MPH Blog

Posts for: April, 2013

A client of ours asked for our help in finding Mikey, their handsome, sweet boy a new home as they are unable to provide the tender loving care that Mikey needs.

Regarding Mikey's medical condition:
We suspect that Mikey suffers from Idiopathic Cystitis also known as feline lower urinary tract disease. This condition causes pets to have inflammation of the bladder lining, most commonly induced by stress of any kind. These pets may strain to urinate, have blood in their urine, and (as in Mikey's case) occasionally develop an obstruction that prevents them from passing urine naturally. See link for more information:

Unfortunately, Mikey's current owners cannot afford the appropriate diagnostics, treatment, and long-term attention that he needs to thrive. They want the best for him and don't want him to be euthanized at a shelter. He is otherwise a very handsome and sweet 3 year old fellow, that needs time and loving attention.

Please share this post with any potential friends and family that may be willing to offer Mikey the second chance that he deserves. Anyone interested, please contact our office at 619-275-0888 so that we can arrange a meet & greet with Mikey.

Thank you,
Your Morena Pet Hospital Team

By Heather Beeson of Morena Pet Hospital
April 25, 2013
Category: Pet Safety
Tags: Untagged


We recently had a visit from a sweet and bubbly 10 month old Pug. The owner suspected that this little fellow possibly ingested an unknown number of Advil tablets over the weekend. Since then he had been vomiting, but otherwise was still eating, drinking, and active. The owners were unsure if they should be concerned since he seemed to feel ok. Dr. Steib performed an exam which was normal besides evidence of mild dehydration. She discussed the potential serious side effects of Advil ingestion in dogs which include: kidney failure, liver failure, irritation of the stomach and intestines sometimes leading to severe bleeding and even death.

After this discussion the owners allowed the doctor to run some routine bloodwork and urine tests to assess the dog’s kidney and liver status as well as looking for signs of bleeding. Surprisingly the bloodwork and urine test showed anemia (due to blood loss) and evidence of kidney failure.

The owners were shocked at the news. Their new puppy was suddenly in a life threatening situation even though he was eating, drinking and wagging his tail. They agreed to hospitalize the little guy and allow the doctor to treat his condition aggressively with IV fluids and medications to help stop the vomiting and blood loss, in hopes of reversing the damage to his kidneys.  Dr. Steib did have to give a guarded prognosis due to the serious state his kidneys were in.  After 5 days of aggressive care from Morena Pet Hospital and his dedicated owners, his bloodwork and urine tests showed returned function of his kidneys!! He was finally allowed to go home to his family who will gradually taper him off of his medications and recheck his blood and urine tests to ensure they are stable. He was a lucky dog to recover as well as he did. Many pets suffer residual kidney damage or even death from similar situations.

Only a few weeks after the Pug visited us, a handsome 1 year old Boxer came in after ingesting a granola bar with raisins in it. These astute owners knew that raisins could potentially cause kidney failure in their dog so they brought him to a local overnight emergency hospital that checked his blood and urine for signs of kidney damage. Luckily everything looked normal but the doctor still suggested hospitalization for IV fluids and monitoring. The owners agreed and left the dog at the emergency hospital overnight. The following morning they called the doctor at Morena Pet Hospital to discuss what happened with their dog. They were considering taking the dog home because the blood and urine tests were normal and the dog was not sick at all. The doctor at Morena Pet Hospital explained that toxicity from raisin ingestion is very unpredictable and the current recommendations by veterinary toxicologists are to continue IV fluids and monitoring of kidney tests up to 3 days after the ingestion occurred to ensure no damage to the kidneys has occurred. Of course the owners wanted to ensure that their young dog would have the best chances for a full recovery and agreed to transfer their dog to Morena Pet Hospital for continued treatment and care. The following day a recheck of the blood and urine in fact showed a mild change in his kidney tests. Luckily the owners were committed to continued treatment and care.

The following day the lucky dog was allowed to return home where the owners would continue the medications needed. A week later a recheck of his kidney test showed 100% return to normal function!

Most cat owners don’t know it, but lilies are lethally toxic to cats!  Unfortunately, one of our patients had this in common—animals that have consumed a leaf of a lily flower arrangement. To bring attention to the seriousness of this plant, here is more information about this beautiful, but very toxic flower (a must-read for all pet owners).  Please refer to our previous blog article about lily poisoning in cats:

In summary, if you suspect your pet has been exposed to or ingested a toxin (poisonous substance), be sure to call your veterinarian immediately!  Time can be of the essence when treating potential organ failure.  Refer to the following links/pages for a list of potential toxins:

ASPCA Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List:

Pet Poison Helpline:


If you are not sure if an item/substance your pet ingested is toxic, call us at (619) 275-0888.  For additional information, you may contact the National Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.  This is a 24-hour service provided by the ASPCA with doctors available around the clock.  There is a consultation fee for this phone call.  It is vital to include all ingredients your pet has ingested.

By Heather Beeson of Morena Pet Hospital
April 19, 2013
Category: Pet Care
Tags: Untagged

How to choose the right collar/leash for your pet.

With so many options available nowadays (from traditional leashes to harnesses and gentle leaders), it is no wonder the immense amount of time one can spend in the pet aisle searching for the best collar and leash option for you and your pet.  Here are some suggestions on finding the right collar/leash combo for your dog.

First things first, it is essential to understand the purpose and reasoning of using collars on your pet. Not only are collars beneficial in providing tag information (identification and Rabies vaccination licensing), but they also act as a training tool.  It is also important to recall that dogs are descendents of wolves and still possess some of these wolf behaviors and tendencies.  One way a wolf challenges the pack leader is to bite the neck of its opponent to show domination and gain control.  This is why many animal behaviorists like to use the analogy of pet owners acting as the ‘pack leader’ of their canine companions and why neck collars and leashes are used as key tools for training dogs. 

Some dogs will catch on quickly acknowledging that you are in charge, but others will initially rebel and challenge you as pack leader, thus requiring more extensive training.  You may find it beneficial to talk with your veterinarian prior to selecting any collar.  Your veterinarian can recommend an option based on your dog’s medical and breed background to ensure your pet’s safety and happiness. Below are some of the current products of collars and leashes available to you and your pet.

Your basic flat (or buckled) collar:

This is your standard collar for dogs.  It has a buckle or snap closure and a ring for attaching a leash as well as identification tags.  A flat collar should fit comfortably around your dog’s neck.  Typically, one should be able to fit two fingers underneath the collar to prevent choking, but not too loose that he/she can slip out of it. 

Gentle Leader:

The gentle leader is ideal for strong, energetic dogs that have a tendency to jump and pull.  Similar to a horse’s halter, these collars have one strap that fits around your dog’s neck and another strap that loops around your dog’s muzzle.  The leash attaches to a ring at the bottom of the muzzle strap and discourages pulling by turning the dog’s head to the side.  The notion behind this collar is that your dog will not be able to pull you with the full weight of his body.

It may take some time, patience, and lots of positive reinforcement to get your dog accustomed to wearing a gentle leader.  Start by putting it on your pet for short periods of time until he/she gets comfortable in the collar.  Then your dog should only wear it when you are taking him/her out on a leashed walk.

Martingale/Limited Slip collar:

These collars tighten a small amount when pressure is applied. The martingale consists of a length of material with a metal ring at each end.  A separate loop of material passes through the two rings and attaches to the leash.  When your dog tries to back out of the collar, the collar tightens around his/her neck. A mechanical stop on the collar limits the amount of tightening to the size of your dog’s neck, preventing choking and the collar from slipping off the dog’s head.  Traditionally, these collars have been a popular choice for greyhound and other breeds that have a narrow head and are adept at slipping out of collars.


Harnesses wrap around the upper body of the dog and are particularly suited for those pets with diseases or soreness of the throat/neck where a traditional collar would cause harm from pulling.  A front-clip harness is a newer option available that allows pet owners to clip the leash to a central area on the front of the dog’s chest.  This diminishes the dog’s ability to use his body weight to pull you and these collars can be very effective with strong pullers.


Leashes serve as a method of control for training your pet and typically come in a variety of materials and lengths.  Lighter materials and thinner widths are ideal for smaller breeds, while heavier materials and thicker widths are used for larger breeds.  Many trainers recommend using a standard leash for everyday use and training since it keeps pets at a manageable distance and is relatively easy to use.

Additional Tips:

  • If you walk your dog at night, keep safety in mind. Wear reflective clothing and get a leash and collar made of reflective material so both you and your dog will be more visible.
  • If your dog suffers from extreme issues on the walk, it is best to consult your veterinarian first to rule out any medical reasons for his/her unruly behavior, followed by a consultation with a behavior specialist in your area for guidance.

Part 2: The Importance of teaching/training your dog to heel on a leash! Stay tuned...


Understanding Training Equipment Options-Collars, Leashes, and Crates. Association of Pet Dog Trainers. 2013.

A Good Leash on Life. The Humane Society of the United States. October 2012.

Dog Collars. The Humane Society of the United States. November 2012.

By Heather Beeson of Morena Pet Hospital
April 05, 2013
Category: Pet Safety
Tags: Untagged


Protecting your pet from potentially harmful products and contaminated foods is one responsibility that pet owners are becoming more aware of since the massive Pet Food Recall of 2007.  Ensuring that your pet will never come in contact with recalled pet food or treats is never foolproof; however, the Humane Society of the United States has come with the following tips to help reduce your pet’s risk.

1. Stay informed.  Regularly check veterinary advisory boards of recalled pet foods and treats to ensure you are up-to-date on the latest pet-food recall notices.

In addition, the FDA website is a helpful resource that provides updated information for ALL product recalls--you may be shocked to find out how many human food and drug products have also been recalled.  To subscribe simply follow the link:

The AVMA has created a useful chart that allows pet owners to search quickly and easily for recalled foods by brand, product, and lot numbers:

2. If your pet’s food and/or treats have been recalled, immediately stop feeding the product to your pet.  If your pet may have consumed a recalled product, please consult your veterinarian immediately, even if your pet does not appear to have any symptoms.

3. Typically, any recalled products may be returned to the store of purchase for a full-refund or safely thrown away in a secure area not accessible to animals.  If you require additional information regarding the recalled product, please contact the manufacturer.

4. If your pet has become ill or died because of a subsequent recalled pet food and/or treat, please report it to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in your state.

FDA 2013 to date advisories on recalled pet food and treats:

April 2, 2013: Natura Pet Expands Voluntary Recall of Dry Pet Foods Due to Possible Health Risk

March 22, 2013: Jones Natural Chews Co Recalls Woofers Dog Treats Because Of Possible Salmonella Health Risk

March 19, 2013: Natura Pet Issues Voluntary Recall of Specialized Dry Pet Foods Due to Possible Health Risk

March 14, 2013: Bravo! Recalls 2 lb Tubes of Chicken Blend-Raw Frozen Food Diet for Dogs and Cats (One Lot Code) Because of Possible Salmonella Health Risk

March 11, 2013: Premium Edge, Diamond Naturals and 4health Dry Cat Food Formulas Voluntarily Recalled Due to Possibility of Low Levels of Thiamine (Vitamin B1)

March 11, 2013: Diggin' Your Dog Recalls Strippin' Chicks Pet Treats Distributed in Colorado and Nevada Due to Possible Salmonella Hazard

March 8, 2013: Steve’s Real Food Recalls Turducken Canine Recipe Patties Because of Posssible Health Risk

February 28, 2013: United Pet Group Inc., Voluntarily Withdraws "Ultra Blend Gourmet Food for Parakeets," "Ä“Cotrition Grains & Greens Nutritional Supplement for Parakeets," "Ä“Cotrition Grains & Greens Nutritional Supplement for Canaries and Finches," and "Ä“Cotrition Grains & Greens Nutritional Supplement for Cockatiels" Due to Possible Salmonella Contamination

February 22, 2013: The Honest Kitchen® Voluntarily Recalls Limited Lots Of Verve®, Zeal®And Thrive® Products Due To Possible Health Risk

February 22, 2013: Kasel Associates Industries Recalling Certain Pet Treats Due to Salmonella Contamination Boots and Barkley, Colorado Naturals, Nature’s Deli among brands affecteds

February 22, 2013: Kaytee Recalls Bird Treats and Greens Due to Possible Salmonella Contamination from Parsley Flakes

February 21, 2013: Nutri-Vet, LLC Recalls Nutri-Vet and Nutripet Chicken Jerky Products Because Of Possible Salmonella Health Risk

February 19, 2013: Nature's Variety Issues Voluntarily Recall of One Batch of Instinct® Raw Organic Chicken Formula for Dogs & Cats Due to Possible Health Risk

January 27, 2013: The Hartz Mountain Corporation is voluntarily withdrawing its Hartz ® Chicken Chews ™ and Hartz ® Oinkies® Pig Skin Twists wrapped with Chicken for dogs

January 15, 2013: Milo’s Kitchen® Voluntarily Recalls Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers Home-style Dog Treats

January 9, 2013: FDA CVM Update on Jerky Treats


Pet Food Safety Recalls and Alerts. American Veterinary Medical Association. 2013.

Animal & Veterinary: Pet Food Recall Products List.  U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Pet Food Safety: Common-sense Tips and the Latest Recall Advisories from the FDA. The Humane Society of the United States. 2013.