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.

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....

Diabetes in Pets: On the Rise, But Treatable

Oct 15, 2012 / Disease / Cats / Dogs

This rise of diabetes is thought to be correlated with a rise in obesity. Nearly 26 million people in the United States are living with diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and an estimated 7 million of these are not aware that they have diabetes. Diabetes is also a common problem—and...

Veterinary Microsurgeon Performs No Small Feat

Sep 13, 2012 / Advances in Medicine

“Surgeons can move many combinations of skin, bone, and muscle from one location to another.” Intricate precision and skill are required to perform microvascular surgery, the practice of connecting tiny, fragile blood vessels to one another. Physicians have used the technique in humans for years, and veterinary surgeon Dr. Heidi Phillips is determined to bring...

Cats’ Low-Stress Vet Visits Begin at Home

Sep 3, 2012 / Behavior / General Care / Cats

Dr. Ballantyne offers advice on how to lower stress for your cat. A lot has been said about why to take your cat for regular veterinary visits, but some owners may also need advice on how to get kitty in the carrier, the car, and the clinic without a battle. Dr. Kelly Ballantyne, a veterinarian...

Get the Poop on Deworming Your Horse

Aug 27, 2012 / Preventive Health / Horses

“The University of Illinois equine primary care service recommends a targeted deworming program.” Lots of things have changed over the past 40 years—polyester leisure suits and disco dancing come to mind. But while you may not keep up with fashion fads, it’s important for horse owners to stay abreast of the latest recommendations for parasite...

Obesity in Horses: A Link to Lameness

Aug 20, 2012 / General Care / Horses

About half of all pleasure horses in the United States are overweight. As in people, dogs, and cats, obesity in horses is both common and commonly overlooked. And just as in other species, obesity in horses brings with it serious health complications. About half of all pleasure horses in the United States are overweight, according...

Researcher Explores Role of Vitamin D in Pet Health

Jul 16, 2012 / General Care / Cats / Dogs

Dr. O’Brien urges owners to feed their pets a quality commercial diet to ensure their pets are getting enough vitamin D. Got vitamin D? Most people know that this compound, a supplement frequently added to milk, plays a role in developing and maintaining healthy bones. But recent findings in humans suggest that vitamin D has...