Fall is one of the best times of year. The air smells like green chile, the weather is cooling down, the leaves start to change. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a New Mexico Fall. In the Fall, just like in the Spring, there are things you need to be cautious about when it comes to your pets. Here are some things to watch for that will keep your dog going on hikes and playing in leaves, instead of in the vets office…unless it is for low cost vaccines, in which case bring them to our daily walk-in shot clinic.
It is mouse season! I have already seen some scurrying around. There are more rats and mice in the fall as they try to seek shelter. If you see mice around your house you may be laying out mice traps or rodenticides to take care of the problem. These are toxic and dangerous for your pets. Make sure you put them in places that are not accessible to your pets. If you use a service like Truly Nolen to help take care of your rodent problem, ask them if their treatment is pet friendly or make sure they lay rodenticide or traps out of your pets area. If you think your pet ingested rodenticide, call your vet immediately!
A lot of people flush their coolant in the fall. But did you know that antifreeze smells sweet and pets like to drink it. But even through it smells sweet engine coolant can kill your pet. There glycol-based coolants that are less toxic than the ethylene glycol coolants, but both are dangerous. If you have any coolant spills, clean them up immediately and don’t leave any open coolant out for your pet to drink. If you think your pet ingested coolant, call your vet immediately.
Mushrooms grow in the fall
It is a beautiful time of year for the Bosque walks or taking a hike in the mountains to view the autumn colors. Though New Mexico is a dry place we still grow mushrooms. Once we went on a hike in the Jemez mountains and were hunting mushrooms. We brought them back to our camp and cooked them up and they were delicious! Of course, these were safe to eat mushrooms and completely non-toxic. Most mushrooms have little to no toxicity, but some still do. The ones that do can be highly toxic and cause life-threatening problems in your pets. If you have mushrooms growing in your yard, put on some gloves and pick them. If you encounter mushrooms on hikes, do not let your pet eat them. A good rule of thumb with mushrooms is unless you 100% know they are ok to eat, don’t eat them and don’t let your pet eat them. Contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately if you witness your pet eating a wild mushroom.
Rattlesnakes and others
This is the best time of year to go on hikes. It is finally getting cooler and the trees look beautiful. Of course, hiking in the mountains also means you could find rattlesnakes. Every year there are multiple bites reported on people and even more on pets. Make sure you get the rattlesnake vaccine to keep your dog protected and try to keep them from sticking their noses in holes or under rocks where snakes may be trying to sleep. You can get this vaccine during our daily walk-in shot clinic…just FYI.
How do I put this nicely? Your cat is probably fat. I am sure you don’t think they are, but most house cats are fat. It is a symptom of them being house cats. They simply don’t get as much exercise as outdoor cats. Plus we often leave food out all day for them and then they just sit and snuggle with us when we get home. I have a cat sitting on my lap right now as I type this.
Is My Cat Overweight?
The first issue is that most people can’t tell if their cat is fat. You can always ask our Albuquerque vets at Vetco about your cats weight and suggestions to help them lose weight, Thankfully, there are a few ways you can judge for yourself.
Feel along her ribcage. The padding shouldn’t feel any thicker than the padding over the back of your hand. If you have to press firmly to even feel her ribs, she is over weight. If you can’t feel them, don’t worry you cat does have ribs, but they are obese.
Stand over your cat and look down at her when she is standing. If your cat is a healthy weight you should see a slight indention over their hips that resembles a waist. Sometimes with long hair cats it can be hard to see. If her sides bulge then she is overweight.
Risks for an Overweight Cat
Just like with people, being overweight has psychological effects on cats. Its not that they want to look better, but they want to have more energy and to move better. An overweight cat may not have as good hygiene because bathing becomes hard. They are at a higher risk of skin problems and urinary tract infections, They can also have joint issues or inflammation issues. They are at a higher risk of diabetes and arthritis. Being overweight can negatively impact their lifespan and may cause them to live a shorter life.
Help Your Cat Lose Weight
Eating Schedule: It is a good idea to set an eating schedule. Do not leave food out all day. Cats are not natural grazers. Give them their food twice a day. This way you can also control how much they eat.
Portion control: Speak to your Albuquerque vet at Vetco about how much food you should be giving your pet. Most of us feed our cats too much and we don’t even realize it.
Type of Food: Take a look at the food your are giving your pet. Make sure you are giving them food that is appropriate for their age. Many cats need to be on senior food much earlier than we realize. Also get a grain free food. If your cat is overweight, look for ones that are diet or lower carb food.
Food Puzzles: Food puzzles are a fun way to get your cat more active with their food. Food puzzles can also help stop the “scarf and barf” issue with pets eating too fast.
Increase Activity: Go get some cat toys and encourage your cat to play. Take some time every day to play with your cat. Do your kids like to chase your cats? As long as they are not driving you too nuts or tormenting the cat too much, let your kids chase your cat around the house.
If your cat is not overweight they are going to be happier, have more energy, and live a longer life!
Animal welfare announced earlier this year that pets in shelters is at a decade low. This is fantastic news. Well, it looks like animal welfare is increasing their efforts to decrease the amount of animal cruelty and illegal pet sales. Albuquerque animal welfare has launched a program to look into people selling pets on line to make sure that they have animal permits, breeding permits, vaccines, and not doing any illegal breeding. This is a great move to help decrease problem breeders and animal cruelty.
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.