A growing fetus may lead to preterm labour

The statistics reflect a stark reality: about 15 million babies are born prematurely each year, with preterm birth accounting for 70 per cent of newborn deaths worldwide.

Horse Health Lines (Spring 2024) now online

The Spring 2024 issue of Horse Health Lines, news publication for the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) Townsend Equine Health Research Fund, is now online.

Acts of love and generosity support Milo's miracle

On Valentine’s Day in February 2023, Abi Bashorun made a connection that proved to be her perfect match.

Social media channel delivers microbiology to students worldwide

When physical distancing and lockdown measures during the COVID-19 pandemic forced educators to adapt their coursework for virtual classes, Dr. Joe Rubin (DVM, PhD) saw a unique opportunity to engage veterinary microbiology students around the world.

The limb chill factor: study explores cold therapy options for laminitis

University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers hope their recent review of previous studies assessing different types of cold therapies for preventing and treating equine acute laminitis will help veterinarians and serve as a starting point for the design of a new cost-effective cooling boot.

Bilyk gains coast-to-coast experience to prepare for vet career

While growing up in Nanaimo, B.C., Joel Bilyk was surrounded by a variety of pets that included cats, dogs, chickens and Lucy the lamb. His passion for animals was only reinforced during the summers when he helped his grandparents operate their thoroughbred racing stable in Langley, B.C.

Harmful algal blooms: alarming threats lurking in waters

Have you ever walked by a pond and noticed a thick green or bluish-green layer covering the surface of water? These thick layers are becoming increasingly common in oceans, lakes, ponds and other water bodies — threatening aquatic life and human health.

Chicoine builds student resiliency through confidence and perspective

A recipient of the 2023 University of Saskatchewan (USask) Provost’s Outstanding New Teaching Award, Dr. Al Chicoine says students need to know that their professors care about their success.

USask veterinary professor new CGPS associate dean

Dr. Jaswant Singh, a University of Saskatchewan (USask) veterinary professor and reproductive scientist, is the new associate dean, academic excellence and innovation, at the university’s College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (CGPS).

‘Training public health professionals to meet the needs and challenges of today, and the future’

Dr. George Mutwiri (DVM, PhD) has been appointed to a three-year term as executive director of the School of Public Health (SPH) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

Agriculture Development Fund bolsters WCVM-based research projects

University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers who are also part of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) faculty have received over $1.75 million in financial support from Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Development Fund (ADF) for livestock-focused research projects in 2024.

USask livestock and forage research receives nearly $6 million

Livestock-focused research projects spearheaded by researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) and USask-affiliated centres received almost $6 million from the Agriculture Development Fund (ADF) and are supported by industry co-funders.

Art exhibition springs from USask dog-human relationship research

An art exhibition featuring representations of the bond between dogs and humans, and based on work led by a University of Saskatchewan (USask) researcher, will be unveiled at Wanuskewin before touring the province for two years.

Cows, curling and clinical practice hit the button for Manitoba vet student

Living in a rural area on the Canadian Prairies often means spending your winters at the curling rink, and for Matthew Pauls, he grew up living that exact lifestyle in the tiny Manitoba community of Purves.

WCVM alumnus named member of Order of Canada

Dr. Lorne Hepworth, a 1971 graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan, was named a member of the Order of Canada in recognition of his contributions to agriculture and research.

One Health reflected in northern student’s life and studies

Kandis Villebrun has great memories of growing up in Yellowknife, N.W.T., a city with a strong sense of community that offered many opportunities for her to volunteer and participate in sports.

Camelids help USask researchers explore reproductive health mysteries in mammals

The United Nations has declared 2024 as the “International Year of the Camelid” in recognition of the animals’ contributions to maintaining healthy ecosystems around the world.

Animals at heart of veterinary student’s life

After constantly pestering her parents, Abigail Cunningham was given her first pony: a small Shetland rescue pony named Princess Leah that eventually became the hero of a book she wrote and published when she was 11 years old.

Roozen and Epoch honoured on National Philanthropy Day

Two outstanding nominees from the University of Saskatchewan (USask) are honoured as part of National Philanthropy Day celebrations on Nov. 16.

Summer research experience led B.C. student to vet career

An aspiring veterinarian from a very young age, Christine Yang recalls that her happiest childhood moments involved taking care of the family dog and visiting the Taipei Zoo during her summer trips to Taiwan — the country of her birth.

USask Fall Convocation includes graduates based at WCVM

A group of higher education students based at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) will receive their graduate degrees and certificates during the University of Saskatchewan’s 2023 Fall Convocation ceremonies on Nov. 8.

Vet student combines passion for animal care and agriculture

Ella Parcels always wanted to have her own pets, but when she was young, her parents had a rule that she could only get a pet if she learned how to care for it first.

Family and mentors support Manitoba student’s veterinary dream

Alexandra Santos of Winnipeg, Man., still has her Grade 1 worksheet titled “What you want to be when you grow up,” and her answer included a self-portrait of her working as a veterinarian.

Aquatic field trip ‘sealed’ the deal for B.C. student’s career option

Kelsey Leung had always loved animals, and the Vancouver resident realized that an animal-focused career was the right fit for her after taking part in an aquatic field trip during her Bachelor of Science degree program at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

Graduate Research Showcase: Moving Saskatchewan forward

The College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (CGPS) in collaboration with the Office of Vice President Research (OVPR) hosted the USask Graduate Research Showcase on October 6th, 2023. The event welcomed distinguished guests and elected officials to network with some of CGPS’s top research talent to discuss how emerging research at USask works to advance Saskatchewan’s economic and social growth.

Ranch life gives student solid start in veterinary career

While growing up on a cattle ranch near Stoughton, Sask., Rinka Itogawa loved that she and her family were part of a helpful, caring community, and she felt very special working with like-minded people who all pitched in to help friends and neighbours.

NSERC funding includes over $900,000 for WCVM researchers

University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers based at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) received over $900,000 in research funding through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Grants program.

WCVM celebrates undergraduate research at annual poster day

After a summer spent immersed in research, University of Saskatchewan (USask) students showcased their project findings at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) annual undergraduate research poster day on September 6.

USask scientist leads ‘living laboratory’ project for Canadian cow-calf herds

A veterinarian, beef cattle specialist and cow-calf producer from the University of Saskatchewan (USask) is leading a nationwide cow-calf surveillance initiative with the support of other researchers on campus and across Canada.

New vascular health research supported by USask fellowship

A University of Saskatchewan (USask) post-doctoral fellowship is supporting the research of vascular health in congenital heart disease.

Respiratory diseases in cattle pique veterinarian’s curiosity

Dr. Emily Snyder’s curiosity over the years has led her to a place where improving the health of beef cattle is of utmost importance.

New scholarship inspires international USask students in STEM

Agnes Truc Nguyen, a master's student based at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), is a 2023 recipient of a new scholarship for international students who are working to make the world a better place.

Partnership will expand USask veterinary outreach program’s impact

A new funding partnership with PetSmart Charities of Canada will help a University of Saskatchewan (USask) veterinary outreach program expand its impact in northern Saskatchewan communities where animal owners have little or no access to animal health services.

New awards honour student leaders of groups celebrating diversity

During the past few years, two new student-led groups at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) have strived to celebrate diversity through educational awareness and events in a time when discrimination is all too common in society.

Public needs to be aware of risks associated with newly approved rodenticide

Animal owners and veterinary staff need to be aware that zinc phosphide, a highly toxic chemical compound, is now approved for use as a rodenticide in Saskatchewan.

New diagnostic tools protect dogs and humans from deadly parasite

An emerging parasite known as Echinococcus multilocularis has been increasingly appearing in coyotes in Western Canada as well as in new regions of North America in recent years.

New USask funding to advance Canada’s beef sector

Dr. Antonio Facciuolo (PhD) from the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) has new support to develop a vaccine against Johne’s disease — a chronic intestinal disease of cattle that's significant to the beef and dairy industry.

With help from pigs, USask scientists strive to expedite organ transplant process

Researchers have made progress in improving human organ transplants in Canada over recent years, but it’s far from perfect.

USask veterinary graduates pursue wildlife pathology in Sydney

Three veterinary graduates of the University of Saskatchewan (USask) never thought they would find themselves living “Down Under” and working in wildlife pathology.

New USask research mentorship program provides invaluable support for scholars

Dr. Jaswant Singh (PhD) is the new research mentor who will lead the new Faculty Mentorship Program to provide support for early and mid-career researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

WCVM veterinarians and alumni earn national honours

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) has recognized three veterinarians from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) for their exceptional achievements in improving health care for livestock and companion animals in Canada.

USask clinician recognized for work in remote veterinary care

Dr. Jordan Woodsworth, a veterinarian and alumna of the University of Saskatchewan (USask), has received the 2023 Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) Humane Award for her dedication to animal welfare in Canada.

USask veterinary anesthesiologist awarded for advancing small animal medicine

University of Saskatchewan (USask) professor Dr. Barbara Ambros has earned the 2023 Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s (CVMA) Small Animal Practitioner Award in recognition of her significant contributions to the advancement of small animal medicine and small animal practice.

USask veterinarian honoured for dedication to beef cattle care

University of Saskatchewan (USask) professor and researcher Dr. John Campbell is the 2023 recipient of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) Merck Veterinary Award.

USask centre’s summer field day unites producers and scientists

More than 250 people gathered at the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE) for its 2023 Summer Field Day on June 20.

WCVM graduate students present findings at LFCE field day

A group of graduate students from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) introduced their research to attendees at the Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE) Summer Field Day on June 20.

WCVM researchers use metabolomics to explore avian influenza questions

A relatively new field of scientific study called metabolomics is providing important information for Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) researchers who are studying the impact of avian influenza virus (AIV) and environmental stress on the metabolism of waterfowl.

Functional assessments give insight to puppy breeders

When puppies come to see Dr. Kira Penney at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) Veterinary Medical Centre (VMC), her keen eyes notice more than their cuteness.

USask vet hospital’s training day highlights health of canine cops

Committed to a life of fighting crime, a group of dogs at the Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) is anything but ordinary.

WCVM shows strong representation at USask Faculty and Staff Awards

This year, four Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) faculty and staff members received honours during the University of Saskatchewan (USask) Faculty and Staff Awards evening on June 14.

Internationally acclaimed USask Toxicology Centre celebrates 40th anniversary

From a single room in the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) to a world-renowned research facility, the evolution of the Toxicology Centre has made a lasting impact on USask.

Spread of deadly brain parasite threatens Saskatchewan’s moose and caribou

Last summer, imagine my surprise as I peered into the brain of a harvested white-tailed deer from Saskatchewan and observed a little brown thread of a worm that wasn’t supposed to be there.

Scientist expands reproductive health research to beef cattle

A University of Saskatchewan veterinarian is exploring how research into the reproductive health of dairy cows as well as emerging technologies can be applied to beef cattle.

Gifts from WCVM pathologist create graduate student scholarships

Even after retiring from the classroom, Dr. Ted Clark continues to provide support for the success of graduate students studying veterinary pathology at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

USask veterinary graduate ready to 'tackle anything that comes my way'

When Dr. Courtney Cameron (DVM) walks across the stage at University of Saskatchewan (USask) Spring Convocation on June 7, the new veterinarian will pick up more than her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree.

WCVM scientist among USask's top research award recipients

Recipients of the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) top honour of Distinguished Researchers for 2023 are Dr. Cheryl Waldner (DVM, PhD), and Dr. Wen Jun (Chris) Zhang (PhD), internationally recognized experts in their fields who have contributed their talents to USask for more than two decades.

WCVM Class of 2023 honours student’s legacy

Thizbe Balzer’s enthusiasm for learning and helping others stands out in the memories of her classmates at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

WCVM graduate students part of USask spring convocation ceremonies

Graduates of the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) aren’t the only scholars celebrating during the University of Saskatchewan (USask) Spring Convocation.

WCVM researchers earn awards at USask Life and Health Sciences Research Expo

Members of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) research community earned awards for their showings at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) 2023 Life and Health Sciences Research Expo on May 4.

‘Long Lyme’ is a growing health conundrum

Lyme disease is rarely fatal in people, but for some, this perplexing bacterial disease can have an impact on the rest of their lives.

USask food science graduate investigates healthier pet food

Yikai Ren’s thesis research focused on low-glycemic pet food made with Saskatchewan pulse crops.

How low can pathogen’s infective dose go before pigs get sick?

An old infectious agent — usually considered harmless — is responsible for the sudden deaths of pigs in North America.

Hard to swallow: USask veterinary team helps pup with feeding issue

When her four-month-old puppy named King began regularly spitting up his food after eating, Angela Seymour knew her little American French bulldog needed help from a veterinarian. 

The view from inside: one cell’s harrowing experience with lung disease

I am a lung cell, and I am instrumental to the function of every other organ in the body. My job is to oversee the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the air sacs and the blood vessels. Without me, everything else in the body shuts down.

Manitoba student first recipient of ‘Guy Hobman Award’ at WCVM

Animals of all shapes and sizes were a vital part of Nyssa Guilbert’s life in her family’s home in Anola, Man., a small town located 25 kilometres east of Winnipeg.

WCVM graduate students take three minutes ‘to win it’ at USask competition

Narsimha Pujari and Hemlata Gautam, both graduate students based at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), took top honours at the annual 3MT (Three-minute Thesis) Finals held at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) on April 11.

Veterinarians trade horse expertise through Global Ambassador program

A University of Saskatchewan (USask) program that fosters collaboration between educators around the world helped to transport large animal surgical specialist Dr. James Carmalt to South America for two weeks in January 2023.

Protein from roundworm may unlock a cellular ‘fountain of youth’

A one-millimetre-long worm and its genome may be key to understanding how human and animal cells age, according to new research from the University of Saskatchewan (USask) published in the journal Aging Cell.

USask veterinarians successfully perform surgery on filly with ‘wry nose’

On the morning of June 30, 2022, Scot Gannon went out to the barn on his farm, Nejd Arabians, just west of Edmonton, Alta. He was happy to see that one of his Arabian mares, Nejds’ Bint Sabbah, had given birth overnight to a black filly.

Scientists work toward goal of saving bison, one problem at a time

How can a bison cow have a calf sired by a bull from the opposite side of North America? The collection, disinfection and freezing of semen using novel technologies can make this former pipe dream a reality, and it may be our best chance of saving the North American bison species.

VIDO and VFI collaborate to strengthen pandemic preparedness

The Vaccine Formulation Institute (VFI) and the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) have signed a collaborative research agreement to help drive joint vaccine development.

VIDO scientists receive leadership awards for excellence in vaccine research

Scientists at the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) have been recognized by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) for their international leadership in vaccine research for infectious diseases.

Celebrate World Book Day with WCVM authors

It’s World Book Day on April 23, 2023, and if you’re on the hunt for a good book, here are some options that have been written by Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) alumni and faculty.

USask veterinary students involved in rare lambing of sextuplets

A group of fourth-year veterinary students at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) had an exciting surprise on March 21 when they discovered that one of the ewes in their care had delivered six healthy lambs.

Horse Health Lines (Spring 2023) now online

The Spring 2023 issue of Horse Health Lines, news publication for the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) Townsend Equine Health Research Fund, is now online.

Researchers snap, share the beauty of USask research

From ecosystems in peril to the intense gaze of an Arctic fox, winners in the 2023 University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Images of Research competition celebrated the art and artistry of research, scholarly, and artistic work at USask.

Are off-leash dog parks a ‘ticking’ time bomb?

For many dog owners, warmer weather means that trips to the local off-leash dog park are a regular occurrence. But more time at the park may mean a higher chance of picking up a few passengers on the way — including ticks.

Northern veterinary students earn $10,000 scholarships

Two Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) students from Canada’s North have each received $10,000 scholarships from Veterinarians Without Borders-Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Canada (VWB/VSF).

Lightning learning

Eequine-focused graduate students at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) recently participated in a “lightning rounds” session — part of the college’s annual EquineED Talks series.

Renowned virologist at USask leads pandemic fight

She is one of the world’s most recognized virologists, recruited to serve on the front lines of the pandemic and preparing for the next global threat.

Award-winning Indigenous artist donates bison artwork to USask

Award-winning Siksika artist Adrian Stimson (MFA’06) is gifting artwork to the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

Saskatchewan invests in chronic wasting disease research at USask

The Government of Saskatchewan announced a $90,000 grant to support innovative University of Saskatchewan (USask) research that studies the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) and meningeal worm in woodland caribou and other boreal species.

Understanding the genetics behind antimicrobial resistance in beef cattle

Researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) are investigating antimicrobial resistance by establishing relationships between antimicrobial resistance genes in beef cattle and examining the impact of various exposure events on patterns of antimicrobial resistance.

WCVM researcher uses ultrasound images to explore alpacas’ reproductive patterns

As a professor and prolific researcher at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), Dr. Jaswant Singh has explored the reproductive physiology of cattle, bison and a variety of other mammals.

Does blueberry pollen diet make honey bees more prone to disease?

Did you know that honey bees and humans face similar challenges when it comes to diet and health? Just as people require proper nutrition to stay healthy, bees also need an ample supply of their primary food and protein source — flower-collected pollen.

B.C. continues expanded support of WCVM and student seats at USask

The Government of British Columbia is permanently doubling the number of subsidized seats for B.C. veterinary students attending the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

It’s a gut feeling: measuring stress in waterfowl

Just like people, waterfowl can experience feelings of stress that affect their gut microbiome — the trillions of microorganisms living inside their digestive system.

Vet students gain sled dog medicine experience at Canadian Challenge

One of Emmalyn Elgersma’s favourite memories of the 2023 Canadian Challenge International Sled Dog Race took place around midnight while she and other volunteers waited for the first sled dog teams to arrive at the checkpoint in Missinipe — more than 150 kilometres (km) north of Prince Albert, Sask.

USask alumnus Dr. Hugh Townsend to be inducted into equine hall of fame

A lifetime of working to enhance the health and welfare of horses across Canada has earned a place of honour in the Saskatchewan Horse Federation’s (SHF) Hall of Fame for University of Saskatchewan (USask) alumnus and professor emeritus Dr. Hugh Townsend.

USask scientists study space and sickness in feedlot cattle

As researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) and Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) study the impact of stocking density and feed bunk space allowance on the health of beef cattle, they’re pondering the age-old question: “Is less really more?”

Why studying microbiology will make me a better veterinarian

When I tell people that I spent a summer working with bacteria rather than animals, I get puzzled looks and they often ask, “What does that have to do with being a vet?” The answer is simple: everything.

From small-town kid to Vanier Scholar

When Cody Koloski graduated from high school in Rossburn, Man., he headed for university with dreams of becoming a doctor — buoyed by his teachers’ enthusiasm for biology, chemistry and physics.

Cattle producers and scientists 'rub shoulders' at research forum

Livestock and forage scientists at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) seeking to refine their research met with producers and industry leaders at the sixth annual Beef and Forage Research Forum.

Collaborative research team teases out significance of stressors found in pigs’ hair

Stress. We’ve all been there — those moments of acute stress when we’re stuck in traffic or those periods of chronic stress when life seems to chuck all the lemons at us. But did you know that all of this stress information gets stored in your hair?

USask researchers devise strategies for faster disease detection in honey bees

While the rise in antimicrobial resistant pathogens is an issue affecting all species, a team of University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers are focusing their efforts on honey bees — investigating how they can reduce the use of antibiotic drugs for managing disease in the pollinator species.

USask scientists find antimicrobial resistance gene linked to livestock treatment

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) have discovered how a previously overlooked gene is involved in antimicrobial resistance — a growing global issue that threatens the health and welfare of both humans and animals.

Baseline for hormone levels in western Canadian horses takes shape

As the percentage of older horses in Western Canada grows, so does the number of animals that are diagnosed with endocrine disorders such as pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) and equine metabolic syndrome (EMS).