Saskatchewan and Manitoba increase funding to educate veterinarians at USask

Saskatchewan and Manitoba are addressing Western Canada’s urgent need for more veterinarians by increasing their funding to educate more students in the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

USask team plans unique facility to develop, test alternative fish food

A University of Saskatchewan (USask) research team is partnering with an array of industry groups to establish a “globally unique” facility on campus to develop and test plant- and insect-derived proteins to replace the fishmeal that has no great substitute in aquaculture feed today.

Saskatchewan expands eligibility for veterinary loan forgiveness program

The Government of Saskatchewan has announced updates to its student loan forgiveness plan for veterinarians and registered veterinary technologists (RVTs) who serve livestock stakeholders in rural and remote communities.

ATIM MASKIHKIY exhibit shares ‘dog medicine’ with community

Veterinary researcher Dr. Jordan Woodsworth (DVM) has taken a novel approach to presenting her research findings — engaging with the communities she’s working with through art.

How much is enough? Public knowledge and the microbial world

As a recent University of Saskatchewan (USask) graduate who just completed my animal bioscience degree, I’ve had my eyes opened to so many things that I’d never imagined would interest me.

Puzzle-solving zebrafish help scientists answer research questions

Almost every pet store sells zebrafish, but what pet owners may not know is that 70 per cent of this small tropical fish’s genetic structure is similar to their own.

USask major scientific centres awarded $170M of MSI funding

Four flagship research centres at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) uniquely equipped to keep Canada at the forefront internationally in vaccine development, imaging science, sustainable water management and monitoring space weather have been awarded nearly $170 million.

Veterinarians and students team up to support community health  

Veterinarian Dr. Dayle Borchardt (DVM) has seen firsthand how pet ownership can change lives. 

Researchers probe protein’s role as lung’s first line of defence

Having spent more than two years in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic, scientists and the public have learned a great deal more about respiratory infections and the lung complications that can result from having one.

Blueberry-pollinating bees at risk of developing deadly disease

Honey bees are excellent pollinators for flowering crops, and they’ve greatly benefited Canada’s blueberry growers as well as the country’s economy — Canada is a major exporter of the popular blue fruit.

WCVM graduate and adjunct professor becomes CVMA president

Dr. Chris Bell, a Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) graduate and adjunct professor at the veterinary college, is the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s (CVMA) 74th president.   

New project has big impact on bison genome biobank’s development at USask

Researchers’ aim of developing the world’s first bison genome biobank at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) received a critical boost on July 14 with Genome Canada’s funding announcement of $5.1 million for the Bison Integrated Genomics (BIG) project.

Have you ever thought about how you think?

Think back to your first memory: do you remember it vividly or does it all seem a bit confusing? If you can recall details about the movie that you watched last night much more easily than your very first memory, most of us can relate.

Fruit fly research could lead to final frontier

By using fruit flies as their model organism, Dr. Adelaine Leung and her team at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) are contributing vital knowledge to a fascinating research story that began more than 120 years ago.   

WCVM alumni appointed to Order of Canada

Dr. David Waltner-Toews, a graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), was appointed as an officer of the Order of Canada – one of the country’s highest civilian honours.

‘Water’ we doing to our water?

We all need water — we need it to bathe, to clean, to drink and to live our lives as we have for years. Yet our freshwater supply is in peril, and our relationship with water is changing.

Healing a ‘heart horse’

The stallion wasn’t perfect. He was small, thought Laura Martin, with small feet.

New VIDO Vaccine Development Centre opens

The University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) has completed the construction of its Vaccine Development Centre (VDC), strengthening and expanding Canada’s domestic biomanufacturing capacity.

Let's talk about mastitis

“Why won’t they listen?” It’s a complaint we can all relate to. Whether you’re an animal owner or a veterinarian, you have probably found yourself questioning why the person on the other side of a conversation isn’t reacting the way you had expected.

Family or foe? How prey and predator animals can develop mother-infant bonds

Ever wonder why a pig is willing to nurse tiger cubs? Or why a dog will take care of a baby leopard?  What about a cat that fosters ducklings?

WCVM hires pollinator health research chair

A new University of Saskatchewan (USask) research chair position at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) will focus on the health of pollinators that play an integral role in global food production and agricultural sustainability.

WCVM faculty receive federal research funds

University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers in diverse disciplines were recently awarded over $7 million in federal government grant funding. Faculty members at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) will receive $682,500 in research funds as part of this announcement.

Five questions with Dr. Candace Lowe

For Candace Lowe, DVM, MVetSci., Dipl. AVDC, hard work, determination, and a life-long adoration of animals were all essential to the foundation of her career in veterinary dentistry.

What a swine flu vaccine can teach us

Wary of the COVID-19 vaccine? Well, eat some pork and relax. Scientists have been whipping up vaccines in short order for decades, and the fact you can still enjoy your morning bacon is proof that these vaccine products are safe and effective.

Crashing shorebird populations ring alarm bell on global water crisis

Shorebirds are among the world’s most impressive travellers. Year after year, they make round trips of 32,000 kilometres from the top of the world to the bottom — and back again.

Time is money: rapid diagnostic testing for bovine respiratory disease

A multidisciplinary research team is working to develop rapid genomic testing methods that will change the way feedlots make decisions about antimicrobial use and ultimately improve antimicrobial stewardship.

Combating the spread of norovirus by maintaining personal hygiene

Visiting my hometown and bonding with my grannies and family members is one exciting thing that I love to do, but my last visit didn’t go as planned.

Kayaker's dunk highlights dangers of cold water

Without my training, I might have ended up another drowning statistic.

The tops in teachers

Dr. Elemir Simko (DVM, DVSc,) believes that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

WCVM graduate students excel at research expo

Members of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) community excelled at the 2022 Life and Health Sciences Research Expo — an annual event at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

USask-led study aims to understand, mitigate change in western boreal forest

University of Saskatchewan wildlife ecologist Dr. Philip McLoughlin’s (PhD) research team has been awarded $1.87 million by a federal granting agency for an interdisciplinary project to study complex environmental changes occurring in Western Canada’s Boreal Plains and help mitigate the consequences.

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.

Science and fellowship at forefront of graduate poster day

The return to an in-person graduate research poster day at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) was a welcome change after two years of online events.

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.

WCVM faculty members receive over $1.75 million for agriculture research

University of Saskatchewan (USask) faculty members at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) have received over $1.75 million from Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Development Fund (ADF) in support of livestock and crop research projects.

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.