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.

[necropsies - pathology slide]

Necropsies Solve Mystery of Animal Deaths

May 7, 2017 / Diagnostic Laboratory / Disease / Public Health / Toxicology

Necropsies, the equivalent of human autopsies In every murder mystery, there is a scene where the coroner interprets markings, bruises, and injuries on the dead body to estimate a time and cause of death. What most people don’t know is that a similar process occurs in veterinary medicine. Necropsies, the equivalent of human autopsies, are...

[chickens]

Care and Feeding of Backyard Chickens

Apr 23, 2017 / General Care / Birds / Chickens

Chickens can live as long as 8 years These days, you just can’t keep the chickens down on the farm. With the increasing popularity of “hobby poultry,” anyone with a backyard may contemplate setting up a henhouse. Dr. Yvette Johnson-Walker, a veterinary epidemiologist and poultry expert at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine,...

[tplo rottweiler]

From CCL Tears to TPLO Repairs

Apr 17, 2017 / Advances in Medicine / Small Animal Surgery / Dogs

Rottweilers and Mastiffs are prone to CCL rupture In the NBA and the NFL, a torn ACL—anterior cruciate ligament—is an all-too-common injury. That same injury frequently afflicts dogs (even ones that aren’t athletes), but in dogs it is called a CCL rupture. The CCL, or cranial cruciate ligament, is the main supporting ligament in a...

[stall sign indicating medical maggot use]

Medical Maggots: Old-School Wound Care Still Used

Apr 8, 2017 / Advances in Medicine / Horses

Medical maggots are germ-free Maggots have a reputation for being creepy crawlies that should stay far away from our homes and our families. But these tiny fly larvae have been used in medicine for centuries for a unique purpose. Their role is so beneficial that, despite all our advanced technology and scientific discoveries, they are...

[new MRI at Illinois veterinary teaching hospital]

New MRI Powers Veterinary Care

Apr 4, 2017 / Advances in Medicine / Imaging / Cats / Dogs / Horses

Faster, More Detailed Diagnostic Imaging On March 31, the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new 3T MRI scanner, the only large-bore 3T MRI scanner in the Midwest. “In physical size, the new machine is no larger or smaller than the old one,” notes Melinda Smith, an...

[smoke inhalation]

Smoke Alarm: Dangers of Smoke Inhalation for Pets

Mar 20, 2017 / Emergency/Critical Care / Toxicology / Cats / Dogs

Animals exposed to smoke need immediate care Visible injuries such as burns and scrapes are not the only health concerns for a pet involved in a fire. Though not obvious to the eye, exposure to smoke can cause serious consequences, according to Dr. Efa Llewellyn, one of the board-certified emergency and critical care specialists at...

[blastomycosis dog]

Midwest Dogs at Risk of Fungal Infection Blastomycosis

Mar 13, 2017 / Infectious Disease / Preventive Health / Dogs

Sporting dogs are at greater risk The unsuspecting victim inhales microscopic spores, which travel from the lungs throughout the body causing disease. It may sound like something out of science fiction, but the fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis—the agent responsible for the systemic infection blastomycosis—is commonly found right here in the Midwest. Fungus Infects Dogs, Horses, Cats,...

[Dr. Annette McCoy with a palomino]

Genes Determine a Horse’s Color

Mar 6, 2017 / General Care / Horses

In theory, any breed can be any color The horse has some of the most varied coat color markings and patterns of any domestic species. Even within breeds, there are dozens of combinations a new foal can have. It can appear complex, but scientists have pinpointed many of the key elements that make these variations...