VVV Episode 8: Age Verification in Cattle

Dr. Jelinski shows us an easy way to estimate the age range of cattle by examining dentition.   Ruminants are unique to other species in that they do not have a top row of incisor and canine teeth, but instead a dental pad used for grinding rough forages. When examining dentition to determine age, we examine only the bottom incisors and canines teeth, as they each have distinct times that they erupt. Just like humans, calves have a set of smaller, temporary “baby teeth” or milk teeth that are present within the first month of life. This set of baby teeth  consists of 6 incisors and 2 canines. As a guideline, aging cattle...

Top 5 Agriculture Advocacy Videos: Farm Out Loud

Ever since before my admittance into veterinary school, I have read the Ethical Question of the Month column in The Canadian Veterinary Journal . In the July 2013 publication, the April 2013 question, “Can banning the use of undercover cameras in animal facilities be justified?” was answered. Several comments were made both by the author of the article, and a veterinary student commenter, about the livestock industry having an “inherent disregard for democracy and transparency”  and how “the agricultural industry is loathe to show the public what it is doing, and knows full well that transparency would spell...

Integrated Pest Management in Pasture Cattle

Amber Robinson | | June 2013 | Edited by Jennifer Enzie and Cody Creelman   Flies are pests.  Their blood sucking ways decrease the amount of time cattle spend eating and average daily gains decrease.  Imagine.  Each fly takes between 24 to 38 blood meals per day.  Energy that should be going to growth is instead used to swat, head turn and kick at flies.  In Alberta, Horn Fly (Haematobia irritans) is a vector for pinkeye (infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis caused by bacterial infection with Moraxella bovis) and several Staphylococcus spp. bacteria, which cause mastitis. Do your cattle need treatment? Here in Alberta those...

Diagnosing Trichomoniasis Poses Challenges

June 20, 2013 | Barbara Duckworth | The Western Producer Trichomoniasis is a venereal disease of cattle that has been detected in Alberta with serious consequences. When a veterinary practice at High River, Alta., diagnosed it in cattle that had occupied two grazing reserves in southern Alberta, patrons were forced to take serious steps to get rid of it. It is a protozoan organism that lives in the sheath of bulls and is transmitted with sexual contact. As a newly licensed vet, Jordan Holt was sent to pregnancy check cows that spent the summer on a grazing reserve. 
Much to his surprise, 70 percent of the 80 cows were not pregnant. The...

Cost of Calfhood Implants

Matt Kumlin | | June 2013 | Edited by Jennifer Enzie and Cody Creelman   Growth implants are common practice in conventional feedlots today.  However, many cow-calf producers are not utilizing implants or may have concerns about using implants in young animals, especially heifer calves.  Implants are an easy way to increase profitability in today’s cow calf production systems.  Implants have been shown to consistently improve average daily gain (ADG) and feed efficiency.  Increased gains and efficiency are important in steer calves destined for slaughter, but what about potential replacement heifers? Do the benefits of increased...