How Telemedicine Can Be a Tool to Support the Health of Your Herd

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Retrieved: May 23, 2022, 7:11 pm

Bov-Innovation: How telemedicine can be a tool to support the health of your herd


Pictured from left: Dr. Elizabeth Homerosky, Dr. Eugene Janzen, Alberta rancher Stephen Hughes and Dr. Tommy Ware

Picture this: you are checking calves and notice one is wobbly and having trouble. The closest bovine veterinarian is two hours away, but you are unsure whether this calf truly requires medical attention. You don’t want to waste the veterinarian’s afternoon, or yours, checking on what might be a non-emergency, but you could use an expert opinion. It may be possible to video call for a quick answer.

Veterinary telemedicine provides a unique opportunity to improve and streamline the way producers access their veterinarians and how veterinarians provide care to rural producers.

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then I guess a video is worth a thousand miles,” says Elizabeth Homerosky, DVM, Msc, DABVP, who practices near Airdrie, Alberta. “It’s hard for us to get to a lot of these operations quite regularly throughout the winter, so we feel like we have eyes on the cows and eyes on the place.”

In the following clip, presented during last year’s Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC) Bov-Innovation session, Dr. Homerosky and Dr. Tommy Ware, DVM, both with Veterinary Agri-Health Services, discuss the value of videos captured by producers as another tool to help monitor and treat herd health issues in remote locations.

The use of photos and videos provides an opportunity for veterinarians to participate in herd monitoring, such as keeping tabs on the body condition score (BCS) of animals in the herd, for example. Hands-on body condition scoring is much more accurate and informative than just visual assessment. However, there is value in using photos or video to get a veterinarian’s eyes on your animals when there is a concern or for general monitoring purposes since body condition can have large implications on an operation’s bottom line.

Telemedicine also provides opportunities to support the Veterinary-Client-Patient-Relationship, especially for more isolated clients, with improved accessibility to veterinary care that might not otherwise be possible.

Bov-Innovation sessions at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC) provide practical, science-based production information from technical experts alongside cattle producers. CBIC 2022 will be an in-person event August 16-18, 2022, in Penticton, BC. Registration is now open, with early-bird pricing in effect until July 15.

See the agenda and register at www.canadianbeefindustryconference.com.

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