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.

[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...

[Service Dog Eye Exam]

Register in April for the National Service Animal Eye Exam

Apr 9, 2018 / Ophthalmology / Preventive Health / Dogs / Horses

Register Online, Then Call Illinois for Appointment Every May since 2008, veterinary ophthalmologists across the country have volunteered their time to provide free eye examinations for service animals. The annual event, which is organized by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) and Stokes Pharmacy, has provided screening for about 60,000 animals. Drs. Bianca Martins...

[Illinois veterinary students practice a physical examination]

Let’s Get Physical: Annual Examinations Promote Pets’ Wellness

Mar 26, 2018 / General Care / Preventive Health

The physical examination helps prevent disease From molecular and genetic testing to advanced imaging using magnetic resonance or computed tomography, veterinarians have many tools available to diagnose their patients. Even with these technological aids, the physical examination remains the most basic yet important of diagnostic tools. Dr. Ashley Mitek, a faculty member at the University...

[Reddington with Jane Do]

Hope for Heartworm-Positive Dogs

Mar 19, 2018 / Advances in Medicine / Cardiology

shelters often euthanize heartworm-positive dogs Reddington probably didn’t realize it, but he was in a bad spot. Not only was the dog living in an animal shelter, he had also tested positive for heartworm disease. In many cases, those two factors amount to a death sentence. But luckily for Reddington, he found an owner and...

Animal Rehabilitation Plans Tailored to the Patient

Mar 12, 2018 / Rehabilitation / Dogs / Farm Animals

Plans’ Success Depends on Implementation at Home Physical rehabilitation for animals is the process of evaluating and managing patients with painful or functionally limiting conditions caused by illness or injury. Carrie Chandler-Harrison is a certified veterinary technician and certified canine rehabilitation practitioner at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana. When an animal...