Timing is everything when it comes to vaccine use

Cow-calf producers and veterinarians are often focused on which vaccines to use as part of their herd health program. However, the timing of those vaccines may be a critical decision as well. Several factors can play a role in the decisions surrounding when a particular vaccine should be administered. The age of the animal can […] Read more


Lead toxicity the most common animal poisoning: study

Researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan have studied animal poisonings over 16 years and found nearly half were caused by lead and most occurred in the spring and summer. Vanessa Cowan and Barry Blakely examined records in the Prairie Diagnostic Laboratory database and published their results in the […] Read more


Co-infections have major influence on infectious diseases

Animals are infected by more than one infectious agent at a time in natural settings. Thus, co-infections are the norm rather than the exception. However, since the scientific revolution that tied microscopic infections to disease — the “germ-theory” of disease — most re-searchers have focused on one pathogen infection at time. This was a reasonable […] Read more



Lungworm issues can be difficult to diagnose

Parasites that live in animals’ digestive tracts are the most frequent and arguably the most important parasites to infect animals. However, parasites can occupy a variety of organs in the body, including the skin, brain and kidney. A lesser-known class of parasites are those that reside in the lungs and windpipe. These lungworms affect a […] Read more


Freeze branding: a veterinarian’s view

Years ago, I wrote an article on the negatives of hot-iron branding and got more letters to the editor than I have since. Please read this one and see if this makes sense to the cattle industry. More and more, especially in purebred herds, you see cows and bulls with freeze brands. These may be […] Read more



Horse owners warned to scout pastures for toxic Alsike clover

Unlike their counterparts in the southern United States, Canadian horse owners have relatively few toxic pasture plants to contend with. One is Alsike clover. The plant is thought to have originated in Sweden and was introduced to Canada as a forage plant in the 1800s. Since it thrives in cold climates, it is particularly common […] Read more


Diagnosing cattle lameness and choosing treatment

There are many different causes of lameness in both the cow-calf and finishing sectors of the cattle industry. Making the correct diagnosis or recognizing specific clinical entities will alter treatments that are given. Remember, lameness is the symptom caused by pain. We need to find the cause of that pain. Pain control may be justified […] Read more


Risk of sulfate toxicity grows as drought deepens

As we deal with drought conditions in many areas of the Prairies, water quality that cattle drink may also be affected. Sulfate is a common mineral component and is present at some level in most water sources, as well as in many feeds. Some areas of the Prairies may have wells with high levels of […] Read more



Sask. cattle deaths blamed on bad water

Cattle producers are urged to test livestock water sources after tests confirmed that exceedingly high sulfate and total dissolved solid levels led to the deaths of more than 200 head in a pasture near Shamrock, Sask. Reports received last week indicate water quality throughout southwestern Saskatchewan is worse than many suspected, said chief veterinary officer […] Read more


Determine cause of swelling to dictate treatment required

Cattle can become afflicted with large swellings both as individual animals or on a herd basis. Diagnosing, treatment and prevention are key factors producers and veterinarians must consider. Before proceeding, causes other than abscesses must be ruled out. Abscesses take time to develop so a sudden swelling may indicate another cause. When that happens, a […] Read more