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States with the Fattest Pets: Is New Mexico #1?

Dog obesity

You might think that if a person is overweight that their pet would be overweight too. But a new study shows that you would be wrong. Some of the states with the highest rate of obesity in people had the lowest rate of obesity in pets.

The state that tops the list for fat dogs and cats was Minnesota where 41% of dogs and 46% of cats were rated as obese. Though New Mexico didn’t make the top 5 for fattest animals, we did make number 6 for dogs and number 10 for cats.

The study showed that 1 in 3 animals tended to be overweight. This is likely because most people do not know what a healthy weight looks like. When you vet looks at your pet, they want to be able to see their waist line, that part of their belly where it is supposed to curve upward and feel their ribs. If you can see their ribs they are too thin, if you can’t easily feel their ribs, they are too fat.

Dog obesity

One interesting correlation was that states with higher percentages of overweight animals also had a higher rate of pets with intestinal parasites. Since intestinal parasites are easily avoided and treated, it suggests that people are not doing active preventative care on their animals, like getting their annual exam.


It is a good idea to talk to your Albuquerque vet about how to know if your pet is too fat or too thin, and also what and how much food to feed them. A lot of the cheaper pet foods use fat building filler. It makes your pet feel full but gives them little to no nutrition. By feeding them healthier food you can get them in better health. Look for higher quality brands like Taste of the Wild dog food or try making your own. We have a lot of homemade dog food recipes on our site that are easier to make than you might think, and could save you money on dog food too.

If your pet needs to lose weight the answer is the same for them as it is for us, diet and exercise. Make sure your pet is getting the proper amount of exercise per day. I know this can be more difficult with indoor cats, but you can get lots of fun games for them. Ever try using a laser pointer with your cat. They will run all over the house trying to get that red dot. Even playing with your pet for 10 minutes a day can make a big difference in their health and weight.

The other benefit to helping your fat pet slim down, it will save you money. You will save money on food because you are feeding them less and on health care. A pet with a good weight will live longer and stay healthier.


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.



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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.