GFM Network News


The pandemic taught us many lessons in the animal health field

The pandemic taught us many lessons in the animal health field

Beef 911: The supply chain stayed strong and co-operation made it stronger, and that’s very important

The direct contact between veterinarians and producers and pharmaceutical reps and technical services veterinarians has begun to open up again. Each pharmaceutical company had different restrictions on travel and rules on in-person contact and, of course, are fully abiding by the local health rules of the different provinces. The good news is that during the pandemic, the manufacturing and

Droughts always teach (or remind) us of things we need to be prepared for to maintain health and production in our herds, including ways to access feed and, if need be, marketing.

Things to consider after a drought has hit

Beef 911: The drought and intensive heat wave have created plenty of issues for producers to deal with

Droughts always teach (or remind) us of things we need to be prepared for to maintain health and production in our herds, including ways to access feed and, if need be, marketing. The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) recently put on a very good question-and-answer webinar relating to drought concerns and cattle health. Here are


With heat stress, prevention is the key via shade, lots of water and misting if possible.

There will be more heat waves, and we need to be prepared

Beef 911: Extreme heat is no different than any natural disaster, so get an emergency checklist ready

By the time you read this, one of the longest heat waves to hit the Prairies should be ancient history and you’ll be assessing what the ramifications were. If this becomes an event we see every few years (global warming?), we need to explore how we can potentially initiate emergency measures to help cattle cope.

Our thinking about vaccinations is evolving for the better

Our thinking about vaccinations is evolving for the better

Beef 911: We want the best bang for our vaccine buck, and research is looking for ways to do that

This article will focus on some recent work on vaccination by Dr. Nathan Erickson and others at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. They basically had different calf groups vaccinated with different respiratory virus products in different ways, and measured the results. They solidified some knowledge we have about how we vaccinate our calves, but

Wildlife, especially rodents like raccoons and rats, can transmit leptospirosis to so-called ‘closed herds.’

Don’t be fooled into thinking a ‘closed herd’ is an excuse for inaction

Beef 911: Transmission can occur from wildlife, via spores or breeding bulls, so be proactive

In my travels, on calls or when talking to other veterinarians’ producers, I still hear some hide behind the proverbial, ‘I don’t do that because I have a closed herd.’ It is an absolute misconception that because a herd is ‘closed,’ it is protected. That is a very broad statement and may apply to a


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