blog navigation

Veterinary Medicine

blog posts

  • Update on the spread of avian influenza

    A Minute With™... Yvette J. Johnson, a professor of veterinary clinical medicine

  • On the creation of a new obesity drug for dogs

    A Minute With™... Thomas K. Graves, a professor of veterinary clinical medicine

  • Wildlife veterinarian Mark A. Mitchell reports on how our instinctive fear of snakes and other reptiles leads to neglect and mismanagement.

    Despite a recent salmonella outbreak, can pet turtles be made safe?

    A Minute With™... wildlife veterinarian Mark A. Mitchell

  • 'Pix With Pets' fundraiser is Nov. 10

    The UI College of Veterinary Medicine has scheduled "Pix With Pets," a seasonal fundraiser, for Nov. 10 at Prairieland Feeds, 303 S. Dunlap Ave., Savoy.

  • Mark A. Mitchell

    Despite a recent salmonella outbreak, can pet turtles be made safe?

    A Minute With™... wildlife veterinarian Mark A. Mitchell

  • Mark Mitchell, a professor of veterinary clinical medicine, led the research team that found antibiotic-resistant bacteria in seven species of sharks and one redfish species captured in waters off Massachusetts, Florida, Louisiana and Belize.

    Wild sharks, redfish harbor antibiotic-resistant bacteria

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Researchers have found antibiotic-resistant bacteria in seven species of sharks and one redfish species captured in waters off Massachusetts, Florida, Louisiana and Belize. Most of these wild, free-swimming fish harbored several drug-resistant bacterial strains.

  • Sketches by more than 40 celebrity artists - including Alan Alda and University of Illinois alumnus William Wegman - will be auctioned along with autographed photos, vacation packages and nature-themed artwork at the 10th Annual Doodle for Wildlife.

    'Doodle for Wildlife' clinic benefit to auction artwork, vacations

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Sketches by more than 40 celebrity artists - including Alan Alda and University of Illinois alumnus William Wegman - will be auctioned along with autographed photos, vacation packages and nature-themed artwork at the 10th Annual Doodle for Wildlife.

  • Board-certified avian medicine veterinarian joins U. of I. staff

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Anuk didn't want to sit on her perch, preferring instead to stand on the bottom of her cage. A recurring infection on Anuk's right foot had brought the gregarious and mischievous Moluccan cockatoo and her concerned owners, the Hess family - daughter Iiae and parents Patrick and Violeta - from their home in Lincoln, Ill., to see veterinarian Ken Welle at the Small Animal Clinic at the University of Illinois in Urbana.

  • Robert "Bob" O'Brien, professor and head of diagnostic imaging in the College of Veterinary Medicine, demonstrates his invention, the VetMouseTrap, with his cat Michael.

    U. of I. veterinarians build better 'mouse trap' for enhanced diagnoses

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Veterinary radiologists in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois recently obtained what are believed to be the first 3-D internal renderings of dogs' larynxes by using a restraint device they created that allows clinicians to perform CT scans on awake small animals without chemical restraint.

  • "Because our patients can't talk to us, we have to figure out what's wrong with them based on physical examination and testing and histories given by their owners," said Pamela Wilkins, a professor of equine internal medicine and emergency/critical care at the University of Illinois and author of a new paper on equine neonatal intensive care.

    Treating newborn horses: A unique form of pediatrics

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Like any other newborn, the neonatal horse can be a challenging patient. Its immune system is still under construction, its blood chemistry can vary wildly, and - like most infants - it wants to stay close to mom.

  • Interactive exhibits entice at annual Veterinary Medicine Open House

    CHAMPAIGN,Ill. - Your dog may say "woof woof" (English), "ouah ouah" (Finnish), "gav gav" (Greek), or "bau bau" (Italian), but at the University of Illinois Veterinary Medicine Open House, there is bound to be a veterinarian who speaks your language.

  • Qigiq, an injured snowy owl, shows off his progress to Anne Rivas, the senior manager at the UI Wildlife Medical Clinic, who has been in charge of his care since he arrived at the clinic in January.

    Rare snowy owl recovering at UI Wildlife Medical Clinic

    The people who have been taking care of the injured snowy owl that was brought to the UI Wildlife Medical Clinic in January are hoping he lives up to his name, Qigiq - Inuit for "white hawk that flies in the sky."

  • In this February photo, Qigiq's injured left wing is immobilized with a splint while it's healing. The bird is now at the Alaska Raptor Center in Sitka and is expected to be released in the wild after further rehabilitation.

    Snowy owl off to Alaska, working toward release in the wil

    Qigiq, the snowy owl that was brought to the UI Wildlife Medical Clinic on Jan. 3 with a broken wing, took an early flight to Alaska on April 1 to begin the next phase of his rehabilitation.

  • The Wildlife Medical Clinic has created a classroom-focused website to educate students from kindergarten through high school about wildlife, natural resources and conservation efforts by engaging the students with hands-on Internet-based lessons.

    New website educates about wildlife, conservation, natural resources

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Web has become a little more wild with the introduction of a website that explores human interactions with the natural world. The Wildlife Medical Clinic at the University of Illinois recently created a classroom-focused website called Wildlife Encounters to educate students of all ages about the world around them.

  • A better mousetrap The VetMouseTrap, a restraint device developed by veterinary radiologist Robert T. O'Brien, is enabling clinicians to conduct CT scans on patients that couldn't be scanned previously, leading to faster diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening conditions.

    'Mouse trap' allows vets to make faster diagnoses, without anesthesia

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Advancements in the use of computed tomography (also known as CT) imaging by researchers at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital are enabling them to diagnose life-threatening conditions in dogs and cats faster, dramatically affecting the course, outcomes and costs of treatment.

  • U. of I. designated one of first Veterinary Trauma Centers

    The small animal emergency service at the U. of I. Veterinary Teaching Hospital is one of nine U.S. veterinary hospitals and clinics to be provisionally designated as a Veterinary Trauma Center by the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.

  • Stuart C. Clark-Price, a specialist in anesthesiology and pain management in the U. of I. Veterinary Teaching Hospital, is leading a multiuniversity research project aimed at developing treatment protocols that help horses get back on their hooves quickly and safely after surgery.

    Cellphone technology helps horses recover from surgery

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Technology that's used in smartphones and other electronic devices also is being used by veterinarians at the University of Illinois to help horses recover safely from anesthesia.

  • Fred Kummerow, a professor of comparative biosciences at the University of Illinois, reports that LDL cholesterol results from a simple dietary deficiency.

    'Bad cholesterol' indicates an amino acid deficiency, researcher says

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the "bad cholesterol" that doctors consider a sign of potential heart disease, is merely a marker of a diet lacking all of the essential amino acids, says University of Illinois comparative biosciences professor Fred Kummerow, 99, a longtime opponent of the medical establishment's war on cholesterol.

  • Regular exposure to artificial ultraviolet B light for two weeks doubled rabbits' serum vitamin D levels, the researchers found.

    Rabbits kept indoors could be vitamin D deficient

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Rabbits that remain indoors may suffer from a lack of vitamin D, researchers report in a new study. In rabbits kept as pets or used in laboratory studies, the deficiency could lead to dental problems, undermine their cardiovascular health, weaken their immune systems and skew scientific findings.

  • An emerging fungal disease threatens the last eastern massasauga rattlesnake population in Illinois.

    Scientists gear up to fight deadly snake fungal disease

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Researchers have developed a faster and more accurate way to test for infection with Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, a fungus that is killing snakes in the Midwest and eastern United States. The test also allows scientists to monitor the progression of the infection in living snakes.

  • After experiencing power outages during a 2007 ice storm in Springfield, Missouri, Dickerson Park Zoo officials improved their backup power and heating systems to keep animals - like Henry, pictured here -- safe and warm.

    Flu at the zoo and other disasters: Experts help animal exhibitors prepare for the worst

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Here are three disaster scenarios for zoo or aquarium managers: One, a wildfire lunges towards your facility, threatening your staff and hundreds of zoo animals. Two, hurricane floodwaters pour into your basement, where more than 10,000 exotic fish and marine mammals live in giant tanks. Three, local poultry farmers report avian influenza (bird flu) in their chickens, a primary source of protein for your big cats.

  • An interdisciplinary research team developed a new approach to treating endometriosis. The team includes, clockwise, from back left: molecular and integrative physiology professor Milan Bagchi, chemistry professor John Katzenellenbogen, visiting research scientist Ping Gong, molecular and integrative physiology professor Benita Katzenellenbogen, postdoctoral fellow Yiru Chen, research scientist Yuechao Zhao, and comparative biosciences professor CheMyong Ko.

    New drug compounds show promise against endometriosis

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Two new drug compounds - one of which has already proven useful in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis - appear to be effective in treating endometriosis, a disorder that, like MS, is driven by estrogen and inflammation, scientists report in Science Translational Medicine.

  • Muskrats in central Illinois are being exposed to toxoplasmosis, a disease spread by cats.

    In Illinois, muskrats and minks harbor toxoplasmosis, a cat disease

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new study of muskrats and minks in central Illinois indicates that toxoplasmosis, a disease spread by cats, is moving rapidly through the landscape and contaminating local waterways.

  • University of Illinois chemistry professor Paul Hergenrother, left, and veterinary clinical medicine professor Timothy Fan tested an anti-cancer compound in pet dogs that will be used in human clinical trials.

    Cancer drug first tested in pet dogs begins human trials

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new drug that prompts cancer cells to self-destruct while sparing healthy cells is now entering phase I clinical trials in humans. The drug, called PAC-1, first showed promise in the treatment of pet dogs with spontaneously occurring cancers, and is still in clinical trials in dogs with osteosarcoma.

  • In a study of mice, comparative biosciences professor Jodi Flaws and her colleagues linked BPA exposure during pregnancy to reproductive problems in the next three generations.

    BPA exposure in pregnant mice affects fertility in three generations

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - When scientists exposed pregnant mice to levels of bisphenol A equivalent to those considered safe in humans, three generations of female mouse offspring experienced significant reproductive problems, including declines in fertility, sexual maturity and pregnancy success, the scientists report in the journal Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology.

  • Bottlenose dolphins found on Gulf of Mexico beaches after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill had severe lung and adrenal gland abnormalities consistent with petroleum product exposure, researchers report.

    Researchers link dolphin deaths to Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Dolphins found stranded on Gulf of Mexico beaches following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill were much more likely to have severe lung and adrenal gland damage “consistent with petroleum product exposure” than dolphins stranded elsewhere and prior to the spill, researchers report. One in five dolphins from the spill zone also had primary bacterial pneumonia.

  • University of Illinois veterinary clinical medicine professor Timothy Fan, pictured here with his dog, Ember, describes the advantages of testing potential cancer therapies on pet dogs with spontaneously occurring cancers.

    Drug trials in pet dogs with cancer may speed advances in human oncology

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Pet dogs may be humans’ best friends in a new arena of life: cancer treatment, said University of Illinois veterinary clinical medicine professor Timothy Fan. Physiological similarities between dogs and humans, and conserved genetics between some dog and human cancers, can allow pet dogs to serve as useful models for studying new cancer drugs, he said.

  • Graduate student Daniel Raudabaugh, left, and mycologist Andrew Miller, of the Illinois Natural History Survey, conducted the first in-depth study of the basic biology of Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, the fungus that causes snake fungal disease.

    Snake fungal disease parallels white-nose syndrome in bats

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A deadly fungal infection afflicting snakes is eerily similar to the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats, researchers report.

  • 3-D cow app will help veterinary students learn anatomy

    Point your phone or tablet at the poster with a cow image and a small 3-D cow appears before you – Desktop Bessie, with her skeleton, circulatory, digestive and nervous systems, and various organs visible as you move around her.

    If you’re a veterinary student, the augmented reality cow is a great way to learn a cow’s anatomy.

  • Leatherback sea turtles choose nest sites carefully, study finds

    The enormous, solitary leatherback sea turtle spends most of its long life at sea. After hatching and dispersing across the world’s oceans, only the female leatherbacks return to their natal beaches to lay clutches of eggs in the sand. A new study offers fresh insights into their nesting choices and will help efforts to prevent the extinction of this globally endangered giant of the sea, researchers said.

  • Study links fetal and newborn dolphin deaths to Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Scientists have finalized a five-year study of newborn and fetal dolphins found stranded on beaches in the northern Gulf of Mexico between 2010 and 2013. Their study, reported in the journal Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, identified substantial differences between fetal and newborn dolphins found stranded inside and outside the areas affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

  • Illinois researchers found that the shape of a tumor may play a role in how cancer cells become primed to spread. From left: materials science and engineering professor Kristopher Kilian, graduate student Junmin Lee and veterinary medicine professor Timothy Fan.

    Shape of tumor may affect whether cells can metastasize

    Only a few cells in a cancerous tumor are able to break away and spread to other parts of the body, but the curve along the edge of the tumor may play a large role in activating these tumor-seeding cells, according to a new University of Illinois study.

  • Human trials of cancer drug PAC-1 continue with new investment

    Clinical trials of the anti-cancer agent PAC-1 are continuing to expand, thanks to a $7 million angel investment from an anonymous contributor who originally invested $4 million to help get the compound this far in the drug-approval pipeline.

  • Dr. Adam Stern

    When veterinarians become crime scene investigators

    A Minute With...™ veterinary diagnostic laboratory professor Adam Stern

  • With online games, high school students learn how to rein in disease outbreaks

    High school students investigate Ebola-like outbreaks and administer vaccines through Outbreak!, a new summer course at Illinois that uses online games to encourage critical thinking about fighting infectious diseases. 

  • Report: A host of common chemicals endanger child brain development

    In a new report, dozens of scientists, health practitioners and children’s health advocates are calling for renewed attention to the growing evidence that many common and widely available chemicals endanger neurodevelopment in fetuses and children of all ages.

  • Scientists test nanoparticle drug delivery in dogs with osteosarcoma

    At the University of Illinois, an engineer teamed up with a veterinarian to test a bone cancer drug delivery system in animals bigger than the standard animal model, the mouse. They chose dogs – mammals closer in size and biology to humans – with naturally occurring bone cancers, which also are a lot like human bone tumors.

  • New MRI opens door to innovative veterinary research and care

    Advances in magnetic resonance imaging have transformed medicine over the last several decades. Unfortunately, this technology is rarely available to veterinarians. The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine is now one of a few veterinary research and clinical care schools in the U.S. with a state-of-the-art 3-Tesla MRI facility.

  • Fred Kummerow, a professor of comparative biosciences at the University of Illinois, continued his research for more than seven decades. Kummerow died May 31 at his home in Urbana.

    Fred A. Kummerow, successful crusader against trans fats, dies at 102

    Fred A. Kummerow, a pioneer in the study of dietary contributors to heart disease who led a decades-long crusade to remove trans fats from the food supply, died Wednesday, May 31, at his home in Urbana, Illinois. He was 102.

  • Graduate student Josephine Watson, professor Aditi Das, graduate student Megan Corbett, professor Kristopher Kilian and their colleagues discovered an enzymatic pathway that converts omega-3-derived endocannabinoids into more potent anti-inflammatory molecules.

    Study: Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation via cannabinoids

    Chemical compounds called cannabinoids are found in marijuana and also are produced naturally in the body from omega-3 fatty acids. A well-known cannabinoid in marijuana, THC, is responsible for some of its euphoric effects, but it also has anti-inflammatory benefits. A new study in animal tissue reveals the cascade of chemical reactions that convert omega-3 fatty acids into cannabinoids that have anti-inflammatory benefits – but without the psychotropic high. 

  • In a new study of more than 1,400 critically ill calves with diarrhea, Peter D. Constable and his colleagues found that clinical signs of disease were better predictors of mortality than the laboratory data that clinicians have relied upon historically. Constable is the dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois.

    Paper: Clinical signs best predictors of mortality in critically ill calves

    Clinical signs may be better predictors of mortality in neonatal calves with diarrhea than blood pH levels and other laboratory findings, suggests a new study co-written by University of Illinois researcher Peter D. Constable.

  • Professor Jason Pieper

    Antibiotic-resistant infections in pets: What now?

    Rates of antibiotic-resistant infections in companion animals are rising at an alarming rate. An Illinois veterinarian discusses what can be done about it.

  • A new study of mice by scientists at the University of Illinois raises concerns about the potential impact that long-term exposure to genistein prior to conception may have on fertility and pregnancy. The study was conducted by, from left, food science and human nutrition professor William G. Helferich, comparative biosciences professor Jodi A. Flaws and animal sciences research specialist James A. Hartman.

    Study in mice finds dietary levels of genistein may adversely affect female fertility

    Exposure to the phytoestrogen genistein prior to conception may adversely affect female fertility and pregnancy outcomes, depending on the dosage and duration of exposure, a new study in mice by scientists at the University of Illinois suggests.

  • U. of I. veterinary oncologist Dr. Timothy Fan, left, chemistry professor Paul Hergenrother and their colleagues are testing the safety of a new cancer drug in a clinical trial for humans with late-stage brain cancer. The compound has worked well in canine patients with brain cancer, lymphoma and osteosarcoma.

    Cancer drug starts clinical trials in human brain-cancer patients

    A drug that spurs cancer cells to self-destruct has been cleared for use in a clinical trial of patients with anaplastic astrocytoma, a rare malignant brain tumor, and glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive late-stage cancer of the brain. This phase Ib trial will determine if the experimental drug PAC-1 can be used safely in combination with a standard brain-cancer chemotherapy drug, temozolomide.

  • Illinois professors Jodi Flaws, Megan Mahoney and Rebecca Smith found that sleep problems in menopause are closely correlated with hot flashes and depression, but that they may not last after menopause.

    Sleep problems in menopause linked to hot flashes, depression - and may not last

    A new study of middle-aged women found that sleep problems vary across the stages of menopause, yet are consistently correlated with hot flashes and depression.

  • Comparative biosciences professor Aditi Das and veterinary clinical medicine professor Timothy Fan found that a class of molecules that form when the body metabolizes omega-3 fatty acids may prevent cancer from migrating.

    Products of omega-3 fatty acid metabolism may have anticancer effects, study shows

    A class of molecules formed when the body metabolizes omega-3 fatty acids could inhibit cancer’s growth and spread, University of Illinois researchers report in a new study in mice.

  • U. of I. researchers identified the factors most closely associated with a countrys risk of experiencing an outbreak of chikungunya or dengue.

    Study explores risk factors linked to chikungunya and dengue outbreaks

    In one of the largest studies of its kind, researchers analyzed chikungunya and dengue outbreak data from 76 countries over a period of 50 years, focusing on regions across the Indian Ocean that are hard hit by these and other mosquito-borne infectious diseases.

  • Viruses may inject their DNA into a host cell synchronously or randomly, a new study finds. The difference appears to influence the course of infection.

    Discovery: Mechanical properties of viral DNA determine the course of infection

    A new study reveals a previously unknown mechanism that governs whether viruses that infect bacteria will quickly kill their hosts or remain latent inside the cell. The discovery, reported in the journal eLife, also may apply to viruses that infect humans and other animals, the researcher said.

  • Cilia in the efferent ductules of the male reproductive tract don’t transport sperm, as was previously thought, but agitate the fluid to keep the sperm from aggregating, new research indicates. Rex Hess was a co-author on the study.

    Cilia beat to an unexpected rhythm in male reproductive tract, study in mice reveals

    Waves of undulating cilia drive several processes essential to life. They clear debris and mucus from the respiratory tract, move spinal fluid through the brain and transport embryos from the ovaries to the uterus for implantation. According to a new study in mice, however, cilia perform somewhat differently in the male reproductive tract.

  • The risk of some mosquito-borne diseases can go up with increased rainfall, U. of I. entomology professor Brian Allan said. However, excess rainfall can reduce the number of mosquitos that hatch in stormwater catch basins, such as the Culex species that carry West Nile virus.

    Does more rain mean more risk of mosquito-borne diseases in Illinois?

    Experts have ranked May 2019 as one of the wettest Mays on record in central Illinois. Is it possible that the incidence of mosquito-borne illnesses increases with the amount of rainfall? To find out, News Bureau science writer Ananya Sen asked Brian F. Allan, an entomology professor at the University of Illinois.