EHRF invests nearly $60,000 in horse health

Dr. Katharina Lohmann

Dr. Katharina Lohmann, associate professor in the WCVM's Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences. Photo: Juliane Deubner.

Western College of Veterinary Medicine scientists have received nearly $60,000 from the College’s Equine Health Research Fund to conduct four studies that will ultimately improve the health and care of horses around the world.

“We’re very pleased with the quality and diversity of the research proposals that were submitted to the Fund this year. Our objectives are to select scientifically-sound studies that will have a significant, long-term impact on horse health care in Western Canada’s horse industry — and I believe these four projects have what it takes to meet and exceed those goals,” says Dr. Norman Rawlings, associate dean of research at WCVM.

The efficacy of commercial wound healing products, the role of genetics in neonatal sepsis, the potential for a combined hormone therapy to advance the breeding season and the use of georeferenced data to predict the risk of West Nile virus infection are topics for this year’s EHRF-sponsored projects.

While several longtime faculty members are involved in this year’s projects, one study’s prime investigator is a relative newcomer to the college. Dr. Katharina Lohmann, an associate professor in WCVM’s Large Animal Clinical Sciences department, is evaluating the role of genetic factors in inducing sepsis or systemic infection in very young foals. This is Lohmann’s second EHRF project since the specialist in veterinary internal medicine came to Saskatoon in 2004.

This year’s projects also involve three WCVM’s graduate students and will provide invaluable research experience for several undergraduate students this summer, adds Rawlings.
“The Fund has always strived to use its research projects as training ground for Western Canada’s next equine health specialists. This year is no exception: results from these studies will play an essential role in several students’ thesis projects for Master’s and PhD programs.”

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