Veterinarian - San Diego
1540 Morena Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92110



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March 29, 2014
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The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) began the Earth Hour campaign to unite people across nations to protect the planet.  Each year, the global environmental group organizes the event on the last Saturday of March at 8:30 pm local time as a committment to reducing the environmental impact.  Numerous individuals, cities, landmarks, and businesses turn out their non-essential lights for an entire hour to signify to everyone that the world's environmental issues don't have to overwhelm us.  Even the smallest of efforts can have a huge impact for a better tomorrow. 

For more information or to see a listing of this year's participants and events near you, visit or


March 15, 2014
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WE DID IT! We have over 500 fan friends and just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to everyone for their continuous support in growing our Morena Pet community! We cherish your comments, photos, and views more than we can say.  

*****Here it is as promised, Our 500 FAN GIVEAWAY!*****

How to Enter:
1) Like this status post
2) Comment what type of pet you have (E.g. cat, dog, bird, etc.)
3) Follow this link to enter:

Our #Giveaway will run until the end of March, so be sure to share with your family and friends!


March 07, 2014
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Morena Pet Hospital’s

“Best Smile” Pet Photo Contest

Rules and Regulations

The “Best Smile” Pet Photo Contest begins on January 13, 2014     at 8am PST and ends on March 31, 2014 at 6pm PST.


Grand Prize: Complimentary Dental Cleaning (includes a physical exam, gas

anesthesia, dental scaling, ultrasonic cleaning, polishing & more). In addition, the Grand Prize Winner will receive a dental home care kit for your pet!

2nd Place Prize: Complimentary Physical Exam to evaluate your pet’s dental health. In addition, receive a dental home care kit for your pet!

3rd Place Prize: Receive a dental home care kit for your pet!


If you are 13 years of age or younger, you may participate in the Contest with the

permission and assistance of your parent(s) or guardian(s). Void where prohibited by law. The Contest is subject to all applicable national, federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Employees and independent contractors of Morena Pet Hospital and any other individual involved in the development or promotion of the Contest, and immediate family members are not eligible. By entering the contest, you warrant that your entry is original, that you are the sole owner and copyright holder of your entry, and that you have not granted exclusive rights to all or part of your entry to any other person or entity. All entries shall become the property of Morena Pet Hospital.

Winners will be announced via Facebook the week following submission closing. All winners will also be notified via email and/or by phone of their status.


How to Enter:

To enter, submit a photograph of your pet online via our Morena Pet Hospital Facebook page at

OR by submitting your entry here to us at the following address:

Morena Pet Hospital

Attn: Best Smile Pet Photo Contest 1540 Morena Blvd.

San Diego, CA 92110

**Be sure to include Attn: Best Smile Pet Photo Entrant in your submissions! Thank you for your submission.



Submissions Valid though March 31, 2014

February 02, 2014
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The Why Behind Veterinary Prices

ABC’s 20/20 recently aired a story depicting veterinarians as “upselling” their services, calling into question the recommendations and ethical practices of veterinarians.  We feel that this recent segment greatly misses the mark when explaining the increased standard of care of today’s veterinary medicine and the costs associated with it.

Value is the underlying consideration that drives consumer decisions.  We have all heard the phrase, ‘what you pay for is what you get’.  This is no foreign concept when it comes to veterinary care either, but what often is not explained to pet parents are the costs behind veterinary care.  We will shed light first-hand on some of the reasoning behind these costs from the horse's mouth--aka from a veterinary perspective.

The majority of veterinarians are not gold-diggers.

Firstly, truth be told, veterinarians (including all of those here at Morena Pet Hospital) did not enter into this profession to get ahead in life.  Despite the economic hardship placed on many veterinarians from the start (student loans, foregone earnings associated with being in veterinary school, lower than average incomes compared to other healthcare industries, start-up costs of opening a practice, overhead expenses, etc.), the human-animal bond that are experienced even in our personal lives trumps those costs, which is what leads pet lovers to choose the veterinary profession.  Drs. Potter, Steib, and Zito did so out of their love for both pets and people.  The majority of veterinary professionals live in a modest home, work long hours (on their feet) to help animals all to live paycheck to paycheck on a steady income. 

Veterinary Medicine is costly to everyone.

It is disheartening when we hear such terms as “upselling” or “sticker shock” when associated with veterinary practices.  We are no strangers to veterinary costs ourselves.  A veterinary hospital, like all businesses, has expected costs (E.g. rent, utilities, tax, and insurance costs), not to mention the operational costs associated with maintaining a hospital facility with modern and up-to-date technologies and equipment, laboratory fees, food and medications costs, and salaries to provide a highly trained support staff.

In addition, the veterinary industry has changed dramatically over the years, now offering technological advances (once available only for humans) that have become readily available to pets too.  Items such as Cat Scans, MRIs, organ transplants, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and even stem cell therapy are amongst the current services and treatments that are now options for our furry companions.  However, with advancement in technology, also comes cost.

Some may be surprised to know that we at Morena Pet Hospital have experienced these costs on a personal level.  Although we work in the industry, it does not exempt us from making these same choices for our pets at home.  Many of our staff’s pets have had to undergo these same procedures (and costs) including kidney dialysis, chemotherapy, and orthopedic surgery to name just a few. 

Routine veterinary services are necessary.

According to the AVMA, veterinarians are seeing an alarming increase in preventable conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and dental disease in pets.  This is why veterinary medicine has shifted from responsive therapy (bringing pets in for care after clinical signs) to a more preventative care approach through vaccinations, spaying and neutering, dental cleanings, as well as wellness panels to test for pre-existing conditions and parasites, so one can treat the illnesses prior to symptoms.  Preventative medicine is the easiest, least expensive, and most important way to keep your pet healthy. Early detection ensures prompt action that may solve the problem before serious consequences occur.

We understand and agree that veterinary costs are rising too quickly, but that does not lead us to “make a quick buck” selling unnecessary shots, tests, and procedures to pet owners as ABC’s 20/20 segment lead audience viewers to believe. In fact, if you asked any veterinary team member what they dislike the most about our industry, making decisions based on finances instead of medical need is likely at the top of the list! If a recommendation is made, it is based on your pet’s individual lifestage and lifestyle and we are doing so because we want what is best for your pet.  As fellow animal lovers, we are committed to ensuring the highest level of support, information and service to give your companion the best possible care for a lifetime.  We never base our recommendations on our seeing dollar signs and make every effort to ensure that all fees are fair and responsible.

Stay tuned for our next blog featuring tips for affording pet care...


"ABC's Veterinary Care Segment Lacks 20/20 Clarity",, November 25, 2013,

"Is Your Veterinarian Being Honest With You", ABC 20/20, November 22, 2013,

"Meeting the Costs of Veterinary Care", AAHA, September 30, 2013, 


By Heather Beeson of Morena Pet Hospital
May 17, 2013
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As fellow animal lovers, we at Morena Pet Hospital are committed to ensuring the highest level of support, information, and service to give your companion the best care possible for a lifetime.  That is why we concentrate on building upon the pet/pet owner relationship and aim to educate you throughout your pet's various life stages from puppy/kitten to adulthood.

How to Leash-Walk Your Dog

Understanding your dog’s behavior and beginning obedience training from an early age are key components to having an enjoyable relationship with your pet.  We asked our expert veterinarians, Dr. Jeanne Potter and Dr. Crystal Steib, to provide us pet owners with some tips on how to create a dog training method that is built on a foundation of respect and positive reinforcement.  Although they were sure to mention that no single method works for all dogs, here are some general guidelines they shared to help you and your pet through the process:

First things first, dogs are not naturally born to know how to walk on a leash, nor do they understand that they should not pull, or lag behind too far.  This is where leash training comes into play--which can be challenging for all parties involved (both owner and pet) because dogs have the tendency to move quickly and are usually very excited to venture outdoors.  Leashes work to lessen these natural behaviors and movements.  Drs. Potter and Steib reiterate that teaching your dog to walk without pulling takes time, patience, and lots of positive reinforcements. 

You may notice a remarkable difference between the obedient and well-mannered service dogs or those you see at dog shows versus the dogs you meet at your everyday dog park.  The difference being that the ones in dog shows have been extensively trained in precision heeling and how to walk on a leash and thus prance gracefully alongside their owners, as opposed to the ones you see out-and-about in the neighborhood, pulling and jumping up on their owners.

Training Guidelines:

Consider all walks as training sessions until your dog learns to properly walk on a leash and heel on command.  The ASPCA recommends keeping the training sessions short, but frequent (and fun) for your dog. 

During your walks (aka training sessions), your dog should be taught to walk on your left side, next to and not in front of or behind you, and never pulling ahead.  Teach to sit at corners, stoplights, and curbs.  Note: This is work time for the dog and reward time is the visit to the dog beach or park.  The ASPCA refers to these training sessions as ‘Red Light, Green Light’ and another option is the ‘Lure and Reward’ ( 2013).

One tip for success is to tire your dog out before taking him/her on a training walk.  So before you train, play a game of fetch or tug of war to expel some of that energy.  This will make your pet less likely to pull during training.

Also, remember that if you expect your dog to be controlled during a walk, it is equally important for them to control themselves before the walk!  If your pet is one that gets overly excited when seeing you reach for the leash, wait for them to calm down before opening the door.  This may be easier said then done, but it is important to repeat this sequence until your dog has all four paws on the ground. (Dr. Potter also encourages owners to practice having their dogs sit and stay before putting their food down and before greeting them when you first arrive home). 

If you walk with your pet at a quick tempo, they will be less likely to be distracted to sniff around or relieve themselves every few steps.

And keep in mind this is hard work for a dog; and all good behaviors should be reinforced with plenty of rewards.  One possibility is to use highly desirable treats that your pet does not usually receive at other times.  Reward with your pet with the treat and continue training.

Ultimately, in order for your dog to understand you are in charge, he/she needs to be taught to obey your commands by obedience training and daily reinforcement.

In addition, with the hot summer days approaching, both Drs. Potter and Steib remind owners to walk your dogs at a time of day when it is not too hot outside, especially if your dog is of a brachycephalic breed (e.g. Bulldog).  To learn how to recognize the signs of heat stroke and prevent it from happening to your furry companion, please refer to our blog article: Hyperthermia (Heat Stroke) in Pets.

Have questions in regards to which collar and leash combo is best to use for your training?  For recommendations, please refer to our previous blog article, Dog Training Part One: How to Choose the Right Collar and Leach.


Teaching Your Dog Not to Pull on a Leash. ASPCA. 2013.

Dr. Potter's Dog Care Tips. Jeanne Potter, DVM.