GFM Network News


With new animal health products it is not just the effectiveness of the product that makes a difference.

Taking a look at a new antimicrobial product

It's important to look at the pros and cons, if any, and ask questions

These days all antimicrobials, NSAIDs and a few other products are prescription products with most coming under the VCPR (veterinary client-patient relationship) requirement. NSAIDs stands for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It is best that producers educate themselves on new, emerging products that may benefit their operation or management style. Everyone needs to realize that any new […] Read more

One of main indications of Johne’s Disease is that cattle develop diarrhea and begin losing weight.

Due diligence with Johne’s disease

Have animals tested and cull infected cattle early

Johne’s disease (pronounced yo-knees) as we all know, is the paratuberculosis organism that in livestock can cause diarrhea, weight loss and eventually death from starvation or condemnation at slaughter due to emaciation. Animals that test positive, provided they are still in good body condition, can be slaughtered for human consumption, as the disease does not […] Read more


It is important to make sure newborn calf is “accepted” and gets proper feed of colostrum.

Tips for a healthy calving season

Animal Health with Roy Lewis: All players should share ideas of what works and what doesn’t

Spring calving season is close upon us and every year after the fact, there are always some things we would do differently. Calving is a humbling experience, even for veterans. I am sure you all have some words of wisdom to share, and I am all ears. We can all learn from each other, and […] Read more

The bacteria that causes leptospirosis may be spread by being excreted in an animal’s urine and can spread in water sources from wildlife.

Leptospirosis in cattle is difficult to study

Animal Health: Often affects beef reproduction and can reduce milk production

We struggle in veterinary practice in Western Canada to make sense of the leptospirosis disease complex, as it can be hard to substantially diagnose. Leptospirosis is caused by spirochete bacteria that infect lots of different animal species but only certain serovars (variations within bacteria) are really pathogenic to cattle. Pomona and Hardjo are two variations […] Read more


When snow is being used as a winter water source, it’s important to watch the your cow’s body condition.

Snow can work as a winter water source for cattle

Animal Health: But it’s also important to have a fresh source available

Every year at this time there should be talk about winter water sources for livestock. Since water is one of the main building blocks of the body, the quality and quantity of the water source are critical. It has been found in many studies over the years that if good-quality snow is available, mature cattle, […] Read more

Zoonosis risks can be reduced or prevented through common biosecurity strategies.

Keeping animal diseases away from humans

Animal Health: Veterinarians are part of the team of essential workers during COVID-19

Every year the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) has a theme for Animal Health Week in October. This year’s theme was “Understanding Zoonosis” — diseases that humans can get from animals. Not one animal-borne disease in recent memory has affected our lives more than COVID-19. There are lots of other diseases ranging from more minor […] Read more


Proper testing can serve as a surveillance program to better understand what diseases kill livestock.

BSE testing and the positives to your cattle herd

Animal Health with Roy Lewis: Testing is still needed to demonstrate producers' due diligence

In Canada, we have to keep up our BSE testing numbers to maintain and improve our status as a “controlled (low-risk) BSE risk country.” Along with testing to determine if a suspicious or downer animal has BSE, as a side benefit the veterinarian conducting the autopsy and sample collection can also determine the cause of […] Read more

There are a number of handling equipment manufacturers offering new features and improved designs.

Great information on improved cattle handling

Animal Health with Roy Lewis: Plenty of resources to help reduce stress on people and livestock

We’ve all come a long way in our cattle-handling ability with improved skills, improved methods, and equipment and facilities that have become more refined. Lots of resources have been put into better understanding of proper handling practices. One I suggest checking out is Merck’s Creating Connections website. It can help producers raise healthier cattle and […] Read more


Bison affected by MCF or malignant catarrhal fever will often develop a blue eye.

Bison and sheep need to keep their distance

Animal Health: Malignant catarrhal fever can quickly kill mature bison

One of the serious diseases we see in bison but much less frequently in cattle is MCF or Malignant catarrhal fever, usually resulting from some interaction between bison and sheep. The MCF family of diseases is seen in 33 species. Clinical signs are a high fever, lethargy and weakness, with ocular and nasal discharge leading […] Read more

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Survey reveals improvement needed in parasite management

Animal Health with Roy Lewis: Internal and external pests need different treatments

Over the last few years there has been a lot written about internal worm control, timing of chemical treatment and parasite resistance. A group of researchers from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon asked producers in 2015 about how they were using internal parasite treatments. The researchers drew some good conclusions from this […] Read more