GFM Network News


Cattle can get stuck or go down when being processed

Cattle can get stuck or go down when being processed

Beef 911: Watch for balking and think prevention when it comes to alleyways and chutes

Large cows or bulls can get stuck or go down in a chute or an alleyway system, and that can cause losses or welfare issues. I have trained myself to really watch when cattle balk at certain points of a handling system as there is often a very good reason for this, and one that deserves attention. In some cases

Focusing on the big three calf conditions will pay

Focusing on the big three calf conditions will pay

Beef 911: Scours, pneumonia or navel infections are commonplace but their incidence can be reduced

Most experienced cattle producers will have had an increased incidence in one of the three main calf diseases we see on ranches across Western Canada. These can be smouldering problems and occur year after year. I have spent many a time over my career discussing treatment of scours, pneumonia or navel infection (and then, ideally, working on


Keep a close watch for these issues when calving

Keep a close watch for these issues when calving

Beef 911: Recognizing the signs of trouble and acting quickly can be a true lifesaver

This column is my attempt to summarize the many ways we can hopefully maximize calf survivability and productivity starting at calving time. Each of you will have different management styles, strategies, and numbers — but if there are one or two new things, techniques, or observations you can learn from, the read will have been

What to do when the expiry date has passed

What to do when the expiry date has passed

Beef 911: While there are some grey areas, products have an expiry date for a good reason

We as veterinarians and you as producers run into many questions in our careers regarding whether we can or cannot use expired medications in cattle production. Veterinary clinics cannot sell product that has been expired, so if you see that a product has expired, simply take it back as a mistake has been made. In

Individual animal treatments are often worth pursuing

Individual animal treatments are often worth pursuing

Beef 911: We focus on the herd, but it’s often worth it to treat problems specific to one animal

We focus on herd medicine, herd reproduction, production, biosecurity, animal welfare and marketing — and these, without a doubt, have a big impact on profitability as well as consumer acceptance. However, in cattle production there are still the individual cases which require our attention and can have favourable outcomes. Early detection and treatment increase our


In order to do a proper job, continual maintenance of veterinary equipment is critical.

When it comes to equipment, it’s best to be like a Boy Scout

Beef 911: ‘Be prepared’ should be your motto — maintain equipment and have a backup plan

We all spend lots of time in animal health using equipment to administer vaccines, giving implants, weighing cattle, handling cattle, and administering pain control. In the veterinary world, we use surgical instruments, semen ejaculators, ultrasounds for diagnosis of reproductive things to internal problems and other equipment ranging from tubing devices to esophageal feeders to calf

At times beef vaccines have come perilously close to being in critically short supply.

The vaccine supply is more fragile than you might think

Beef 911: Supplies can run short for many reasons, so you need to be prepared for that possibility

A lot of disease prevention and maintaining productivity relies on vaccination, and we often don’t realize how much we rely on these vaccines until there is a shortage. With there only being a few large pharmaceutical companies, there may be few alternatives to turn to. With regulatory control being very strict and changes slow to

Video meat inspection moves a step forward

Video meat inspection moves a step forward

Beef 911: Changes to allow video ante-mortem inspection and on-farm slaughter make good sense

All through the year accidents can happen and the need for emergency slaughter can arise. Broken legs during breeding season, fighting or, very rarely during transport, downer cattle, make access to emergency slaughter imperative. In Alberta, the government recently announced changes that will allow a mobile butcher to take video of the animal, which can


The goal should always be to produce the healthiest cattle

The goal should always be to produce the healthiest cattle

Beef 911: We need to get rid of the notion that high-risk cattle are the most profitable

I’ve heard it said on the feeder side that high-risk cattle are the most profitable. The argument is that when you run the numbers and take into account morbidity, mortality and all other costs, these cattle have the potential to make the most profit at the end of the day. Of course the big factor

Generics are part of a strong medicine pipeline

Generics are part of a strong medicine pipeline

Beef 911: The regulatory regime, including patents, means the product lineup is always changing

Generic medicines have been around for a long time in both human and animal medicine. They are essentially copycat products that come out after the protective patents run out on the original product. You are familiar with the ‘apo’ products that are available when you get your human prescriptions filled and it is really no