Veterinary Clinical Medicine

The Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine conducts discovery, instruction, and service relevant to companion animals, horses, food and fiber animals, and exotic, wildlife, and zoological species.

Overview | Selected Areas of Research | Faculty and Organization | News


Expertise in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine spans a wide range of clinical specialties. Most faculty spend a significant proportion of their time delivering or supervising the care of patients in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. This clinical service integrates the training and education of residents, interns, and veterinary students who are engaged with patient care

[Julia Whittington examines a hawk held by a student]

Dr. Julia Whittington, director of the Wildlife Medical Clinic, has taught and mentored hundreds of Illinois veterinary students.

In addition to teaching as part of patient care delivery, departmental faculty teach and lecture in core courses and electives in the veterinary degree program and in graduate student seminars. Most also engage in continuing education for veterinary professionals through publications in practice-oriented journals, presentations at professional meetings, or delivery of online continuing education modules. Many take on leadership roles nationally or internationally in the professional associations devoted to their area of specialty.

Research is very often focused on advancing the standards of patient care, addressing problems that arise in the patient population that they see. Innovations developed for human patients are frequently adapted to animal patients. For example, a real-time imaging device that could allow oncologic surgeons to ensure that they have excised all of a tumor without having to wait for a pathologist’s report is being borrowed from breast cancer surgery and applied to canine cancers.

Medical advances sometimes originate in veterinary medicine and move to human medicine: chemotherapeutic approaches to osteosarcoma that have proven effective in naturally occurring cancers of dogs treated at our hospital are beginning trials in people with cancer.

Veterinary Clinical Medicine faculty frequently use clinical trials to answer specific questions about new therapies and drugs. Patients at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital may be eligible to enroll in a clinical trial that offers cutting-edge treatments at a reduced cost to the animal owner.

Faculty are dedicated not only to animal health and welfare, but to improvement of human and environmental well-being through improved understanding of the human-animal bond, food production systems, and ecosystem health.

Selected Areas of Research

Emergency Medicine/Critical Care

  • Monitoring coagulation and other blood parameters in the critical equine and canine patient
  • Efficacy of stored blood products
  • Regulation of temperature in small animal patients during anesthesia
  • Methods to evaluate and improve recovery from anesthesia in horses

Equine Orthopedics and Regenerative Biology

  • Lameness in sports horses and their related musculoskeletal injuries
  • Stem cell therapies for the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions


  • Stereolithography (3D printing) for surgical planning and training
  • Advanced CT imaging of emergency and critical care patients

Microvascular Surgery

  • Microvascular tissue transfer surgery, reconstructive surgery, and urogenital surgery


  • Investigating procaspase-3 activators as novel anticancer agents
  • Evaluation of nanoparticles for the delivery of anticancer drugs to cancer cells

Production Medicine

  • Management and control of infectious disease in swine production systems
  • Pharmacokinetics of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory transmucosal spray in piglets
  • Adaptive and transitional health in young animals
  • Using massive open online courses to advance animal health, welfare, and production globally

Respiratory Medicine

  • Structure, function, diseases, and therapeutics of the respiratory system in dogs and cats


  • Reproductive management, physiology, uterine immunobiology and microbiology in cattle
  • Mare fertility and problems in conception and delivery

Zoological Medicine

  • Care and husbandry of domesticated small mammals
  • Collection and characterization of semen from reptiles
  • Anesthetic protocols for penguins, toads, tarantulas, and other exotic species


Faculty and Organization

See the college directory for a list of Veterinary Clinical Medicine faculty members and links to their biosketches. See the College Organization page for a full listing of faculty and staff.


Dennis D. French, Interim Department Head


Timothy M. Fan, Assistant Head for Research and Graduate Studies


Marcella Ridgway, Assistant Head for Curriculum and Instruction




News Veterinary Clinical Medicine

ISSR Stallion Web Header

Illinois Hosts International Symposium on Stallion Reproduction

Aug 10, 2016 / General News

Every four years an elite group of scientists and clinicians from around the globe gathers to advance the field of andrology—the study of male reproduction—in the equine species. This year the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine is pleased to host the Seventh International Symposium on Stallion Reproduction. More than 100 experts in equine...

[Dr. Timothy Fan]

Scientists Test Nanoparticle Drug Delivery in Dogs with Bone Cancer

Jul 26, 2016 / General News

At the University of Illinois, an engineer teamed up with a veterinarian to test a bone cancer drug delivery system in animals bigger than the standard animal model, the mouse. They chose dogs – mammals closer in size and biology to humans – with naturally occurring bone cancers, which also are a lot like human...

[dog and cat]

Clinical Trials Make Cancer Surgical Innovation Available to Pets

Jul 21, 2016 / General News

Pets with Cancer Sought for Two Trials A new surgical imaging tool developed on the University of Illinois campus is being used by a veterinary surgical oncologist there to determine whether all the cancerous cells of a tumor have been removed. Two clinical trials conducted by Dr. Laura Selmic will help introduce this new approach,...

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