GFM Network News


VIDEO: Summer pasture concerns for cattle

Dry conditions, lack of good forages could see poor conception rates

Nathan Erickson, a veterinarian with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, talks about some of the challenges cattle producers have faced this summer in some parts of the Prairies and two of the high risk periods seen for pneumonia in calves. (recorded at Ag in Motion 2019)

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


Researchers are working on a test to identify Angus genetics better able to battle bovine respiratory disease.

Immune test in the works to fight bovine respiratory disease

Research: News Roundup from the April 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Several cattle industry organizations are collaborating on a project that could help fight bovine respiratory disease, Farmtario reports. The high-immune test for Angus cattle will identify genetics that are better able to fight the disease. Semex, Angus Genetics Inc., the Canadian Angus Association and the University of Guelph are working together on the project. Genome […] Read more

Scientists on both sides of the issue are quite convincing. Little wonder we confuse readers when we always stress that science is good. – Dr. Ron Clarke

Bold scientists and scientific scrutiny at odds in TSE research

To argue that prion diseases don't jump species barriers is wishful thinking

An old friend called the other day. For years, Jim and I hunted together and have spent many hours discussing issues affecting hunters and the wild game industry. His concern centred around chronic wasting disease (CWD), how it had affected his family’s 2018 harvest of big game and a renewed optimism that researchers, armed with […] Read more


Blood in the feces is one symptom in a calf with coccidiosis.

Coccidiosis affecting young calves in North Dakota

Coccidiosis may produce symptoms in calves three weeks to one year old, but it can infect all age groups

North Dakota cattle producers have been losing young calves to coccidiosis this spring, according to Gerald Stokka, North Dakota State University Extension veterinarian and livestock stewardship specialist. Coccidiosis is an intestinal disease that affects several animal species. In cattle, it may produce clinical symptoms in animals 3 weeks to 1 year old, but it can […] Read more

The majority of deaths due to bovine respiratory disease (BRD) occur shortly after arrival to the feedlot or within the first 45 days.

Chute-side diagnostics for bovine respiratory disease remain elusive

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Speakers at the 2019 Western Canadian Association of Bovine Practitioners addressed bovine respiratory disease (BRD) from several perspectives, including emergence of changing patterns of respiratory disease, economics of BRD, prudent use of antimicrobials in prevention and treatment of BRD, and diagnostics. BRD accounts for approximately 75 per cent of feedlot morbidity and 50 to 70 […] Read more


Tough questions can face livestock owners. If a calf recovers from illness, what caused the event to occur and what action can be taken to prevent it from happening again?

Getting help from a diagnostic laboratory

Animal Health: Diagnostic testing is geared for disease prevention and control

Veterinarians and their large animal clients find themselves in a new era. Regulatory changes regarding the use and acquisition of antimicrobials through 2018 redefined the need for veterinary-client patient relationships between livestock producers and veterinary practitioners. Increasingly sophisticated electronic communication, the universal use of computers and a changing culture of service opened the doors to […] Read more

Crypto is a major culprit in scours in calves.

Developing a better diagnostic for cryptosporidiosis

Research: News Roundup from the March 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

University of Arizona researchers are developing better diagnostic tools for cryptosporidiosis. Cryptosporidiosis, or crypto, is caused by a microscopic parasite. It’s a major culprit in scours in calves. It’s also a zoonotic and can cause serious infections in humans as well as other animals. Because the parasite can spread quickly and cause dangerous infections, early […] Read more


Swelling and yellow pus is visible in the vocal cords.

Dealing with diphtheria in calves

Animal Health: The condition is serious enough that swelling can restrict breathing to the point of suffocation

Diphtheria is an upper respiratory problem in cattle characterized by an infection or inflammation of the vocal folds. It can be serious if swelling restricts the airway and makes breathing difficult. Dr. Steve Hendrick of Coaldale Veterinary Clinic at Coaldale, Alta., sees quite a few cases of diphtheria in cow-calf operations and in feedlots. “It’s […] Read more

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