Dairy and Beef Cattle

Our Services

We are committed to providing an excellent service and care for your needs in large animal veterinary treatment, dairy herd health and production medicine.

Milk Bacteriology – Petrifilm

The PetrifilmTM plates are a selective cultural environment of 3M Microbiology. They are currently used in the food industry for fast bacteriological culture and bacteria count. The plates are mostly used in the bovine industry to count Staphylococcus aureus, coliforms (E.coli and Klebsiella) and aerobic count (total bacteria). The Petrifilms have been tested for bovine milk. 1 ml of milk is added to the Petrifilm and the plate is incubated. The results are available in 22 to 24 hours after the start of the incubation. Studies showed a comparable or better sensitivity to the Petrifilm than to the standard milk culture in the detection of S. aureus and coliforms.

The mastitis diagnosis is the fundamental base of control programs for udder health. The long-term objective is to prevent new infections. The short-term objective is to evaluate treatment protocols or find the cause of an epidemic.

Mastitis is caused by different bacteria, therefore treatments and control protocols are different depending on the bacteria. In the case of mild mastitis, a 24-hour delay in the treatment is not critical. For clinical mastitis, choosing a treatment according to bacteriological results can significantly reduce the use of antibiotics. Such a reduction of antibiotic use can:

  • Reduce the loss of milk;
  • Reduce the chances of having residues in milk;
  • Improve success rates of treatment because of better targeted treatments.

The bacteria count (aerobic and coliform count) is important to detect health problems in calves. Bacteria can cause diarrhea in calves, therefore it is important to check the total bacteria count in the colostrum, the milk, the bottles, the pails and other materials.

The bacteriologic tests give you precious information for ensuring the health of both udders and calves. Talk with one of our veterinarians to establish a health program for the udder and for the screening of health problems in calves.

Canadian Bovine Exportation

Our seven accredited veterinarians are able to verify cattle for exportation during a stay in the United States, for an exhibition or a competition to sell, for instance. We insure that the animal going outside of Canada is healthy and meets the standards of the other country.

We also offer these services for cattle going for slaughter in the United States. We make sure that the animals are healthy, we check their identification and we also fill out the necessary paperwork for customs.

The LactoCorder®

The LactoCorder®(LC) is a tool used to graph milk flow for each cow, giving us an immediate visual outline of the production quality. The LC draws a curve of the milk flow by measuring the flow every 0.7 seconds. This data is then put on the graph according to time, which allows us to objectively evaluate the milking efficiency.

The LC is useful to evaluate problems related to milking procedures such as the releasing of milk, bad timing of procedures, over milking, the performances of the milking staff and equipment (the alarm and adjustments of the automatic take-offs).

Are your milking methods effective to optimize your production and the quality of milk? A meticulous adjustment of your milking procedures will lead to a better release of milk, to a decrease in time to install the milking units, to a decreased amount of over milking and decreased stress on the ends of the teats. The final result of this adjustment will be a lower somatic cell count and ultimately more milk in the bulk tank.


The DSA-laitier is a software for veterinarians to keep individual health files and analysis of dairy herd parameters. Furthermore, the DSA-producteur software allows the producer to keep updating files right from the farm. These software are only available in French.

Many parameters can be analyzed, for example:

  • Components of the milk;
  • Analysis of the indications of reproduction;
  • Analysis of the indications of the udder’s health.

All this information allows us to evaluate the parameters of a herd on every level and therefore increase its productivity.


Your herd and ketosis

The accumulation of ketone bodies in your animal’s blood is a problem because it indicates that the animal is energy deficient. When your cows start to produce from calving, the energy demand becomes very high rather quickly. Animals then draw from fatty reserves, and the use of this fat causes energy deficiency, which then leads to ketosis.

Ketosis is an important problem in today’s dairy herds. We can distinguish two different forms: the clinical and the subclinical ketosis. The clinical ketosis is defined by a rate of ketone bodies BHB (Beta-Hydroxy-Butyrate) higher than 1.4 mmol/L in the presence of other clinical signs. The clinical ketosis is frequently associated with displaced abomasum, fatty liver, pregnancy toxemia and twin pregnancy. The clinical ketosis of a pregnant animal is associated with a very poor prognosis.

Sub-clinical ketosis is characterized by a level of BHB between 0.4 and 1.4 mmol/L. Many health problems can be avoided if ketosis is prevented. If cows stay low in ketone bodies during this period, it is a sign of a good transition. Ketosis is associated with particular problems: displaced abomasum, locomotive problems, reproduction problems and culling. An Ontario study of 2007 showed that a cow with ketone bodies levels superior to 1.0 in the first week of lactation and 1.4 in the second week had significantly fewer chances of becoming pregnant during the first insemination. For every 0.1 above the limit, cows lost between 2 and 3% of chances of becoming pregnant, depending on the time. (The effect of subclinical ketosis in early lactation on reproduction performance of postpartum dairy cows, J. Dairy Science. 90:2788–2796)

The Precision Xtra Ketometer allows us to read the level of ketone bodies of the cow on-farm and provide precise results. In medicine, we use it during the general exam of the sick animal, and it will often affect treatment decisions. In preventive medicine, it can be used with fresh cows (0–45 days) to monitor the nutritional transition and the general health of the at-risk animals. The Precision Xtra Ketometer is used by some dairy farmers to monitor their fresh cows. The tool is easy to use and very similar to the glucometer used by diabetics.


Voluntary program of prevention and control of paratuberculosis in Quebec

In Quebec, the paratuberculosis program has existed since 2007 and beef or dairy farmers are welcome to join in. Also known as Johnes disease, it is caused by the Mycobacterium avium bacteria subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP).

The Disease

It is contagious. The bacteria are mainly found in the ruminant’s manure, but can also be found in the milk. It is highly resistant and can remain in the environment more than a year (in manure, liquid manure, pasture after spreading, etc.). Usually, it is young animals, under a year old, that come in contact with the disease through an adult’s manure, for instance its mother’s during birth.

Then, the animal goes to the sub-clinical phase where he could possibly excrete the bacteria. This phase can last several years without any clinical sign and is an important consideration in herd contamination. Finally, the animal gets older and can develop the disease. This last phase is characterized by a significant weight loss, profuse diarrhea, a decrease in milk production to end in the death of the animal. This disease is incurable and no effective vaccine exists.

The Program

The first year of the program consists of an analysis of the herd’s situation. The veterinarian then informs the farmer about the disease and its impact. The following years, the veterinarian follows up on the program according to the recommendations given to the farmer.

Moreover, manure samples of the environment are taken to provide information regarding the degree of herd contamination. Throughout the program, the farmer has the option to analyze individual animals and can benefit from discounts on laboratory fees. The government is also involved and pays a certain percentage of the fees associated with the program.

For more information on paratuberculosis or the program, please speak with one of our veterinarians.


How is your herd reproduction?

How does your herd compare to the average?

Is it possible to improve the reproductive performance of your herd?

It is possible with regular visits and use of the software DSA-Laitier. This software allows you to analyze, improve or maintain reproduction performances.

The ultimate purpose in reproduction is to reduce the days opened. To do so, three factors are important:

  • Success of first breeding is the most important for reducing the days opened;
  • Reduce the interval between breeding. Regular visits are needed to detect cows opened as fast as possible;
  • The number of days between calving and the first breeding.

Several protocols of reproduction exist nowadays for successful breeding.

It is important to adopt a reproduction strategy with your veterinarian that fits your herd and your goals.


The Ormstown Veterinary Hospital can perform corrective surgery for calves experiencing umbilical problems. These surgeries are done at our installations and the calf is under general anesthetic. This allows us to offer a better surgical environment as well as constant care for the patient during and after surgery.

Conditions frequently met:

  • Patent urachus: Persistence of the canal from the umbilicus to the urinary bladder;
  • Hernia/umbilical abscess;
  • Omphalophebitis: persistence of the canal from the umbilicus to the liver.

We also offer short-term hospitalization for calves and small ruminants:

  • To allow a nonstop intravenous drip during problems of dehydration and electrolytic imbalance in the cases of neonatal diarrhea or severe parasitosis;
  • Any other conditions requiring more specific care.

We can also perform on-site radiography using a portable device. Used in the cases of fractures, joints and lameness problems, this device allows us to have an on-farm diagnostic while minimizing the manipulations of the wounded animal. For smaller animals such as calves, kids or lambs, we also offer the radiography service at the hospital.

We also have portable echographs for use on the farm. Mainly used to help evaluate the reproductive system of farm animals (cattle, goats, sheep, llamas), this device also helps us in the diagnosis of traumatic reticuloperitonitis (hardware disease) of the cattle (nail in the stomach, infections) as well as during umbilical problems of calves. It is also possible to evaluate the mammary glands and teats in case of malformations or traumas.