Equine veterinarian’s life comes full circle

For 15 years of her life, Dr. Maia Aspé has ridden horses. Six of those years were spent chasing a career as a professional hunter-jumper before she found her calling in equine veterinary medicine.

Vet happy to be rolling on Manitoba highways again

When Dr. Meagan Peats describes her average workday, her portrayal includes climbing behind the wheel of an equine ambulatory vehicle and hauling down dusty roads, past wide-open fields and into makeshift driveways to help treat horses of all shapes and sizes.

Vet school prepared equine surgeon for his life’s work

There’s never been a time in Dr. Chris Bell’s life that he wasn’t surrounded by horses.

Innovation in horse rehabilitation

Samantha Steinke was born to ride. In fact, the University of Saskatchewan student essentially rode her first horse before she was even born.

Surgical solution for PPID?

A Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) researcher is working to develop a surgical technique that could, one day, provide a long-lasting fix for pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) in horses.

Hamilton selected as FEI official for Games

Dr. Don Hamilton, professor emeritus of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), is one of four Canadians who have been selected as officials for the 2018 Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) World Equestrian Games this fall.

Researchers use human medicine to further equine research

While unexpected results can lead to headaches and frustration for everyone involved, they proved to be a bonus for a team of researchers from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

The vet behind the PowerFloat

Ask any horse owner or equine veterinarian about the PowerFloat, and they’ll tell you that the rotary dental instrument is synonymous with equine dental care — an essential tool that’s well known in the horse community.

Reining in equine obesity

Imagine you’re a draft horse. The year is 1927 and you spend most of your time hooked up to a plow in the field, burning calories and muscle. You dine primarily on grain. It’s important to keep your energy up because you work hard every day and your family depends on you.

Early detection of EMS has big benefits

Weight-related health problems are a growing concern in the world of equine medicine just as they are in the world of human medicine.

Drugs in my tack box

Much like human sport competitions, irresponsible medication use and a positive drug test can cause serious problems for both the horse and rider at equine events.

Planning key to protecting horse's health

As a horse owner, you're always on the lookout for potential risks to your horse's well being at home and on the road.

Location key issue in assessing wounds

Horses can suffer from all types of wounds, and while some wounds look much worse than others, the primary assessment of their severity is the same as that of gauging housing prices: location, location, location.

What to do if you suspect colic

Most horse owners have their own personal stories to tell about colic — but chances are that everyone's tales about the dreaded disease are different.

Horse Health Lines (Fall 2016) now online

The Fall 2016 issue of Horse Health Lines, news publication for the Townsend Equine Health Research fund, is now online.

Project offers unique support to horses

In August 2015, I left the comfort of my English village and headed out to Canada to join a unique research team at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S).

Equine drug study leads to rule change

Results from a Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) study have led to a nation-wide change in Equine Canada-sanctioned competition rules regulating the use of the drug firocoxib in performance horses.

EHV-1 case dies from other health issues

The horse was the first of two local equine patients diagnosed with EHV-1 in the past two weeks. Veterinarians from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) were providing treatment and supportive care for the horse at its home stable.

Nerve blocks: working from the bottom up?

As the saying "no hoof, no horse" implies, the diagnosis and resolution of lameness is critical to a horse's life.

EHV-1 confirmed in horses near Saskatoon

Equine herpes virus 1 (EHV-1) has been confirmed in two horses with neurologic disease being boarded at a stable near Saskatoon.

Temperature and equine inflammation: link?

After spending several years of her academic career dedicated to improving the understanding of equine inflammatory processes, Dr. Stacy Anderson knows her fair share about why horses and inflammation don't mix.

Scientists study treatment for septic arthritis

Researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) are investigating a better way to guide veterinarians' treatment of septic arthritis in horses.

Stem cells could speed equine healing

A team of researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) is investigating the potential use of stem cells — an exciting new area of veterinary medicine — on wound healing in horses.

EHRF renamed to honour first fellow

A chance conversation with Dr. Hugh Townsend outside the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) led Dr. Joe Bracamonte to focus his career on equine health.

New tool homes in on equine lameness

Whether their patient is a high performance equine athlete or a beloved pony, veterinarians at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) have access to a full range of technologies that can help diagnose equine lameness and pinpoint problems.

Strategic deworming key for parasite control

Traditional deworming protocols with a zero tolerance for any parasites may not be the best option for your horse, says Dr. Fernando Marqués, a board-certified specialist in large animal internal medicine at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine's (WCVM) Veterinary Medical Centre.

Health management for performance horses

Much like humans, equine athletes performing at a high level can be at risk for certain conditions that cause poor performance.

Regular dental checkups health investment

Everybody knows the importance of regular dental checkups when it comes to human health, so it should come as no surprise that horse health is just as dependent upon regular oral health checks.

Owner helps Jack get back on track

It was early June 2013 and high school student Morgan Ashdown was looking forward to summer vacation. She planned to spend it out at the barn with her quarter horse, Under the Lethalimit, known as Jack.

The foaling mare: preparation is key

If you ask anyone who has bred horses, they will tell you that it's no easy feat. However, when it is done properly (and everything goes right), having an energetic and healthy foal is an exciting and rewarding experience.

Scratching the surface of equine skin diseases

If you have ever owned a horse with a skin disease, you know from experience that these conditions are frustrating to manage — diagnosing them can be difficult and their treatment is tedious. Worse yet, skin diseases can be painful for your horse if they cause irritation under tack or lameness.

Equine infectious anemia threat for horses

Equine infectious anemia is a viral disease of horses, mules and donkeys that should be taken very seriously by owners, says a veterinary researcher.

Understanding horse insurance

Although many horses in Western Canada have high performance, breeding and emotional value in the eyes of their owners, few of the animals are covered under an equine insurance policy.

Clifford the horse beats colitis challenge

When Kylie Couture went out one snowy December morning on her family's Debden-area acreage, Clifford — her 17-year-old Morgan cross gelding — didn't come in for breakfast.

Navigating the pre-purchase exam

Anyone who has bought a car knows that there are many factors that influence your decision — and the entire experience can put you through an emotional rollercoaster.

Studying the airway microbiome in horses

Veterinary researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) are investigating whether certain bacterial populations in a horse's windpipe can contribute to a respiratory disease called recurrent airway obstruction (RAO).

Horse survives after stick impales chest

On a dark October night, Les and Darlene Leer pulled into the parking lot at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine's Veterinary Medical Centre in Saskatoon with their horse trailer in tow.

WCVM team researches septic arthritis

Dr. Andres Sanchez of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) hopes to prove that a protein called serum amyloid A is a valuable tool for monitoring the healing progress while treating septic arthritis in horses.

Study may offer therapy for heavey horses

Sucking air through a straw. Those are the words that many people with asthma use to describe their frightening struggle to breathe during an asthma attack.

Single screw may treat acute laminitis

It's 2 a.m. and I'm in search of an ice machine in the physiology lab at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

Where the wild horses are

As a horse lover, Sarah Medill has found the perfect PhD research job.

Team explores radical therapy for Cushing’s

This summer, Juliane Deubner gave her horse Tina a major "hair cut" so the 21-year-old fjord mare could beat the heat.

CAHF and EHRF support local research

Two research funds at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) have awarded over $146,000 to University of Saskatchewan researchers who are investigating critical health issues in horses and pets.

Couple donates $300,000 to equine research

A British Columbia couple is investing in the future of equine musculoskeletal research by donating $300,000 toward the establishment of the Mark and Pat DuMont Equine Orthopedics Research Fund at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S).

CPR and preparation can save foal’s life

"The important thing is to act right away," says Dr. Carolina Palacios, a veterinary anesthesiologist at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine's Veterinary Medical Centre. "If a foal is born and not breathing or has a low heart rate, the owner should be the first one to start CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)."

Lameness expert shares tips with students

Whether he's sharing tips on using hoof testers or offering advice on succeeding as a veterinarian, Dr. Marvin Beeman's passion for equine medicine is evident in everything he says and does.

VMC hosts spring equine education day

Local horse owners, breeders and riders can learn more about equine gastric ulcers and basic hoof care at the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre's spring equine education day on Wednesday, May 14.

Study focuses on lung failure in foals

Last summer, I was part of a research group at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) that's working to gain a better understanding of why young foals often die of respiratory distress and lung failure.

Vet students visit Alberta equine centres

Horses are what led me to veterinary medicine. One of the first times I put the two together was during a visit to Northlands Park in Edmonton, Alta. I was in awe of the racetrack's equine athletes — and that's when I began wanting to pursue a career in performance horse medicine.

Study sets standard for equine lung research

Val Sanford has seen firsthand the negative effects of respiratory problems on horses' performance in the show ring and on the trail.

Tying-up syndrome

Tying-up syndrome, or rhabdomyolysis, is a myopathy (disorder affecting the body's muscle system) that causes muscle-cell destruction and decreases an affected horse's performance.

Red Deer hosts top equine education event

As an equine-minded veterinary student at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), I couldn't think of a better way to spend my first weekend back to class than at the Alberta Horse Breeders and Owners Conference on Jan. 10-12 — Canada's premier horse industry event.

Protein may help diagnose septic arthritis

Last summer, I was involved in researching a protein called serum amyloid A (SAA) that may help veterinarians reach a proper and early diagnosis of joint infection — a severe and potential life-threatening illness in horses.

WCVM scientists focus on moon blindness

Six years ago, Shelley and Ray Ruiters purchased an Appaloosa mare named Annie from friends who thought she would be a great fit for the couple.

Group backs equine health at grassroots level

The Equine Foundation of Canada (EFC) may be small, but in the past four decades, this grassroots group has managed to accomplish great things in support of horse health care in Canada.

"SIP project" targets sand colic

I've spent a lot of time this summer with my arm up the south end of a lot of northbound horses — all for the sake of finding sand in poop.

What is shipping fever?

"Shipping fever" is a common name for pleuropneumonia, a serious infection involving the lungs and pleural cavity (the space between the lungs and the chest wall) that's often caused by the stress of travel.

Devereux, a horse with heart

Rick Fraser, along with his daughter Kaylee, made the long road trip from Wetaskiwin, Alta., to Kentucky in the fall of 2012 to purchase new recruits for the family's award-winning chuckwagon string.

Study adds to acupuncture knowledge

Horse owners are increasingly turning to acupuncture and other drug-free alternative medicine practices to control pain for issues such as navicular disease.

Vital animal health projects receive funding

Two longtime research funds have directed more than $170,000 in funding to researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) in support of vital pet and equine health research projects.

Healthy horses needed for respiratory study

Researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine are looking for healthy horses to be part of a respiratory study this summer.

Scientists slowly solving laminitis mysteries

Recent research has given veterinarians a better understanding of equine laminitis, but a leading authority of the disease points out that there's still much to be discovered about one of the horse industry's most challenging health issues.

WCVM scientists assist in laminitis puzzle

Laminitis research for the layman can be divided into two broad topics: therapies that can be used to treat laminitis and investigations into the chain of signalling events that trigger the condition (new targets for future therapies).

Public review draft equine code of practice

The draft code can be viewed and submissions made at the NFACC site until February 14, 2013.

Vet students promote equine health to riders

Members of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine's Equine Club are gearing up to host hundreds of young horse enthusiasts during the club's annual 4-H and Pony Club Educational Day in late January.

WCVM vet team pitches in at Agribition

Interested in learning how to keep your pets healthy? Want to find out more about animal health? Ever wondered about the key role that veterinarians play in support of agriculture and livestock production?

Exploring EndoStitch’s™ use for colic surgery

A horse's digestive tract is a long, complicated, somewhat finicky thing. Usually it performs its functions admirably, but when the digestive tract malfunctions, it can result in painful symptoms known as colic.

Learning about equine laminitis

The Western College of Veterinary Medicine is hosting an afternoon series of presentations focusing on equine laminitis — a challenging inflammatory disease that affects horses of all breeds and ages.

Controlling EIA's spread has its challenges

Those in the horse industry all share a stake in maintaining vigilance over the spread and control of equine communicable diseases, and this is perhaps most true with equine infectious anemia (EIA), a disease whose only control is through regular screening.

Coggins test still vital cog in EIA screening

The standard in equine infectious anemia (EIA) screening is a test known to horse owners everywhere as the Coggins test. A "negative Coggins" is required for import and export of horses and is recommended for any situation in which horses are gathered together, such as a competition or boarding stable.

EIA persistent equine disease in the West

The mention of equine infectious anemia (EIA) or swamp fever holds a special kind of fear for horse owners.

Paton: ”It’s not just treating horses”

Dr. David Paton always enjoyed working around large animals while growing up on the family dairy farm in Ladner, B.C. But it was the influence of their local veterinarian, Dr. Gordon Davis, that sparked his interest in veterinary medicine and developed his focus on horses.

Quick tick facts

"Know your enemy" is a well-known military maxim that's also good advice for people on the Canadian Prairies who are seeing increasing populations of tick species in the region.

Milagros, the miracle foal

Last spring, Dawn and Dave Roberts were enjoying a Saturday afternoon with friends and family at their farm that's located minutes west of Saskatoon, Sask. Annie, one of their experienced broodmares, looked like she was going into labour.

Emergency care for orphan foals: five tips

It's a position you hope you never need to be in — but if you suddenly become responsible for an orphan foal, here are five tips from Dr. Fernando J. Marqués, a specialist in large animal internal medicine at the WCVM, on what to expect.