Dealing with an Animal Medical Emergency

A medical emergency is scary, but the truth is most pet families are bound to face at least one such crisis. When trouble strikes, seeing an emergency vet as soon as possible could be critical for your pet’s well-being.

The best way to deal with an animal medical emergency is to know what you will do, who you will call, and where you will go, before an urgent need arises. Find out your veterinarian’s emergency care protocols and locate the nearest emergency vet to your home. Know how to contact your veterinarian in an Emergency – in our case the phone number for the Emergency Messaging System is (214) 439-7233. If an emergency does happen, act quickly but calmly. If you are anxious, your pet will be, too. At the emergency animal clinic, the staff will triage your pet’s case and ensure he or she gets the right care at the right time.

Chastain Veterinary Medical Group offers emergency vet care in Dallas and the McKinney / Frisco areas during regular business hours and we share emergency care affiliations with several emergency-only animal clinics in the area. To speak to us about this or to schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians, please phone Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (972) 239-1309 or phone Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in the McKinney/Frisco area at (972) 529-5033.

Veterinary Spotlight on Cytopoint

Itchy pups are commonplace in the animal hospital, and sometimes, finding the right treatment can be frustrating. Because itching has so many different possible causes, your veterinarian is often left using trial and error to find the right itch treatments for your pet. Further, some pet owners aren’t happy with the prospect of giving their dogs medication to deal with itching. Fortunately, a new alternative is available: CYTOPOINT. CYTOPOINT is safe, effective, and fast-working, so your dog feels more comfortable immediately and you get a break from listening to the constant itching and biting.

What is CYTOPOINT?

CYTOPOINT is an injectable immunotherapy treatment that mimics the natural immune response in dogs to disrupt the cycle of inflammation and itching that is associated with atopic dermatitis in dogs. Unlike drug treatment, CYTOPOINT is highly targeted so that its impact on broader immune functions is limited, and it is eliminated from the body through normal product degradation pathways. That means that liver and kidneys are not involved in metabolizing CYTOPOINT, as they are with drug treatments for itchiness.

How quickly does CYTOPOINT work?

CYTOPOINT begins working within 24 hours of receiving a single injection at the animal hospital in 80% of dogs. The relief lasts for four to eight weeks. During this period of itch relief, damaged skin has time to heal, which can help to make itching less intense in the future. After the CYTOPOINT injection wears off, dogs can get a repeated dose. CYTOPOINT testing has shown it to be safe and effective for long-term use.

Are there any side effects?

The side effects associated with CYTOPOINT are minimal. Some animals experienced slight increases in attacks of diarrhea, vomiting, and alopecia, but these incidences resolved without vet treatment. Less than 2% of dogs in trials of CYTOPOINT had any adverse effects.

To find out if CYTOPOINT could be right for your dog, make an appointment at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group in McKinney today. A veterinarian can make a diagnosis and determine the best plan for treating your pet’s excessive itching. To schedule an appointment at our pet hospital today, call (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas or call (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney.

Common Health Issues in Senior Cats

As your cat gets older, his or her health may change over time, and you may need to make more frequent visits to the veterinarian. Fortunately, many senior cat health problems are manageable and won’t prevent your cat from living a long life, as long as he or she gets the proper care. Here are some of the most common health problems diagnosed in senior cats and how your veterinarian can address them.

Arthritis

Arthritis is extremely common in older cats. After the age of 12, approximately 90% of cats begin to show signs of arthritis. While arthritis is no doubt uncomfortable for the cat, it can sometimes be difficult for us humans to pick up on. Pay attention for subtle, telltale symptoms, such as new difficulty going up and down the stairs, a reluctance to jump on and off furniture, and stiffness upon standing. If you notice these symptoms, make an appointment at your animal hospital to explore treatment options. If your cat is overweight, losing some excess weight can also reduce the stress on joints.

Dental Disease

Dental disease—especially gum disease—is another common problem in older cats. You can reduce the risk of dental disease with regular pet dental services at the vet and with brushing your cat’s teeth at home. Adding Oxyfresh Pet Oral Hygiene Solution to the pets drinking water has also problem useful in our hands. Dental disease not only causes pain and makes it difficult for your cat to eat, but it can also lead to systemic infections, including heart disease and respiratory problems. If your cat hasn’t had a dental checkup recently, or if you have noticed a change in your cat’s eating habits, make a vet appointment.

Vision Loss

As cats age, they become more prone to vision problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment. In addition to obvious indicators like your cat bumping into things, look for cloudy eyes. Depending on the cause of your cat’s vision loss, your veterinarian may recommend medications or surgery or environmental adjustments. In some cases, cats can adapt to vision loss without the need for extensive treatment.

From their first year through their senior years, the vets at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group are committed to helping cats live happy and healthy lives. You can make an appointment at our animal hospital in Dallas by calling (972) 239-1309 or for our animal hospital in McKinney, call (972) 529-5033.

How to Get Your Dog to Take a Pill

One experience almost every dog owner has when the veterinarian prescribes medication is the frustrating fight to get your pup to swallow the pill. Dogs can turn into sophisticated tricksters when you have medication to give them, somehow managing to extract the pill from whatever high-value treat you may be offering if they catch even a whiff of the medicine. Your veterinarian is a good source of information if your dog persistently refuses medicine. This advice will also help.

If your dog is wise to your routine of sticking a pill in his or her regular treat, try putting into something your dog isn’t used to having—the smellier, the better. You can also try giving several treats at once, so your dog gobble them all, not realizing one has medicine. If all else fails, gently insert the pill into your dog’s throat and follow it up another treat or syringe of broth or water to help it go down. Praise and reward your dog throughout.

Talk to your vet at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group for more advice for providing the best care for your beloved pet. To schedule a consultation at our Animal Hospital in McKinney call (972) 529-5033, or for our Hospital in North Dallas, please call (972) 239-1309.

Make Vet Trips Free of Fear

Make Vet Trips Free of Fear

If your pet dreads trips to the animal hospital, there are several things you can do to take the stress out of the experience. Watch this video to learn how to make trips to the veterinarian less fearful.

Start by not feeding your pet after 6 p.m. the night before his or her appointment, unless your veterinarian tells you otherwise. This will make your pet more responsive to the treats her is offered at the pet hospital. Avoid baby talking to your pet as well. Although you are trying to comfort your pet, you could actually be making him or her more anxious.

At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, our patient team of animal lovers is dedicated to making every animal clinic visit as comfortable as possible. To make an appointment at any one of our animal hospitals in the Motorplex, please call (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas or call (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney.

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.

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.

Is Your Cat Suffering from Allergies?

You might not think of allergies when you think of common cat health problems, but in reality, cats are susceptible to the same kinds of allergies that people and dogs can develop. Cats with allergies can be extremely uncomfortable and begin to act out because of the irritation. If you think your cat could have allergies, it’s important to consult your veterinarian as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment. Chastain Vet Med Grp has offices in Dallas and McKinney / Frisco and we would happy to help. Here is a look at what cat parents need to know about allergies.

Symptoms
The symptoms cats experience when they have allergies can be very similar to what humans go through. Your cat may sneeze, cough, and wheeze, or develop itchy or runny eyes. Ear infections are common, as is snoring and sniffling brought on by congestion. More commonly in cats the skin is the target organ of allergies. If the skin becomes irritated, your cat may chew his or her paws or develop swollen paws that seem sensitive. In some cases, vomiting and diarrhea can be linked to allergies. Some cats will develop numerous small scabs around the head and neck as a result of allergies. If your cat has these kinds of symptoms, set up an appointment with your veterinarian.

Common Allergens
Like people, cats can be allergic to pollen, plants, grass, mold, and mildew. Allergies to household cleaning products and foods are also possible. Some cats are allergic to certain types of cat litters, while other may have an allergic reaction to flea-control products, fleas themselves, or prescribed medications. Perfumes and colognes can also trigger allergy symptoms.

Diagnosis and Treatment
Your veterinarian will do a physical exam and possibly blood work to determine if your cat is suffering from allergies. In some cases, it may be necessary to identify the cause by trial and error, such as by changing your cat’s diet and seeing if symptoms subside. If your cat is having a skin allergy, he or she may need to see a specialist. Eliminating the allergen, when possible, is the best treatment. Antihistamines, steroids, and allergy injections may also be needed.

Is your cat showing the symptoms of an allergy? If so, schedule a visit to Chastain Veterinary Medical Group. Our team of veterinarians can diagnose and treat your pet’s allergy issues. To learn more about our pet hospital, please call Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney / Frisco at (972) – 529-5033 or Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (469) 759-7620.

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