Chastain Veterinary Medical Group
972.239.1309
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.

Care Tips for Your Senior Dog

It can be difficult to acknowledge that your beloved dog is getting older, but recognizing his or her senior status and making adjustments to how you care for your pet will ensure that he or she stays healthy, happy, and comfortable for as long as possible. Just a few small tweaks to your routine and regular visits to the veterinarian can help your senior dog grow old gracefully. Here is what parents of older pups need to know.

Talk to the Vet About Special Diets

As your dog gets older, he or she may have new dietary needs. In some cases, dogs may develop medical conditions that require a certain kind of food, such as low sodium food for dogs with kidney issues. In other instances, dogs who are generally healthy may still benefit from switching to a food that has been formulated specifically for older pets. These foods are designed to support the changing needs of older dogs so that they get the nutrients they need to stay alert and active. Your veterinarian can recommend foods that meet your dog’s specific needs.

Make Exercise a Priority

Your older dog may not love running with the puppies at the dog park or going on day-long hikes any more, but exercise is still essential for good health. Go on shorter walks and have shorter play sessions, but continue to keep your dog active each day. Exercise keeps older dogs physically and mentally fit and reduces the risk of obesity, which is a significant health issue for senior pooches.

Have Regular Checkups

Most senior dogs should see the veterinarian every six months, so that any health problems that do develop are caught in their early stages. Pet dental services have also never been more important. Your veterinarian will help you set up a schedule for preventative care that is right for your pet.

Make Chastain Veterinary Medical Group part of your plan for caring for your senior dog. To schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians, call (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney or call (972) 230-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas. We provide care for animals in all stages of life, as well as pet grooming and boarding services.


What Are Hot Spots in Dogs and How Can You Stop Them?

Hot spots—or what your veterinarian is likely to call acute moist dermatitis—are small areas of acute irritation on your dog’s skin that can lead to incessant licking, chewing and scratching. As your dog tries to ease the irritation, the hot spot only gets worse as he or she inadvertently spreads the infection. Although hot spots are extremely common, there are things you can do to reduce the chances of your dog suffering from one, and simple ways to reduce the discomfort if one occurs. Here is what you need to know.

What are hot spots?

Hot spots are a kind of skin inflammation that usually appear on the head, chest, and hips. They can be triggered by almost anything that causes a reaction or irritation on the skin, but most often, dogs cause or dramatically worsen them by chewing and licking the same spot repeatedly. Hot spots spread and grow quickly because dogs tend to react to the increasing irritation with even more licking, chewing, and scratching. This behavior causes the irritation to get worse, which in turn leads to more licking and chewing, etc.

What causes hot spots?

Hot spots are especially common among dogs who are overdue for grooming and whose coats are matted. Longhaired dogs are especially prone, as are dogs with fleas. Dogs who swim frequently can easily develop irritation that leads to hot spots, and even getting wet in the rain can cause problems for some dogs. Stress and boredom may also cause dogs to chew and lick, which causes hot spots.

How can hot spots be treated?

See your veterinarian if you think your dog has a hot spot, so he or she can determine the cause and the appropriate treatment plan. There are several treatment options, including shaving the hair around the hot spot, cortisone type medications, antibiotics, and other meds. You can reduce the risk of another bout of hot spots by grooming your dog regularly, following a regular flea prevention program, and making sure your dog gets plenty of play to reduce boredom.

Chastain Veterinary Medical Group offers hot spot treatment along with a range of other services, including pet dental services and pet grooming in Dallas. Call (972) 529-5033 to make an appointment at Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney, or call (972) 239-1309 to make an appointment at Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas.


Tips for Coping with a Pet Health Emergency

No one likes to think about his or her beloved pet experiencing a medical emergency, but these things do happen and when they occur, staying calm and taking the right steps can help make a bad situation as manageable as possible. Start – now - by finding out where the emergency vet(s) and emergency clinics in your area are located, so you don’t lose precious time trying to find an emergency animal hospital when your pet is in crisis. You might even want to enter this info in your smart phone contact page. Then, later if you think your pet is suffering from a medical emergency, keep this advice in mind:

Don’t Second-Guess Yourself

In a health crisis, getting treatment as soon as possible can be lifesaving. If you are concerned about your pet’s symptoms, go to the emergency vet right away instead of trying to wait out the symptoms or questioning your reaction. It’s better to err on the side of the caution and find out your pet’s issue isn’t urgent than to delay the care he or she needs. Some medical emergencies, like seizures, excessive bleeding, swollen abdomens, and poisoning, are obvious, but health crises can also have more subtle symptoms. Always seek treatment when you have a concern.

Stay Calm

It’s natural to feel anxious or even overwhelmed when your pet is facing a medical emergency, but your anxiety can be contagious and make your pet feel even worse. Stay as calm and methodical as possible as you call your vet or make your way to the emergency animal clinic. Be strong for your pet. Soothe your pet as much as you can so that he or she relaxes as much as possible. An agitated pet can make treatments more difficult.

Come Prepared

You’ll get faster care from your emergency vet if you bring along any information that could be relevant to your pet’s care. For instance, you may need vaccination records, a list of your pet’s medications, and if your pet ate something that was dangerous, the packaging, if possible. All of this information could help your emergency vet make important decisions about your animal’s care.

Chastain Veterinary Medical Group knows how stressful a medical crisis is for pet families, and our emergency vets in McKinney and Dallas are dedicated to providing compassionate care when your animal needs it most. Find out more about our emergency care and other services by calling Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at (972) 529-5033 or by calling Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (972) 239-1309.


Thyroid Disease Symptoms in Cats

Hyperthyroidism, in which the thyroid gland produces an excess amount of the hormone thyroxine, is the most common endocrine disorder in cats. When left untreated, this form of thyroid disease can cause serious complications for the kitty, so make an appointment with your veterinarian if you notice any of these odd signs. Your veterinarian can perform a physical exam and a blood test to make a diagnosis.

Hyperthyroidism causes the metabolism to speed up. This leads to weight loss, increased appetite and thirst, rapid breathing, and hyperactivity. You may be able to feel an enlarged thyroid gland in your cat’s neck and a rapid heart beat. Cats with hyperthyroidism may develop thickened nails and can even become aggressive.

Visit a veterinarian at the Chastain Veterinary Medical Group if your cat is exhibiting symptoms of hyperthyroidism for a fast diagnosis and effective treatment plan. Our pet hospitals in Dallas and McKinney each provide a comprehensive range of preventative and emergency vet services for cats, dogs, and exotic animals. To schedule an appointment, please phone Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at (972) 529-5033 or phone Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas at (972) 239-1309.


Taking Steps to Stop Puppy Nipping

Much to the chagrin of many new pet parents, puppies love to explore their worlds using their mouths. While your small puppies’ nips may not hurt now, they won’t be so cute later when he or she gets older, so teach your puppy that teeth and human skin don’t mix now. At your next veterinary appointment, ask your veterinarian if he or she has some advice for putting the brakes on puppy nipping. In the meantime, here are some simple steps to try.

When your puppy nips you, yelp in the same way a dog yelps after a nip. Your reaction may tell your puppy that he or she has taken the game too far. Every time your pup nips, replace your hand with an appropriate toy and then offer praise when he or she chews that. You can also withdrawal your attention for 10 or 20 seconds when a nip happens to teach your dog that nipping ends the social interaction.

Chastain Veterinary Medical Group has everything you need to give your puppy the right start in life, including spay and neuter services and dog dental cleanings. To bring your new puppy to one of our animal hospitals, set up an appointment by calling Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at (972) 529-5033 or by calling Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas at (972) 239-1309.


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