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Veterinary Medicine

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • '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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • '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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Dog down: Effort helps emergency medical staff treat law enforcement K-9s

    Recognizing a gap in care for law enforcement K-9s injured on the job, a team of veterinarians, emergency medical services experts and canine handlers has developed protocols for emergency medical service personnel who may be called upon to help treat and transport the injured dogs.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Blood markers predict Humboldt penguin nest type, reproductive success

    In a new study, researchers looked at metabolic markers in the blood of 30 Humboldt penguins nesting in the Punta San Juan Marine Protected Area in Peru. The scientists discovered metabolic differences between penguins nesting in sheltered burrows and those in more exposed areas. Nesting success is critical to the Humboldt penguins’ long-term survival as a species.

  • 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.

  • When veterinarians become crime scene investigators

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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."

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.