• What Is Parvo?

    Parvo, also known as canine parvovirus, is an extremely contagious and common virus in dogs. Although there is no cure for parvo, it requires treatment by your veterinarian to manage the symptoms and prevent dangerous complications such as severe dehydration and secondary infections.

    There are two types of canine parvo, one which impacts the intestines and another which impacts the heart muscles. The intestinal form of parvo causes severe diarrhea, vomiting, and severe weight loss. The cardiac form of the disease can cause breathing problems that come on quickly. Thanks to vaccinations, parvo is most common in dogs between six weeks and six months, who have not yet been fully vaccinated. Dogs with parvo will have a weakened immune system and will be contagious to other dogs for up to two months. Your veterinarian can help you manage the recovery period.

    Find out how to protect your pet from dangerous illnesses like parvo by making an appointment with Chastain Veterinary Medical Group. Our veterinarian in Dallas will advise you on a vaccination schedule and offer preventative care, including spay and neuter services, pet dental services, and more. To schedule an appointment with one of our friendly veterinarians, call (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney or call (972) 230-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas.

  • Choosing a Family-Friendly Dog Breed

    Choosing a Family-Friendly Dog Breed

    When your family decides to bring home a puppy, it is important to consider the breed carefully. Not all dogs are suited to life in a bustling household with kids, so both your family and your new puppy will all be happier if you pick the right breed for your particular living situation. If you need help, talk to the pros at your local animal hospital. They can give you insight into the personality of the different breeds and the amount of veterinarian care different breeds need, so you can make an informed decision. As you consider your options, keep these points in mind.

    Consider Sporting Breeds and Working Breeds

    Dogs that fall into these categories tend to be good family pets, because they have been bred to work beside humans. They are usually highly trainable and eager to please, so they are good additions to families, especially ones that include young children. Golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers fall into this category. Herding breeds, which include collies and German shepherds, are also very trainable, which makes them good family pets.

    Make Sure the Size Measures Up

    It may seem counterintuitive, but most experts recommend that families with small children get larger dogs. Small children very frequently step on dogs’ paws or grab them in ways that can be painful. Among small dogs, these kinds of incidents are more likely to cause injury, which can make the dog lash out against the child or bite. Larger dogs are better able to tolerate this kind of interaction. Because it doesn’t hurt them as much, they are more patient. If you think your children could be tugging ears or grabbing tails, a large breed could be the best pick.

    Match Your Activity Levels

    Dogs that have been bred to work have a lot of energy that needs to be released through exercise and play, and if it isn’t they may become unhappy and destructive. If your kids are small and will be home to play with your pup, this can be a good fit. If your family is away from the house all day, choose a more mellow breed, like a pug, who is happy to sit and nap while you’re away.

    Chastain Veterinary Medical Group is here to offer all the advice you need on choosing and caring for a puppy, including dog neutering, vaccinations, and pet grooming. To schedule a consultation at our Animal Hospital in McKinney, please call (972) 529-5033, or, for our Hospital in North Dallas, please call (972) 239-1309.

  • The Health Benefits of Spaying and Neutering

    When you get a new pet, making an appointment to spay or neuter him or her should be one of the first things on your to-do list. Spaying and neutering is one of the most important things you can do for your pet’s health and the health of all of the animals in your community. If you are concerned about the impacts of spaying or neutering your pet, speak to your veterinarian. Here is a look at some of the advantages of spay and neuter services for all animals.

    Longer Life Span

    Because spaying and neutering reduces the risk of many different health issues, including several forms of reproductive organ cancers, animals who undergo these procedures tend live longer lives. On average, dogs who are spayed or neutered live one to three years longer than unaltered canines, while spayed or neutered cats live three to five years longer. In addition to living longer, animals who are spayed or neutered live healthier lives, thanks to the reduced risk of disease.

    Less Desire to Roam

    Pets who are sterilized through spaying and neutering have less desire to escape and roam, which also keeps them safer and healthier. Pets who roam are more vulnerable to all manner of accidents, illnesses and injuries. As many as 85% of dogs who get hit by cars have not been spayed or neutered, and male cats who have not been altered live less than two years outdoors on average. Animals who are not altered are more likely to fight, which can result in the transmission of disease through bites and scratches.

    Reduce Overpopulation

    Cats reproduce at 45 times the rate of humans, while dogs are merely 15 times as prolific as people. For these reasons, among others, we find ourselves with an overabundance of dogs and cats, with huge populations sitting in shelters that are forced to euthanize them. When these animals are not in shelters and instead living on the street, they suffer, and they pose health risks to the community. Spaying and neutering pets prevents your animal from contributing to these larger population and community issues.

    Make an appointment at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group and talk to one of our vets about the benefits of spaying or neutering a dog or cat to learn more. 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.

  • Taking Your Cat to the Veterinarian

    Statistics tell us that cats only visit the veterinary clinic about half as often as dogs, despite needing the same kind of preventative care. One of the reasons cat owners point to in order to explain this is how much their cats seem to dread visiting the vet. Fortunately, a trip to the animal hospital doesn’t have to be a bad experience for your cat. There are many things you can do to make vet trips more comfortable.

    Watch this video for advice on making pet hospital trips easier on your cat. Remember to stay calm yourself and to reward all of your cat’s calm behavior to reinforce the idea that visiting the vet is a positive event.

    At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, our caring vets understand the unique needs of cats and can make your visit a good experience for you and your pet. 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.

  • 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.

  • Human Foods Your Pet Should Never Eat

    One of the most common reasons pet families need to call the emergency vet is because an animal has consumed some sort of dangerous people food. Although some foods for humans are perfectly safe for pets, other foods that are on your plate regularly can be deadly for the four-legged set. Avoid a dangerous health crisis and a trip to the emergency vet clinic by keeping these foods away from your pet.


    It’s never funny—or safe—to give your pet a sip of your drink. Alcohol can have disastrous health consequences for your pet, including gastrointestinal problems, breathing difficulties, tremors, blood acidity imbalances, and death. There is no safe amount of alcohol for your pet to have, so if you think your animal has been exposed to a drink, call your emergency vet right away.

    Raw Bones

    Many pet owners balk at the idea that raw bones could be unhealthy for animals, especially for dogs, since there is such a strong media association with dogs and bones. However, while it’s true that animals may eat bones in the wild, they are not appropriate for domestic animals. In addition to the risk of exposure to dangerous bacteria, raw bones can splinter and puncture the digestive tract. They can also lead to choking. There are specially prepared bones designed for domestic animals, so talk to your veterinarian about the possibility of giving your animal those types of bones safely.

    Yeast Dough

    If your pet consumes yeast dough, it could rise in his or her stomach and cause painful gas and bloating. It can also cause the stomach to twist, which is life-threatening and requires emergency vet care. In dogs, yeast produces ethanol that can cause intoxication.

    Act fast if you think your pet has dined on something toxic and get him/her to the emergency vet hospital or the veterinarians at the Chastain Veterinary Medical Group as soon as possible. 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.

  • The Importance of Socializing Your Dog

    Dog obedience classes, puppy parks, and dog boarding all have benefits beyond their primary purposes. In addition to whatever service they provide, they are all also opportunities to socialize your dog. Socializing your dog is an essential part of keeping him or her healthy and happy, not to mention preventing behavioral problems at home and in public.

    Socializing your dog teaches him or her appropriate ways of interacting with other animals and with people. It can reduce the anxiety some dogs seem to feel when meeting other pups and humans and lessens the chances that your dog will become aggressive towards others or destructive in your home. Pet grooming, boarding, and veterinary care are all easier with dogs who have been appropriately socialized.

    If you need advice on how to best socialize your dog, make an appointment with a veterinarian in Dallas at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group. Our pet hospital offers comprehensive vet services, including emergency care and behavioral recommendations. 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.

  • What to Expect from a Pet’s Dental Checkup

    Although pet dental services are easy to overlook, they are actually an essential part of your pet’s overall wellness care. When it comes to dogs, for instance, some experts estimate that 85% of pooches have periodontal disease by the time they are three years old. Just as in humans, dental disease can lead to a laundry list of health problems for pets that can easily be prevented with regular dental care. Talk to your veterinarian about the right dental care schedule for your pet. Here is what you can expect during a checkup.

    Visual Exam

    Your veterinarian will start out by performing a visual exam of your pet’s teeth and gums. He or she will be looking for signs of infection and decay, as well as other abnormalities that could indicate an oral health problem. During this exam, your veterinarian can determine if your animal needs further pet dental services, such as a cleaning. Even if you give your pet dental treats at home and only feed him or her hard food, all animals will require dental cleanings periodically to remove plaque and tartar buildup.

    Dental Cleaning

    To remove plaque and tartar, your veterinarian will need to anaesthetize your pet. Even the best behaved pets simply will not sit still for a thorough teeth cleaning the way people do. The anesthesia is for your pet’s comfort and so that your vet can thoroughly remove plaque and tartar that is below the gum line – which is where the major problems lie for dogs and cats. So-called ‘no-anesthesia’ teeth cleanings offered by some simply cannot adequately address plaque and tartar below the gum line. Failing to adequately clean all of the surfaces of all of teeth, both above and below the gums, leaves your pet susceptible to pain and tooth loss caused by gum disease as well as heart disease and other infections caused by inflammation in the mouth.

    Dental Maintenance Advice

    Your vet will offer advice and suggestions for keeping your pet’s teeth and gums as healthy as possible. He or she may recommend that you begin to brush your pet’s teeth at home and, if so, can demonstrate ways to get your pet used to the process.

    At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, we provide pet dental services in the greater Dallas area as part of our wellness care services to help your pet stay as healthy as possible and avoid diseases caused by oral infections. 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.

  • Prepping Your Pet for the Rain

    If your pet hates the wet weather, he or she is not alone. Many pets balk at rain, because of the noises, dampness, and strange sensations they feel when they go outside. This video offers tips to help you get your pet more comfortable with rainy weather. Remember to always check with your veterinarian before adding anything new to your pet’s diet.

    Certain herbal supplements that are given orally can help your pet stay calm, as long as your veterinarian verifies that are safe for your particular animal. Essential oil sprays may also help. If you have an animal that goes outside in the rain, consider a rain jacket and booties to protect him or her from the damp.

    At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, our veterinarian in Dallas offers comprehensive pet care, from pet dental services to help with behavioral issues. 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.