GFM Network News


If producers see scours early in very young calves, they may need to vaccinate the cow so she can give the calf immediate protection.

Protecting calves through vaccination

Best to consult with veterinarian on what’s right for your farm

Newborn calves gain temporary (passive) immunity from disease when they ingest colostrum, since this “first milk” contains antibodies. After a few weeks or months this temporary protection diminishes, so calves must build their own immunities. Vaccinating at the proper time can help protect them until weaning age. Vaccinating them too soon, however, may not stimulate […] Read more

Watch for newer respiratory pathogens

Animal Health: One is a virus, the other a bacteria — both can be hard to identify

We have all heard of coronavirus being one of the main causes of viral scours in newborn calves. It alone, with a couple strains of rotavirus, are the two main viruses we see in scours vaccines. It also causes a winter dysentery (bloody diarrhea) in mature cattle, especially housed dairy cattle in the winter. What […] Read more


How calves are managed after weaning as well as transportation can play a big factor in their health risk level once they get to a feed yard.

Determine the risk level of feeder calves

Animal Health: Knowledge of how weaning was handled is useful information

There are many factors to consider when bringing in calves to feed to minimize BRD (bovine respiratory disease). It is still the number one cause of morbidity and often mortality in our feedlots. Knowing the history of the calves at weaning time, distance transported, vaccination and health history, as well as upcoming weather conditions will […] Read more

Cattle diseases vary even in short distances

Animal Health: Clostridium hemolyticum is a good example of how conditions change

In talking with other veterinarians it is amazing how variable the prevalence of a specific disease can be between geographic areas. We always think of the huge difference between warm climates and colder, more temperate climates. Sometimes these differences can be as close as a one-hour drive in the same province. This becomes critical when […] Read more


Implants can really improve calf performance but proper application is important.

Important tips for calf processing

Be properly prepared and do it right – good for cattle and business

As spring calves are ready to head out to grass soon with their mothers, it is a good time to review your protocols, methods and any issues you had this year and introduce ways to improve even more so for next year. There are two main ways ranchers process calves. The first is the traditional […] Read more

The importance of responsible use of drugs

Know the proper product for the proper treatment, if treatment is warranted

With today’s tightening controls on residues in meat and milk, we as members of the animal agriculture industry must have the utmost responsibility about how we treat our livestock in general. Proper production practices benefit our verified beef production system and with antibiotic resistance increasing producers must be prudent in the use of antibiotics and […] Read more


Learn the one-handed sub-Q injection method

Animal Health with Roy Lewis: Easier, safer and just as accurate

It is worth revisiting information from a research trial completed more than 10 years ago on subcutaneous administration of the drug Micotil from Elanco, which adds credence to using a one-handed subcutaneous administration technique. This technique is much safer for the producer to administer as well as a labour saver. This study also proves it […] Read more



Risk of tetanus in cattle increasing

Animal Health: Your best approach is to prevent it through vaccination

In the last several years tetanus has most definitely been increasing in incidence across Canada so it is important that producers know what to look for and understand measures to prevent this deadly disease. Tetanus is caused by the bacterium Clostridium Tetani that is the same family of organisms which causes blackleg. This spore-producing bacteria […] Read more

Putting thought into changing vaccine lines

Animal Health: With a bit of planning, it is possible to switch from one manufacturer to another

There are many difficult decisions to be made when changing the brand or manufacturer of a vaccine line. The real comparisons can be made when you know what specific diseases you need to vaccinate for in your herd, whether to use a modified live, killed, or combined program and rate the effectiveness of your original […] Read more