Abnormalities can affect any system in the body and range in severity. | File photo

Abnormal development results in many calf problems

With calving season upon us again, I’ve been reflecting on the wide range of things that can go wrong in fetal development. Abnormalities can affect any system in the body and range in severity. The most serious and severe abnormalities cause spontaneous abortion or neonatal death. Others are mundane and are only detected by chance. […] Read more

Some of the adaptations that make horses so athletic probably predispose them to fatal injuries such as this ruptured aorta, which is a major blood vessel.  | University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine photo

Physiological adaptation makes horses top athletes

Among animals, horses are remarkably adapted to thrive in a wide variety of climates and environments, including some of the more extreme places on Earth. For example, a herd of horses occupies Sable Island, one of Canada’s newest national parks. The horses have lived on the island off the coast of Nova Scotia since the […] Read more

Ulcers develop when the thin stomach lining is lost, leaving the underlying stomach wall exposed.  |  University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine photo

Stomach ulcers are major ailment in performance horses

Horses are susceptible to stomach ulcers, especially if they work hard in performance activities such as racing, jumping and showing. An ulcer develops when the thin stomach lining is lost, leaving the underlying stomach wall exposed. The lost layer normally protects the delicate underlayers from stomach acid and abrasive food items such as coarse grasses. […] Read more


Modern broiler chickens grow rapidly to reach a weight of about two kilograms in less than six weeks.  |  Jamie Rothenburger photo

Research suggests chickens defining animal of our age

Among all domestic animal species, chickens have a special place in the history of human civilizations and on our dinner plates. Chickens were domesticated from wild jungle fowl that lived in the forests of southeastern Asia and spread via trade routes into the Middle East, Europe and Africa. During the establishment of European colonies worldwide, […] Read more

If a horse is going to develop a tumour, by far the most likely is a skin tumour known as a sarcoid.  |  Mike Sturk photo

Sarcoids remain the most common cancer in horses

When it comes to animal health care, cancer is much more frequent in pet dogs and cats than it is in horses. However, cancer can occur in horses, particularly older ones. Tumours can arise from any cell type in the body ranging from those that make up the skin to the cells that line the […] Read more


Mice and rats are capable of carrying a wide variety of viruses, bacteria and parasitic worms that can be spread to other animals and people.  |  Getty images

Rodents on farms pose health risk to livestock, people

We all know intuitively that rats and mice on farms are a bad thing. With their continually erupting teeth, these rodents can chew and nibble their way through important infrastructure. They can destroy walls, pipes and equipment. Barn fires have often been attributed to damaged electrical wires, and rodent arsons are usually prime suspects. Rodents […] Read more

Dogs are more likely to get into a marijuana stash than cats because of their curiosity and often unscrupulous eating habits.  |  Getty Images

Marijuana toxicity can pose health problems for pets

The first time I treated a cannabis overdose was when a man brought in his beautiful, new nine-week-old puppy. The roly-poly bundle of joy had ripped open a baggy and gorged on the entire stash. The man was sick with worry and rightly so — marijuana toxicity can be very serious in pets. The recent […] Read more

Due to their lifestyle, farm dogs have unique health and wellness considerations that differ from pampered city pooches. |  Getty image

Farm dogs require unique health care requirements due to lifestyle

Dogs are dogs. They all have the same basic genes, whether they are Great Danes or Dachshunds. They also have relatively similar anatomy, immune systems and metabolism. All dogs are susceptible to certain infections and conditions. But due to their lifestyle, farm dogs have some unique health and wellness considerations that differ from pampered city […] Read more


A basic examination involves a detailed head-to-toe checkup, in which the vet looks at the eyes, ears, nose and mouth, skin, muscling, legs, hoofs, genitals and udder, listens to the heart, lungs and gut sounds and feels for pulses.  |  University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine photo

Pre-purchase examinations valuable when buying horses

After countless hours of scrolling through classified ads, you think you’ve found your next horse. Once an in-person meeting goes well, you may want to consider a pre-purchase exam before signing the cheque or sending an e-transfer. Many veterinarians offer pre-purchase examinations to check over a horse. The basic examination involves a detailed head-to-toe checkup. […] Read more

Health issues change when managing senior horses

As horses age, their health needs change. Horses are considered senior citizens after the age of 20 or so. Here is my list of top five health concerns for horses in the golden years of their lives. Immunity — Life-long exposure to various infections and vaccinations should create a highly tuned army of immune cells. […] Read more