for equine research
autumn 2006
first veterinary dentistry
residency program
A “10-Goal” Day
A Saskatoon couple’s charitable foundation gives $1.07 million to
WCVM’s equine and companion animal health programs.
A Match Made for Equine Health
A new fund raising incentive could potentially earn $1 million
for equine health research at WCVM in the next five years.
Zoom in on the Equine Genome
High-density sequencing of the equine genome will have a positive
impact on WCVM-based research.
A Model Virus
PhD student Dr. Tasha Epp is designing a predictive model for West
Nile virus surveillance. Will it work?
Right on Track
How a horse-mad B.C. girl became a veterinarian to America’s
racing stars.
Mocha Brewing
The byproduct of a WCVM research study makes impressive tracks
in the sport of endurance racing.
EHRF Donor Roll
FRONT COVER: Saskatoon Polo Club’s Rob Townsend (in white) and Rosita, a 15year-old mare trained by Ricardo Garcia, beat Rod Jagger of Winnipeg’s Springfield
Polo Club to the ball during a polo match near Saskatoon on Aug. 27.
Horse Health Lines is produced by the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s Equine Health
Research Fund. Visit www.ehrf.usask.ca for more information. Please send comments to:
Dr. Hugh Townsend, Editor, Horse Health Lines
WCVM, University of Saskatchewan
52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4
Tel: 306-966-7453 • Fax: 306-966-7274
For article reprint information, please contact sm.ridley@sasktel.net.
The Western College of Veterinary Medicine has received approval
from the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) to offer Canada’s first
accredited residency program in veterinary dentistry.
WCVM is one of 10 sites accredited by AVDC, the certifying organization
for North American veterinary dentists. It’s also the first AVDC-accredited site
outside of the U.S.
WCVM plans to offer a three-year residency program in veterinary
dentistry that graduate students will complete along with a Master of
Veterinary Science (MVetSc) degree, says Dr. James Anthony, the boardcertified veterinary dentist who will implement the new residency program.
WCVM’s first dentistry resident could potentially start as early as July 2007.
Although all veterinarians are trained in basic veterinary dentistry
and dental techniques, this new initiative — like WCVM’s other residency
programs — will provide advanced, specialized training for graduate
students and prepare them for careers in academia, specialized practice or
The new program will have clinical, research and academic
components, plus rotations in radiology, surgery and anesthesiology. It will
also include activities that are “above and beyond” AVDC’s requirements,
explains Anthony, an associate professor at WCVM.
“Our residents will have more in-depth exposure to oral pathology and
histology. The diverse caseload at WCVM’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital will
also allow our residents to gain hands-on experience with various species:
dogs, cats and pocket pets as well as horses, domestic and specialized
livestock, exotic animals and wildlife.”
Achieving AVDC accreditation has been WCVM’s goal since Anthony
joined the College’s faculty on January 1, 2006. Anthony, the first veterinary
dentist to fill an academic position in Canada, is a 1983 WCVM graduate
with more than 20 years experience in operating general and referral
practices in Vancouver, B.C., and Los Angeles, Calif. Anthony has also taught
post-graduate courses and mentored several veterinarians in veterinary
Since his arrival at WCVM, Anthony has provided undergraduate
veterinary students with more advanced training in veterinary dentistry. He
has travelled to meet western Canadian veterinarians at their own clinics
and is developing a continuing education program for practitioners who
want to enhance their core veterinary dentistry skills.
The specialist is also developing referral and clinical services at
WCVM: “We’re receiving tremendous support from referring veterinarians,
and as a result, we’re getting a very diverse case load that has exceeded my
expectations,” says Anthony.
In the past eight months, he and his staff have conducted orthodontic
procedures, major facial reconstruction, jaw repairs, cancer therapy and
oral medicine procedures on a range of species including dogs, cats, rabbits,
guinea pigs, horses and wildlife. H
For more information about WCVM’s veterinary dentistry program,
please contact Dr. Anthony (306-966-8606; james.anthony@usask.ca).
ABOVE: Veterinary dentist Dr. James Anthony searches for a suspected
abscessed tooth in a horse’s mouth.
Although anthrax is a non-contagious disease, the bacterial spores can
“spread” to other areas through scavengers, migrating birds or flies. Excessive
moisture and flooding can also wash anthrax spores from one area to another.
To control the spread of bacterial spores, producers shouldn’t open
the carcasses of any animals suspected of dying from anthrax: a veterinary
practitioner should be called. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, all animals on
infected premises are placed under a 21-day quarantine, explains Stephens.
“Carcass disposal is extremely important, and it’s crucial that it’s done very
quickly by incineration or by deep burial.”
CFIA vaccinates all animals on quarantined farms and recommends
revaccination for at least three years on anthrax-positive premises, says
Stephens. Producers on neighbouring farms aren’t required to vaccinate their
animals, but during the 2006 outbreak, veterinarians advised producers to
vaccinate all herds within 10 kilometres of anthrax-positive premises.
More than 550,000 anthrax vaccine doses were distributed across the
Prairies this summer. The only anthrax vaccine that’s licensed in North
America is manufactured by the Colorado Serum Company (www.coloradoserum.com). The vaccine is available for cattle, horses, mules, sheep, goats
and pigs, while off-label use can be considered for bison and
farmed elk and deer.
The live culture anthrax spore vaccine, which was
introduced in the 1950s, is highly effective and considered to be
safe with minimal risk to animals and to humans.
However, the vaccine company and WCVM now advise
owners of miniature horses and young foals to use other
alternatives for preventing the disease. This warning comes
after at least nine miniature horses in the region died of an apparent
adverse reaction to the anthrax vaccine this summer. The deaths are under
investigation, but until more confirmed information is available, Clark says
it’s best to take preventive precautions (other than vaccination) with smaller
horses — a recommendation that’s now included in the vaccine’s packaged
“If you’re in a high risk area, it’s best to take the small horses — the
miniatures and young foals — off pasture and give them preserved feed and
hay. They should also have access to water from a water bowl, just to be on the
safe side,” explains Clark.
“What producers must keep in mind is that this particular vaccine has
saved countless lives over the past 50 years. It’s a tested product that’s well
documented to work in cattle, swine, sheep, goats and horses. Severe adverse
reactions to this vaccine are highly unusual.”
Antibiotics such as oxytetracycline or penicillin are effective in curing
anthrax if animals are treated early enough after exposure to the bacteria’s
spores. However, CFIA health officials only recommend the use of antibiotics
to treat anthrax in situations where there’s a very high level of environmental
contamination with anthrax spores (leading to high mortality rates) and when
animals can be removed from the place where the infection occurred.
If animals aren’t prevented from exposure after antibiotic treatment, they
can become re-infected at different stages:
• during the eight-day period following antibiotic administration and
before the vaccine can be given (animal health officials recommend an
antibiotic-free period of eight days prior to and after vaccination).
• during the two weeks following vaccination when the animals haven’t
built up sufficient immunity.
Once animals receive the anthrax vaccine, it takes from eight to 10 days
for them to build up enough immunity against the disease. H
For more information about anthrax, please visit the Farm Animal
Council of Saskatchewan’s web site (www.facs.sk.ca) or the Canadian Food
Inspection Agency (www.inspection.gc.ca).
Vaccination Key to
ANTHRAX Prevention
After this summer’s record outbreak of anthrax in Saskatchewan and
Manitoba, veterinarians recommend that livestock producers and horse owners
who live near affected areas should vaccinate their animals for at least the next
three years.
Anthrax is a reportable disease in Canada that’s caused by the bacteria
Bacillus anthracis whose spores can survive in soil for decades. Cattle, horses,
bison or deer can ingest anthrax when they graze in areas where flooding or
digging has brought the bacterial spores to the surface.
Once ingested, the spores germinate and grow in an animal’s intestinal
tract — releasing potent toxins that cause the animal to die if left untreated,
explains Dr. Chris Clark, assistant professor in the Western College of Veterinary
Medicine’s Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences.
Clinical signs of anthrax include bloody discharge from the animal’s
nose, mouth, anus or vagina, abdominal swelling and a carcass that
decomposes very quickly. The mortality rate in the early stages of an anthrax
outbreak is nearly 100 per cent.
“Anthrax is different from other reportable diseases: we consider it to be
an environmental disease since its spores are in the soil and they’re located
over a wide, geographic region,” explains Dr. Sandra Stephens, disease control
specialist with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). “It’s a disease that
isn’t going to go away.”
An unusually wet spring followed by nearly four weeks of hot weather
created ideal conditions for anthrax — especially in north-central and
northeastern Saskatchewan. By September 27, CFIA reported that 937 animals
had died — including five horses and one donkey — from anthrax on 174
positive premises in 51 rural municipalities throughout the two provinces.
In late August, CFIA also reported cases of anthrax on a bison farm near
Bonnyville, Alta.
This year’s number of deaths are more than 25 times greater than
statistics from 2005 when 10 horses and 26 cattle died during an anthrax
outbreak in Manitoba.
Western College of Vet e r i n a r y Me d i c i n e 3
A “10-Goal” Day
Borrowing a term from the sport
of polo, August 27 turned out to be a
veritable, 10-goal* day as polo teams from
Saskatoon and Winnipeg played a close
match under the blazing, late August sun on
the Saskatoon Polo Club’s field at Willow Ridge
But it wasn’t just the glistening made ponies,*
the cloudless sky, or the delicious aroma of barbecued burgers sizzling on a hot
grill that made it a perfect day.
What capped things off was when Heather Ryan and her husband, L. David
Dubé, stood up in front of their family, friends, teammates and guests to make
a special announcement. In less time than it takes to play a chukker,* the
Saskatoon couple made a $1.07-million gift through their charitable foundation
to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) equine and companion
animal programs.
At the donors’ request, WCVM will direct $750,000 of the $1.07-million
gift over the next five years to support major, collaborative research projects
that target critical issues in horse health. As well, the veterinary college’s Equine
Health Research Fund and Companion Animal Health Fund will receive $125,000
each to boost their annual research grant programs. The College will also allocate
$70,000 of the donation to establish two new scholarships for undergraduate
veterinary students who have demonstrated an interest in equine or companion
animal health care.
In addition, Ryan and Dubé have pledged to match any new money
contributed to the fund that they created for large-scale equine health research
projects at WCVM or any increased amounts in contributions to EHRF during
the next five years. The donors will annually contribute up to an additional
$100,000 in matching funds — an exciting challenge that provides WCVM with
the opportunity to potentially raise $1 million for its equine health research
programs by 2011.
Yes, it was the perfect end to a perfect day – and the beginning of a whole
new match for WCVM scientists in the field of equine health research.
1. L. David Dubé and Heather Ryan accept a limited edition print entitled “To
the Field” by Jan Walker-Roenisch from U of S President Peter MacKinnon and
WCVM Dean Dr. Charles Rhodes.
2. Heather Ryan and her 14-year-old mare, Coors Light, return to the field for the
next chukker.
3. Ricardo Garcia of the Saskatoon Polo Club (#3 white jersey) swings for the ball.
Garcia is aboard Aguila (Spanish for “eagle”), a nine-year-old Thoroughbred
4. L. David Dubé and Heather Ryan announce their $1.07-million gift to WCVM.
5. Dr. Baljit Singh of WCVM and his wife, Sarbjit Gill, take part in the traditional
practice of “divot stomping” when polo spectators are invited on the field to
replace torn up turf during the match’s half-time.
6. Robert and Peggy McKercher, who served as U of S chancellor from 1995 to 2001.
7. Players scramble during the “throw in” at the beginning of a chukker. From
left to right: Chandler Howe (#2 white jersey) on Martina, a 10-year-old mare;
Heather Ryan astride her six-year-old mare Estrella (Spanish for “star”);
Ricardo Garcia (#3 white jersey) on Aguila; and Rod Jagger (#1 yellow jersey)
on his polo mount.
8. From left to right: Jeff Page, Rod Jagger and John Hunsberger of the Springfield
Polo Club (missing from photo are teammates Bruce King and Raphael
Sylvester-Sotelo). Members of the Saskatoon Polo Club (in white jerseys):
Ricardo Garcia; Rob Townsend, Manuel Basaldua (umpire in striped jersey),
Heather Ryan (#4 jersey) and Vikram Misra (on ground). Missing from photo is
teammate Chandler Howe.
9. Bruce King (#2 yellow jersey) and Raphael Sylvester-Sotelo (#3 yellow
jersey) of the Springfield Polo Club race for the ball while Ricardo Garcia
(white jersey) sprints ahead on Lucero, a seven-year-old Thoroughbred mare.
10. A string of polo ponies, grooms and players stand silhouetted against a
cloudless sky.
11. Rosita, a Thoroughbred mare, relaxes in the morning sun before the polo
match begins.
12. A polo-playing star of the next generation has a cool drink during her pony
* 10-goal: Polo players are annually rated by their peers under a handicap system
with a scale of -2 to 10 goals. “Goal” doesn’t refer to the number of goals scored
by a player, but the player’s value to the team. Worldwide, there are only about a
dozen “10-goal” players who compete in the sport.
* Chukker: A polo match’s timed period that lasts seven and a half minutes.
A polo match is divided into six chukkers and lasts about 90 minutes (with
* Made pony: A well-trained and well-experienced polo pony.
“Where would we be without horses?”
When Heather Ryan and her husband, L. David Dubé,
established their own charitable foundation to support
organizations that reflect their interests and passions, it
was a natural step for them to include horses and companion
animals in their philanthropic plans. Ryan and Dubé own a
number of horses — including a string of polo ponies and
four registered Quarter horses. Small animals also factor
into their lives: they share their Saskatoon home with two
cats. Shortly before the couple announced their donation in
August, Ryan and Dubé talked about the reasons behind their
gift — and what they hope it will help the College and its
scientists achieve in the next few years.
Q. You’ve supported WCVM’s equine and companion animal health
research programs for several years. What compelled you to make this
larger, long-term commitment to the College?
Dubé: When we decided to put money aside for charity, we had many,
many conversations about the things that we really believe in and about what
makes a real difference. Obviously, horses and our companion animals are a
huge part of our lives and we wanted that to be reflected in our foundation’s
Ryan: We’ve had some great people take care of our animals at WCVM,
and supporting animal health research is one way that I think we can convince
these really talented people to stay here in Western Canada. Plus, animal
health research is an area where we don’t see a whole lot of people stepping up
to help. It’s an area where we think our support can make a real difference.
Dubé: I went to the University of Saskatchewan, and we would love to
see the U of S be a centre of excellence for equine research and health care in
North America But it’s only going to happen if people act — and we have the
opportunity to help realize that goal.
Q. How does this contribution to the College fit into your long-term
Ryan: We really want this donation “to light a fire” in other horse owners
and get them excited about supporting equine health research. Because where
would we be without horses?
Dubé: It’s part of a broader vision of where we want this to go. What we
want to do is to challenge every equine discipline to dedicate the proceeds of at
least one weekend in their competitive season to supporting equine research in
veterinary institutions across North America. Everyone talks about how horses
are 80 or 90 per cent of the equine discipline in which they’re involved — but
that value isn’t
reflected in the fund
raising for equine
health research.
These animals
make things
possible, and they
A Match Made for Equine Health
Here’s an exciting opportunity for you to double your
investment in horse health — and help the Western College
of Veterinary Medicine raise an additional $1 million for its
equine health research programs by 2011!
A few moments after unveiling their $1.07-million gift to the
Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), Heather Ryan and
L. David Dubé made another exciting announcement that surprised
everyone — including representatives from WCVM and the University of
To further their goal in attracting more support for horse health
care, the Saskatoon couple came up with a fund raising incentive that
could potentially raise an additional $1 million for the College’s equine
health research programs by 2011.
“So WCVM, the money is on the table. Now let’s see what you can
do,” said Dubé with a grin after explaining details of the match program
to guests.
Through the incentive, Dubé and Ryan will match any new
contributions to the $750,000 fund that they have established for major
equine health research projects at WCVM or any increased amounts
of contributions to the Equine Health Research Fund (EHRF). In total,
the donors will contribute as much as $500,000 in matching funds
over the next five years — making the equivalent of a $1.57-million
Visit www.ehrf.usask.ca to
super-size your gift!
commitment to
WCVM’s research
What Dubé
and Ryan hope is that their matching offer will encourage more horse
owners, horse sport groups, breed associations and equine businesses to
“double their money” and their support of vital equine health research
at WCVM.
Here’s how you, your club or your business can activate their fund
raising incentive:
• INVEST in major equine health research projects at WCVM: The
Heather Ryan and L. David Dubé Foundation will donate one dollar for
every dollar that supports their fund for large-scale horse health research
initiatives at WCVM.
• BECOME an EHRF donor: as a first-time contributor to the Equine
Health Research Fund, your gift will increase the Fund’s annual donations.
• BOOST your annual donation: The donors will match every dollar
that you give to the Equine Health Research Fund over and above the
amount of your usual contribution.
For more details about this unique fund raising incentive, visit
www.ehrf.usask.ca and learn how you can donate by mail, by phone or
online. If you have questions, please contact WCVM development officer
Joanne Wurmlinger (306-966-7450; joanne.wurmlinger@usask.ca).
bring a great deal of joy to our lives. In return, we need to take care of their
health and well being.
Ryan: We want to try and get members of the American Quarter Horse
Association and other breed associations to work together with people involved
in dressage, polo, reining, eventing — all the disciplines — then see what we
can do.
Q. Why do you think research is crucial to improving the
lives of horses and small animals?
Dubé: Whether it’s human or animal health, research
is about pushing the boundaries of our understanding. If
your knowledge is based on research — whether it’s on the
clinical side or strictly in research — something good will
always come out these efforts. Even if it’s to say, “Okay, now
we know that didn’t work. Let’s try something else.”
Ryan: We also got started supporting the Equine Health
Research Fund at WCVM, and we’ve witnessed what a positive
effect that research can have on horses’ bodies and their
welfare. For instance, we’ve watched initiatives like Dr.
(Ryan) Shoemaker’s idea of injecting ethanol to treat bone
spavin grow from a pilot project to the stage where they’re
developing clinical studies. How marvelous for the horses, for
the owners — for everybody!
Q. What interested you in supporting undergraduate
education at WCVM?
Ryan: During our research, we came across a number
of articles that talked about the lack of funding in animal
health research, and how important it is to encourage
undergraduate students to pursue careers in equine health
or companion animal health. I think both areas dovetail:
we need to support the interests of undergraduate veterinary
students if we want to see more specialists and researchers
involved in equine and companion animal health.
Q. What kinds of results do you expect to see in five
Dubé: Five years from now, we hope to see more
collaborative networks developing between equine-focused
research institutions. We would like to see WCVM use this
funding as a leveraging tool to attract financial support
from other equine organizations, research centres and
governments. We also hope to see the College develop broader,
multi-site projects that involve large numbers of horses.
Ryan: Through our support of the College’s two
research funds (CAHF and EHRF), we certainly hope to see
improvements in the care and welfare of animals — and that
the funding helps researchers find better ways of diagnosing
and treating horses and pets. In terms of the undergraduate
scholarships, we hope that they will encourage students to
become compassionate caregivers — to be veterinarians who
are real advocates for their patients.
Dubé: Of course, we also hope to motivate other people
to give what they can to equine and companion animal
health research. We’re going to work at encouraging all of the
different equine disciplines to continue this initiative. Because
we’re not done — we’re just firing the gun to start the race. H
Where will the
money go?
Based on the donors’ wishes, the Western College of
Veterinary Medicine will divide the $1.07-million gift
between the following areas:
• Support of major equine health
research projects: Over the next five years,
WCVM will direct $750,000 of the donation toward
large-scale research projects that are designed to make
significant and tangible progress in critical issues of
horse health. Once a new research grant application
process is developed, the veterinary college will
encourage collaborative research groups to apply for
the funding. WCVM-based scientists may collaborate
with other University of Saskatchewan researchers on
these projects, or they may forge new partnerships
with scientists based at national and international
veterinary research institutions.
• Support of the Equine Health
Research Fund: WCVM’s longtime horse
health fund will receive $125,000 to increase the
annual value of its highly effective research grant
program. This program supports the innovative
work of graduate students and faculty members
who have specialized interests in horse health.
• Support of the Companion Animal
Health Fund: WCVM will allocate $125,000
of the gift to increase the support of
its successful companion animal health
research grant program. The program
annually supports research studies of
scientific merit that target critical issues
in companion animal health. The funding
will support research teams consisting of
graduate students and faculty members
who specialize in companion animal
• Support of undergraduate
veterinary education: WCVM
will assign $70,000 of the gift
to establish two new full tuition
scholarships for undergraduate
veterinary students who have
demonstrated an interest in equine
and companion animal health. The
donors’ long-term goal is that these
scholarships will help to emphasize
the values of compassionate care
and patient advocacy in veterinary
Z oo m i n
on the equine genome
By Roberta Pattison
Exploring the genetic makeup of other species helps scientists to
explain many of the mysteries still surrounding human disease — but
those explorations also generate significant breakthroughs in animal health
research. So when the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
recently announced its plans to sequence and map the entire equine genome,
the news was welcomed by all scientists studying genetically-linked conditions
in horses — including researchers based at the Western College of Veterinary
Two of those scientists are Drs. Katharina Lohmann and Lynne
Sandmeyer whose Equine Health Research Fund-backed studies may greatly
benefit from NHGRI’s high density sequencing of the equine genome.
Lohmann, a specialist in veterinary internal medicine and an associate
professor in WCVM’s Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, is
investigating genetic risk factors for the development of endotoxemia (see
Horse Health Lines, Summer 2006). Although the first part of Lohmann’s
study is too far advanced to benefit from the genome sequencing project, her
current research into genetic factors contributing to the development of sepsis
in foals is just getting underway.
The study involves looking for minute gene sequence variations called
single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs in septic and non-septic foals.
Lohmann and her collaborator, Dr. Michelle Barton of the University of
Georgia, plan to collect DNA samples from next spring’s foal crop for this study.
“You might say I am working at the opposite end of the scale to the genome
project,” explains Lohmann. “I start with an interesting gene and work
Lohmann believes that with the genome map in place, she and her
research team will likely be able to save time and money: “The important
thing about the sequencing, which will include identifying SNPs, is that there
will be more information available. That has been a significant restriction
up until now. There’s already an SNP database for other species, and it will be
great to have access to an equine one. For now, my work still includes the first
step of finding the SNPs in the first place.”
H o r s e H e a l t h L i n e s • A u t u m n 2006
Sandmeyer is a veterinary ophthalmologist who is studying
congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB) in Appaloosa horses. As her
groundbreaking project has helped to confirm, the condition has an hereditary
basis. Although Sandmeyer is concentrating on the ophthalmologic aspects of
the disease versus its genetic origin, she appreciates that the sequencing of the
equine genome will almost certainly have an impact on her work — and the
ultimate goal of developing gene therapy for CSNB.
“A lot of work has already been done locating the Lp (leopard complex)
gene which is responsible for the Appaloosa pattern and believed to be linked
with CSNB. The genome study is important because it will provide a ‘normal’
gene for comparison,” explains Sandmeyer.
Sandmeyer’s CSNB study is part of the Appaloosa Project — a North
American research initiative that’s designed to investigate the nature
of Appaloosa genetics. Sheila Archer, the phenotype researcher and coordinator of the Appaloosa Project, agrees that the sequencing of the horse
will significantly increase the speed in which researchers can isolate the Lp
“Up to this point, we have had no example of ‘normal’ for the candidate
genes we selected as possibly being the loci (the locality or place) at which
the Lp mutation exists. Having the sequence for these genes of interest means
we will have a reference to which we can compare. Looking for a mutation is
much easier when you know what ‘wrong’ looks like, because you can then
line it up beside what’s ‘right.’”
NHGRI plans to complete its sequencing of the equine genome by
this fall. Pulling together the millions of pieces and organizing them into a
readable map will take considerably longer, but researchers will soon have an
amazing wealth of new genetic information at their fingertips.
It’s not the answer to everything, but it provides us with an important
new resource. It’s also great that the horse has been chosen because horses are
so often ignored when it comes to this kind of research,” says Lohmann. “This
will certainly make a difference to our work from now on.” H
WCVM’s Road to Expansion
WCVM is expanding and renovating its facilities at
a cost of $57 million — and more than $10 million
of this extensive project will have a direct impact
on horse health care, equine veterinary training and
equine research. Please help the future of horse health
care by contributing to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital
Expansion campaign. For more information, contact Joanne
Wurmlinger, WCVM’s development officer (306-966-7450;
joanne.wurmlinger@usask.ca) or fill out the enclosed VTH
Expansion campaign tear out card.
Rain, tradespeople shortages and increased costs for materials have
caused a few unexpected curves in the College’s road to expansion — but the
construction scenes above clearly show the transformation of WCVM.
Upcoming renovations to the College’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital
include two new equine surgical suites, a renovated equine ward with
improved biosecurity, an expanded stocks area for equine patients and new
isolation units for infectious disease cases. WCVM will
also expand its medical imaging capabilities by adding
nuclear scintigraphy — one of the most useful tools for
diagnosing difficult equine lameness cases.
ROW 1 (left): An architect’s rendering of the Veterinary Teaching
Hospital. Centre and right: Southeast and northeast views of the hospital’s twostorey addition. Crews have completed the addition’s structural package and
construction is more than 60 per cent complete.
ROW 2 (left): An architect’s rendering of the College’s new research
wing on its south side. Centre and right: Southeast and northeast views of the
research wing. Construction is over the 60 per cent mark with the structural
package completed. Occupancy is slated for early 2007.
ROW 3 (left): Southeast view of the excavated site for the College’s
expanded diagnostic pathology facilities. Centre: A larger and safer equine
stocks area in the teaching hospital. Right: WCVM’s new food animal teaching
facility has been in use since the spring of 2006.
Western College of Vet e r i n a r y Me d i c i n e 9
A Model Virus
What do NASA-operated satellites that are travelling
thousands of miles away in space have to do with predicting
the risk of West Nile virus infection for horses and humans in
Saskatchewan? For a group of veterinary epidemiologists, the
connection is much closer than you think.
When West Nile virus first made its way to Saskatchewan during the summer
of 2003, public health officials responded with large-scale surveillance programs of
mosquito, bird, horse and human populations, and a public information campaign that
blanketed the province.
It was a different story during the summer of 2006 when Saskatchewan’s public
health team conducted limited monitoring of mosquito traps and minimal testing of
dead birds. As for horses, the only formal statistics came from provincial laboratories
that reported positive cases of WNV infection to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Three years after its arrival, the mosquito-borne virus has become an accepted
hazard of living on the Canadian Prairies. In response, western provinces like
Saskatchewan have scaled down surveillance programs in response to the decreased
risk. “The amount of time, energy and money that’s been spent on WNV surveillance
in the past three years just couldn’t be kept up,” acknowledges Dr. Tasha Epp, a PhD
student in large animal epidemiology at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine
“It’s a normal reaction to these emerging diseases. Everyone is involved in that
first big reaction, then things become more complacent as you go on. The same
pattern happened after there were outbreaks of western equine encephalitis on the
Prairies in the 1960s. But the less you hear of cases in your area, the less push there
is to vaccinate.”
A satellite image of Saskatchewan, taken during the summer of 2006.
Out-of-this-world predicting
Still, Epp says there’s a need for some level of WNV surveillance to give people
fair warning as well as an understanding of the risk of infection in their regions.
These programs become especially important in years when weather conditions
are ideal for the growth of the Culex family of mosquitoes — the virus’ prime
In February 2005, one cost-effective option presented itself to Epp while
she was listening to a guest lecturer at WCVM. Professor Sarah Randolph of the
University of Oxford’s Department of Zoology has used geographic information
systems (GIS) and satellite imagery to create predictive risk maps for malaria
and other mosquito- or tick-borne diseases in Africa.
Epp was immediately intrigued: “Her talk on using georeferenced data
definitely interested me because I could see that the information we had
already collected about West Nile virus — another mosquito-borne virus
— was exactly what we needed to make a predictive model in Saskatchewan,”
explains Epp.
During the summer and fall of 2003, Epp was part of a research team
that conducted a large field study to monitor the prevalence of WNV infection
and disease in Saskatchewan horses. The scientists had referenced all of the
study’s information — including data about climate, environment and the
Culex tarsalis mosquito species — to geographic regions in the province.
Now, all of the 2003 study’s information is the basis for a predictive
map of West Nile virus in Saskatchewan that’s being developed by Epp,
Drs. Cheryl Waldner and Hugh Townsend of WCVM, and Dr. Olaf Berke of
the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College. By combining the
you were in a high risk area during the previous year, chances are that you will
be in another high risk area for the following year,” points out Epp.
She adds that based on the results of a previous WCVM study, scientists
found that confirmed human and equine cases of WNV infection were closely
matched in terms of location. That means high risk areas for horses are
usually high risk areas for humans, so horses can be used as a surrogate for
humans — or vice versa.
existing data with weekly climate and environmental information that was
collected by instruments aboard NASA-operated satellites in 2003, the research
team hopes to increase the precision of its predictive model.
“West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease so we know it’s highly
influenced by climate, vegetation and other environmental variables. These
are all variables that we can learn more about from multiple sources — but
one of the best sources is satellite imagery because it can show us specific map
changes on a continuous basis, and it can give us a complete picture of the
climate in every area of the province,” explains Epp.
“Hopefully, we can use this technology to predict where the highest
amount of risk is based on those environmental variables.”
Targeting high risk areas
Once the research team has created a predictive model based on the
2003 data, the scientists will “plug in” climate, environment, mosquito and
other WNV-related statistics from the 2005 season to test the model’s value in
predicting what geographic areas across Saskatchewan have the highest risk
for the virus.
If the model accurately predicts the outcome in 2005, then researchers
will be eager to use the low-cost model for subsequent years. Eventually, Epp
says it could allow researchers to set low, medium and high risk ratings for
specific rural municipalities or for larger regions in the province.
“Ideally, we hope to use weekly and monthly data from the first half of
the season — say, until the end of July — to determine what will happen in
the rest of the year. That would give Saskatchewan Health and other public
health officials enough time to target specific areas and to operate mosquito
prevention and public awareness programs where the predictive map shows a
high risk,” explains Epp.
Will the predictive model also help to give veterinarians and owners
an early warning about vaccinating for the virus? Certain patterns may
not be apparent early enough in the season to make any vaccination
recommendations in the first year of relying on the predictive model. “But if
Modelling for other regions, diseases
Although this predictive model will be specific to Saskatchewan, Epp says
it could be easily adapted to work for other provinces or regions of Western
Canada where climate, environment and mosquito cycles are similar. The
model can also be used to predict the impact of other vector-borne diseases that
affect a whole range of species: horses and other livestock, pets, wildlife and
“As long as you know the vector’s biology, that would tell you what
environmental variable you should focus in on when you’re collecting data,”
explains Epp. “For example, we know mosquitoes are adapted to certain
temperatures: once you have a frost, mosquitoes are gone. So if we had a
disease whose prime vector is a tick, then we would need to determine what
environmental variables are important to them. That kind of information will
help you fine tune your predictive model.”
For Epp, developing this predictive model has brought her WNV-related
research full circle, and it’s a fitting conclusion to nearly five years of intensive,
epidemiological work that will come to a close in December 2006 when the
graduate student plans to defend her PhD thesis. The timing was also ideal
since WCVM, Saskatchewan Health and other public health partners had such
comprehensive data about the virus’ spread in Saskatchewan during the 2003
season — information that hopefully amplifies the model’s predictive value.
As the province reduces its WNV surveillance programs, access to such a
complete set of data may never happen again. As well, the lack of surveillance
information in future seasons and the influence of any mosquito control
or public information programs will make it more difficult to evaluate the
accuracy of a predictive model.
“With so many variables that could change, it’s hard to say if the
predictive model will be a continuously useful tool from one year to the next,”
points out Epp. “But if it’s not effective in one particular year, it could also give
us some insight into what’s changing — and that kind of information could
be important as well.” H
What is MODIS?
Researchers involved in developing a predictive model of West Nile
virus are relying on environment and climate data that was collected by
the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS for short.
MODIS is a key instrument aboard the Terra and Aqua — two satellites
operated by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration).
According to NASA’s web site for MODIS, Terra’s orbit around the earth
is timed so that it passes from north to south across the equator in
the morning, while Aqua passes south to north over the equator in the
As a result, MODIS views the entire earth’s surface every one to two
days and acquires data in 36 spectral bands or groups of wavelengths.
Based on this highly accurate and detailed satellite imagery, researchers
can gain a better understanding of global dynamics and processes
occurring on land, in oceans and in the lower atmosphere.
For more information, visit http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/
Anderson was soon on her way to South
Hamilton, Mass., where she became an associate
in Simensen’s large and very busy equine practice.
Most of the clinic’s patients were racehorses
from the local track — Suffolk Downs — and
Anderson soon discovered that her WCVM training
had prepared her well.
“I can’t say enough about the high level
of education and the tremendous amount of
practical experience I received at WCVM,” she
says. “We worked on all sorts of horses, hundreds
of them, and we did everything. It was absolutely
invaluable. I’ve discovered down here that
students from other veterinary colleges often don’t
get to do that sort of hands-on work while they’re
in school, so I feel very fortunate.”
Anderson’s steep
learning curve continued
in Massachusetts. “At a less
than top level track like
Suffolk Downs, you treat
lots of lame horses. The
trainers are good horsemen
who work hard to keep
their animals sound and
running, and you learn a
lot. Again, I was getting loads of hands-on, practical experience.”
When Suffolk Downs temporarily closed in 1990, Anderson moved on. In
1993, she opened her clinic at Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md., where
she now works closely with high-profile trainers like Michael Matz and others.
Fair Hill is home to 500 racehorses — flat runners and steeplechasers — and
Barbaro is only one among the facility’s many stars.
A typical day for Anderson begins at 5:30 a.m. She attends the Fair Hill
horses in the morning and does farm calls in the afternoon — often doing
veterinary checks on yearlings headed for the big racehorse sales at Keeneland
and Saratoga. She enjoys this part of her work very much — especially when
some of these youngsters return to Fair Hill to go into training as promising
Anderson sees her most prominent patient, Barbaro, almost every day.
The New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania — where Barbaro
has been a patient since his catastrophic breakdown during the Preakness
Stakes on May 20 — is only a half-hour’s drive away from Fair Hill.
“He’s out walking. The next big challenge will come when the cast comes
off the broken leg and gets replaced by bandages and splints. Barbaro has a
great attitude and a wonderful appetite. He can’t work, so people are his targets
now,” says Anderson. “The accident was tragic, but it did show the world the
compassionate hearts of people in the racing industry.”
What advice does Anderson give to WCVM students who are thinking
of going into equine practice? “The opportunities are unlimited. Find out
what you want to do by trying it all: general, surgical, reproduction work.
Get a feel for the hours and the pay. And don’t be afraid to approach people
— that’s how I got my start. Networking and interacting are very important.
WCVM may seem a bit isolated, but that doesn’t matter much these days
because of the Internet. Be prepared to work very hard, but you’ll find the
results are worth it.” H
WCVM graduate’s career is
right on track
Dr. Kathy Anderson always knew she would
spend her life working with horses — she just
wasn’t sure at first what sort of work that might
turn out to be. By the time she focused on
veterinary medicine and became a mature student
at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) in 1982, she already
had a wealth of experience behind her as a rider, three-day event competitor,
instructor and barn manager.
Those experiences began more than 40 years ago in Anderson’s
hometown of Merritt, B.C. Although she lived right in the middle of cowboy
country, Anderson grew up riding English because her mother happened to buy
her an English saddle for $5 in a Vancouver pawn shop.
One of Anderson’s long-time friends is Nick Holmes-Smith, a well-known
Canadian event rider and national team member. Through her friendship
with Smith, Anderson attended the 1978 and 1982 FEI (Fédération Equestre
Internationale) World Championships in eventing as a groom for the
Canadian team. She met Dr. Martin Simensen, veterinarian for the U.S. team,
at the 1982 competition in Luhmühlen, Germany — and that proved to be a
fateful encounter.
“Dr. Simensen gave me encouragement and advice, and he urged me to
keep in touch,” says Anderson. “So when I graduated from WCVM in 1986, I
called him and he offered me a job.”
How does a horse-mad girl from the B.C. interior
end up as the veterinarian attending Barbaro
— the three-year-old winner of the 132nd Kentucky
Derby and the racehorse whose breakdown during
the Preakness Stakes on May 20 made headlines
around the world this spring? For this hard working
and dedicated graduate of the Western College of
Veterinary Medicine, the journey was neither as
long nor as improbable as you might think.
H o r s e H e a l t h L i n e s • A u t u m n 2006
ABOVE: Trainer Michael Matz and Dr. Kathy Anderson stand beside Barbaro the day
before his breakdown at the Preakness Stakes on May 20.
was eating,” remembers Dowling. “I thought, ‘Hmm, eats under stress. Good
endurance prospect.’”
Started under saddle at the age of three, Mocha started to compete as
a four-year-old in 25-mile endurance rides under the guidance of a various
WCVM student-riders.
“New veterinary students arrive every year and many of them are talented
riders from all disciplines who have to leave their horses behind while they’re
at school,” explains Dowling, who regularly pairs up students with her young
horses. “Mocha’s riders included Dr. Crystal Madrigga of Williams Lake, B.C.,
Dr. Meredith Dunki of Calgary, Alta., and Dr. Sam Crosdale of Sherwood Park,
Alta. They all helped to train her and competed with her in the early years.
They’re also among her biggest fans.”
Dowling eventually took over Mocha’s reins as the little horse’s skill in
the sport became noticeable. “Mocha is small, plain, tough, bossy and mean
as a snake,” sums up her owner with unabashed admiration. “She looks after
herself, and this is the attitude you want in an endurance horse. It could have
been bad if she had ended up in the wrong hands, but she has channelled her
energy into competition. On a ride, she’s easy to place — front or back, with
other horses or alone — and she has never been tired. I’m still learning what
she can do.”
Mocha was seven when she completed her first 100-mile
endurance race. On June 11, the nine-year-old horse and Dowling
finished eighth out of a field of 40 entrants in the Fort Howes
CEI*** 100-mile endurance race, held in the Custer National
Forest near Ashland, Mont. The annual international competition is
sanctioned by Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI).*
Mocha and Dowling’s excellent time in the Fort Howes ride
earned them a “Certificate of Capability” which qualifies the pair
for CEI**** international team events like the World and North American
Championships during the next two years (Dowling and Mocha rode for
Canada as individual competitors in the Fort Howes ride).
“That was our goal — to get our Certificate of Capability — but the
eighth-place finish was nice considering how tough the competition was and
that Mocha wasn’t fully fit,” says Dowling, who was particularly pleased with
her horse’s excellent condition at the end of the ride. “At the final metabolic
check two hours after the finish, she dragged me through the check and
knocked the veterinarian off his feet.”
Dowling hopes to compete with Mocha in next year’s North American
Championship that will be held in Montana on September 29, 2007. But the
pair’s ultimate goal is a few years (and quite a few miles) down the road. If all
goes well, Dowling hopes to compete with her little horse at the 2010 FEI World
Equestrian Games in Lexington, Ky. By that time, Mocha will be 13 years old
— the prime age for a 100-mile endurance horse.
Mocha’s story is not over yet. We’ll keep you posted. H
Mocha Brewing
By Roberta Pattison
Equine Health Research Fund-supported studies at the Western College
of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) have made many significant contributions to
the cause of improving horse health around the world. But in 1997, a welcome
— if unintended — byproduct of a research study was born in the form of a
feisty bay filly that was eventually christened ZF Mocha.
Mocha’s parents — a Standardbred mare named Java and an Arabian
colt — took part in a wound healing study that was conducted at WCVM
by PhD student Dr Christine Theoret and her supervisor, surgical specialist
Dr. Spencer Barber.
Horses used in the College’s equine health research studies come from
various sources, and at the end of each project, researchers go to considerable
effort to find good homes for these horses. Mocha’s sire and dam were a good
example of this practice: once the study was completed, Dr. Don Smythe of
Kipling, Sask., then a WCVM student, bought the pair.
Both horses eventually found their way to the Delisle-area acreage
of another student, Dr. Lorrie Fraser (now of Wetaskawin, Alta.), where the
unlikely match between the mare and young stallion occurred.
Dr. Trisha Dowling, a professor of clinical pharmacology in WCVM’s
Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, is also an endurance riding
competitor. Always on the lookout for a good endurance prospect, Dowling
initially went out to Fraser’s acreage to take a look at Mocha’s sire (who had
been gelded) for her husband, Brian Zwaan.
The correctly-built, young gelding was too small for the six-feettall Zwaan. But a year later, Dowling remembered the horse’s excellent
conformation when she heard that he had produced a filly out of the
Standardbred mare. In March 1998, Dowling returned to Fraser’s acreage with
some birthday money in her pocket — intent on seeing the young filly.
“She was a late yearling — small, hairy and a little thin — but there
was definitely something about her. Lorri and I made the deal, we loaded
her in the trailer, and when I stopped on the way home to check on her, she
* CEI*** is a designation given to all endurance rides of 120 kilometres or
more in one day or 80 or more over two days or more. CEI**** represents
senior championships of a minimum of 160 km in one day, junior
championships of 120 km in one day, World Cup finals and finals of series
or major rides approved by the FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale)
endurance committee.
Roberta Pattison is a freelance writer who is a regular contributor to
the national publication, Dogs in Canada. Recently retired from grain
farming, she still lives on her farm near Delisle, Sask.
Western College of Vet e r i n a r y Me d i c i n e 1 3
Western College of Vet e r i n a r y Me d i c i n e 1 3
Equine Health Research Fund Contributors
As the Equine Health Research Fund’s 29th year draws to a close, we want
to thank the many horse owners, organizations and businesses that continue to
support the Fund.
Western Canada is a big place, and we don’t often get the chance to meet
the people who faithfully send in their cheques and cards to the Western College
of Veterinary Medicine. But even though so many miles are between us, we feel a
sense of kinship with all of our contributors.
We may not know each other, but we all support similar goals: more horse
health research, more equine specialists, and ultimately, better health care for our
This has been a banner year for horse health. The breakdown and ongoing
recovery of Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro has evolved from a racing tragedy
into a shining example of how decades of research have resulted in new tools and
techniques that equine specialists can use to save horses’ lives. In addition, future
research efforts in horse health will only benefit from the National Human Genome
Research Institute’s recent decision to escalate its work in sequencing the equine
Closer to home, Heather Ryan and L. David Dubé have provided WCVM and its
researchers with a chance to make real headway in tackling critical health issues
that affect horses around the world.
What’s even better is that the Saskatoon couple is encouraging all of us to be
part of the solution. For every “new” dollar brought in through increased annual
EHRF donations or through support of major equine health research projects,
Heather and David will match it to a maximum of $100,000 per year for the next
five years.
In the same spirit, we encourage veterinarians, horse owners and friends
to take part in EHRF’s new memorial donation program. Since its introduction in
January 2006, 10 veterinary practices across Western Canada have sent in their
completed donation forms (available online at www.ehrf.usask.ca) and several
donors have made contributions in memory of horses and people. So far, the
program has raised nearly $2,000 for EHRF — a promising beginning to a program
that helps to honour the outstanding horses and people in our lives.
For more information about these new fund raising initiatives or to learn
more about the Fund’s research and educational activities, make sure to visit our
new and improved web site at www.ehrf.usask.ca. Visit often for the latest
updates — and make sure to add us to your list of favourite bookmarks!
Dr. Andrew (Andy) Allen
Outgoing chair, EHRF management commitee
The following list includes the
names of all of the Equine Health
Research Fund’s contributors from
September 1, 2005, to August 31,
2006. The EHRF contributor list is
published annually in the autumn
issue of Horse Health Lines.
$25,000 +
Heather Ryan and L. David Dubé Foundation Inc., Saskatoon, SK.
$10,000 - $24,999
Horse Racing Alberta, Edmonton, AB • North American Equine
Ranching Information Council, Inc.. (NAERIC), Louisville,
Kentucky, U.S. • Ryan, Heather and Dubé, L. David, Saskatoon,
SK • Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority, Regina, SK •
Western Canadian Association of Equine Practitioners, Saskatoon,
$1,000 - $9,999
Bar None Ranches Ltd., DeWinton, AB • British Columbia
Veterinary Medical Association, North Vancouver, BC • Horse
Industry Association of Alberta, Airdrie, AB • Roper, Gordon F.,
Calgary, AB.
A Year in Review
$500 - $999
Allen, Carmen M., Saskatoon, SK • Dowling, Patricia M., Saskatoon,
SK • Moore & Co. Veterinary Services Ltd., Balzac, AB • More,
Melville E., Virden, MB • Peters, Robert G., Calgary, AB • Riddell,
Betty C. (in memory of Murray Riddell), Saskatoon, SK •
Saskatchewan Horse Federation Inc., Regina, SK • Saskatchewan
Pleasure Driving Association, Saskatoon, SK • Southern O.C., C.M.,
A.O.E., Margaret E., Calgary, AB • Trout, Joan, Langley, BC • Wales,
Alex R., Winfield, BC • Wonko, Neil A., Saskatoon, SK.
$100 - $499
B • Bailey, Mamie E., Prince Albert, SK • Boghean, Ronald,
Calgary, AB • Boulware, Mary C., Calgary, AB • Brodsky, Shirley L.,
Saskatoon, SK • Burns, Beverley A., Edmonton, AB • C • Campbell,
Kathleen, Calgary, AB • Centre Animal Hospital, Cold Lake, AB
• Colchester and District Agricultural Society, Sherwood Park,
AB • Corbett Q.C., William T., Calgary, AB • Crush, Kenneth A.,
Langham, SK • D • Dowler, Leslie, Edmonton, AB • Dykes, Mary
E., Saskatoon, SK • Ellis, Betty, Cayley, AB • F • Fitzharris, Janice
F., Saskatoon, SK • Foxleigh Riding Club, Regina, SK • Frank’s
Saddlery & Supply Ltd., Lloydminster, SK • G • Gordon Bryan
Stables, Calgary, AB • Gregory, Marilyn, Langley, BC • H • Hiebert,
Darlene, Dawson Creek, BC • J • Jones, Douglas D., Lucky Lake, SK
• Jones, Gail D., Calgary, AB • K • Kanevsky, Jeanne, Courtenay,
BC • Killeen, James R., Sherwood Park, AB • L • Laing, Robert
J., Leader, SK • M • Manitoba Welsh Pony Association, Kenton,
MB • Martin, Peter K., Edmonton, AB • Matheson, Genevieve,
Langley, BC • McCargar, Murray C., Calgary, AB • McKague, Ross A.,
Brandon, MB • Misra, Vikram, Saskatoon, SK • N • Newbert, Judy,
Crossfield, AB • O • Okotoks Animal Clinic Ltd., Okotoks, AB • P
• Palouse Holdings Ltd., Calgary, AB • Paton & Martin Veterinary
Services Ltd., Aldergrove, BC • Paton, David J., Delta, BC • Perron,
Michael S., Surrey, BC • R • Regina District Dressage Association
Inc., Regina, SK • Runge, Wendy, Calgary, AB • S • Silver Spurs
Riding Club, Errington, BC • Smith, Mae, Regina, SK • Souris Valley
Trekkers, Estevan, SK • T • Taylor, Nancey, Swift Current, SK •
Townsend, Robert D., Victoria, BC • Trail Riding Alberta Conference,
Milk River, AB • Trevor, Les, Red Deer, AB • Twidale, John D., Surrey,
BC • U • Ulmer, Karen C., North Battleford, SK • W • Wild Rose
Arabian Horse Association, Stony Plain, AB • Z • Zurawski, Cheryl
D., Regina, SK.
The Equine Health Research Fund’s statement of revenue, expenditures and
fund balances for the year ended December 31, 2005
$27,687.25 Horsemen’s Association
15,520.00 Racing Commissions
30,300.00 NAERIC
11,700.00 Miscellaneous
$85,207.25 $95,336.67
Fellowship program
70,650.47 50,605.79
93,350.00 85,586.00
Recovery from previous grants
0.00 (7,884.01)
Summer student
8,702.29 7,700.00
Fund raising
13,948.57 12,646.75
Horse Health Lines
30,665.75 25,834.99
Administration - Advisory Board
3,944.32 2,860.14
$221,261.40 $177,349.66
Excess (deficiency) of revenue over expenses (136,054.15) (82,012.99)
Transfer from restricted funds
134,596.14 74,669.69
Fund balance, beginning of year
1,458.01 8,801.31
Fund balance, end of year
Investment income
$162,504.99 $144,549.14
Transfer to unrestricted fund
Fund balance, beginning of year
1,716,814.78 1,646,935.33
Fund balance, end of year
B • Baber, Dorothy L., Balcarres, SK • Benjamin, Linda F., D’Arcy Station, SK
• BMO Fountain of Hope, Toronto, ON • Burlingame, Donna M., Saskatoon,
SK • C • Cadman, Dorothy M., Airdrie, AB • Carter, Marcia, Kenton, MB
• Chappell, Susan C., Saskatoon, SK • Charlton, Kieth W., Bowden, AB
• Coates, Susan, Beiseker, AB • Collins, Karen Y., Rosetown, SK • Cook,
Bernice, Bowsman, MB • D • Dobson, Mary Y., Kenosee Lake, SK • E •
Edworthy, Jason, Calgary, AB • Elaschuk, Norman A., Turin, AB • Erickson,
Gwen, Clavet, SK • F • Fujitsu Consulting (Canada) Inc., Montreal, QC • H
• Hanbury, Michelle, Delta, BC • Hazelton, Janene, Burns Lake, BC • Heckel,
Holger, Irricana, AB • I • Isman, Valerie, Gladstone, MB • J • JustAnother
$1,744,723.63 $1,716,814.78
Farm, Kathyrn, AB • K • Kirby, Dorothy, Nanaimo, BC • L • LaPlante, J.L.,
Calgary, AB • Lloydminster Animal Hospital, Lloydminster, AB • Logan Lake
Ranch & Country Club, Logan Lake, BC • Lower Island Equestrian Club,
Victoria, BC • M • McClellan, Audrey, Victoria, BC • Metzger-Savoie, Pamela,
Calgary, AB • N • Nelson & District Riding Club, Nelson, BC • Niebergall,
Jack, Saskatoon, SK • Nordstrom, Glenn A., Viking, AB • P • Palese, Kathleen
M., Calgary, AB • Pawliw, Marj, Saskatoon, SK • Q • Quesnel & District
Riding Club, Quesnel, BC • Quinn, Ruth, Banff, AB • R • Robinson, Brian,
Lloydminster, AB • S • Schneidmiller, Helen, Calgary, AB • Selinger, Josef,
Calgary, AB • Shoemaker, Ryan W., Saskatoon, SK • Silver Spurs 4-H Club,
Prince Albert, SK • Stair, Edward D, Cochrane, AB • W • Walker, Diane R.,
Okotoks, AB • Wallace, Betty M., Dauphin, MB • Walton, Neale E., Sherwood
Park, AB • WCVM Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Saskatoon, SK • Wile, Mona
L., Calgary, AB • Z • Zeilner, Catherine, Furdale, SK.
Western College of Vet e r i n a r y Me d i c i n e 1 5
E q u i n e H ealth
R e s e a r c h Fund
Bringing Better Health to Your Horses
NEW EHRF CHAIR: Dr. David Wilson is the new chair
of the Equine Health Research Fund’s management
committee. Wilson, a 1980 WCVM graduate,, is a
large animal surgical specialist and head of the
Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences.
Since joining WCVM’s faculty in 1999, Wilson
has led or supervised a number of EHRF-backed
studies that have enhanced specific areas of equine
surgery including investigations into the most
effective treatments for crooked-legged foals and
the use of intra-articular injections of ethyl alcohol
to promote arthrodesis in the hock joints of horses
suffering from bone spavin.
Wilson replaces Dr. Andy Allen, a professor in
WCVM’s Department of Veterinary Pathology and
a long-time member of the Fund’s management
team. During his two-and-a-half-year tenure, Allen
expanded the Fund’s profile throughout Western
Canada and worked hard to communicate directly
with veterinarians, horse owners and veterinary
The former EHRF Research Fellow (198991) also played a key role in co-ordinating and
establishing the Fund’s new equine memorial
program that was introduced in January 2006.
Another of Allen’s major initiatives was a complete
update of the Fund’s original terms of reference.
Allen will begin an academic leave on January 1,
2007, and will spend six months working alongside
veterinary pathologists at the University of Kentucky
in Lexington, Ky.
WCVM RESEARCH IN PRINT: Several articles
outlining WCVM-based equine health research have
been recently published in peer-reviewed, scientific
journals. For more information, please cite the
following references:
• Carmalt JL, Gordon JR, Allen AL. June 2006.
“Temporomandibular joint cytokine profiles in
the horse.” Journal of Veterinary Dentistry.
• Osborne C. June 2006. “Sebaceous adenitis
in a seven-year-old Arabian gelding.” Canadian
Veterinary Journal. 47(6):583-6.
• Shoemaker RW, Allen AL, Richardson CE,
Wilson DG. May 2006. “Use of intra-articular
administration of ethyl alcohol for arthrodesis
of the tarsometatarsal joint in healthy horses.”
American Journal of Veterinary Research.
• Raz T, Corrigan R, Loomis PR, Card C. Aug.
2006. “Effects of equine arteritis virus: positive
semen on mare fertility.” Animal Reproduction
Science. 94:112-114.
Raz T, Gray A, Hunter B, Card C. Aug. 2006.
“Effect of equine follicle stimulating hormone
(eFSH) on pregnancy rate and embryo development
in mares.” Animal Reproduction Science. 94:400403.
VETAVISION IS BACK: WCVM’s veterinary students
are preparing to host 10,000-plus people of all ages
during Vetavision, March 22-27, 2007.
The College’s four-day veterinary exposition is
usually held in October, but because of extensive
construction taking place at WCVM, organizers
decided to move the extremely popular event to
early spring when parts of the College’s major
expansion are scheduled for completion.
As the event draws closer, check www.wcvm.
com/news/vetavision for further updates or please
email vetavision.2007@usask.ca.
Western College of
Veterinary Medicine
NEW LOOK ONLINE: It’s the same address
(www.ehrf.usask.ca), but it’s a whole new
look online (above) for the Western College of
Veterinary Medicine’s Equine Health Research
Fund (EHRF).
Now, EHRF supporters and horse enthusiasts
are just a click away from reading up on the
College’s latest equine health news and events.
Visitors can also learn all about the Fund’s
30-year history, its education and research
programs, and its “great moments” in horse
health research.
As well, readers can check out the latest
batch of EHRF-supported research projects and
find out more about some of the gifted
scientists and clinicians whose research work
was supported by EHRF in the past.
Of course, current and past issues of Horse
Health Lines are available in PDF format on
the site. One great new feature is a search tool
that allows visitors to look up specific topics
or stories on the entire site without searching
through archived issues.
EHRF’s new site makes it even easier for
current and potential donors to contribute
by mail, by phone or online to equine health
research. “Support EHRF” also includes details
about “Give $1, invest $2 in equine health
research” — an exciting new fund raising
incentive introduced by two Saskatoon donors
this summer (see page 7 for more information).
Plus, visitors can learn more about the Fund’s new
memorial donation programs for veterinarians,
horse owners and friends.
Visit often and please send an email to wcvm.
research@usask.ca to tell us what you think!
Vi s i t H o r s e H e a l t h L i n e s o n l i n e a t w w w. e h r f . u s a s k . c a
Research Office, WCVM
University of Saskatchewan
52 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4
Printing Services Document Solutions • 966-6639 • University of Saskatchewan • CUPE 1975