MPH Blog

Posts for category: Pet Care

By Heather Beeson-Mazzone of Morena Pet Hospital
February 25, 2014
Category: Pet Care
Tags: Spay   Neuter  

 

According to the Humane Society of the United States, World Spay Day is an annual campaign dedicated to putting the "spotlight on spay/neuter as a proven means of saving the lives of companion animals, feral and stray cat colonies, and street dogs who may otherwise be euthanized in a shelter or killed on the street.'

We here at Morena Pet Hospital fully support this day and its mission & encourage all pet lovers out there to join us in being part of the solution. Spay and neuter is one of the primary solutions to avoid the pet overpopulation epidemic and one way we help to give back to our community is by being a part of the County of San Diego’s Reduced Spay/Neuter Referral program, offering low cost spays/neuters and also low cost vaccinations:http://sddac.com/docs/vetinfo.pdf

We regularly work with local animal shelters, rescues, and pet organizations throughout San Diego community in order to ensure the proper health of our local community pets and to promote responsible adoptions!  Some of the events you may have seen us at in the past include: The San Diego Humane Society’s Walk For Animals, Doggie Street Festival Adoption Event, Petco 5k9 Del Mar Walk/Run, Petco Sports Arena Adoption Fair, Humane Society’s Winter Wonderland Adoption Event, the Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade, and Balboa Barks.


How can you help?

  • Spay and neuter your pets.
  • Sponsor a spay/neuter pet through your local animal shelter
  • Volunteer your time or donate food, items, and/or money to local animal shelters or rescue group. Even the smallest items or funds can help, especially given the number of homeless pets (E.g. Some pet rescue groups lines their cages with newspapers or towels and ask individuals/businesses to donate any unwanted newspaper clippings or pet items).
  • Consider adopting or fostering a pet from your shelter or rescue group. 
  • If you find a lost pet or see an injured animal on the street, contact your local animal shelter or animal control.
  • If you are active on social media sites (E.g. Facebook, Twitter) share posts about pet adoption events & those pets looking for their forever homes.

Together we can help make a difference!


Reference:

Welcome to World Spay Day, The Humane Society of the United States, 2014, https://worldspayday.org/

By Heather Beeson-Mazzone of Morena Pet Hospital
February 24, 2014
Category: Pet Care

 

In our last blog we explained some of the costs behind today's advanced veterinary care.   We understand that you care about your pet and want them to get the care they need, but simply may not be able to afford all of our recommendations. 

To help combat these financial dilemmas and give your pet the best optimal care possible, we will share some tips on how pet owners can afford today’s treatments.


Research Hereditary Diseases

Did you know that protecting yourself from paying too much for vet care starts BEFORE you own your pet?  This may seem surprising, but research has shown that certain breeds of animals are predisposed to hereditary conditions and diseases.  So the best way to prepare yourself for the financial responsibility of pet ownership is to anticipate costs and problems associated with your pet’s breed!  

Affordable Care

Once you found your furry, feathered, or scaled companion, you should take them in for a new adoption exam.  This allows you to get to know your veterinarian and the services they offer.  Be sure to discuss any concerns with your veterinarian.  We here at Morena Pet Hospital are very conscious to rising costs of veterinary care and make every effort to ensure that all fees are fair and responsible.  We are here to work with you to find a happy medium between the best results for your beloved pet and cost savings. 

Tip #1: Contact your local animal shelter for a recommendation of veterinarians (like us!) in your area that provide discounted or complimentary exams for newly adopted shelter or rescue pets and whether you are able to take advantage of any low-cost spay/neuter programs.  

Tip #2: Remember to ALWAYS ask for a written estimate of any services to be performed, a common practice held here at Morena Pet Hospital.  If costs are greater than estimated, ask that you be notified prior for authorization.

Preventative Medicine

In our experience, preventative medicine is the easiest, least expensive, and most important way to keep your pet healthy. Regular physical exams can help detect problems in their early stages, allowing us to manage the health issue before they become serious illnesses requiring prolonged treatment. 

This is why we work with you to develop an individual protocol based on your pet’s current lifestage and lifestyle.  Since each pet is unique, your veterinarian will work with you to develop an individual assessment of what kind of routine tests and/or vaccines best suits your pet’s needs. Preventive care includes routine tests such as blood-work, fecal tests, X-rays, parasite preventives, vaccines, dental cleanings, and more.

Prescription Medication

In our previous blog, What You Should Know Before Filling Your Prescription At An Online Pharmacy we explained that in order for you to protect yourself and your pets, you must research any online pharmacies that you find medications “cheaper”.  Many times you are getting a lower price for pet medicine that is counterfeit, outdated, mislabeled, incorrectly formulated, or improperly made or stored.  As such, these medicines may not contain the actual drug, may not work as well due to age or being stored in conditions that were too hot, cold, or humid, and may not have the proper directions for use. 

Tip #3: If you find a cheaper medication online, please bring in a copy of the online pharmacy invoice along with shipping costs so that we may price match the medication.  We feel much more comfortable knowing our clients are receiving the medication as it was intended from the manufacturer and properly labeled by our staff.  You also have the option of asking for a written prescription to be price shopped and filled elsewhere.

Healthy Diet

Proper diet is an important part of your pet's health. Should your pet need a new diet due to health concerns (allergies, sensitive stomach, disease management, etc.) or you are just looking for a healthy alternative to your current brand, your veterinarian is the best source for offering individual consultations and nutritional plans to help keep your pet healthy. 

Tip #3: One way to save on pet food is to make sure you are not wasting food by over-feeding your pet. Follow the advice of the food manufacturer and ask your vet for proper feeding guidelines. Skip the unhealthy snacks, treats, and fancy doggie products.  If you must offer treats, consider one that will help in preventative care for your pet (E.g. dental chews).

Home Care

Home care is an essential part of keeping your pet healthy, especially in terms of proper nutrition, exercise, and routine care. You will find that a little extra care in the short run will lead to important health benefits down the road.  Some examples include brushing your pet’s teeth, keeping them well groomed, trimming their nails, etc. 

Pet Toys vs. TLC

We love our pets and want them to be happy, so it makes sense that we would look for ways to spoil them rotten with the latest and greatest of pet products.  However, the most important things your pet needs and wants is TIME spent with you.  Sure those toys are great, but your pet would much rather spend time cuddling, exercising, and playing with you than those over-priced toys. 

Tip #4: Consider making your own toys or stick to the simple treasures! You’d be surprised by the number of creative how-to guides on the internet today.  PetLvr.com is just one of many that actually tells you how to go about making your own toys!

Pet Insurance

We have heard it all: “Pet insurance is just not worth it!" or “Why should I pay for something I never use?". But the fact is pet insurance allows owners to fund the unexpected and is becoming increasingly popular in a large part due to veterinary advancements and the rising costs of treatment.  AAHA explains that many pet owners are choosing pet health insurance as a way to plan for and cover expensive veterinary bills.  You don't really see the investment in this until your pet has a more serious problem, but when you need it, you will be glad you have it. 

Tip #5: It is recommended to insure pets as soon as possible to get the most out of the insurance because many companies will not cover a claim if the condition is pre-existing.  Ask us about Trupanion's 30-day certificate program which provides pet owners the chance to try their insurance without any expense.

Budgeting, Financing, & Savings, Oh My!

When creating a household budget, make sure to include your pet in your budget. Figure out the costs over a year associated with your pet's care and deposit an amount each paycheck into a savings account and a little extra when you can in case of emergencies.

We know that you love your pets as much as we love ours. As a service to our clients, we also offer Care Credit, the nation’s leading client payment plan.  With Care Credit, you may finance up to 100% of your pets treatment, and avoiding paying interest by making your minimum monthly payments and paying the full amount due by the end of the promotional period.  Once you are approved for the Care Credit line of credit for veterinary expenses, you will never have to reapply, as long as you keep your account in good standing and can use the same account for other medical and health-care expenses such as dental, beauty, or wellness treatments.

Tip #6: Ensure that you pay your balance by the end of your promotional periods, or you will have to pay back interest!

Discounts

Be sure to sign up to receive your veterinarian’s communications (E.g. Pet Portal, Social Media, Website, Blogs, etc.).  Not only will this allow you to manage your pet’s health records, but it will also allow you to receive your veterinarian’s communications about practice updates, special promotions, and important health news. 

Tip #7: Different email or change of address? Make sure to keep your contact information current at your veterinary office so you can receive our communications for upcoming specials and discounts.  For instance, did you receive word about our 20% OFF Spring Dental Special running now until 3/31/14?

Pet Assistance Organizations

Several foundations and nonprofit organizations offer assistance to pet owners who cannot afford medical treatment for their dog or cat. These online grant foundations generally require that you complete an application, include documentation of estimated expenses, and obtain a veterinary signature or endorsement. 

We have provided a list of financial assistance organizations on our website’s resource page to help you in your search; you may also contact our office for more information. 

Tip #8: Consider searching for breed-specific, disease specific, or service animal assistance organizations.  There are also organizations that cater to helping senior citizens, veterans, and the disabled.

Fundraising

Consider trying to raise money yourself.  Several online fundraising programs are available today, such as Indiegogo and Fundable in which you can customize your page and set a fundraising goal for your pet’s care.  Other small ways to raise funds are hosting a garage sale, selling those unwanted items just taking up space in your home on E-bay, or getting a part-time job, such as baby-sitting or pet-sitting.


Have any cost saving tips for pet care that we may have missed? Please share what works for you when saving money on pet care and supplies.


References:

Financial Assistance, Pets Are Wonderful Support, 2012, http://www.pawssf.org/page.aspx?pid=655

Meeting the Cost of Veterinary Care, AAHA, September 2013, http://www.healthypet.com/blog/post/Meeting-the-cost-of-veterinary-care.aspx

The Importance of Pet Veterinary Insurance, Trupanion, 2014, http://trupanion.com/pet-insurance/importance-of-pet-veterinary-insurance

Veterinary Care Without the Bite, Consumers Union of U.S.,Inc, July 2003. http://www.consumerreports.org/Pets/

 

 

 

By R. deLeon-Mims for Morena Pet Hospital
November 05, 2013
Category: Pet Care

Internet sites that sell pet medicines can be reputable pharmacies.  However, many sites are fronts for businesses that are breaking Federal, State and sometimes International laws.  These sites may sell pet medicine that is counterfeit, outdated, mislabeled, incorrectly formulated, or improperly made or stored.  These medicines may not contain the actual drug, may not work as well due to age or being stored in conditions that were too hot, cold, or humid, and may not have the proper directions for use. 

If you find cheaper medication online, please feel free to bring in a copy of the online pharmacy invoice along with shipping costs (or email it to us) for us to price match the medication and purchase the medication from our office.  We feel much more comfortable knowing that our clients are receiving the medication as it was intended from the manufacturer and labeled properly by our staff.  If an online pharmacy refill is still requested, we will gladly give you a written prescription for you to fill at a pharmacy of your choice.

If your pet develops a problem or becomes ill from taking a medication filled with an online pharmacy please contact us immediately to be seen by a veterinarian.  We have had experience with pets having a reaction to the medicine, or the medicine not working as it should.  Second, contact the manufacturer of the medication and report the occurrence.  Third, you should contact the pharmacy where you filled the medication and report the problem and hopefully receive a refund.

To continue to protect yourself, your pets and others, please educate yourself on matters that may effect you and your pet’s health. 

 

References:

FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine. www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary

By Heather Beeson of Morena Pet Hospital
September 06, 2013
Category: Pet Care
Tags: Untagged

 

Hey cat owners (and potential cat owners), did you know that September is ‘National Happy Cat’ month?  Of course, here at Morena Pet Hospital, every month is happy cat month and to help you and your furry felines celebrate, we are listing a few of the top essentials to keep your cat happy, healthy, and safe...year-round!

Some of you may be wondering what exactly makes a cat happy.  Many owners may agree that more so than just the necessities of food and water, a happy cat must have proper nutrition, an enriched environment, a clean bill of health, and of course lots of TLC. 

We decided to ask our staff of highly trained veterinarians and technicians their thoughts on this topic.  Here were some of the happy cat essentials that made our list…

Proper Nutrition

Proper diet is an important part of your cat's health.

  • Dry food is composed of primarily carbohydrate coated with fat to make it appealing to cats. Fed "free choice" most indoor only, spayed and neutered cats tend to over consume and become overweight, thus predisposed to obesity related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease later on. This is why we recommend feeding set amounts at meal times.
  • By offering canned food daily, we actually feel the cat's cravings to overeat carbohydrate-rich dry food is reduced. In addition, the extra moisture in canned food may help in preventing or slowing the onset of kidney disease later in life.

Should your pet need a new diet due to health concerns or you are just looking for a healthy alternative to your current brand, we are happy to consult with you at your cat's next visit about nutritional recommendations to help keep your cat healthy.

Enriched Environment

A happy cat, especially if indoor only, requires much love, attention, and active playtime. Some ideas to provide enrichment include: toys, treats, nature sounds, stimulating dvd or television programming, another playmate!

Toys

One of the easiest ways to make a cat happy is with a new toy! Cats are natural hunters and love chasing, pouncing, and stalking prey (even fake prey).  Making sure there is no shortage of cat toys in your home will help to enrich your cat’s environment.  Since cats tend to have different preferences when it comes to toys, you will have to pay close attention to what really motivates your cat to play. 

Be sure to visit our previous blog article How to Make an Indoor Cat’s Environment More Entertaining!, for some of our top-rated cat toys and products

Safely Experience the Outdoors

Screened-in porches and decks provide the perfect opportunity for indoor cats to safely experience the outdoors.  Supervised walks outdoors with a harness and leash or cat-stroller can also provide an indoor kitty with a relatively safe outdoor experience.

Scratching Posts

Cats should have designated cat scratching posts to stretch and care for their claws.  Scratching is an important aspect of feline behavior, so providing a cat post or carpeted wall climbs is a good way to keep kitty happy (not to mention your couches and furniture as well).

Plenty of Cat Beds

Cats are no strangers to napping.  They love finding soft, comfortable spots to take refuge in and get away from it all.  Providing some cat beds, soft blankets, or window cat perches are all great options for kitty.

Visit the Veterinarian

Someone had to say it! Although some owners may dread a trip to the veterinarian, it is important to point out that regular (at least annually) physical examinations can help detect problems in their early stages, before they become serious illnesses requiring prolonged treatment. Preventative medicine is the easiest, least expensive and most important way to keep your pet healthy.

Acclimate Your Cat to the Carrier

One way to help make the veterinary experience more enjoyable for both you and your cat is to get your cat comfortable with the pet carrier.  The goal is to familiarize your cat with the carrier so he/she will enter freely and associate the carrier with positive experiences.  For additional tips, refer to our blog article, Tips on Getting Your Cat to the Veterinarian.

Microchip

A lost pet can be one of the most heartbreaking experiences and painstaking realities that even the most responsible pet owner may have to face. Fortunately, many are returned simply because they were microchipped. This unique form of identification is an easy, yet permanent way to bring your pet home quickly should he/she become lost.

Each microchip has a unique number. This number, along with information about the owner and pet, are added to a national pet registry. Most veterinary hospitals and animal shelters have electronic scanners for detecting and reading these implanted microchips. If a lost pet is found and a microchip is scanned it is easy for you to be contacted.

Flea and Parasite Prevention

Mosquitoes, Fleas, and Ticks are more than just a nuisance; they also carry troublesome diseases and parasites, such as heartworms, tapeworms, and Lyme disease.  The best way to keep your pet, home, and your family pest-free is to prevent them from entering your door!  The currently available flea and heartworm medication is safe, effective, and available in once-a-month doses.  We would be happy to help you make the best choice for flea, parasite, and heartworm prevention for your pets.

September's Happy Cat Month is the perfect time for those without a cat to consider adopting one (or two) from your local animal shelter or pet rescue group.  If you already own a cat, perhaps you may consider adding a playmate? After all, kittens tend to require even more time and attention.  Indoor only kittens may do better with another kitten or an adult cat as a mentor.


References:

Happy Happy Cat Month. CATalyst Council. http://catalystcouncil.org/newsroom/?ID=57. September, 2013.

Did You Know September Is Happy Cat Month? (Yes Really). PetMD. http://www.petmd.com/blogs/healthyassurance/2013/September#.UiptFX-sLbg. 2011.