Pet Columns

dog in a taco costume

Remember FEAR Tips to Keep Pets Safe This Halloween

Oct 16, 2017 / Emergency/Critical Care / General Care / Preventive Health / Toxicology / Cats / Dogs

When Halloween comes, adults and kids alike enjoy the chance to dress up and eat more candy than usual. But the American Animal Hospital Association recommends being mindful of pets’ FEAR—food, environment, attire, and recovery—to keep pets safe and happy. Food Many people know that chocolate is toxic for pets. As little as one ounce of baking chocolate...

[snake with bite wound]

Your Pet Snake’s Diet: Dead or Alive?

Sep 30, 2017 / General Care / Preventive Health / Reptiles

Feeding live prey has risks In the wild snakes can’t just order carry-in; they have to hunt for their next meal. So it’s not surprising that owners of pet snakes may believe their pets need the thrill of the chase to satisfy natural instincts. However, Dr. Krista Keller, a veterinarian at the University of Illinois...

[Golden Wednesdays at Illinois veterinary rehab]

Old Dogs (and Cats), New Tricks

Jul 9, 2017 / General Care / Preventive Health / Cats / Dogs

Tips for Keeping Geriatric Pets Healthy Thanks to advancing medicine, pets live longer than ever before. However, with these added years of valuable life come more age-related health problems. In her role as a rehabilitation specialist at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, Kimberly Knap sees many geriatric pets—including the group of...

[dog in Fourth of July parade]

Land of the Free, Home of the Not-So-Brave Dogs

Jun 27, 2017 / Behavior / General Care / Preventive Health / Cats / Dogs

No Fireworks or Fatty Foods for Fido For Americans, the Fourth of July is a day of celebration, fireworks, and finding hundreds of ways to incorporate the American flag into food, outfits, and decorations. For our pets, it’s a random hot day full of strangers and lots of good-smelling food, accompanied by inexplicable loud “kabooms.”...

[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,...

[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...

[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...

[mares- Dr. Igor Canisso]

Ready Mares in Fall for Foals in Spring

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

Reproductive Health, Vaccinations, Nutrition Are Key While some may consider it a bit premature to be thinking about spring, if you are a horse owner expecting a foal out of your mare or hoping to get your mare in foal, this is the perfect time to start planning. Dr. Igor Canisso, an equine theriogenologist at...

[Xena with Dr. Erica Secor and veterinary student Nicole Thomas]

Canker Hoof Infection Makes Cranky Horses

Nov 21, 2016 / Disease / General Care / Horses

To prevent canker keep bedding clean and dry The word “canker” just sounds unpleasant, and to the horses that it affects, it is. Dr. Erica Secor, a veterinarian who is completing a three-year residency program in equine surgery at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, explains that canker “is the horseman’s term for...