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.

[Dr. Pamela Wilkins with a foal]

Gastric Ulcers: Common in Performance Horses, Foals

Apr 28, 2015 / Preventive Health / Horses

In horses as in people, stress can play a role in ulcer development Equine gastric ulcer syndrome is a common condition, both in performance horses, such as racehorses, and in foals. According to Dr. Pamela Wilkins, an equine veterinarian at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, more than 90 percent of performance...

[three veterinary students with an eagle]

Bald Eagle Recovers from West Nile Virus

Apr 21, 2015 / Disease / eagle / wildlife

After three weeks of treatment, the eagle was ready to leave the Wildlife Medical Clinic The large bird discovered on the side of a gravel road in Effingham, Ill., was not moving much and didn’t seem to use its wings or legs. A closer look revealed that the bird was a bald eagle, the national...

[Veterinarian in dentistry suite at teaching hospital]

Address Pet Dental Needs Early and Routinely

Apr 6, 2015 / Dentisty / Cats / Dogs

Dr. Kling recommends that owners brush their pet’s teeth Dental care is as important for the overall health of pets as it is for people. Dr. Katherine Kling, a veterinarian at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, says periodontal disease, which refers to the breakdown of the support structures around the tooth,...

[Dr. Jamie Hebron examines a Boston terrier]

The Facts about MRSA

Mar 30, 2015 / Disease / Preventive Health / Cats / Dogs

Although unlikely, it is possible for MRSA to pass between people and pets. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MRSA is one of the most common causes of human skin and soft tissue infections, and it is the tenth leading cause of death in humans in the United States. MRSA stands for...

[small dog in floatation jacket in underwater treadmill]

Tools of the Trade: Veterinary Rehabilitation

Mar 23, 2015 / Advances in Medicine / Small Animal Surgery / Dogs

When the therapy is fun and the patient loves doing it, results come faster. Rehabilitation comes from the Latin word rehabilitare, which means “to restore ability.” As a certified veterinary technician and certified canine rehabilitation practitioner at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Kim Knap helps pets with a variety of conditions daily using...

[Veterinarians perform an ultrasound exam on a dog]

Ultrasound Has Many Uses in Veterinary Care

Mar 11, 2015 / Advances in Medicine / Imaging / Cats / Dogs

Ultrasound equipment may become as prevalent as radiograph machines in veterinary practices. Veterinarians use many modes of imaging, from radiographs (X-rays) to computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Each type employs different methods to create images, and each is best suited to distinct bodily components. While CT and MRI units are rarely...

[two cute little dogs]

Cushing’s Syndrome: Common in Canines

Jan 13, 2015 / Disease / Cats / Dogs

Too much cortisol can have negative impacts. Cortisol is a steroid hormone, or “glucocorticoid,” that is normally released by the body in response to waking up in the morning, exercise, pain, and stress. Although cortisol is necessary for the body to function properly, too much cortisol can have negative impacts on people and pets alike....

[dog in holiday gear with white tree]

Avoid Holiday Hazards for Pets

Dec 23, 2014 / Emergency/Critical Care / Cats / Dogs

The holidays are a potentially dangerous time of the year for pets. Dr. Tina Wismer, an adjunct instructor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in Urbana, is also a veterinarian at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. She says the call volume there increases by about 10 percent during the holidays. The...

[Two veterinary students restrain a cat while an imaging specialist images the cat's heart.]

Early Detection Important for Treating Pet’s Heart Disease

Dec 8, 2014 / Advances in Medicine / Disease / Cats / Dogs

Heart disease is the No. 4 cause of death in dogs, according to Dr. Ryan Fries, a veterinary cardiologist at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana. The causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of heart problems in pets can vary widely. “Congenital heart disease—ones the animal is born with—can sometimes lead to heart...