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 Columns email.

[black cat sitting on stairs]

Coping with the Death of a Pet

Sep 1, 2015 / Grief Helpline / Birds / Cats / Dogs / Exotics / Horses

Whether the animal is as large as a horse or as small as a hamster, these companions can play a huge role in our lives. When our animal companion dies, we may feel as though we’ve lost a best friend and a family member. At the same time, we may worry that a deep sense...

[baby bunny]

Rabbit Fever Can Infect People, Pets

Aug 18, 2015 / Infectious Disease / Preventive Health / Cats / Dogs / wildlife

A disease of wildlife called tularemia, a.k.a. “rabbit fever,” has been reported in every state except Hawaii, according to Kelly Rockwell, a third-year student at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine who co-manages the student-run Wildlife Medical Clinic. “Tularemia has been around a long time. It is getting a lot of press lately...

[dog scratching in backyard]

Itchy Pets May Have Flea Allergy

Jul 20, 2015 / Dermatology / Parasites / Cats / Dogs

Many pets are allergic to the saliva of the adult flea Most pet owners know that dogs and cats should be treated regularly with medication to prevent an infestation of fleas, but they may not realize that even a pet receiving a flea preventive can be bitten by an adult flea and develop an allergic...

[a veterinarian and technician draw blood from a cat]

White Blood Cells in Dogs and Cats

Jul 12, 2015 / General Care / Cats / Dogs

The white blood cell count is a diagnostic tool for evaluating your pet’s health When your veterinarian runs a blood test to determine what’s ailing Fluffy, do you ever wonder what exactly all those numbers mean? A simple blood test provides a lot of information about your pet’s health status. Among other things, the blood...

[two dogs wearing harnesses in back seat of car]

Safe, Stress-free Travel with Pets

Jul 7, 2015 / General Care / Preventive Health / Cats / Dogs

People are on the go, and increasingly, they are taking their pets along for the ride. While some pets seem born to ride, for others the loud noises and strange motions involved in traveling can be a real problem. Dr. Kelly Ballantyne, a veterinarian at the University of Illinois Chicago Center for Veterinary Medicine with...

[dairy cows in a barn]

Are Cows to Blame for Drug-Resistant Bugs?

Jun 29, 2015 / Disease / Preventive Health / Farm Animals / Public Health

Antimicrobial resistance is a big problem that is getting bigger. In 2014 the World Health Organization warned that “Without urgent, coordinated action, the world is heading towards a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries, which have been treatable for decades, can once again kill.” Antimicrobials refer to a wide array of drugs...

[a puppy in the woods looks up to its owner]

The Trick to Perfect Tick Removal

Jun 23, 2015 / Disease / Parasites / Preventive Health / Dogs

Check pets for ticks after every walk If your pet brings home a tiny hitchhiker clinging to its fur after a romp in the woods this summer, don’t panic. Although ticks can transmit many different diseases to both humans and pets, including the much-feared Lyme disease, prompt and proper tick removal will significantly decrease the...

[English bulldog rests in the shade]

Heat Stroke in Dogs: Beating the Summer Heat

Jun 16, 2015 / Emergency/Critical Care / Preventive Health / Dogs

Heat stroke can lead to death, even with quick action It’s that time of the year again: time for cookouts, fun, and sun. With the summer heat come dangers for our pets. Dr. Andrea Walters, a veterinarian pursuing specialization in emergency and critical care at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, explains...