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.

[Blanding's turtle]

Our Summer Spent Saving Turtles

Jan 28, 2018 / Advances in Medicine / Reptiles / Wildlife

Turtles play a role in environmental health Last summer, two rising second-year veterinary students traded blue lab coats and lecture halls in Urbana for chest-high waders and wetlands in Lake County in northeast Illinois. Working as part of the Wildlife Epidemiology Lab at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, Lauren Mumm and John...

[cat eating from a bowl]

What to Look for on a Pet Food Label

Jan 22, 2018 / General Care / Cats / Dogs

Regulations control wording on a pet food label The seemingly endless brightly colored cans, bags, and boxes in the pet food aisles can be quite overwhelming for pet owners. Dr. Kelly Swanson, an animal sciences professor at the University of Illinois who lectures on nutrition to students at the College of Veterinary Medicine, has some...

[Dr. Kimbery Selting with Spike]

Chemotherapy for Pets Focuses on Quality of Life

Jan 15, 2018 / Advances in Medicine / Cancer Care / Cats / Dogs

Pet’s cancer may be managed vs. cured The word “chemotherapy” conjures up images of nauseous, balding, and debilitated patients. While supportive therapies are available to soften these side effects in human cancer patients, it’s true that medical doctors often treat cancer very aggressively, hoping to achieve complete remission of disease. For patients undergoing chemotherapy at...

Top Five Pet Health Columns from 2017

Jan 2, 2018 / Advances in Medicine / Behavior / Cancer Care / General Care / Cats / Dogs

Enjoy the Most-Read Columns from 2017 What topics did pet owners find most fascinating last year? We checked our website analytics, and discovered that fungal disease, behavioral issues, and cutting-edge treatments offered only at our college topped the list. Here’s a recap of our most-read columns. Blasted Blasto Blastomyces dermatitidis—the agent responsible for the systemic...

[cute puppy wearing winter hat]

Common Sense Approach to Pets’ Cold Weather Needs

Dec 18, 2017 / General Care / Preventive Health

Monitor pets’ comfort level in the cold Just because your pet sports a fur coat doesn’t mean he’s protected from all the potential hazards of winter. Dr. Gary Brummet, a primary care clinician at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, advises pet owners to stay attuned to their pet’s behavior to keep...

Hedgehogs Make Cute but Challenging Pets

Dec 4, 2017 / General Care / Preventive Health / Exotics / Hedgehog

Hedgehogs are nocturnal, athletic, and solitary Hedgehogs have gained popularity as pets in recent decades. Before you add one to your family, Dr. Krista Keller, a veterinarian at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, recommends learning all you can about these animals’ unique needs. While the wild European hedgehog freely roams the...

[immunotherapy for itchy dog]

Allergy Shots May Bring Relief to Itchy Dogs

Nov 27, 2017 / Advances in Medicine / Dermatology / Dogs

Immunotherapy may be an effective treatment option Is something itching at your dog? If an allergy is to blame, it probably falls into one of three categories, according to Dr. Scott Miller, who recently completed an internship in small animal dermatology at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana. The options are flea...

[cat yawning and showing teeth]

When the Tooth Breaks, Your Pet Is in Pain

Nov 13, 2017 / Dentistry / Cats / Dogs

Fractured teeth always merit a trip to the veterinarian Teeth are amazingly strong! Nevertheless, when you consider that teeth are essential tools for your cat or dog, used not only for eating but for playing and picking things up, it’s not surprising that veterinarians routinely see broken teeth in their patients. “All types of dogs...

[Rex the police dog goes home from the hospital]

Police Dog’s Twisted Spleen a Serious Problem

Nov 6, 2017 / Emergency/Critical Care / Small Animal Surgery

Splenic Torsion Requires Surgery For about a week in early September, Rex, a canine officer with the Decatur Police Department, had been lethargic and not himself. His handler took Rex several times to see the local veterinarian, who, after obtaining abdominal radiographs that were concerning for a splenic issue, recommended a trip to the emergency...