GFM Network News


Mentorship can help vet students from urban backgrounds gain the confidence needed to move into rural practice.

Creativity needed to address veterinarian shortage

As demand grows for veterinarians, stagnant graduation rates and steep competition from urban areas have left many rural practices in a crunch

Working in a rural community as a large animal veterinarian always made perfect sense to Dr. Trevor Lawson. “There’s nowhere I’d sooner be because I came from a rural area and that’s where I always wanted to be,” says Lawson, who practices at Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia, specializing in bovine and equine care, and is an […] Read more

Rosie is an Ayrshire-cross milk cow, the kind of cow you could milk anywhere if you offered a handful of oats.

This cow’s coming apart: Photosensitivity linked to dry conditions

Veterinary Case Study: A dry summer likely encouraged Rosie the milk cow to graze plants she’d normally avoid, and the results were nearly disastrous

Kirby’s ranch incorporated a section of short grass prairie and bush southeast of Regina. Kirby’s family lived comfortably on what 30 commercial cows, two sows, a milk cow, 20 chickens and a full-time job at the lumberyard provided. Kirby could have been a stand-up comedian because he had more one-liners than most could imagine and […] Read more


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

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

The Livestock Price Insurance Program is offering an expanding buying and settlement window for cow-calf producers.

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