Putting shock wave therapy to the test

Dr. Angela MacKay’s passion is solving equine lameness.

MacKay driven by helping horses

Dr. Angela MacKay was given a choice between braces and horses as a teenager. It was no contest on which option she chose.

Bruce’s happy before and after

Dennis Fehr brought his dog Bruce to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) Veterinary Medical Centre (VMC) in December 2018 because of a clunking noise in his pet’s hip.

Velez broadens research through postdoctoral fellowship

University of Saskatchewan researcher Dr. Emilio Velez has received a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Top award for Takada

Dr. Kanae Takada, a small animal internal medicine resident and graduate student at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), is the first recipient of the Dr. Michael Powell Award of Excellence.

Big attitude helps little horse survive

Jennifer Leier knew her latest purchase, a four-year-old miniature horse named Kimchi, had an attitude — his sassy personality and his champagne grullo colour were why she brought him home to her hobby farm near Prince Albert, Sask.

Guarding animal health on the Prairies

Dr. Yanyun Huang has ambitious goals for Prairie Diagnostic Services (PDS).

Can your pet get sunburned?

As summer continues, people and pets alike flock outdoors to enjoy the warm weather and sunshine. We take along sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and clothes to protect our skin from the damaging ultraviolet (UV) light of the sun — but what do we do to protect our pets?

Province's health fund supports WCVM herpes virus research

Dr. Kristen Conn, a virologist at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), has received $120,000 from the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) in support of her work targeting a herpes virus protein for new antiviral drugs.

Detecting bird flu before it's ready to take off

What did you eat for breakfast this morning? What about for lunch and dinner? Chances are you ate eggs or chicken for at least one of those meals. In Canada, poultry products are the most commonly consumed animal protein source; the average Canadian eats 242 eggs and 79 pounds of chicken each year.

Burglar bees help spread of honey bee infection

It may sound like a tall tale, but burglar honey bees raiding nearby hives is contributing to the spread of a disease called American foulbrood (AFB) in Saskatchewan.

One lucky kitty

Eight months ago, luck had run out for a severely injured kitten found crawling outside a group home in Nipawin, Sask.

‘Good samaritans’ give $1 million to animal care fund

Leslie (Les) and Irene Dubé will have an enduring effect on the lives of many pets and people, thanks to their gift of $1 million to the Good Samaritan Fund at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

Fish give clues about oil contamination

“Why do you ultrasound fish?” That question often came up while I conducted research at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) during the summer of 2019.

Hospital's triage service offers stress relief

An innovative triage program at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s Veterinary Medical Centre (VMC) is providing timely information and guidance to anxious owners who are seeking emergency help for their pets.

Scientists search for ‘pregnancy dipstick’ to predict labour

WCVM researchers are working to develop a test that could help give expectant mothers and their physicians more notice of an impending delivery.

WCVM research targets deadly PRRS virus

Researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) have been making headway in their investigation of a disease that has a huge economic impact on swine producers worldwide.

Study focuses on ‘incredibly wormy’ Sable Island horses

As you breathe in the crisp ocean air and follow hoofprints down the sandy beaches of Sable Island, you can see a band of the island’s iconic horses grazing in the distance.

USask appoints new dean in College of Agriculture and Bioresources

Dr. Angela Bedard-Haughn (PhD) has been appointed the new dean of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

Vets' work with food animals vital during pandemic

Veterinarians play a vital role in maintaining the health of Canadian food animals and keeping the food supply chain running smoothly.

Communication breakdown results in early pregnancy loss

Even before birth, extensive communication occurs between an infant mammal and its mother — not through speech or body language, but through chemical interaction inside the uterus.

VIDO-InterVac making progress on vaccine

There are some promising early signs as researchers at the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) develop a vaccine for COVID-19.

'Super immunity' may explain how bats carry coronaviruses

A University of Saskatchewan (USask) research team has uncovered how bats can carry the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus without getting sick — research that could shed light on how coronaviruses make the jump to humans and other animals.

Infection control ingrained in equine team's work

Dr. Lea Riddell and her team members at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) are usually gearing up for a busy spring.

Sask. Health and USask scientists launch online tick surveillance program

The arrival of spring brings warmer weather and longer days, but also increased risk of tick bites for humans and animals.

VIDO-InterVac awarded $23M for COVID-19 vaccine research

The Government of Canada has awarded $23 million to the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) so the facility can fast-track its efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.

European foulbrood 'disease of opportunity'

Although pesticides are important for increasing crop production, they may be interfering with the immunity of an important animal pollinator — the honey bee.

Mapping metals in feathers

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers have mapped metals in bird feathers, a technique that could help make environmental monitoring less destructive.

Bats’ immune systems key to understanding global epidemic diseases

Why is it that bats don’t get sick when infected with viruses that can be deadly in humans?

VMC provides essential animal care during pandemic

As the global coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, the way people perform normal, everyday tasks has changed everywhere — including veterinary clinics.

Reversing the irreversible: a second chance with fertility

Veterinary researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) have recently unveiled a new field of study that’s focused on reversing and safeguarding against the loss of fertility in young males.

SHA and USask’s VIDO-InterVac partner to help ensure supply of N95 respirator masks

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) and the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) are partnering on a way to safely decontaminate and reuse N95 respiratory masks that are normally thrown away after each use.

Time is of the essence

USask alumnus Dr. Arinjay Banerjee, who completed his PhD degree in the Western College of Veterinary Medicine's Department of Veterinary Microbiology, works to understand human immunology amid crisis

USask drinking water study shows beef cattle can tolerate high levels of sulphates

Scientists at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) have published a study that shows beef cattle can tolerate higher concentrations of sulphates in drinking water than previously believed.

Canada backs VIDO-InterVac's COVID-19 research

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to rapidly evolve, the federal government is announcing $23.3 million in total support for the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac), one of the largest and most advanced infectious disease research facilities in the world.

VIDO-InterVac team tackles coronavirus

As the world deals with the new pandemic, coronavirus has become the No.1 priority for researchers at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

Windows into local waters

The wet sand squishes beneath my gumboots as I walk along a beach near Tofino, on the western edge of Vancouver Island, B.C. Last night’s storm has strewn bull kelp and broken shells across the beach. It has also landed a true ocean oddity: a mermaid’s purse.

New drug protocol may reduce pain during castration

A Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) researcher and his team are looking into new options for pain management during castration of beef calves.

Drug could offer single-shot solution to breeding issues

Breeding horses is often a numbers game: owners and veterinarians alike want improved success rates at lower costs, but some mares have more trouble than others.

Research chair targets better health, productivity in beef herds

With $2.35 million from the federal government and the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC), veterinary researcher Dr. Cheryl Waldner will undertake a major five-year research program to advance beef cattle health and productivity, helping to sustain the profitability and competitiveness of Canada’s $17-billion-a-year beef industry.

New reproductive tool may help meet consumer demand for ‘natural’ food

Today’s consumers want more from their food, and the beef and dairy industries are constantly striving to meet these demands. As more companies market their food as “natural” — raised without additional use of hormones, steroids, and antibiotics — concerns regarding steroid use in food production have multiplied.

'No bad horse'

Unlike many who spend their careers working with horses, Dr. Sue McDonnell wasn’t always so keen on the equine species.

What makes horses tick?

In mid-February, western Canadian horse owners will have the chance to meet Dr. Sue McDonnell and learn more about equine behavior during the 2020 Saskatchewan Equine Expo in Saskatoon, Sask.

This worm may be a dog’s best friend

Most pet owners want nothing but the best for their furry mates. They go to great lengths to make sure their pets are living happy and healthy lives. But good intentions do not always protect pets from unknown ingredients in pet food.

Every breath we take

Our lungs face a never-ending battle. With every breath, we inhale millions of airborne particles, including many that are potentially harmful. Our bodies must be prepared to defend us from these invaders.

Tiny parasite could lead to big health problems

A tiny parasite with a long name has the potential to cause some very big health problems for Canadians and their pets in the future.

EHV-1 confirmed in Saskatoon horse

Diagnostic tests have confirmed that a Saskatoon-area horse with neurologic disease is a positive case of equine herpes virus 1 (EHV-1) — a common virus that causes respiratory disease as well as outbreaks of neurologic disease and abortions in horse populations worldwide.

Watch for holiday dangers to family pets

While the holidays are a joyous time for many people, the extra hustle and bustle of large gatherings can make it easy for household pets to get into trouble unnoticed.

Potentially toxic chemicals from LCDs in nearly half of household dust samples tested: USask-led study

Chemicals commonly used in smartphone, television, and computer displays were found to be potentially toxic and present in nearly half of dozens of samples of household dust collected by a team of toxicologists led by the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

Sights set on genetic test for eye disease

Researchers hope to extend the golden years for beloved pets by addressing a condition causing blindness in senior dogs.

Study focuses on bee world’s royalty

Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) researchers have welcomed female royalty onto campus. But their brush with the upper crust is in a much different class than Meghan Markle or Kate Middleton.

The worm journal

“The best thing about research is that there are so many unanswered questions; there is always something new to learn.”

Mild Zika infection in fetuses may cause brain abnormalities

Using a relevant animal model (pigs), University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers have shown that mild Zika virus infection in fetuses can cause abnormal brain development in apparently healthy young animals.

Agribition pledges $100,000 to Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence

Canadian Western Agribition (CWA) has announced a contribution of $100,000 over the next decade to the University of Saskatchewan’s Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE), the largest and most comprehensive centre of its kind in Canada.

‘Why wait?’ researchers work toward bison biobank

The day begins beautifully. The sun is shining and the vivid blue sky stretches out over the never-ending prairies. I’m at the Native Hoofstock Centre — part of the University of Saskatchewan’s Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (Goodale Farm). Believe it or not, I’m helping to shift a sedated, 550-kilogram bison cow into a better position to collect her eggs (oocytes).

Scientists probe cannabis’ potential as anti-vomiting therapy for pets

Cannabis products are rapidly increasing in popularity for treatment of every sort of ailment in people, and many dedicated users say they can help treat your pet, too. But are these claims valid?

Therapy dogs give One Health benefits

Meet Womble. He’s part of the “PAWS Your Stress” therapy dog program at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

International experience gives One Health perspective

Carina Beeksma of Edmonton, Alta., has worked in the veterinary profession for nearly 10 years, but she didn’t realize she was also working in One Health until she started studying at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) three years ago.

New USask Beef Industry Chair aims to improve sustainability and profitability

Gabriel Ribeiro, the new Saskatchewan Beef Industry Chair at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), will be developing nutritional strategies to improve health, performance and profitability, while lessening the environmental impact of beef cattle production.

Master’s student finds One Health links in equine research

Samantha Steinke’s academic career is the perfect example of how embracing the links between human and animal health can lead to unexpected opportunities.

Cow-calf survey shows successful move to spring calving

Results of the Western Canadian Cow-Calf Surveillance Network study led by researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) have shown producers are increasingly moving to a later calving season as a means of expanding herds.

Multi-disciplinary intervention critical for animal hoarding cases

There are potentially two million hoarders in Canada, and while scientists have gained a better understanding of people who excessively collect objects, research and awareness of animal hoarding is still limited.

Ducks Unlimited Canada and USask partner to advance wetland and waterfowl conservation in Canada

SASKATOON – Today, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and the University of Saskatchewan (USask) announced a partnership to create the Ducks Unlimited Canada Endowed Chair in Wetland and Waterfowl Conservation—the first of its kind in Canada.

Iodine important ingredient for equine fetus

Paddocks at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) are full of frisky foals and watchful mothers during the spring foaling and breeding season. While most of these mares and foals are thriving, some foals born on the Canadian Prairies aren’t so lucky.

Ducks Unlimited Canada and USask partner to advance wetland and waterfowl conservation in Canada

Today, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and the University of Saskatchewan (USask) announced a partnership to create the Ducks Unlimited Canada Endowed Chair in Wetland and Waterfowl Conservation—the first of its kind in Canada.

Injured owl flies free

After months of rehabilitation, a great horned owl named Newman is enjoying a second chance at life in the wild — thanks to the hard work of a dedicated team of clinicians, students and staff at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

The effects of climate change on waterfowl

Stressed-out ducks have the potential to give University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers a glimpse of the destructive effects of climate change on wetlands — the primary habitat for ducks and other waterfowl.

'One tough horse'

It was one of those mystery injuries every horse owner dreads: Glenda Giles found the one-month-old colt, out of her favourite Standardbred mare, with a badly scraped hind leg. Since her husband, Clayton Braybrook, was away harness racing in Manitoba, it was up to Giles to take care of the injured foal named Sonny.

Seasonal link to ‘urinary blockage’ in cats?

Veterinary researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) are investigating whether the time of year affects feline urethral obstruction (UO) in Saskatchewan’s cat population.

Revelling in research: poster day celebrates undergraduate program

From disease in honey bees to pain management in beef calves, the research topics on display at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) annual undergraduate research poster day spanned species big and small.

Understanding metabolic bone disease in reptiles

Today’s pet market offers more species of reptiles than ever before. But all too often, these popular pets are falling ill with completely preventable diseases such as metabolic bone disease (MBD) – a condition that often goes unnoticed until it’s too late.

Faba beans potential pet food ingredient?

Do you ever survey the vast options of pet foods and find yourself wondering which one your pet will enjoy?

Dachshund gait analyzed in new study

Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) student, Rachel McCann, spent her summer surrounded by small, wiggly canines.

Blood donation program for pets seeks volunteers

When Emma Thomson adopted Asha from a local shelter, she wasn’t expecting to come home with a dog that day — let alone one that would become a life-saving support for other animals.

Heart health’s potential link to early-life nutrition

While researchers are well versed in the cardiovascular risks associated with a bad diet, a lack of exercise, and smoking, they’re still learning about another possible risk factor that could lead to poor cardiac health: what you consume in the first few weeks of your life. 

WCVM researchers part of polar report

A federal science report describing field research in Canada’s Arctic features the work of veterinary parasitologist Dr. Emily Jenkins, a professor at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) and University of Saskatchewan (USask) researcher.

Researcher inspired by memory of beloved horse

Samantha Steinke is a biomedical engineering master’s student, but her love for horses is what led her to apply her expertise to a research project at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

Watching for wild carriers of avian influenza

Most people who see a flock of wild ducks flying over a lake don’t automatically think about the diseases these birds could be carrying, but for many chicken and turkey producers, the threat of wild birds spreading disease to their flocks is all too real.

Panel updates guidelines for managing parasites in pets

As more problems related to ticks, worms and other parasites emerge in veterinary clinics across Canada, practitioners now have access to the latest guidelines on managing and treating these organisms in their patients.

This little piggy went to market

How well do weaned piglets cope with stress during transport? Western Canada exports large numbers of weaned piglets each year, but the effects of these transports on piglets’ health and welfare is poorly understood.

Ecologist’s work targets what makes Lyme disease tick

Dr. Maarten Voordouw and his wife Anne enjoy being outdoors, especially with their young daughters, Naia and Margot. But after any outing, particularly if the girls have been playing in the grass or leaves, the couple are diligent about checking for ticks.

WCVM researchers receive $5.6-million for advanced diagnostics research

The future of diagnostic testing for livestock disease could fit into the palm of your hand.

USask researcher recognized for work on predator-prey relationships

It’s a life she hadn’t imagined when she was a young student.

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).

Veterinarians warn caution around wildlife

Veterinarians advise pet owners to be careful when around wildlife with their pets, as injuries caused by wildlife attacks can be severe and life threatening.

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.

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?

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.