USask launches new master’s in field epidemiology

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) is preparing to take bold new steps in the study and control of disease in animal health with a new Master of Science degree program in field epidemiology.

Vet student’s best soul-food is Broccoli

To say third-year veterinary student Molly-Rae Walker keeps busy would be an understatement. In addition to her studies at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), she takes part in a myriad of extra-curricular and volunteer activities. But one of the causes closest to her heart is taking care of Broccoli, her 16-month-old foster dog.

Rehab dogs help children with cerebral palsy walk

Dogs can help children with cerebral palsy walk and gain self-confidence and independence, according to new research by the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

Saskatchewan invests more than $1.5 million in livestock research

Faculty and researchers based at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) received funding through Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Development Fund (ADF) and the Strategic Field Program (SFP) that totalled more than $1.5 million.

WCVM teams up with Canadian Challenge for unique learning experience

Three senior veterinary students at the University of Saskatchewan will gain hands-on experience as well as academic credit during this year’s Canadian Challenge Sled Dog Race, which takes place in northern Saskatchewan from Feb. 19 to 23.

New USask treatment for bone cancer in young people and dogs

Teenagers and pet dogs stand to benefit from a novel therapy for bone cancer being developed at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

How to keep your pets safe from marijuana poisoning

If you live with a pet, there is a good chance you consider it to be a member of your family. It is well established that companion animals, ranging from cats and dogs through to birds and rodents, can have a positive health benefit in our lives.

Ramp walking helps diagnose lameness in dogs

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) are taking tips from the field of human medicine and rehabilitation to develop a technique to help detect and diagnose injuries in dogs.

Small, deadly parasite emerging in Canada’s North

Harsh terrain and brutally cold temperatures are not the only dilemmas Arctic dwellers face. Dr. Emily Jenkins and her team of researchers at the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) have identified parasites in the gastrointestinal tract of carnivores from northern Canada as Echinococcus spp, a small tapeworm no larger than a mustard seed. Despite its miniscule size, Echinococcusis is extremely dangerous.

WCVM: The animal side of critical care

One early Monday morning last October, the clinical team at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) Veterinary Medical Centre (VMC) was preparing for rounds when an emergency patient was brought in to the hospital.

WCVM hosts biosecurity seminar at Equine Expo

Members of Saskatchewan's horse community will have the opportunity to learn from an international expert in infection control and biosecurity about how they can better protect the health of their horses.

Llama drama: Research into the mechanics of llama ovulation reveals a rare tumour

All it took was one ultrasound image to change all of our plans. I was part of a research team from the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) investigating how llamas ovulate. The season was just gearing up and we were doing the usual reproductive-function exams on the 25 research llamas at the college’s llama and alpaca farm near Saskatoon.

Boehringer Ingelheim forges partnership with USask Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence

The University of Saskatchewan has announced a five-year partnership and $250,000 contribution from research-driven pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. that will support advancements in innovation and leadership at the Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE).

WCVM grad returns as emergency and critical care specialist

Becoming a veterinarian was never a question for Dr. Jennifer Loewen, who had her career planned out since she was attending elementary school in her hometown of Winnipeg, Man.

Researchers seek clues to better treatment for deadly dog disease

Taking your adorable new puppy to play at the dog park: priceless. Potential cost of not fully vaccinating your puppy first: several days in the veterinary hospital, thousands of dollars in intensive-care fees … and still no guarantee your puppy will survive.

Prairie vet: ‘I can’t think of a better profession’

Dr. Julie de Moissac couldn’t be happier with her lifestyle and work environment as the sole veterinarian at her practice near Outlook, Sask.

Clinic tour part of 2019 Equine Expo

Curious about how veterinarians identify a lameness problem or a reproductive issue in a horse? Want to learn more about the tools that equine specialists use to diagnose and treat lameness, colic, infectious diseases and more? 

WCVM Today’s top five stories of 2018

It’s been a busy and exciting year at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), and to celebrate the end of 2018, here are five stories that were readers’ favourites on the WCVM Today website and the college’s social media channels.

Six world-first vaccines among USask’s VIDO-InterVac contributions to global health

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) has established itself as a leading global institute in protecting human and animal health since 1975, with six world-firsts among the eight vaccines it has commercialized.

Feeding centre opens in WCVM Small Animal Clinic

When it’s feeding time in the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s Small Animal Clinic, all food for hospitalized pets now comes from one spot: the new Nestlé Purina Inpatient Feeding Centre.

Leading by example

As I walk down the halls at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), I pass by walls lined with graduation portraits dating back to the first students in the 1960s. From a then-majority of sepia-toned moustaches to today’s colour photos featuring predominantly female students, we can spot the faces of our mentors, many of our teachers, and for some, even family members.

Pet protector

Horses have always been a big deal for Dr. Katherine Ball, who was seven when she got her first horse. After that she spent every possible moment riding or working in the barn.

Alberta student happy to return to her ‘Plan A’

Jude Morton was only five years old when she told her mother that she wanted to be a veterinarian. It seemed like the ideal career for Morton, who grew up surrounded by pets and farm animals on her family’s home in Scotland. The daughter of a shepherd, she helped her father with lambing, feeding the lambs and ewes, and many other jobs.

Animal health and food safety in hands of vets

Victor Kernaleguen first started working at a veterinary clinic when he was just 12 years old. His boss was his aunt, Dr. Anne Kernaleguen — a 1978 graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) — who owned and operated a mixed animal practice in Stoughton, Sask.

Manitoba vet student following in mother’s footsteps

First-year veterinary student Chris Jermey has been shadowing a veterinarian since he was a baby. Early pictures show him sitting in a stroller watching his mother, Dr. Helen Metner-Jermey, at work on farm calls for her large animal ambulatory practice in Moosehorn, Man.

Volker Gerdts named new USask VIDO-InterVac director and CEO

Following an international search, Dr. Volker Gerdts has been selected to lead the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre, a world leader in infectious disease research and vaccine development.

Veterinarian finds path in public health

A love of horses drew Dr. Megan Jurasek into a veterinary career. But a love of learning and an eye for opportunity are taking the recent graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) on a track to public service and regulatory medicine.

Sled dog racing roots drive student’s vet career

While growing up in northern British Columbia, first-year veterinary student Alannah Friedlund’s life revolved around sled dog racing and working with her family to maintain their kennel of Alaskan huskies. She was six years old when she ran her first race.

Vet’s world built on community connections

Relationships and trust — these two words sum up the core values that have guided Dr. Tom Schmidt throughout his veterinary career. Since his graduation from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) in 1989, Schmidt has been a trusted clinician, adviser and friend to his clients in the North Battleford area.

Puppy love: caring vets generously treat rare disease

Inspired by the tremendous care her dog Max received at the WCVM as a result of a rare disease, Katelyn Maruca pledged to help veterinary medicine students succeed through scholarship support.

USask researchers find changing environment bringing bear species together

In an unprecedented finding, University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers have recorded all three species of North American bears occupying overlapping territory in Canada’s subarctic.

Agriculture integral part of vet’s work and life

Most people know Dr. Andrew (Andy) Acton first and foremost as the owner-operator of Deep South Animal Clinic in Ogema, Sask., a mixed-animal practice where he spends his days working to make both small and large animals alike live happy, healthy lives.

Collaborative research is the key to the LFCE

The newest kid on the block for researchers at the University of Saskatchewan is a world-class facility that brings together under one roof all aspects of raising livestock in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner.

Falconry helped vet student’s career take flight

Pets of all shapes and sizes have always been part of Katie Radcliffe’s life, but the first-year veterinary student’s favourite animals aren’t the soft and cuddly kind.

Big on beef, passionate for poultry

They are both passionate about animal welfare and about research advancements to improve the agriculture industry.

Vet’s work in ag industry powered by education and research

At the first job she ever held as a veterinarian, Dr. Leigh Rosengren remembers her boss telling her that he was going to keep piling things onto her plate until she cried — only then would he take one item off.

RVT Month highlights ‘behind-the-scenes’ profession

Registered veterinary technologists or technicians (RVTs) have been an integral part of animal health care for over 50 years, but their profession is still a mystery for many people.

Northern experiences benefited first-year veterinary student

Kaitlyn Denroche is a product of the North, shaped by her experiences growing up in Yellowknife, NWT – a city of about 20,000 residents that offered her access to various animals including dog teams, horses, house pets and city wildlife.

Skull surgery a success for Toby

A shih-tzu-Yorkshire terrier cross dog named Toby is recovering well after a Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) specialist removed a large, grapefruit-sized mass from the top of his head in August 2018.

Rural roots run deep for Manitoba vet student

First-year veterinary student Marianne Sytnyk has always been happy living the farming lifestyle — even when it meant working all night or spending hours outside in -40 degree Celsius weather, she enjoyed every minute of it.

From brain teasers to brain specialist

Dr. Danielle Zwueste has been hooked on veterinary medicine since she was a teenager, but it was her affinity for solving puzzles that inspired her to become a veterinary neurologist.

Is temperament linked to stress in beef cattle?

Understanding how cattle behaviour relates to productivity, immune status and welfare is a key research focus for Dr. Diego Moya, beef cattle ethologist at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

U of S veterinary student earns national 4-H award times three

For the third time in her academic career, University of Saskatchewan veterinary student Kendra Elliott of Cromer, Man., has received the Weston Family 4-H Agricultural Scholarship offered through 4-H Canada.

Stressed bats can increase spread of deadly viruses

Bats are responding to stress from such things as habitat destruction, lack of nutrition and infections by increasing the production and shedding of viruses that cause serious and often fatal diseases in humans and other animals.

Island life shaped B.C. vet student’s career path

Cameron Hughes grew up on Denman Island, a small rural community in the Georgia Strait that provided him with incredible access to the amazing opportunities, sights and beauty of the B.C. coast.

WCVM practicum highlights animal side of social work

Veterinary social work is a relatively new field in Canada, but Erin Wasson has made it a staple at the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

Bowker brings expertise in equine foot health to WCVM

This fall, members of the local horse community and students at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) will have the chance to learn about a novel approach to equine foot health straight from the man who developed the theory.

U of S Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence celebrates grand opening

On Oct. 9, the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) and its partners launched the $38-million Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE), a world-class complex of field and science laboratories that will be a powerhouse for innovative research, teaching and industry engagement in all aspects of livestock and forage production.

Equine job groomed Manitoba student for vet school

This summer, Chantel Dunlop of Seven Sisters Falls, Man., was standing in a warm-up ring at Calgary’s Spruce Meadows when she read an email message confirming her acceptance into the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

The new university plan: U of S moves in a bold new direction

It is an innovative and inspirational document designed to shape the future of the University of Saskatchewan over the next seven years.

Lifesaving support

When a person breaks a leg, it’s highly unlikely that this injury would lead to death. But when a horse injures its leg, the all-too-common outcome is euthanasia.

U of S researchers awarded $8M to tackle social, climate issues

University of Saskatchewan (U of S) researchers have been awarded more than $8 million for projects ranging from designing videogames that promote social bonding to safeguarding Indigenous people from the northward spread of a nasty parasite, to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the cattle industry.

U of S appoints new director for its Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence

The University of Saskatchewan (U of S) has appointed Kris Ringwall as the new director of its Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE), a powerhouse for innovative research, teaching and industry engagement in all aspects of livestock and forage production.

‘Veterinary immersion’ helped prepare Alberta student for career

Matt Woodman of Calgary, Alta., was volunteering on a friend’s farm during calving season when he had an unforgettable experience.

Injured turtle on a roll with Lego wheelchair

A wild eastern box turtle at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, Md., is on the mend and on the move — thanks to some plastic Lego bricks and some clever thinking by Garrett Fraess, a veterinary student from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

Hours in the saddle help B.C. vet in clinic

There’s a certain mystery to working in veterinary medicine, where each new patient can come as a kind of puzzle to solve — discovering the ins and outs of what makes them tick, unlocking whatever issue is at hand and sending them out the door happy and healthy once again.

How a new vaccine could save cattle herds – and livelihoods

For 10,000 years, the bacterium Mycoplasma mycoides has infected goats, cows and other livestock, annihilating entire herds in days.

WCVM part of national vet conference

The Veterinary Education Today (VET) Conference and Medical Exposition brings together veterinary professionals from across Canada for high-quality continuing education — and it’s happening right now at Toronto’s International Centre from Sept. 27 to 29.

‘Lea Riddell, equine vet’

Dr. Lea Riddell has never really fit the mould of an equine veterinarian. A self-proclaimed “city girl,” Riddell was born and raised in Winnipeg, Man. — far from any farm or acreage and with no horses nearby.

WCVM awards night honours high achievers

The Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) paid tribute to nearly 60 of the college’s outstanding students, faculty and staff during its annual fall awards evening on September 21.

Veterinary student in her ‘happy place’ with animals

Kari Kondratowicz still recalls the excitement of her high school work placement at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) veterinary teaching hospital.

WCVM admissions team hits the road

The Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) admissions and recruitment team has been out on the road meeting with pre-veterinary students and talking about the ins and the outs of applying to the WCVM.

What makes sulfa drugs tick?

Sulfa-based drugs – anyone with a penicillin allergy and an ear infection can testify that these antibiotics are still important today. Dating back to the 1930s, these drugs are some of the first antibiotics used to combat infections — especially urinary tract infections — in both human and veterinary medicine.

Ferrari earns spot in Royal Society of Canada college

University of Saskatchewan veterinary biomedical scientist Dr. Maud Ferrari has earned a spot in the prestigious Royal Society of Canada’s (RSC) College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, which celebrates research excellence at an early career stage.

Saliva test could lead to better parasite control

Researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) are looking for a more accurate way to detect internal parasites in beef cattle by looking at the animals’ saliva.

New CT scanner creates more slices of life

Drs. Lesley Zwicker and Sally Sukut can’t hide their enthusiasm for the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s new computed tomography (CT) scanner that’s pushing the boundaries of veterinary medical imaging.

New program brings vet students into rural Saskatchewan

A new program through the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association (SVMA) is giving third-year veterinary students an opportunity to gain more hands-on experience before starting their final year at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

Dual degree sets up veterinarian for lifelong learning

One of the biggest lessons Dr. Alex Muzzin has learned as a small animal veterinarian is to pay almost as much attention to the people walking through her doors as she does to the pets they bring with them.

WCVM to operate Canada’s first PET-CT unit for animals

The Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the U of S will soon be home to Canada’s first PET-CT unit dedicated to animals—thanks to an Alberta donor whose $2.5-million gift is the largest private donation in WCVM’s history.

Toe tip necrosis painful problem among feedlot cattle

Toe tip necrosis syndrome (TTNS), a painful disease that mainly affects the hind feet of cattle, was once thought to be a rare occurrence in North American feedlots.

WCVM alumnus receives beef industry award

A leader in beef cattle production and medicine and an alumnus of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) has been awarded the 2018 Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation. Dr. Eugene Janzen was recently honoured for his work at the 2018 Canadian Beef Industry Conference, held in London, Ont.

Vet Topics (Summer 2018) now online

The Summer 2018 issue of Vet Topics — news publication for the WCVM Companion Animal Health Fund — is now available online.

Conference features range of One Health speakers

The 2018 One Health Leadership Experience, which takes place in Saskatoon from Aug. 24 to 26, features speakers from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences in One Health. Here’s more information about this year’s guest lecturers and One Health leaders:

Poultry powers B.C. vet’s career

For many people, poultry is simply another option in a long line of dinner ideas. But for Dr. Stewart J. Ritchie, president of Canadian Poultry Consultants Ltd. and S.J. Ritchie Research Farms Ltd., chickens (feathers) are a way of life.

Veterinarian’s work supports growing aquaculture industry

If you’re looking to feed a lot of people, and feed them well, it only seems sensible to look for the largest beast on four legs you can find. Cows, pigs or even goats should fit the bill, right?

U of S student receives prestigious international award

A University of Saskatchewan PhD student in the Western College of Veterinary Medicine is one of five recipients worldwide of the inaugural BioOne Ambassador Award announced today.

Equine veterinarian’s life comes full circle

For 15 years of her life, Dr. Maia Aspé has ridden horses. Six of those years were spent chasing a career as a professional hunter-jumper before she found her calling in equine veterinary medicine.

Safeguarding food supply key part of B.C. vet’s role

When most people think of veterinarians, it’s likely that their first thoughts include a dog or cat — maybe even a horse — being nursed back to health and returned to its relieved owner.

A life infused with horses

Dr. Steve Manning has enjoyed being around horses since he was a kid riding with the local Pony Club branch in his southern Ontario hometown. That interest prompted him to apply for a summer job with a local equine veterinarian – a move that led to his career choice.

WCVM graduate heads national veterinary organization

Dr. Terri Chotowetz, a 1990 graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) and the University of Saskatchewan, is the new president of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) during its 70th year of existence.

CVMA award recipients include WCVM alumni

Two graduates of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) were among a group of award recipients honoured on July 6 during the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s (CVMA) annual convention in Vancouver, B.C.

A gold medal performance

When Dr. Jessica Paravicini returned home to Vancouver Island after the University of Saskatchewan’s Convocation in early June, the newly-minted veterinarian brought back more than memories of her graduation.

Puzzling disease devastates B.C. rabbits

Veterinarians and rabbit owners in British Columbia are on alert for a devastating viral disease that has caused the death of hundreds of rabbits in the province this past spring.

One very determined dentist

Dr. Candace Lowe, a member of the Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba, is a role model on many fronts: she’s female, Indigenous and an example of what’s possible when a person finds her passion.

Study shows signs of Cache Valley virus in Saskatchewan

A recent baseline study at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) indicates a high prevalence of antibodies against Cache Valley virus (CVV) in Saskatchewan sheep as well as in other domestic and wild animals living in the province.

WCVM scientists gain support for biomedical research studies

A recent funding announcement by the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) includes nearly $540,000 in financial support for four research projects that will be conducted by researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

Little things in life make researcher’s day

Microbiologist Moses Ikechukwu’s enthusiasm for his research work is infectious — spending even 20 minutes with him can put anyone in a good mood. His passion for learning was passed down to him from his parents who sacrificed a great deal for their son’s education in Nigeria.

Vet happy to be rolling on Manitoba highways again

When Dr. Meagan Peats describes her average workday, her portrayal includes climbing behind the wheel of an equine ambulatory vehicle and hauling down dusty roads, past wide-open fields and into makeshift driveways to help treat horses of all shapes and sizes.

One Health Congress vital source of energy and ideas

The University of Saskatchewan (U of S) is set to welcome nearly 700 visitors to Saskatoon for the International One Health Congress, the premier conference in the world of One Health.

Low oxygen therapy has high potential for spinal cord patients

Expose patient to low oxygen levels intermittently for short time periods. Combine with rehabilitative training. Repeat. They’re simple instructions for treating people and animals with spinal cord injuries, but the results have proven to be breathtaking.

WCVM clinician-scientist earns global prize for eye-catching research

A Western College of Veterinary Medicine scientist and her team’s groundbreaking research earned international attention at the European College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ECVO) Congress in May 2018.

Raw meat study connects dental and veterinary worlds

Second-year dentistry students Jessa Drury, Lisa Bachiu and Susanne Skulski were sitting in their endodontics class when they came up with the idea of how they could connect their schooling at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Dentistry with veterinary medicine.

Toxic leftovers from Giant Mine found in snowshoe hares

Even though it was closed decades ago, the Giant Mine on the outskirts of Yellowknife has left a long environmental legacy.

Vet school prepared equine surgeon for his life’s work

There’s never been a time in Dr. Chris Bell’s life that he wasn’t surrounded by horses.

Innovation in horse rehabilitation

Samantha Steinke was born to ride. In fact, the University of Saskatchewan student essentially rode her first horse before she was even born.

U of S prof receives prominent international animal science award

On June 4, University of Saskatchewan professor H.A. (Bart) Lardner received the Extension Award from the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS).

Pigs came calling for WCVM graduate

When Dr. Blaine Tully graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), it was a given that he would return to his home province of Manitoba. Home and family beckoned.