A high-tech horse model will provide valuable hands-on learning to student veterinarians at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College courtesy of a donation from the Equine Foundation of Canada.
Nancy Kavanagh, secretary of the EFC delivered a cheque for nearly $50,000 to OVC Dean Jeffrey Wichtel and Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph, for the purchase of the detailed and life-sized horse model produced by Canada’s Veterinary Simulator Industries.
The model opens to reveal anatomically correct latex organs that can be inflated to mimic colic, the leading cause of premature death in horses, and also certain reproductive challenges.
The detailed model will allow student veterinarians to practice clinical and technical skills, vital to improving confidence and competence. When Foundation President R.J. (Bob) Watson contacted Dean Wichtel for his wish list, the VSI model was at the top.
“The Foundation has been rotating funding proposals annually among the five veterinary colleges in Canada and 2018 is Guelph’s turn,” wrote Watson.
“Great progress has been made in learning technology for veterinary clinical skills development, and this equine model is an excellent example. Our college has committed to the use of high fidelity models and simulations in early clinical training whenever possible. When our students perform their first procedures on a live animal, they will be even better prepared and more confident,” said Wichtel. “We are very grateful to the Equine Foundation of Canada for fostering the health and wellbeing of horses through supporting veterinary medical education in this valuable way.”
The EFC is an outgrowth of the Canadian Morgan Horse Association (CMHA), founded in 1960. The purpose of the CMHA was to assist Morgan horse breeders and owners with promotion and registry services to protect the integrity of their pedigrees.
In 1983, the Association expanded its interest to concern for the welfare of all horse breeds and created the Foundation to assist in safeguarding their future. N.S. businessman George Wade served as its founder and president from its inception until his passing in 1997. The EFC provides for scholarships and other worthy requests. With a factory in Calgary, VSI was once a recipient of startup funding from the EFC. But the primary focus now is on the purchase of teaching equipment for equine veterinary education.