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.

[white-tailed deer fawn in grass]

It’s Time to Learn about Wildlife Babies

Mar 14, 2016 / General Care / Public Health / Wildlife

Wildlife babies do best when left in the wild Each spring, wildlife babies are taken from the wild by well-meaning people who believe the animals have been abandoned by their parents. Although it may be human nature to want to rescue an animal that looks like it needs help, the truth is wild babies rarely...

[Maureen McMichael in the ER at Illinois]

Honey Heals: The Sweet Side of Wound Care

Mar 7, 2016 / Emergency/Critical Care / Cats / Dogs / Small Mammals

Honey fights microbes in several ways The use of honey as a healing agent dates to ancient times. In the 4th century BC, the Greek philosopher Aristotle mentioned honey as being “good as a salve for sore eyes and wounds.” Today, veterinarians use honey and sugar to help heal wounds. Dr. Maureen McMichael, an emergency...

[old draft horse]

Care and Keeping of Older Horses

Feb 29, 2016 / General Care / Preventive Health / Horses

Every geriatric horse should have a yearly physical At age 20, people may be in their physical prime, but for horses, 20 often marks the beginning of the golden years. Dr. Scott Austin, an equine veterinarian at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, says senior horses require special attention to ensure their...

[Meller’s chameleon after surgery]

The Case of the Calcium-Deficient Chameleon

Feb 22, 2016 / Emergency/Critical Care / General Care / Exotics / Reptiles

Exotic pets have precise diet and climate needs Chameleons are notoriously tricky pets to keep healthy. There are around 200 distinct species, each with its own particular climate needs. They also have extensive nutrient requirements, which inexperienced owners often neglect. That’s why nutrient deficiencies were the first thing investigated by Dr. Sean Perry, a veterinary...

[a youngopossum shows its teeth]

The Wild Side of Dental Health Month

Feb 15, 2016 / Dentistry / Wildlife

Dental problems can be fatal in wildlife February is National Pet Dental Health Month. For our pets, regular veterinary visits will address any dental problems, and rarely would these problems be life-threatening. But what about wild species? As Dr. Nichole Rosenhagen explains, dental problems that impair an animal’s ability to eat can be fatal in...

[brushing for pet dental health]

Nothing Beats Brushing for Pet’s Dental Health

Feb 1, 2016 / Dentistry / Cats / Dogs

February is National Pet Dental Health month Do you make brushing your teeth part of your daily routine? Can you imagine going to your annual visit to the dentist having done nothing to care for your teeth in the year since your last professional cleaning? Dr. Katherine Kling, a veterinarian at the University of Illinois...

[a parrot shows off its unique beak profile at Vet Med Open House]

When Beaks Go Bad

Jan 25, 2016 / General Care / Birds

Beaks are made of bone and keratin There’s no such thing as a dentist for birds, but did you know that some macaws require orthodontia to correct a misalignment of their beaks? That’s just one of a host of problems that can beset beaks, according to Dr. Kenneth Welle, a board certified avian practitioner at...

[two guinea pigs]

Housing and Feeding Your Guinea Pig

Jan 19, 2016 / General Care / Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs are talkative, social, and rather cute Guinea pigs are great as a child’s first pet or as a lifelong hobby. They are members of the Cavy family (Caviidae) of rodents native to South America. Dr. Kenneth Welle, an exotic pet veterinarian at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, has advice...

[yellow labrador retriever on a rug]

My Dog Is Leaking

Jan 6, 2016 / General Care / Internal Medicine / Dogs

About 90 percent of incontinence patients respond to medications. Have you ever noticed that your dog leaves a wet spot of urine when she gets up from sleeping? On your bed? On your favorite hand-woven rug? If so, it’s very likely that your dog has urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence is a condition where there is...