Chastain Veterinary Medical Group
Welcome to Chastain Veterinary Medical Group! For 20 years now we've been providing advanced veterinary care mixed with old-fashioned compassion for pets in the North Dallas area of Texas.

Household Hazards for Small Pets

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Hazards lurk around the home for all pets, but there are some things that put small animals particularly at risk. What should you look for when you are safety-proofing your house for your small pet? Avoid a trip to the emergency vet clinic by keeping an eye out for these hazards.

One major hazard for small pets is loose wires. They are frequently at just the right height for small animals, and chewing them can lead to burn injuries as well as poisoning from zinc and copper. When you drop a pill on the floor, your small pet can find it easily and is at risk of experiencing toxic effects. Larger animals and children are also potentially dangerous for small pets. Even friendly play with a larger animal or child can lead to devastating injuries to a small pet.

If your pet does experience an urgent medical need, get emergency vet care from Chastain Veterinary Medical Group fast. Quick treatment could be lifesaving. To learn where to find one of our veterinary clinics in Dallas and McKinney, please call Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (972) 239-1309 or by call Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at (972) 529-5033.

Keep Your Kitten Calm During Loud Thunderstorms

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Thunderstorms are the bane of many pets, and for kittens, the loud bangs and flashing lights can be particularly frightening. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to comfort your kitten during thunderstorms. If your kitten’s fear seems especially overwhelming, talk to your vet at your next visit to the animal hospital to see if there are any medications or behavioral strategies you should consider. The information below should also help.

Monitor Your Own Behavior
Your kitten is very good at reading your body language, so if you are anxious about the storm, he or she will be as well. Stay calm and act like you’re relaxed so that your kitten senses that you have things under control. When your kitten is acting scared, it’s natural to want to comfort him or her, but be careful how you do so. If you shower your kitten with too much attention and affection when he or she acts scared, you will end up rewarding your cat, which reinforces the behavior. Pet your kitten as normal, but don’t overdo it, so he or she knows you’re there but doesn’t feel rewarded.

Let Your Kitten Hide
Kittens often seek out a hiding spot during thunderstorms. Your first instinct may be to take him or her out to offer comfort, but allowing your kitten to hide will make him or her feel secure. If your kitten gets anxious often, you may wish to invest in a few covered cat beds to keep around the house, so he or she always has somewhere to which to escape.

Involve Your Vet
Your veterinarian can offer plenty of advice for strategies you can use to calm a kitten who gets nervous during thunderstorms. For severe cases, your vet may even recommend medications that can help to manage your kitten’s anxiety during thunderstorms.

From dealing with fearful kittens to performing cat neutering and spaying, the veterinarians at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group are here to assist you in becoming the best pet parent to your new family member. You can make an appointment for your pet at our pet hospitals in Dallas and McKinney by calling Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (972) 239-1309 or by calling Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at (972) 529-5033.

The Hows and Whys of Food Aggression Avoidance in Dogs

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Food aggression is a relatively common but potentially dangerous habit for dogs. If your dog exhibits signs of food aggression, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian for advice. Avoiding food aggression helps to reduce your dog’s anxiety and to protect your family. Here is what you need to know about food aggression and steps you can take to avoid it.

What exactly is food aggression?

Food aggression occurs when a dog acts out when a person or other animal approaches his or her food or treats. It can range from mild aggression, in which the dog growls when approached while eating or while near food, to severe aggression, in which the dog bites to protect his or her food from perceived threats. Aggression typically gets worse with foods the dog prizes the most, such as canned dog food or treats. Food aggression is in part instinct with dogs. They also may learn aggression if they have to compete with other members of their litter for food or if they share a bowl with other dogs.

Why is food aggression dangerous?

Food aggression can be dangerous for the humans in the household who approach the dog while he or she is eating, especially children who may not understand how to carefully interact with the dog. Aggression can be dangerous for your dog if you have more than one pet in your household, as it can lead to fights between the animals.

What should you do if your dog shows food-related aggression?

Stopping food aggression before it starts is the best strategy. You can do this by feeding your puppy treats out of your hand while petting him or her. You can also hold your puppy’s food while he or she eats. If your dog aggressively defends food, talk to your veterinarian about a referral to a behaviorist.

Don’t let behavioral issues interfere with your enjoyment of your pup or his or her safety. The veterinarians at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group can assist with behavioral advice and referrals to specialists when necessary. Make an appointment to talk to a vet at our one of north Texas animal hospitals by calling (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas or by calling (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in the McKinney/Frisco area.

Gut Stasis in Guinea Pigs: Take Immediate Action to Save Your Pets

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Gut stasis—also called gastrointestinal stasis or GI stasis—is one of the most common medical emergencies that guinea pigs experience. If you think that your guinea pig could have gut stasis, visit an emergency veterinary clinic right away for treatment. Delayed care could be life-threatening to your pet. Here is what you need to know.

What is gut stasis?

Gut stasis occurs when the contractions in the GI tract slow down. For guinea pigs, even a small slowdown in GI activity can be dangerous. Generally, gut stasis occurs as the result of an unhealthy diet. Feeding guinea pigs pellet foods without an adequate amount of roughage or too many foods with high sugar or grain contents can also be dangerous. Talking to your veterinarian about a healthy diet can help to reduce the risk of gut stasis. Gut stasis will also occur if your guinea pig stops eating for some reason. Such a loss of appetite could occur because of dental problems, pain, or stress for example.

What are the symptoms?

Gut stasis can cause decreased or no appetite, decreased activity, lethargy, and weakness. Guinea pigs may also experience diarrhea or decreased fecal production, in which fecal pellets are small and dry. Guinea pigs that don’t eat or produce feces for 24 hours should be seen at an emergency veterinary clinic right away, as they could be experiencing gut stasis.

How is gut stasis treated?

If your veterinarian determines that gut stasis is causing your guinea pig’s symptoms, he or she will usually provide subcutaneous fluid replacement and medications to stimulate gut motility. Pain medications can also help your guinea pig feel more comfortable. Getting your pet to eat is paramount for his or her recovery. If your guinea pig refuses to eat greens and grass hay, he or she may be fed a specially formulated gruel by syringe.

Don’t delay seeking emergency care at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group if you suspect that your guinea pig could be suffering from gut stasis. You can learn more about emergency pet care and our AAHA accredited animal hospitals in Dallas and McKinney by calling (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas or by calling (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in the McKinney/Frisco area.

Signs Your Kids Are Ready for Their First Pet

Although there is no one right age for a child to get his or her first pet, there are signs to pay attention to let you know that yours are ready for the responsibility. Before you choose a pet and make that all-important first appointment at the animal hospital, see if you recognize these signs that your kids are ready for a pet.

They behave appropriately around other people’s animals.

How do your kids act when you visit friends or family that have pets? Do they pet the animal, play with him or her, and help out in an age-appropriate way when given the opportunity to assist with feedings or walks? If so, then your kids could be ready to have a pet around full-time. On the other hand, if your kids yank tails, chase a nervous animal around, or are scared of the pet, then you may need to wait a little longer before making an animal part of your family.

They help around the house.

Having a pet is an enormous responsibility. They also offer a great opportunity for your kids to learn from sharing that responsibility with you. They may be ready to take on the extra work of having a pet if they already pitch in around the house. If they are reliable about completing their chores and don’t complain when you ask for an extra hand, then it could be a sign you can count on them to walk the dog, feed the cat, and otherwise take an active role in caring for the animal.

They have time in their schedules.

Some kids are so involved in so many activities that they don’t realistically have time to devote to an animal. Your kids should have enough free time each day that that they can spend some of it socializing with the pet, contributing to taking care of the pet, and helping with duties like feeding, walking, grooming and so on.

At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, we love to help families get their new pets off to a healthy start, with wellness exams, vaccinations, and cat and dog spaying and neutering services. After your family adopts a new animal, make an appointment at one of our veterinary hospitals in the metroplex by dialing (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas or dialing (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in the McKinney/Frisco area of Texas.

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Hours of Operation:

  • 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM Sunday
  • 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday
  • 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM Tuesday
  • 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM Wednesday
  • 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM Thursday
  • 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM Friday
  • 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM Saturday