Spring into Pet Health Hazards

dog spring garden
dog spring garden

It is Spring time in New Mexico. As our weather bounces back and forth from warm to cold, from sweaters to tank tops, we are all going outside more and doing our Spring clean up. I know I have been inspired by the sun, this weeks rain didn’t even deter me. But as we go through our spring cleaning routines, lets take some precautions to not send our pets, or ourselves, into a health crisis.


Ticks are nasty little buggers and we definitely have them here in New Mexico. They can cause horrible disease that affect people and pets: Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, anaplasmosis, tularemia, and babesiosis. Some of these disease can cause life long health issues or even death. Thankfully ticks are really easy to avoid, at least for your dogs and cats.

The best way is to use a monthly anti flea and tick treatment like Frontline. It is a once monthly treatment, that doesn’t hurt, and will keep all fleas and ticks off your pet. If your pet is already having flea issues, it will get rid of your issue. Because we are so warm here in Albuquerque, Vetco recommends doing a year round Frontline treatment. However, we know that a lot of people stop treatment in the winter. If you stopped, it is time to start back up!

If your pet is not using an anti flea and tick treatment, then we recommend keeping them out of deep leaves, tall grasses, and brushy areas. Ticks love to hide in ground foliage.


As we start to come into mosquito season, we also come into Heartworm season. Heartworm disease is transmitted via mosquito. It is a deadly disease that has no treatment. The only thing you can do it prevent it. Thankfully prevention is easy and affordable.

We recommend HeartGard Heartworm treatment. It is an easy monthly chewable that you give your pet and it will keep them safe from heartworm. Unfortunately there is no other way to protect your pet. Mosquitos are everywhere and your pet can be bitten even if they are covered in bug spray….which we do not recommend doing as it is not good for them.

Garden Goodies or Baddies

Many of us are already getting the itch to go dig in our garden. Even if we aren’t ready to plant, we can start getting our garden beds prepared with fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides. All of these things are great for the soil but not always great for our plants. With any additive your use, ALWAYS check the label about pet safety. Most will give you warnings about how to keep your pet safe when using their product. There are products available that market themselves as pet friendly, but there are still potential concerns. In general:

  • If it is wet, don’t let your pet near it until it dries
  • Don’t let them eat fertilizer
  • Don’t let them chew on recently sprayed plants, even if it is dry.

If you suspect your pet has any kind of poisoning, call your Albuquerque vet immediately.

RoundUp Your Yard Not Your Pets

Herbicide Dog

Overall you can rest easy, RoundUp is considered non-toxic to mammals. This is good news for you and your pet as you get ready to tackle those early New Mexico weeds that are already popping up. But, non-toxic is not the same as totally safe. There are still things you need to watch for after you spray RoundUp in your yard, in terms of pet health safety.

If you follow the instructions on RoundUp, your pets should be safe.

Wait For It To Dry

RoundUp is safe one it is dry. DRY!! This means that RoundUp is not safe when it is freshly sprayed. It is not safe to your pets and it is not safe to your other plants. If your pets walk on wet RoundUp they will likely track it to your other plants and you will kill the plants you want along with the ones you don’t, so garden health is another reason to wait for it to dry.

What Are The Active Ingredients In RoundUp?

Glyphosate is the primary ingredient in Roundup and it is an acid that is also a fast acting herbicide. It blocks the shikimic acid pathways in plants, which are not found in mammals, and that is how it kills your weeds. Once the acid is dry, it is no longer a toxic threat to your pet. When it is wet, it can be toxic and depending on how much exposure your pet has, they can have some pretty sever symptoms:

  • Drooling
  • Stomach upset
  • Losing their appetite
  • Becoming lethargic

Diquat Dibormide is the other active ingredient, which is another contact based herbicide. This chemical works by damaging the plant cell membranes. Again, when dry, it is not a problem. When wet it can cause symptoms such as:

  • Cataracts in dogs and cats
  • Developmental defects in rats and rabbits

What You Should Do

Make sure your RoundUp is dry!

It could take a few minutes or a few hours for your RoundUp to be dry, depending on your environment. It is best to wait at least 1/2 a day, if not a full day, to be safe, before letting your pet in the treated area. There are other pet friendly or more natural herbicide treatments, but keep in mind, that even homemade herbicides like capsaicin, have potential exposure issues for pets.

If you are concerned your pet has any herbicidal exposure issues from RoundUp or any other herbicide, please call your Albuquerque veterinary clinic immediately. Do not induce vomiting, or issue any other medical treatment without the direct supervision of your veterinarian. Many treatments can make poison issues worse.

Fun Facts About Puppy Teeth

new puppy albuquerque
new puppy albuquerque

Who doesn’t love puppy breath? Well, puppy breath is a result of puppy teeth. Here are some fun facts about these sharp and cute puppy teeth.

How Many Teeth Do Puppies Have?

Puppies are born without any teeth, but they grow their cute little baby teeth quickly. All in all, they will have 28 teeth, though as adults they will have 42.

When Do Puppies Get Their Teeth

Puppies will start getting teeth at about 2 weeks old and by 10 weeks their teeth should be completely in.

Do Puppies Lose Their Teeth?

Yes they do. Just like humans, puppies will lose their baby teeth for their permanent adult teeth. Some people call baby teeth, milk teeth.

At What Age Do Puppies Lose Their Teeth?

Puppies will usually start losing their baby teeth by 4 months old and will have lost all of them by 6 months old.

At What Age Do Puppies Get Their Permanent Teeth?

The adult teeth start coming in as soon as the baby teeth fall out. When one tooth comes out, the adult tooth will soon grow back in its place. Your puppy should have all her adult teeth by about 8 months old.

How to Care for a Teething Puppy

Most of the time there really isn’t anything you need to do. During this phase, your puppy will want to chew on everything. Giving them something to chew on will help them through teething and will hopefully keep them from chewing up your house. If your puppy is showing that they are having a lot of pain during teething, you may want to bring them into your Albuquerque Vet to get checked. Signs that your puppy may be having issues with teething can include: not eating, whimpering when eating or chewing, fever, swelling of the gums, bleeding gums.

How to Take Care of Puppy Teeth

Getting your puppy used to you touching their mouth and teeth is a very good thing to do. This will set you up for being able to do this when they are adults too. When your dog is a puppy is a perfect time to start brushing their teeth. You should do this a few times a week, if not daily. Learn how to brush your dog’s teeth.

You should also get into the routine of getting your dog an annual dental health cleaning and checkup. A dog with healthy teeth and gums will live a longer and happier life!


  • Dogs have more teeth than cats of people! Cats only have 30 and people only have 32, while adult dogs have 42!
  • Not all dogs have the same amount of teeth. Some breeds have fewer teeth, typically smaller breed dogs.
  • Bad breath can be caused by tooth issues not just what your dog ate.