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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Veterinary professor at USask launches bovine health podcast

A University of Saskatchewan (USask) beef cattle specialist at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) has launched a new podcast that gives listeners a Canadian perspective on beef cattle health and nutrition.

‘Agnes’ and animal health highlights of WCVM exhibit at 2022 Agribition

This week, Canadian Western Agnes — “Agnes” for short — and her team from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) will be back at the 2022 Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, Sask., following a two-year gap due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He or she: what will it be?

“Boy or girl?” Expectant mothers hear that question a lot, and thanks to ultrasound technology, many human parents have the option of finding out the answer long before their baby is born.

Manitoba government reserves seats for ag-focused students

The Government of Manitoba announced on Oct. 7 that the province’s five additional seats at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) will be aimed at students with rural backgrounds who plan on returning to rural veterinary practice and supporting livestock and poultry industries.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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).

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.

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).

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).

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

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

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

Can corn help to extend winter grazing?

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

New USask research helps rescue threatened bison

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

WCVM student receives bee health research scholarship

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

WCVM scientists gain funding for livestock projects

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

Honey bee health: a backyard perspective

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

Bruce Coulman selected as LFCE's interim director

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

Guarding animal health on the Prairies

Dr. Yanyun Huang has ambitious goals for Prairie Diagnostic Services (PDS).

Detecting bird flu before it's ready to take off

What did you eat for breakfast this morning? What about for lunch and dinner? Chances are you ate eggs or chicken for at least one of those meals. In Canada, poultry products are the most commonly consumed animal protein source; the average Canadian eats 242 eggs and 79 pounds of chicken each year.

Burglar bees help spread of honey bee infection

It may sound like a tall tale, but burglar honey bees raiding nearby hives is contributing to the spread of a disease called American foulbrood (AFB) in Saskatchewan.

WCVM research targets deadly PRRS virus

Researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) have been making headway in their investigation of a disease that has a huge economic impact on swine producers worldwide.

USask appoints new dean in College of Agriculture and Bioresources

Dr. Angela Bedard-Haughn (PhD) has been appointed the new dean of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

Vets' work with food animals vital during pandemic

Veterinarians play a vital role in maintaining the health of Canadian food animals and keeping the food supply chain running smoothly.

USask drinking water study shows beef cattle can tolerate high levels of sulphates

Scientists at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) have published a study that shows beef cattle can tolerate higher concentrations of sulphates in drinking water than previously believed.

New drug protocol may reduce pain during castration

A Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) researcher and his team are looking into new options for pain management during castration of beef calves.

Research chair targets better health, productivity in beef herds

With $2.35 million from the federal government and the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC), veterinary researcher Dr. Cheryl Waldner will undertake a major five-year research program to advance beef cattle health and productivity, helping to sustain the profitability and competitiveness of Canada’s $17-billion-a-year beef industry.

New reproductive tool may help meet consumer demand for ‘natural’ food

Today’s consumers want more from their food, and the beef and dairy industries are constantly striving to meet these demands. As more companies market their food as “natural” — raised without additional use of hormones, steroids, and antibiotics — concerns regarding steroid use in food production have multiplied.

Study focuses on bee world’s royalty

Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) researchers have welcomed female royalty onto campus. But their brush with the upper crust is in a much different class than Meghan Markle or Kate Middleton.

Agribition pledges $100,000 to Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence

Canadian Western Agribition (CWA) has announced a contribution of $100,000 over the next decade to the University of Saskatchewan’s Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE), the largest and most comprehensive centre of its kind in Canada.

‘Why wait?’ researchers work toward bison biobank

The day begins beautifully. The sun is shining and the vivid blue sky stretches out over the never-ending prairies. I’m at the Native Hoofstock Centre — part of the University of Saskatchewan’s Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (Goodale Farm). Believe it or not, I’m helping to shift a sedated, 550-kilogram bison cow into a better position to collect her eggs (oocytes).

New USask Beef Industry Chair aims to improve sustainability and profitability

Gabriel Ribeiro, the new Saskatchewan Beef Industry Chair at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), will be developing nutritional strategies to improve health, performance and profitability, while lessening the environmental impact of beef cattle production.

Cow-calf survey shows successful move to spring calving

Results of the Western Canadian Cow-Calf Surveillance Network study led by researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) have shown producers are increasingly moving to a later calving season as a means of expanding herds.

Revelling in research: poster day celebrates undergraduate program

From disease in honey bees to pain management in beef calves, the research topics on display at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) annual undergraduate research poster day spanned species big and small.

This little piggy went to market

How well do weaned piglets cope with stress during transport? Western Canada exports large numbers of weaned piglets each year, but the effects of these transports on piglets’ health and welfare is poorly understood.

WCVM researchers receive $5.6-million for advanced diagnostics research

The future of diagnostic testing for livestock disease could fit into the palm of your hand.

Bacteria-killing molecules may be key to new mastitis therapy

A Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) researcher and his team are taking a molecular approach to finding a new way of treating a common health issue in the dairy industry.

New 'pig code' has enhanced swine welfare

Canada’s swine sector has made a lot of progress in enhancing the welfare and well-being of pigs raised in this country, says Manitoba swine veterinarian Dr. Blaine Tully.

Veterinarian looking at ways to manage TB in northern bison herd

A Parks Canada scientist is conducting research on bovine tuberculosis in bison to improve diagnosis of the disease and to develop better vaccines. This research is conducted in collaboration with the University of Saskatchewan and the Canadian Bison Association.

Playing ‘bee’ to study pesticide effects

Pretending to be a honey bee is a lot of work, but researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) have proved they’re up for the challenge.