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.

[blue jay on blue feeder]

Dos and Don’ts of Cold Weather Birdbaths and Feeders

Nov 9, 2015 / General Care / Wildlife

Bird feeders and the simple yet effective concrete birdbath are great ways to attract nature’s own reality show to your windows. In order to make sure your bird oases promote wildlife health this winter, the experts from the University of Illinois Wildlife Medical Clinic in Urbana offer these guidelines. Do keep it clean In warm...

[blue betta fish with orange background]

Freshwater Fish 101

Oct 26, 2015 / Fish

Though “fish” is not the first animal you may think of when you hear the word “pet,” the number of people keeping fish as pets is growing. According to the 2015-2016 National Pet Owners Survey, conducted by the American Pet Products Association, there are more than 95 million freshwater fish—with common goldfish by far the...

[Conan has a monkey on his back]

Halloween Can Be Tricky for Pets

Oct 16, 2015 / General Care / Preventive Health / Birds / Cats / Dogs

Here are the top tips for Halloween pet safety from experts at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and the American Veterinary Medical Association:   Costume Caution That pug in the pumpkin outfit may be cute, but make sure it’s safe. Costumes with parts that could be chewed off and swallowed present a...

[dog and cat lie on couch together]

Cases of Marijuana Intoxication in Pets Get Higher

Oct 5, 2015 / Toxicology / Cats / Dogs

As of November 2014, four states had approved the use of marijuana as a recreational drug, and it appears that marijuana is becoming more widely accepted across the nation. Not surprisingly, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has seen an increase in the number of reported cases of pets eating pot: 539 calls about marijuana...

[black cat sitting on stairs]

Coping with the Death of a Pet

Sep 1, 2015 / Grief Helpline / Birds / Cats / Dogs / Exotics / Horses

Whether the animal is as large as a horse or as small as a hamster, these companions can play a huge role in our lives. When our animal companion dies, we may feel as though we’ve lost a best friend and a family member. At the same time, we may worry that a deep sense...

[baby bunny]

Rabbit Fever Can Infect People, Pets

Aug 18, 2015 / Infectious Disease / Preventive Health / Cats / Dogs / Wildlife

A disease of wildlife called tularemia, a.k.a. “rabbit fever,” has been reported in every state except Hawaii, according to Kelly Rockwell, a third-year student at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine who co-manages the student-run Wildlife Medical Clinic. “Tularemia has been around a long time. It is getting a lot of press lately...

[dog scratching in backyard]

Itchy Pets May Have Flea Allergy

Jul 20, 2015 / Dermatology / Parasites / Cats / Dogs

Many pets are allergic to the saliva of the adult flea Most pet owners know that dogs and cats should be treated regularly with medication to prevent an infestation of fleas, but they may not realize that even a pet receiving a flea preventive can be bitten by an adult flea and develop an allergic...

[a veterinarian and technician draw blood from a cat]

White Blood Cells in Dogs and Cats

Jul 12, 2015 / Diagnostic Laboratory / General Care / Cats / Dogs

The white blood cell count is a diagnostic tool for evaluating your pet’s health When your veterinarian runs a blood test to determine what’s ailing Fluffy, do you ever wonder what exactly all those numbers mean? A simple blood test provides a lot of information about your pet’s health status. Among other things, the blood...

[two dogs wearing harnesses in back seat of car]

Safe, Stress-free Travel with Pets

Jul 7, 2015 / Behavior / General Care / Preventive Health / Cats / Dogs

People are on the go, and increasingly, they are taking their pets along for the ride. While some pets seem born to ride, for others the loud noises and strange motions involved in traveling can be a real problem. Dr. Kelly Ballantyne, a veterinarian at the University of Illinois Chicago Center for Veterinary Medicine with...