• How to Give Your Cat Eye Drops

    Cats are prone to eye infections from time to time, so many veterinarians prescribe eye drops. Of course, many cats don’t exactly appreciate the process of receiving the drops, so how can you give your kitty the necessary medicine without a full-on feline freak-out?

    This video offers instructions on how to give your cat eye drops. Stay calm and patient while delivering the drops, making sure to hold his or her head steady to avoid eye injuries. When you’ve given the drops, reward your cat with a treat. Your veterinarian can offer more advice.

    From cat eye infections to dog dental cleanings, Chastain Veterinary Medical Group offers comprehensive care in our animal clinic. Schedule an appointment at our animal clinic by calling Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at (972) 529-5033 or by calling Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas at (972) 239-1309.

  • Spotlight on Urinary Obstruction in Male Cats

    If you have a male cat, it is important to keep an eye out for symptoms of urinary obstruction. This is one of the most serious emergencies your cat can experience, and emergency veterinary care is necessary to prevent significant complications and even loss of life. If you notice any of these signs, call your animal hospital right away or take your cat in for emergency treatment.

    When urinary obstruction occurs, your cat will be unable to urinate completely—or in some cases, at all. This causes extreme pain, so your first indicator may be that your cat is crying out or seemingly in distress. Your cat may also suddenly start going to the bathroom outside of the litter box with only small amounts of urine or start to groom his genitals obsessively. This condition can quickly cause bladder rupture and dangerously high potassium levels, which can be life-threatening.

    If you suspect your cat could be suffering from urinary obstruction, call your veterinarian at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group right away. To reach our pet hospital in McKinney, please call (972) 529-5033. To reach our Dallas office, please call (972) 239-1309.

  • Get the Facts About Feline Leukemia

    Feline leukemia is surprisingly common, and many cat families are not aware of the extent of the risk. By understanding more about feline leukemia and its symptoms and treatments, you can learn when to call your veterinarian and what steps to take if you think your cat could have it. Here are the facts you need to know about feline leukemia and how it could affect your cat.

    Feline leukemia is not actually cancer.

    When researchers initially discovered feline leukemia, they thought that it shared traits with leukemia in humans and was a kind of cancer. Since then, researchers have discovered that feline leukemia is a viral infection, not a form of cancer, but the name has never been updated. Although feline leukemia is not cancer, it can increase the risk that your cat will develop cancer because it suppresses the immune system.

    The symptoms of feline cancer are not always easy to recognize.

    When a cat develops feline leukemia, his or her symptoms may develop so slowly that you might not notice them until the condition has progressed. Often, cats with feline leukemia are diagnosed in the second stage of the disease, called secondary viremia. At this stage, cats often lose weight, have inflamed gums, and experience diarrhea, seizures, and fever. During the initial stage of the disease, you may not notice any symptoms, but your cat may become ill more frequently than normal. This is because his or her immune system is suppressed. If your cat becomes ill, your veterinarian may recommend that he or she be tested for feline leukemia in addition to treating the acute infection.

    There is a vaccine for cats who have not been exposed to the virus.

    Your veterinarian can provide a feline leukemia vaccine that can prevent some infections. It will not prevent your cat from getting feline leukemia if he or she has already been exposed to the virus or if he or she is exposed to a strand that is not covered by the vaccine even after he or she has been immunized. Your vet can help you decide if the vaccine is right for your pet.

    If you’re concerned about feline leukemia, schedule an appointment for your cat at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group. Though there is no cure, vets can provide a number of treatments to help your cat feel better. To make an appointment at one of our veterinary hospitals, call Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at (972) 529-5033 or by calling Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas at (972) 239-1309.

  • Weight Management for Your Pet

    Most pets love to eat. From begging for treats to begging for scraps from your plate, many pets spend most of the day in search of their next snack. Because they’re so good at convincing you to give them just one more treat—and because they often love napping almost as much as they love eating—it’s easy for pets’ weight to get out of control. Unfortunately, being overweight is as dangerous for your pet as it is for you. The good news is that the veterinarians at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group can help with your pet’s weight management.

    At every appointment at our animal clinic, your pet will be weighed and examined so that the vet can assign him or her a body condition score. If your pet is found to be overweight, our team will give you advice for nutrition, exercise, behavior modifications, and toys that will help your pet drop the pounds and avoid weight-related medical conditions.

    Help your pet live a long and healthy life with the help of the veterinarians at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group. You can schedule a visit at our pet hospital in Dallas or McKinney by calling Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at (972) 529-5033 or by calling Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas at (972) 239-1309.

  • Spotlight on the Importance of Preventative Care for Your Pet

    Pets, like people, don’t only need healthcare when they are sick. Having regular checkups with the veterinarian is crucial for maintaining good health and reducing the risk of diseases. Skipping routine exams for your pet could put his or her health on the line and lead to the need to costly treatments to fight health conditions that could have been prevented.

    Preventative care for your pet has many different aspects. During checkups, your veterinarian will perform a physical exam to look for signs of injuries and diseases. He or she will also perform screening tests to spot indications of heartworms and other dangerous conditions and provide vaccinations that can prevent your pet from contracting serious illnesses. Spay and neuter services and pet dental cleanings also fall under preventative care and both reduce the risk of everything from cancer and behavioral problems to heart disease and tooth loss.

    Chastain Veterinary Medical Group is here to help you care for your pet at every stage of his or her life with comprehensive wellness services, advanced treatments for illnesses and injuries, and emergency vet care in Dallas. Schedule an appointment for your pet by calling (972) 239-1309.

  • Tips for Getting Your Cat to Stop Biting

    Non-cat families think of claws and scratches when they think of cat aggression, but anyone with a cat will tell you that it’s the teeth that can do the real damage. Cats bite for a variety of reasons, from exploration and play to trying to show you who is boss. In kittens, biting behavior is easy to nip in the bud with training, but in adult cats, putting a stop to bites can be more challenging. If your cat’s behavior is hard to manage, talk to your veterinarian, who can rule out a medical issue and provide advice. These tips will also help.


    Teach Proper Play

    Kittens love to explore their surroundings using their mouths. They will test out everything with their teeth, including your hands and feet. They will also nip while they are playing. Do your best to discourage this instinct by redirecting their attention towards toys and refusing to play in a way that allows biting of your hands and feet. For cats that are particularly aggressive with play biting, give them a time out in a room alone for a few minutes so that they learn that biting doesn’t get them the attention that they want.


    React Like a Cat

    Cats let each other know when biting has gone too far by hissing. You can communicate the same message by hissing yourself. Hiss loudly to interrupt the bite, but use this tool sparingly. If your cat hears it too often, he or she will become immune to it. For kittens, a loud shriek can also stop biting, but don’t do the same with an adult cat, who may become more aggressive in response.


    Avoid Reinforcing the Behavior

    Some cats use biting to ask for food, play, or attention. Don’t give in to what your cat wants after biting. Doing so will tell your cat he or she is the boss and reinforce the behavior. Instead, reward your cat for good behavior, such as rubbing against your legs, so that he or she develops a new way of asking for something.


    The veterinarians at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group can help you navigate the complexities of caring for your cat, from spay and neuter services to cat teeth cleaning. To make an appointment at our veterinary clinic in McKinney, please call (972) 239-1309.


  • What to Do When Your Pets Don’t Get Along

    Animal lovers relish the thought of a multi-pet household, but the pets in question don’t always have the same the idea. There are many reasons that pets may not get along when they live side-by-side, but fortunately, pet parents can help their animals get over their sibling rivalry. Getting your veterinarian involved is crucial. At the animal clinic, you can get confirmation that none of your pets are suffering from any underlying medical issues that are impacting their ability to get along. This advice will also help you keep the peace when your pets have a personality conflict.


    Manage the Introduction

    If you’re adding a new pet to your household, ensuring that you introduce your animals to each other the right way is critical. Introducing cats to other animals requires a slow approach, in which they are kept in separate rooms to get used to each other’s scent and then spend gradually increasing amounts of time together, while you are closely supervising. Dogs are more open to introductions but should be watched carefully. If you notice any signs of aggression, separate the animals and wait for a little longer to slowly being the reintroduction process again.


    Reward Friendly Behavior

    When your pets cooperate with each other, reward the behavior with praise and treats. If you see your pets playing together, engage in play with them, and take notice when they are sitting quietly together and praise them. They will begin to recognize that getting along gets them both what they want—attention—and will repeat the behavior to get it again.


    Resist the Urge to Force It

    In some instances, pets just need some time to figure it out. Don’t allow your animals to fight, which can be dangerous for them and to you, but don’t try to force them to interact. As they become more accustomed to each other, the rules of their relationship may naturally fall into place.


    Your veterinarian at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group can also assist with behavioral tips to help you maintain peace in your pet-filled household. We also make it easy to get all of the care your pets need in one place at our pet clinic in McKinney, including preventive care, spay and neuter services, and pet grooming. To find out more about our services or to make an appointment, call (972) 239-1309.

  • Tips for Keeping Your Pet Calm During a Vet Visit

    No matter how much you love your pet’s veterinarian, there’s a good chance that your animal isn’t fond of his or her visits to the pet hospital. Fortunately, if your pet experiences anxiety when it’s time for a vet check-up, there are several things you can do to make appointments more comfortable for him or her, not to mention for yourself and your vet. Try this advice for making your pet’s next animal clinic visit less stressful.

    Consider the Carrier

    Not all pets have to ride to the vet in a carrier, but if yours will be confined to one for his or her vet appointment, re-introduce it well before the big day. Get the carrier out about a week before your appointment, and leave the door open. Put some treats and toys inside, and let your pet get used to going in and out of it. Make it comfortable with a towel or some bedding, and consider using a calming pheromone spray inside it. Once it’s time to put your pet inside for your vet visit, the carrier won’t seem so scary anymore.

    Drop by to Say Hello

    Did you know that you can swing by your vet’s office between appointments? Periodically drop in at the animal clinic with your pet in tow to say hello. A lot of people do this. Give your pet a chance to hop up on the scale, and of course, to get a treat or a good ear scratching from the clinic staff. Your pet will get used to the smells and sounds of the office on these low-key visits, so that his or her own check-ups won’t feel so foreign and scary.

    Ask Your Vet

    For some pets, getting over anxiety about vet visits isn’t a simple process. If your pet won’t adjust to pet clinic appointments, ask your vet about sedative medications that could help. With these meds, your pet will feel relaxed during appointments, so the whole process is faster and more comfortable.


    The friendly team at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group always works to make pets and their parents feel welcome and at ease at our animal clinic in Dallas. Make an appointment at one of our AAHA-accredited animal hospitals by calling (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas, or by calling (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney.


  • Could Your Cat Have a Toothache?

    Cats are notorious for hiding their pain, so how do you know if your feline could be suffering from a toothache? Well, turns out, there are a few signs that might clue you into a problem, so keep an eye out for the symptoms in this video to help determine if you should call the veterinarian.

    Cats aren’t likely to stop eating just because they have a toothache, but you may notice that they seem to be swallowing pieces of food whole rather than chewing them. Cats with toothaches may also sleep more. They may also tend to chew food on just one side of their mouths. If you notice a change in your cat’s behavior, your veterinarian can help you get to the bottom of the cause.

    Chastain Veterinary Medical Group offers pet dental services in the greater north Dallas area to help your pet’s teeth and gums stay healthy and pain-free. To make an appointment at our McKinney/Frisco animal hospital, please call (972) 529-5033, or to make an appointment at our north Dallas animal hospital, please call (972) 239-1309.

  • Reasons Why Cats Urinate Outside the Litter Box

    Cats are usually very particular about using their littler boxes, so if your cat suddenly starts urinating somewhere else, then you’re probably wondering why this sudden, drastic change has occurred. Although any cat can have an accident now and again, any cat who suddenly stops using his or her litter box should be examined by the veterinarian to determine if there is a medical cause. Here are some of the reasons cats may begin to urinate outside of the litter box.

    Medical Problems
    Sometimes, when cats begin to urinate outside of their litter boxes, it is because they are having medical issues. Kidney problems, diabetes, and urinary tract infections can all make it difficult for your cat to control his or her urine. In other cases, an underlying medical issue, such as arthritis, may be making it painful for your cat to use the litter box. Your veterinarian can determine if medical problems could be contributing to your cat’s new reluctance to use his or her litter box and recommend a treatment plan to resolve the issue.

    Problems with the Litter Box
    Sometimes, your cat will take a disliking to something about the litter box itself, or the cat litter inside, and refuse to use it. If you have fallen behind on cleaning out the box, then your cat may decide to find somewhere cleaner to urinate. If the litter box is in a location that your cat doesn’t like, such as in a part of your home that is too isolated, then your cat may refuse to use it. Sharing the litter box with a new cat or a change in cat litter brands could also impact how your cat uses the box. In general, we recommend one litterbox, per cat, per floor of house (if they have access to the upstairs).

    Cats are relieved by their own scent, so if your cat is anxious or stressed, he or she may begin to urinate in other places as a self-soothing technique. Moving to a new place, seeing an outdoor cat lingering in the yard, or having pain from a medical issue can all cause stress that leads your cat to urinate around the house.

    Let the veterinarians in north Dallas or McKinney at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group help you get to the bottom of your cat’s litter box problems. Our animal clinic offers comprehensive vet services, including pet dental care and emergency care. To make an appointment at our McKinney/Frisco animal hospital, please call (972) 529-5033, or to make an appointment at our north Dallas animal hospital, please call (972) 239-1309.