Animal Health Insights Podcast

CAHSS has developed a podcast introducing listeners to the people and organizations who are working to support animal health in Canada.

The goal of the podcast series is to further share information of interest to veterinarians and producers, and engage and strengthen connections between stakeholders.

more episodes here

Episode 23: Managing Mutual Microbes: One Health, Farm Animals, and AMR With Dr. Mohamed Rhouma

Antibiotics (one type of antimicrobial medication) are used in both veterinary and human medicine to treat and to prevent bacterial infections. Antimicrobial medications are classified based on the kind of pathogen they fight – for example, antibiotics are used against bacteria, antivirals against viruses, antifungals against fungal infections, etc. The development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) highlighted the use of antimicrobials in the human and veterinary worlds, leading to increased monitoring of antimicrobial use (AMU) and dispensing practices, as well as surveillance of resistance to these medications. In recent years veterinarians and producers around the world experienced many changes regarding how antimicrobials, specifically antibiotics, can be prescribed, dispensed and used for management of farmed animal diseases.
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Episode 22: Animal Health Surveillance in Action: CanSpotASF with Dr. Karine Talbot

The past few years in the swine world have seen a flurry of activity to manage and prevent the movement of African Swine Fever around the globe. This disease (which only infects pigs) has had severe impacts on swine health and production worldwide, often causing death of almost 100% of infected pigs. In Canada thus far we have been lucky to maintain ASF disease-free status, which means this disease is not present here. All swine disease surveillance groups, national, provincial and front-line swine veterinarians and producers are focused on vigilant monitoring and prevention of this disease in Canada. 
Podcast image with bay foal

Episode 21: Optimizing Foal Immunity with Dr. Ashley Whitehead

With foaling season upon us, it is the perfect time to take stock of our infection prevention and control practices - we want to ensure our mares have easy foalings and produce the healthiest offspring possible. The first few months of a foal’s life can be challenging as their immune system develops – even in ideal situations they may face bacterial, viral or parasitic infections that can make or break their future health. Dr. Ashley Whitehead, a veterinary internal medicine specialist and associate professor in equine clinical sciences at the University of Calgary, has a passion for all things related to foal health, and reviews how we can optimize foal immunity in this critical first few months of life.
podcast image with three pigs in a barn

Episode 20: Problem-solving for PRRS 114-1c with Dr. Doug MacDougald

Porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome is a disease that has circulated in the swine world for years – however a recent highly pathogenic strain of this virus is challenging pig herds. Dr. Doug MacDougald, a swine veterinarian working out of Southwest Ontario Veterinary Services has worked with producers in North America who have experienced outbreaks of this highly pathogenic PRRS strain – 144 Lineage 1C – and shares some case studies and practical tips for disease prevention.
A white dog sitting on the wing of an airplane

Episode 18: The Rules on Rabies with Dr. Martin Appelt

With the surge of dogs imported into Canada through the pandemic the possibility of people being exposed to rabies from a pet dog has become more of a risk. Dr. Martin Appelt, the Senior Director of the Animal Health Programs Division at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, reviews the recent changes to import requirements for dogs, and the reasons for their implementation to protect Canadians.
A person in coveralls with a tablet stands in front of a herd of cows

Episode 19: Antimicrobial Stewardship and Surveillance in Canadian Dairies with Drs Javier Sanchez and Luke Heider

Drs. Javier Sanchez and Luke Heider spearheaded this collaborative project to develop a scaffold for monitoring zoonotic bacteria of public health significance and the use of antimicrobials on Canadian dairy farms.
wild pig standing in a forest

Episode 17: Where the Wild Pigs Are with Mr. Corey Kramer

Mr. Corey Kramer, previously a Masters student from the University of Saskatchewan, and currently a Biology PhD student at San Diego State University, investigated the habitat use and movements of invasive wild pigs in Canada, and he shares the results from this research with us on Animal Health Insights.
greyhound head shot

Episode 16: Recognizing Resistant Hookworms

Dr. John Gilleard from the University of Calgary has been involved in investigations into the emergence and diagnosis of these drug-resistant canine hookworms over the past few years.
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Episode 14: Hazardous Hornets

Paul van Westendorp, the provincial apiculturalist or “honeybee expert” for the province of British Columbia, helped to identify the Asian Giant Hornet. Along with colleagues, Paul worked to locate and eradicate a hornet nest near Nanaimo, B.C., and continues to monitor for this insect species in B.C.
chicken flock

Episode 15: Preventing Avian Influenza

This episode focusses on the important topic of biosecurity and ways to maintain healthy flocks and minimize the chance of highly pathogenic avian influenza on farm, with Dr. Jean-Pierre Vaillancourt as the guest.
whirling disease and fish

Episode 13: Winning Against Whirling Disease

Dr. Mark Taylor, an aquatic biologist with Parks Canada in Banff National Park discusses the use of novels strategies to protect the wild fish population in Alberta and Canada against Whirling disease.

Episode 12: Parasite Problems and Novel Solutions

Dr. Anne Leboeuf, a veterinarian who previously led the Quebec RAIZO disease surveillance network for small ruminants, and Dre. Denise Bélanger, a professor emeritus at the St-Hyacinthe Vet Faculty, epidemiologist, and a sheep producer, share information about this PISAQ Parasite management campaign and how it has improved understanding of the risk factors for Quebec flocks and herds. 

Episode 11 (Part 2): Calling in the Feds: The Nitty-gritty

Dr. Margaret McGeoghegan from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and Dr. Luc Bergeron, a disease surveillance veterinarian from Quebec, help to demystify the complexities on who to involve and communicate with in an event of an animal disease outbreak situation, and provide some clarification as to just who does what, and why and how they do it in the case of an animal health incident.

Episode 11 (Part 3): Calling in the Feds: Looking Forward

Dr. Margaret McGeoghegan from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and Dr. Luc Bergeron, a disease surveillance veterinarian from Quebec, come together again to discuss the significant mental health impacts of animal health related situations on producers and veterinarians, and review how Canadian government organizations are working to improve communications and supports in these incredibly stressful scenarios.

Episode 11 (Part 1): Calling in the Feds: Practitioner‘s Perspective

Dr. Ryan Tenbergen is a swine veterinarian who works with Demeter Services Vétérinaires, and he has a strong interest in research and epidemiology. He is a past-president of the Ontario Association of Swine Veterinarians, and contributes to disease surveillance nationally as a representative for the Maritimes on the Canadian Swine Health Information Network. Dr. Tenbergen shares his experiences interacting with veterinary authorities as part of the diagnostic process. 

Episode 10: The Perils of Prions: Chronic Wasting Disease and Wildlife Health Management

Dr. Iga Stasiak is a veterinarian working as a wildlife health specialist in for the Ministry of the Environment in Saskatchewan. She works on a number of initiatives in that province, and is particularly active working on management of Chronic Wasting Disease, a disease of cervids. She discusses Chronic Wasting Disease and its surveillance with us, and discusses why wildlife health and disease monitoring is such an important (but complex) undertaking. 

Episode 8: Racing Against Resistance

We're all racing neck and neck against antimicrobial resistance - trying to preserve antibiotics for use in the most critical situations. This equine specialist pinpoints actions horse owners and veterinarians can take to minimize spread of resistant pathogens in horse populations and facilities.

Episode 9: Importing Dogs, Importing Disease?

When we bring dogs from far away into Canada, it is essential that we consider infectious organisms they may also bring into our country as “tag-alongs”. This a veterinarian and molecular-parasitology researcher (who is devoted to tackling zoonotic parasites) shares details on which infections should be top of mind when importing dogs, and describes a cautionary tale of an imported parasitic disease, Leishmania infantum.

Episode 7: Dealing with Salmonella Dublin

Sharing information about Salmonella Dublin, an emerging pathogen of cattle, is essential to improve health, manage disease and minimize losses. This epidemiologist of infectious diseases of dairy cattle discusses some innovative ways to share Salmonella Dublin risk and prevalence information with producers and veterinarians. 

Episode 6: The Trouble with Ticks

Ticks are becoming increasingly common in Canada; posing a variety of disease threats to animal and human health. This scientist and tick expert provides an update on ticks of concern, tick-borne disease risks, and shares some highlights and cringe-worthy tales from the day-to-day life of a tick specialist.

Episode 5: Tracking Down Disease

Infectious disease enters a barn the same way you do.. through the door! This poultry veterinarian shares how a few extra steps can change the movement of pathogens into farms and lower disease risk. 

Episode 4: Biosecurity Beefs

A veterinarian reveals newly identified biosecurity-related risk factors for introduction of respiratory disease, Johne's disease, and calf diarrhea into beef cow-calf herds in Western Canada.

Episode 3: A Breath of Fresh Air

Good barn ventilation goes a long way to support the respiratory health of ruminants. An agricultural engineer and large animal veterinarian explain why ventilation is so important for animal health, and share simple barn improvements to minimize disease.

Episode 2: Coughing Conundrums

Genomic testing may be the future of respiratory disease diagnostics - Dr. Cheryl Waldner outlines a project investing use of genomic tests to gain timely diagnosis, allow for targeted use of antibiotics, and improve the health of feedlot cattle. (Photo credit: Christina Weese)
girl with dog

Episode 1: Mixing Medicines

An infectious disease specialist and veterinary epidemiologist discuss zoonotic disease risks and the benefits of integrating a One Health approach to veterinary and human medical practice.

Podcasts from our surveillance partners

WeCAHN Cattle Health Update: Regional Respiratory Disease Research on BRSV and Bovine Coronavirus

Dr. Yanyun Huang from Prairie Diagnostic Services reviews two genomic research projects focused on the role of bovine coronavirus and bovine respiratory syncytial virus in respiratory disease of cattle in Western Canada.

WeCAHN Cattle Health Updates: foreign animal disease planning and prevention for cattle

Dr. Karin Orsel, a professor in epidemiology and infectious diseases from the University of Calgary, has some up close and personal experience with the impacts of bovine infectious diseases of cattle that currently don’t exist in Canada. These foreign animal diseases, such as foot and mouth disease, are kept out of Canada only by the strength of our farm biosecurity and through the ongoing monitoring and reporting of any of signs of concern to veterinarians for further investigation. Her experiences highlight the importance of vigilance and traceability in the cattle sector to ensure the health of our cattle and the security of our food systems.

WeCAHN Cattle Health Update: beef cow-calf vaccination planning

Dr. Joyce Van Donkersgoed, a beef veterinarian and epidemiologist, shares recent results from producer and veterinarian surveys regarding beef cattle vaccination. She also provides a number of beef health vaccination planning resources and decision-making tools developed by a research team of cattle experts to support the valid veterinary-client-patient relationship.

WeCAHN Swine Producer Update - Disease Threats and Maximizing Swine Health in Alternative Production Settings

If you are raising backyard pigs, heritage pig breeds, or swine in any type of alternative production setting, you need to tune into this WeCAHN swine producer update! Dr. Jessica Law, a swine veterinarian in Alberta, shares tips on disease threats that are specific to pigs raised in alternate production systems

OAHN Bovine Podcast: Bulk tank testing with Dr. David Kelton and Dr. Diego Nobrega

Dr. David Kelton and Dr. Diego Nobrega from the Ontario Veterinary College join the OAHN bovine network to discuss a disease surveillance project using bulk tank milk samples in Ontario dairy herds. The project funded jointly by Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) tested bulk tank milk samples for endemic (common in Ontario) and emerging diseases. Dr. Kelton and Dr. Nobrega discuss why the project was initiated, how to best interpret the results dairy producers have received, and what are some next steps veterinarians and dairy producers might take to continue efforts for disease management on farm.

OAHN Bovine Podcast: Salmonella Dublin with Dr. David Renaud

Dr. David Renaud from the Ontario Veterinary College joins Dr. Cynthia Miltenburg to discuss our current understanding of Salmonella Dublin in Ontario. Learn more about how S. Dublin is transmitted between and within cattle herds and how to detect it, and hear some preliminary research findings from Dr. Renaud’s current projects.

OAHN Bovine Network Quarterly Update October 2022

The OAHN bovine quarterly podcast report covers several issues discussed at our recent expert meeting including summer cases of Blackleg, a Bovine herpesvirus 1 abortion outbreak, and a new, more severe strain of Winter Dysentery. It also gives a quick update on laboratory data from Q2.

OAHN Bovine Network Quarterly Update July 2022

The OAHN bovine quarterly podcast report gives a quick update on laboratory data from Q1, an update on Theileria orientalis Ikeda detected in Tennessee, and a global surveillance update on Foot and Mouth Disease reported in Indonesia.