Plan Carefully for Vacation with Pet

As you arrange the details of your family’s summer vacation, you must also decide what to do with your four-legged friend: To bring, or not to bring? Here’s some advice for pet owners who plan to bring their pets along.

Whether or not to bring your animal on a trip is a decision that should be based on the individual animal. Weigh the benefits against the risks. Staying with a pet sitter or at a kennel might be a better option for animals that are geriatric or very young, need frequent medications, have ongoing medical conditions, or do not adapt well to stressful situations.

If you decide to bring your pet, keep in mind that travel with animals, like travel with small children, requires quite a bit of preparation.

Planning ahead is the most important part of travel with pets. The first consideration will be the mode of travel. Airline travel offers two options: in the cabin, for pets that fit in a small carrier, or in the cargo hold. Airlines have many restrictions on both options, including air temperatures—both minimum and maximum—at which pets cannot fly. Check frequently with your airline to learn about restrictions and fees.

If you will be traveling by car and your pet is not accustomed to long car rides, consider getting your pet used to being in the car by taking several short rides before the trip. It is also very important to restrain animals safely in the car using a carrier or harness combined with a seat belt. Unrestrained animals not only are at increased risk of injury in the event of an accident, but they also can cause car accidents by distracting or interfering with the driver.

Never, ever leave an animal in the car, even for short durations, such as when you stop at a restaurant. Within just a few minutes temperatures can exceed 120°F even with the windows cracked and on days when the outside temperature is moderate.

Animals left at high temperatures are at risk for deadly heat stroke, especially those that are old or young, are brachiocephalic (short-nosed) breeds like pugs and bulldogs, or have heart or lung conditions. Signs of heat stroke include excessive panting and salivation; weakness; collapse; and warm, dry skin. If you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke, do not reduce the pet’s temperature suddenly, such as by placing the animal in ice water. Instead, move the pet to a cool area and applying alcohol to the foot pads and cool water to the head. It is important to seek medical care from a veterinarian, because animals suffering from heat stroke can succumb to blood-clotting abnormalities and kidney failure.

When packing for your pet, don’t forget to bring extra food, dishes, leashes, toys, and vaccination records. Always have plenty of water available as well. Be sure to have an adequate supply of medications your pet takes. If an animal has a medical condition, we recommend calling your veterinarian before the trip for suggestions on how to care for your pet during travel. It is also helpful to know where a veterinary clinic is located at your destination.

Lastly, make sure your pet wears identification on its collar with a phone number that reaches you, whether that is your mobile phone or a voice mailbox you can access remotely.

For further information on travel with your pet, contact your local veterinarian.


New Extended Hours

What’s important to you is important to us. That’s why we have extended our hours Monday through Thursday to better serve you.

Medical District Veterinary Clinic at Illinois is now open:

Monday – Thursday: 8:00 am to 7:00 pm (NEW! EXTENDED HOURS)
Fridays: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Saturdays: 8:00 am to 1:00 pm
Sunday: Closed

When looking to make an appointment with us please keep in mind these new, extended office hours. We believe that this will help better accommodate your needs by providing more hours in which you can schedule an appointment.

If you have any questions about our NEW office hours please contact us. Once again, thank you for allowing us to serve you.


Pardon our dust.

To serve you better, Medical District Veterinary Clinic at Illinois will be moving to Suite 100, the entrance just east of the current location in the same building, in the coming weeks. The change allows us to elevate the clinic experience for both our primary care clientele and our 24/7 emergency and specialty care clients who will continue to enter through Suite 101.



Contact us or send a private message on our new Facebook page and a member of our client services team will get back to you promptly.

Thank you for entrusting us with your pet!


Meet our patients (a.k.a. our Illinois MVPs).

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Heat Stroke Is Deadly to Dogs

Illinois may be having an unusually cool summer this year, but that does not mean pet owners can dismiss summertime heat risks for pets. Heat stroke is a potentially damaging or deadly risk when an animal overheats, whether from being left in a hot car or from too much sun or exercise.

Our recommendations for keeping animals cool when the weather is warm include not forcing a pet to exercise in the heat and always providing access to shade and plenty of water to drink for animals that are outdoors during the day.

Another important rule: Never leave an animal in a car, even just for a few minutes. The most common cause of heat stroke is leaving a pet in a hot car with little ventilation.

Ten minutes is all it takes for the interior of a car to get up to 100 F, even with the windows cracked, and it can reach up to 130 F in twenty minutes. On hot days, and even on warm days, pets should never be left in a car.

Heat stroke, also known as hyperthermia, occurs when the core body temperature increases and cannot be brought down by the body’s heat-regulating mechanisms. Unlike people, dogs do not control their body temperature by sweating. Instead, they regulate their body temperature by panting.

Signs that can indicate heat stroke include:

  • Excessive panting
  • Increased salivation
  • Weakness
  • Depression
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Animals will often try to cool off if possible (e.g., in a stream)

If heat stroke is suspected, it is important to try to lower the animal’s body temperature and get the pet to a veterinarian, because heat stroke is a serious medical emergency. Owners should try to cool the pet with cool (but not cold) water and wet towels and should allow the animal to drink it is if able.

Veterinarians use cooling water, fans, cool intravenous fluids, gastric protectants, and medications to bring the core body temperature of the pet down safely.

Heat stroke can cause severe damage to an animal’s organs, especially the bone marrow and liver. It can lead to death, even with treatment.

The prognosis of the pet depends on how high the animal’s body temperature reached and the health of the pet before the heat stroke. An otherwise healthy pet before the heat stroke may make a full recovery if its body temperature didn’t drastically increase. If an animal doesn’t receive treatment in a timely manner or if the core body temperature increases too much, heat stroke can lead to organ damage and death of the pet.

Fortunately, preventing heat stroke is easy with common sense. To keep a pet safe in the warm and sunny summer months, never leave the pet in a warm car, provide plenty of water and shade, and do not exercise pets—especially flat-faced pets such as Persian cats, boxers, pugs, etc.—in the heat.

For more information about heat stroke in pets, contact your veterinarian.