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HEALTH WARNING: The Plague is in Albuquerque!

A stray cat in the North-East height was discovered to have the plague. The people who found the cat, and the health department employees who were exposed, were put on “fever watch”. This means they are being watch for symptoms but not under quarantine. So far all people exposed are not showing symptoms. The cat did die from the disease.

The plague may sound like a 18th century disease, but it is not one that has been completely eradicated. Every year we see cases of animals that have the disease.  Treatment is possible if it is detected early. However, if it is left alone it can kill its people or animal hosts.

The plague is most commonly transferred through a flea bite or through direct contact with the infected. It is not like rabies where you need to be bitten. The plague is highly contagious.

The city is warning people to avoid contact with stray animals in the heights. If you see any animals that look sick, please report them to 311. If your animal has any signs of illness, bring them to your vet immediately.

The best course of action is prevention. Get your Frontline Flea and Tick treatment immediately!!! It is an easy treatment to apply, offers no discomfort to your pet, and will keep them safe from plague infected fleas. This small health safety measure can save the life of your pets and your family.

Drop by our veterinary clinic to pick up your Frontline Flea and Tick treatment, no appointment necessary.

Why does my dog cock her head?

why dogs tilt their headhead I love it when my dog cocks her head. She hears something or looking at something and turns her head to the side. It is adorable. But why does she do this?

It can be so your dog can hear better and try to make sense of what you are saying. Some experts believe they do this if they think you are trying to communicate something important to them. It could be your dog concentrating on the words she understands, or your inflection.


Dogs are able to use hearing to determine the distance of the sound. Even slight movements in their head can help them focus on a sound and more accurately determine its location.

You can also encourage this behavior through reinforcement. If you get happy and praise your dog for doing this, she will be more likely to do this more often in the future.

Dogs with floppy ears are more likely to tilt their head than ones with pointed ears. This is likely to improve their hearing. Dogs with socialization problems are less likely to cock their head. This follows with them not engaging with their human’s, and not being interested in what you are saying.

Most of the time a head tilt is just a head tilt. But sometimes it can be a symptom of something medically wrong. If you notice your dog tilting their head frequently and without a trigger (aka. a noise), then you should bring them to your Albuquerque vet at Vetco on Menaul. This could be a sign of infection, brain disease, inflammation or cancer.

Long and short, it is mainly a cute behavior that can help them hear better. If you like it, praise her for doing it and she will likely reward you with doing it more often.

Be careful with your Inhaler

dog bites inhalerInhalers save lives for people but can be deadly for dogs. With Spring’s arrival many people have increased allergies. Asthma may be acting up which means that your inhaler might be laying around more than usual.

Dog love to chew on their owners inhalers. But when they bite into the inhaler they get both an inhaled dose and an oral dose. This is a highly concentrated amount of the medicine. The type of inhaler, meaning the type of medication inside it, can cause different medical effects in your dog. Make sure you know what kind of inhaler it is, so you can communicate that to your vet in case he bites into your inhaler.

Corticosteroid Inhaler

These work by decreasing inflammation in the airways. In an overdose situation they can cause:

  • thirst that can last for days
  • urination that can last for days

These are not life threatening and you will see the symptoms in a few hours after ingestion. Though not life threatening you should call your vet and let them know in case they want you to do something to help ease your dogs symptoms.

Bronchodilator Inhaler

These kinds of inhalers open up the airway to increase the ease of breathing. In an overdose situation, this kind of inhaler can be life threatening to your dog. Symptoms include:

  • Increased heart rate.
  • Potassium imbalance, which can affect the heart.
  • Agitation
  • Pacing
  • Lethargic
  • Weak
  • Inability to stand

If you dog bit into your bronchodilator inhaler, call your vet immediately. Without immediate treatment your dog could die of cardiovascular collapse. Your vet will likely treat your dog with IV medication to reduce his heart rate and normalize his electrolytes.

Inhalers are also kept under pressure, this is why they “puff” when you use them. This can also cause frostbite on your pets lips. These frostbite lesions may cause sores that could require pain medication or antibiotics.

Regardless of your kind of inhaler, always call your vet. Your Albuquerque vet may want you to bring your dog in for treatment.



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8200 Menaul Blvd NE #R Albuquerque, NM 87110 Phone: (505) 292-3030

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The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.