GFM Network News


We all need to be the voice of reason and take the emotional arguments out of these discussions especially when it involves those who don’t know the vaccine science issues. – Roy Lewis.

Producers need to be the voice of reason for vaccines

Roy Lewis: Animal health products are not intended for humans

In my view, cattle producers can be the voice of reason when it comes to helping the non-rural population understand the decisions about vaccine efficacy, safety, and adverse reactions the rare time it happens in their own cattle. All the discussions and debate about COVID vaccinations revolve around a few questions — whether to vaccinate, […] Read more

A single lightening strike that travelled along the fence line is believed responsible for the death of these cattle.

Livestock electrocution can be natural or man-made

Animal Health: Make sure tools and electrical services are properly installed and maintained

We’ve all seen pictures and heard of the cattle deaths following severe lightning storms. Cattle are susceptible because they are so well-grounded. They often gather along fence lines or under tall trees, seeking shelter when lightning strikes. There really is no prevention for this other than to make sure all fences, especially electric fences, are […] Read more


Colostrum, antibiotics, vaccines and even fly control measures — too much of a good thing often is not only harmful, but usually a waste of money as well. It is important to use products as needed and as recommended.

More is not necessarily better in cow-calf production

Don't up the dose — use animal health products at the proper rate and time

We as veterinarians have worked hard to educate producers about dosage amounts and to get away from the mentality of “more is better.” It might require repeated assurances that the label dose of pharmacy company research is appropriate. With higher rates, the withdrawal times and product costs increase. Weighing cattle as they are processed in […] Read more

Cattle oilers are effective for controlling parasites, but only use insecticide for a limited time during the season — long enough to control the pest, but short enough to reduce risk of insecticide resistance.

Timing is key for effective use of cattle oilers

Animal Health with Roy Lewis: There is a recommended window for when control products should be used

In light of the ever-increasing issues with lice and flies affecting production in our beef herds on summer pasture, it’s a good time to review cattle oiler pros and cons and suggest a bit on maintenance and a few tips for better utilization of oilers in the battle against these two underestimated parasites. Cattle oilers […] Read more


During a necropsy on a calf, some of the material in its gut included this fairly large piece of tan-coloured plastic.

Be alert to bovines consuming ‘software’

Animal Health with Roy Lewis: Twine, plastic, rope — there is a good chance it could end up in an animal’s gut

I just completed an autopsy on an older well-doing calf that got suddenly sick dehydrated and toxic-looking. My daughter, also a veterinarian, did an autopsy on a mature cow that was losing weight and going downhill, becoming emaciated and weak. Even though both these clinical signs seem different, as well as the age difference between […] Read more

Protective equipment and good cleaning protocols go a long way in preventing the spread of disease.

Do animal diseases impact humans?

Animal Health with Roy Lewis: COVID-19 is an extreme example of disease transmission between animals and humans known as zoonosis

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 ailments such as ringworm, to those that have major consequences such as toxoplasmosis or echinococcus (alveolar hydatid disease). Detailed descriptions can be found on line, but both can be very serious. […] Read more


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