The Shelter Medicine Program in Illinois: An Overview

Surgical Options at Elmhurst Animal Care Center

How Donations Help Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois


Veterinary Medicine pic
Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince, a partner at Elmhurst Animal Care Center, has practiced veterinary medicine for more than three decades. One way Joel Todd Leroy Prince gives back to the veterinary profession is by making at least one donation per year to the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.

Donations to the University of Illinois give students access to high-quality research resources, ensuring they can contribute valuable new insights to the field and make the most of their time at the school. The university has a full-service, all-species diagnostic laboratory, providing support for immunologists, toxicologists, chemists, and other veterinary medicine specialists. Those interested in farm veterinary work have access to an 80-acre research farm.

The school also uses donations to fund its own research grants. Each year, many of the university’s programs, including the Animal Health and Disease Program, the Hatch program, and the Companion Animal Memorial Fund, provide funding to those who pass a competitive proposal process. Applications for university grants are subject to review by faculty serving on the school’s Research Advisory Committee.

Types of Canine Seizures


Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince, a veterinarian with Elmhurst Animal Care Center and other area practices, maintains a particular professional interest in animal neurology. As a board-certified practitioner, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince concentrates his practice on this and other disorders of small animals.

Seizures in dogs can take a number of forms. Perhaps the best known is the generalized or tonic-clonic seizure, a condition in which the dog falls to the ground and displays convulsions, rigidity of the limbs, and breathing disturbances. Limb rigidity is more pronounced in a grand mal tonic-clonic seizure, which also features loss of consciousness and a paddling of the limbs during the event’s clonic phase. In a more mild seizure, the dog may remain conscious throughout the episode.

The generalized seizure is a result of abnormal electrical function throughout the brain. If the abnormal activity is localized to one part of the brain, the resultant partial seizure causes abnormal involuntary movements on one side or in one part of the body. The related, though differently presenting, complex partial seizure, also known as a psychomotor seizure, manifests with behavioral rather than purely physical disturbances. As a result of abnormal and disturbing sensory input, the dog may act out aggressively, appear fearful, or experience digestive distress, though other behavioral symptoms are also possible.

Most seizures last only seconds to minutes, though some dogs can suffer from an extended seizure known as a status epilepticus. These seizures last 30 minutes or more with no return to consciousness. These may appear similar to cluster seizures, which occur in sequence with very few periods of consciousness in the interim. Both are serious medical emergencies and require immediate care, though all canine seizures signal the need for medical attention.

The Small Animal Veterinarian

Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince, a graduate of the veterinary medicine program at the University of Illinois, has more than 25 years of veterinary experience. Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince practices as a board certified small animal veterinarian at the Elmhurst Animal Care Center.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the majority of veterinarians serve in private practice, with some of them opting to work solely on small animals and others catering to both small and large animals.

The role of a small animal veterinarian is to treat a wide array of pets and companion animals. While many individuals associate small animal veterinarians with dogs and cats, they may not be aware that they are also trained to handle small birds, reptiles, and other small mammals.

Small animal veterinarians conduct general checkups, administer routine vaccines, prescribe medication, and perform tooth cleaning. They also perform common surgical procedures such as spaying and neutering. Though they typically engage with patients and pet owners in clinic examination rooms, small animal veterinarians are able to practice in a variety of environments.

Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince: Tips for Pet Dental Care at Home

While all pet owners should schedule regular dental checkups for their animals, individuals can adopt a number of habits at home to ensure good dental health. Pet stores sell toothpaste and toothbrushes especially designed for pets. Brushing a pet’s teeth regularly significantly reduces buildup of plaque and tartar. Owners should always introduce brushing slowly to allow a pet to gradually build up a tolerance to the motion and taste. Veterinarians can teach owners the best brushing techniques.

Pet owners may also want to consider food and treats designed for tooth health. Some foods have a specific size and matrix that gently scrubs the tooth as the pet chews. Many manufacturers also make treats designed to do the same. Giving these treats regularly encourages healthy teeth. Some sprays, rinses, and gels also exist on the market, but not all of them prove equally effective. The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) rates these types of products according to their effectiveness. Individuals can access this information on the VOHC website.

A canine and feline oncology specialist, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince offers a range of veterinary services through the Elmhurst Animal Care Center.

Benefits of the Parvovirus Vaccine for Dogs

Applying more than 30 years of experience in veterinary care, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince serves as partner in the Elmhurst Animal Care Center of Illinois. He firmly believes in the value of preventive care to maintain the health of a pet. Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince received his DVM from the University of Illinois.

An extremely contagious viral illness, parvovirus aggressively attacks a dog’s digestive system and white blood cells. The disease presents with vomiting, lethargy, and a bloody diarrhea that can cause fatal dehydration. It is transmitted through contact with the feces of an infected dog and can remain in the environment for several months before infecting its next host.

The best way to prevent this disease is to ensure an up-to-date vaccination history. Because parvovirus is extremely dangerous, puppies should receive their first vaccination at six to eight weeks of age. The puppy should also receive boosters spaced four weeks apart for the subsequent two to three months, then another at around the dog’s first birthday. Older dogs may also be vaccinated if they have not received the puppy series. Because some dogs, particularly immuno-compromised and ill animals, are not suited for vaccination, owners should consult with their individual veterinarians before beginning any vaccination series.

Veterinarian Joel Todd Leroy Prince: Tips for Dealing With Your Cat’s Scratching Habit

As most people know, scratching comes naturally to felines. However, it can be annoying and potentially destructive when your house cat turns his or her claws on your furniture. Joel Todd Leroy Prince, D.V.M., a partner at Elmhurst Animal Care Center in Elmhurst, Illinois, provides tips on how to handle a cat-scratching problem.

1. Give your cat a variety of scratching surfaces. Some cat owners wonder why their cats continue to scratch the furniture after they have provided a scratching post. It may be because the cat enjoys scratching a variety of textures and surfaces. Provide a variety of scratching surfaces, such as carpeted posts and wooden boards, to give your cat a range of scratching options.

2. Make your scratching surfaces more attractive. Using catnip to scent the cat’s approved scratching surfaces or adding play toys to the area may entice your cat to use the scratching posts more often.

3. Make your cat’s nails less destructive. Remember to clip your cat’s nails regularly. In extreme cases for indoor cats, consider getting nail coverings that fit over the cat’s nails. They do not harm the cat, and they protect surfaces from scratching.