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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. This debilitating disease, which is caused by a bacterial infection in a horse’s joint, requires immediate, aggressive treatment. “Right now the gold standard treatment is when we get these horses they go for an arthroscopic lavage,” says …

December 21st, 2015 Full story »

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. “Stem cells in the purest definition are cells that are able to regenerate themselves and differentiate into all cell types,” says Dr. Suzanne Mund, a veterinarian who …

December 18th, 2015 Full story »

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). More commonly known as heaves, RAO can be triggered by something as simple as feeding poor quality hay to a horse. Exposure to dust, mouldy hay, ammonia fumes and fungal …

February 04th, 2015 Full story »

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. Besides the skills he has gained as a large animal surgical resident and researcher over the past few years, Sanchez has learned a thing or …

November 26th, 2014 Full story »

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. Now imagine a 1,000-pound animal experiencing the same panic-stricken feeling. For a horse, that’s what it’s like during an acute episode of recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) or heaves. This asthma-like condition is a chronic, …

November 12th, 2014 Full story »

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). No, it’s not for refreshments after a long day’s work or even in celebration: ice is one of the standard treatments for laminitis in horses, more commonly known as founder. Veterinarians use the ice to fill recycled …

October 14th, 2014 Full story »

Team explores radical therapy for Cushing’s

This summer, Juliane Deubner gave her horse Tina a major “hair cut” so that the 21-year-old fjord mare could beat the heat. Tina’s coat clip isn’t just for looks — it’s out of necessity. The senior horse grows an excessive coat that is a prominent sign of the disease with which she has been diagnosed: equine Cushing’s disease. Abnormal hair growth, …

September 16th, 2014 Full story »

Eliza Hunt and Kalan, a 10-year-old Thoroughbred cross owned by Pat Dumont of Langley, B.C. Pat and Mark DuMont have established a $300,000 fund targeting equine orthopedic research at the WCVM. Photo: Totem Photographics.

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). The DuMonts have pledged three annual instalments of $100,000 to the fund with the goal of encouraging researchers at the Western College of …

June 12th, 2014 Full story »

During the first few months of their lives, foals are highly susceptible to bacterial infections and toxins because of their immature immune system. Photo: Myrna MacDonald.

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. During the first few months of their lives, foals are highly susceptible to bacterial infections and toxins because of their immature immune system. As …

March 25th, 2014 Full story »

WCVM researchers are investigating whether a protein called serum amyloid A (SAA) can help veterinarians diagnose joint infection more quickly. Photo: Christina Weese.

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. Infected joints (septic arthritis) is a particular problem in Saskatchewan, mainly because of the widespread use of barbed wire that’s often the culprit behind puncture …

January 20th, 2014 Full story »