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.

[two cute little dogs]

Cushing’s Syndrome: Common in Canines

Jan 13, 2015 / Disease / Internal Medicine / 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...

[large animal rescue practice]

Natural Disasters: Plan Ahead for Animals’ Safety

Nov 22, 2014 / Emergency/Critical Care / Preventive Health / Cats / Dogs / Exotics / Farm Animals / Horses / Small Mammals

Natural disasters can strike at any time, so it is essential to have a plan in place to be ready. According to Dr. Yvette Johnson-Walker, a veterinarian and epidemiologist at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in Urbana, emergency preparedness plans should cover the animals as well as the people in a home....

[Livestock management in Bolivia]

Around the World as a Public Health Veterinarian

Nov 10, 2014 / Preventive Health / Public Health

Think a veterinary degree prepares you only to vaccinate dogs and cats? The career path of Dr. Maureen Birmingham will make you think again. Recently, the 1983 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine spoke to students at her alma mater in Urbana, Ill. Describing herself as a “fortunate victim of a...

[bunny on exam table]

Bunny Basics: Proper Rabbit Husbandry

Oct 27, 2014 / General Care / Exotics

Ever thought about getting a pet rabbit, but aren’t quite sure how to take care of them? Dr. Kenneth Welle, a veterinarian at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana who sees exotic pets—birds, reptiles, and small mammals—on a daily basis, explains how to properly care for a rabbit. Dr. Welle recommends adopting...

[images and model of dog's leg]

3D Printing Helps Veterinary Surgeon Resolve Dog’s Limb Deformity

Oct 20, 2014

Orthopedic surgeons at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana are able to use images captured through computed tomography (CT) to print three-dimensional models to assist in planning surgeries. “3D printing is a new technology that is very exciting for our hospital,” says Dr. Karanvir Aulakh, who is board certified in small animal...

[3D model of skull with bone tumor]

Rare Bone Tumor Removed from Dog's Skull

Oct 13, 2014

Something was wrong with Otter. The two-year-old dog had a strange, domed skull that had progressed since he was a puppy. The face appeared normal but his forehead protruded out quite far. His owners had noticed he was uncharacteristically quiet lately. Could it be cancer? Although Otter’s local veterinarian knew it was unlikely to find...

Rehabilitation for Horses Very Similar to Sports Therapy for People

Sep 22, 2014 / Horses

Athlete sidelined with an injured tendon, ligament, or a chip fracture of a carpal bone? Surgery may or may not be part of the treatment, but rehabilitation therapy most likely is–whether the athlete has two legs or four. “Physical therapy and rehabilitation play an important role in performance enhancement, injury prevention, and restoration of full...

[students, canine patients, owners in Tanzania]

Rabies Awareness: Prevention Is Key

Sep 15, 2014 / Disease / Preventive Health / Cats / Dogs

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 55,000 people die each year worldwide due to the rabies virus. Although most of these deaths occur outside of the United States, it is still important to understand the seriousness this disease poses to humans and pets. September 28 has been declared “World Rabies...