Warm vaccines before injecting to avoid tissue reactions. | File photo

Processing and vaccinating hints for cattle producers

Developing safe vaccination protocols for your herd can pay off. Here are some basic tips: Store vaccines in the middle area of the fridge. Follow the label instructions and maintain the chain of refrigeration. Check fridge to ensure it stays at the desirable temperature. Keep a thermometer in the fridge. Don’t store vaccines in the […] Read more

Singing the praises of vaccination programs in livestock

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association dedicates one week each fall to animal health week. This year, the theme is “vaccines save lives” and it is appropriate for all species. Vaccine use could also help reduce the amount of antimicrobial use, especially in preventing diseases caused by bacteria. I can cite numerous examples of vaccines preventing […] Read more

Before summer pasture turnout, cattle should be treated to ensure vaccinations are up to date and fly or worm control is provided if necessary.  |  Robyn Wheat photo

Pre-turnout procedures can pay off in productivity

Whether it is grass yearlings or cow-calf pairs and breeding bulls, management procedures can and should be implemented before releasing cattle to pasture. The result is better health or increased performance this summer. We likely won’t get our hands on these cattle until fall so think into the future. Some have the luxury of herding […] Read more


Countering myths in the cattle industry

Over the years in large animal practice, I have experienced many misconceptions that circulate in the cattle industry. These old wives’ tales can result in wasted profits, overuse of drugs, false accusations or misguided work. If you hear of some industry myths when you’re working in the field, please bring them to my attention and […] Read more

There are fewer bison deaths than cattle deaths caused by clostridial diseases, but mature bison do get sick and die from it.  |  File photo

Clostridial disease is fatal in bison, so prevention is vital

I have run across several clostridial (blackleg) outbreaks in bison over the years. I will use the term blackleg to refer to most of the clostridial diseases bison get, even though only one specific one causes the true blackleg. It is a spore-producing bacterium and the spores remain infective in the soil for more than […] Read more


Working with newborn calves is a good time to look after necessary management procedures.  |  File photo

Newborn calf procedures provide long-term payoff

If producers can prevent or significantly reduce diseases in newborn calves, they can decrease mortality and improve overall herd production. When producers are pairing up or moving the newborn and its mother, they will often get a chance to look after some necessary management. For most operations, that involves newborn calves three days old or […] Read more

Not all cows need help giving birth, but when it’s required, the proper equipment is vital.  |  File photo

Producers need extra equipment for calving season

A good mechanic requires specific tools for specific jobs, just as cattle producers need specialized equipment to help during calving. Producers should also practice with the equipment, keep it maintained, cleaned, disinfected and readily accessible. It could save a calf or make deliveries easier and less deleterious to the cow. Experienced cattle producers know the […] Read more

NSAIDs alleviate pain at calving, during processing

As veterinarians use more and more NSAIDs to manage pain in livestock, one major area to focus on is the pain of the calf and the cow at calving. Producers should develop a plan with their vets as to where and when to use these products when it comes to calving this spring. NSAID, or […] Read more


Proper needle and syringe selection saves time, reduces pain

Proper use of syringes and needles is second nature in today’s cattle production for treating, vaccinating, flushing, aspirating or applying local anesthetic. We don’t want to leave needles in animals, just as we don’t want to cause more pain than necessary by using improper needles. There is latitude when selecting equipment but certain principles make […] Read more

Guidelines on humane euthanasia also apply to beef producers. |  File photo

New bison code of practice good info for beef producers

Animal welfare is the underlying theme of Canada’s livestock codes of practice, and the recent bison update is no exception. It is a must read for bison producers and those contemplating getting into the business, but cattle producers would also benefit from reading it. The committee that developed the code comprised individuals involved in the […] Read more