GFM Network News


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


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

Adapting management practices to changing times

More online services keep the beef industry operating

While COVID-19 has changed our daily routines, the internet has been able to keep us going. The agricultural community has tapped into it and fortunately, the supply chain for veterinary pharmaceuticals, feed and other services has been maintained pretty well. Internet sales for the purebred bulls and commercial cattle have pretty much saved the spring […] Read more


The many aspects of herd health on pasture

Animal Health: Lots to consider before opening the gate to summer grazing

As pasture readiness nears, there are several things producers should consider before cattle are turned out. Especially when moving cattle to new pastures — new ground you or they are not familiar with — make sure they have been checked for everything such as the condition of fence lines and the potential for noxious weeds […] Read more

Well-built, wide alleyways to accommodate large animals and an open 
design that makes it easy to clean are some of the features of the 
Rosewillow handling equipment.

A handling system great for cattle and people

Animal Health with Roy Lewis: Easy access and plenty of room for larger animals

I have many “aha” moments when working cattle with producers. One involved working with a new custom-designed laneway system by Rosewillow Manufacturing of Spruce Grove, Alta., which in my books is proving to be a worthwhile investment. I could not find one thing I would improve. The design provides enough room for cattle to easily […] Read more