A few studies have shown a weak correlation between the number of face flies and the prevalence of pinkeye, but the results are far from conclusive. | File photo

Pinkeye can be a challenging health condition to prevent

It is the time of year when cow-calf producers occasionally need to deal with a frustrating disease known as pinkeye. The term pinkeye refers to any kind of inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye. This is perhaps more of an “umbrella diagnosis” or clinical syndrome as there are numerous causes of these infections including […] Read more

The Canadian Animal Health Laboratorians Network includes people from a range of laboratory specialties including bacteriology, pathology, immunology, virology, parasitology, toxicology and molecular biology. | Screencap via cahln-rctlsa.com

Veterinary pathologist observes 50 years of changes

This June, animal health professionals gathered for the Canadian Animal Health Laboratorians Network meeting. Like many things in 2020, the in-person conference was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine hosted the meeting in a virtual format. The organization includes people from a range of laboratory specialties […] Read more

Studies have found that for every day increase in weaning age, the nursery exit weights increased 802 grams over a six-week period and the finisher farm shipped an additional 1.38 kilograms, while mortality dropped 0.77 percent. | File photo

Weaning piglets at older age may pay off in longer term

In these times of extremely high input costs (feed contributes approximately 70 percent of the cost of production), pig farms continue to push for production and health improvements. Many times, we need only look at management strategies to achieve significant production and health improvements that will have a significant positive financial impact on the farm. […] Read more


Several bacterial agents can cause calf diarrhea, and most of these agents tend to result in calves getting diarrhea within the first week of life. | File photo

Age of onset provides clue to cause of diarrhea in calves

Calf scours, or calf diarrhea, continues to be one of the significant causes of calf mortality in beef cattle herds. Dr. Jennifer Pearson from the University of Calgary published data from the Western Canadian Cow-Calf Surveillance Network that documented an overall pre-weaning calf mortality level of 4.5 percent and a pre-weaning treatment rate for all […] Read more

In the life of a breeding bull, penile problems can develop. Because of the value of the bull, medical or surgical treatment is often called for, and prognosis is often reasonable. | File photo

Most penile problems found in bulls can be corrected

Today, most large-scale producers have breeding soundness exams carried out on their breeding bulls yearly. Almost every purebred 12- to 15-month-old bull calf will have a breeding soundness exam performed by a veterinarian. The consistency of this exam is very good in the profession. The ReliaBull scrotal circumference tape has made scrotal circumference measurements accurate […] Read more


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

Bull pens must be big enough to allow bulls to escape from one another. | File photo

Introduce bulls properly to protect health and welfare

Nothing frustrates me more than when big bulls are unnecessarily injured. This happens a lot when bulls are introduced or reintroduced to one another. It also happens when bulls are transported together in trailers. Bull pens must be big enough to allow bulls to escape from one another. Every time we move bulls, whether for […] 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


It would be wonderful if we had a simple test for libido in bulls, but unfortunately we don’t. | File photo

Reproductive success can depend on sexual motivation

Reproductive success is key to profitability for cow-calf operations. To achieve this success, two things have to happen. First, our breeding cows and heifers must cycle early in the breeding period. Second, they must conceive when bred. The first factor is largely influenced by the nutritional program and body condition of the cows and heifers. […] Read more

Irons should be made from flat bar, at least 3/8 inch thick and about 1 1/2 inches wide, and then slightly bevelled on the face to no less than 1/4 inch wide. This will allow the iron to carry some heat from the fire to the hide without too much cooling. | Photo courtesy Suzanne Rose

If branding is deemed necessary, it must be done right

Branding remains necessary in many modern cattle operations because it is still the only permanent form of cattle identification. We must make the effort to do it well. In this column, we will look at hot iron branding. A good brand should be legible from quite a distance. In Alberta, Livestock Identification Services carries out […] Read more