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The Vet is Not So Scary

Vet-Co Cat vet services

vetco annual examThis may be a scary time of year but going to your Albuquerque Vet Clinic does not have to be a scary trip.  First off, unlike most veterinary clinics, we offer a few different ways you can bring your pet to Vetco. We have daily walk in shot clinics, so you can come in when you and your pet are ready. You don’t need an appointment you can just show up and get your vaccines (we do a lot of other stuff during shot clinic too, just call and ask). If our walk in shot clinic doesn’t work for you and your pet, you can also call and set up an appointment. For some pets, the walk in clinic is too busy and all the other pets can be stressful, in which case making an appointment and being seen by a vet when the clinic is calmer might be better.

Here are some great tips to help make a trip to the vet less stressful for your pet.

Be Prepared

From the very moment you are getting ready to leave, make sure you are prepared for the trip. Put your purse or bag in the car, grab your sun glasses, and anything else you need to be ready to leave the house. If your pet is sitting in their carrier waiting for you to gather your stuff, this can get them feeling anxious.

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First you need to decide if you are bringing your pet to the vet via crate or leash. If you are using a leash, we recommend a harness so you can have a better hold on your pet and they won’t be pulling on their collar. When scared pets can pull a lot harder than normal and this can make it difficult for them to breathe if you are using a traditional collar and leash.

If you are using a crate, decide if it is easier to load them into the crate in the house or in the car. It can be really difficult for some people to carry their pet in a crate. Sometimes it can be easier on the pet if you put the crate in the car and then load them into the crate, this way they are not sliding all over the place as you try to maneuver the crate into the car. Once you get to the vet, if you need help unloading your pet in it’s crate, just let someone at the front desk know so they can help you bring your crated pet inside.


Most pets are going to have some anxiety when it comes to the vet. There are other animals, strange noises, weird smells, and then someone pokes and prods them in strange ways. If you give your pet some snuggles and cuddles this will help lower stress. Don’t smother your pet. Make sure to read body language. Some pets don’t want a lot of attention when they have anxiety so make sure your affections are not adding to the stress. But most pets respond positively to affection and this will help calm them.

On that note, a lot of people like to pet the other pets in the clinic waiting room. If your dog or cat is anxious, you may want to not allow new people to pet them. Meeting new people can be stressful for some animals anyway, and meeting new people in an environment that is already causing anxiety can make it worse. Just use your judgement to what will help keep your fur baby calm.

Know Your Medicine

When you go to the vet, you may need to provide prior medical records. Have all of this information ready so you don’t have to dig through your bag or pockets. Make sure you know what medications your pet is on, and if you are not sure you can remember them, then just bring them along with you. Being prepared will help you get through the lines faster and allow you to spend more time attending to your pet.

Bring a Toy

Does your pet have a favorite toy? If they do then bring it!  A toy is a great distraction from what is going on around them and can give them something to focus their anxiety upon. If they don’t have a favorite toy, try bringing a blanket or pet bed that smells like home. The smell of home can have a nice calming effect.

A trip to the vet doesn’t have to be scary. If you keep calm and keep your anxiety down, your pet will automatically be calmer. Encourage your pet to play with you, or the tech, or the vet, so they start associating fun things with the vet.  If your dog has a lot of anxiety try putting a drop of lavender oil on their collar, it has a natural calming effect. You can also give them Rescue Remedy before coming which is a great natural remedy for anxiety.

What Is The Big Deal About Chocolate?

dogs chocolate halloween albuquerque

dogs chocolate halloween albuquerqueWe all have heard that you should not feed chocolate to your dog, but why? Is it really a big deal?  Yes it is a big deal because chocolate has the potential to kill your dog. Though you might be thinking, my dog has had chocolate before and was fine. Sometimes this is true, but even if it doesn’t kill your dog it can make them very sick with diarrhea and vomiting.

Theobromine is a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant. Cacao is the primary ingredient in chocolate. It is what makes chocolate, chocolate. Though humans can easily process theobromine, dog’s process it much more slowly. This allows it to build up to toxic levels in their body. Technically it is possible for a person to get theobromine poisoning but because of how quickly our human bodies process it, it is very difficult.

A lot of people ask, how much chocolate is bad for my dog? All chocolate is bad for your dog, no matter how small. That being said, there are a lot of factors that determine how much your dog can consume before suffering from theobromine poisoning. For instance, a large dog can typically consume more than a small dog. Also, the different types of chocolate have differing levels of theobromine. Cocoa, cooking chocolate, and dark chocolate contain more than milk chocolate. But less than an ounce of dark chocolate can poison a 44 pound dog.

Signs of Chocolate or Theobromine Toxicity are:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomitting
  • Muscle tremors
  • Seizures
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Internal Bleeding
  • Heart attack

If you think your dog may have eaten chocolate, it is a good idea to call your Albuquerque veterinarian right away. Your vet may ask you what symptoms your dog is having and then instruct you on what to do next.  A typical treatment for eating too much chocolate is inducing vomiting. Never induce your dog to vomit without veterinary supervision. Inducing vomiting incorrectly can also cause a lot of it’s own veterinary problems. The level of treatment required is entirely dependent on the level of theobromine toxicity.

This Halloween, be safe and keep the chocolate away from your dog. Go grab him some special dog treats so he can have some special Halloween treats with you instead of trying to share yours.

Rabies in New Mexico

rabid dog new mexico

rabid dog new mexicoA skunk and a fox have been tested positive for rabies in DeBaca County New Mexico. Rabies is a preventable disease that is typically transmitted through bites. It is a cross species disease, meaning it can be transmitted to humans.

Signs of rabies includes:

  • Drooling
  • Inability to eat or swallow
  • Agression

There is a myth about people or animals with rabies being afraid of water. This is partially true. This comes from the symptom of not being able to swallow, so people/animals would refuse water or show panic when presented with a liquid.

There is NO CURE for rabies in pets. In humans, there is a treatment but it is not guaranteed that the person will survive.  If an animal has contracted rabies, they have to be euthanized. This is why it is so important that you keep your pets up to date on their rabies vaccination.  It is required by law that your pet receive an annual rabies vaccination. To update your vaccinations, bring your pet into our daily walk-in shot clinic.

Once your pet has been vaccinated, they will not be safe from rabies for 10 days. If you are concerned about exposure, we recommend quarantining them for the 10 days.

A vaccine does not guarantee that your pet cannot contract rabies. If they have been exposed to a scratch or a bite from a wild animal, it must be assumed they are infected. They need to be brought to a vet immediately and put under quarantine for observation. If they do not have rabies they will be returned home.  It is a good idea not to let your pet chase or interact with wild animals. Reduces exposure to wild animals will reduce your pets risk of exposure.

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