Fireworks stress pets and vets this year

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.-As Fourth of July approaches, veterinarians expect calls for injured or runaway pets, and the topic is extra important this year.

Veterinary clinics around the city might struggle to keep up with emergencies.

“The vet profession right now is definitely stretched a little thin, and we’re trying to find ways to cope with that,” said Dr. Julie Blossom, Director for the New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association.

The pandemic only made it harder for short-staffed clinics in New Mexico to cope.

“There’s an increase demand for veterinary care since the pandemic. Largely because people adopted a lot more pets to keep them company at home, so now those pets are getting great care as they should be,” said Dr. Blossom.

With fireworks on the way, Dr. Blossom is expected it to get worse.

“This might be the first year that a lot of new pet owners have a pet, and maybe they don’t quite know how that pet is going to react with the noise the fireworks or with having lots of guests over, which we are fortunately now allowed to do,” she said.

On behalf of other vets, Dr. Blossom is recommended keeping pets in a safe room or kennel and have medications prescribed by a veterinarian at the ready in case the dog or cat gets stressed.

Preventive measures allow the clinics to help more pets.

“And the more likely the veterinarians and technicians won’t get quite as overwhelmed with the work load, and they’ll be able to provide good care for the pets that they do see,” Dr. Blossom said.