Understanding the “bacterial bond” between mother and baby

A collaborative study that includes researchers from the University of Saskatchewan (USask) and the University of British Columbia is focusing on an unusual but significant aspect of the relationship between a mother and her infant.

Bats waking up to viral reactivation

I feel like a predator. Only my target isn’t a blood meal – it is something far more precious.

Lack of research hinders help for animal hoarders

While reality television shows such as “Hoarding: Buried Alive” have brought attention to people who stash away piles of books, clothing and other objects, the issue of animal hoarding often goes unpublicized and unrecognized as a health concern.

Bacteria-killing molecules may be key to new mastitis therapy

A Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) researcher and his team are taking a molecular approach to finding a new way of treating a common health issue in the dairy industry.

Health plan prioritizes Indigenous-led agenda

Supporting Indigenous individuals and their communities to drive Indigenous health research is a key goal of the new five-year plan of the national Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health (IIPH), a Canadian Institutes of Health Research institute based at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

Getting objective insight into your pet’s vision

Imagine this: you notice that your dog is bumping into corners and objects, and you begin to suspect that he’s starting to lose his sight.

New 'pig code' has enhanced swine welfare

Canada’s swine sector has made a lot of progress in enhancing the welfare and well-being of pigs raised in this country, says Manitoba swine veterinarian Dr. Blaine Tully.

First veterinary class celebrates 50 years

Drs. Ernie Olfert and Peter Rempel were working at a fishing camp at Dore Lake, Sask., in 1965 when they received the letters that would change their lives.

Veterinarian looking at ways to manage TB in northern bison herd

A Parks Canada scientist is conducting research on bovine tuberculosis in bison to improve diagnosis of the disease and to develop better vaccines. This research is conducted in collaboration with the University of Saskatchewan and the Canadian Bison Association.

Playing ‘bee’ to study pesticide effects

Pretending to be a honey bee is a lot of work, but researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) have proved they’re up for the challenge.

WCVM opens Canada’s first PET-CT unit for animals

Western Canada’s regional veterinary college, based on the University of Saskatchewan (USask) campus, is now home to Canada’s only PET-CT unit dedicated to clinical use in animals as well as for animal-human research studies.

First cases show potential of PET-CT unit’s diagnostic capacity

The new technology has only been operating for two months, but Canada’s only PET-CT unit dedicated to clinical use in animals is already improving the care of patients at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

Does Fido really need that antibiotic?

Most people know the dangers of taking antibiotic drugs for a flu or cold that doesn’t require treatment, but do pet owners understand that the same rules apply for their beloved dogs and cats?

Collaboration helps researchers solve real-world problems

Dr. Arinjay Banerjee (PhD) has always been a gifted student. However, as happens with many graduate students, the way Banerjee thought about his research was flawed at its core. It wasn’t until 2014, when he came to the University of Saskatchewan, that he realized it and changed.

Want your pet to go vegetarian? Be cautious, warns USask expert

As more vegetarian kibble shows up in pet stores, switching Fido and Fluffy to plant-based nutrition may seem like a good idea.

Dipping into mare’s milk

Milk samples are providing vital information about iodine levels in western Canadian brood mares — the focus of a recent study led by theriogenology specialist Dr. Claire Card of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

Fund receives legacy gift from Saskatoon vet

The Companion Animal Health Fund (CAHF), a veterinary research fund at the University of Saskatchewan, has received a significant legacy gift from the estate of Dr. Michael Powell, a beloved small animal veterinarian who served the Saskatoon community for 35 years.

WCVM scientists awarded nearly $1.5 million in research funding

Researchers linked to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) have been awarded $1,495,000 to address a wide range of issues including preventing pregnancy loss in horses, evaluating tick-borne diseases, and protecting pigs from influenza A infection.

Therapy may reduce muscle atrophy in spinal cord injury patients

A team of researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) is investigating a therapy for spinal cord injuries that could potentially increase patients’ motor function and decrease muscle atrophy at the same time.

USask researchers awarded nearly $11 M in natural sciences, engineering grants

University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers have been awarded nearly $11 million to tackle wide-ranging and critically important issues including cannabis, water quality, and swine flu.

Merck Animal Health announces $250K investment to advance livestock and forage research

The University of Saskatchewan today announced details of a 10-year, $250,000 investment from Merck Animal Health for its Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE) – a visionary research facility located southeast of Saskatoon.

Turning the tide for the bigmouth buffalo fish

The bigmouth buffalo fish, or Ictiobus cyprinellus, is one of 67 fish species found in Saskatchewan waters, but it is also one of the six fish species currently at risk of extirpation (gone from a once-populated area) in the province.

Imported spices and frozen vegetables tested for “superbugs”

A University of Saskatchewan research team has found that some food imported to Saskatoon from certain Asian countries has tested positive for “superbugs”—strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria— but immediate health concerns are likely low.

Investigating tularemia on the Canadian Prairies

Between June 29 and July 19, 1978, a group of seven monkeys at Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park Zoo mysteriously fell ill.

USask ecologist receives prestigious Steacie Fellowship

Maud Ferrari, an exceptional University of Saskatchewan (USask) behavioural ecologist who studies predator-prey interactions, has received one of Canada’s most prestigious awards for young scientists.

Shining a new light on old cases: looking to the past to improve cancer care

When an eight-year-old Labrador retriever named Ruby was brought to the Veterinary Medical Centre (VMC) at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) in 2016, her owner reported symptoms that had started with the loss of sensation in her back legs, followed by the loss of bladder control and eventually her ability to walk.

USask research shows dogs reduce distress of patients waiting for ER care

A visit from a dog can reduce the distress of patients waiting for emergency treatment in hospital, a study by the University of Saskatchewan (USask) shows.

WCVM grad recognized for animal welfare work

Manitoba veterinarian Dr. Jonas Watson has made philanthropy a priority throughout his veterinary career, and these acts of service have earned him a major international award.

New CFI funding will foster long-term sustainability of two USask national research facilities

Two University of Saskatchewan (USask) research centres—the Canadian Light Source and VIDO-InterVac—will receive a total $13.4-million increase in operating support over two years from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)—one third of the total $39 million awarded nationally to seven facilities.

WCVM alumna cares for calving caribou

One WCVM-trained veterinarian is at the forefront of caring for caribou and other wildlife as the official wildlife veterinarian for British Columbia’s Ministry of Forests.

Let the kisses spread love, not worms

If your dog enjoys a meal of raw organs and considers feces a delicacy, you may want to rethink trading kisses with them – and not just because of bad breath and bad bacteria.

HSPB1: small protein a potential pregnancy powerhouse

The statistics are staggering: preterm or premature birth affects 15 million babies worldwide. These infants, born at fewer than 37 weeks of pregnancy, are at a greater risk for complications such as cerebral palsy, development delays and sight or hearing problems.

Fish under threat release chemicals to warn others of danger

Fish warn each other about danger by releasing chemicals into the water as a signal, research by the University of Saskatchewan (USask) has found.

When vet med meets fine art

This spring, students from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) visited Saskatoon’s Remai Modern to help deepen their observational skills.

Understanding the patterns of superbug resistance in dogs

Even if your dog is perfectly healthy, there’s a chance that it could be at risk of developing an infection caused by bacteria with superbug bacteria – and treatment options are decreasing.

New policies needed to combat grain fungus of cattle

USask research has shown that beef cows that ate ergot-contaminated feed showed signs of poisoning even at concentrations deemed safe by Canadian livestock guidelines, and after a short-term exposure to the toxin.

WCVM to cover post-mortem exam fees for suspected cases of foal disease

During the 2019 foal season, the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) will cover the cost of conducting equine necropsy (post-mortem) examinations on aborted fetuses, stillbirths or euthanized foals that are suspected to be cases of warmblood fragile foal syndrome (WFFS).

USask team developing unique harness to help save injured horses

University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers are working with RMD Engineering Inc. of Saskatoon to create a unique harness designed to help in the recovery and rehabilitation of horses from limb injuries. Such injuries are often fatal because currently available equipment is inadequate for proper treatment.

Research on display at student poster day

While it might not seem like respiratory diseases in beef cattle have much to do with evaluating stress in wild birds, or with studying yeast-fermented pet food, but the common link is that these are all topics of research projects led by Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) graduate students.

USask awarded CFI funding to research new antibiotics and food products

SASKATOON – Two researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) have been awarded a total of $274,119 by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to buy equipment crucial to studies into antibiotics and novel food products.

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.