We accommodate emergency appointments during normal business hours and offer a 24 hour on call Doctor. During normal business hours please call our offices in advance if possible for emergency instructions. After regular business hours and on holidays, life and death emergencies should contact the following:
Affiliated Veterinary Service ER
3444 Southside Blvd #103
Jacksonville, FL 32216
Appointments are available Monday – Friday 9:00am to 3:00pm, and Saturdays 8:00am – 1:00pm. Same day appointments are available for sick patients and emergencies. Please call us at (904) 363-2005 to set up an appointment that is convenient with your schedule.
At ACTLC, we understand that there may be times in which your pet’s medication may be obtained from alternative sources other than our hospital. We are always happy to call in a prescription for any medication that you wish to have filled at another pharmacy. We do not, however, deal directly with many sources including online pharmacies. You will need to mail or deliver your written script to these sources to have the medications filled.
We do deal directly with VetSource. This is our online pharmacy that has been thoroughly investigated by our staff and does receive product directly from the manufacture which is crucial to ensuring the quality of the medication. You can access VetSource from the home page through the online pharmacy button.
- Prescription Refills – So that we may accurately refill your pet’s medications we request as much notice as possible when refills are needed.
The fees we charge for services are based upon what is needed to maintain the high quality of care we are proud to provide. Payment is required at the time service is rendered. For your convenience, we accept cash, debit, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.
Pain can sometimes be difficult to identify. If you are not sure but suspect your dog or cat may be hurting, or is just not acting normally, call us to have an examination of your pet. Some signs of pain are more obvious, such as limping, but often signs are more subtle and can include: not eating, a change in behavior or normal habits, being more tired and having less energy. Of course, these symptoms can also be caused by many problems, so early observation and action is important.
The best time to spay or neuter your dog or cat is between the age of 4 to 6 months of age. However, it can be done at most any age. Exceptions to this recommendation can be discussed with our veterinarians on an individual basis.
Vaccines are an important part of your dog or cat’s health care and prevent serious diseases. Our veterinarians will make sure your pet avoids these serious diseases through annual wellness exams, vaccinations and parasite protection.
Description of Vaccines
Rabies Vaccine. Rabies is transmitted through by body fluids of most mammals but normally from bites of wild animals, particularly skunks, raccoons, bats and foxes. This disease can be transmitted to humans through the bite or scratch of an infected pet/animal. Puppies will first receive this vaccination at 16 weeks of age; then will be revaccinated at one year and then at 3 year intervals as required by law.
DA2P Vaccine. This is a “3-way” canine vaccine that vaccinates against canine distemper, adenovirus type 2, and parvovirus. Distemper and parvovirus are often times fatal, especially in puppies and is why it is boostered multiple times. Puppies can be vaccinated as early as 6 weeks and are boostered every 3 weeks until 16 weeks of age. Adult dogs are then revaccinated every 3 years.
Bordetella & CIV. Also known as “kennel cough” and “canine flu”. We recommend these vaccines when a patient will be boarding, grooming, or in any situation where they will come into contact with other pets (dog care, obedience, parks, etc.).
Rabies Vaccine. . Rabies is transmitted through by body fluids of most mammals but normally from bites of wild animals, particularly skunks, raccoons, bats and foxes. This disease can be transmitted to humans through the bite or scratch of an infected pet/animal. Kittens will first receive this vaccination at 16 weeks of age; then will be revaccinated every 1 -3 years as required by law.
RVRCP Vaccine. This is a “3-way” feline vaccine that vaccinates against feline distemper (aka panlukopenia), rhinotrachetitis, and calici. Kittens can be vaccinated as early as 6 weeks and are boostered every 3 weeks until 16 weeks of age. Adult cats are then revaccinated every 3 years.
Feline Leukemia Vaccine. This is recommended for kittens and cats that are of “high risk,” such as indoor / outdoor cats and kittens.
Also called Infectious Tracheobronchitis, it is easily transmitted through the air. It is caused by viruses and or bacteria that affect the respiratory system of dogs. Frequent vaccination is the best way to reduce the severity of this respiratory disease.
Lyme is a disease transmitted by ticks. It is a chronic illness that can lead to major organ failure in dogs. The vaccine is recommended for dogs and puppies that are considered “high risk due to the life style of your pet”. This includes dogs that spend time outdoors in wooded or grassy areas, such as dog parks, campgrounds, hunting fields/meadows/ponds, and/or dogs that visit Lyme-endemic areas of the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic or upper Midwest. Florida is now considered as a Lyme disease state.
Yearly blood work should be performed to detect infections and diseases, helping us to identify disease early. In many situations early detection is essential for more effective treatment. The type of blood work will be determined specifically for each pet depending on his or her individual needs. This annual blood test is convenient to do at the time of your pet’s annual heartworm test but can be done at any time of the year.
Heartworm disease is a serious disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes and if left untreated can be fatal. We recommend all dogs be given year round heartworm medication. Your dog will need to be tested with a simple blood test for heartworm disease on an annual basis. Heartworm prevention is administered once a month either by pill or by topical application. Depending on the specific product you and your veterinarian choose for your pet, heartworm prevention medication can prevent other parasite infestations including internal parasites (intestinal parasites) and external parasites (fleas and ticks).
Dogs can get sick (vomiting, diarrhea, and /or death) if placed on heartworm prevention when they have severe heartworm disease. Even if they have been on heartworm prevention year round there is always the possibility that they product may have failed for various reasons (your pet spit out the pill, did not absorb the pill appropriately, topical medicine was not applied properly, forgot to administer medication on time, etc.) and the earlier we can treat you pet for heartworm disease the better the prognosis. Some companies will guarantee their product providing you use the heartworm prevention year round and are performing a yearly heartworm test. When starting heartworm prevention, or if your pet has not been on heartworm prevention year round, it is important that you perform an initial heartworm test and another heartworm test 6-7 months after starting the prevention to rule out the prior infection completely. During the early stages of development, some larvae are not detectable by the test. It may take a full 6-7 months before they can be detected, which is why we need to repeat the testing later after starting preventative.
Yes. Heartworm disease is a blood-borne disease that is transmitted through mosquitoes and all mosquitoes get into houses.
It is important to prevent fleas. We recommend all dogs and cats be given a monthly flea preventive regardless of lifestyle. Not only are they uncomfortable for your pet, fleas are also carriers of many diseases. There are many medications for the treatment and prevention of fleas. Some medications are in a combined form with the monthly heartworm treatment. Although fleas are more prevalent in summer months, fleas are seen year round.
We believe an annual professional dental exam is necessary to maintain your dog and cat’s healthy teeth and gums. As your pet ages or his or her health needs change, advanced dental care may be required. Your pet’s teeth and mouth should be examined by us on a regular basis.
Yes. Proper dental care at home is highly recommended to help maintain the oral health of your dog. Home dental care for companion animals should start early, even before the adult teeth erupt. It is best if owners brush their dogs teeth as they would their own. Although tooth brushing is the best method of preventing plaque, calculus, and bacterial build-up, there are many options for dental home care. Other oral home care options such as dental formulated foods, water additives, and dental treats should be considered.
If your pet is on a special diet, or on any medications, you should bring these with you to the hospital. You may also bring toys, bedding or special items for your pet to feel more comfortable.
Please do not feed your pet after 6pm the evening before a scheduled procedure and no water after 6am the morning of surgery. Plan to arrive at the office between 7:00 – 7:30am and allow 30 minutes for check in procedures.
In preparation for the procedure, your pet will receive:
- Pre-anesthetic exam
- Pre-anesthetic bloodwork (if required)
- Premedication to ease anxiety and to smooth induction and recovery from anesthesia.
- Placement of an intravenous catheter to deliver medications and fluids that support blood pressure and organ function (High risk patients).
At ACTLC, we take all anesthetic cases very seriously. We utilize the safest, multi-modal approach that is individualized for each dog or cat. It includes injectable medications for sedation and pain management as well as gas anesthetic agents. The combination of a pre-anesthetic assessment of your pet (including blood work), use of modern anesthetic agents, and the latest anesthetic monitoring equipment means that anesthesia is generally considered to be a very low risk for your pet. When we place your dog or cat safely under general anesthesia, a breathing tube is inserted into the trachea (windpipe) to administer oxygen mixed with the anesthetic gas. Once the procedure is completed and the anesthetic is turned off, oxygen is continued to be delivered to your pet until your pet wakes up and the tube is removed.
We closely monitor your pet during the procedure and the recovery process using advanced monitoring equipment. Parameters often monitored include oxygen concentration in the blood stream (pulse oximetry), electrocardiogram (EKG), core body temperature, respiratory rate, and blood pressure.
The monitoring findings allows us to perform safe anesthesia procedures.
A multi-modal approach refers to the layered administration of small amounts of different medications to achieve the desired levels of anesthesia and pain management. We administer lower doses of each individual anesthetic which generally equates to, fewer side effects, complete pain relief and faster post-operative recovery.
At ACTLC we believe in performing surgery with advanced pain management techniques because we want to maximize the comfort of your pet during and after his/her procedure. Comfort control improves your dog or cat’s recovery and speeds the healing process. We administer pain medication before beginning the procedure, during and post-operatively as needed by your pet.
Anesthesia in otherwise healthy, older pets is considered safe. It is important to have recommended pre-operative testing performed prior to anesthesia to check major organ functions and allow us to tailor the anesthesia to any pre-existing medical conditions.
Prior to anesthesia, patients with kidney disease should be fully evaluated with blood tests, urinalysis, and possible ultrasound. Cardiology patients should also be evaluated including blood test and echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart).
You will receive a call when your pet is in recovery from the procedure. If there are any abnormalities on pre-anesthetic exam of blood work, you will receive a call prior to the procedure in case we need to change plans. Rest assured that you will be contacted immediately should the need arise.
Pets undergoing outpatient procedures will be ready to go by close of business the same day unless noted otherwise during the post-operative phone update.
Answers to common questions after our pet returns home following surgery
Decreased appetite can occur after surgery. There are several things you can try:
- Offer favorite foods or treats
- Warm the food slightly above room temperature to increase the odor/taste
- Some pets like low-sodium chicken/beef broth or chicken baby food. These can be fed alone or in addition to regular pet food.
If the bandage becomes soiled, damp, chewed, or chewed off, please do not re-bandage at home. Duct tape and or other home items can trap moisture within the cast/bandage causing inflammation of the skin and tissues. In some cases, bandages inappropriately applied at home can even cut off the circulation to the extremity causing additional medical issues. Call us immediately if you have concerns about your pet’s bandage at 904-363-2005. Confine your pet to a single room or similar small area until you can call us and we can advise you to whether the bandage needs to be replaced. After a cast or splint is first removed, it may take 1-2 weeks for your pet to become accustomed to using the leg without the splint.
Difficulty having bowel movements can be expected after illness, anesthesia, or surgery. It may take a few days for the gastrointestinal system to return to normal function. Fortunately, it is not vital for our pets to pass a stool on a regular daily basis. Please call if your pet has not passed a stool within 72 hours of discharge from the hospital or appears to be straining to defecate.
Although vocalizing can indicate discomfort, it is usually not a sign of pain (instinctively most pets will not vocalize because in the wild, this would alert predators). Often, pets vocalize due to the excitement or agitation that they feel when leaving the hospital and returning to their familiar home environment. If crying or whining is mild and intermittent, you may simply monitor the situation. If vocalization persists, please call us for advice at 904-363-2005. In some cases, a sedative may be prescribed or pain medication may be adjusted.
Diarrhea may be seen after hospitalization. This can be caused by change in diet but is more commonly caused by the stress of being away from home. Certain medications prescribed to your pet may also cause diarrhea. If no blood is noted in the diarrhea, feed your pet a bland diet for 2 – 3 days to help the digestive tract get back to normal. If the diarrhea is bloody, lasts longer than 12 – 24 hours or if your pet becomes lethargic or vomits, please contact us immediately at 904-363-2005. You can purchase a nutritionally complete bland food from us that is available in cans or kibble. Alternatively, you may feed cooked/steamed rice mixed with an equal volume of low sodium chicken broth, boiled chicken, chicken baby food or cooked turkey. Very lean, boiled hamburger meat can be substituted as well. Feed small meals every 4 – 6 hours. We do NOT recommend using any over the counter medication to treat diarrhea. Please call us if there are any questions or problems.
We rely on you to keep the E-collar on your pet. While they may not enjoy it initially, they will enjoy even less having to come back to our office for a recheck visit to repair an incision that has been chewed open. They will need to wear the collar for an even longer period if this happens. Most pets become accustomed to the collar within one or two days and they can eat, sleep and drink with it on.
If for any reason you suspect that your pet has reinjured the surgical site, confine your pet and call us immediately at 904-363-2005 for advice.
Despite the medications we have prescribed, some pets will still show signs of pain at home, such as restlessness/inability to sleep, poor appetite, lameness or tenderness at the site of surgery. Please confine your pet to limit their activity and call us at 904-363-2005 immediately so we can dispense or prescribe additional medication or therapies as necessary to keep your pet comfortable.
In any healing surgical area, fluid produced during the healing process may accumulate and form a seroma (fluid pocket). Fortunately, this is not painful and does not impair the healing process. Eventually, the body will reabsorb the fluid so if the seroma is small, we will typically leave it alone. We may wish to recheck the area to ensure there is no infection.
This is a very common response to physiologic stress after surgery, injury, or any other health abnormality. The amount of shaking or trembling may be dramatic, but it does not imply severe pain, cold, or distress. It may involve the entire body, or just the area of surgery. It is most noticeable in the first 5 to 7 days post-operatively, and typically subsides in 1 – 2 weeks. If there are signs of pain such as restlessness, lack of appetite, or crying out, please call us at 904-363-2005.
Some pets may urinate less after surgery or may seem to be unable to control urination. This is usually temporary and may be a side effect of medication, anesthesia drugs, or difficulty assuming “the position” to urinate. Please call if your pet has not produced urine for more than 12 – 24 hours. Many pets initially drink less after returning home, so expect less urination at first.
An episode or two of vomiting is occasionally seen after surgery or anesthesia. If the vomiting continues, blood is noted in the vomitus, or if your pet is not holding down any food or water, call to schedule a recheck of your pet by a veterinarian.