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Internal Medicine

How well do you know your horse’s heart?

November 25th, 2021

This spring, Dr. Nicole van der Vossen gave a presentation on equine cardiology as part of the WCVM’s EquineED Talks — an online series of equine health sessions for horse owners organized by the regional veterinary college. Van der Vossen is a large animal internal medicine resident in the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) Department of Large Animal Clinical …

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hormone levels

Hormone baseline for horses in West

How do levels of insulin and other hormones in western Canadian horses compare to hormone levels measured in horses living in other parts of Canada and around the world? It’s a question that Dr. Julia Montgomery aims to answer through a collaborative study with Prairie Diagnostic Services (PDS), Saskatchewan’s provincial veterinary diagnostic laboratory. Once published, the study’s results will help …

March 21st, 2021 Full story »


What to do if you suspect colic

Most horse owners have their own personal stories to tell about colic — but chances are that everyone’s tales about the dreaded disease are different. Episodes of colic can range from a mild case of abdominal pain that resolves with pain medications to a life-threatening event that requires emergency surgical treatment. With such a variable condition, it can be difficult for …

December 12th, 2016 Full story »

Scratching the surface of equine skin diseases

If you have ever owned a horse with a skin disease, you know from experience that these conditions are frustrating to manage — diagnosing them can be difficult and their treatment is tedious. Worse yet, skin diseases can be painful for your horse if they cause irritation under tack or lameness. Dr. Michelle Husulak has seen her fair share of equine …

June 30th, 2015 Full story »

CPR and preparation can save foal’s life

Everyone hopes for happy, healthy foals, but what happens when things don’t go according to plan and you’re faced with a weak foal fighting for its life? “The important thing is to act right away,” says Dr. Carolina Palacios, a veterinary anesthesiologist at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s Veterinary Medical Centre. “If a foal is born and not breathing …

June 09th, 2014 Full story »

quarter horse barrels

Tying-up syndrome

Tying-up syndrome, or rhabdomyolysis, is a myopathy (disorder affecting the body’s muscle system) that causes muscle-cell destruction and decreases an affected horse’s performance. Common systems include painful muscle cramping and hardening as well as severe increases in muscle enzymes that can be detected through laboratory testing. Exertional rhabdoyolyses are disorders that typically occur in horses performing exercise beyond their conditioning …

February 28th, 2014 Full story »

What is shipping fever?

“Shipping fever” is a common name for pleuropneumonia, a serious infection involving the lungs and pleural cavity (the space between the lungs and the chest wall) that’s often caused by the stress of travel. When fluid is found only in the lungs, and not in the pleural cavity, it’s simply referred to as pneumonia. Symptoms of pleuropneumonia include a foul …

August 30th, 2013 Full story »

Jesse in the pasture, fal.

Can nanomedicine end endotoxemia?

A previous study conducted in the United States showed that eight out of 10 horses experience colic during their lifetime. Of those affected horses, 40 per cent of them die, likely as a result of endotoxemia – a complicating factor in many common equine diseases like colic and metritis (inflammation of the uterus). Endotoxemia in horses occurs when the circulating …

December 03rd, 2011 Full story »

Marquis Downs backstretch

EGUS prevalent in Saskatchewan racehorses

A study recently completed by WCVM researchers confirms that equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) is just as prevalent in Western Canada’s racehorse population as it is in other parts of the world. By conducting gastroscopic examinations on thoroughbred racing horses stabled at Saskatoon’s Marquis Downs, the research team determined that ulcers in the nonglandular portion of the stomach were present …

December 02nd, 2010 Full story »

Measuring stress: is it all about the hair?

The hair-raising atmosphere of a thoroughbred racing venue is thrilling for spectators and an accepted way of life for people whose livelihoods depend on the racing industry. But what about stress levels of the highly trained animals at the centre of this multi-million dollar industry? That’s a key concern for Dr. Fernando Marqués of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s …

December 02nd, 2010 Full story »