• What Are Heartworms?

    Heartworms are small parasites that can infest your dog’s heart, reducing its efficiency and leading to serious illness. Cats and ferrets are also at risk. Since heartworm treatment can be very tough on your dog’s body, and since there really is no safe and effective treatment at all for cats and ferrets, you’re best off preventing the parasite from taking hold.

    In this video, a veterinarian discusses the basics of heartworm disease. He says heartworms are often transported from feral dogs and foxes to domestic dogs via mosquitos. Heartworms then travel to the heart, where they can grow to be about 30cm long. Perhaps the best way to protect your dog from heartworm disease is to visit your veterinarian for an annual heartworm injection.

    Contact Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas at (972) 239-1309, or Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney/Frisco at (972) 529-5033 to learn more about protecting your pet from heartworm disease. There are also several manufacturer promotion running right now on heartworm preventive, any one of which would make protecting your pet any easier than ever before. Please ask a representative for more information when you call.

    The Chastain Veterinary Medical Group Hospitals are proud to provide high-quality veterinarian services to beloved pets throughout the North Dallas area. 

  • What Does Bad Breath Mean In a Dog or Cat?

    covering mouth dog

    Bad breath is often thought of as typical for a pet. In fact, it can indicate serious dental health problems. Bad breath is often caused by gum disease, which is the result of the accumulation of plaque and food debris in the mouth. The bacteria in the mouth feed on the food debris and irritate the sensitive tissues in the mouth. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to irreversible dental problems, including loss of teeth, the loss of bone mass in the jaw and the destruction of oral soft tissues.

    Sometimes, bad breath in a cat or dog can indicate another type of health problem, such as diabetes. Diabetes is typically indicated by fruity breath and increased urination. If your pet’s breath smells more like urine, it could indicate kidney disease. Bad breath accompanied by appetite loss and vomiting may mean a liver problem. If you notice bad breath in your pet, schedule a veterinarian visit right away. Additionally, cats and dogs should receive regular dental care from a veterinarian and at home.

    Chastain Veterinary Medical Group provides exceptional, caring veterinary services, including dental health services. Pet owners can reach Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at (972) 529-5033 or Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas at (972) 239-1309. 

  • May Grooming Tip!

    It is very important to get your exotics groomed too. They can benefit from it as much as a dog or cat 🙂


  • What You Need to Know about Chocolate Toxicity

    Chopped chocolate

    Though dogs and humans share a wonderful bond, dogs and humans simply cannot enjoy the same foods. This is particularly true of chocolate, which is delicious to most people but deadly to dogs. If you suspect that your dog has eaten chocolate, you may need to take him to the vet immediately. Here’s a brief look at how dangerous chocolate is for your dog.  

    The Risk Chocolate Poses

    Cocoa beans, an essential ingredient in chocolate, have a caffeine-like chemical called theobromine. While it takes humans about an hour to metabolize theobromine, it takes dogs many hours or even days. Even a small piece of chocolate can cause diarrhea and vomiting in your dog. Larger amounts can cause cardiac arrest and death. Though all chocolate is dangerous for dogs, dark chocolate and baker’s chocolate present the greatest risk. A little over two ounces of baker’s chocolate could potentially kill a medium-sized dog.

    Keeping Chocolate Away from Dogs

    Dogs aren’t aware that chocolate is bad for them, and most dogs will eat chocolate if given a chance. As a dog owner, you need to be very careful when eating chocolate around your dog. Always keep chocolate in a secure place and tell your children not to feed chocolate to the dog. If you throw chocolate in the trash, make sure you put your trash can in a place where your dog can’t get to it.   

    Seeking Medical Care

    If your dog eats chocolate, call your veterinarian right away. Your veterinarian will ask a few questions about your dog’s weight and the amount of chocolate he ingested. If your dog hasn’t vomited already, you might induce vomiting with syrup of ipecac. When in doubt, take your dog to your veterinarian for emergency treatment.

    Chastain Veterinary Medical Group is dedicated to keeping your beloved pets as healthy as possible. If you have any questions about your pet’s wellbeing, please contact Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas at (972) 239-1309, or Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney/Frisco at (972) 529-5033. We also provide pet boarding services for Dallas pet owners who are going out of town. 

  • Introduction to PennHIP

    Basset Hound, two years old, sitting, white background.

    Dogs have been selectively bred for thousands of years in order to produce the many unique breeds we have today. During that time, selective breeding by humans has also accidently introduced a number of breed-specific genetic disorders. Canine Hip Dysplasia is one such genetic disorder. Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition that is caused by a malformed hip joint. If left unaddressed, hip dysplasia can cause pain and difficulty walking. Fortunately, veterinarians have developed a sophisticated means of evaluating a dog’s hip joint.

    PennHIP—a multifaceted screening statistical method—has roots that go back to 1983, when Dr. Gail Smith of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine first developed his method for diagnosing canine hip dysplasia. PennHIP underwent multi-center clinical trials in 1993, and has since become very popular among select American veterinarians. Part of the reason why PennHIP is so popular is because it can identify a dog’s risk of hip dysplasia when the dog is as young as 16 weeks old!

    To our knowledge the PennHIP program is the only objective screening program for canine hip dysplasia that is commercially available in the US with a database of its size and depth. Almost all of the other hip dysplasia screening methods rely on subjective expert interpretation and are thus open to all of the well-known cognitive biases and errors of human intuition.

    Chastain Veterinary Medical Group is proud to be listed as an authorized PennHip evaluation center.  Contact Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas at (972) 239-1309, or Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney/Frisco at (972) 529-5033 to schedule your dog’s appointment today.