Canine patients hold key to new bone cancer therapies for dogs and people

You share more things in common with your dog than you think, and these similarities are the focus of research at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) that’s aimed at investigating osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer found in dogs and humans.

Equine vet brings world-class sports medicine expertise to WCVM

As a new clinical associate with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), Dr. Nathalie Reisbig is ready to round out the range of horse health expertise available at the college’s Veterinary Medical Centre (VMC) with her world-class knowledge of equine sports medicine.

USask teams funded to breathe new life into lung health research

Three transdisciplinary research teams from the University of Saskatchewan (USask) have been awarded almost $350,000 to discover solutions to lung health challenges.

Province of B.C. doubles student seats in veterinary medicine program at USask

More B.C. veterinary students will attend the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) on the University of Saskatchewan (USask) campus this August, following an investment from the Province of B.C. to double its number of subsidized seats for the first time in more than a decade.

Animal behaviour deciphered

Dr. Karen Machin has studied stress and behaviour in wildlife for many years, but in her spare time, the veterinarian and researcher enjoys training and competing with her dog.

Researchers piece together feline diabetes puzzle

Kevin the cat has faced a roller-coaster of health problems during his five years of life.

USask selects new Beef Industry Integrated Forage Management and Utilization Chair

Bree Kelln has been selected as the new Beef Industry Integrated Forage Management and Utilization (IFMU) Chair for the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

Surveillance team detects SARS-CoV-2 virus in Saskatchewan white-tailed deer

Nearly two years after academic, provincial and federal researchers pooled resources to build a wildlife surveillance program, there’s proof that SARS-CoV-2 virus is circulating among free-ranging, white-tailed deer in Saskatchewan.

Science and fellowship at forefront of graduate poster day

The return to an in-person graduate research poster day at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) was a welcome change after two years of online events.

USask, international researchers find modern animal life could have origins in delta

The ancestors of many animal species alive today may have lived in a delta in what is now China, suggests new research published in Nature Communications by an international team including University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers.

USask researchers track multi-species transmission in world first

A team of University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers have cracked a multi-species mystery, documenting the flow of a common canine pathogen from a dog to a human.

Vet Topics (Spring 2022) now online

The Spring 2022 issue of Vet Topics, news publication for the veterinary college's Companion Animal Health Fund, is now available online. 

Emergency needs increase with pet ownership boom

As the only 24-hour veterinary hospital in Saskatoon and area, the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) Veterinary Medical Centre (VMC) is experiencing increased demand for its services.

Rams’ breeding soundness key to sheep flock health

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) are working to update the ram breeding soundness evaluation guidelines so they represent specific sheep breeds raised in Western Canada.

Inquisitive anesthesiologist leaves 30-year legacy

In 1999, Dr. Tanya Duke-Novakovski travelled to Leipzig, Germany, for a one-year sabbatical leave from her role at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

Building the foundations to better her profession

From building dog houses to organizing anti-racism education for her peers, Charlie Wyatt-Swain has found many ways to serve her community during her time as a veterinary student at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

Horse Health Lines (Spring 2022) now online

The Spring 2022 issue of Horse Health Lines, news publication for the WCVM’s Townsend Equine Health Research Fund, is now online.

USask wastewater COVID detectives’ paper is roadmap for other scientists

University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers set up a wastewater monitoring program that’s become the province’s sole reliable source for data on the prevalence of COVID-19. Now they have published a paper that provides a blueprint for other scientists to emulate their work.

USask research finds substance derived from tire debris is toxic to trout species

Every time it rains, fish living downstream of storm drains are exposed to pollutants, including the tire-derived compound 6PPD-quinone, in the runoff. Recently, this substance has been linked to massive die-offs of coho salmon across the West Coast of the United States.

Protecting endangered species and habitats

Dr. Eric Lamb (PhD) understands there are no easy answers when it comes to the delicate balance between ecology and the economy in a proudly agriculture-driven province.

Detmer settles into council chair at USask

Dr. Susan Detmer (DVM, PhD) came for the conference, and stayed for the career.

What’s the best approach to boosting calves’ immune response?

A Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) study co-led by Drs. Nathan Erickson and John Ellis is investigating whether different vaccine prime-boost approaches can help calves develop a better immune response against pathogens associated with bovine respiratory disease.

Collaboration key to research funding success

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has awarded $810,000 over five years to a diverse team of University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers who are embarking on an ambitious, three-part project to advance the understanding of cystic fibrosis (CF).

Unravelling the umbilical cord

Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) researchers have added a couple of new twists to research focusing on the link between equine umbilical cords and foal health.

Vet camp and petting zoo part of student’s journey

From the time she could talk, Magdelena (Alena) Lessmeister wanted to be a veterinarian. And now that she’s a first-year student at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), Lessmeister is grateful for the combination of events and factors that inspired her to fulfil that goal.

Signal pursuit

Dr. Claire Card has spent much of her career helping mares get pregnant, but for some horses and their owners, it’s complicated.

Kenyan student’s love of wildlife led to vet school

While growing up in Kenya, Armaan Bhatia crossed paths with animals of all shapes and sizes.

How to manage equine hoof abscesses

Every equine veterinarian is familiar with this kind of call: an owner goes out to do the morning feed and finds a severely lame horse that can’t bear any weight on one leg. The client calls the vet in a panic, fearing the worst — a broken leg or a life-threatening injury.

WCVM hosts equine research discussion

Horse health research is the focus of an upcoming virtual panel discussion that's asking for input from horse owners about current and future research studies at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

WCVM equine study first to show wound healing after stem cell therapy

A team of researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) has published the first equine study to demonstrate changes in wound healing following stem cell therapy.

B.C. vet student dives into new career

Growing up in Hong Kong, Viviana Lee lived with her family in a 500-square-foot apartment that had no room for pets. But working with animals was always part of the plan for Lee, now a first-year veterinary student at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

USask researchers probe Lyme disease ecology

A mysterious disease is creeping its way into Saskatchewan, and its diagnosis remains complicated and unstandardized. Lyme disease, a tick-borne bacterial infection, is spreading westwards and northwards into the province of Saskatchewan.

Volunteer work near and dear to B.C. student’s heart

As a boy, Vazul Munjal remembers listening to his veterinarian father describe interesting cases brought to his practice, Alta Vista Animal Hospital, in Vancouver, B.C.

Understanding why expecting parents give birth unexpectedly early

Birth occurring before 37 weeks of pregnancy is a leading cause of newborn death, disability and developmental delays in humans.

WCVM faculty members receive over $1.75 million for agriculture research

University of Saskatchewan (USask) faculty members at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) have received over $1.75 million from Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Development Fund (ADF) in support of livestock and crop research projects.

WCVM alumnus named Bovine Vet of the Year

Saskatchewan veterinarian Dr. Andrew (Andy) Acton, a 1992 graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), is the 2022 recipient of Western Canada’s top award for bovine practitioners.

Veterinary medicine right fit for Manitoba student

Tara Sweetnam was 12 years old the first time that she watched a veterinarian perform an embryo transfer at her family’s dairy farm near Winkler, Man. As the practitioner transferred fertilized embryos into the reproductive tract of her favourite cow, Sweetnam was awestruck by the process.

On the trail of the B.C. bat mortality mystery

British Columbia is losing its bats. Half of the 16 bat species in the province are either vulnerable or threatened, and ecologists and farmers alike worry about how the loss of these voracious pest control experts will affect our natural and agricultural systems.

Allergies didn’t deter Alberta student from animal health future

Veterinary student Keegan King has always loved being around animals. Even a childhood allergy to horses and cats didn’t deter him from caring for the family dogs or spending time on his grandma’s and uncle’s farms near Viking, Alta.

Research collaboration yields promising biopsy tool for diagnosing lung disease

About 98 out of 100,000 human patients annually suffer from interstitial lung disease, a broad collection of several lung diseases that manifest as inflammation and scarring of lung tissue and a loss of lung function.

Vet student’s future compass points North

Tannicka Reeves was 12 years old when she finally convinced her mom that they needed a dog. Little did she know that raising and caring for their new pup Koeda would be a life-changing experience.

A day in the life: working in bison reproduction

As the sun rises, Eric and Miranda Zwiefelhofer gear up for another exciting day of work.

Preventing frostbite in horses

Frostbite isn’t a common medical issue in horses, but under extreme temperatures, a horse’s body decreases the blood supply to its extremities — such as ears, genitals and feet.

USask veterinary pathologist appointed to Order of Canada

Dr. Frederick (Ted) Leighton, a professor emeritus and graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), was appointed officer of the Order of Canada — one of the country’s highest civilian honours.

How to avoid holiday pet emergencies

There are a handful of common causes for end-of-year pet emergencies, so here’s an annual reminder from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) to help keep your pets safe over the busy holiday season.

USask researchers angling to protect fish from chemical contamination

Chemicals widely used in everyday life end up in wastewater that flows to rivers and lakes, potentially causing serious impacts to aquatic life.

Our five favourite articles of 2021

As 2021 wraps up, the WCVM Today team has reviewed the past year’s content from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s news archives and selected a handful of favourite stories for our readers. Enjoy!

WCVM scientists aim to disrupt growth of bovine pathogen

A University of Saskatchewan (USask) research team is evaluating how a panel of drugs might affect Mycoplasma bovis — a bacterium that’s responsible for causing serious health issues among Canada’s cattle herds.

Texting tool aims to support mental health

University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers are recruiting participants for a text-based mental health support program.

WCVM researchers on most-cited list of scientists

On a recently published list, over 130 University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers — including 13 scientists from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine — were featured prominently among the world’s top scientists, social scientists and academics.

Cresty necks flag metabolic issues in horses

While University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers are still hunting for a diagnostic biomarker that predicts equine metabolic syndrome (EMS), results of their recent study substantiated the cresty neck score (CNS) as a reliable visual marker of abnormal insulin metabolism in horses.

WCVM alumna new president of equine practitioners group

Dr. Emma Read (DVM), a 1998 graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan, is the new president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) for a one-year term.

Wild pigs on the Prairies

For more than a decade, Dr. Ryan Brook (PhD) has seen the warning signs and been sounding the alarm about the ecological and agricultural disaster the Prairies are facing from the uncontrolled spread of wild pigs and the damage they do.

Vet's career heads straight to the heart

Growing up in Portugal, Dr. Tiago Afonso always knew he wanted to be an equine veterinarian.

Cardiac drugs in comparison test

The list of current treatment options for horses with heart disease isn’t very long, and the cost of certain heart medications is out of reach for many Canadian horse owners.

Stall-side research

Mateo Castano Ospina, a veterinary student at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), spent four months working as the Townsend Equine Health Research Fund (TEHRF) undergraduate summer research student in 2021.

USask veterinarian’s vision revives German anatomy textbook

When Dr. Monique Mayer (DVM) began studying the dog’s lymphatic system as part of her work as a cancer researcher, she relied on an unlikely assistant: her mother.

USask researcher links climate change and disease prevalence in Arctic

University of Saskatchewan (USask) PhD candidate Kayla Buhler has spent her academic career in the sky and on the ground of the Canadian Arctic, examining how infectious diseases are transmitted through the interactions of wildlife with their environment.

Saskatoon hospital foundations offer support to USask’s VIDO

Three of Saskatoon’s hospital foundations have partnered to donate $230,000 in support of Canada’s Centre for Pandemic Research at the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO).

Reducing calves’ castration pain drives research

Reducing or mitigating the pain of castration for male beef calves is one of the main animal welfare concerns in the beef cattle industry today.

Horse Health Lines (Fall 2021) now online

Equine cardiology research, equine obesity markers, reproduction, laminitis, parasites and safety around portable X-ray units are all topics covered in the Fall 2021 issue of Horse Health Lines.

WCVM alumnus earns Saskatchewan’s top award

Dr. Lorne Hepworth, a Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) alumnus, has received Saskatchewan’s highest honour.

Advancing Truth and Reconciliation at the WCVM

The University of Saskatchewan’s campus-wide events on Sept. 30 marking Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation inspired veterinary student Charlie Wyatt-Swain to plan an event at her own college.

Safety vital near portable X-rays

A recent study by University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers highlights the importance of regularly reviewing radiation safety practices for the use of portable X-ray machines in equine practice.

Veterinary field epidemiology program fills unique niche

Dr. Caitlyn Best is about to add a few more letters to her already lengthy set of professional credentials, becoming the first person to graduate from Canada’s only master’s program in veterinary field epidemiology.

'PAWSitive' toolkit available for service dog groups working with veterans

In commemoration of Remembrance Day, registration is now open for a free online course, led by University of Saskatchewan (USask) health researchers, for service dog organizations working with veterans.

Novel ergot research leads to top-tier scholarship for USask student

University of Saskatchewan PhD student Jensen Cherewyk has been awarded one of Canada’s most prestigious doctoral scholarships for leading-edge research into an overlooked compound formed by a toxic fungus in forage grasses and cereal grains that threatens human and animal food safety.

WCVM’s research breadth represented at Fall Convocation

From tracking communicable diseases in dogs and improving understanding of Lyme disease to leading the fight against antimicrobial resistance in food animals with advanced computer modelling, the scope of research taking place at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) is demonstrated by the work of its graduate students.

Vet student’s bovine award shows ‘I am on the right track’

Isabell Stamm has been hooked on cattle since she first began milking cows and bucket feeding calves on her family’s mixed dairy and beef cattle farm near Ponoka, Alta.

Next phase in the war on worms

Road apples, manure, poop, fecal balls — whatever you call it, horses’ feces have been the mainstay of equine deworming programs for years.

Putting laminitis on ice

A Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) research team is gathering information for the development of a new device for cryotherapy (extreme cold therapy) — one of the few treatments available for the painful equine disease known as laminitis.

WCVM remote clinic in Île-à-la-Crosse a community affair

Students and faculty from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), along with a team of veterinary volunteers, recently travelled to the northern village of Île-à-la-Crosse for a remote spay and neuter clinic.

New vet curriculum boosts clinical hands-on training

In August 2020, the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) welcomed its new class of first-year students with the roll-out of a new Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) curriculum.

Veterinarians' feedback vital for maintaining curriculum

A series of annual surveys helps the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) take regular inventory of how well the college’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program is serving veterinary students and graduates of the program.

WCVM graduates’ incredible careers earn Alberta’s highest honour

A pair of Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) alumni learned they had been named to the Alberta Order of Excellence, the province’s highest award, while celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary.

Equine education series returns

The Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) is offering new equine education opportunities for both horse enthusiasts and veterinary professionals in 2021-22.

How well do you know your horse's heart?

In March 2021, Dr. Nicole van der Vossen gave a presentation on equine cardiology as part of the WCVM’s EquineED Talks — an online series of equine health sessions for horse owners organized by the regional veterinary college.

Undergraduate poster day returns to WCVM hallways

Bees, bacteria and bison were all part of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM)’s recent Undergraduate Research Poster Day competition.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 30 is the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Day, formerly Orange Shirt Day.

Good samaritan fund is ace in the hand for WCVM clinicians

Life is coming up aces for a dog given a chance at a pain-free life thanks to support from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) Les and Irene Dubé Good Samaritan Fund.

Two WCVM researchers join university's CAHS Fellows

Three University of Saskatchewan (USask) leaders and researchers — including two faculty members of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) — have been inducted as fellows into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS).

Research aims to improve CPR and patient outcomes

A USask graduate student has found that the chest location where compressions are performed influences how much blood is pumped to the brain.

VIDO gift has far-reaching impacts

Saskatoon couple gives $1 million to VIDO to enhance ground-breaking vaccine research efforts

USask research team aims to predict aging-related diseases, Alzheimer’s disease

A University of Saskatchewan (USask) research team is investigating a gene variant that could be used as a blood test marker to anticipate aging diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), diabetes and cancer.

Therapy dogs set to assist with vaccination clinics on USask campus

Is a fear of needles making you feel nervous about getting your COVID-19 vaccination?

LFCE summer field day returns

After a one-year hiatus, the annual Summer Field Day at the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE) took place earlier this summer on July 20.

Copper shines after life-threatening health crisis

During his young life, Copper has gained a reputation for being a friendly and energetic dog. But in early 2021 the young male goldendoodle dog wasn’t acting like himself — and that caused his family to worry.

Pets find a foe in foxtail grasses

An overgrowth of foxtail grasses can cause problems for pet owners during the summer months.

WCVM scientists work on new testing method for cattle-adapted bacteria

A research team at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) is developing a more cost-effective method to detect a type of salmonella bacteria that’s difficult to diagnose and even more difficult to eradicate from dairy cattle herds.

Detection and prevention can keep periodontal disease at bay

“Dental disease” includes many oral-dental conditions in pets, but the most common one is periodontal disease — a type of bacterial infection that can greatly affect an animal’s general health and well-being if left untreated.

A new way to look at dental disease

Everyone knows that going to the dentist is an important part of keeping our teeth healthy, but did you know that your pets also need regular dental checkups?

White nose syndrome detected in northern Manitoba

White nose syndrome (WNS) — a fatal fungal infection of bats — has been confirmed in four little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) found near Cranberry Portage, Man. This is the furthest northern and western occurrence of WNS in Canada to date.

Bison calves leading the way to biobank creation

The wood and plains bison are majestic creatures weighing 1,200 pounds, but their conservation could depend on single-celled gametes (reproductive cells) that are measured in microns.

Online tick identification service gains SHRF support

A Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) research team has received funding from the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) for tick identification and surveillance in the province.

Second-generation veterinarian receives equine research award

At first, Dr. Jane Westendorf didn’t want to be a veterinarian. As the daughter of two practitioners — both 1991 graduates of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) — Westendorf witnessed first-hand some of her parents’ daily frustrations when they came home from their veterinary clinic in Mission, B.C.

Premature calf provides a learning opportunity to veterinary students

During the first ever calving rotation held at the Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE) this spring, senior veterinary students were met with a challenging calving.

Foundation supports infectious disease research

To help protect Saskatchewan residents from emerging disease threats, Hospitals of Regina Foundation (HRF) has invested $150,000 to help establish Canada’s Centre for Pandemic Research at the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO).