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.

[brushing for pet dental health]

Nothing Beats Brushing for Pet’s Dental Health

Feb 1, 2016 / Dentistry / Cats / Dogs

February is National Pet Dental Health month Do you make brushing your teeth part of your daily routine? Can you imagine going to your annual visit to the dentist having done nothing to care for your teeth in the year since your last professional cleaning? Dr. Katherine Kling, a veterinarian at the University of Illinois...

[a parrot shows off its unique beak profile at Vet Med Open House]

When Beaks Go Bad

Jan 25, 2016 / General Care / Birds

Beaks are made of bone and keratin There’s no such thing as a dentist for birds, but did you know that some macaws require orthodontia to correct a misalignment of their beaks? That’s just one of a host of problems that can beset beaks, according to Dr. Kenneth Welle, a board certified avian practitioner at...

[two guinea pigs]

Housing and Feeding Your Guinea Pig

Jan 19, 2016 / General Care / Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs are talkative, social, and rather cute Guinea pigs are great as a child’s first pet or as a lifelong hobby. They are members of the Cavy family (Caviidae) of rodents native to South America. Dr. Kenneth Welle, an exotic pet veterinarian at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, has advice...

[yellow labrador retriever on a rug]

My Dog Is Leaking

Jan 6, 2016 / General Care / Dogs

About 90 percent of incontinence patients respond to medications. Have you ever noticed that your dog leaves a wet spot of urine when she gets up from sleeping? On your bed? On your favorite hand-woven rug? If so, it’s very likely that your dog has urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence is a condition where there is...

[holiday dog asks for a treat]

Grandma’s Purse and Other Holiday Threats to Pets

Dec 21, 2015 / General Care / Cats / Dogs

Keep your treats from turning into threats The holiday season brings family gatherings, food, and festivities. Pet owners should be aware that with the good times come potential dangers for dogs and cats. Dr. Tina Wismer, a veterinarian at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center who lectures at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary...

[two dogs baring teeth at each other]

Seek Help to Address Aggression in Pets

Dec 7, 2015 / Behavior / Cats / Dogs

Aggression in pets is managed, not cured Every year, about 1.5 percent of the U.S. population will be injured by an aggressive dog. Cats, too, cause injuries to people, though the incidence is smaller. Aggressive behavior has negative consequences for pets as well, sometimes leading to the pet being relinquished by its owner or even...

[Dr. Ryan Fries examines a dog]

Electrocardiograms Display the Electric Rhythms of Your Pet’s Heart

Nov 30, 2015 / Cardiology / Cats / Dogs

Electrical impulses flow across the heart in a current The electrocardiogram machine plays a dramatic supporting role in movies and TV shows, its flat line and piercing tone alerting the medical team to race to the bedside of a patient whose heart has stopped beating. Electrocardiograms, or ECGs, are equally important as an everyday diagnostic...

[cat looks at camera]

Accidents Happen, Part 2: What to Do If Your Cat Goes Outside the Box

Nov 22, 2015 / Behavior / Cats

Pets should never be punished for house soiling The most common behavioral problem for which cat owners seek a veterinarian’s advice is when their cat goes outside the box. According to Dr. Kelly Ballantyne, a veterinary behaviorist at the University of Illinois Chicago Center for Veterinary Medicine, studies indicate that house soiling can account for...