The Shelter Medicine Program in Illinois: An Overview

Surgical Options at Elmhurst Animal Care Center

What Does it Means When Dogs Lick Ears?

dog licking ears


Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince is a partner at Elmhurst Animal Care Center in Elmhurst, Illinois. In this role, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince provides preventative care services and other treatments for a variety of pets. The team at Elmhurst Animal Care Center works with patients to help them understand dog behaviors, especially strange ones like licking ears.

Ear-licking behavior is largely motivated by a dog’s pack mentality. Licking ears expresses affection, respects, and dedication to the pack through mutual grooming. At the same time, other factors contribute to this behavior, such as a predilection for flavor of earwax. Dogs often use their tongues to explore the environment, and they can learn that it is a flavor they enjoy.

If a dog suddenly becomes obsessed with another dog’s ear, owners should take note since an ear infection or some other discharge could be the reason.

In general, licking ears is harmless. However, excessive licking can case moisture to build in the ear canal, which leads to other issues. For that reason, owners should discourage the behavior by using distractions like toys or treats to break a dog’s concentration.

Canine Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tears


anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)

As a board-certified small animal veterinarian, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince cares for dogs and cats at a number of practices in and around Elmhurst, Illinois. In his practice, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince focuses on orthopaedic care and surgery.

Like humans, dogs are susceptible to tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Located in the back leg and also known as the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL), this structure is responsible for connecting the rear of the upper leg bone with the front of the lower leg bone. This connection keeps the leg stable, but can tear if too much tension is placed on the joint.

Overweight dogs are at particular risk of an ACL tear, as are such breeds as the Newfoundland, Rottweiler, and Labrador Retriever. Many cases develop gradually, with the ligament weakening to the point where it ruptures suddenly, though it is possible for a dog to torque the leg and cause a sudden tear to the ligament.

Dogs who present with a tear, regardless of cause, undergo assessment that involves testing for abnormal forward momentum. Positive results of this or related testing most often leads to a recommendation for ligament replacement surgery, followed by restricted activity. Dogs ineligible for this course of treatment may receive a recommendation of medical management and minimal exercise.

Wildlife Medical Clinic Holds Annual Fundraiser at Pear Tree Estate

Certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners as a small animal specialist, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince is a partner at the Elmhurst Animal Care Center in Elmhurst, Illinois. Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince earned his DVM at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and supports his alma mater by making annual contributions.

Included within the College of Veterinary Medicine is the Wildlife Medical Clinic, a nonprofit organization that provides care for as many as 1,500 animals a year. Operated entirely by volunteers, the clinic provides a valuable training opportunity for veterinary students, in addition to serving as a public resource for wildlife education.

The Wildlife Medical Clinic relies on grants and donations for its operating costs, and it recently held its second annual Walk on the Wild Side fundraising event. Guests attended a gourmet dinner at the Pear Tree Estate in Champaign, Illinois, before taking part in a series of live and silent auctions throughout the evening. Auction items included wildlife vacation packages such as an excursion swimming with dolphins. Additionally, attendees could bid on footprint artwork created by some of the clinic’s residents, including a red-tailed hawk named Odin.

Joel Todd Leroy Prince – Elmhurst Drop-in Veterinary Services

Board certified in small animal practice, Joel Todd Leroy Prince has provided veterinary services for over 25 years. He earned his DVM from the University of Illinois. Now Dr. Joel Prince continues to serve as a partner at the Elmhurst Animal Care Center.

Unlike most veterinary services, which require clients to make appointments ahead of time, Elmhurst Animal Care Center offers a non-appointment system for greater convenience and ease of access to veterinary care. Those who wish to schedule an appointment may still do so. However, for those who find it easiest to drop in without the hassle of making an appointment, the Elmhurst veterinarians stand ready to assist with a wide range of pet services.

Located at 850 S. Riverside Drive in Elmhurst, Illinois, the Elmhurst Animal Care Center remains open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. During these hours, the center offers veterinary services such as grooming, animal daycare, medication, and boarding. In case of emergencies, call 630-337-3070.