GFM Network News


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

Adequate sleep is one of the essential building blocks of a strong immune system.

A war no more

Horse Health: Our understanding of the immune system has evolved past the war on germs analogy

In horses, as in humans and many other animals, the immune system is a powerful biological force that plays a profound role in maintaining health. Most of the time, it works so effectively that its true value is often overlooked, even minimized. The traditional view of an immune system is as an army poised for


We ask a lot of a horse’s feet, so we need to be able to identify when they’re a source of pain and discomfort.

Take care of the tender foot

Horse Health: Horses are far too good at disguising their generalized foot pain

As animals of prey, horses are adept at masking pain – especially foot pain. Therefore generalized foot pain in the horse is often overlooked for its contributing role in equine lamenesses, behaviour and performance. Foot pain matters deeply to the physical health and psychic well-being of the horse that, at a primal level, relies on

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

Pilot project to try veterinary health products on for size

Pilot project to try veterinary health products on for size

The CFIA has said the pilot program will inform potential Feeds Regulations changes

The call is coming for feed companies wanting to add “general health” products into their lineups. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada say they will start taking applications for a pilot project — which will allow commercial livestock feed mixed with a limited list of veterinary health products (VHPs) such as organic


This cow is showing hair loss because of lice.

Resistance suspected in lice woes

Lice populations in cattle have become much more difficult to control

In the midst of one of the mildest winters in the region’s history, many cattle producers are faced with lice infestations in herds even though they have treated their cattle. Some even have treated more than once and still are seeing the effects of lice in their livestock. “We are experiencing lice populations that are

Lamb producers say ewe nutritional needs vary so greatly depending on the number of lambs being carried that producers need reliable and affordable access to ultrasound services.

Sheep producers push for relaxed ultrasound tech rules

Currently, only vets can provide ultrasound preg checking on a flock that isn’t theirs or their employer’s

Sheep producers want access to contract services for ultrasound preg checking, something they currently have to invest in on their own, or arrange through a veterinarian visit. Manitoba Sheep chair Morgan Moore says making room for contracted ultrasound preg checks, from technicians accredited under an incoming Canadian Sheep Federation framework, would fill a critical gap

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