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Local animal news in brief, June 2, 2016

Cocktail party to help cat groupA fundraising party this weekend, featuring food, wine, a raffle and a silent auction, will help support Felines & Friends New Mexico.The eighth annual Cocktails for Critters will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 5, in a luxury Santa Fe home. Proceeds from the event, which is being sponsored by the Petco Foundation, will support the nonprofit’s mission of providing second chances to cats in need. Each year, the group fosters hundreds of cats, many of which…See More
Jun 2
Cassiey Roberts is now a member of Santa Fe Scoop
May 26
Ben Swan posted a blog post

Holiday prompts safety tips for pets

Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of summer, and animal-welfare advocates say it’s a good time to consider your pet’s comfort.The weekend may be a time of cookouts, camping, parties and road trips, but a bit of extra precaution can make the holiday a safe adventure for all, including four-legged friends.Do not leave your pet unattended in a parked car. Parked cars can be deadly for pets, says the Humane Society of the United States. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can…See More
May 26

Links

Lost your dog? Find a lost or injured animal? Here are important contact numbers in Santa Fe and Santa Fe County:

In the city limits, Animal Services is at 955-2701. On weekends and holidays, call SFPD dispatch at 955-2700.
In the county, Animal Control is at 992-1626. On weekends and holidays, call Sheriff's dispatch at 428-3720.

Still unsure about what to do to find your lost pet? Read these tips put together by Scoop member Julie.

Suspect an animal might be suffering from abuse? Call the toll-free statewide hot line for reporting extreme cruelty to animals at 1-877-548-6263.

Have a favorite animal-related link? Let me know at scoop@sfnewmexican.com and I'll post it here.

Animal Protection of New Mexico

Animal Shelter Tips Blog

All Creatures Memorials

Baghdad pups

Best Friends Animal Sancturary

Bridging the Worlds Animal Sanctuary

Cat Spay of Santa Fe

City of Santa Fe Animal Services

Desert Paws - news from Cochiti Lake

Dew Paws

East Mountain Pet Alert


Espanola Valley Humane Society

Felines & Friends New Mexico

House Rabbit Society

Kindred Spirits Animal Sanctuary

Listening to Raven: Artist Beth Surdut

 

Luvin' Labradors Retriever Rescue New Mexico

New Mexico House Rabbit Society

New Mexico Independent Border Collie Rescue

New Mexico Mustang and Burro Association

Pet Loss Support Page

Santa Fe Border Collie Club

Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society

Santa Fe Dog Park blog

Save the Chimps

Shaking Wind Ranch

Southwest Llama Rescue

The Wildlife Center

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New Mexico sees an uptick of plague cases in pets

By Rebecca Moss/The New Mexican

At least seven counties in New Mexico have seen a spike in cases of plague and the bacterial infection tularemia in pets, diseases that can be deadly, the state Department of Health said Monday.

Ten cases of plague in dogs and cats have been confirmed in Santa Fe, Los Alamos, Taos, Sandoval, Rio Arriba and Torrance counties, according to the department. Pets have also tested positive in 19 cases of tularemia in Sandoval, Bernalillo, Santa Fe and Los Alamos counties.

Flea bites can transmit the diseases, and the department advised residents that fever and lethargy can be symptoms in themselves and in their pets. It says pets shouldn’t be allowed to roam or hunt, lessening the chance of disease spreading from infected rodents to pets and humans.

“The concern, of course, is that once you see cases in dogs and cats, you may then start to see cases in people,” said Dr. Paul Ettestad, a veterinarian with the Department of Health.

New Mexico typically accounts for a significant percentage of the reported cases of plague in the United States each year, about four of some 10 annual human deaths nationwide.

“It’s a high number this early in the year,” Ettestad said. “It is telling us there is an increase in activity in both of these diseases going on right now.”

Plague is believed to be more common in New Mexico because of the large diversity of fleas and animals here, ranging from rats to prairie dogs, Ettestad said.

Oropsylla montana fleas, prolific in the Rocky Mountain high desert region, are one of the more common carriers. The minuscule parasite, about a millimeter in size, resembles a multilimbed cockroach beneath a microscope and is drawn into the nests of rodents. They live off the mammals’ blood and, if infected with plague, will transmit the disease to their host as they feed.

Ettestad calls this “the blood meal.”

Because fleas are attracted indiscriminately to a warm body, Ettestad said, they can wantonly jump from rodent to rodent or from rodent to human to feed and infect. This is how cases of human plague in New Mexico usually occur, he said. Too often a pet owner will allow his dog or cat to roam and hunt around the neighborhood, he said, only to return to the home and join its owner in bed, allowing plague-infected fleas to bite humans while they sleep.

Plague and tularemia affects household animals in a way similar to a severe flu. Fever, lethargic behavior, loss of appetite and swelling beneath an infected animal’s jaw are some symptoms.

In humans, the bacterial infection appears similarly, with a sudden high fever, chills, headache and weakness. This is accompanied by painful swelling in the lymph nodes, as the bacteria multiplies, and can form large bulges visible through the skin surface in underarm, neck and groin areas.

Ettestad said a lab test is required to determine if either bacteria has been contracted, but the state has just one lab able to analyze the blood results. It is in Albuquerque.

From the time of infection, it takes two to eight days for the fever to set in, at which point Ettestad said it is crucial to get to a doctor immediately to receive antibiotic treatment. Deaths have occurred when the doctor visit was delayed or the illness was misdiagnosed. Pet owners whose animals contract the disease may be put on a prophylactic course of antibiotics.

Though fleas are a common carrier, the plague can also be transmitted through bites by horse flies. Once the bacteria gets into human lungs, it forms the notorious black cloud that led to the disease’s nickname of “black death.” It can be transmitted through a hacking cough.

“In New Mexico, 7 to 10 percent of people who come down with plague actually die from it,” Ettestad said. “It is a serious disease, but if you take precautions, you can reduce your risk.”

Scoop bulletins

Scoop - We are the heart of Santa Fe's great animal-loving community.

Remember in order to become a member of Scoop, you must indicate whether you have an animal companion and what his or her name is. Those who don't have animal companions must simply say what animals mean to them. It's a simple rule, but it helps to eliminate spammers or those with certain agendas.

PLEASE remember we do not allow unsupported blog postings that are intended as attacks on any groups or individuals. This is a place for communication about animal-welfare issues and not one-sided agendas.

GOT NEWS? Send all your animal story ideas, pet-related events or interesting facts to bendavidswan@gmail.com and they will be published in Thursday's Scoop section of The New Mexican (depending on space. You are welcome to post items here as well!

Santafescoop.com is a community-networking site. If you wish to advertise a product or service please contact our advertising department at (505) 995-3846. Profiles that are overtly commercial can be removed.

We continue to be plagued by Spammers. Those interested in becoming members, please sign up, but also email scoop@sfnewmexican.com to assure acceptance. Sorry of the inconvenience.

Blog Posts

Local animal news in brief, June 2, 2016

Cocktail party to help cat group

A fundraising party this weekend, featuring food, wine, a raffle and a silent auction, will help support Felines & Friends New Mexico.

The eighth annual Cocktails for Critters will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 5, in a luxury Santa Fe home. Proceeds from the event, which is being sponsored by the Petco Foundation, will support the nonprofit’s mission of providing second chances to cats in need. Each year, the group…

Continue

Posted by Ben Swan on June 2, 2016 at 5:00pm

Holiday prompts safety tips for pets

Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of summer, and animal-welfare advocates say it’s a good time to consider your pet’s comfort.

The weekend may be a time of cookouts, camping, parties and road trips, but a bit of extra precaution can make the holiday a safe adventure for all, including four-legged friends.

Do not leave your pet unattended in a parked car. Parked cars can be deadly for pets, says the Humane Society of the United States. On a warm day, temperatures…

Continue

Posted by Ben Swan on May 26, 2016 at 10:52am

Volunteers Urgently Needed!

Volunteers Urgently Needed! We have a number of [morning, midday, evening] slots to fill in the schedule for caregivers at our Petco Adoption Center. Commitment is 2 hours a week per slot. Tasks include scooping litterboxes, feeding and playing with cats. Reliability and attention to detail a must. Please send e-mail to askfelinesandfriends@yahoo.com if you can help.

Posted by Bobbi Heller on May 20, 2016 at 9:33am

Local animal news in brief, May 19, 2016

Fundraising site started for family of missing dog

A fundraising site has been set up for the Colorado family of an elderly dog that ran away after the family’s pickup rolled on Interstate 25.

The family’s dog, Fenway, a 16-year-old Husky, who went missing after a crash April 19, has been sighted several times near Eldorado. The family, which includes Jon Weisser, his wife, and infant, was hospitalized, but they were released after being treated for injuries.…

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Posted by Ben Swan on May 19, 2016 at 10:16am

Macaroni the Kitten

As of today, $625 has been raised towards our target of $1,000 to cover the cost of vet care for this darling kitten who was born with deformed bones in her front legs.  Her story can be viewed at

http://poundwishes.com/donate/732721/macaroni

Please forward the link to anyone you think might help us and this sweet kitty.

Posted by Bobbi Heller on May 18, 2016 at 4:25pm

Local animal news in brief, May 12, 2016

More sightings of missing dog

New sightings of a dog that took off during a crash on Interstate 25 in April are encouraging to volunteers and family members searching for the elderly Husky.

Volunteer searchers said Fenway, a 16-year-old Husky who went missing after a crash April 19, had been sighted early Wednesday in Eldorado. Residents in the neighborhood where the dog was sighted have been leaving food and water out for him, according to reports. The dog is…

Continue

Posted by Ben Swan on May 12, 2016 at 3:08pm

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