GFM Network News


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

There is a long list of measures you must take in order to have a truly closed herd, including no fenceline contact.

Why closed cattle herds are like unicorns

It takes extraordinary measures to truly have a closed herd, and that’s why vaccinations are needed

(Note: This article has been edited and condensed.) A surprising proportion of producers believe they run a closed herd. The 2017 Western Canadian Cow-Calf Survey found that of approximately 25 per cent of respondents who did not vaccinate their cows and heifers against reproductive diseases such as IBR and BVD, over half said their reason was because […] Read more


Most producers in Western Canada are vaccinating their herds, but those who don’t are leaving their cattle vulnerable to common diseases.

Calculating the bottom line on not vaccinating cows

Not vaccinating herds comes with a cost — these two calculators put a number on potential losses

(This article has been edited for length. The full version can be found in the BCRC Blog section at beefresearch.ca.) Vaccination is a proven tool for disease prevention, but in Western Canada, one in 10 producers surveyed are not vaccinating their cows for infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) and bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVD). As well, […] Read more

Universities can adapt to COVID-19, UCVM dean says

As administrators and faculty modify the system, dean calls for renewed public focus on food production and distribution

As COVID-19 pushes universities to change the way they teach, carry out research and conduct clinical work, the dean of veterinary medicine at the University of Calgary is confident that they can adapt. The academic system “from coast to coast is very intact,” Dr. Baljit Singh said. “We will continue to develop new technologies. We […] Read more


A new $2.35-million research program aims to create new approaches for managing bovine respiratory disease and other production-limiting diseases, says Dr. Cheryl Waldner.

New research will produce tools you can use, says cattle health expert

The new five-year $2.35-million research program will first tackle bovine respiratory disease and Johne’s disease, as well as antimicrobial resistance

A major new research program will help cattle producers manage two key diseases in their herds — and they can expect to have new tools in their hands in just a few years. “We’re looking at new approaches for managing important issues like bovine respiratory disease and other production-limiting diseases such as Johne’s disease,” said […] 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


Most arenas feature a surface, base and sub-base, all of which contribute to the experience of the horse.

What’s underfoot has a big effect on horse soundness

Footing surface impacts the quality of performance and can even bring a risk of injury

Horses are well adapted to move over a variety of terrain and their entire bodies benefit tremendously from doing so. Variable ground surfaces in a horse’s environment challenge and stimulate the healthy development of hooves, supportive connective tissues and musculoskeleture — all the while weaving in resiliency and soundness for the horse. Footing is a […] Read more

Mentoring of young veterinarians is key to retention at clinics.

What we can do to address the shortage of large-animal vets

More spots in veterinary schools and more support for new grads would go a long way

After talking with large-animal veterinarians, observing the number of ads for large-animal veterinarians, and taking part in a job fair at the University of Calgary’s vet school, it’s clear that there is getting to be a real shortage of veterinarians wanting to do either mixed- or large-animal practice in Western Canada. But strategies are starting […] Read more


Horse owners can make significant contributions to their horses’ lives every day towards allowing the joints to maintain their own state of health and integrity.

There isn’t a silver bullet to prevent arthritis in horses

Proper nutrition, a sensible exercise program, foot care, and good management are the best defence

There is a popular trend in the horse industry marketing the idea of ‘basic joint maintenance,’ with marketing campaigns that emotionally drive the idea that various products can bestow a protection against arthritis. It might be an intravenous or intramuscular injection or an oral supplement but the pitch is similar — these products claim to […] Read more

A watchful eye on water intake is an essential consideration in every horse with diarrhea.

Factors to consider when your horse has the trots

A horse with diarrhea can suffer serious health consequences if it’s a serious case

Diarrhea in the horse describes a symptom with a wide variety of causes and presentations where for various reasons the intestinal tract does not complete absorption of electrolytes and water. As the water content of the feces increases the normal grouping of well-formed fecal balls lose their individual ‘ball’ shape and the fecal matter becomes […] Read more