GFM Network News


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

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

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


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

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

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 […] 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

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

Cattle producers are familiar with mitigating risk when it comes to infectious diseases.

Cattle sector knows about learning and adapting

Infectious disease is a constant risk on ranches and feedlots, and we know how to reduce the threat

The COVID-19 outbreak gives us time to reflect on how we do things with our livestock. Cattle producers are in the unique situation in the sense we all know about infectious disease — and mitigating risk. From now on, it won’t be as hard to explain to people how we don’t want visitors, especially around […] Read more


Technique matters when administering oral products

There are several things to be aware of when 
using balling guns and oral techniques

The use of balling guns or administration of other oral products is increasing in the cattle business, including for NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). In the old days, a few antibiotics such as long-acting sulfa drugs were given as oral tablets or there were big aspirin pills. These are both actually still available today but seldom […] Read more

Producers who pay attention to teat and udder conformation rarely encounter a cow with mastitis.

Now is a good time to check udders of cows and bred heifers

Paying attention to teat and udder conformation greatly reduces the odds of having a cow with mastitis

Before calving is a good time for scrutinizing the udders of cows and bred heifers. Occasionally chronic infected quarters (probably emanating from the year previous) are highly visible as large swollen quarters compared to the other three. They will often flare up a few weeks before calving as the colostrum is being formed. Usually the […] Read more


Inducing cows is always a risk-and-reward scenario

Many factors need to be considered and no two cases are exactly alike

There comes a time in cow-calf production to induce cows to calve for a number of reasons. This may be because there is an abnormal pregnancy, the cow has a life-threatening condition, the pregnancy has gone on too long leading to health issues or other reasons. All require careful thought and examination as every case […] Read more

Treating cattle is not easy and many decisions need to be made.

Quick treatment of sick animals is often critical

Sometimes a wait-and-see approach works but often a rapid response is needed to prevent losses

Veterinary medicine, like human medicine, is very complex and difficult to master. Outcomes can rely on a quick, accurate diagnosis and followed up by a timely treatment. If we have made the right diagnosis, detected it early enough and treated with the appropriate product, then the odds of a successful prognosis will go up considerably. […] Read more