Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need an appointment?
Yes, appointments are required. The exception is for existing clients refilling a previously prescribed medication or a prescription diet. There is a separate sign-in sheet just for Food and Medication pickups.
Do you accept credit cards or checks?
We do have the ability to accept credit card payments, but there is a cash discount. If you choose to pay via credit, the cash discount will not apply. Checks are not accepted.
If for any reason an exception is made and check is returned a $30 returned check fee in addition to any fees charged to us by our financial institution will be accessed.
How can you offer these services at such a discount?
We are able to offer these low cost services through the hard work of our employees. We have reduced overhead expenses and therefor can pass these savings on to you. We use only the highest quality vaccines that have been documented to have low reaction rates. We use Nobivac NOBIVAC ® vaccinations manufactured by Merck.
Do I need to bring my records?
No, you do not have to bring your past vaccine records. If you have them, it would be helpful to bring along, but they are not required. Our educated staff can assist you when deciding what vaccines your pet needs based on lifestyle and risk of exposure. Proof of previous RABIES vaccination necessary for 3 year duration.
How old does my pet need to be to receive vaccines?
Puppies and kittens must be at least 6 weeks of age to receive vaccines.
What does "distemper" mean?
"Distemper" vaccines protect against a variety of diseases that differ in dogs and cats. The canine "distemper" vaccine (DA2CPV) protects dogs from the following diseases:
Distemper "D" is a virus that can cause severe respiratory, gastrointestinal, and
neurological abnormalities in infected dogs. It is often fatal to dogs and/or puppies who are infected.
Hepatitis (Canine Adenovirus Type 2) "A2" Canine adenovirus type 2 is a self limiting respiratory disease in dogs, but this component of the distemper vaccine also protects against canine adenovirus type 1, a virus that causes canine infectious hepatitis.
Parvovirus "CPV" Parvovirus causes severe vomiting and diarrhea. Parvo has a high mortality rate. Puppies are most susceptible to infection, but any unvaccinated dog can contract Parvo.
The feline "distemper" (FVRCP) vaccine protects against the following diseases:
Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR)
Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis is an upper respiratory infection resulting in conjunctivitis, sneezing, nasal discharge, eye lesions and occasional coughing.
Calicivirus is a virus that can cause similar respiratory signs. These diseases account for 95% of upper respiratory infections in cats. Many adult cats are carriers, even though they may have no signs themselves of the disease, and are contagious.
Panleukopenia causes vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, fever and sudden death in cats.
Why does my puppy or kitten need a series of vaccines?
A puppy or kitten drinks immunizing antibodies in its mother's first milk (colostrum). Those maternal antibodies provide early protection against infectious diseases if Mom is vaccinated, however, they also neutralize the immunizing agents in vaccines. Maternal antibodies naturally decline during the first eight to twelve weeks of life and eventually disappear. This is the reason why puppies and kittens receive a series of vaccinations. This series allows the immune system to develop a young ones own antibodies as the maternal antibodies decrease, providing long term protection.
What is a booster?
"Booster" refers to repeating a vaccine that had been previously administered. The additional vaccinations will "BOOST" the level of immunity in your pet.
Is the cost of my pet's next booster already paid for since I got a package?
Each time your pet visits us for the another vaccination, a fee will apply for each vaccine and/or service performed. We do not offer prepayment of services. For prices, click here.
What if my pet misses a booster vaccine? Must I start the series over?
The following is an excerpt from veterinarypartner.com sponsored by the Veterinary Information Network (VIN.)
"How long this maternal antibody lasts in a given animal is totally individual. It can depend on the birth order of the babies, how well they nursed, and a number of other factors. Maternal antibodies against different diseases wear off after different times. We DO know that by 16 to 20 weeks of age, maternal antibodies are gone and the baby must be able continue on its own immune system.
While maternal immunity is present in the puppy’s system, any vaccines given will be inactivated. Vaccines will not be able to "take" until maternal antibody has sufficiently dropped. Puppies and kittens receive a series of vaccines ending at a time when we know the baby's own immune system should be able to respond. We could simply wait until the baby is old enough to definitely respond as we do with the rabies vaccination but this could leave a large window of vulnerability if the maternal antibody wanes early. To give babies the best chance of responding to vaccination, we vaccinate intermittently (usually every 2 to 4 weeks) during this period, in hope of gaining some early protection."
So from reading the excerpt above you understand that the vaccines are not based on previous vaccinations but more so the timing they are given to offer the best protection. We encourage you to follow the recommended protocol outlined at the time of your first puppy/kitten visit for the protection of your pet from contagious disease. But if you miss a booster, the series can be continued . It is not necessary to re-start the series. These vaccinations are given in a series to protect your pet as their immune system grows stronger, therefor we stress the importance of continuing the series as directed. Until the series is complete, your puppy and/or kitten is not fully protected from the contagious diseases.
Also, following the outlined series is important because the consecutive vaccination will produce a much greater response if it is following a vaccine given 2 to 4 weeks prior therefor offering the best protection for your pet.
How long does the Rabies vaccine last?
The first Rabies vaccine a pet receives is good for 1 year. As the immune system develops in adult pets, the immunity is carried for longer. We offer a 3 year Rabies vaccine for adult pets that have been vaccinated for Rabies previously. Previous proof of vaccination REQUIRED.
How old must my pet be to receive a Rabies vaccine?
Your pet must be at least 12 weeks of age to receive the Rabies vaccination.
Will I receive a Rabies Certificate, rabies tag, and proof of my vaccinations?
Yes. We will provide you with all necessary documentation. You will receive a copy of your vaccine certificate at the time the vaccinations are administered. You will also receive a rabies tag. Although this tag is not proof of the vaccine, it does serve as identification, but should not replace your standard ID tags. Licenses can be obtained through some pet stores,the county or many county licenses are now available for purchase online. For Pennsylvania Dog Licenses online visit www.PADOGLICENSE.com
Do you perform a physical exam prior to vaccinating? Is there a charge for this exam?
Yes we do a full physical exam before administering any vaccinations. There is no charge for this exam with the purchase of most vaccine packages. The exam fee is $40 regular price. Any findings made during the physical will be outlined on your vaccine certificate as well as any recommendations our veterinarian made at the time of the physical.
What happens if my pet is found to be sick or unhealthy during the physical exam?
If we feel that vaccinating your pet would further compromise your pet's health, we will decline to vaccinate. Depending on the condition, we may be able to provide treatment at the clinic and recommend you return for your vaccinations at a later date. If the condition is more complex, we will refer you to a local veterinary hospital for treatment. We will follow up with you to check in and see how your pet is feeling and/or recovering. Your pet's health is our number one concern.
My pet has an ear infection, but is not due for vaccines, is there any charge for the exam then?
Our exams are always free with vaccine purchase. If your pet does not need any additonal services besides the exam, there is a $40 exam fee, regular price. Exam only $35 with cash discount. We will offer information regarding the condition and when possible treatment. There are many remedies for common ailments available over the counter and many that can be addressed naturally and with proper diet.
* Please understand, we may not be able to assist with every condition, and if your pet is seriously ill, please seek treatment at a local, full-service veterinary hospital.
Do you charge a medical waste fee?
No. Any and all additional fees we may incur are incorporated into the price of our vaccines. There are no hidden fees. The price you see is the price you will pay. If your pet is in need of antibiotics, additional fees will be applied based on the antibiotic and dose required. These fees will be discussed with you at the time of the exam if necessary. We also discount the price of the antibiotics we stock. If we do not stock the antibiotic your pet needs, we may be able to script the medication out or will refer you a local veterinary hospital for treatment.
Why do you not offer certain other vaccinations such as Corona for my dog, or FIP for my cat?
Certain vaccinations are not considered necessary due to the incidence of the disease in your area or risk of exposure, disease process , or the efficacy of certain vaccinations. If we have concerns with certain vaccinations or their effectiveness, we may not offer these vaccinations. If the vaccine is not needed, we believe your pet should not be exposed to the vaccine or any possible side effects related to the vaccine unnecessarily. We are concerned for the health and well being of your pet and unnecessary exposure to vaccinations may result in more serious health problems in the future..
What do I do if my pet has a reaction to a vaccination?
Some muscle soreness, lethargy, mild fever and lack of appetite persisting for a day or two are considered common reactions to stimulation of the immune system. Vaccine reactions beyond this are unusual but possible.
If your pet experiences facial swelling or hives, this is a medical emergency. We carry with us medication to counteract these reactions. If it is after the clinic time or the clinic location is a distance from your home, it is imperative you take your pet to a local veterinary hospital or emergency facility in your area. A severe reaction can cause shock and sometimes even death. Affordable Pet Vaccines Inc. is not responsible for any fees acrued related to the treatment of an allergic reaction at any veterinary facilty.
Frequent vomiting post vaccination may be indicative of an allergic reaction. Please be sure to monitor your pet closely.
After your pet has been treated, it is important to notify us of any reaction so that we may take precautions prior to vaccinating your pet in the future. Please contact us either by phone or email if this situation occurs. We will discuss the situation and inform you of any and all precautions that need be taken prior to future vaccinations, whether with us or any other facility that may vaccinate your pet. It is extremely important if you are aware of a vaccine reaction in your pet with a previous vaccination that you inform us, OR ANY OTHER FACILITY that may administer vaccinations to your pet in the future prior to your pet receiving any vaccinations.
Why do you not offer ferret vaccinations?
There is high rate of allergic reaction to vaccination in ferrets. Reactions to vaccines can occur at any time in ferrets. It is believed that previously vaccinated ferrets may be at a even higher risk for vaccine reaction. Even with the new vaccines developed for ferrets, reaction can still occur and have been reported. Be sure whoever is vaccinating your ferret is using a ferret approved vaccination. It is important when your ferret is vaccinated that you allow at least 30 minutes post vaccination to stay close to the hospital in the event of a reaction. Most reactions in ferrets are severe and require anti-histamine injections, corticosteroids and fluid therapy to counteract reaction.
What is a vaccine titer and can you perform vaccination titers?
A vaccine titer is a blood test that measures the antibody level a dog or cat is carrying against a certain virus. We can perform these titers through a laboratory and will email you with the results when we receive them from the lab. If you are interested in titers, please call or email us. We will be happy to discuss titers, pricing and recommendations regarding titer or vaccination on your pet's individual basis.
Can I get prescriptions?
Yes, we do prescriptions for our clients if it is a medication we do not stock, if it is considered safe to script these medications and if the medication does not need to be monitored. If a medication does need to be monitored we will advise you of monitoring requirements which may or may not be handled by our clinic. We also carry with us common antibiotics as well as prescription creams and ointments to treat certain ailments.
Do you offer spay/neuter services?
We do offer these services at our Wellness Center, Affordable Pet Wellness Express located in Whitehall PA. Click here for more information.
At what age do you recommend Spaying/Neutering my pet?
The standard age for spaying and neutering is six (6) months. There are facilities that will spay or neuter your pet as early as 2 months, but six months is still the average.
Do you recommend I have my pet spayed or neutered?
Yes. It is not only what a responsible pet owner should do, but has positive health benefits, positive behavioral benefits as well as reduces pet population and unnecessary euthanasia of unwanted pets in shelters. Instead of breeding your pet, adopt another! Thousands of animals are euthanised every year, even pure bred dogs. If a friend just loves your dog so much, and wants one, ask them to go adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue.
Spaying a dog before their first heat cycle can almost eliminate the chance for mammary cancer (breast cancer.) After a dog's second heat cycle the risk that your dog will develop breast cancer is 1 in 4. Also females can develop a pyometra, an infection of the uterus, that is considered a medical emergency. The pet must undergo emergency treatment and surgery. Please educate yourself on all the benefits of spaying and neutering. There is an unlimited amount of information available online explaining the benefits. Below are just a few links.
What is Canine Influenza (flu) and do you offer the vaccination?
Canine Influenza or the Canine Flu is a respiratory tract disease that is similar to Kennel Cough. The disease seems to occur most frequently in high density dog populations such as boarding facilities, grooming shops, shelters, daycare, dog parks, dog shows, and dog race tracks where it was first identified in 2005.
The infection rate is high since this is a new virus and no dogs have a natural immunity to it at this time. Potentially every dog exposed may develop the disease. 50-80% of dogs will develop symptoms of the flu, coughing, listlessness, fever, and a "snotty nose." Most of these dogs will recover with supportive care such as antibiotics. A small percentage of these dogs may develop pneumonia and require more aggressive veterinary care. The mortality rate for this disease is low and ranges from 1-8% depending on what reports you read.
For more information please follow the links below.
Veterinary Partner, The Pet Health Library, Canine Influenza
VP Client Information Sheets, Canine Influenza
Vaccine Now Available
APV offers the Nobivac ® BIVALENT Canine Influenza Vaccine by Merck. Every dog vaccinated for the first time does requires a booster in 2-4 weeks after the initial dose. Annual re-vaccination is recommended. This series should be given at least 7 days prior to the dog entering a high risk environment such as boarding kennel, grooming shop, dog show etc. Not every dog is a candidate for the vaccine, but only those who are at high risk of being exposed. The price for this vaccine is $35 with cash discount.
Do you offer fecal examinations?
Yes we offer fecal examinations. Fecals require about 1 tablespoon of fecal material for accurate testing. So we only need a small stool sample. Please bring in either an air tight container, or a sealed Ziploc® type baggie. The fee is $30 with the cash discount or $35 regular price. If giardia laboratory testing is recommeneded, the Giardia-Antigen fecal test is $40 with cash discount or $50 regular price.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and the CAPC (Companion Animal Paraite Council) recommend twice yearly examinations, although most clients elect annual fecal exams. This is especially important if you have children in your home. Please read the below referenced article from the CDC for more information.