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Research funds fuel horse health

August 30th, 2023

The Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) has invested over $140,000 in support of equine health-related research and graduate students for 2023. About $60,500 of funding comes from the Townsend Equine Health Research Fund (TEHRF). While part of the money supports equine research, the remainder of the contribution supports tuition awards for five WCVM-based graduate students whose research focuses on …

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Bone formation scoring 2.0

Equine veterinarian Dr. Claire Card (DVM, PhD) at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) and members of her research team are re-evaluating a decades-old bone formation (ossification) scoring system used to assess newborn foals. The skeletal ossification index (SOI) is a four-point grading system that generations of veterinarians have used to assess bony development in newborn foals and to …

August 29th, 2023 Full story »

Equine abortions and Chlamydia: link?

When Dr. Madison Ricard (DVM) set out to see if the bacterium Chlamydia is potentially linked to equine abortions among western Canadian horses, the PhD student wasn’t expecting to find much evidence of chlamydial infection based on the lack of research in the area. Instead, the study’s findings came as a shock to Ricard and her colleagues: more than a …

July 13th, 2023 Full story »

illustration showing cow, woman, horse and herpesvirus

Exploring protein’s link to herpesviruses

Herpesviruses are nothing new, but what’s surprising are their sheer number: 130 species of herpesviruses infect and cause disease in a wide variety of species — including people. Scientists still have a lot to learn about herpesviruses and how they establish infection. Host cells naturally have antiviral defence strategies to prevent infection, and viruses must counteract these cellular defences in …

February 18th, 2023 Full story »

closeup of a student injecting a needle into horse's neck

Hormone baseline takes shape

As the percentage of older horses in Western Canada grows, so does the number of animals that are diagnosed with endocrine disorders such as pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) and equine metabolic syndrome (EMS). That’s why establishing a hormone baseline for diagnosing these diseases in western Canadian horses has become essential, says Dr. Julia Montgomery, an associate professor at the …

February 18th, 2023 Full story »

Three veterinarians hold a large cheque

Vet earns PhD degree and research prize

Through hard work and perseverance, equine surgical specialist Dr. Michelle Tucker has earned her PhD degree as well as a $10,000 prize for her research achievements at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM). Tucker is one of 17 WCVM-based graduate students who will receive their Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees at the University of Saskatchewan’s Fall Convocation on Nov. …

November 10th, 2022 Full story »


Fund directs dollars to projects, people

This year, the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s Townsend Equine Health Research Fund (TEHRF) has targeted just over $100,000 to support three new equine health research projects as well as graduate scholarships and an undergraduate summer research position at the veterinary college. Projects Three equine health research studies, which involve scientists at the WCVM and their collaborators, received a total …

October 08th, 2022 Full story »


Equine abortions: Chlamydia a culprit?

When veterinarian Dr. Madison Ricard came to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) for her anatomic pathology residency program in 2020, she had no idea that her research would potentially have an impact on the veterinary profession and the horse industry at large. Depending on what she and veterinary pathologist Dr. Bruce Wobeser — her graduate supervisor at the …

October 06th, 2022 Full story »

Dr. Suzanne Mund

Stem cells as wound healing tool?

A team of researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) has published the first equine study to demonstrate changes in wound healing following stem cell therapy. Their findings were recently published online in Cells, an international open access journal.  Team members include PhD student Dr. Suzanne Mund along with WCVM faculty members Drs. Daniel MacPhee, John Campbell, Ali …

March 06th, 2022 Full story »


Signal pursuit

Dr. Claire Card has spent much of her career helping mares get pregnant, but for some horses and their owners, it’s complicated. “A lot of horses that are very valuable in terms of their athletic ability or their traits … are not retired from that career until they’re well into their teenage years,” says Dr. Claire Card, an equine theriogenologist …

March 06th, 2022 Full story »