Uptick in Canada’s Lyme disease cases: why we should care

While human health workers are caring for people infected with the novel coronavirus, veterinary researchers are helping to protect the public from illnesses spread by another health threat: ticks.

The point of no infection

A team of University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) and the College of Medicine are striving to find a reliable method for verifying when a horse with septic arthritis no longer has a joint infection — and no longer needs treatment.

Saskatchewan enhances support for rural veterinary services

The Government of Saskatchewan is introducing a number of initiatives to enhance the availability of veterinary services in rural Saskatchewan.

Veterinary life on the road

Dr. Colton McAleer always wanted to follow in his family’s footsteps and have a career in the cattle industry. But after helping pull a calf during calving season one spring, he changed his mind and went to veterinary school.

Growing a practice in rural Saskatchewan

Jumping into ownership wasn’t the original plan that Dr. Zachary (Zach) Johnson had in mind when he was initially accepted into the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

Saskatoon COVID-19 wastewater testing results now online

Saskatoon residents now have access to the results of wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19 — thanks to a partnership between University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers, the City of Saskatoon and the Saskatchewan Health Authority. 

WeCAHN final piece of Canada's regional animal health surveillance network

A new initiative in Western Canada is the final piece in a national framework of regional animal health surveillance programs

Studying e-cigarettes' risk to reproductive health

E-cigarette companies spent more than $9 billion in marketing last year to promote their product as a healthy alternative to conventional cigarettes for smokers, but University of Saskatchewan (USask) scientist Dr. Ali Honaramooz (DVM, PhD) is not convinced.

Education key to vaccine acceleration

As someone who has dedicated his professional life to fighting life-threatening diseases, Dr. Volker Gerdts (DVM, PhD) knows the biggest impediment to getting back to normal are those who are hesitant or refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Communicating in an animal's world

Animals have many ways to communicate with humans, but it’s not always easy to understand what they are trying to say.

Lucky Treasure

Bright-eyed and well developed, Treasure appeared to be a perfectly healthy foal except for one critical flaw: the black and white Gypsy Vanner filly had a steady dribble of urine running down her hind legs.

Swirski shines as horse health advocate

Mikayla Swirski, a senior veterinary student at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), was among 10 North American veterinary students rewarded for their dedication to equine health during the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ (AAEP) virtual convention in December 2020.

USask researchers join COVID Variant Rapid-Response Network

University of Saskatchewan (USask) and University of Regina (U of R) researchers are joining forces with scientists across the nation to undertake surveillance, sequencing, tracing and research-driven action on the COVID-19 virus variants that have been identified in Canada.

Study reveals bacteria on eye's surface not all the same

A pioneering study led by University of Saskatchewan (USask) veterinary ophthalmologist Dr. Marina Leis (DVM, DACVO) shows that bacterial communities vary on different parts of the eye surface — a finding that significantly alters understanding of the mechanisms of eye disease and can lead to developing new treatments.

Horse Health Lines (Spring 2021) online

The Spring 2021 issue of Horse Health Lines, news publication for the WCVM’s Townsend Equine Health Research Fund, is now online.

Can delivery mode affect babies’ early gut microbiome?

A team of University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers is studying how the mode of delivery influences a baby’s early gut microbiome — the huge community of bacteria and fungi that lives inside our gastrointestinal tracts.

Can corn help to extend winter grazing?

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan are exploring new ways to extend the winter grazing season for cattle by using what’s left after farmers harvest corn.

Habitat loss creates stress for honey bees

While society is coping with the stress related to a pandemic, honey bees and other pollinators are going through another problem — the stress associated with habitat loss.

USask to monitor wastewater at First Nations communities

A $137,392 grant from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is helping University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers conduct a six-month COVID-19 wastewater surveillance project in Saskatoon and at five Saskatchewan First Nations communities.

Brushing 'gold standard' for pet dental health

Bad doggy breath is no one’s best friend. It is also one of the most common signs of periodontal disease in pets.

A second chance for Zeke

Instead of celebrating his first birthday at home on July 2, 2020, Zeke was in Saskatoon receiving emergency care from veterinarians at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

Wildlife health at the top of the world

For two decades, veterinary scientist, Dr. Emily Jenkins has been studying parasites and vector-borne diseases that cause illness in animals and people — and much of that work has been done in Canada’s North.

VIDO's COVAC-2 begins clinical trials at CCfV

The first volunteers have been selected for a vaccine trial of COVAC-2, a COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Vaccine and infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

Study credits herd immunity for stopping avian cholera among sea ducks

New research published in Scientific Reports shows that herd immunity was instrumental in stopping avian cholera from infecting and destroying a population of Arctic-nesting sea ducks in Canada’s North.

Collaboration key in USask oncology research

A career in research and academia wasn’t what Dr. Monique Mayer (DVM) envisioned for herself when she graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) in 1995.

New course tracks history of infectious disease and vaccines

As people around the world wait to receive one of several COVID-19 vaccines developed to help end the coronavirus pandemic, a timely new University of Saskatchewan (USask) course will explore interdisciplinary perspectives on infectious diseases and inoculation.

Total hip replacement option for dogs now available at WCVM

Twelve weeks after receiving a total hip replacement, Bryan is doing well and back to his usual, energetic self.

Escaped black cat missing on USask campus

The Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) is asking for the public’s assistance in finding a black cat named “George” that escaped from his owner’s arms outside of the college’s Veterinary Medical Centre on Tuesday, Dec. 15.  

USask team developing COVID-19 wildlife test

As the world continues to search for answers to COVID-19, University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers are focused on tracking the virus in wildlife.

VIDO-InterVac on track to become ‘Canada’s centre for pandemic research’

A major takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic is that emerging diseases require rapid responses and Canada needs to be better prepared to respond to the next one, says University of Saskatchewan research centre leader Dr. Volker Gerdts (DVM).

New USask research helps rescue threatened bison

Fast like the wind, baby bison Skeeter happily runs to his mum across the pastures of USask's Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE).

USask partners on made-in-Saskatchewan ventilator project

One hundred made-in-Saskatchewan ventilators will soon be available to support the needs of provincial residents, thanks to an innovative collaboration among the University of Saskatchewan (USask), the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) and RMD Engineering Inc.  

WCVM student receives bee health research scholarship

Project Apis m., an international bee research organization, has awarded a $10,000 scholarship to Dr. Michael Zabrodski (DVM) of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) for his work in bee health research.

WCVM scientists gain funding for livestock projects

Two research teams involving veterinary scientists at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) have received more than $1.1 million to improve antimicrobial use practices in the beef cattle industry and to enhance animal feed processing.

A man's best friend

We all know someone with a beloved family dog, right? The four-legged furry friend that’s treated as good as any member of the family. We also know the heartache felt when it’s time to make the difficult decision to humanely euthanize a pet.

Honey bee health: a backyard perspective

When I look out my kitchen window, I see a peaceful scene with two honey bee colonies buzzing next to my vegetable garden.

SARS-CoV-2 virus levels in wastewater point to increase in cases

A team of University of Saskatchewan scientists have developed a new tool to detect levels of SARS-CoV-2 virus in municipal wastewater.

Bruce Coulman selected as LFCE's interim director

Renowned University of Saskatchewan (USask) forage breeder Bruce Coulman has been selected to lead the university’s Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE) as interim director, effective Oct. 19.

Polar disease research merits award

Insects are a great resource in learning how climate change affects diseases that are transmitted in the Arctic, which is warming at two to three times faster than other parts of the world.

Online therapy dog program to continue this fall

Responses to a recent survey that asked members of the University of Saskatchewan (USask) community about the PAWS Your Stress Therapy Dog Program highlighted “the power of connection between humans and animals” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cancer therapies connect dogs and people

Dogs may hold the key to uncovering novel cancer therapy targets and treatments that will benefit domestic animals and their owners, as well as human cancer patients.

Timing is everything, but when is the time right?

What if there was a reliable way of knowing whether a pregnant woman’s contractions mean “Go home and relax,” or “The baby is on its way”?

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).