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

Mycoplasma bovis infectionsnot understood in beef calves

About this time last year, I had an opportunity to visit New Zealand to attend a conference on animal health surveillance. I enjoyed touring the beautiful countryside and seeing the large numbers of farms mostly populated with sheep and dairy cows. Lately, a lot of news is coming from the veterinary community in New Zealand […] Read more

Cattle that drink water with high sulfate levels can get polioencephalomalacia, a nervous disease characterized by blindness, difficulty walking and seizures, but lower levels of sulfates can cause less obvious problems.  |  File photo

Copper deficiency a problem when sulfates are high

Last summer, we had significant water quality issues in parts of Saskatchewan and Alberta that affected the cattle population. The low levels of rainfall and the high temperatures of the summer resulted in the concentration of salts in dugouts, which resulted in very poor water quality, largely due to high levels of sulfates in the […] Read more


Purchased colostrum can be a significant biosecurity risk

Adequate colostrum intake is essential to get a calf off to a good start. Newborn calves are born with virtually no immunity of their own. The placenta of the cow does not allow antibodies to pass from the mother to the calf during pregnancy. This means that the calf must receive its initial immunity from […] Read more

Pain control during castration considered the right thing to do

Castration is one of the most common painful animal management procedures we do in the beef industry. As of Jan. 1, the industry’s revised code of practice for care and handling of beef cattle has a new requirement that stipulates pain control is necessary, in consultation with a veterinarian, when castrating bulls older than six […] Read more