Swamp Cooler of Death! Or At Least Allergies

Do you have your swamp cooler up and running yet? We keep having the occasional cool day but most days are hot. Did you know that improper servicing of your evaporative cooler could be cause you and your pet health issues?

You know that musty smell that fills your house when you first turn on your swamp cooler? We usually just think that is dust but it could be mold.

Swamp coolers have big pads on the sides of them that get wet with water and then air is pulled through those pads and cooled down. That cool moist air is blown through our house and cools us down, as well as adding a little bit of humidity to our air. It feels great. The problem is, it is easy for a pad to develop mold in it over the winter and as you blow that cold air you are also blowing mold.

Breathing mold can cause things like:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Infection
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Chronic lung issues

Things To Check for During Swamp Cooler Maintenance

  • Look for visible mold on the pads. Even if it is not time to replace your pads, if you see mold, you need to replace them
  • Replace the pads according to the manufacturer recommended schedule, if not sooner.
  • Hose out the pan of the swamp cooler to clean out any debris that developed over the previous year.
  • If you see signs of mold anywhere on your cooler, thoroughly clean the cooler before turning it on.
  • Wet down the pads and rinse any dust and debris before you turn on the system.
  • Give your pads a sniff after they have been wet, if they smell moldy, they probably are, and it is time to get new ones.

Though doing a thorough mold check does take a little more effort, it is worth it for your health and the health of your pets.

If you notice your pets having any breathing issues, bring them in to your Albuquerque vet immediately for an evaluation. If they have had an allergic or asthma reaction, if addressed early enough it can prevent it from developing into a chronic condition.

Being Prepared for the Continued Quarantine

pets during quarantine

The quarantine continues. We are all in our houses and keeping distance from other humans. With every extension of the non-essential business shut down we are faced with the question of how much do we need to stock up. The first run on the grocery stores left many of us in a state of panic, especially when it came to getting toilet paper. As you plan your next trip to the store to stock up on essentials, make sure to properly budget for your pets needs as well.

Vetco Stock-Up Recommendations

  1. Food: You don’t want to run out of pet food. This sounds pretty obvious but you don’t want to have to switch pet food because your normal brand is not available. Switching up food can cause stomach upset including vomiting and diarrhea. We suggest buying 4 to 6 weeks worth of pet food. This will ensure that you have enough food to keep your pet on their regular diet. When you have 1 or 2 weeks supply left, start looking for your regular pet food. This will give you time to make sure you can find your normal brand. If you cannot find your normal brand you will want to get the new food in advance of running out so you can slowly switch the food with minimal stomach upset. Keep in mind you may have to order it online and many business are experiencing delays in shipping.
  2. Litter: It is better to over buy than under buy. If you run out of litter, not only will your cat likely start going to the bathroom on the floor, but if they continue to use old dirty litter they could get sick. You need to make sure your pet has clean fresh litter, so you need to make sure you have a supply of clean fresh litter. Safely buy 6 weeks to 2 months worth of litter. This way you have plenty, but in case your cat does have a tummy upset issue and is using the litter box more than usual, you will have plenty of litter in reserve.
  3. Potty inside: Not everyone has the ability to take their dogs out on walks now that we are in lock down. This can pose a bit problem in terms of where to let your dog use the restroom. If they have to start going inside, designate an area for them to use. You can get potty training pads, or some doggy astroturf and let them go there. If you don’t have either of those, you can always use newspaper. Make sure you clean it up after they use it so it doesn’t become a health hazard.

Things that Can Wait

We have been getting a lot of questions about annual vaccines during the business shut-down. These can wait. Unless you are doing your puppy shots or are in the middle of a series, your annual vaccines can wait until you can safely come in to our daily walk-in shot clinic.

Non essential surgeries can wait. If you need to get your pet spayed or neutered, this can wait. The only surgery you should be doing right now is emergency surgery.

Pet grooming can wait. If your pet has a particularly unruly coat, go to amazon and buy a good brush or comb. If it is too much to handle, you can shave your pet. We don’t normally recommend shaving as it is not that comfortable for your pet, but shaving is better than getting severe mats and hair clumps.

If you are not sure if you have an emergency situation with your pet, call the local emergency vet and ask them if you need to come in. It is better to call before showing up because they may be able to treat your pet over the phone.

Stay safe.

Pet Safe Cleaning Supplies

pet safe cleaning products
pet safe cleaning products
Photo courtesy of Trusty Joe

Have you jumped into your Spring cleaning yet? I know that I have been elbow deep in hard to reach cobwebs that developed over the winter and scrubbing floorboards while my cat just watches me. This is the time of year we get a jump on our projects, throw out all the old clutter that was gathered over the winter, and scrub down our house as we prepare for the good weather. As you do this, you may not realize how toxic some of the cleaners can be on you and your pets. It is important to make sure that you are using pet safe cleaning supplies so your cat or dog doesn’t end up needing a trip to your Albuquerque veterinarian.

It is easy to think that if you keep your pet out of the room that you are cleaning that they will be safe from any toxins. This is not true. Your pet gets the cleaning supplies on their body from walking, laying, and rubbing on things that have been cleaned. Remember they clean themselves with their mouth, so those toxins can go from their body into their tummy and cause some big problems such as:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Nose and eye discharge
  • Salivation
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Seizure
  • Death

A lot of toxic chemicals won’t have obvious signs until your pet is really sick with things like kidney, liver, or other organ failure, or cancer.

Some chemicals to avoid are:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Bleach, Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Percholorethylene

If you are not sure if your cleaning products are pet safe, but they are all natural, we suggest you ask the manufacturer. Most natural cleaning products will be pet safe, but it is always smart to check.