Christmas Trees and Your Pets

albuquerque christmas tree safety

albuquerque christmas tree safetyIt’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! We love this time of year. Santa just visited us at Vetco on Menaul. All the cats and dogs come in with holiday sweaters and antlers. We are pretty much exploding in cute and holiday good feelings. Most of us are starting to put up our tree. If you have had a cat or dog around during the holidays then you know how tempting the tree can be for your pet. If this is your first year with a new kitten or puppy then you might be surprised at how much attention they give your Christmas tree.

Here are some Christmas Tree Tips to keep your pets, your tree, and yourself safe:

  1. Put the tree in a corner. Nobody puts baby in the corner, but we do put the Christmas tree. This helps ensure that if you pet does jump on your tree, it is harder for it to get knocked over.
  2. Put tinfoil on the ground. Your pet wont like the sound of walking on tinfoil. This can work to keep them from coming near the tree.
  3. No tinsel. Tinsel is super pretty and makes your tree sparkle. But it also looks like the next best thing to string to chew on for your cat or dog. When they eat tinsel it can cause intestinal blockages that are typically fixed through surgery.
  4. Put ornaments up high: If you cant keep your dog or cat away from the tree, then hang your ornaments where they cannot get to them. If your pet eats an ornament it can be a choking hazard, cause intestinal blockages, and the shards of broken ornaments can injure their mouth or paw.
  5. No lights on the lower branches. It is easy for you pet to get tangled in the lights, but if they bite the lights or strand they can burn their mouths or get electrocuted. Start the lights a little higher up where they can’t reach.
  6. Sweep up the pine needles: If you get a live tree, make sure to keep the area around your tree free of pine needles. Cats and dogs will often eat the needles and the needles can puncture their intestines.
  7. Cover the tree water: Drinking tree water is probably in the top 5 for pets favorite things to do. Many people put additives into their tree water to help their tree live longer. These additives can be toxic to your pet. Also, the water will get pine needles and some tree sap in the water. Though if the water is fresh and without additive, likely nothing will come of it, there is a risk of them getting an upset stomach or killing your tree by drinking all the water. Get a tree stand that keeps the water out of reach of long doggy tongues.

If you can’t get your pet to stay away from your tree, consider putting up a small fence around it or putting it in a room they can’t get into. You want your tree and your pets to be healthy this holiday.

Saturday is Pet Photos with Santa

Saturday is our favorite event of the year! It is the day that Santa comes to Vetco. Santa and his elves will be at Vetco on Saturday, December 2nd from 1-4pm. The Hoff from 102.5 KIOT will be broadcasting live and Paws and Stripes will be here taking donations.

Bring your pets, your kids, and your friends down and get your free pet photo with Santa! This is the best Santa event in Albuquerque, we can’t wait for you to join us in the holiday fun!

How to Spot Pancreatitis in your Dog

albuquerque pancreatitis dog

albuquerque pancreatitis dogPancreatitis is a life threatening condition in dogs and can often be mistaken for something else. It is literally an inflammation of the pancreas. If you suspect your dog has pancreatitis you need to take her to the vet immediately.

The pancreas releases enzymes that help digestion. The enzymes only become active when they reach the small intestine. With pancreatitis the enzymes activate immediately upon release which inflames the pancreas and its surrounding tissue and organs. As these are digestive enzymes, this can cause your pancreas to literally digest itself. That is extremely painful and potentially life threatening.

You need to know what signs to look for in your dog. These are typical symptoms of pancreatitis:

  • Vomiting
  • Painful abdomen
  • Bloated abdomen
  • Diarrhea
  • Hunched back
  • Loss of appetitie
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Fever

If your dog is show one of these symptoms infrequently then you should monitor her. But is she has more than one, and has them multiple times, call your Albuquerque vet immediately.


The biggest cause of pancreatitis in dogs is a high fat diet, especially if they get one large serving of fatty food in a single sitting. Obesity, which is a sign of a high fat diet, can put your dog at higher risk. Hypothyroidism, blunt trauma diabetes mellitus, some medications, and a genetic predisposition can all put your dog at higher risk.



Once your dog has had an attack of pancreatitis they are more likely to get it again. If diagnosed, your vet will likely recommend a change in diet and suggest some dietary supplements such as fish oil. It is important to consult with your vet before giving your dog any supplements and to make sure she is on a proper diet to reduce the likelihood of another attack.