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.

Consider Pets' Health Among New Year's Resolutions

Dec 30, 2013 / Preventive Health / Cats / Dogs

Talk to your veterinarian before embarking on an exercise program or change in diet. ‘Tis the season for New Year’s resolutions relating to diet and exercise, and the perfect time to evaluate whether your dog and cat may need to shape up as well. Though Fido and Felix won’t have to fit into bikinis in a...

The Holiday Naughty and Nice List for Keeping Pets Safe

Dec 9, 2013 / Preventive Health

You don’t have to be a Grinch to your pets, but here’s how to keep them safe this holiday season. Holidays wouldn’t be the same without festive decorations and treats. Just make sure your holiday fun poses no health and safety threats to your pets. Dr. Donna Jacobsen, a veterinarian who provides emergency care at...

Diabetes Risks and Treatment in Pets

Dec 2, 2013 / Preventive Health / Cats / Dogs

The prevalence of diabetes mellitus is increasing in both dogs and cats, probably due to an increase in obesity. Diabetes affects 347 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Unfortunately, it is also a common health problem for pets. Dr. Margarethe Hoenig, a veterinarian at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine...

Let Your Veterinarian Get to the Bottom of Pet Ear Problems

Nov 18, 2013 / Preventive Health / Dogs

Most of the time these bacterial and yeast infections of the ears turn out to be secondary to a primary cause. Head-shaking, scratching at the ears, and a foul smell are common signs that an ear infection is brewing. According to Dr. Amelia White, a veterinary dermatology resident at the University of Illinois College of...

Keep Pets Safe When Preparing Household for Colder Weather

Nov 11, 2013 / Preventive Health / Cats / Dogs

There are many hazards in a typical garage that will require “pet proofing” before it is ready for Fido. Cold weather is here. It’s time to winterize the car, pull out the space heaters, and thwart invading rodents. For pet owners, however, these common seasonal activities should be approached with caution because of the potential...

Mast Cell Tumors and Other Cancers in Pets Can Be Treated with Surgery

Nov 5, 2013 / Cancer Care / Dogs

According to Dr. Selmic, surgery alone cures the majority of mast cell tumor cases. Dr. Laura Selmic, a veterinarian who joined the faculty at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana in September, is among the 36 veterinary surgeons who were the first to be designated as Fellows of Surgical Oncology by the...

Dogs’ Itchiness May Indicate Atopic Dermatitis

Oct 28, 2013 / Dermatology / Dogs

Between 10 percent and 15 percent of the dog population has atopic dermatitis Like people, pets suffer from allergies. Sometimes, these allergies are triggered by items commonly found in the pets’ environment, such as pollens, mold, house dust, kapok (used as filling in pillows and cushions), sawdust, human dander, and feathers, just to name a...

Context Is Critical When Treating Anxiety in Dogs

Oct 21, 2013 / Behavior / General Care / Dogs

Behavioral consultants bring light and understanding on how to properly  handle anxiety. What can cause anxious behavior in dogs? Dr. Kelly Ballantyne, a veterinarian at the University of Illinois Chicago Center for Veterinary Medicine and resident of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, says the causes are as varied as are the approaches for reducing that...

Some Lameness Caused by Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis

Sep 30, 2013 / Disease / Horses

It is important to realize that a horse can relapse with EPM or can be infected again. “Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, or EPM, is a neurological condition of horses that is caused by a parasite,” says Dr. Scott Austin, an equine veterinarian at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana. He explains how this...

Responsible Dog Ownership

Sep 23, 2013 / General Care / Dogs

“It is very important for people to realize that getting an animal is a lifelong decision.” Thinking about adopting a dog? There are a lot more facets to having this pet than buying a leash and coming up with a cute name. Dr. Bob Weedon, a shelter veterinarian on the faculty at the University of...