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.

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...

Dutchess: The Story of a Resilient Cat

Aug 19, 2013 / Emergency/Critical Care / Cats

Many veterinary students, doctors, and staff at the hospital helped care for her and hundreds of donors  helped cover the costs of her care. Dutchess was a six-month-old kitten when a fire destroyed her owners’ home in Saybrook, Ill., in September 2012. A firefighter found Dutchess hiding under the couch and pulled her out of...

Veterinarians Study Acupuncture to Manage Animals’ Pain

Aug 12, 2013 / Advances in Medicine / Dogs

“Acupuncture is an effective therapy for pain management in dogs with chronic pain, such as arthritis, and can be used in combination with Western medicine.” Acupuncture is one of the oldest methods available to treat disease. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions including neurologic, endocrine, and fertility disorders as well as...

Pug Eyes: Clearing Up the Haze

Aug 5, 2013 / Ophthalmology / Dogs

Pigmentary keratopathy (PK) is the most prevelant eye disease of the pug breed. With their playful spirit, passion to please, and zest for life, pugs are one of the most loved and celebrated breeds. Originating around 400 B.C., pugs have wagged their way into homes from Buddhist monasteries in ancient China and royal castles of medieval England to...