WCVM scientists develop vaccine for lethal poultry virus

Researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) have developed a vaccine that can prevent inclusion body hepatitis (IBH), a particularly lethal virus that affects the poultry industry by causing sudden death to young broilers — chickens that are bred and raised for meat production.

WCVM graduate student’s agar art among finalists

Dongyun Jung, a graduate student at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), has had his bacterial artwork selected as a finalist in the Agar Art 2018 competition.

WCVM students excel at annual U of S research expo

The University of Saskatchewan’s annual Life and Health Sciences Research Expo was held on May 3, with many of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) students clinching top honours in the event’s categories.

Playtime for piglets

It’s playtime for piglets at the Prairie Swine Centre (PSC), where Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) researcher Dr. Yolande Seddon hopes to find out whether piglets that play are better able to cope with life’s stresses.

Studies aim to detect endometriosis at early stages

What do dogs, pigs, and sheep have to do with endometriosis in humans? Dr. Emy Varughese, 30, is a small animal veterinarian at Banfield Pet Hospital in Springfield, Ohio, and, after being diagnosed with endometriosis, she's on a mission to find out.

Record number of entries for graduate student poster day

Graduate students entered a record number of 45 research posters in the annual Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) Graduate Student Poster Competition that took place on April 4.

Do female pigs want to get fit or full?

Do stall-housed sows want to exercise? Or are they happy staying put and eating more? That’s one question swine ethologist Dr. Yolande Seddon and a team of researchers are working to answer.

CFI funds high-tech tools at U of S for cancer, water and food security research

Five researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) have been awarded a total of $625,000 by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) for state-of-the-art equipment that advances leading-edge work in precision medicine, water research and swine welfare.

The fishy problem of underwater noise pollution

When the famous explorer Jacques Cousteau released The Silent World, a documentary of his underwater adventures in 1953, he inspired generations of scientists to study the world’s oceans.

WCVM student among U of S Images of Research winners

Research at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) is a community affair, as shown this year by the composition of winners in the fourth annual U of S Images of Research competition. 

U of S researcher awarded $2 million to study swine welfare

University of Saskatchewan researcher Yolande Seddon, working with 14 industry partners, has been awarded a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada Industrial Research Chair (IRC) in swine welfare worth nearly $2 million in total.

New U of S CIHR awards help improve health of Canadians

The University of Saskatchewan has been awarded six project grants totalling $4.45 million in the fall 2017 competition of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, nearly doubling its success rate to 15.4 per cent success from spring 2016.

Wolverine research in the North

In the past 40 years, research into wolverine parasites has been as elusive as the animals themselves. Fortunately, that situation is changing, and PhD candidate Rajnish Sharma is the latest researcher to turn his sights on parasites affecting these carnivorous mammals.

Visualizing psychiatric illness risk factors with X-rays

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) are zeroing in on a neurological protein that may be instrumental to the development of psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression.

Ducks’ feathers hold key to measuring impact of stress

Habitat loss, changes in weather, food scarcity, predator-versus-prey situations – each day wild animals are faced with these potential stressors. But what’s the cost?

Tapeworm potentially risky for pets and people

The beauty of nature: lush forests, chirping birds, babbling brooks and intestinal parasites.

U of S researchers awarded 12 SHRF grants

Neurologist Dr. Michael Levin, inaugural Chair in Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Research at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), is among 12 U of S researchers awarded Collaborative Innovation Development grants by the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) for 2017-18.

Understanding bacteria’s “blueprint” could improve women’s health

The bacterial population or microbiome of the human vagina could provide answers to some important questions about women’s health, and researchers are exploring the genetic material within one specific type of bacteria in order to determine some of these answers.

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).

Bee health issues keep researchers busy

At the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) a group of veterinary pathologists have devoted their time and attention to the health of the honey bee and their colonies.

Scientist searches for best behaviour in bacteria

What do a colony of fungus-farming ants and a herd of milk-producing cows have in common? In Tony Ruzzini’s eyes, both have much to teach us about the behaviour of bacteria — and how it may be turned to good use.

The "protein illusion": nitrogen doping in pet food

Having trouble deciding on a new pet food for your furry family member? With the hundreds of pet food brands stocked on store shelves, choosing the most nutritious one can be a daunting task for any pet owner.

Angiostatin breathes new life into research targeting ARDS and cancer

It all began with the case of three kittens that were found in severe respiratory distress after a day spent in a laundry room with a home air purifier running.

Over $1.55 million pegged for livestock research

Faculty and other researchers based at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) have received more than $1.55 million in funding for livestock-related research through Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Development Fund (ADF).

Understanding X-rays can save dollars and lives

Dr. Jiaying Ng’s interest in the topic of gas in the abdomen began when she helped care for a canine patient that developed this potentially serious issue three weeks after surgery to remove a foreign body.

Sheep producers frustrated with resistant parasite population

Saskatchewan sheep producers are increasingly frustrated by signs that their deworming practices are no longer effective.

Scientists strive to revive Canada’s wood bison herds

Straddling the boundary between northern Alberta and the southernmost tip of the Northwest Territories lies Wood Buffalo National Park, the widest-reaching patch of federally-protected wilderness in all of Canada.

Mealworms may turn infected wheat into cash

Fusarium fungus contamination in wheat caused more than $1 billion in economic losses in Canada in 2016, affecting almost 80 per cent of Saskatchewan and Manitoba cereal crops and leaving farmers scratching their heads on how to dispose of tonnes of worthless wheat.

Moya targets better welfare, productivity balance for beef cattle

In early January, the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) welcomed its new beef cattle ethologist — Dr. Diego Moya — to the college’s team of large animal specialists.

The world’s most expensive pig disease

For pig producers around the world, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is one of the most economically devastating and dreaded diseases.

U of S student’s video tweet wins CFI contest

Arinjay Banerjee, a PhD candidate in the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, has been chosen as a winner in the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) #IAmInnovation Twitter contest.

New treatment for pets’ cancer appeals to owners

The Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) is now offering a new treatment option for pets with certain types of cancer.

Moving forward with sheep dewormer resistance

What will sheep farmers do when the dewormers they’ve been using for years are no longer working?

Leading health researchers honoured

World-renowned vaccine researcher Andrew Potter was among those recognized by the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) for their outstanding contributions to creating a culture of innovation and health research in the province.

If your pet has this tapeworm, it could kill you

U of S researcher offers advice on how to reduce risks for humans and pets to get a potentially deadly tapeworm.

Isolated horses offer insight into virus

A horse stands on top of a sandy dune, his coat matted and eyelids lowered against the fierce wind. Ocean waves crash against the shoreline to his right, outlining the crescent-shaped wedge that is Sable Island, home to one of the last wild horse populations in Canada.

A&W advances the U of S global leadership in beef and forage research

A&W has made a substantial investment in the Canadian beef industry with a $5-million donation toward the University of Saskatchewan’s (U of S) Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE).

U of S research reveals controversial insecticides are toxic to songbirds

Research at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) has linked the use of insecticides to serious health issues in songbirds.

What I learned during my summer research

As a second-year veterinary student at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), I found that I had quite a few options available in both clinical and research settings when it came time to search for summer employment.

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.

Gamble doubles down on campus collaboration

There’s collaboration, and then there’s collaboration on the scale that Dr. Jonathan Gamble and his team are working on.

Cowan takes road less taken toward veterinary career

While most prospective veterinary students feel acceptance into the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) is an offer that they dare not put off, Vanessa Cowan felt it was an offer she had to delay.

Research shines at student poster day

For two days each fall, the excitement and enthusiasm of the students who participate in the annual undergraduate research poster day can be heard throughout the second-floor hallways at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

WCVM research receives NSERC funds

U of S faculty, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows were awarded $10.7 million by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) for fundamental research projects.

Preserving genes - one package at a time

Using the mail to preserve genetic diversity may sound odd to most people, but then again, most people don't work at Canadian Animal Genetic Resources in Saskatoon.

White-crowned sparrows get the worms

A mass of white worms writhe in between the organs of the white-crowned sparrow that our team is dissecting this morning.

Discovering the equine small intestine

Until recently, the inside – or lumen— of a live horse's small intestine was beyond the reach of traditional imaging modalities and remained a mystery to veterinarians.

Digital access makes textbooks open to all

Dr. Marion Jackson scrolls through digital images of blood, fluids, and fine needle aspirates obtained from clinical cases seen at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine's Veterinary Medical Centre and from private practices.

Advanced treatment for canine cancer

For a pet owner, the worst news in the world is hearing that your furry best friend has cancer.

New fish imaging mode could reduce harm

Because fish are a valuable tool for determining whether environmental contamination has occurred, scientists commonly use them for environmental assessments.

Bacterial vaginosis: more common than flu

If you heard about a condition that affects one million women every year and develops in one out of every three women, you'd assume it was well known and easily treated.

Can a breast cancer drug benefit cattle?

Can a drug that's proved useful for humans be of value to the beef and dairy cow industry?

Tracking dairy heifer parasites in Saskatchewan

Standing in the middle of a pasture and melting in the July heat, following a group of heifers around the field collecting manure samples – it's all part of Haley Scott's glamorous research job.

Keeping pigs busy could improve welfare

I have travelled halfway around the globe from my home in Ghana to look for ways to improve the management of sows here in Canada.

Sheep dewormer resistance growing problem

Internal parasites, commonly known as worms, are a growing problem in sheep flocks around the world.

Novel, notable: nesfatin-1

Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) researchers continue to explore the edge of the unknown, and the latest unknown of interest is a protein called nesfatin-1.

Can stem cells speed up wound healing?

Fences, trailers, ropes, farm equipment, sticks, other horses – the causes of traumatic wounds on horses creates a staggering list.

Seeking answers to sudden blindness in dogs

Sudden blindness. Eating more than normal. Increased thirst. Frequent urination. Doesn't want to go for walks anymore. History of recent weight gain.

WCVM graduate students showcase research

A record number of students entered the annual Graduate Student Research Poster Days this year, which took place March 8 and 9 at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

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.

Could computers be key to controlling AMR?

When I made the transition from computer engineering to the field of animal science, I never imagined that one day I might be using both professions toward the same cause.

PhD research probes bats’ disease immunity

Most people react to bats in their neighbourhood in the same way that they would if a mouse skittered across the kitchen floor—with anxiety, disgust, maybe even a short squeal of terror.

WCVM scientist measures oil spill toxicity

Oil is undoubtedly on the minds of many Canadians today — especially when they're confronted by the depressing news images of oil-soaked waterfowl and dead fish following an oil spill.

Tales from the tundra: research in Nunavut

On an island in the middle of Karrak Lake in northern Nunavut, there's a small field camp located 300 kilometres from the nearest civilization. It's a spectacular place where you can experience three seasons in two months and never see the sun set the entire time.

Studying “kitty-litter disease” in Arctic foxes

A cat parasite is mysteriously proliferating in a fox population of the Canadian Arctic where there is hardly a cat to be found.

Could brushes give clues to cattle health?

Could the grooming behaviours of dairy cows be used to tip off the farmer that a cow's not feeling well?

U of S research finds good news for caribou

A University of Saskatchewan (U of S) research team has found that the woodland caribou population in the Boreal Shield region of Saskatchewan has been slightly increasing over the past two years and currently exists at a high density for the species in Canada.

DuMonts double equine research dollars

Scientists' exciting progress toward solving two common equine health issues has inspired Pat and Mark DuMont to contribute another $300,000 toward equine research at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) over the next three years.

Around the WCVM: November 2016

Here's a roundup of news covering recent activities and achievements of students, faculty, staff, alumni and others who are linked to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

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).

World's first IVF bison calves born at WCVM

The four wood bison calves grazing beside their protective mothers look just like any other bison— but what makes these animals unique is the way they came into the world.

WCVM research receives NSERC funding

Research into contaminants in fish and antimicrobial resistance in the food supply will move forward at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), thanks to recent funding from the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Researchers examine aquatic painkillers

Until recently, veterinarians removed tumours, installed prosthetic eyes and performed other painful medical procedures on beloved pets as well as on animals in zoos and aquariums without providing their patients with any painkilling drugs.

Scientists seek reasons behind fish die-off

On a normal summer day at Buffalo Pound Lake, beachgoers bask in the sun to the soothing sound of waves lapping onto the beach – and the hum of mosquitoes. But for 11 straight days in June 2012, this southern Saskatchewan paradise was disrupted by waves of dead and dying yellow perch washing onto shore.

Preg-checking may boost producer's profit

Record high cattle prices. A declining Canadian dollar. Drought across Alberta and Saskatchewan. While these headlines might not grab the attention of veterinarians at first, there are very good reasons for them to pick up a paper. All of these issues have a huge impact on a cow-calf producer's bottom line.

The birds next door

Bird health and the conservation of declining bird species are unifying themes for a new avian research centre on campus.

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.

Linking behaviour with molecular structure

What does the shape of a molecule have to do with behaviour?

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.

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.

New device gives healing horses a lift

It's 8 a.m., and I'm all set for a long day of filling out paperwork for my summer job as a student researcher at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

Scientists seek definitive ergot diagnostics

Every summer a vast mosaic of grain crops blossoms across the Canadian prairies. But once they begin flowering, these plants become susceptible to Claviceps spp., fungi that are the source of major problems for the agriculture industry and the focus of a Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) research study.

Cause of bovine digital dermatitis elusive

For more than four decades, a painful disease has plagued dairy cattle – and a team of Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) researchers are rethinking the causative agent.

Motorboat noise increases risk for fish

Noise from motorboat traffic makes some fish more than two and a half times more likely to be eaten by predators, according to an international team of researchers including biologists from the University of Saskatchewan (U of S).

Pouncing on a protein

Dr. Ahmad Al-Dissi hopes his research will someday lead to a better treatment for inflammatory liver disease (ILD), a chronic and painful condition in many cats whose cause still remains a mystery for veterinarians.

Talking turkey with poultry researcher

Karen Schwean-Lardner never thought she would become a poultry researcher. Raised on a pig farm, she was not very fond of chickens.

Students research antibiotic alternatives

When Thushari Gunawardana and Kalhari Goonewardene were university classmates back in Sri Lanka, they never imagined they'd meet again in the same veterinary school in Canada.

Study targets ergot’s subclinical effects

When a cow's hoofs fall off, it's a tell-tale sign of a serious ergot toxicity problem on a farm.

3MT competition connects researchers

When Kalhari Goonewardene entered the University of Saskatchewan's Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition last spring, she didn't realize her participation would have a major impact on her research project.

Sable Island horses buck bacteria trend

Could bacteria resistant to antimicrobial drugs routinely used in both human and veterinary medicine be found in wild horses on a remote island in the Atlantic Ocean?

Student turns manure into green energy

Where most people see a field of manure, Jennifer Town sees the future of green energy.

Study tracks impact of palliative radiation

Cancer. It's a diagnosis no one wants to hear.

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.

Dairy study could help unite industry players

There is a hint of colour in the eastern sky as I run to the van parked on the curb. Just as I did in my childhood, I'm heading to the dairy farm to work.

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.

Smartphones could help track sickness

University of Saskatchewan (U of S) students will soon have the opportunity to be involved in a research project funded by the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF), which will use new technology to study foodborne illness.