blog navigation

Veterinary Medicine

blog posts

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • Dr. Adam Stern

    When veterinarians become crime scene investigators

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

  • Leyi Wang, a virologist and professor of Veterinary Medicine.

    What is the coronavirus spreading across the globe?

    The first case of a novel strain of coronavirus has been confirmed in the United States. Virologist Leyi Wang, a professor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois, discussed the outbreak of the new strain with News Bureau biomedical sciences editor Liz Ahlberg Touchstone.

  • U. of I. veterinary clinical medicine professors Ashley Mitek and Jim Lowe discuss the traits of viruses that can be transmitted between animals and humans.

    Veterinary infectious disease expert weighs in on coronavirus threat

    Influenza, SARS and COVID-19 are all zoonotic diseases, readily transmitted from animals to humans. The viruses that cause these diseases also share traits that allow them to quickly mutate, infect widely and spread around the world.

    In a new podcast, a veterinarian and expert in zoonotic diseases offers insights into the special characteristics of the new coronavirus that make it more like influenza and less like SARS or the virus that causes the especially lethal Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome.

  • Veterinary neurologist Dr. Kari Foss greets a Dalmation puppy that needs his hearing tested.

    Veterinarians: Dogs, too, can experience hearing loss

    Just like humans, dogs are sometimes born with impaired hearing or experience hearing loss as a result of disease, inflammation, aging or exposure to noise. Dog owners and K-9 handlers ought to keep this in mind when adopting or caring for dogs, and when bringing them into noisy environments, researchers say.

  • Update on the spread of avian influenza

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • "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.

  • U. of I. veterinary clinical medicine professor Dr. Leyi Wang led the team that detected bovine kobuvirus in the U.S.

    Team finds bovine kobuvirus in US

    A virus that afflicts cattle that was first discovered in Japan in 2003 has made its way to the U.S., researchers report in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

  • 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. 

  • Photo of an infant in the IKIDS program seated on her mother’s lap. The infant has a sticker on her forehead that allows an eye-tracking instrument to orient to her eyes.

    Study links prenatal phthalate exposure to altered information processing in infants

    Researchers have found evidence linking pregnant women’s exposure to phthalates to altered cognitive outcomes in their infants.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Image of the head and face of a timber rattlesnake. It looks concerned.

    Study finds fungal disease of snakes in 19 states, Puerto Rico

    In a collaborative effort between scientists and personnel on U.S. military bases in 31 states and Puerto Rico, researchers surveyed for an infection caused by an emerging fungal pathogen that afflicts snakes. The effort found infected snakes on military bases in 19 states and Puerto Rico, demonstrating that the fungus is more widely distributed than was previously known. The team reports the findings in the journal PLOS ONE.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Professor Sumiti Vinayak stands outdoors, wearing a black sweater and a blue scarf.

    Repurposed anti-malarial compounds kill diarrheal parasite, study finds

    A class of compounds used for malaria treatment also kill the intestinal parasite Cryptosporidium, a leading global cause of diarrheal disease and death in children that has no cure, a multi-institution collaboration of researchers found in a new study.

  • 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.

  • 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."

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • With their colleagues, veterinary clinical medicine professors, from left, Dr. Ashley Mitek, Dr. Stephanie Keating and Dr. Maureen McMichael, developed an online pain management training program for veterinarians.

    Prescribing oral opioids for dogs likely doesn’t help them, veterinary experts say

    Sending ailing dogs home with oral opioids may not be an effective way to manage their pain, experts report in a free, online continuing education program recently developed for veterinarians. In light of growing evidence that such drugs don’t work well in dogs – added to the fact that humans sometimes abuse opioids prescribed for pets – the common practice of prescribing oral opioids for dogs in pain should be reexamined, the experts say.

    Anticipating the need among opioid prescribers for additional training to meet regulatory mandates, these experts created an online continuing education program that addresses the problem. The training includes cautions about unwarranted prescription of oral opioids and advice on effective pain management for veterinary patients. 

  • '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.

  • 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.

  • On the creation of a new obesity drug for dogs

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Graduate student Payel Mondal, left, biochemistry professor Kai Zhang and their colleagues developed a new optogenetic technique that will help scientists study protein function.

    New approach uses light to stabilize proteins for study

    Researchers have developed a new technique that uses light to control the lifetime of a protein inside the cell. This method will allow scientists to better observe how specific proteins contribute to health, development and disease.

  • 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.

  • Portrait of Aditi Das standing outdoors.

    Lipid epoxides target pain, inflammatory pathways in neurons

    A process known as epoxidation converts two naturally occurring lipids into potent agents that target multiple cannabinoid receptors in neurons, interrupting pathways that promote pain and inflammation, researchers report in a new study. The findings open a new avenue of research in the effort to find alternatives to potentially addictive opioid pain killers.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Portrait of Dr. Sam Sander

    How do July 4 celebrations affect wildlife?

    Celebrating the nation’s Independence Day with fireworks is an enduring tradition, but fireworks can be a source of distress and danger to wildlife. Dr. Sam Sander, a clinical professor of zoo and wildlife medicine at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, spoke with News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about how fireworks affect wildlife and the environment, and how to minimize the risks.

  • An Illinois student provides a saliva sample for a COVID-19 test.

    Frequent COVID-19 testing key to efficient, early detection, study finds

    The chance of detecting the virus that causes COVID-19 increases with more frequent testing, no matter the type of test, a new study found. Both polymerase chain reaction and antigen tests, paired with rapid results reporting, can achieve 98% sensitivity if deployed at least every three days.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • U. of I. professor of comparative biosciences Jodi Flaws and her colleagues reviewed dozens of studies exploring the relationship between exposure to environmental contaminants, the gut microbiome and human and animal health.

    Environmental contaminants alter gut microbiome, health

    Scientists review the research linking dozens of environmental chemicals to changes in the gut microbiome and associated health challenges.

  • 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.

  • 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.