GFM Network News


Dealing with diphtheria in calves

Several treatment options to get animals breathing again

Upper respiratory problems in cattle include diphtheria — the common name for infection/inflammation of the vocal folds of the larynx (voice box) at the back of the throat. Infection in this area is called necrotic laryngitis. Swelling from the inflammation can restrict the airway and make breathing difficult. In acute cases, the calf may die […] Read more

Universities can adapt to COVID-19, UCVM dean says

As administrators and faculty modify the system, dean calls for renewed public focus on food production and distribution

As COVID-19 pushes universities to change the way they teach, carry out research and conduct clinical work, the dean of veterinary medicine at the University of Calgary is confident that they can adapt. The academic system “from coast to coast is very intact,” Dr. Baljit Singh said. “We will continue to develop new technologies. We […] Read more


While calves can be given a preventative treatment against coccidiosis, cows can be given a coccidiostat such as rumensin or monensin in the feed before calving to reduce shedding of the infective eggs onto the ground.

Coccidiosis still a threat to be monitored

Animal Health with Roy Lewis: Important to control internal and external parasites

Coccidiosis and internal parasitism are two clinical syndromes I thought we had rid from the cattle sector. But although they just about disappeared, they are on the comeback trail. It is important to know why along with new strategies to keep them at bay. Clinical signs, diagnosis and treatment must be periodically reviewed. Direct communication […] Read more

There is no simple test to be able to identify what causes scours in calves.

Causes of calf scours can be difficult to identify

There is no simple test to be able to identify what causes scours in calves

Scours is the most common illness and cause of death in young calves. Some years are worse than others for scours outbreaks, and there are many causes including certain kinds of bacteria, viruses or protozoa. Whether calves get sick depends on many factors including exposure (contact with pathogens, either by coming in contact with a […] Read more


This diagram put together by Doug Colwell a research scientist at the Lethbridge Research Centre, shows the zones on an animal were lice are most likely to concentrate and be visible. Colwell is internationally recognized for his studies on the interactions between insect parasites and their animal hosts.

Late fall better for lice and parasite control in cattle

Animal Health with Roy Lewis: A two-pronged approach to deal with internal and external pests

There has been lots of talk and questions from producers and large-animal veterinarians regarding the strategy needed for more effective lice and internal parasite control. I the last couple of years there has been a large increase in the incidence of lice in Western Canada. Producers are searching to find ways to control lice that […] Read more

It’s unfortunate but not uncommon for older “banded” calves to succumb to tetanus.

Tips on managing clostridial disease in cattle

Animal Health: Proper timing of proper vaccines can prevent a costly wreck

There’s a great need for routine vaccinations to prevent the multiple ways cattle can get clostridial diseases such as scours, blackleg and tetanus. They’re relatively cheap and cost-effective. Here are some tips and comments. Vaccines offer good protection as long as one recognizes the need to booster-vaccinate. A single vaccination with most clostridial vaccines does […] Read more


Administering painkillers can benefit cattle production on several levels.

Using NSAID painkillers at calving

Animal Health: The treatment can benefit both cows and calves

With pain medication there may be adjunct treatment with antibiotics but sometimes this is unnecessary. If your veterinarian prescribes NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for pain he/she may choose one for several reasons — label claims, past experience in the field, price per treatment or per 100 pounds, duration of activity, ease of administration, advice of […] Read more

Penicillins and tetracyclines will no longer be available without a prescription as of Dec.1.

New December regulation will benefit livestock industry

Animal Health: You’ll need prescriptions for antimicrobials, along with a client/veterinarian relationship

If you raise livestock, use animal health products, and don’t have a solid relationship with a veterinarian, please read this article and pass it on to a producer you know whom seldom uses a veterinarian as they are the main group to benefit greatly from some of the examples in this article. There is apprehension […] Read more


Implement a good pinkeye control program

Understand how it is spread to keep cattle healthy

I’m hearing about more cases of pinkeye in cows and in their calves than in the last few years. A few milder winters might have had something to do with it — not enough overwintering face flies (that spread the disease) were killed off. Each cow or calf infected with untreated painful pinkeye (caused by […] Read more

Some rubbing and licking is part of the natural grooming process, but cattle producers should be concerned if there is excess skin damage or hair loss.

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