The importance of iodine in pregnant mares’ diets

When it comes to bringing new horses into the world, mare care and particularly mare nutrition should be a top priority for horse owners — a mother’s diet during pregnancy can drastically impact the health of her foal.

From teacher to vet student: ‘I finally feel like I’m in the right room’

When Kree Byrne of Abbotsford, B.C., completed his Bachelor of Education degree at the University of the Fraser Valley in 2018, he envisioned a future that included teaching school, playing and coaching soccer, and pursuing his passions for travel and adventure.

He or she: what will it be?

“Boy or girl?” Expectant mothers hear that question a lot, and thanks to ultrasound technology, many human parents have the option of finding out the answer long before their baby is born.

Eye surgery gives stray cat a new outlook on life

Two years ago, a stray grey tabby cat showed up in a neighbourhood in south Regina, Sask. Since then, “George” has stolen the hearts of many people there — including Christine Holzer.

Ranching, science and ski hills along student’s veterinary trail

Quin Bateman grew up on a cattle ranch in southwest Alberta’s Porcupine Hills, and from an early age, he was riding horses and helping his dad with the ranch chores — most of them involving animals.

Veterinarian earns PhD degree and $10,000 prize for equine research

Through hard work and perseverance, equine surgical specialist Dr. Michelle Tucker has earned her PhD degree as well as a $10,000 prize for her research achievements at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

WCVM graduates part of USask Fall Convocation celebrations

A group of students pursuing higher education at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) will receive their graduate degrees and certificates during the University of Saskatchewan’s Fall Convocation ceremonies on Nov. 9.

Pigs and performing in perfect harmony for Manitoba student

Samantha Nixon of Ste. Anne, Man., had wrapped up two years of undergraduate studies at the University of Manitoba when she decided to switch to a Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) — Animal Systems degree program and pursue a future in veterinary medicine.

Education focus makes Expo a natural fit for vet college

If you own or enjoy horses, you'll want to check out the 10th edition of the Saskatchewan Equine Expo — an educational event that has been bringing together people from all equine disciplines and geographic locations since 2012.

Vaccines key to preventing canine parvovirus

Canine parvovirus 2 (CPV-2), more commonly known as “parvo,” is a highly contagious virus that attacks a dog’s gastrointestinal tract. Unvaccinated puppies younger than four months are in the “high risk” category for this often-fatal disease.

Manitoba government reserves seats for ag-focused students

The Government of Manitoba announced on Oct. 7 that the province’s five additional seats at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) will be aimed at students with rural backgrounds who plan on returning to rural veterinary practice and supporting livestock and poultry industries.

Veterinary immersion

All of Karlynn Dzik’s childhood experiences — the books she read, the videos she watched, the camps she attended — revolved around her desire to study and interact with animals.

'Helping the horse': combining veterinary medicine and farriery

Dr. Steve O’Grady, who is internationally known for his dual expertise as a farrier and a veterinarian, is the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s featured “EquineED Talk” speaker at the 2022 Saskatchewan Equine Expo on Friday, Oct. 28.

Horse Health Lines (Fall 2022) now online

The Fall 2022 issue of Horse Health Lines, news publication for the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) Townsend Equine Health Research Fund, is now online.

USask honours faculty members named distinguished professors

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) honours professors from across campus for their exceptional achievements in research, scholarly or artistic work.

Saskatchewan and Manitoba increase funding to educate veterinarians at USask

Saskatchewan and Manitoba are addressing Western Canada’s urgent need for more veterinarians by increasing their funding to educate more students in the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

Melanoma and grey horses

Anyone who has owned a grey horse knows the struggle of trying to keep their equine friend clean and to prevent them from becoming a shade of brown.

Student's promise tops off his trek to WCVM

When Stuart Matthews learned that he’d been accepted to the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), he set out to celebrate in a unique way.

Equine abortions: Chlamydia a culprit?

When veterinarian Dr. Madison Ricard came to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) for her anatomic pathology residency program in 2020, she had no idea that her research would potentially have an impact on the veterinary profession and the horse industry at large.

USask team plans unique facility to develop, test alternative fish food

A University of Saskatchewan (USask) research team is partnering with an array of industry groups to establish a “globally unique” facility on campus to develop and test plant- and insect-derived proteins to replace the fishmeal that has no great substitute in aquaculture feed today.

Practical veterinarian

Coming to Canada for an equine residency meant starting over for Dr. José Antonio Guerra. Guerra had already become a professor at Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México outside of Mexico City, Mexico, after earning a master’s degree at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).

Vetavision event offers first-hand look at vet med

Veterinary medicine has always fascinated the public, says Dr. Chris Clark, associate dean academic of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

ATIM MASKIHKIY exhibit shares ‘dog medicine’ with community

Veterinary researcher Dr. Jordan Woodsworth (DVM) has taken a novel approach to presenting her research findings — engaging with the communities she’s working with through art.

How much is enough? Public knowledge and the microbial world

As a recent University of Saskatchewan (USask) graduate who just completed my animal bioscience degree, I’ve had my eyes opened to so many things that I’d never imagined would interest me.

Puzzle-solving zebrafish help scientists answer research questions

Almost every pet store sells zebrafish, but what pet owners may not know is that 70 per cent of this small tropical fish’s genetic structure is similar to their own.

USask major scientific centres awarded $170M of MSI funding

Four flagship research centres at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) uniquely equipped to keep Canada at the forefront internationally in vaccine development, imaging science, sustainable water management and monitoring space weather have been awarded nearly $170 million.

Veterinarians and students team up to support community health  

Veterinarian Dr. Dayle Borchardt (DVM) has seen firsthand how pet ownership can change lives. 

Researchers probe protein’s role as lung’s first line of defence

Having spent more than two years in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic, scientists and the public have learned a great deal more about respiratory infections and the lung complications that can result from having one.

Soil organic matter plays vital role in global carbon cycling

Whether it’s the rich, dark-coloured soil in your backyard garden or the prairie soil in large fields where farmers grow their crops, the content of soil organic matter affects nearly every aspect of food production.

Blueberry-pollinating bees at risk of developing deadly disease

Honey bees are excellent pollinators for flowering crops, and they’ve greatly benefited Canada’s blueberry growers as well as the country’s economy — Canada is a major exporter of the popular blue fruit.

WCVM graduate and adjunct professor becomes CVMA president

Dr. Chris Bell, a Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) graduate and adjunct professor at the veterinary college, is the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s (CVMA) 74th president.   

New project has big impact on bison genome biobank’s development at USask

Researchers’ aim of developing the world’s first bison genome biobank at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) received a critical boost on July 14 with Genome Canada’s funding announcement of $5.1 million for the Bison Integrated Genomics (BIG) project.

Have you ever thought about how you think?

Think back to your first memory: do you remember it vividly or does it all seem a bit confusing? If you can recall details about the movie that you watched last night much more easily than your very first memory, most of us can relate.

Fruit fly research could lead to final frontier

By using fruit flies as their model organism, Dr. Adelaine Leung and her team at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) are contributing vital knowledge to a fascinating research story that began more than 120 years ago.   

WCVM alumni appointed to Order of Canada

Dr. David Waltner-Toews, a graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), was appointed as an officer of the Order of Canada – one of the country’s highest civilian honours.

‘Water’ we doing to our water?

We all need water — we need it to bathe, to clean, to drink and to live our lives as we have for years. Yet our freshwater supply is in peril, and our relationship with water is changing.

New VIDO Vaccine Development Centre opens

The University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) has completed the construction of its Vaccine Development Centre (VDC), strengthening and expanding Canada’s domestic biomanufacturing capacity.

Family or foe? How prey and predator animals can develop mother-infant bonds

Ever wonder why a pig is willing to nurse tiger cubs? Or why a dog will take care of a baby leopard?  What about a cat that fosters ducklings?

WCVM hires pollinator health research chair

A new University of Saskatchewan (USask) research chair position at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) will focus on the health of pollinators that play an integral role in global food production and agricultural sustainability.

WCVM faculty receive federal research funds

University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers in diverse disciplines were recently awarded over $7 million in federal government grant funding. Faculty members at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) will receive $682,500 in research funds as part of this announcement.

WCVM PRIDE club creates space for community

When Madlyn Lung sent an email message to the entire Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) community asking about interest in a Pride club, she was overwhelmed by the response.

‘Gold Medal’ veterinary grad sees opportunity in rural practice

No day is the same for veterinarian Dr. Megan Russnak.

Graduating veterinarians choose diverse career paths

The 78 veterinarians graduating from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) this year are facing an unprecedented number of career choices and graduating ready to fill a range of needs in the veterinary profession.

What a swine flu vaccine can teach us

Wary of the COVID-19 vaccine? Well, eat some pork and relax. Scientists have been whipping up vaccines in short order for decades, and the fact you can still enjoy your morning bacon is proof that these vaccine products are safe and effective.

Crashing shorebird populations ring alarm bell on global water crisis

Shorebirds are among the world’s most impressive travellers. Year after year, they make round trips of 32,000 kilometres from the top of the world to the bottom — and back again.

Arts and Science graduate honoured with Governor General’s Silver Medal

Dr. Melanie Gibbons (DVM) — a 2009 graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine — will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in statistics during the University of Saskatchewan (USask) Spring Convocation.

USask honours Wastewater Surveillance Team for public engagement

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) Wastewater Surveillance Team, which responded swiftly to the arrival of COVID-19 by developing a monitoring program that provides reliable forecasts of infection outbreaks in communities, is being recognized with USask’s 2022 Publicly Engaged Scholarship Team Award.

Combating the spread of norovirus by maintaining personal hygiene

Visiting my hometown and bonding with my grannies and family members is one exciting thing that I love to do, but my last visit didn’t go as planned.

WCVM faculty earn awards for their international efforts

Two faculty members at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) have received international awards from the University of Saskatchewan (USask) in recognition of their exceptional efforts to improve the lives of people and animals around the world.

Kayaker's dunk highlights dangers of cold water

Without my training, I might have ended up another drowning statistic.

Provost’s awards show strengths of WCVM’s teaching community

Faculty and staff from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) are at the top of the teaching class at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

Loewen’s efforts inspire new generation of veterinarians

Much like in human medicine, veterinary emergency and critical care is a busy, high-stakes discipline. Decisions must be made rapidly, and it can be difficult to teach students while working quickly to save lives.

Ching’s ‘can-do’ attitude earns recognition

Dr. John Ching (PhD) is someone who goes out of his way to assist students at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) — whether it’s during the college’s laboratory courses or outside of class.

‘A first-rate, active learning guide’

While his research focus is on wildlife conservation and reproduction, Steve Yang has become a successful teacher of veterinary anatomy through his work with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) veterinary students.

The tops in teachers

Dr. Elemir Simko (DVM, DVSc,) believes that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

Rubin’s creative teaching goes far beyond ‘bugs and drugs’

Dr. Joe Rubin (DVM, PhD) is driven by a need to instill not just an understanding of veterinary microbiology, but a love of the subject in his veterinary students at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

WCVM graduate students excel at research expo

Members of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) community excelled at the 2022 Life and Health Sciences Research Expo — an annual event at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

USask-led study aims to understand, mitigate change in western boreal forest

University of Saskatchewan wildlife ecologist Dr. Philip McLoughlin’s (PhD) research team has been awarded $1.87 million by a federal granting agency for an interdisciplinary project to study complex environmental changes occurring in Western Canada’s Boreal Plains and help mitigate the consequences.

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.

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.

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.

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.

USask study finds dog therapy can reduce ER patients’ pain and anxiety

University of Saskatchewan (USask) research shows therapy dogs can help reduce pain and improve well-being for people treated in emergency rooms.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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).

USask and Olds College sign agriculture and livestock research MOU

Two of Canada’s leaders in agriculture and agri-food education and applied research, Olds College and the University of Saskatchewan (USask), signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate in joint activities related to automation and increased incorporation of digital data in agriculture.

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.