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.

[closeup of dog's nose/face]

Coronavirus and Pets: FAQs for Owners

May 15, 2020 / Infectious Disease / Public Health / Cats / Dogs

Is there a COVID-19 vaccine for dogs and cats? There is no vaccine for COVID-19 for people or animals at this time. Veterinarians are familiar with other coronaviruses. Similar but different coronavirus species  cause several common diseases in domestic animals. Many dogs, for example, are vaccinated for another species of coronavirus (Canine Coronavirus) as puppies....

[Dr. Gene Pavlovsky, right, teaches how to do a physical exam of a dog]

Fat Cats and Heavy Hounds

May 13, 2020 / Preventive Health / Cats / Dogs

The Problem of Overweight Pets By most estimates, well over half of all cats and dogs in the United States are overweight. Dr. Gene Pavlovsky, a small animal veterinarian at the University of Illinois Veterinary Medicine South Clinic in Urbana, says that those extra pounds can have serious health consequences for pets. He has suggestions...

[radiographing foal's leg]

Hospital Delivers Care for Special-Needs Foals

Apr 29, 2020 / Emergency/Critical Care / Horses

Foals and Mares Sometimes Need Help While people are sheltering in place and implementing social distancing, life goes on for some creatures. In the equine medicine and surgery service at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital, springtime is foal season. Dr. Pamela Wilkins, professor of equine medicine and specialist in equine neonatology, shares details...

[Dr. Krista Keller with Leo]

Parrots Are Forever

Apr 21, 2020 / General Care / Birds

Research the Commitments of Ownership Parrots are gorgeous, highly intelligent, socially complex, loud, long-lived birds. Anyone who is contemplating adding a parrot to the family should thoroughly research the needs of these fascinating and demanding pets, advises Dr. Krista Keller, a board-certified specialist in zoological medicine at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in...

[Dr. Danielle Strahl-Heldreth with a horse and students]

Field Anesthesia for Horse Surgeries

Apr 1, 2020 / Pain Management / Horses

Field Anesthesia Requires Thought, Preparation Anesthesia is important for controlling pain and ensuring the safety of patient and caregivers during a surgical procedure. But for some animal patients, anesthesia use isn’t confined to the operating room. Dr. Danielle Strahl-Heldreth, a veterinary anesthesiologist at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, has experience in...

[cat]

Rabies Vaccination Required for All Cats in Illinois

Jan 26, 2020 / Preventive Health / Public Health / Cats

Vaccinated Pets Protect Public Health Dr. Ashley Mitek, assistant teaching professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and small animal Extension veterinarian, compiled the following FAQs about the new cat rabies law, with help from veterinary oncologist Dr. Alycen Lundberg and public health veterinarian Dr. Will Sander. When does the new cat...

[Dr. Caroline Tonozzi examines a dog in the ICU]

Marijuana and Pets Should Not Mix

Jan 10, 2020 / Emergency/Critical Care / Toxicology / Cats / Dogs

Pet Poisoning Cases Get Higher In the first week that recreational use of the drug became legal in Illinois, the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital saw two cases of likely marijuana intoxication in pets. Dr. Caroline Tonozzi, a specialist in veterinary emergency and critical care who heads the small animal ER at the hospital,...

[veterinarians examine dog's eye]

Don’t Overlook Dry Eye in Dogs

Dec 23, 2019 / Ophthalmology / Dogs

Most common eye problem in dogs Tears have an important role in keeping the eye healthy. They cover the cornea and wash away debris and infectious agents. They even have germ-fighting properties! When the eye’s tear film—the thin but complex layer of fluid coating the eye—does not contain enough tears, dogs (and people) are subject...

[pet tarantula]

When Your Pet Has Eight Legs

Dec 10, 2019 / Preventive Health / Exotics

Tarantulas May Live 10 to 30 Years Not all “furry friends” have fur. Some people choose tarantulas as their family companion. Dr. Krista Keller, a board-certified specialist in zoological medicine at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, says big spiders need attention and love, just like a dog or cat does. “The...

[dog in a car]

Traveling with Pets: Know the Rules

Dec 8, 2019 / Public Health / Cats / Dogs / Exotics

Pet travel is regulated “Most people consider pets as family members and often bring their pets with them when traveling,” says Dr. Adriana Roman-Muniz, a veterinary medical officer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Veterinary Services. Recently Dr. Roman-Muniz spoke with students at the University of Illinois...