GFM Network News


Antimicrobial resistance isn’t one of the hot issues of the day, but neither producers or feedlot operators can afford to lower their guard when it comes to prevention, say both feedlot veterinarian Joyce Van Donkersgoed and Reynold Bergen, science director for the Beef Cattle Research Council.

AMR a battle that producers and the beef sector cannot afford to lose

Antimicrobial resistance in cattle isn’t going away, so proper use of livestock drugs is critical

Reading Time: 5 minutes There’s a microscopic war raging in your soil, and these bacteria will do whatever it takes to protect and expand their territory. “It’s like a little arms race that goes on naturally in the environment,” said Reynold Bergen, science director for the Beef Cattle Research Council. “They’re using antibiotic resistance to defend themselves against each […] Read more

Tense and flighty cattle may be more prone to disease, says Diego Moya Fernandez, an assistant professor at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

Being tense and temperamental may not be good for a cow’s health

The way cattle exit the chute could be an indicator of their chances of falling prey to a disease

Reading Time: 3 minutes Can your herd health improve if you know how to spot and cull the temperamental cattle? That’s what Diego Moya Fernandez is hoping to find out. “We are not trying to look for happy or sad cows,” said the assistant professor and researcher at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. “When I talk about temperament, […] Read more


“Please listen to your veterinary health providers and use the vaccinations, parasite control and other preventative measures they recommend to give your herd immunity.” – Roy Lewis.

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

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

Reading Time: 3 minutes In my travels, on calls or when talking to other veterinarian’s 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 […] Read more

A horse’s immune system can’t be taken for granted

A horse’s immune system can’t be taken for granted

Our understanding of the immune system has evolved past the war-on-germs analogy

Reading Time: 3 minutes In horses, as in humans, the immune system is a powerful biological force. 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 the simple eradication of pathogens. While accurate, this description vastly oversimplifies immunity. […] Read more


UCVM takes on poultry diagnostics

Reading Time: < 1 minute The University of Calgary faculty of veterinary medicine (UCVM) and Alberta’s four poultry producer boards are partnering on a poultry diagnostic system. Formerly provided by Poultry Health Services, the program can test for diseases such as avian flu, E. coli, and other pathogens and microbes. Poultry Health Services of Airdrie, which serves the commercial poultry […] Read more

“We have to step it up. We have to find ways of making more veterinarians of our own.” – Dr. Pat Burrage.

No light at the end of the tunnel for rural vet shortage

The number of vet school grads willing to work in a rural practice barely keeps up with retirements

Reading Time: 6 minutes Veterinarian Pat Burrage tried to retire back in 2018. But so far, he hasn’t had much luck. There just aren’t enough new vets out there to take up the mantle. “The veterinary shortage is the reason a geriatric like me has a job,” he said with a laugh. “Currently in Alberta, we’re producing graduate veterinarians […] Read more


There are several keys to getting a yearling on the proper path

There are several keys to getting a yearling on the proper path

Horse Health: Sound nutrition, plenty of exercise and social interactions are the foundation for the horse’s future

Reading Time: 4 minutes As the equine version of an early teenager, the yearling is a bit of a peculiarity within the modern-day horse world. Yearlings generally appear and act physically ungainly, have a naive mindset and are often emotionally raw. So pressure and haste are often placed upon the yearling to be more than it is and to […] 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


Elizabeth Homerosky

Cattle CSI: Big-time wrecks require careful sleuthing

Turns out that all four of the mysterious cases were examples of ‘minerals gone bad,’ says vet

Reading Time: 5 minutes Not all minerals play nice, and some can create serious health problems in cattle. “The thing that makes the phone ring the most are feed- or nutritional-related disease outbreaks,” Dr. Elizabeth Homerosky of Veterinary Agri-Health Services said at the recent virtual Red-Bow Ranching Conference. “The most common thing, especially this time of year, are downer […] Read more

Lameness can have several causes and determining the right one is key to treating it.

The cause of lameness in cattle isn’t always straightforward

One of every two dozen animals are diagnosed with lameness, but you can lower that number

Reading Time: 3 minutes Not all lameness is caused by foot rot so getting a proper diagnosis is the key to determining the appropriate treatment and management. Lameness can affect any type of cattle including feedlot animals, breeding bulls, range cows, or animals confined to a corral. It limits an animal’s interest in eating, drinking, or breeding, resulting in […] Read more