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No Scaredy-Cats Allowed!

By Bernie's Blog No Comments

This year I have been bugging my dad (Dr. Morse) to take me trick-or-treating!!! I think I might dress up as a Veterinarian! Ha! Unfortunately he has been telling me that it might not be the best idea for me to go out that night. Halloween can be a festive and fun time for families and their 2-legged kids, but for pets? Let’s face it, it can be a downright nightmare. Forgo the stress and dangers for you and your pet this year by following these 10 easy steps:

1. Trick-or-treat candies are not for your pets.

ALL forms of chocolate–especially baking or dark chocolate–can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and even seizures. Halloween candies or gum containing the artificial sweetener Xylitol can also be poisonous to your dog. Even a small amount of Xylitol can cause a sudden drop and in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures. It can even cause liver failure or death. If your pet consumes any candy, call us immediately, as some toxicity can begin in as little as 10 minutes after ingestion.

2. Don’t leave your pets outside on Halloween.

Unfortunately vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night. This is inexcusable, but preventable nonetheless.

3. Keep your pets confined and away from your front door.

Not only will your door be constantly opening and closing on Halloween, but strangers will be dressed in unusual costumes and yelling loudly for candy. This, of course, is very scary for our furry friends. Dogs are especially territorial and may become anxious and growl at innocent trick-or-treaters. Putting your dog or cat in a secure room away from the front door will also prevent them from darting outside into the night…a night when no one wants to be searching for a lost loved one.

4. Keep your outdoor cats inside several days before and several days after Halloween.

Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. In fact, many shelters do not even adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution.

5. Keep Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach of your pets.

Although they are relatively nontoxic, such plants can induce gastrointestinal upset if they are ingested in large quantities. Intestinal blockage can even occur if large pieces are swallowed.

6. Don’t keep lit pumpkins around your pets.

Should your furry family member get to close, they run the risk of burning themselves or knocking it over and causing a fire.

7. Keep wires and electric light cords out of reach.

If chewed, your pet could cut themself on shards of glass or plastic, or possibly receive a life-threatening electrical shock.

8. Don’t dress up your pet in a costume unless you know they will love it.

If you do decide that Fido or Kitty need a costume, make sure it isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict movement, hearing, or the ability to breathe, bark, or meow.

9. Do a trial run of the pet costumes before the big night.

If your pet seems distressed, allergic, or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting them go in their “birthday suit”. Festive bandanas usually work for party poopers too.

10. IDs please!

If your pet should escape and become lost, having the proper identification will increase the chances that they will be reunited with your family. Make sure the information is up-to-date, even if your pet does have one of those fancy-schmancy microchips!

I hope you all have a fun and safe Howl-O-Ween!!

Bernie Morse, Official Howl-O-Ween Treat Inspector

Bernie Morse, Official Howl-O-Ween Treat Inspector

Save The Date For Our Annual Open House!

By Clinic Blog No Comments


We have been very busy here at Cornerstone Animal Clinic preparing for our annual Open House. Dr. Escobedo, Dr. Morse, and Dr. Castro have set the date for Saturday, October 4th from 12:30-2:30pm!

You will enjoy getting to take a behind-the-scenes look at our entire hospital including our surgery, grooming, boarding areas and more!

tour17Get to know the animal doctors that care for your pets!

Did you know that Dr. Morse loves to golf? Or that Dr. Castro is a HUGE Denver Broncos fan? Or that Dr. Escobedo loves sportscars? During our open house you will get a chance to chat with all of them to get to know them better.

Not only will there be fun things for the adults, like goodie bags and raffle items, but we will have plenty of fun stuff for your kiddos to do as well (the two-legged kids). We will have a professional face painter, goodie bags for the kids, snacks & refreshments and they will get to watch a teddy bear surgery and will receive a surprise gift at the end of the demonstration!

We are so excited to get to share our clinic with you and your family!

(*We ask that you please leave your furry family members home during this event due to the number of people we will be expecting. Thank you for your cooperation!**)

Have a great day!


Maya Alexander


Mandy Hall


Bernie and HIS Baby Kitten

By Bernie's Blog No Comments

One of our technicians, Krystal found a newborn kitten while she was walking her dog (her dog nearly stepped on it!). There was no mom in sight and no other kittens, so she brought her with her to the clinic so the doctors could check her out. Our team has stepped up and taken turns taking the adorable kitten home to bottle feed her and give her the round-the-clock care she needs at this young age.

I heard her cries and rushed up to the front to see what was going on. I loved her at first sight and want to make sure she is taken care of at all times so I have planted myself next to where she is kept when she’s at the clinic. The staff have even nicknamed her “Bernadette” in honor of me.

“Bernadette” is doing great and eating well. Her eyes opened up this week, so now she can see me! I love to give her kisses so she knows how much I love her.

Stay tuned for more photos as she gets older! I’m going to have my work cut out for me!

Have a pawsome day!

Bernie Morse, Surrogate Kitten Mom

Bernie Morse, Surrogate Kitten Mom

Isolation Area Renovation

By Bernie's Blog No Comments

We sometimes see sick patients in the hospital that have (or are suspected of having) a contagious illness. We have always had a separate isolation area where they stayed while they were with us, but it was in need of a makeover. I got to help oversee the renovation, since I know what will make the patients feel the most comfortable, since I am a pet myself!

Over the past few weeks the builders have replaced the floors, refinished and painted the walls, & installed a new sink and cabinet. I made sure this process went very smoothly:

I am so excited to show off our new and improved isolation area!


Our isolation area has solid walls and stainless steel cages that we are able to disinfect completely. We have a completely separate set of equipment & supplies that will be used in here as well such as, a covered trash can, a covered laundry hamper, fluid pump & stand, food & water bowls, litterboxes, catheter supplies, syringes and blood tubes, a thermometer, and more! We also have cleaning supplies on hand as well as disposable gowns, shoe covers, masks, and a disinfecting foot bath.

An isolation area is an absolute must in any veterinary hospital. Along with our renovated space, we have also updated our isolation protocols to help protect our staff and all of our patients in our hospital.

If you would like to see our isolation area for yourself, come out to our Open House on Saturday, October 4th from 12:30-2:30pm! We will be doing tours of the entire clinic, you can meet all of our doctors and staff. We are also giving out goodie bags and will have raffle prizes, food/refreshments, a face painter & teddy bear surgery for the kiddos!

We hope to see everyone there!

Have a Pawsome Day!

Bernie Morse

Bernie Morse

National Dog Day-August 26th

By Clinic Blog No Comments

What’s better than coming home to a wagging tail & slobbery face? Nothing! Other than multiple wagging tails!!!
National Dog Day is August 26th, so here are a few ways to celebrate!

  • Adopt a dog from your local shelter or pure breed rescue organization. Volunteer at your local shelter and offer to walk a dog or play with a dog, clean cages or anything else they need help with. (CLICK HERE for links to some of our local shelters)
  • Donate blankets, food and toys to animal welfare organizations.
  • Order an adorable dog shaped flower arrangement from and enjoy a 10% discount by using code DOG when placing your order!
  • Have a National Dog Day party and invite all your friends and their dogs!
  • Assist an ill or elderly neighbor by walking their dog.
  • Have a portrait painted of your dog to suspend the fleeting magic of dogdom.
  • Buy your dog a fun new dog toy….or two…or five. (We have a great selection of toys for your dog in our Pet Boutique!)
  • Give your dog some fun exercise by taking him or her to a dog park or to the lake.
  • Brush your dog to eliminate excess fur.
  • Give your dog a massage or spa treatment. (Call us today at 972-385-3555 to schedule an appointment with our grooming department!)
  • Duke Bath
  • Teach your dog a new trick. (CLICK HERE to find a trainer to make your dog the best pet for you and your family)
  • Buy your dog a fashionable collar and leash. (We have a wide variety to choose from in our Pet Boutique and can even special order one for your furry family member!)
  • blog9Hire a professional pet photographer for a fun photo shoot.
  • Share your favorite photos of your dog on our Facebook page! (CLICK HERE to “like” our page!)

Have a pawsome day!

Maya Alexander, Receptionist

Maya Alexander, Receptionist

Don’t Take The Bait!

By Uncategorized No Comments

So yesterday I was making my way up to the front desk to get my late afternoon from Amanda & she seemed very upset! She told me that my dad (Dr. Morse) had an emergency coming in…RAT POISONING IN A DOG!!! To me that made no sense, I’m certainly not a rat so how can I get poisoned like them?!? Well I sure did get a lesson from my dad! Take a look at some of my notes below!

There are several different types of rodent poisons on the market. The effects of rodenticides vary depending upon the active ingredient. Be aware that different types have different toxic doses and poisoning can present itself in a variety of ways. There is no type of rodent poison considered “pet safe”. Most rodenticides have a grain and/or sugar base, making them seem like a tasty treat to both rodents and pets alike. They often come in pellets, blocks, granules, or liquids. They may be any color, but the most common is teal, blue, green, or pink. The only way to be certain which chemical a rat poison contains is to read it off of the packaging. The different types are: anticoagulants, bormethalin, cholecalciferol, zinc phosphide and strychnine. We are going to focus on Bromethalin today, since that’s what my dad treated yesterday.


Bromethalin Rodenticide Poisoning in Dogs

Bromethalin rodenticide toxicity, more commonly referred to as rat poisoning, occurs when a dog becomes exposed to the chemical bromethalin, a toxic substance that is found in a variety of rat and mice poisons. Ingestion of bromethalin can lead to an increased pressure of cerebrospinal fluid (the liquid within the membrane of the skull that the brain essentially floats in) and cerebral edema (the accumulation of excess water in the brain). A variety of neurological-based symptoms can result from this, including muscle tremors, seizures, and impaired movement.

While other species may be affected by the accidental ingestion of rat poison, cats and dogs are most frequently prone to this condition.


Common symptoms of toxicosis in dogs include loss of appetite (anorexia), impaired movement, paralysis of the animal’s hind limbs, slight muscle tremors, generalized seizures, and a depression of the central nervous system. Ingestion of extremely high doses may cause a sudden onset of muscle tremors, and even seizures.

Clinical signs usually develop within two to seven days of bromethalin ingestion; however, it is possible that signs will not develop for up to two weeks following ingestion. If poisoning is mild, with minimal bromethalin ingestion, symptoms may resolve within one to two weeks of onset, although some dogs may continue to show signs for four to six weeks.

But if you have even the slightest worry that rodenticide ingestion has occurred, bring him to us so when can get on top of treatment as soon as possible!


Bromethalin rodenticide toxicity occurs with the ingestion of rodenticides containing the chemical bromethalin. Dogs may also be targets of secondary poisoning if they eat rats or mice that have ingested the poison themselves. Toxic doses of bromethalin are estimated to be 2.5 mg/kg for dogs.


If bromethalin toxicosis occurs, the dog’s digestive tract needs to be decontaminated as soon as possible. This may initially be done by inducing vomiting, and then administering activated charcoal and an osmotic cathartic (this induces the dog’s bowels to empty). This should be done every four to eight hours for at least two to three days following poisoning, or as prescribed by your veterinarian. Some medications are available which may be used to control symptoms such as muscle tremors and seizures.


Living and Management

Bromethalin toxicosis can cause prolonged appetite loss (anorexia); therefore, some dogs will require feeding supplements for a time after initial treatment. It may take several weeks to recover from mild poisoning, and symptoms should be monitored accordingly to avoid further complications.


To prevent bromethalin toxicosis, ensure that your dog does not have access to rodent poisons. If you choose to use rat poison in your home with dogs, you will want to stay watchful for dead rodents so that you can properly dispose of them before your dog can get to them.

That poor patient my dad treated last night just kept saying how tasty that rat poisoning was! I hope you all learned as much as I did! As always, give the sweet girls up at the front desk a call if you have any question, concerns or they’ll be more than happy to give you some treats (they give me plenty but don’t tell my dad)!!!!!!

Back To School Pet Tips

By Clinic Blog No Comments

1. Transition Time

About a week before the kids return to school, begin getting your dog used to their absence. This is best accomplished by leaving your dog home for short trips. Ideally, leave them inside early in the morning to simulate school time. You only need to leave them for thirty minutes or so. The idea is to get them accustomed to the fact that long, lazy summer mornings are coming to an end. Also, start getting out the lunchboxes and other items your dog associates with leaving for school in the morning. The idea is to de-sensitize them to any anxiety-producing cues prior to school starting. Do this several times a day and your dog’s nervousness will begin to diminish.

2. Break Out the Crate

For indoor dogs that will be spending several hours alone, a dog crate may be your best bet. A crate is not a punishment device; it is a play pen. Placing your dog in a crate should be thought of as putting a toddler in a play pen or crib. The purpose is to prevent your dog from getting into accidents and injuring himself. In addition, the security of having one’s own space is comforting to many dogs. Be sure to leave food or a treat, fresh water, a blanket and favorite toy. Try to come home at lunch to take your dog out for a break. The ideal crate size should be just big enough for them to comfortably stand up, turn around and stretch out. Rotate the toys you leave and use those that you can stuff with vegetables or dog food to keep your dog engaged while you’re away. In many areas doggie daycare is an excellent alternative to “home alone” which we here at Cornerstone Animal Clinic provide for both large & small dogs, old & young….we can find the best daycare time for your furry family member. Contact us for more information on our Doggie DayCare!

3. Turn on Some Tunes

Whenever your dog is left alone, the sound of human voices or music can be soothing. I recommend leaving slow (50 to 60 beats per minute) and soothing music playing whenever your pet is left alone.

4. Pass on the Piddle Pads

Many people think that if they leave their dog indoors, they should leave out a piddle pad. I don’t recommend putting down newspaper, training pads or other substances for your dog to urinate on except in very special situations. While you may think you’re telling your dog to urinate on a piddle pad in an emergency, your dog interprets this as it’s okay to tinkle on your tile. The goal with house-training is that your dog doesn’t go to the bathroom in the house–period. This is another excellent reason for using a dog crate.

5. Avoid Anxiety

Changes in routine can also lead to anxiety in many dogs. Some dogs will experience separation anxiety or become frightened by loud noises or sudden thunderstorms. In addition to great pharmacologic treatments to help relax your pet during these stressful times, there are non-prescription remedies that may help. Rescue Remedy, valerian, melatonin, SAM-e, fish oil, dog-appeasing pheromone (DAP) and other natural products may also help some dogs and cats. Gradual desensitization using storm recordings work remarkably well for most pets. One of the most overlooked treatments is to increase the amount of exercise your dog receives. Several studies have shown increasing aerobic activity to as little as 30 minutes a day reduces the signs of separation anxiety in dogs.

Enriching the environment with a constantly rotating selection of interesting and interactive toys is also helpful in making your dog feel at home when he’s alone.

Speak with a veterinarian here at Cornerstone Animal Clinic about how to calm your best buddy with an anxiety problem. There’s no reason anyone should have to cower in a closet or destroy the furniture to get relief.

6. Quality Time Counts Most

With school back in session, your dog may not get as much time playing with your family as during the care-free days of summer. If this is the case at your house, be sure to make the most of the time you have with your pet. Long walks at the park, lounging around on the couch, whatever it takes to re-connect at the end of a busy week. Remember that even though your dog wasn’t at work or school all day, he still needs time to unwind. As the days grow shorter, be sure to find time to walk your dog daily and enjoy this unique relationship.


Maya Alexander, Receptionist

Maya Alexander, Receptionist

Happy 4th of July!

By Bernie's Blog No Comments

Hello everyone! I hope you are all ready to enjoy a fun and safe 4th of July with your family and friends! I can’t wait for the long weekend so I can relax by the pool.

My dad wants me to share some helpful tips to keep your furry family members safe during the celebrations:

  • Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. Death from respiratory failure is also a possibility in severe cases. (Looks like I’ll be sticking to water then!)
  • Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems. (We actually carry a pet safe sunscreen in our boutique!)
  • Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing—or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems could develop.
  • Keep your pets on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pets severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals who have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. And keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals. (I guess this means no BBQ for me…boo!)
  • Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.
  • Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingestions can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.
  • Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.
  • Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, so please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities. Instead, keep your little guys safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home. You can leave the television or radio on for them to drown out the noise. (I don’t like fireworks, so I will be staying home, snuggled up in my bed.)

blog5a blog5b

Have a pawsome weekend!

Bernie Morse, Proud To Be An American

Bernie Morse,
Proud To Be An American

Ear Infections

By Clinic Blog No Comments

Does your pet scratch his ears? Shake his head? Love to swim? If so, he might have an ear infection.

Most dogs get infections in their ears because of allergies to environmental irritants – and it’s the allergic reaction that makes their ears so irritated. You may also notice an abnormal odor from the ear or see redness & swelling. Once a dog starts scratching because of water in the ear or any other number of irritants, the ear canal lining gets damaged & yeast and bacteria take over.

blog4bHere are some of the contributing causes and perpetuating factors for external ear infections (called otitis externa) and middle ear infections (called otitis media):

  • An overgrowth of yeast or bacteria, or often, both
  • Wax buildup in the ear canal
  • Thick hair in the ear canal
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Tumors within the ear canal
  • Ruptured eardrum
  • Improper ear cleaning
  • Foreign bodies such as bristle from grass
  • Environmental irritants
  • Diabetes mellitus

Bring your pet into our veterinary clinic for diagnosis and treatment of an ear infection.

Infections of the middle ear are usually the result of an infection that has spread there from the outer ear canal.

Prevention depends on identifying the underlying cause of the ear infection. In some cases the ear canal becomes moist from bathing, grooming or swimming. This moisture fosters the growth of microorganisms in the ear canal. Prevention in these cases can be as simple as cleaning the ear as previously described to remove the moisture and prevent the infection. However, in many cases an underlying cause may not be so easily identified.

blog4cDogs that suffer from allergies, either environmental, such as pollens (grasses, trees and weeds), dust mites, molds or food (beef, chicken, fish, soy, etc.) are predisposed to ear infections. This is due to the microscopic inflammation that allergies cause in the skin allowing overgrowth of bacterial and yeast organisms that normally inhabit the skin.

Cats don’t often get ear infections, but when they do, the cause can be complex. If your vet has ruled out ear mites — the culprit in about half of all feline ear infections — they’ll have to do some sleuthing to figure out what’s causing your cat’s outer or middle ear infection. It could be secondary to allergies, a mass, or possibly something lodged in the ear canal.

If you have any questions regarding treatment or prevention of ear infections for your fluffy family member, call our veterinary clinic at 972-385-3555 so we can help your fur baby feel their best!


Maya Alexander, Receptionist

Maya Alexander, Receptionist

Bernie Goes To The Dentist

By Bernie's Blog No Comments

Well everyone, I’m embarassed to say that my dad told me that my breath was smelling pretty awful recently. I didn’t understand what he meant since I thought it smelled awesome! Apparently stinky breath can be a sign of dental disease…I had no idea!

My dad told me I needed a dental cleaning to help my breath smell better and to clean the tartar and plaque off of my teeth. I didn’t like the sound of this, but since I know he loves me and wants only the best for me, I agreed.

They wrote me on the surgery board at the animal hospital, so everyone would know that I was going to be one of their VIP surgery patients that day.

Then they gave me an injection of something that made me feel sleepy, and they shaved a little hair on my front leg to place a catheter. This was so I could get fluids while I was having my dental cleaning. (I overheard them saying that it would help keep my blood pressure regulated while I was under anesthesia.) They lifted my sleepy self up and placed me on the dental table. I was hooked up to a monitor so they could keep an eye on my heart rate, my blood pressure, my ECG, and my oxygen saturation. I also got to lay on a warming pad to keep my temperature regulated during my cleaning.


I had a comprehensive dental cleaning including ultrasonic scaling, polishing, and even a sealant applied to my teeth! Luckily my dad had this done when my dental disease was pretty mild, so I didn’t need any tooth extractions.


After my dental cleaning, I was still pretty sleepy. My tongue was having a problem staying in my mouth. My dad let me take a long nap in his office.


To keep my teeth looking great and to keep my breath fresh, my dad (and my friends on the staff at Cornerstone Animal Clinic) are going to help me with some preventative dental care. We have dental diets, dental treats and chews, toothbrushes, and even toothpaste made just for dogs and cats!

If your furry family member has stinky breath (like I did), it’s time to get them checked out by one of our awesome animal doctors so you can see if they need a dental cleaning too! Call us to schedule an appointment at 972-385-3555.

I hope to meet you soon! I would love to show off my fresh breath and clean teeth (and have you give me a treat!)

Have a pawsome day!

Bernie Morse, Fresh Breath King

Bernie Morse, Fresh Breath King