Could Your Cat Have Gum Disease?

Gum disease is a very real threat to cats, but many owners are unaware of the risk. If your cat develops gum disease, not only will it cause him or her a great deal of pain, but it can also cause tooth loss and lead to systemic health problems. Cat teeth cleanings are available from your veterinarian and could make a huge difference in your cat’s overall health.

To see if your cat could have gum disease, look in his or her mouth for redness where the gums meet the teeth. This can indicate early stage gum disease. As gum disease progresses, your cat could lose teeth and may begin to shy away from eating his or her food, because chewing is painful.

The best way to find out if your cat has gum disease is to schedule a cat teeth cleaning in McKinney at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group. Make an appointment with a veterinarian for a teeth cleaning by calling (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas or call (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in the McKinney/Frisco area of Texas.

Signs Your Kids Are Ready for Their First Pet

Although there is no one right age for a child to get his or her first pet, there are signs to pay attention to let you know that yours are ready for the responsibility. Before you choose a pet and make that all-important first appointment at the animal hospital, see if you recognize these signs that your kids are ready for a pet.

They behave appropriately around other people’s animals.

How do your kids act when you visit friends or family that have pets? Do they pet the animal, play with him or her, and help out in an age-appropriate way when given the opportunity to assist with feedings or walks? If so, then your kids could be ready to have a pet around full-time. On the other hand, if your kids yank tails, chase a nervous animal around, or are scared of the pet, then you may need to wait a little longer before making an animal part of your family.

They help around the house.

Having a pet is an enormous responsibility. They also offer a great opportunity for your kids to learn from sharing that responsibility with you. They may be ready to take on the extra work of having a pet if they already pitch in around the house. If they are reliable about completing their chores and don’t complain when you ask for an extra hand, then it could be a sign you can count on them to walk the dog, feed the cat, and otherwise take an active role in caring for the animal.

They have time in their schedules.

Some kids are so involved in so many activities that they don’t realistically have time to devote to an animal. Your kids should have enough free time each day that that they can spend some of it socializing with the pet, contributing to taking care of the pet, and helping with duties like feeding, walking, grooming and so on.

At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, we love to help families get their new pets off to a healthy start, with wellness exams, vaccinations, and cat and dog spaying and neutering services. After your family adopts a new animal, make an appointment at one of our veterinary hospitals in the metroplex by dialing (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas or dialing (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in the McKinney/Frisco area of Texas.

Should You Consider a Pet Snake?

Pet snakes are a definite departure from the usual choice of a dog or a cat, but is a snake the right pet for you? Although pet snakes may not require tasks like walking, spaying, or neutering, they do require special care, including a veterinarian who is able to provide exotic animal care. If you are intrigued by the idea of adopting a snake but aren’t sure if you are ready to make the leap, here is what you need to know.

Not all snakes make good pets.

If you decide to get a snake, it’s important to ensure that you get the right one. People who are new to handling snakes usually do best with corn snakes, ball pythons, and kingsnakes. These snakes tend to be the most amenable to handling and easiest to care for. If you choose to get another kind of snake, be sure to do your research first. Even if a breed is relatively tame, their size as an adult could be an issue. Venous snakes and large constrictors are never good picks—especially for people who are who new to caring for snakes—and, please, never capture a snake and try to make it your pet.

You will need to handle your snake frequently.

Snakes aren’t naturally cuddly, but they do still need to be handled frequently when they are kept in captivity. Doing so makes them more comfortable with being touched, so you can feed them, remove them from their cage for cleaning, and do other things necessary to care for them safely. Snakes can carry salmonella, so wash your hands thoroughly after handling your pet. Although bites are rare, they are possible, so move slowly to pick up your snake, handle him or her gently, and clean any bite that does occur with soap and water. Deep bites need medical attention.

Your snake will need veterinary care.

Not all veterinarians are willing to treat snakes, and fewer still are trained in caring for snakes. Contact several veterinarians near you before you buy your snake to ensure that you can get vet care for your pet when you need it.

Chastain Animal Medical Group welcomes exotic pets like snakes in our pet hospitals in Dallas and McKinney. To learn more about our exotic animal care services, dial (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas or dial (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in the McKinney/Frisco area of Texas.

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