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.

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.

Saving Ooma Girl

When Allan and Maureen Zaleski arrived at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at 2 a.m. one morning in July 2021, they were ready to do whatever it took to save their dog.

Researchers piece together feline diabetes puzzle

Kevin the cat has faced a roller-coaster of health problems during his five years of life.

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.

Vet Topics (Spring 2022) now online

The Spring 2022 issue of Vet Topics, news publication for the veterinary college's Companion Animal Health Fund, is now available online. 

Emergency needs increase with pet ownership boom

As the only 24-hour veterinary hospital in Saskatoon and area, the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) Veterinary Medical Centre (VMC) is experiencing increased demand for its services.

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.

Inquisitive anesthesiologist leaves 30-year legacy

In 1999, Dr. Tanya Duke-Novakovski travelled to Leipzig, Germany, for a one-year sabbatical leave from her role at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

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.

Horse Health Lines (Spring 2022) now online

The Spring 2022 issue of Horse Health Lines, news publication for the WCVM’s Townsend Equine Health Research Fund, is now online.

USask wastewater COVID detectives’ paper is roadmap for other scientists

University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers set up a wastewater monitoring program that’s become the province’s sole reliable source for data on the prevalence of COVID-19. Now they have published a paper that provides a blueprint for other scientists to emulate their work.

USask research finds substance derived from tire debris is toxic to trout species

Every time it rains, fish living downstream of storm drains are exposed to pollutants, including the tire-derived compound 6PPD-quinone, in the runoff. Recently, this substance has been linked to massive die-offs of coho salmon across the West Coast of the United States.

Protecting endangered species and habitats

Dr. Eric Lamb (PhD) understands there are no easy answers when it comes to the delicate balance between ecology and the economy in a proudly agriculture-driven province.

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.

Signal pursuit

Dr. Claire Card has spent much of her career helping mares get pregnant, but for some horses and their owners, it’s complicated.

How to manage equine hoof abscesses

Every equine veterinarian is familiar with this kind of call: an owner goes out to do the morning feed and finds a severely lame horse that can’t bear any weight on one leg. The client calls the vet in a panic, fearing the worst — a broken leg or a life-threatening injury.

WCVM hosts equine research discussion

Horse health research is the focus of an upcoming virtual panel discussion that's asking for input from horse owners about current and future research studies at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

WCVM equine study first to show wound healing after stem cell therapy

A team of researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) has published the first equine study to demonstrate changes in wound healing following stem cell therapy.

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.

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.

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.

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.

How to avoid holiday pet emergencies

There are a handful of common causes for end-of-year pet emergencies, so here’s an annual reminder from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) to help keep your pets safe over the busy holiday season.

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!

WCVM scientists aim to disrupt growth of bovine pathogen

A University of Saskatchewan (USask) research team is evaluating how a panel of drugs might affect Mycoplasma bovis — a bacterium that’s responsible for causing serious health issues among Canada’s cattle herds.

Texting tool aims to support mental health

University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers are recruiting participants for a text-based mental health support program.

Cresty necks flag metabolic issues in horses

While University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers are still hunting for a diagnostic biomarker that predicts equine metabolic syndrome (EMS), results of their recent study substantiated the cresty neck score (CNS) as a reliable visual marker of abnormal insulin metabolism in horses.

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.

Vet's career heads straight to the heart

Growing up in Portugal, Dr. Tiago Afonso always knew he wanted to be an equine veterinarian.

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.

USask researcher links climate change and disease prevalence in Arctic

University of Saskatchewan (USask) PhD candidate Kayla Buhler has spent her academic career in the sky and on the ground of the Canadian Arctic, examining how infectious diseases are transmitted through the interactions of wildlife with their environment.

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).

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.

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.

Next phase in the war on worms

Road apples, manure, poop, fecal balls — whatever you call it, horses’ feces have been the mainstay of equine deworming programs for years.

Putting laminitis on ice

A Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) research team is gathering information for the development of a new device for cryotherapy (extreme cold therapy) — one of the few treatments available for the painful equine disease known as laminitis.

WCVM remote clinic in Île-à-la-Crosse a community affair

Students and faculty from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), along with a team of veterinary volunteers, recently travelled to the northern village of Île-à-la-Crosse for a remote spay and neuter clinic.

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.

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?

Copper shines after life-threatening health crisis

During his young life, Copper has gained a reputation for being a friendly and energetic dog. But in early 2021 the young male goldendoodle dog wasn’t acting like himself — and that caused his family to worry.

Pets find a foe in foxtail grasses

An overgrowth of foxtail grasses can cause problems for pet owners during the summer months.

Vet Topics (Summer 2021) now online

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

WCVM scientists work on new testing method for cattle-adapted bacteria

A research team at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) is developing a more cost-effective method to detect a type of salmonella bacteria that’s difficult to diagnose and even more difficult to eradicate from dairy cattle herds.

Detection and prevention can keep periodontal disease at bay

“Dental disease” includes many oral-dental conditions in pets, but the most common one is periodontal disease — a type of bacterial infection that can greatly affect an animal’s general health and well-being if left untreated.

A new way to look at dental disease

Everyone knows that going to the dentist is an important part of keeping our teeth healthy, but did you know that your pets also need regular dental checkups?

White nose syndrome detected in northern Manitoba

White nose syndrome (WNS) — a fatal fungal infection of bats — has been confirmed in four little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) found near Cranberry Portage, Man. This is the furthest northern and western occurrence of WNS in Canada to date.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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 flight pen is for the birds’ rehabilitation

Veterinarians at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) will be able to better evaluate rehabilitating wild birds and prepare them for release using the college’s newly built flight pen.

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.

Saskatchewan Blue Cross invests in VIDO's future

The Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) is one step closer to establishing its Centre for Pandemic Research, thanks to a $150,000 donation from Saskatchewan Blue Cross.

USask scientists probe tick-borne Lyme disease

While most people dread dealing with ticks, University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers are keen to work with the parasite as they investigate the host-pathogen system responsible for Lyme disease in Canada.

Vets help to make difference in tackling cat overpopulation issue

Cats — or more precisely, homeless cats — helped me decide to change my career plans and go into veterinary medicine.

Genome sequencing key to beef cattle specialist's antimicrobial research

Beef cattle specialist Dr. Emily Snyder is applying her expertise to address antimicrobial resistance — one of the most pervasive health issues affecting background and stocker operations in the beef cattle industry.

WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre accepting emergency cases only

As of April 28, the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s Veterinary Medical Centre (VMC) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) is accepting emergency cases only for its small animal and large animal clinical services until further notice.

Unique stem cells hold reproductive potential

Preserving endangered species, curing male infertility, making milk that prevents disease, supplying hospitals with transplantation tissue — all of these accomplishments can be linked to spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) and to important research that’s being carried out at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

Federal budget supports USask’s VIDO with $59.2M

Today the Government of Canada announced $59.2 million to the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO). The funding supports the development of its vaccine candidates and the expansion of its research facilities, including a National Centre for Pandemic Research.

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.