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.

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...

Animal Models Enable Humane Learning

Sep 16, 2013 / Advances in Medicine

Models and simulators provide opportunities for veterinary students to develop their skills before using them on live animals. How would you like to be the patient when a medical or nursing student learns to draw blood for the very first time? Any volunteers? Even more so than in human medicine, veterinary medicine encompasses a wide...

Travel Broadens Students' Veterinary Perspectives

Sep 3, 2013

Study abroad is one way to give students new perspectives on the field. In the United States, veterinary education and practice focus primarily on small animal practice–caring for dogs, cats, or exotic pets–and large animal practice–ensuring the well-being and profitability of horses, cows, pigs, and other agricultural animals. Veterinarians also work in government agencies and...

Putting the Stride Back in a Pet’s Step

Aug 26, 2013 / Small Animal Surgery / Dogs

Total hip replacement help pets with arthritis, hip dysplasia, and traumatic injuries walk with ease. Total hip replacement—replacing the ball and socket of the hip joint with prosthetics—was performed on 332,000 people in the United States in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pets, too, can benefit from this procedure, which will...