You may think we are at the end of Rattlesnake season in New Mexico, but you would be wrong. In the past week we have heard of 2 different cases of people being bitten by Rattle Snakes, and people are a lot less likely to be bitten than your dog.
Rattlesnake bites are painful but they can also cause some serious damage. The area where the bite is will get swollen, the venom impairs the ability of blood to clot, your dog can go into shock and it can even cause death. The treatment is an anti-venom which neutralizes the venom, pain medication, IV fluids and antibiotics for any potential infection. Even with treatment, your dog may have long-term health issues.
The good news is Vetco on Menaul offers a rattlesnake vaccine which reduces the effect of the venom from a rattlesnake bite. This simple vaccine can save your dog’s life, and you can get it during our daily walk-in shot clinics.
The vaccination is mostly an annual to biannual vaccine. When you get the first vaccination your dog will need a booster one month later. Then you will only need to get it annually, or every 6 months if you live in an area that has rattlesnakes all year. Talk to your veterinarian about the frequency for rattlesnake vaccinations.
The vaccination is most effective for the first 4 to 6 weeks after vaccination, which will cover the majority of the remaining hiking season in Albuquerque.
When hiking with your dog please follow good safety rules:
- Stay on paths.
- Keep your dog on a leash.
- Discourage digging under rocks
- Discourage running through brush.
You can get the rattlesnake vaccine in our daily walk-in shot clinic. If you have question about if the vaccine is right for you, please call Vetco to speak with a veterinarian.
Well first, it is required by law that if you live in Bernalillo County you have to have your dog microchipped. But beyond that, it is just a great thing to do. Back before microchips if a dog went missing, you relied on flyers posted around your neighborhood to let people know your dog was missing and how to return him. Not many dogs were found and re-homed. But with microchips, if your dog gets picked up, all it takes is a quick scan and all your owner information will come up and your dog can be easily returned home.
Microchips are about the size of a grain of rice. They are put in during an in office visit. You can even get one put in during our daily walk-in shot clinic in Albuquerque.
Some people don’t like to microchip because often dogs aren’t lost, they are abandoned. This is a sad reality about the chips and animal owner behavior. But for the dogs that are not abandoned, it keeps them from getting lost forever or being lost in the animal shelter.
Microchips are not the same as a geo tracking device. A microchip will not track your dog’s location. So if your dog is lost, the microchip won’t help find him. But if your lost dog is found, it will help them find you to return him to you. Did you know that a pet is 20 times more likely to be returned to it’s home if he has a microchip?
Microchip typically last a lifetime. So once it is done you never have to worry about it.
The microchip does not hold the animals veterinary records, it simply gives an ID number to your pet which is linked to your address.
You can update the information at any time, so if you move it is not a problem.
If you have any questions about microchips, please call the Vetco clinic. Did you know that Vetco is listed as a trusted pet resource by CABQ?
If you are an owner with a dog that barks a lot, here are some things you can do to help keep them from barking.
- Give them regular exercise. Take them out on walks, go to the park, go on hikes. Often an barking dog is a bored dog.
- Increase their exposure to other animals. This is called desensitization therapy. Many dogs bark when they encounter other animals. If you work with your dog to introduce them to other animals, praise them when they don’t bark, and correct them when they do, they will start to learn that they don’t need to bark at everything that walks by their fence.
- Give them a chew toy. It is hard for your dog to bark with something in his mouth. Chewing is a natural stress reliever.
- Behavioral Training: When your dog barks, trying squirting them with water. Do not squirt them in the face because you don’t want to accidentally hurt them. Squirt them on the body. Tell them NO in a strong voice. You have to be consistent with this kind of training and obviously it wont work when you are not there. As soon as your dog stops barking, give them praise.
- Bring your pet inside. If you are not home, or it is night time, do not leave your pet outside. Your dog is more likely to bark if he is outside.
- White noise: If you have a dog that is super sensitive to sounds, try using a white noise machine to drown it out, especially when everyone is sleeping.
- Crating: A lot of dogs bark because they don’t feel safe. Putting your dog in a crate, and doing crate training, can help your dog feel a lot more secure. Many dogs who are crate trained will stop barking when they are in their crates.
- Bark Collars: Sometimes our dogs bark and there is not much we can do about it. There are collars called bark collars or no-noise collars. Some will give off a smell when your dog barks, and others will give a small electrical pulse. Make sure you know how to use these and what settings are safe for your dogs. But these can be viable alternatives if nothing else is working.
If what you are doing is not working, then change things up. You may want to consult with a trainer or your vet about some other methods. If your neighbor has complained about you, you should keep your neighbor informed about your efforts so they are more likely to work with you than be a problem for you. Remember, a neighbor who turns you in is not a bad person who hates dogs, they are just likely someone who wants to sleep. Also, if you neighbor comes and talks to you about it, keep in mind that it was likely difficult for them to bring it up. You may feel defensive and protective of your dog, but try to keep an open mind. They don’t hate your dog, they just hate her barking.