Not all lameness is caused by foot rot. Getting a proper diagnosis is the key to determining the appropriate treatment and management for any lameness condition. Lameness can affect any type of cattle including feedlot animals, breeding bulls, range cows, or animals confined to a corral. It limits an animal’s interest in eating, drinking, or breeding resulting in lower weight gains and conception rates, making it an animal health and welfare concern, as well as a production and economic issue.
A 2019 study reported that lameness is the leading cause for health treatments in breeding cows and bulls. However, diagnosing lameness isn’t always straightforward as the condition can be caused by multiple inter-related factors. Another recent feedlot study analysed health records from 28 different western Canadian feedlots over a ten-year period to determine common lameness conditions. Overall, lameness was diagnosed in 4.4% of steer and 4.7% of heifer placements. Comparing diagnoses by class of cattle, 4.9% of calves were diagnosed with lameness compared with 4.0% of yearlings. Of the lameness diagnoses, foot rot was most common at 74.5% of lameness cases, followed by joint infections at 16.1%, then lameness with no visible swelling at 6.1%, followed by lameness due to injury 3.1%. Continue reading
For immediate release
August 15, 2018
L-R: Andrea Brocklebank (BCRC Executive Director), Ryan Beierbach (BCRC Chair and producer near Whitewood, SK), Eugene Janzen (award recipient), Bob Lowe (Bear Trap Feeders near Nanton AB), Reynold Bergen (BCRC Science Director)
London, ON – A leader in beef cattle production and medicine has been awarded the 2018 Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation. Dr. Eugene Janzen was honored tonight at the 2018 Canadian Beef Industry Conference, held in London, Ontario.
Dr. Janzen is currently a professor and researcher at the University of Calgary College of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM). He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) in 1972. His most recent research interests include effective pain control in beef cattle, toe-tip necrosis syndrome in feedlot animals, and livestock welfare during transport.
As a veterinarian and scientist, Dr. Janzen has made substantial Continue reading
For Saskatchewan beef producers Tamara and Russ Carter administering a pain control product to calves prior to branding and castration procedures was just the right thing to do.
Over the past three calving seasons the Carters, who ranch near Lacadena in southwest Saskatchewan, have been treating spring calves with an injection of Metacam just prior to processing. The product from Boehringer Ingelheim has been on the market for several years. It was developed as an anti-inflammatory and pain relief product, quite commonly used in treating companion animals, but in the last few years it has gained traction for use in treating livestock, as well.
The 1 ½ millilitre dose for young calves appears to considerably reduce the post-processing discomfort level of calves, says Tamara and while they have no formal research trials to confirm observations, they also believe calves have improved weight gain performance right through to weaning.
“It does make a difference in the comfort level of the calves,” says Carter. They were first pointed toward the pain control product during a discussion with their herd veterinarian, Dr. Glen Griffin of Southwest Animal Health Clinic. It was partway through the 2013 calving season and Continue reading
Injuries, ailments and surgery hurt. On days you slam your hand in a gate, wake up with a knee that’s more sore than usual, or are admitted to a hospital for an operation, anti-inflammatory painkillers (analgesics) and drugs that block all nerve sensation (anesthetics) are things to be grateful for. Pain is expected in life, but the ability to avoid or diminish it at times not only makes our days more pleasant, pain mitigation helps to keep us productive and able to look after ourselves.
Common sense and scientific evidence tells us that the same goes for cattle.
There’s no doubt that cattle experience pain but as a prey species, they have evolved to hide the signs. Researching pain and pain-control in stoic animals is difficult but scientific knowledge is building. At the same time, consumers’ understanding and expectations of animal welfare have changed. Pain control drugs are now available for cattle and on the occasions they’re needed, those products have both costs and benefits to producers.
So as a beef producer, what do you need to know about the science, Beef Code requirements, incentives, and practical options for preventing and controlling pain in your animals?
Watch this short video, then visit www.beefresearch.ca/pain and talk to your veterinarian. The webpage includes information on the pain control products licensed and available for beef cattle in Canada, as well as Continue reading
Although we hope that every cows and heifer will come home from pasture bred, we learn to expect a few to be open. But if you notice cows cycling again a few months after the bull is turned out, you find far more open cows than normal when preg-checking, or calves are born months later than expected, there’s clearly a problem. You might be dealing with bovine venereal diseases like trichmoniasis (trich, pronounced “trick”) or vibriosis (vibrio, and also known as Campylobacteriosis). Continue reading