Pet Columns

[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...

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...

[the shelter medicine mobile surgical unit at the University of Illinois]

Sorting the Science on Spay and Neuter Surgeries

Sep 11, 2017 / Preventive Health / Small Animal Surgery / Dogs

It’s almost always best to spay and neuter pets By far the most common surgeries performed on dogs in the United States are spay and neuter procedures—collectively called gonadectomies—that remove the reproductive organs to prevent unwanted pregnancies and pet overpopulation. But while these surgeries are common, they are not without controversy. Misconceptions and concerns about...

[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...

[ticks, fleas, heartworms are major pet parasites]

Prevent the Big Three Pet Parasites

Jul 3, 2017 / Parasites / Preventive Health / Cats / Dogs

Ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes. Nobody wants these bugs on their pets or in their house. But the reasons for keeping these bugs away go beyond just avoiding pests. “Ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes are dangerous because they can carry and cause malicious diseases,” explains Dr. Gary Brummet, who heads the small animal primary care service at...

[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.”...