A growing fetus may lead to preterm labour

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

Horse Health Lines (Spring 2024) now online

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

Acts of love and generosity support Milo's miracle

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

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

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

Harmful algal blooms: alarming threats lurking in waters

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

Agriculture Development Fund bolsters WCVM-based research projects

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

USask livestock and forage research receives nearly $6 million

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

Art exhibition springs from USask dog-human relationship research

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

Camelids help USask researchers explore reproductive health mysteries in mammals

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

Wildlife leader emphasizes collaboration with WCVM

Amid a growing need for wildlife health research and surveillance in Canada, the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC) wants the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) community to know that relationship building is more important than ever.

USask scientists aim to determine appropriate sheep vaccination protocols

Producers use vaccination schedules to vaccinate their sheep against diseases caused by the bacteria Clostridia, but what’s largely unknown is the best time to immunize for clostridial diseases.

Cameras give ‘bird’s eye view’ of bovine respiratory disease

Precision technological advancements such as the use of cameras in livestock production could provide beef cattle feedlot employees a “bird’s eye view,” allowing them to monitor and flag any cattle showing signs of illnesses such as bovine respiratory disease.

‘Poop in the coop’: developing fecal-based diagnostic tests for broilers

A Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) veterinary pathologist wants “to get the poop” on developing new biomarker-based diagnostic tests for broiler chickens by running laboratory tests with their feces.

USask veterinary researchers build tumour bank to advance cancer research

Everyone knows the deadly disease that is cancer, but ironically, what makes cancer so deadly is how little is known about it.

Horse Health Lines (Fall 2023) now online

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

New award supports graduating equine students

A new equine scholarship for veterinary graduates had a flying start at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) spring awards program in early June.

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

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

Research team aims to update bone formation scoring system for newborn foals

Equine veterinarian Dr. Claire Card (DVM, PhD) at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) and members of her research team are re-evaluating a decades-old bone formation (ossification) scoring system used to assess newborn foals.

Equine vets in training

Drs. Alannah Friedlund, Eveline Juce and Josefina Ghersa are among the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s team of incoming residents and clinical interns whose work focuses on equine health. Visit tehrf.ca to read more profiles of the college’s new team members.

Treating diarrhea in pigs amid an antimicrobial resistance crisis

As antimicrobial resistance becomes a more urgent issue in animal and human health, western Canadian swine health scientists are seeking alternatives to antibiotic drugs for treating diarrhea in grower-finisher pigs.

Partnership will expand USask veterinary outreach program’s impact

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

Funds fuel horse health

The Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) has invested over $140,000 in support of equine health-related research and graduate students for 2023.

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

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

A summer to remember: from labs to limelight in ophthalmology research

Last summer, I had the chance to delve into the fascinating world of veterinary ophthalmology research while investigating the microbiome — or community of microorganisms — that’s found on the corneas of dogs.

Probiotics all the buzz as alternative therapies for honey bee disease

When spring rolls around, honey bee farmers open their hives and expect to see a mass of happy buzzing bees.

New diagnostic tools protect dogs and humans from deadly parasite

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

New USask funding to advance Canada’s beef sector

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

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

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

USask veterinary graduates pursue wildlife pathology in Sydney

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

USask researchers test alternative anesthetic protocol for sedating pronghorn

A research team at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) is working to find a reliable method of sedating North America’s fastest land mammal: the pronghorn.

A rare reaction for a rare cat

My cat Bart is my best friend. When I’m sad, he jumps to where I am and lies down for pets and cuddles. He goes crazy for chicken liver cat treats. And when I come home from a long day at university, he greets me at the door.

WCVM veterinarians and alumni earn national honours

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

Study points to possible link between equine abortions and chlamydial infection

When Dr. Madison Ricard (DVM) set out to see if the bacterium Chlamydia is potentially linked to equine abortions among western Canadian horses, the PhD student wasn’t expecting to find much evidence of chlamydial infection based on the lack of research in the area.

USask clinician recognized for work in remote veterinary care

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

USask veterinary anesthesiologist awarded for advancing small animal medicine

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

USask veterinarian honoured for dedication to beef cattle care

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

WCVM’s newest veterinary oncologist finds home in Saskatoon

Growing up around dogs, cats, turtles and chickens at his family’s home in Japan, Dr. Arata Matsuyama (DVM, PhD) knew from a very early age that he wanted to work with animals in veterinary medicine.

USask centre’s summer field day unites producers and scientists

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

WCVM researchers use metabolomics to explore avian influenza questions

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

Fund invests in pet health research and training

An investment of more than $150,000 from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) Companion Animal Health Fund (CAHF) will benefit scientists and graduate students whose research work focuses on improving pet health.

Functional assessments give insight to puppy breeders

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

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

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

SHRF supports USask study targeting dog-human interactions in remote communities

Over $149,000 in funding from the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) is helping University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers from multiple disciplines provide support to Saskatchewan communities that are experiencing challenges with dogs.

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

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

Scientist expands reproductive health research to beef cattle

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

WCVM scientist among USask's top research award recipients

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

‘Long Lyme’ is a growing health conundrum

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

USask food science graduate investigates healthier pet food

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Veterinarians trade horse expertise through Global Ambassador program

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VIDO and VFI collaborate to strengthen pandemic preparedness

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

VIDO scientists receive leadership awards for excellence in vaccine research

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

USask veterinary students involved in rare lambing of sextuplets

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

Horse Health Lines (Spring 2023) now online

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

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

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

Lightning learning

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

Renowned virologist at USask leads pandemic fight

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

Understanding the genetics behind antimicrobial resistance in beef cattle

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

WCVM researcher uses ultrasound images to explore alpacas’ reproductive patterns

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

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

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

It’s a gut feeling: measuring stress in waterfowl

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

Vet students gain sled dog medicine experience at Canadian Challenge

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

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

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

USask scientists study space and sickness in feedlot cattle

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

Why studying microbiology will make me a better veterinarian

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

From small-town kid to Vanier Scholar

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

Cattle producers and scientists 'rub shoulders' at research forum

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

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

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

USask researchers devise strategies for faster disease detection in honey bees

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

USask scientists find antimicrobial resistance gene linked to livestock treatment

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

Baseline for hormone levels in western Canadian horses takes shape

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

Llamas and alpacas: potential animal models for reproductive research?

A study at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) promises not only to provide important information about llama and alpaca reproduction but also to determine if the camelid species could become animal models for reproductive research.

Blood on the double

Dogs can donate life-saving blood to other dogs, just like people can give blood to their fellow humans. But veterinarians are still unsure about the best way to deliver blood from dog donors to the canine patients that urgently need it.

USask researchers probe drug’s potential ability to block pre-term labour

How can we decrease the occurrence of pre-term births in women? Can a cancer research drug help us find a solution? These are questions facing reproductive scientist Dr. Daniel MacPhee (PhD) and his research team at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

Beloved cat inspires teen's pet health research gift

Percy Jackson was an affectionate, snuggly kitten who immediately bonded with his new owner Charlie Hoffman. The ragdoll cat was an important support for Hoffman, a 14-year-old high school student, who needed support to deal with anxiety and symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Vet Topics (Winter 2023) now online

The Winter 2023 issue of Vet Topics, news publication for the veterinary college's Companion Animal Health Fund, is now available online.

A passion for pets

Growing up in the French countryside, Dr. Mathieu Paulin was always surrounded by pets of all kinds including dogs, a goat and many ducks.

USask research team explores protein’s role in herpesvirus infections

Herpesviruses are nothing new, but what’s surprising are their sheer number: 130 species of herpesviruses infect and cause disease in a wide variety of species — including people.

Supporting pet cancer patients, one toy at a time

Getting a diagnosis of pet cancer isn’t easy for pet owners, but an organization called Kali’s Wish Cancer Foundation is offering to help with something that no dog can resist: toys.

Range to research: how ranch lessons aid my research job

At first glance, sitting on the back of a horse watching cattle graze seems a whole world apart from extracting DNA at a pristine lab bench. But my experiences in research and ranching have shown me that both disciplines share common principles.

WCABP names WCVM graduate bovine vet of the year

Dr. Calvin Booker of Okotoks, Alta., a Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) graduate, is the 2023 recipient of the Veterinarian of the Year Award — an honour supported by the Western Canadian Association of Bovine Practitioners (WCABP) and Boehringer Ingelheim Canada.

A quarter century of service at USask

Let’s turn back time 25 years to 1997, when Jean Chrétien was re-elected prime minister, the blockbuster movie Titanic premiered in theatres, Tiger Woods became the youngest golfer to win the Masters at age 21, and the first book in the soon-to-be wildly successful Harry Potter series was published.

USask scientists receive provincial honours

Dr. Volker Gerdts (DVM, PhD), director and CEO of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) and professor in the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), has been recognized with an Achievement Award by the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF).

Saskatchewan ag research funding includes over $2.3 million for WCVM scientists

University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers based at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) received over $2.3 million from Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Development Fund (ADF) for livestock research.

Improving livestock health overall aim of WCVM research studies

Detecting infectious poultry diseases more quickly and developing regional influenza vaccines for pigs are among 28 innovative livestock and forage research projects at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) that will receive funding through the Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Development Fund (ADF) in 2023.

USask scientist looks at link between zoonotic diseases and imported dogs

A veterinary researcher at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) is hoping to connect with pet owners or canine rescue organizations that have recently imported dogs into Canada or plan to bring animals into the country.

USask research income growth leads Canada’s medical universities

Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities rankings for 2022 published Wednesday place the University of Saskatchewan (USask) first among the country’s tier of 16 medical universities for research income growth from all grants, contracts, and contributions.

Pollinators, canola and pesticides targeted in USask study

Researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) are evaluating the effects of pesticides on honey bees and other pollinators that subsist on the pollen of canola — Saskatchewan’s top crop.

Guide aims to help put the welcome mat out for pets

A team of researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) and the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) are part of an initiative to explore the benefits of welcoming companion animals in places where they wouldn’t normally be allowed.

SREDA study estimates VIDO’s economic impact over half a billion dollars

The Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA) released key findings from its Economic Impact Study conducted on the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO).

Delving deeper into swine dysentery

As you wander down the meat aisle and view the variety of available pork cuts, you’re probably not thinking about the people and the work behind getting the meat to the supermarket.