Pet Columns

[closeup of dog's nose/face]

Coronavirus and Pets: FAQs for Owners

Mar 19, 2020 / Infectious Disease / Public Health / Dogs

Pets Unlikely to Spread COVID-19 It is also unlikely that dogs and cats will become ill from the virus. Authorities continue to recommend that owners wash their hands before and after handling animals, their food, or their supplies and that people avoid kissing pets. Veterinarians and human health officials will continue to monitor this situation...

[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...

[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...

[blastomycosis dog]

Midwest Dogs at Risk of Fungal Infection Blastomycosis

Mar 13, 2017 / Infectious Disease / Preventive Health / Dogs

Sporting dogs are at greater risk The unsuspecting victim inhales microscopic spores, which travel from the lungs throughout the body causing disease. It may sound like something out of science fiction, but the fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis—the agent responsible for the systemic infection blastomycosis—is commonly found right here in the Midwest. Fungus Infects Dogs, Horses, Cats,...

[FeLV-opens-doors-disease]

Feline Leukemia Virus Opens Doors to Secondary Diseases

Jan 23, 2017 / Infectious Disease / Internal Medicine / Cats

Prevent FeLV by keeping cats indoors Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is an agent that spreads easily between cats and has potentially lethal effects, causing a variety of secondary diseases that range from secondary infections to cancer. Dr. Stanley Rubin, a veterinarian who specializes in internal medicine at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in...

[puppy outdoors]

Can My Pet Get Zika?

Sep 29, 2016 / Infectious Disease / Preventive Health / Cats / Dogs

Recent coverage of the Zika virus and its health impact on people and fetuses has raised questions among pet owners. The Zika virus was first identified in Africa more than 60 years ago. It is spread to people primarily by mosquito bites, and usually causes no or only mild symptoms in people. However, infection with...