Warren Russell of the Stoughton, Sask., area has been charged under Section 4 of the province’s Animal Protection Act. That section prohibits anyone from causing an animal to be in distress or to continue to be in distress.
 | Photo supplied by Warren Russell

Sask. producer charged after cattle seizure

One person faces several charges after more than 300 cattle were seized from his farm last winter. Warren Russell of the Stoughton, Sask., area has been charged under Section 4 of the province’s Animal Protection Act. That section prohibits anyone from causing an animal to be in distress or to continue to be in distress. […] Read more

Final year veterinary students examine beehives as part of a national ecosystem health rotation.  |  Aron Nichols photo

Vet students learn about ecosystem influences on health

Veterinary students spend most of their final year in veterinary programs refining and practicing clinical skills. For cattle, this might entail working on pregnancy checking, perfecting bull testing, designing herd health programs and optimizing parasite control. In a variety of species, vet students practice surgical and anesthesia skills. But each year, a small group of […] Read more

Stress can bring on diseases caused by H. somni, which is why the stress of weaning and then commingling and transportation to auction markets or even directly to the feedlots seems to bring it on.
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Stress can open the door for Histophilus somni bacteria

The disease organism known as Histophilus somni can cause many illnesses in feedlot cattle. This bacteria has been linked to pneumonia, arthritis, ITEME (infectious thrombo-embolic-meningo-encephalitis), as well as septicemia and heart failure. Stress can bring on diseases caused by H. somni, which is why the stress of weaning and then commingling and transportation to auction […] Read more


Head shakers, as they are known, repetitively nod their heads as if saying yes. It looks similar to how a horse might react to a fly up the nose. Shaking can also be accompanied by face rubbing, snorting, sneezing, appearing anxious and striking at the head with the front legs.
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Head shaking in horses remains a treatment challenge for owners

Horses will occasionally give their head a shake for normal reasons. A flick of the neck can dislodge flies. The occasional shake can indicate discomfort from bits and other tack. A head and neck roll may be a body language expression to other horses. But a small number of horses experience shaking to a pathological […] Read more

A recent study found that the average mortality from birth to 24 hours in calves from cows averaged 2.1 percent and in calves from heifers averaged 3.6 percent.  |  File photo

Benchmark data helps producers manage calf losses

Previously, I wrote about the economic importance of the calf-crop percentage. The calf-crop percentage is defined as the percentage of calves weaned per cow exposed to the bull. The calf-crop percentage is an easily measurable productivity trait and doesn’t require a lot of detailed records other than some inventory numbers at various times of year. […] Read more


Prairie farmers moved breeding later with lower results.  |  File photo

How does your herd measure up: Part 1: Non-Pregnancy Rates

One of the most important economic criteria that determines profitability is the calf crop percentage. This is defined as the percentage of cows weaned per cow exposed to the bull. Obviously, having a live calf to sell is the ultimate objective of most cow-calf enterprises and a failure to produce a calf can have a […] Read more

Calves must be nutritionally healthy and old enough for preconditioning to be most effective.  |  File photo

Preconditioning, BVD vaccines are ideal in perfect world

There are different sectors of the cattle industry with different needs and objectives. By raising points on what certain management practices are ideal, perhaps we can collectively work toward those practices. It’s not easy but if better outcomes can be achieved for all, so much the better. We know preconditioning, which includes preimmunization and on-farm […] Read more

Horses can develop infections in the lungs, also known as pneumonia, which can compromise their athletic ability and may even be life threatening. | File photo

Pneumonia in horses can compromise athletic ability

Through evolution, horses have developed a tremendous capacity for running at sustained, high speeds. To meet these athletic demands, horses have remarkably large lungs and heart. Those organs must be healthy. With each heartbeat, blood courses through the lungs, exhausting carbon dioxide and refreshing its oxygen load before travelling around the blood vessels to oxygenate […] Read more


This external parasite releases a neurotoxin through its mouthparts that can paralyze livestock. 
In certain areas of the country it can be a major health problem in cattle. | File photo

Tick paralysis increasing in cattle

Ticks are being found in increasing frequency in our food-producing animals and domestic pets. They cause concerns because some species carry transmissible diseases that can affect humans, such as Lyme disease. Others cause blood-loss irritation and others cause paralysis. The most commonly found tick on cattle in Western Canada is the Rocky Mountain wood tick […] Read more

Poison, infectious disease and predators are some of the possibilities to examine when large numbers of wild birds die suddenly.  |  File photo

Outbreaks of sudden death in wild birds tough to solve

It is a sight no one wishes to see. This winter, more than 50 dead ducks were discovered in one of Calgary’s parks. The people who found them were understandably upset. They were also concerned about the cause. Could it be poison? Or an outbreak of some type of infectious disease? Did a deadly bird […] Read more