GFM Network News


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

Close up of veterinarian hand holding syringe and bottle on farm with cow in background

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

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


About eight per cent of most common beef breeds will produce twins, and it is also quite common among bison. Economics show there is value in making the extra effort to save the extra calf.

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

Veterinariam Cody Creelman, right, gets some assistance as he prepares to pull a calf. There are several things to consider before either pulling by hand or with the help of a jack.

Important tips for pulling a calf

Have chains properly positioned; be gentle with the calf puller

Some calves are injured at birth by improper pulling methods, says Cody Creelman, a veterinarian with Veterinary Agri-Health Services (VAHS) in Airdrie, Alta. Most ranchers know when preparing to pull they should use a double half-hitch when placing chains on the calf’s legs. The correct setup should also include one loop mid-cannon and the other […] Read more