• Never Give These Foods to Your Pets

    It can be tempting to give into your pet’s whines and whimpers for your food, but doing so could put your furry friend’s health on the line. One common reason people need an emergency vet visit is for exposure to toxic foods. Watch this video to find out what foods should be off the menu for your pet.

    Raisins and grapes can be deadly to dogs, while onions and garlic can be dangerous for all animals. Avocado can lead to death in birds. If you think your pet has eaten something toxic, go to an emergency vet clinic immediately.

    At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, our emergency vet in Dallas and McKinney can provide critical care when your animal needs it most. Learn more about emergency vet services by calling Preston Road Animal Hospital at (972) 239-1309 or Meadow Brook Animal Hospital at (972) 529-5033.

  • What You Need to Know about Bloat in Dogs

    Bloat—or gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV)—is one of the most dangerous health crises dogs can face. Bloat cannot be treated at home, and getting to the emergency vet or emergency clinic as soon as possible is essential to increase the chances of survival. Here is what every dog owner needs to know about bloat and what to do if they recognize the signs.

    What Is Bloat?
    Bloat occurs when a dog’s stomach expands after becoming filled with gas, fluid, or food. As the stomach grows, it can put pressure on other organs that can interfere with blood circulation and breathing. The is called Gastric Dilatation. A tear in the stomach can also occur. Often, the stomach will twist, which causes blood to become trapped so that it doesn’t flow back to the heart. A dilated twisted stomach results in Gastric Dilatation – Volvulus syndrome. Without fast treatment, bloat can become fatal. Depending on the severity of your dog’s condition, the emergency vet may need to perform surgery to repair damage to the stomach and other organs.

    What Are the Symptoms?
    Bloat usually comes on very quickly. Your dog may begin by acting restless, drooling, pacing, and looking at his or her stomach. Non-productive vomiting is also common. As the condition progresses, your dog may have pale gums, a rapid heartbeat, and shallow breathing. Your dog may also collapse. A distended stomach is usually obvious even in early stages of bloat.

    Can Bloat Be Prevented?
    Veterinarians don’t fully understand the cause of bloat, but there are some things that seem to increase the risk. Eating one meal a day, eating quickly, and eating from a raised bowl all seem to be associated with bloat. Some breeds—particularly those with deep chest cavities—are more prone to bloat. Older dogs are also more likely to experience bloat.

    Dealing with a pet health emergency is scary, but the team at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group is ready to provide the most advanced care possible to every patient in our emergency animal hospital. Learn more about the compassionate care provided by our veterinarians in the north Dallas area calling our animal clinic today at (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas or (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in the McKinney / Frisco area of Texas.

  • Playing with Your New Kitten

    Kittens are very curious and love to play, and how you engage in play when they first enter your home partially sets the stage for how they will play for the rest of their lives. A checkup with a veterinarian at an animal hospital is an important first step in integrating a new kitten into your home, as the vet can ensure that there are no health issues that could impact your kitten’s health, behavior and well-being. Set the stage for a positive and playful relationship with your kitten with these tips.

    Don’t Use Your Hands as Toys

    It may be sweet to watch a small kitten darting back and forth trying to catch your hand as you move it all around, but that trick won’t be fun as your kitten gets bigger and his or her bite gets stronger. Start out using appropriate cat toys for all of your games, and try to keep your hands out of the equation. Feline feather wands and laser pointers make great cat toys. If you do get nipped somewhere in the game, don’t yell or spank. An angry reaction from you won’t teach your kitten how to play nicely, but will make him or her fearful of you instead.

    Discourage Pouncing

    Cats play only one game; It’s called Hunt, Pounce and Catch. This game often includes lying in wait for you and pouncing at you from around corners, from underneath draperies or from behind doors. Not only can this lead to nipping and scratching at your ankles, but it can also be dangerous, as a surprise pounce could cause a person to fall. When your kitten tries to turn pouncing into a game, correct him or her with a firm no. When your kitten is lurking but doesn’t pounce, offer praise and give him or her a toy to encourage appropriate play.

    Withdraw Attention

    Your kitten wants your attention, so withdrawing it when he or she behaves inappropriately is a powerful motivator. When your kitten won’t respond to other corrections, leave the room for a brief period. Don’t put your kitten in another room as an alternative, because your touch will seem like a reward.

    Let Chastain Veterinary Medical Group guide you through all the stages of adjusting to a new kitten with spay and neuter services, cat teeth cleaning, and more. Make an appointment with a veterinarian in McKinney or north Dallas by calling (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas or (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in the McKinney / Frisco area.