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Farm Services

Pregnancy Testing: We offer on farm pregnancy diagnosis for large groups of cattle and on farms that have adequate facilities (holding pens, alleyway, and chute, ideally with palpation gate). All of our veterinarians are trained to use transrectal ultrasound as well as palpation. Please withhold feed for 24 hours prior to your appointment. This reduces the amount of thick manure present in the rectum which reduces the risk of tearing the internal tissue, improves accuracy, and significantly speeds up the process. We recommend waiting at least 30 days after pulling the bull to have your animals preg checked, and find the ideal time is when they are approximately 4-5 months pregnant. The calf and uterus can be pulled deep down into the cow's belly when she's heavily pregnant (>6-7 months) making the process more difficult. That being said, we are happy to accommodate your specific herd's needs. Please phone to discuss this further with our staff. 

Semen Testing: We offer on farm semen testing for farms needing large numbers of bulls tested, or with bulls too large for our Mayerthorpe clinic's facility. When on farm our veterinarians will examine the bull's reproductive structures and collect a semen sample using combination of massage and electroejaculation. They will perform an initial evaluation of the semen immediately after collection for density and motility of the sperm. They will then further evaluate each sample once back at the clinic for individual sperm viability and defects. 

Here are some great articles explaining what we are evaluating:

Beef Bull Breeding Soundness Examination:

Understand the Semen Evaluation Portion of the Breeding Soundness Evaluation:

Sperm morphology (what are those defects we noted):

Breeding Soundness Examination of Bulls:

Down Cow Treatment: Down cows happen and when they do we are here to help! There's generally 5 reasons a cow will be down:

  1. Metabolic: these are typically your milk fevers (low calcium), grass tetany (low magnesium), creeper cows (low phosphorus) and pregnancy toxemia. We will perform an examination on your cow and collect blood samples to assess their mineral status, as well as give intravenous medications to help correct the issue. 
  2. Mastitis: toxic mastitis can take a cow down quite quickly so it's important to look at the udder on any cow that is sick, weak, or down. These require quick and aggressive treatment. 
  3. Metritis: infection in the uterus enters the bloodstream and she becomes septic (i.e. blood poisoning as many will call it). It's important to properly treat the infection and maintain her energy and hydration. 
  4. Musculoskeletal: slipped on the ice, was ridden and injured her back, broken legs, etc. The longer a cow is down the more muscle damage there is and the worse her chances are for recovery. Hip lifting and regular rolling is important for their success. 
  5. Mystery! Sometimes cows go down and we can't find an obvious cause. With enough intensive and supportive care some of these will respond. Don't give up just yet! 

Check out these articles for more info:

The Downer Cow:

Down Cows: Winter Tetany, Milk Fever, and Pregnancy Toxaemia:

Dealing with Downer Cattle: not simple or easy:

The Low-Down on Down Cows:

BeefTalk: Down Cow:

Calvings: We strongly encourage all producers be prepared to haul their cows into the Mayerthorpe clinic in the event of a calving issue. While we will make every effort to come to you, we cannot always guarantee it. For on farm calvings we ask that you have an adequate method of restraining the cow such as a maternity pen, ideally someplace protected from the elements (it doesn't help the cow's chances of success if it's raining or snowing into her c-section incision or her tissues freeze at in sub-zero temps). We will require light, power (extension cords), a pail of clean, warm water, and a set up that allows us to access her left side flank region while having her head and legs contained (maternity pen). 

Here's some good articles on calving issues (dystocia):

Recognizing and handling calving problems: https://agrilifeextension.tamu...

Dealing with dystocia: tips and tricks: https://www.progressivecattle....

Prolapses: It's important to know what type of prolapse your animal is experiencing so we can advise you on treatment. 


  • Rectal: may sound obvious but when tissue is swollen and an animal's running around it's not always that easy to tell. Rectal prolapses are from the anus and may be several days old by the time it is noticed. While not an emergency, it is important to tend to this in a timely manner (usually same day) to prevent tissue damage that may require amputation or in severe cases, euthanasia. We will likely ask you to haul these animals to the Mayerthorpe clinic for treatment. These most commonly occur in:
    • Calves a few months old with diarrhea, especially from coccidiosis
    • Calves on high concentrate rations 
    • Bull or steer calves riding cows that are in heat
    • Cows that are straining, sometimes with a prolapsed vagina
  • Vaginal: pink to red, smooth tissue, usually the size of a large grapefruit or volleyball, protruding from the vulva. May be in combination with a rectal prolapse. This is generally genetic and we recommend culling these animals from your herd, as well as their offspring. Similar to rectal prolapses, these aren't an emergency but we like to tend to them as soon as possible (within 24 hours). We will likely ask you to haul her into the Mayerthorpe clinic for treatment. Vaginal prolapses most commonly occur in:
    • Heavily pregnant cows (i.e have NOT calved yet)
    • Fat cows
  • Uterine: red to dark red, large, bumpy tissue ("buttons", "calf bed") protruding from the vulva. These are a true emergency. Please let the cow where she is and phone us immediately. Our veterinarians will come to you. DO NOT HAUL HER! While waiting for our veterinarian to arrive, if you are able to calmly and slowly walk her into a maternity pen or head gate please do so. We will need her to be restrained, with clean bedding underneath her, and a bucket of warm water. If she's out in a field and cannot be moved into a maternity pen or head gate, please have a tractor ready as we will need something to tie her to and potentially use to lift her hind end. Uterine prolapses occur in:
    • Cows that have just calves (within minutes to hours)
    • They do NOT happen in cows that haven't calved yet...see vaginal prolapse. 

Here's more information on prolapses:

Prolapses in cattle: an ugly fact of life:

Prolapse of the rectum: http://www.veterinaryhandbook....

Prevention and treatment of cow prolapse:

A vaginal prolapse is not just a prolapse! https://www.canadiancattlemen....

Other Helpful Resources:

Common Disease of Grazing Beef Cattle:

Covid-19 Information

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