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.

[pet's pain can be subtle]

Cues to Pet’s Pain May Be Subtle

Aug 1, 2016 / Pain Management / Cats / Dogs

pets have varying responses and tolerance levels to pain Everyone has to deal with pain. Whether from a minor cut or a major surgery, pain is part of life for people and their pets. “Pain is a very individualized experience,” says Dr. Ashley Mitek, who recently completed a three-year residency in anesthesiology and pain management...

[dog sucking its flank]

Compulsive Disorders in Pets

Jul 25, 2016 / Behavior / Cats / Dogs

Compulsive disorders impact pet’s, owners’ quality of life Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a well-known diagnosis in human medicine, but did you know that animals can also develop a form of this disorder? This doesn’t mean there are dogs out there that count their steps or triple-check the light switches. In fact, the first thing to understand,...

[Bear, a dog with hypothyroidism]

The Tragic Case of Bear: Hypothyroidism in Dogs

Jul 11, 2016 / Advances in Medicine / Disease / Dogs

Hypothyroidism can be managed, but not cured In April 2016, a three-year-old dog named Bear was brought to the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital with abusive injuries. In addition to the obvious injuries Bear bore—an open wound on his back leg, skin ulcers, and a jawbone fractured by a bullet—the dog was diagnosed with...

[puppy outdoors]

Can My Pet Get Zika?

Jun 29, 2016 / Infectious Disease / Preventive Health / Cats / Dogs

Recent coverage of the Zika virus and its health impact on people and fetuses has raised questions among pet owners. The Zika virus was first identified in Africa more than 60 years ago. It is spread to people primarily by mosquito bites, and usually causes no or only mild symptoms in people. However, infection with...

[olive in the underwater treadmill]

Getting Fido from Fat to Fit

May 14, 2016 / General Care / Preventive Health / Dogs

Shape Up, Pup! focuses on portion control, exercise In the United States, more than two-thirds of adults are considered to be overweight or obese, according to the National Institutes of Health. Unfortunately, our pets are not far behind: last year the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention released data showing that 58 percent of cats and...

[Dr. Jason Pieper examines a patient]

When Your Dog Is Always Itchy

Apr 26, 2016 / Dermatology / Cats / Dogs

We may not ‘cure’ allergies, but we can manage them A lot of things can make a dog itchy: fleas, mites, skin infections, and food allergies, to name a few. Dr. Jason Pieper, a boarded veterinary dermatologist at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, says, “After veterinarians rule out all other causes...

[horse grazing]

Lush Green Grass May Be Harmful to Horses

Apr 12, 2016 / General Care / Toxicology / Horses

Grass founder and fescue toxicity are problems Spring is here, and the plants are new and fresh. The pretty, lush grasses that green the countryside in April and May are young, tender, and very tasty for a horse. Unfortunately, these young grasses are also low in the fiber that horses need and are high in...

[cat with scratching post]

Channel Pet’s Need to Chew and Scratch

Apr 1, 2016 / Behavior / Cats / Dogs

Redirect, don’t discourage, these behaviors Shredded tissues. Destroyed shoes. A gnawed coffee table. These are just a few of the things dog owners may come home to after leaving their puppy unattended. Similarly many cat owners discover that their couch or curtains have been shredded by sharp claws. A hassle for you and a potential...