GFM Network News


Not getting enough colostrum may lead to the first case of the three main calfhood diseases.

Focusing on the big three calf conditions will pay dividends

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

Reading Time: 3 minutes Most experienced cattlemen 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 […] Read more

Keep a close watch for these issues when calving

Keep a close watch for these issues when calving

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

Reading Time: 3 minutes With spring approaching, I am going to attempt to summarize the many ways we can collectively (and 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, […] Read more


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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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 […] Read more

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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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 […] Read more


As the Boy Scout motto says, ‘Be Prepared,’ and that couldn’t be more true when processing cattle.

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

Beef 911: ‘Be prepared’— maintain equipment and having a backup plan


Reading Time: 3 minutes 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 […] Read more

When vaccines are manufactured, they are checked for efficacy to determine if the manufacturing process has been successful.

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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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 […] Read more


COVID-19 has revealed how vulnerable the food supply chain can be. It is a shame when we have some of the best beef in the world and can’t get access to enough of it.

New slaughter regulations are a step forward

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

Reading Time: 3 minutes All through the year accidents can happen and the need for emergency slaughter can arise. Broken legs during breeding season, fighting, very rarely during transport or downer cattle make access to emergency slaughter imperative. Recently announced changes will allow a mobile butcher to video the animal and that can be used by an inspector for […] Read more

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Beef 911: The goal should always be to produce the healthiest cattle

We need to ditch the notion that high-risk cattle are somehow the most profitable

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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 […] Read more


Generics are part of a strong medicine pipeline

Generics are part of a strong medicine pipeline

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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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 […] Read more

Any time we find liver flukes it could be a serious herd problem, so take care to treat and monitor.

They’re hard to diagnose but flukes are a concern

Unexplained weight loss is one sign that this parasite may be affecting your herd

Reading Time: 3 minutes I hear of the diagnosis of liver flukes here and there, a condition that can be hard to diagnose and has rather limited treatments. One of the first clinical signs is non-specific weight loss, which can be confused with many things. As well, having liver flukes predisposes cattle to a susceptibility to a clostridial disease […] Read more