The virus spreads easily between animals, which allows it to rampage through rabbit populations. Most rabbits that become infected die. | Getty Images

Rabbit hemorrhagic disease identified in Alta.

Pet rabbits in southern Alberta have been diagnosed with rabbit hemorrhagic disease. A tiny virus, known as a calicivirus, causes this deadly rabbit disease. The virus spreads easily between animals, which allows it to rampage through rabbit populations. Most rabbits that become infected die. So far, the source of the virus in this outbreak remains […] Read more

A recent study published in the Canadian Veterinary Journal by Dr. Brianne Henderson and colleagues at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College sought to better understand heart infections in horses.  | File photo

New Ontario study explores heart infections in horses

Infections that localize to the heart are rare but serious in any animal. A recent study published in the Canadian Veterinary Journal by Dr. Brianne Henderson and colleagues at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College sought to better understand heart infections in horses. They focused specifically on infections of the heart valves, which is […] Read more

Colostrum is the first milk produced by lactating mammals and in our livestock species is critical for health, growth and longevity. | Getty Images

Colostrum — nature’s amazing first milk

With calving, lambing, foaling and kidding seasons upon us, something that may be top of mind for many producers is colostrum. It is the first milk produced by lactating mammals and in our livestock species is critical for health, growth and longevity. During gestation, the placental layers in ruminants and horses prevent antibodies from passing […] Read more


While the obvious cause of death or illness in a flock or herd may be apparent, it is good to ask, is that all that is going on? | File photo

Consider upstream factors when investigating disease

The other day, I presented a case of a deceased wolf to the veterinary students’ pathology rounds. This is a weekly event at the University of Calgary where veterinary pathologists take turns showing and discussing interesting cases to create a less formal learning experience for the students in the program. Like many things this year, […] Read more

Growing one’s own food during times of uncertainty is a way to exert control and it seems as though Canadians are eager to plant gardens and tend chickens as a way to achieve this. | Getty Images

Interest grows in raising small urban poultry flocks

An unexpected outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic is the surge in interest in raising chickens. Growing one’s own food during times of uncertainty is a way to exert control and it seems as though Canadians are eager to plant gardens and tend chickens as a way to achieve this. Part of the interest in chickens […] Read more


Pathogens are wily foes. The viruses, bacteria and parasite pathogens that infect people and animals continually evolve. | Reuters photo

Mutated variants part of infectious pathogens’ evolution

One of the more concerning events during the COVID-19 pandemic has been the detection and emergence of virus variants. These variant strains have mutations that slightly alter their genetic code such that they are more readily transmissible, a worrying feature given the issues with control already occurring. Even more frightening, there is growing evidence that […] Read more

With legalization, it was feared, there would be more cannabis in homes as more people bought and partook, thus creating more opportunities for dogs to accidentally consume their owner’s stash.
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Cannabis legalization did not increase dog poisonings

Cannabis became legal for recreational human use in October of 2018. At that time, there was much concern in the veterinary community about the impact of legalization on pet health. In particular, it was assumed that dogs may be at increased risk of cannabis intoxication. With legalization, it was feared, there would be more cannabis […] Read more

Alberta has successfully kept out the Norway rat for 70 years.  | Jamie Rothenburger photo

Alberta needs to stay vigilant with its rat control efforts

Alberta’s roughly 70-year experiment with rat eradication is the envy of the world. And what the province has achieved is a remarkable feat. Alberta has prevented the establishment of breeding rat colonies through a strong commitment to keeping these rodent pests out. The Norway rat, known by its scientific name as Rattus norvegicus, is a […] Read more


By now, we are all comfortable with some basic epidemiological and public health concepts such as the idea of asymptomatic carriers, infection control practices and the use of isolation to reduce infectious disease spread. There are many lessons here for animal health. | File photo

Animal-related public health issues may gain support

An enduring lesson of the COVID-19 pandemic will be that public health issues need stable support. We need to take the long view, even when not much is happening. By now, we are all comfortable with some basic epidemiological and public health concepts such as the idea of asymptomatic carriers, infection control practices and the […] Read more

Careful attention to feed and avoiding unnecessary grain supplementation is an important starting point when managing ponies’ diets.  | File photo

Managing weight in ponies critical for optimum health

It is tempting to classify ponies as small horses and treat them the same. They are the same species, Equus ferus caballus, but the smallest equines in our care have some unique characteristics that require particular attention for optimum health. Ponies are especially good at using their groceries to put on weight, making obesity a […] Read more