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

Oct 7, 2020 / Infectious Disease / Public Health / Cats / Dogs

Do pets or other animals get sick from SARS-CoV-2 like people do? This answer depends on the species. Several species including cats (domestic and exotic), mink, dogs and non-human primates have all tested positive for the virus after exposure to a human with known or suspected SARS-CoV-2. Cats and mink are most likely to become...

[Spike with his family during recovery]

Spike’s Story: Rehabilitation Helps Puppy after Surgery

Sep 27, 2020 / Rehabilitation / Small Animal Surgery

Four months of therapy restored function When people have major orthopedic surgery, doctors want them back on their feet as soon as possible. In the human medical world, patients are helped by physical therapy. The veterinary equivalent for animal patients is called physical rehabilitation, which employs exercises and tools to help strengthen animal patients’ muscles....

[three jennies]

Baudet du Poitou: Conservation of a Rare Breed

Sep 11, 2020 / Advances in Medicine / Donkeys

Only 44 of these donkeys existed in 1977 You’ve probably heard of endangered species. Although scientists estimate that dozens of species go extinct every single day, attention seems to focus on large wildlife such as rhinoceroses and great apes. But did you realize that domesticated breeds can also become extinct? One domesticated breed that came...

[Dr. Catherine Foreman-Hesterberg adjusts horse's spine]

Chiropractic Adjustment for Animals

Aug 12, 2020 / Pain Management / Rehabilitation / Cats / Dogs / Horses

Most Effective for Biomechanical Conditions For centuries now, many cultures have practiced spinal manipulation in people as a therapy to complement traditional medicine. It’s unclear when this practice was first used for animals, but the modern form of animal chiropractic arose within the past century. Dr. Catherine Foreman-Hesterberg, a veterinarian at the University of Illinois,...

Cancer in Cats: More Research Needed

Jul 19, 2020 / Cancer Care / Cats

Cancer Treatment Has Come a Long Way Animals and humans have a lot in common. Not only do they share the same living environments, but they also share many similar segments of genes. This makes animals great disease models in research. Dr. Alycen Lundberg, a veterinary oncologist at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary...

[Hannah Bailey after the procedure]

Minimally Invasive Procedure Fixes Puppy’s Problem

Jul 1, 2020 / Advances in Medicine / Small Animal Surgery / Dogs

Treatment for Persistent Right Aortic Arch Hannah Bailey was sick. The six-month-old mixed-breed puppy couldn’t keep food down. She had lost weight. Her local veterinarian diagnosed an enlarged esophagus and suggested that her new owners take her to the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana. Luckily for Hannah Bailey, a specialist there was...

[exterior of clinic with reptile, cat, and parrot]

New University of Illinois Veterinary Clinic Earns Accreditation

Jun 22, 2020 / General Care / Birds / Cats / Dogs / Exotics / Reptiles / Small Mammals

Serving Dogs, Cats, Zoological Species Veterinary Medicine South Clinic, part of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, achieved a significant milestone in veterinary care with its accreditation by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). AAHA is the only accrediting body for small animal hospitals in the United States. Hospitals accredited by AAHA meet or exceed...

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

Fat Cats and Heavy Hounds

Jun 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...