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.

[Francisco the betta fish]

Francisco the Fish Visits the Vet

Jul 24, 2019 / General Care / Fish

Seek Help If Your Fish Exhibits Abnormal Behaviors Of course you’d take your cat or dog to see a veterinarian when there’s a health concern. But what do you do when your sick pet is a fish? Leslie, a third-year student at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, noticed something odd on her...

[white persian cat]

Grant-Funded Study Investigates Care for Brachycephalic Cats

Jul 1, 2019 / Advances in Medicine / Small Animal Surgery / Cats

The Future Is Feline Bulldogs, pugs, Boston terriers, and exotic cats with their squishy little faces…. They’re cute, they’ve got big personalities, and sometimes they snore. What many don’t realize is that this cuteness comes with a price tag: brachycephalic syndrome. Brachycephalic syndrome is a pathological condition in short-nosed dogs and cats. These animals have...

[sad dog]

Lumps and Bumps on My Pet

Jun 24, 2019 / Cancer Care / Cats / Dogs

Accurate Veterinary Advice Is Empowering Imagine petting your dog or cat and finding a lump, something you hadn’t noticed there before. Feeling alarmed, you turn to an online search engine, which yields lots of scary diagnoses: cancer, tumor, cyst, fatty mass. What does this all mean? And which condition does your pet actually have? According...

[puppies]

The Tell-tale Murmur: Heart Problems in Puppies

Jun 17, 2019 / Cardiology / Dogs

Heart Murmurs Often Go Away By Six Months of Age Although the occurrence is rare, some puppies are born with heart conditions that should be detected and treated as soon as possible to ensure that they lead a healthy life. Dr. Jordan Vitt, a veterinary cardiologist at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in...

Many Paths on Journey of Grieving for Pet

Jun 11, 2019 / Grief Helpline

No shortcuts through grieving process Our pets become part of our family. They develop distinct relationships with each family member, human and animal alike. After a pet’s death, each family member will go through the grieving process in his or her own way. Gail Wallis Hague, a counseling psychologist with close to 40 years of...

[black cat in a kitchen]

Cats with FeLV and FIV Can Live Normal Lives

Jun 3, 2019 / Infectious Disease / Internal Medicine / Cats

Communication between owner and vet is vital Two acronyms that can be confusing to cat owners are FeLV and FIV. FeLV stands for feline leukemia virus, and FIV is feline immunodeficiency virus. Although caused by distinct viruses, these diseases have similarities: both are contagious and incurable; both are more likely to be acquired by a...

[canine neuro patient at Illinois]

Big Dogs, Little Dogs Get Disc Disease

May 6, 2019 / Neurology

Intervertebral disc disease may happen at any time The backbone, or spine, is a complex and amazing structure that is literally central to the well-being and function of vertebrate animals. Made up of a series of squat round bones called vertebrae, the spine protects the nerves in the spinal cord, which transmit impulses between the...

Bettas Need More Than Bowls

Apr 15, 2019 / General Care / Preventive Health / Fish

It’s Not ‘Just’ a Fish Known for their bright, beautiful coloration and elaborate fin displays, betta fish, more accurately called “Siamese fighting fish,” are a common household pet. These little beauties require specific care to ensure that they stay happy and healthy. Dr. Krista Keller, a veterinarian at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital...

[photo of great dane]

Oncologists Study Immunotherapy to Combat Osteosarcoma

Apr 1, 2019 / Advances in Medicine / Cancer Care / Dogs

Study Uses High-Precision Radiation Technology Every year, 10,000 dogs in the United States are diagnosed with osteosarcoma, an extremely aggressive malignant bone tumor that typically occurs in a weight-bearing limb. Recently, Morris Animal Foundation funded a three-part study at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine to examine whether the body’s own immune system...