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.

[Zucca goes to the vet]

Cats Need Yearly Checkups, Year-round Enrichment

Aug 13, 2018 / Behavior / Preventive Health

Find Out All That Cats Need Cats have a reputation for being low-maintenance, independent creatures, especially in comparison with dogs. But the truth is that providing a healthy, happy life for your cat involves a lot more than just a daily meal and clean litterbox. August 22 is National Bring Your Cat to the Vet...

[sick dog canine influenza]

New Dog Flu Is Here to Stay

Jul 30, 2018 / Infectious Disease / Preventive Health / Dogs

Canine Influenza H3N2 Spread Across U.S. A new strain of canine influenza made headlines in 2015 when it first appeared in the United States, sickening hundreds of dogs in Chicago. It took less than three years for that strain to spread to more than 30 other states. Dr. Drew Sullivan, director of the Medical District...

[Culex pipiens]

What’s the Buzz? Birds, Horses, People Get West Nile Virus

Jul 24, 2018 / Infectious Disease / Parasites / Public Health / Birds / Horses / Wildlife

Mosquitoes transmit West Nile virus Mosquito season is here. Not only are the bites inflicted by these flying pests itchy and annoying, they also carry the risk of disease for humans and animals alike. Veterinarians actively monitor, treat, and seek solutions for diseases that affect human and animal health. Heartworm disease is a well-publicized and...

[Dr. Annette McCoy examines a horse's leg]

First Aid for Horses

Jul 16, 2018 / Emergency/Critical Care / Horses

Be Prepared to Handle Wounds Would you know what to do if your horse accidentally encountered a sharp edge and ended up with a cut? Dr. Annette McCoy, an equine surgeon at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, offers information that will help you be prepared so you can stay calm and...

[empty bench]

CARE Just a Call Away for Grieving Pet Owners

Jul 9, 2018 / Grief Helpline

‘We promise to lend a compassionate ear’ Grieving the death of a pet can leave people feeling overwhelmed and alone. The Companion Animal Related Emotions (CARE) Pet Loss Helpline was established to provide help coping with those emotions, whether you are grieving or anticipating the loss of your pet. Gail Wallis Hague, a counseling psychologist...

[hot weather dog]

Avoid Hot Weather Hazards for Dogs

Jul 2, 2018 / Emergency/Critical Care / General Care / Preventive Health / Dogs

Dehydration, Heatstroke Are Preventable Ironically, the dog days of summer—the hottest time of the year—are not always good for dogs. Dr. Jennifer Reinhart, a specialist in veterinary internal medicine at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, shares tips on preventing dehydration and other hot weather hazards that could require a trip to...

[Nearly one-third of US dog owners sleep with their pet]

Lives Intertwined: Pets, People, and ‘One Health’

Jun 18, 2018 / General Care / Public Health / Birds / Cats / Dogs / Reptiles / Small Mammals

Pet Ownership Benefits People “One Health” is a term used to convey the interdependence of human, animal, and environmental health. In their recent book, Beyond One Health: From Recognition to Results, coeditors Drs. Jack Herrmann and Yvette Johnson-Walker, faculty members at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, devote an entire chapter to the...

[Ares the Doberman Pinscher}

Dog’s Painful Growths between Toes Removed by Laser

Jun 4, 2018 / Advances in Medicine / Dermatology / Dogs

Interdigital cysts are fairly common Poor Ares was in pain. The three-year-old Doberman Pinscher had sores between his toes on all four paws when he came to see Dr. Jason Pieper, a veterinary dermatologist at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana. Ares had been licking at the bumpy sores and some of...

[horse cough]

My Horse Has a Cough. Now What?

May 20, 2018 / Disease / General Care / Horses

Many Conditions Make a Horse Cough As a horse owner, you would not hesitate to seek veterinary care if your horse shows signs of lameness, colic, choke, or other immediate dangers. But what do you do when your horse shows signs that are less clear-cut, such as a cough? There are dozens of reasons why...

[Kristen Keller and Leo]

Keep Teflon, Avocado, Lead, and Zinc Away From Pet Birds

May 7, 2018 / Preventive Health / Toxicology / Birds

These items are toxic to birds Bird owners, beware ! Three common household toxins—TeflonTM, avocado, and heavy metals—present deadly dangers to your feathered friends, according to Dr. Krista Keller, a veterinary specialist in zoological medicine. Dr. Keller, who sees exotic pets at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, advises bird owners to...