The Mark and Pat DuMont Equine Orthopedics Research Fund has awarded $138,000 to two researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) for two equine musculoskeletal-related studies that will take place over the next two years.

The fund provided $50,000 for a study focusing on the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) – the two joints connecting the horse’s jawbone to its skull. The study, which is led by WCVM researcher Dr. James Carmalt, will investigate the impact of TMJ inflammation on equine performance. In addition to the research grant, Dr. Carmalt also received a graduate student stipend of $18,000 to support his research team’s work.

A second study, led by WCVM researcher Dr. Claire Card, also received $70,000 in funding over two years. Dr. Card’s project focuses on iodine and thyroid hormones in musculoskeletal health in horses. Specifically, her team will investigate the effect of iodine supplementation on thyroid function. They will also analyze iodine concentrations in serum, milk and colostrum in pregnant and postpartum mares and foals.

A panel of four scientific reviewers chaired by Dr. Liz Snead, the WCVM’s associate dean (research), reviewed all submitted research grant proposals before selecting the two projects.