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. Krista Keller poses with a pet rabbit]

Brush Up on Dental Problems in Pet Rabbits

Sep 16, 2017 / Dentistry / Rabbits / Small Mammals

Rabbits’ teeth grow throughout their lifetime A diet of grass and hay is a real grind for your pet bunny’s teeth. That’s why rabbit teeth have evolved to grow continually, to accommodate the wear and tear of their coarse, fibrous food. According to Dr. Krista Keller, a veterinarian at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching...

[the shelter medicine mobile surgical unit at the University of Illinois]

Sorting the Science on Spay and Neuter Surgeries

Sep 11, 2017 / Preventive Health / Small Animal Surgery / Dogs

It’s almost always best to spay and neuter pets By far the most common surgeries performed on dogs in the United States are spay and neuter procedures—collectively called gonadectomies—that remove the reproductive organs to prevent unwanted pregnancies and pet overpopulation. But while these surgeries are common, they are not without controversy. Misconceptions and concerns about...

[cat statue in pet cemetery]

Take Time to Grieve Your Pet

Sep 4, 2017 / Grief Helpline / Birds / Cats / Dogs / Exotics / Horses

National Pet Memorial Day Is September 10 “The death of a pet is one of the few types of loss that may not be appreciated by others as a true cause for grief,” says Gail Hague, client counselor specialist at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana. “Individuals who experience this type of...

[Sonny, a French bulldog, in the University of Illinois veterinary hospital]

New Hope for Pets with Brachycephalic Syndrome

Aug 26, 2017 / Advances in Medicine / Small Animal Surgery / Cats / Dogs

Illinois first in U.S. to offer procedure Brachycephalic syndrome: it’s a medical term for a variety of anatomical problems that sometimes obstruct the airways in pugs, bulldogs, and other pets (even cats!) with flat faces. Brachycephalic syndrome is seen in brachycephalic dogs, which are dogs that have been bred for incredibly short noses. (The word...

[surgery using the fluorescent technology to detect cancer cells]

Technology Advances Diagnosis of Head and Neck Cancers in Dogs

Aug 21, 2017 / Advances in Medicine / Cancer Care / Small Animal Surgery / Dogs

This technology monitors for spread of tumors A pet’s cancer diagnosis triggers owners’ emotional strain, confusion, and uncertainty about treatment and financial decisions. Thankfully, with the help of engineers and veterinarians at the University of Illinois, cancer detection and treatment in pets—and people—is advancing at rapid speed. One of the many studies currently taking place...

[pyometra dog photo]

Infection in Dog’s Uterus Is Serious Business

Aug 15, 2017 / Disease / Emergency/Critical Care / Dogs

Pyometra is a veterinary emergency When a middle-aged, intact female dog comes into the clinic with complaints from her owner that she has been depressed and lethargic, one of the first concerns that likely pops into the veterinarian’s mind is a potential pyometra. “A pyometra is a uterine infection, and it is a true veterinary...

[Bianca Martins with cataract patient]

Cataract Surgery Restores Dogs’ Vision

Aug 7, 2017 / Ophthalmology / Dogs

Surgery significantly improves quality of life “Both people and dogs get cataracts. Cataracts are an increased opacity, or cloudiness, of the lens of the eye, causing impaired vision,” says Dr. Bianca Martins, a veterinary ophthalmologist at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana. The lens is a hard structure that sits around the...

[Trooper the dog was born with a palatal defect]

Cleft Palate Afflicts Pets Too

Jul 26, 2017 / Dentistry / Cats / Dogs

Normal Life Possible for Dogs with Palatal Defect “Every 3 minutes, a child is born with a cleft lip or cleft palate” begins the heartrending appeal for donations to ensure that these children have access to the relatively inexpensive and highly successful surgical repair that will restore their smile. Dogs can also be born with...

[patient with pacemaker is very active]

Pacemakers Solve Canine Heart Problems

Jul 18, 2017 / Cardiology / Dogs

‘They are more common than you think’ The heart is essential to the body, regardless of the species. Luckily, when dogs have heart problems, veterinary cardiologists, like Dr. Ryan Fries at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, are able to keep things ticking along. Pacemakers have been used in human medicine since...

[small animal emergency care]

Behind-the-Scenes in the ER

Jul 15, 2017 / Emergency/Critical Care / Cats / Dogs

If you have concerns, bring your pet to the ER vet You’re worried, you’re weary, and maybe you’re waiting for what seems like hours. Fortunately, you and your pet are in good hands when you bring your animal to the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, which is open 24 hours a day,...