Laboratory tests confirm deadly rabbit disease in Canada

There is an ongoing outbreak of rabbit hemorrhagic disease in British Columbia. Starting in March, dead rabbits were discovered in Nanaimo and surrounding areas on Vancouver Island and the Delta region of the Lower Mainland. This deadly disease is caused by a tiny virus known as a calicivirus. It is very infectious and can spread […] Read more


Many factors can cause pregnancy loss in mares

After months of careful planning and anticipation, the loss of a mare’s pregnancy can be devastating. Any number of things can cause fetal death in mares and it is worth knowing why in case preventive measures are available for future breedings. For starters, mares have to be healthy and well-nourished to carry a pregnancy to […] Read more


Quarantine: traditional disease control still one of the best

Four giant pandas recently journeyed from Toronto to Calgary to join the Calgary Zoo collection. But these bamboo-eating bears will be restricted from public visits until May. During this period, the pandas will get acquainted with their new surroundings and caretakers. It also functions as a type of quarantine to allow caretakers and veterinary staff […] Read more



Tumours in donkeys differ from those found in horses

Donkeys are not small horses. These long-eared equids have their own unique biology, which includes differing health conditions. One key way donkeys differ from horses is the types of tumours they develop. These differences were highlighted by a 2016 study published in the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation by Dr. Corrine Davis and colleagues. The […] Read more


Painful lumpy jaw disease requires intervention

As the name implies, cattle infected with the condition known as lumpy jaw develop hard lumps along the jaw, or rarely, other facial bones. The disease is a severe, deep bone infection that typically starts when there is damage to the gums. Infection establishes in the tooth socket and spreads from there to invade deep […] Read more



Case of the eyeless squirrel provides insight into natural world

It is a rare day when I diagnose an animal with missing parts at autopsy. In the fall of 2015, a concerned citizen found a young, female blind squirrel foraging on windfall apples near Windsor, Ont., and sent it to a wildlife rehabilitation centre. With no hope of long-term survival in the wild, the blind […] Read more


Examining dead stock for causes of death is valuable

The diesel engine snarled to life and I headed out of town. Reaching the feedlot, I rumbled past rows of feed bunks with various sized steers and heifers, placidly chewing their cuds or rummaging for grain in what would be their final home before entering the plant that would turn their flesh into beef. An […] Read more


Research finds flies carry bacteria — some harmful to people and animals

They come every summer without fail, but flies are more than an aesthetic problem. Animals stamp, swish and shake to rid themselves of these pesky insects. In addition to restlessness, painful fly bites and irritation cause livestock to lose condition. Other effects of fly infestations include poor feed conversion rates, lower milk production and skin […] Read more



Circadian rhythm research applies to livestock health

This year’s Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three researchers who studied the internal biological clock that regulates day and night cycles in sync with the Earth’s rotation. Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young were jointly awarded the prize for their discovery of molecular mechanisms controlling this circadian rhythm. […] Read more


Co-infections have major influence on infectious diseases

Animals are infected by more than one infectious agent at a time in natural settings. Thus, co-infections are the norm rather than the exception. However, since the scientific revolution that tied microscopic infections to disease — the “germ-theory” of disease — most re-searchers have focused on one pathogen infection at time. This was a reasonable […] Read more