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.

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).

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).

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.

WCVM alumnus earns Saskatchewan’s top award

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

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.

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.

Multi-species bacteria threat to Canadian swine industry

A previously innocuous bacterium that’s considered to be part of a pig’s biological makeup is causing increased cases of fever and death among Canadian swine herds.

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.

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.

Vet Topics (Summer 2021) now online

The Summer 2021 issue of Vet Topics is now available online. 

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.

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).

New USask chair will focus on forage crops

The University of Saskatchewan's (USask) new Beef Industry Integrated Forage Management and Utilization Chair will connect the study of soils, plants, animals, economics and ecosystems to tap into forage crops’ full range of benefits.

Popular graduate course introduces molecular biology research tools

A highly popular course that provides University of Saskatchewan (USask) graduate students with essential tools for research returned to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) this spring.

Natural disease challenge model vital for improving pig health

Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) swine researcher Dr. John Harding is involved with a unique, long-term disease challenge project that will help to maximize pig health and minimize antimicrobial drug use in commercial swine barns.

Remote veterinary clinics resume

Despite some challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) successfully resumed its annual remote veterinary clinics for northern Saskatchewan communities this spring.

Anthrax confirmed in southern Saskatchewan sheep

Saskatchewan's Ministry of Agriculture is alerting the province's livestock producers to be on the lookout for anthrax in their animals after confirmation that anthrax has been found in the rural municipality of South Qu'Appelle #157.

USask appoints Dr. Gillian Muir as veterinary college’s dean

More than three decades after graduating from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), Dr. Gillian Muir (DVM, PhD) is set to become the college’s dean on July 1.

Clinical team maintains critical veterinary services

As the only 24-hour veterinary emergency and critical care service available in Saskatoon, the clinical team at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s Veterinary Medical Centre (VMC) cares for some of the most ill or injured animals in the area.

Veterinary students awarded for academic performance

Two veterinary students recently earned animal health scholarships for their academic performance at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) on the University of Saskatchewan (USask) campus.

WCVM researchers receive NSERC Discovery Grants

Three researchers from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) have received $515,000 in funding through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Grant program.

Honey bee disease gains ground in B.C. and Saskatchewan

One of the latest projects in the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) honey bee health research lab is a tale of two provinces.

Pet and equine funds invest nearly $270,000 in research and training

Two longtime research funds at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) are investing nearly $270,000 for supporting equine and companion animal health research, education and training for the 2021-22 academic year.

Smartphone survey to collect Saskatchewan residents’ perception of COVID-19

Saskatchewan residents can give their input about the province’s public health measures during the COVID-19 pandemic by using their smartphones to respond to a series of five-minute surveys.

Veterinarian pursues 'horse doc' dream in New Zealand

Nearly a year ago, Dr. Reina Fennell (DVM) recalls looking down at a discharge sheet—her first patient, the first case of her first clinical rotation in her final year at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) on the University of Saskatchewan (USask) campus.

PhD student receives prestigious Northern Canada research award

Kayla Buhler, a PhD candidate at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), has received a prominent award for her research in the Canadian North.

Surveillance project identifies pathogens in dogs on Prairies

A new research project at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) aims to identify disease-causing organisms among dogs — an overlooked population on the Canadian Prairies.

Reproduction scientist receives USask Governor General’s Gold Medal

Dr. Rodrigo Carrasco’s investigation of a protein’s role in triggering ovulation for certain mammals earned him one of the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) two Governor General’s Gold Medals for 2020-21.

Graduate finds her own path in veterinary medicine and research

Dr. Gabrielle Achtymichuk of Outlook, Sask., has always wanted to be a veterinarian ever since she was a kid — but a taste of research during a summer job at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) made her question that lifelong goal.

Prairie-born veterinarian ready to test waters of aquaculture medicine

Dr. Paul Thiessen has always wanted to be a veterinarian, but his concept of a veterinary career dramatically changed during the four years he attended the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

New study evaluates importance of forage for animal health and beef quality

Beef producers have been raising animals in feedlots for decades and they continue to ask an important question: how much forage do beef cattle need to both stay healthy and build its carcass?

Cham receives USask Graduate Thesis Award for male reproduction research

Dr. Tat-Chuan Cham, a graduate student at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), has received a University of Saskatchewan (USask) Graduate Thesis Award for his master’s thesis on male reproduction.

Statement on burial site found at former residential school in Kamloops

A statement from Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement Dr. Jacqueline Ottmann.

Graduate brings Indigenous perspective to the veterinary world

As Dr. Dayle Poitras-Oster begins her first career job, the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) graduate is happy to return to the busy mixed animal practice in Drayton Valley, Alta., where she’d previously worked as a summer student.

Former WCVM researchers earn Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships

Two former Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) researchers are recipients of Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) Individual Fellowships — a highly competitive research award program in the European Union that benefits researchers in Europe as well as globally.

Rural roots run deep for new veterinarian

Dr. Hayley Down worked as a registered veterinary technologist (RVT) in southeast Saskatchewan, and after six years of schooling, she’s now returning to rural mixed animal practice as a veterinarian.

Five ways to help people care about science

Last summer, I learned to not be such a scientist. As a veterinary student and biologist, I have spent the last decade working in science and trying to make a tiny contribution to what is known about the world.

WCVM students create club to increase diversity

Motivated by the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, a group of students at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) have created a new college club.