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.

[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...

[veterinary anesthesiologists - Lynelle Graham]

Veterinary Anesthesiologists: They’re Not Just for Surgeries

Feb 27, 2017 / Pain Management / Small Animal Surgery / Birds / Cats / Dogs / Exotics / Horses / Small Mammals

Other roles: ensure lifelong comfort and health Anesthesia—a controlled state of unconsciousness, almost like induced sleep—is used during a variety of veterinary procedures to ensure that the patient doesn’t feel pain, remains still, and is unaware of what is happening around them. While all veterinarians are educated to safely anesthetize their patients, some go on...

[girl with goat]

New Feed Directive Applies to All Farm Animals

Feb 12, 2017 / Disease / Public Health / Farm Animals

Antibiotics can no longer be used for growth promotion Just as many people make New Year’s resolutions about dietary changes to improve health, so the veterinary world began this year with a health-oriented change to the diets of farm animals. This change, called the veterinary feed directive, took full effect starting January 1, 2017. “The...

[dog on a purse - xylitol]

X is for Xylitol, Deadly for Dogs

Jan 30, 2017 / Emergency/Critical Care / Toxicology / Dogs

To prevent xylitol toxicity, read labels Of course you aren’t going to offer your dog a stick of sugar-free gum! But did you know that xylitol, a sugar alcohol that is toxic to dogs, can be found not only in many brands of gum but also in other household items, from toothpaste to peanut butter?...

[FeLV-opens-doors-disease]

Feline Leukemia Virus Opens Doors to Secondary Diseases

Jan 23, 2017 / Infectious Disease / Internal Medicine / Cats

Prevent FeLV by keeping cats indoors Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is an agent that spreads easily between cats and has potentially lethal effects, causing a variety of secondary diseases that range from secondary infections to cancer. Dr. Stanley Rubin, a veterinarian who specializes in internal medicine at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in...

[pet column dominance - wolves]

Dominance Is Not the Answer

Jan 2, 2017 / Behavior / Dogs

Domestic dogs are not wolves If only our pets could talk! Then we would know for sure why they are acting a certain way. Instead, we resort to books, word-of-mouth, and TV shows to decipher pets’ actions. The problem is that these sources deliver many incorrect and misguided beliefs about animal behavior. Dr. Kelly Ballantyne...

[fear free veterinary practice]

When Your Pet Fears the Vet Clinic

Dec 11, 2016 / Behavior / General Care / Cats / Dogs

Fear Free practices reduce pet stress Does your cat skedaddle when the carrier comes out? Does your dog dive under the bed when he hears the “v-word”? A trip to the vet is some pets’ worst nightmare. As a consequence, owners may neglect important health care visits rather than put their pets and themselves through...