Pet Health Columns

Experts on animal health from the college's clinics in Urbana and Chicago share their knowledge in informative columns written for animal owners. Scan the categories and tags at left for topics that interest you. Subscribe to our weekly Pet Health Columns email.

[Dr. Annette McCoy examines a horse's leg]

First Aid for Horses

Jul 16, 2018 / Emergency/Critical Care / Horses

Be Prepared to Handle Wounds Would you know what to do if your horse accidentally encountered a sharp edge and ended up with a cut? Dr. Annette McCoy, an equine surgeon at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, offers information that will help you be prepared so you can stay calm and...

[empty bench]

CARE Just a Call Away for Grieving Pet Owners

Jul 9, 2018 / Grief Helpline

‘We promise to lend a compassionate ear’ Grieving the death of a pet can leave people feeling overwhelmed and alone. The Companion Animal Related Emotions (CARE) Pet Loss Helpline was established to provide help coping with those emotions, whether you are grieving or anticipating the loss of your pet. Gail Wallis Hague, a counseling psychologist...

[hot weather dog]

Avoid Hot Weather Hazards for Dogs

Jul 2, 2018 / Emergency/Critical Care / General Care / Preventive Health / Dogs

Dehydration, Heatstroke Are Preventable Ironically, the dog days of summer—the hottest time of the year—are not always good for dogs. Dr. Jennifer Reinhart, a specialist in veterinary internal medicine at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, shares tips on preventing dehydration and other hot weather hazards that could require a trip to...

[Nearly one-third of US dog owners sleep with their pet]

Lives Intertwined: Pets, People, and ‘One Health’

Jun 18, 2018 / General Care / Public Health / Birds / Cats / Dogs / Reptiles / Small Mammals

Pet Ownership Benefits People “One Health” is a term used to convey the interdependence of human, animal, and environmental health. In their recent book, Beyond One Health: From Recognition to Results, coeditors Drs. Jack Herrmann and Yvette Johnson-Walker, faculty members at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, devote an entire chapter to the...

[Ares the Doberman Pinscher}

Dog’s Painful Growths between Toes Removed by Laser

Jun 4, 2018 / Advances in Medicine / Dermatology / Dogs

Interdigital cysts are fairly common Poor Ares was in pain. The three-year-old Doberman Pinscher had sores between his toes on all four paws when he came to see Dr. Jason Pieper, a veterinary dermatologist at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana. Ares had been licking at the bumpy sores and some of...

[horse cough]

My Horse Has a Cough. Now What?

May 20, 2018 / Disease / General Care / Horses

Many Conditions Make a Horse Cough As a horse owner, you would not hesitate to seek veterinary care if your horse shows signs of lameness, colic, choke, or other immediate dangers. But what do you do when your horse shows signs that are less clear-cut, such as a cough? There are dozens of reasons why...

[Kristen Keller and Leo]

Keep Teflon, Avocado, Lead, and Zinc Away From Pet Birds

May 7, 2018 / Preventive Health / Toxicology / Birds

These items are toxic to birds Bird owners, beware ! Three common household toxins—TeflonTM, avocado, and heavy metals—present deadly dangers to your feathered friends, according to Dr. Krista Keller, a veterinary specialist in zoological medicine. Dr. Keller, who sees exotic pets at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, advises bird owners to...

[dog running outside]

Pet’s Sudden Paralysis in Spring May Be ‘Spinal Stroke’

Apr 30, 2018 / Neurology / Cats / Dogs

Spinal Strokes May Follow Strenuous Activity With the long, cold winter coming to an end, dogs and their owners are longing to get outside and enjoy the warmth. However, a beautiful day of activity outside after a relatively stationary winter could mean an increase in dogs suffering from a fibrocartilaginous embolism (FCE), more commonly known...

[horse teeth]

Horses Need to See the Dentist Too

Apr 21, 2018 / Dentistry / Preventive Health / Horses

A horse’s teeth should be examined every 6 months Just like cats and dogs, horses need oral examinations from veterinarians. The health of a horse’s mouth greatly impacts its well-being, behavior, and performance. Dr. Dennis French, a professor who heads the Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine at the University of Illinois, has cared for many...

[radiograph of a dog with a bullet in its shoulder]

Veterinary Forensics: When Crimes Involve Animals

Apr 16, 2018 / Advances in Medicine / Diagnostic Laboratory

Veterinary forensics is a growing field A forensic pathologist is a physician who specializes in determining the time, manner, and cause of death. Dr. Adam Stern, a board-certified pathologist at the University of Illinois Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, specializes in veterinary forensics. “In veterinary forensics, medical expertise is used to gather evidence applicable in civil and...