Is it possible to use technology to identify calving cows sooner?

The calving season is just around the corner for many seedstock producers, and producing and weaning live calves are critical to cow-calf profitability. Problems at this time of year can have significant consequences. The birthing period and the subsequent first few days of life have been shown to be the most hazardous time of a […] Read more

Bovine leukosis virus is a bigger problem in dairy cattle than beef herds.  |  File photo

Breeding bulls may be source of bovine leukosis virus

Bovine leukosis virus is a widespread viral infection in cattle in North America. Dairy cattle tend to have a higher level of infection with estimates of 14 percent of all dairy cows being infected with the virus. Older cows are often more likely to be infected. The virus is usually spread from animal to animal […] Read more

Bibersteinia trehalosi can cause sudden deaths in heifers

Imagine you go out to check some heifers and find one animal has died suddenly. All of the animals looked great yesterday and there have been no recent illnesses or treatments. They have all been on a good vaccination program and seemed to be doing fine. We might suspect bloat or lightning, but there is […] Read more


Several years ago, the Disease Investigation Unit at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon was asked to investigate an unusual herd problem on a ranch near the end of calving season.
 | File photo

The strange case of the low-birth-weight calves

Several years ago, the Disease Investigation Unit at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon was asked to investigate an unusual herd problem on a ranch near the end of calving season. A large proportion of the heifers on this ranch had given birth to calves with birth weights of 30 to 40 pounds […] Read more

Feed shortage makes nutrition management more vital

Significant areas of Western Canada are affected by feed shortages and drought, which means many producers are faced with difficult management decisions for their herd in the coming year. Many producers will have to consider alternative and even unusual feed sources for both the fall and winter. I’ve seen media reports on the importance of […] Read more


Longhorned ticks are new to North America. They can carry infectious diseases.  |  New Jersey Department of Agriculture photo

Longhorned tick arrival shows need for surveillance

Ticks come in two basic varieties. The so-called “hard ticks” are from the family known as Ixodidae and are characterized by a hard plate on their backs. Soft ticks (family Argasidae) lack this hard, protective plate and are usually more oval or pear-shaped. Ticks can carry a variety of infectious diseases and can infect humans, […] Read more

High mountain disease growing problem in feedlot cattle

Heart failure in cattle is most often caused by conditions such as hardware disease or bacterial endocarditis or myocardial infections with the Histophilus somnus bacteria. Very young calves may suffer from heart failure due to congenital defects. However, there is a very unique condition that can cause right-sided heart failure in cattle known as high […] Read more

Producers must weigh economics of Johne’s disease testing

Johne’s disease is a relatively easy disease to diagnose in an individual cow, either through clinical signs or at post mortem. The characteristic symptoms of progressive weight loss and chronic watery diarrhea are easily identifiable. This slowly developing bacterial infection is most often contracted by very young calves and may not show clinical signs until […] Read more


Do killed BVD vaccines provide fetal protection?

Bovine viral diarrhea virus is one of the most important viruses affecting the North American cattle industry. The virus can cause devastating economic losses in terms of infertility, abortions, stillbirths and calf deaths. As a result, it is not surprising that it is an important and vital component of any vaccination strategy in cow-calf herds […] Read more

Pinkeye vaccination study questions its effectiveness

With summer around the corner, pinkeye treatment will be an issue many cow-calf producers may have to deal with. Studies from the United States have estimated that 17 percent of beef cattle herds are infected annually with pinkeye. Cattle with pinkeye (or conjunctivitis) will have an inflammation of the soft tissues surrounding the eye and […] Read more