Allergy Testing Services for Your Pet

Cat Allergy Does your furry friend chew at his paws or scratch at his ears more than seems reasonable? If so, he or she might have an allergy. For the health and comfort of your pet, Chastain Veterinary Medical Group offers allergy testing and allergy management services at both of our hospitals. Our veterinarians can identify your pet’s allergens with either a blood test or skin test. These tests can detect whether dust mites, pollen, or some other allergen is the source of your pet’s discomfort. Once we know what the underlying allergens are, we determine the best course of action to control your pet’s allergic reactions. Depending on the nature of the allergy, we might recommend topical, oral, and intradermal remedies to ease allergic reactions and soothe your pet’s discomfort.

Call Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at (972) 529-5033 or Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (972) 239-1309 to speak with one of our friendly representatives about the allergy diagnostic services we can provide. You can also visit our website to learn more about our pet allergy treatment options. We proudly serve pets and pet owners in the greater north Dallas and McKinney/Frisco communities.

Tooth Abscess Among Dogs

As we all know, dogs need regular dental care too. Inadequate dental care can lead to gum infections in dogs. This video reviews tooth brushing and some of the symptoms associated with gum disease and tooth root abscess in dogs.

Many people assume that bad mouth odor is normal for dogs, but it is not; if their teeth are healthy, a dog’s breath should not be overly unpleasant. Check for problems by examining your dog’s gums. Just lift the lip and have a look, of observe the teeth and gums at the time of tooth brushing. If the gums bleed or look red and puffy, or recessed, it could be because of an undiagnosed infection.

Chastain Veterinary Medical Group offers pet dental services for our Dallas and McKinney patients. Call Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at (972) 529-5033 or Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (972) 239-1309 to speak with one of our friendly representatives about our veterinary dental care for your dog.

Kidney Failure vs. Dehydration in Cats

Cat Hydration A pet’s attitude, appetite and behavior can provide a lot of clues to us humans about their health. This might seem less important than it really is at first glance, but remember that dogs and cats cannot speak to us in a shared language. Even more vexatious, cats are well known for hiding signs of disease or pain until the situation is well advanced. So, as responsible pet owners, becomes especially important for us to pay attention to even minor behavioral oddities in our pets.

Dehydration is one of those minor things that can creep up on a pet and only serves to make everything else much worse. While there are many causes of dehydration in pets, one of the most important among felines is kidney disease or kidney failure. When you know how your cat might respond to dehydration or kidney failure, you can better attend to her needs in a timely fashion.

Recognizing and Addressing Dehydration
Veterinarians warn that dehydration in cats evolves in basically the same way it happens in humans: output exceeds input. In other words, if a cat does not take in enough fluids, or loses too much without replacement, then she can become dehydrated. Dehydration most commonly occurs through vomiting, diarrhea or excessive urination, but there are other causes as well. Like humans, cats can exhibit signs of extreme fatigue when they are dehydrated. They may also display sunken eyes and dry or tacky gums in response to the physical stress that dehydration is causing. Should you notice these signs, place your pet in a cool room and give her a bowl of fresh, cold water. If she is sick enough she may well refuses to drink, in which case you need to contact your regular veterinarian, or us, or an animal emergency clinic straight away. Significant dehydration rarely gets better on its own and makes everything else worse in the meantime.

Identifying and Managing Kidney Failure
Kidneys are tasked with the job of removing normal metabolic waste products from the body and moving them to the bladder for elimination. When cat kidneys begin to decline into failure, though, they may no longer be able to separate the necessary water and dissolved salts from those normal metabolic substances that are toxic in high amounts. As a result, toxins build up in the cat’s blood stream. The body detects this and then attempts to compensate by increasing the fluid (urine) output. As a result, kidney failure can lead to excessive removal of water from your cat’s body, making her go to the bathroom on a more frequent basis. Because her body does not have enough fluids, she may soon become lethargic, inappetant, and show red and tacky gums.

Kidney failure, when present, requires immediate veterinary attention in order to reverse the dehydration and restore kidney function. However, this condition is complex and often calls for more than just additional fluid input. Seek help from a licensed veterinarian who can provide appropriate treatment strategies.

Chastain Veterinary Medical Group understands that a medical crisis can happen at any hour. That is why we offer emergency vet services at both Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney / Frisco and at Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas. Call us today at (469) 759-7620 to learn more about our emergency vet clinic options.

A Look at Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs

Making sure that your dog eats only what you put in his bowl serves a dual purpose. One, it can help prevent pet obesity. Two, as most animal hospital professionals can attest, it helps to safeguard him against ingesting toxic foods. One particularly dangerous item for dogs is chocolate. Your regular veterinarian, or one of ours in the north Dallas or McKinney / Frisco areas of Texas can explain in detail how chocolate affects the biological systems of dogs. However, it is up to you to do what you can to make sure that your furry friend never has access to this harmful sweet.

Risk Factors
Dogs are at a high risk for chocolate poisoning for several reasons. Many people enjoy this treat, making it a common household item. A large percentage of dog owners also tend to share their meals and snacks with their pets without understanding how certain foods can adversely impact animals. In some cases, just the scent of chocolate can pique the interest of a dog and cause him to sample an unwatched plate of chocolate chip cookies or other chocolate dessert.

Side Effects
If you think your dog may have consumed even the smallest amount of chocolate, contact your regular veterinarian, or us, or an animal emergency clinic straight away. The staff may ask you about how much your dog might have eaten and what type of chocolate was involved. A small dog who ingests a large amount of chocolate can experience severe complications, including seizures, loose stool, and unusually frenzied behavior. Dark chocolate has a higher concentration of ingredients that are harmful to dogs and can provoke even more extreme side effects.

Response Measures
As soon as you realize that your dog may have ingested a chocolate product, act quickly to prevent it from causing potentially permanent damage to his health. Your veterinarian may suggest that you give your dog hydrogen peroxide, which will cause him to vomit the contents of his stomach. Giving your dog hydrogen peroxide can help in ridding his body of the chocolate, but don’t do this until you talk to a veterinarian first. If he refuses to take the hydrogen peroxide, or if he is exhibiting progressively serious complications, you may need to go to your nearest animal emergency clinic.

Chastain Veterinary Medical Group is here when you need us the most. Our emergency vet services can make sure that your pet has continual access to the exceptional veterinarian care he deserves. Call Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney/Frisco at (972) 529-5033 or Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (972) 239-1309 to speak with one of our friendly representatives about your pet care concerns.

Preparing Your Dog for Boarding

As much as we all love having our dogs by our sides, a time may come when you must leave town without your furry friend. Dog boarding is a common necessity for pet owners, and with a little advance preparation, you can ensure that your dog has a pleasant experience. When you choose one of our animal hospitals in the north Dallas or McKinney / Frisco areas, you can rest assured that your pet will get the best care possible. But regardless of where you have your dog boarded, here are a few tips to help set the stage for smooth sailing.

Update Vaccinations
Vaccinations are a key component of keeping your pet in the best health possible. Not only can vaccines protect your dog from potentially life-threatening diseases, but also they prevent him or her from possibly participating in the spread of infection to other animals. Because dog boarding puts pets in close proximity with each other – like a human preschool operation – it is critical that your dog is current with all of his recommended vaccinations. If you aren’t sure about his vaccination compliance, make an appointment with us, or your regular veterinarian to check his immunization history.

Collect Personal Care Items
If you choose an established veterinary hospital as your dog boarding location, it likely has high-quality food will be available. However, if your dog has allergies that demand a special diet, or if he has other health conditions that may require special medications, then make sure you bring these items with you when you drop off your dog. Your pet hospital may have your dog’s medical history on record, but you might want to write down mealtime or medication instructions as well. It never hurts to be clear in what you want.

For your dog’s comfort, you could also bring a favorite toy or blanket. If you do this, do be aware that such items have been known to go missing or become soiled or destroyed by the dogs,

Vet Your Boarding Location
Before you drop off your pet, ask if you can view the boarding amenities at your animal hospital. Most places will happily permit this, although, for safety reasons, they may limit it to times when kennel cleaning and sanitation are not actively under way. During your tour of its facilities, you can see for yourself where your dog will be sleeping, eating, and playing. Depending on the temperament of your pet, you might want to tell the animal clinic staff about his tendency to run outside or play fight with other animals. By sharing information about your dog’s personality, you can help ensure that the staff at your veterinary hospital can care for him properly.

Chastain Veterinary Medical Group wants you to rest easy while you are out of town. We have exceptional staff and accommodations for all of our boarding guests. To find out more about our dog boarding options for the greater Dallas and McKinney communities, call Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at (972) 529-5033 or Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (972) 239-1309 to speak with one of our friendly representatives.

Pain Management at the Chastain Veterinary Medical Group

Pet in Pain Conditions such as arthritis and cancer can cause considerable pain in humans. These problems can also afflict animals, and when they do, they can produce discomfort that severely reduces quality of life. Preston Road Animal Hospital and Meadow Brook Animal hospital, both part of the Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, each offer pain management services for north Dallas area dogs and cats suffering from pain-producing conditions.

While our patients may not be able to verbalize their discomfort, our highly skilled licensed veterinarians can carefully assess each animal to ensure that he or she is getting proper and adequate pain relief suited to the pets own particular needs. Our animal hospitals offers pain management options for pets contending with chronic conditions, such as arthritis and acute problems that may only require pain medication temporarily, such as broken bones and slipped disks.

Preston Road Animal Hospital and Meadow Brook Animal Hospital offer services that can help your furry friend enjoy a healthy and comfortable future. In addition to our pain management options, we also provide dog and cat teeth cleaning, pet grooming, and spay and neutering services. Call Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at (972) 529-5033 or Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (972) 239-1309 to speak with one of our friendly representatives for more information.

Scheduling a Professional Dental Cleaning for Your Cat

Dental Care for Cat Even the most obedient cat may be reluctant to sit still while you clean her teeth. Ours certainly won’t have any of that! Despite your best efforts, reaching all of the surfaces that are prone to plaque buildup can be difficult and the small size of the cat mouth makes it all the more difficult. To help ensure that your cat has healthy teeth and gums, take her to your regular veterinarian, – or to us, the Chastain Veterinary Medical Group – for a professional oral health exam. A teeth cleaning, if needed can be scheduled at that time.

Our animal hospitals in north Dallas and the McKinney / Frisco areas of Texas can see to it that your furry friend gets the attentive yet gentle dental care she needs. Our pet dental services can rid your cat’s teeth of dangerous plaque that could cause painful gum disease and tooth loss. We can also check for other oral health issues such as cancerous growths. To make dental care at home easier for you and your cat, our veterinary team can provide suggestions on how to relax your pet and look for signs of dental injury or disease.

Call Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at (972) 529-5033 or Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (972) 239-1309 to speak with one of our friendly representatives. About your pets dental health care needs. To learn more about our complete animal clinic services, you can also visit our website.

Preparing Your Home for a Kitten

Are you adding a kitten to your family? An AAHA accredited animal hospital in the north Dallas or McKinney / Frisco areas, such as Preston Road Animal Hospital, can help you get ready for your new arrival. In the meantime, have a look at this great video which reviews some of the essentials you’ll need for a new kitten.

Food and elimination supplies are especially important, as your kitten will be eating and using a litter box even on her first day in your home. Remember that, developmentally, kittens are not ‘cats’ yet, and as such they will benefit from kitten-specific foods, appropriate for their developmental needs. Kittens should also have bowls small enough to accommodate their reduced size. This will help with the mess situation. A litter box should be easy to enter and exit. Make sure new kittens have a cat collar with all necessary contact information in case she strays from home.

Would you like more kitten care tips? Call Preston Road Animal Hospital at (469) 759-7620. We have two animal clinic locations that offer comprehensive veterinary services, including cat teeth cleaning and spay and neuter options.

Three New Puppy Training Mistakes to Avoid

Puppy Traning Puppy training is an important part of adding a new furry member to your family. Making sure that your training sessions reinforce the right behaviors, though, can be more difficult than it might seem at first. If you are new to having a puppy in your house, ask your veterinarian for puppy training tips. We have two locations in the north Dallas are that can help with this. As you move forward with your new puppy, keep the following guidelines in mind so you can enjoy better puppy training outcomes.

First Mistake: Getting Impatient or Upset
Would you expect a toddler to learn a new behavior after a single try? Of course not. Likewise, you should also give your puppy leeway to make mistakes while learning. As frustrating as it may be when your puppy has accidents in the house or chews on the furniture, it can be detrimental to his training if you yell at him because of it. Instead, use a calm, firm voice whenever you train your puppy so that he never associates fear with the behaviors you are teaching him.

Another Mistake: Training Only at Home
When your puppy is small, it makes sense that you may keep him in the house most of the time. However, if you restrict his training sessions to home, he may not make the correct command associations when you take him for a walk or to the animal clinic. Plus, puppies just love to explore the new world around them. When you are out and about with your puppy, practice your commands in many different locations and scenarios so that he learns to follow your instructions no matter where he might be.

One More Error: Overusing Food Rewards
Sometimes, the only way to get the attention of a high-energy puppy is with a treat. When you first begin your training sessions, food rewards can prove extremely useful for helping your pet focus and follow your commands. Should you use only treats as recognition for good behavior, though, he may come to expect them each time you tell him to sit or stay. Ultimately we want or dogs to follow our commands to please us, or for their own safety, not just because a food reward might be coming. So very the rewards as time passes. Excitable verbal praise or a brief back scratch can be just as effective at helping your puppy learn new instructions.

If your puppy or dog is having trouble following your commands, Chastain Veterinary Medical Group can help. Call Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at (972) 529-5033 or Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (972) 239-1309 to speak with one of our friendly representatives about puppy training. We offer behavioral consultations for our Preston Road Animal Hospital and Meadow Brook Animal Hospital patients.

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