GFM Network News


Pastures of any sort as well as annual crops can harbour conditions that lead to fog fever.

Know the signs of fog fever

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Fog fever is not an uncommon condition in adult beef cattle this time of year. It is often sudden in onset and can be a cause of sudden death affecting a significant number of mature cows. It has nothing to do with “fog,” it is linked to nutrition not infection, and body temperature in affected […] Read more

One common vector of transmission for tularemia is a tick.

Tularemia, a potentially serious and life-threatening disease

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Tularemia, sometimes called rabbit fever, is an uncommon but debilitating disease spread from animals to man caused by the bacteria Francicella tularensis. It can be found in a variety of animal hosts, notably lagomorphs (rabbits and hares), aquatic rodents (muskrats, beavers, and water voles), other rodents (water and wood rats and mice), squirrels, and cats. […] Read more


High-risk calves a welfare concern

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) accounts for 65 to 80 per cent of the morbidity (sickness) and 45 to 75 per cent of the mortality (deaths) in feedlots. Dr. Dan Thompson of Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine, speaking at the University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine 2018 Beef Cattle Conference on managing high-risk calves, highlighted the […] Read more

Blackleg: A pasture nemesis

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Blackleg is an acute, febrile, highly fatal disease of cattle, sheep and goats caused by Clostridium chauvoei characterized by swellings with pockets of trapped air that produce crepitation (crackling) over affected areas. Although blackleg can affect any muscle in the body, including the heart and diaphragm, heavy muscles of the front and hind limbs are […] Read more


Although the efficacy of blackleg vaccines is occasionally disputed in North America, there are few veterinary practitioners who would be comfortable convincing producers to stop using the vaccine.

A vaccine that saved the cattle industry

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Blackleg, a disease of many ruminants, is universal. It is most commonly seen in sheep, cattle and goats. Outbreaks have been reported in farmed bison and deer. The acute nature of the disease makes successful treatment difficult. Although the efficacy of commonly used blackleg vaccines has been disputed by the occasional academic based on the […] Read more

Gruinard Island off the northwest coast of Scotland.

Fake News: A chance to learn about forbidden places

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

The story appeared in the Scottish Sunday Herald, Saturday, March 31, 2018. “A group of Russian oligarchs is bidding to buy Gruinard Island off the northwest coast of Scotland. Gruinard is known as Anthrax Island after being used for testing biological weapons during the Second World War. It is uninhabited today due to fears of […] Read more


When Canadian attitudes toward the food supply are tracked, 46 per cent are concerned about drug residues in meat.

Public trust is a ticket forward for the food industry

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

The economic, social and political environment around agriculture has changed. The public, particularly consumers, have influenced the landscape of food production in ways never before recognized. The closer an industry sector’s shift is toward the supermarket meat counter and grocery shelves, the more advanced is the call toward public reckoning about matters involving the food […] Read more

A process to mass-produce penicillin was discovered by USDA scientist Andrew Moyer, shown here in his lab in Peoria, Ill. (Photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Vet Advice: New regs to preserve old and new drugs

I’m often asked why even older antimicrobials are still considered medically important to human medicine. The premise, right or wrong, is to preserve antibiotic effectiveness by reducing the risk of antimicrobial resistance attributed to wholesale use in animal agriculture. While debate still rages over the impact new legislation will have on preserving antimicrobial effectiveness in […] Read more


Cold and abomasal impaction

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Beef cattle on the Canadian Prairies are subject to considerable environmental stress during winter. Starting with the early days of ranching and arrival of U.S. cattle onto the eastern slopes of the Rockies through the mid-1800s, survival of the beef cow meant adaptation to prolonged cold temperatures. Cold and the groundless belief that cattle could […] Read more

Understanding the new drug regulations

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

New regulations governing the purchase and use of antimicrobials (antibiotics) necessitate time spent between veterinarians and producers. Everyone has an opinion. Phrases like “prudent use,” “veterinary-client-patient-relationships,” “veterinary-pharmaceutical stewardship,” “veterinary oversight,” and “documented evidence” pepper the pages of government, academic and veterinary documents issued around antimicrobial use. There is a new vocabulary to be learned, the […] Read more