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Sable Island offers unique opportunity

My feet and back are aching, my boots are filled with sand, and I have horse manure all over my hands after a day of collecting fecal samples. I’ve just finished a 15-kilometre hike, an almost daily occurrence, and I’m heading back to the research station to help with another four or five hours of lab work. I’m utterly exhausted, …

February 09th, 2016 Full story »

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? By answering this question, Dr. Joe Rubin and members of his research team at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) hope to gain a better understanding of how bacteria carrying acquired resistance …

January 12th, 2016 Full story »

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 »