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.

Basic Training: Start with the Right Equipment and Attitude

Feb 25, 2013 / Behavior / General Care / Dogs

The bottom line in dog training: “It’s all about the positive reinforcement.” Working with your dog on basic cues such as “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and so on helps your pet behave well in human society. But training is also vital to the health and safety of your pet, allowing you to prevent your pet from...

Guide to Pain Management in Pets

Jan 28, 2013 / Pain Management / Cats / Dogs

The pet owner is one of the best people to assess pain. Studies in people have shown that those who receive appropriate pain management post-operatively recover more quickly from surgery and have less complications, according to Dr. Ashley Mitek, a veterinarian who is completing an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the University...

Probiotics May Help Pets

Jan 21, 2013 / General Care / Cats / Dogs / Exotics / Horses

Good bacteria are essential to the health of the gut. In recent years, the popularity of foods and supplements containing probiotics has grown amid claims that consuming these products improves health. Dr. Maureen McMichael, a veterinarian at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, says there is good evidence to suggest that our...

Veterinarians Protect Both Human and Animal Health

Jan 14, 2013

One Health is an important bridge between human and animal health as well as the environment. Most people think of veterinarians as the doctors who give yearly exams to dogs and cats and care for sick pets. Yet, veterinarians play a crucial role in many aspects of human health, from ensuring a safe food supply to preventing...

Why Does My Pet Snore?

Jan 7, 2013 / General Care / Dogs

Abnormal soft palate, obesity, or edema can cause snoring. The National Sleep Foundation reports that approximately 90 million American adults snore each night. And they’re not the only ones: a lot of their pets snore too. Dr. Brendan McKiernan, director of the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, is a veterinary internist and...

Wanna Iguana? Do Your Reptile Research First!

Dec 17, 2012 / General Care / Exotics

Size, longevity, and commitment requirements may point you in the direction of another reptile companion. Just look at that adorable, bright green lizard! Only four inches long and inexpensive, too. Ready to buy a baby iguana? Not so fast. Bring this scaly guy home only if you are willing to made a commitment of 20...

West Nile Virus in Horses and Humans: A Veterinary Connection

Dec 3, 2012 / Disease / Horses

GIS and Spatial Analysis assists in better understanding of West Nile Virusfor veterinarians. Though the practice of medicine for animals may seem as remote from human health care as a colicky horse is from a colicky infant, human and veterinary interests converge on issues related to public, animal, and environmental health. “Zoonotic” diseases—infectious diseases that...

Epilepsy in Dogs: A Manageable Disorder

Nov 21, 2012 / Disease / Dogs

With dedication and treatment, epileptic pets can live happy lives. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that refers to having recurrent seizures. Dr. Devon Hague, a veterinarian at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, estimates that epilepsy afflicts up to 2 percent of the dog population. According to Dr. Hague, who is trained...

Pets’ Dental Disease Prevalent, but Preventable

Oct 22, 2012 / Preventive Health / Cats / Dogs

“Offensive breath is a big clue that your pet may have a problem in its mouth.” Dental disease is the problem most commonly diagnosed by veterinarians today. A recent national study of over 2 million cats and dogs found that 68 percent of cats and 78 percent of dogs had varying degrees of dental problems....