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

My first fire drill in Grade 1 was absolute chaos, screaming and panic as we all circled the teacher, who was likely wondering how our parents had managed to keep us alive this long. By Grade 3, we yawned and strolled to the nearest door. Fire drills teach kids what to do when there’s no […] Read more

Liners sit empty on a spring morning at Red Deer, Alta. Cattle are more  susceptible to bovine respiratory disease after transport and when commingling, but research shows probiotics may help reduce disease prevalence.

Linking probiotics and respiratory health

Studies on the bovine microbiota show the possibility of using probiotics to help prevent bovine respiratory disease

Ongoing studies are leading scientists closer to the development of an alternative to help prevent and treat the beef industry’s costliest disease. Researchers at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) research centre in Lethbridge, Alta., are developing a probiotic to help reduce the incidence of bovine respiratory disease (BRD). Though several studies are still needed […] Read more