Category: Animal Health

Beef School, Ep. 8: Improving on-ranch vaccination implementation

From storage requirements to difficult-to-spell words like ‘Mannheimia haemolytica’ and ‘rhinotracheitis,’ there’s a lot to consider when it comes to vaccinating cattle. And that complexity is one of the reasons Cody Creelman, veterinarian and managing partner of Veterinary Agri-Health Services, suggests producers develop a customized, written vaccination protocol, with annual reviews. “It’s important to [re-assess it] every… Read more »

Using synchronization and induction as a lambing time-management tool

Lambing is an exciting but exhausting time for sheep farmers. A typical breeding cycle with natural service over two heat cycles usually results in well over two weeks of late nights, early mornings, and intense work. To manage the labour load (pun intended), some farmers have adopted a synchronization and induction program to tighten the… Read more »

Building consumer trust is our responsibility, says ‘Farmer Tim’

Tim May says he’s “just a farmer down the road.” But the Rockwood, ON dairy farmer — better known as ‘Farmer Tim’ in the social media world — and his 43 cows are certainly punching above their weight in the fight to help consumers understand what really happens on the farm these days. Three years… Read more »

12 lessons for a new sheep farmer

There’s a reason young and beginning farmers often choose to start a sheep enterprise — local demand for lamb is double what we produce, you can keep quite a few sheep on a limited land base, and they’re affordable livestock that reproduce quickly. There’s also a reason that many new sheep farmers don’t last more… Read more »

Dual-active dewormer approved for use in Canadian sheep flocks

A short-acting, oral drench offered by Zoetis — Startect— has received Canadian approval for use in sheep for treatment and control of a range of adult and immature worms, including Haemonchus contortus (barber pole), and nematode parasites including Teladorsagie and Trichostrongylus. Startect contains two active ingredients, abamectic and derquantel, in one product so as to… Read more »

Producers warned about veterinarian shortage

If you have a sick animal, there’s no such thing as a “timely” veterinarian shortage. But the current situation, which is seeing fewer veterinary service hours available and much more demand expected, is particularly worrisome. It’s raising caution flags in the veterinary sector, and has a leading veterinary educator searching for solutions. Here’s the situation…. Read more »

Determining where to cut antimicrobial use for dairy calves

All livestock producers have been urged to cut unnecessary antibiotic use, to try to prevent resistant bacteria from developing in their herds and flocks. But on the farm, the question is where, and how? Consider dairy calves, for example. More than half of the deaths of dairy calves are from diarrhea. Producers often treat that… Read more »

Toxins in the feed — Identifying and managing mycotoxins

We often focus our efforts on what to add to a total mixed ration in order to offer our animals the highest plane of nutrition necessary for their life stage. But, what about the substances that could create serious health concerns, or even death? “Moulds are a fungal growth, and the mycotoxins are actually a… Read more »

Livestock disease winging its way north as climate warms

Flying, biting midges (Culicoides spp.) — sometimes called no-see-ums — are a scourge to wildlife. Hunters recognize their effects on deer in particular, which are highly susceptibility to a group of midge-transmitted viruses. But there are growing concerns about their potential effect on livestock, too. Here’s why. A midge swarm will blood-feed on animals, causing… Read more »

Canadian agriculture’s Prescription Drug List set to expand

As part of the Government of Canada’s move to promote the judicious use of antimicrobials, Health Canada is moving all medically-important antimicrobials (MIA) used in food production to the Prescription Drug List, effective December 1, 2018. According to Health Canada, “supervision is a vital part of antimicrobial oversight. Veterinarians have the training to assess and diagnose… Read more »

MPs examine truckwash policy as PEDv outbreak continues in Manitoba

The House of Commons agriculture committee held an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) outbreak in southeast Manitoba. There have been at least 20 confirmed on-farm cases since May 2. To put that number in perspective, Manitoba previously only had 10 PEDv-positive barns dating back to 2014 when the… Read more »

The Cost of Mycotoxin in Feed, Plus Feeding Strategies to Ease Heat Stress

Summer may feel a long way off, but being prepared to manage heat stress in dairy cattle goes a long way in warding off the production losses that go along with it. We’re also well into the 2016 feed crop, and there are reports of several farmers struggling to keep mycotoxin (specifically DON/vomitoxin) levels low enough… Read more »

First PEDv Case of 2017 Confirmed in Ontario Finisher Barn

Ontario Pork announced February 23, 2017, that it had confirmed the 100th Ontario case of PED (porcine epidemic diarrhea) virus. It is the first confirmed case this year. The virus was confirmed Wednesday, February 22, 2017, in a finisher barn in Haldimand-Norfolk county. No other details have been released at this time. Read more: Managing… Read more »

Know the Signs of Rabies in Livestock

Recent positive rabies cases on a few farms in Ontario’s Perth County are a stark reminder of this ever-present, reportable disease in livestock. While livestock cases of rabies are rare, it’s safe to assume the virus circulates in wildlife nearly constantly, albeit at a low level. Exposed livestock, likely from a bite, tend to exhibit… Read more »

Charting a Future for Antimicrobials on the Farm

How will Canada’s animal agriculture industry be utilizing antimicrobial drugs, including antibiotics, five years from now? Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Tim McAllister doesn’t have all the answers, but he does offer insights on how the industry can more effectively use antibiotics, assure the public it’s working to manage resistance, and help safeguard the drug’s ability… Read more »