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Hidden Toxins in Your Garage

poisonous albuquerque

poisonous albuquerqueDid you skip out on your spring cleaning and now fall is coming up and you are feeling inspired to be out with the old? The fall is a great time to go through the garage or shed and get rid of the chemicals we bought for our garden but never used. You will need to get new ones in the spring anyway, might as well make room now. But as you are cleaning out your stores you should be aware that many of the chemicals are toxic to your pet. So as you are cleaning be careful to keep your pet away from them. Also make sure to store them in a place where you pet cannot access them and dispose of them somewhere your pet cannot get into.

Chemicals to Watch Out For:

  1. Antifreeze (Ethylene Glycol)- this goes in your car. It has a sweet smell that animals like to drink. However, it will cause kidney toxicity and will kill your pet very quickly. If your pet ingests even a little bit of antifreeze they need to get treatment within 3 to 6 hours and may require staying at the vet for a few days.
  2. Brake Fluid (Diethylene Glycol)- similar to antifreeze, though not quite as bad. It will also cause kidney toxicity and acute kidney failure if enough is ingested.
  3. Windshield Washer Fluid (Methanol)- Though it might not smell sweet to us, it does to our pets. Ingesting this will cause central nervous system issues such as lethargy, ataxia, and depression, also hypoglycemia, vomiting, abdominal pain, disorientation, tremors, seizures, and difficulty breathing.
  4. Petroleum Distillates- these include paint thinner, mineral spirits, kerosene, gasoline, propane, butane, motor oil, lubricants, some paints, and citronella torch fluid. These can be irritating to the skin causing inflammation and ulceration. The biggest risk is for aspiration pneumonia. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, chest congestion, and difficulty breathing. NEVER induce vomiting. Call pet poison control immediately.
  5. Glues- These can cause mild stomach upset when ingested and skin irritation.
  6. Rodenticides/Insecticides- Some rat and mouse poison can cause internal bleeding, seizures and kidney toxicity. Though most insecticides are typically safe some can cause life threatening issues.
  7. Granular Lawn Products- If ingested in small quantities they can cause mild stomach upset, but if in large quantities your dog can develop tremors and trouble walking.
  8. Fertilizers – these will cause mild stomach upset and can lead to foreign body obstruction in the intestines. If iron is an ingredient then there is a risk of heavy metal toxicity.

If your pet has ingested a chemical you should call your local Albuquerque Vetco vet right away or the pet poison control hotline 855-764-7661




Hidden Dangers of Hybrid Cats

bengal vet albuquerque

Do you love hybrid cats? I love hybrid cats! They are so exotic looking and have amazing personalities. Plus there is something cool to see that bit of tiger or lion lurking in your house cat.

What are Hybrid Cats?

A hybrid cat is a domestic cat that is bred with a wild cat. The first one was a domestic cat bred with an Asian Leopard, which is a small wild cat native to South, Southeast, and East Asia

Hybrid cats were first bred to see if bringing in some of the genes of wild cats would increase resistance to Feline Leukemia and another disease common to domestic cats.

bengal vet albuquerqueAfter they began breeding these hybrid cats, people started liking the idea of having little leopards as their family pet. It brought some of the exotic into the household. By 1980 the Bengal breed became an official breed.

Some other hybrids include Savannah’s, which resulted from a Serval, a wild cat found in Africa, with the Domestic cat; and Chausie, a jungle cat with a domestic cat.

Like any specialty breed, there are health issues and behaviors that are specific to the breed.


Behavioral Issues

  • Lack of litter box use
  • Aggression
  • Marking their territory, aka spraying
  • Clawing
  • Solitary

Unlike a lot of domestic cats, neutering or spaying does not stop behavioral issues.

Common Health Issues

  • Premature birth
  • Miscarriage
  • Irritable bowel disease
  • Persistent infection with intestinal parasites (Tritrichomonas foetus)
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
  • Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)

It is important to get a vet that understands the health issues specific to hybrid cats to help make sure you are able to properly tend to the health of your little leopard.



Marijuana toxicity in Pets

medical marijuana albuquerque pets

medical marijuana albuquerque petsNew Mexico is one of the many states that have legal medical marijuana and may become one of the next ones for legal recreational marijuana. With the increase in legal marijuana usage, it is good to be aware of some of the issues your pet could experience. In the past 6 years, the Pet Poison Helpline has experiences and increase of 448% in calls related to marijuana.

Let’s talk terminology, because if you are new to marijuana usage, you may not know what the different terms mean.

Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica- these are often also simply called Sativa or Indica, are the strains of marijuana used for recreational purposes.

THC and CBD- These are the two chemicals that are most recognized and used in the cannabis plants. THC is psychotropic and used for recreation and CBD is non-psychotropic. The amount of cannabinoid in a strain of cannabis plant varies from plant to plant.

There are many medical benefits to using marijuana. We are not recommending or endorsing the usage. But more people are turning to medical marijuana to help treat their medical conditions or symptoms from other medications. When using it for medicinal purposes, it does not have the psychotropic affects of recreational strains.

Though there is research being done about the medicinal use of marijuana with pets, it is still not a practice that is widely accepted. You should never give your pet marijuana, medicinally or recreationally. Their bodies process the cannabinoid differently than yours and it can cause damage.

Pets can be poisoned by marijuana by either ingesting it by eating an edible or the marijuana in any form (bud, oil, glass, etc) or through second-hand smoke. They are more likely to get sick from ingesting it than from second-hand smoke, but this does not mean that the smoke may not affect them negatively.

Symptoms of marijuana toxicity

  • Lethargy
  • Dilated pupils
  • Glassed over eyes
  • Dazed expression
  • Difficulty walking
  • Vomiting.
  • Low or high heart rate
  • Whining or crying
  • Agitation
  • Trouble regulating body temperature
  • Incontinence
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma.

You can see signs of toxicity anywhere from 5 minutes to 12 hours after exposure. The symptoms can last from 30 minutes to many days.

If you think that your dog may have been poisoned from marijuana call the pet poison helpline at 855-764-7661 or call your Albuquerque vet.


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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.