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.

[girl with goat]

New Feed Directive Applies to All Farm Animals

Feb 12, 2017 / Disease / Public Health / Farm Animals

Antibiotics can no longer be used for growth promotion Just as many people make New Year’s resolutions about dietary changes to improve health, so the veterinary world began this year with a health-oriented change to the diets of farm animals. This change, called the veterinary feed directive, took full effect starting January 1, 2017. “The...

[dog on a purse - xylitol]

X is for Xylitol, Deadly for Dogs

Jan 30, 2017 / Emergency/Critical Care / Toxicology / Dogs

To prevent xylitol toxicity, read labels Of course you aren’t going to offer your dog a stick of sugar-free gum! But did you know that xylitol, a sugar alcohol that is toxic to dogs, can be found not only in many brands of gum but also in other household items, from toothpaste to peanut butter?...

[FeLV-opens-doors-disease]

Feline Leukemia Virus Opens Doors to Secondary Diseases

Jan 23, 2017 / Infectious Disease / Cats

Prevent FeLV by keeping cats indoors Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is an agent that spreads easily between cats and has potentially lethal effects, causing a variety of secondary diseases that range from secondary infections to cancer. Dr. Stanley Rubin, a veterinarian who specializes in internal medicine at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in...

[pet column dominance - wolves]

Dominance Is Not the Answer

Jan 2, 2017 / Behavior / Dogs

Domestic dogs are not wolves If only our pets could talk! Then we would know for sure why they are acting a certain way. Instead, we resort to books, word-of-mouth, and TV shows to decipher pets’ actions. The problem is that these sources deliver many incorrect and misguided beliefs about animal behavior. Dr. Kelly Ballantyne...

[fear free veterinary practice]

When Your Pet Fears the Vet Clinic

Dec 11, 2016 / Behavior / General Care / Cats / Dogs

Fear Free practices reduce pet stress Does your cat skedaddle when the carrier comes out? Does your dog dive under the bed when he hears the “v-word”? A trip to the vet is some pets’ worst nightmare. As a consequence, owners may neglect important health care visits rather than put their pets and themselves through...

[pancreatitis - miniature schnauzer]

Keep the Paws off the Table to Avoid Pancreatitis

Dec 5, 2016 / Disease / Emergency/Critical Care / Dogs

Miniature schnauzers are  prone to getting pancreatitis With the holiday season upon us, many people want to include their pets in the festivities. As tempting as it may be to give your pet a feast of roasts, gravy, and stuffing, these and other high-fat people foods can be harmful to dogs and cats and could...

[mares- Dr. Igor Canisso]

Ready Mares in Fall for Foals in Spring

Nov 29, 2016 / General Care / Preventive Health / Horses

Reproductive Health, Vaccinations, Nutrition Are Key While some may consider it a bit premature to be thinking about spring, if you are a horse owner expecting a foal out of your mare or hoping to get your mare in foal, this is the perfect time to start planning. Dr. Igor Canisso, an equine theriogenologist at...

[Xena with Dr. Erica Secor and veterinary student Nicole Thomas]

Canker Hoof Infection Makes Cranky Horses

Nov 21, 2016 / Disease / General Care / Horses

To prevent canker keep bedding clean and dry The word “canker” just sounds unpleasant, and to the horses that it affects, it is. Dr. Erica Secor, a veterinarian who is completing a three-year residency program in equine surgery at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, explains that canker “is the horseman’s term for...

[euthanasia - older dog]

Discuss End-of-Life Decisions with Your Veterinarian

Nov 14, 2016 / General Care / Grief Helpline / Cats / Dogs / Exotics

Euthanasia is a tough and personal decision Almost all pet owners at one point or another face the question of euthanasia. Dr. Gary Brummet, a veterinarian who provides primary care for pets at University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, talks about this difficult experience and addresses some common questions and concerns of owners....

[heart disease]

A Heart to Heart about Your Pup’s Heart

Nov 7, 2016 / Advances in Medicine / Cardiology / Dogs

Heart Disease: Early Detection Is Key We hear about the risks and dangers heart disease poses to human lives all the time, but did you know that forms of heart disease could also impact your dog? Heart disease—a broad term that encompasses multiple diagnoses—is a very common disease in dogs and increases in prevalence with...