Latest articles

Be watchful for animals overheating

Animal Health: Do your best to prevent it, and be prepared to provide relief on hot days

Every year during the first few hot days of summer we hear many warnings regarding leaving pets or even children unattended in vehicles as the temperature inside closed vehicles on warm days can rise to more than 50 C. We often don’t realize how susceptible livestock are to the same condition. Many farmers and veterinarians […] Read more

Make sure livestock have water

Situation can get serious quickly if a pump fails, or a water hole dries up

Water is the most essential nutrient of life and even though most areas have more than enough water this year, it’s always worth talking about the risk of water deprivation. Insufficient and poor-quality water can reduce weight gain and depending on the water source, there can be other issues such as foot rot and potential […] Read more

Gaps in vaccination programs can be costly

Animal Health: Forgetting to vaccinate or missing booster shots can increase risk of disease

We as veterinarians and producers should constantly review our vaccination protocols to check for lapses in either booster shot administration, missing certain antigens in our vaccines, or keeping current with new or emerging diseases to which vaccines are now available. Cattle transported to other areas where other diseases may be more prevalent have often been […] Read more

Assess lameness problem before rushing to treatment

Animal Health: Don’t just assume a limping animal has foot rot, as several conditions may apply

During summer grazing, lameness is one of the most common ailments encountered in beef cattle. Whether it’s calves, cows, yearlings or purebred or commercial, none are immune from developing some types of lameness. Surprisingly, many cattle really don’t require much treatment, yet many are treated. Producers often use the all-encompassing term of ‘foot rot,’ yet […] Read more

A certain amount of scratching in cattle is natural

Animal Health: Most delousing products will do the job, but there are exceptions

With the advent of the reliable pour-on and injectable endectocides, scratching from lice or mange is rare unless a fall treatment was not done or we have biting lice or mange about. Veterinarians are sometimes called on to investigate apparent breaks in these products’ efficacies. I know we have observed a lot about cattle’s scratching behaviour which we […] Read more

Problems and benefits of twin calves

Animal Health: It is worth the extra management effort to save both calves

In my practice I often hear producers complaining about twins, mainly because often the focus is on the problems they can present. However, research done on a twinner population over the last 10 years in the U.S. found there to be a definite economic benefit with twins. So it is important to look at both […] Read more

Dealing with contracted or lax leg tendons in calves

Animal Health: In many cases, time and a bit of physiotherapy will fix the condition

It is not uncommon during calving season for producers to end up with calves with contracted tendons (knuckling over) or the complete opposite — cases of lax tendons whereby the back of the fetlock is touching the ground. Although it is difficult to prevent these abnormalities, fortunately they only occur sporadically. Even so it is […] Read more

Be prepared to resuscitate calves

Animal Health: Depending on the birthing difficulty, time may be running out to get a calf breathing

There have been many ways discussed among both dairy and beef producers regarding the best way to stimulate a weak calf that doesn’t want to breathe. With calving season just around the corner, certainly for many purebred producers, this is a good time to share techniques and get the calving area supplied. My experience has […] Read more

Provide calves a place of their own soon after birth

Animal Health: Calf hutches or creep areas help in disease prevention

Calf hutches are used by many producers at calving season and for very good reason. They are especially important if calving early in inclement weather. With the increasing size of our herds, young calves need to get away from the crowded stress of the herd. Even summer-calving herds will find hutches used for shade and […] Read more

Lead poisoning still No. 1 toxin killer for cattle

Animal Health: Check the yard for hazards and properly dispose of old batteries

There are a multitude of toxins, such as heavy metals and other substances that cattle can come in contact with. Even with ever-increasing education, lead poisoning is still the number one toxic cause of death we, as veterinarians, see in cattle producing areas — especially in calves. Perhaps a reminder about the hazards will result […] Read more