Antelope Valley's best 16 years running


Antelope Valley Animal Hospital
1326 W. Avenue N
Palmdale, CA 93551
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I have a new puppy/kitten, what should I do to keep them healthy?
We recommend a complete physical exam within 48-72 hours after you have acquired the pet. When arriving for your exam please have any records given to you by the breeder, store, rescue, or shelter, as it will ensure any prior procedures and vaccines given will be entered onto your new pets record. You should also bring a fresh stool sample to test for parasites. Make sure to write down any questions you may have for the doctor to ensure none go unanswered. Puppies and kittens will require a series of vaccines, (outlined under “What vaccines does my dog/cat need?”). Yearly physical exams, routine dental exams and vaccines are recommended for all pets to ensure they stay healthy and happy throughout the years.

When is the best time to have my pet spayed/neutered?
When your pet is 4-6 months of age.

Why should I have my pet spayed/neutered?
The obvious answer is to help control the pet population, but many people are unaware that, the best answer is your pets health. Unaltered pets have an increased risk of medical issues such as:

  • Male dogs and cats have an increased chance of prostate disease and cancer.
  • Female dogs have an increased chance of mammary tumors, uterine and ovarian cancers and a uterine infection known as pyometria. Females spayed before the first heat cycle (which occurs at approximately 6 months) significantly reduce the chance of these hormone related diseases.
  • Male dogs and cats tend to roam more often than those that are unaltered.
  • Male cats tend to spray and mark their territory causing unwanted odors.
  • Training can become more difficult in male dogs.
What are the procedures for my pets surgery?
The evening prior to your pets scheduled surgery no food should be given, including treats, after 6:00pm although you can keep water available. The day of surgery we require your pet to be admitted by a doctor, for a pre-surgical exam, between 8:00am-9:00am. An estimate of fees along with an admission form will need to be reviewed and signed. Upon picking your pet up the following morning we will provide you with written post surgical care instructions. If sutures were placed they will need to be removed 10 days after surgery. Please write down and feel free to ask any questions you may have for the doctor to ensure none go unanswered.

What vaccines does my dog need and how often are the vaccines given?

Puppies (starting at 6 weeks of age) are vaccinated with a DHPPC vaccine, then receive a vaccine booster every 3-4 weeks until 6 months of age. (to stimulate the immune system to fight against virus’) Dogs (over 6 months of age) are given a DHPPC vaccine booster every 1-3yr (to help maintain immunity against virus’) 

DHPPC Vaccine
This vaccine protects against:
D=Distemper; a highly contagious respiratory/intestinal virus
H=Hepatitis: a highly contagious virus affecting the liver
P=Parainfluenza: a contagious respiratory virus
P=Parvo; a highly contagious gastrointestinal virus
C=Corona; similar to Parvo

L.A. County requires dogs be vaccinated against Rabies.
Puppies receive the first vaccine at 4 months of age; the vaccine is valid for 1 year.
Dogs receive a booster at 1 year of age; this vaccine is valid for 3 years, and subsequently every 3 years.

Optional Vaccines offered:

Rattlesnake Vaccine
(This vaccine is recommended in our area to help control the effect of rattlesnake venom if your dog is bit by a rattlesnake), Ask your veterinarian if this vaccine is right for your dog.

Bordetella Vaccine
(This vaccine is recommended for dogs that visit dog parks, boarding or grooming facilities to help protect against kennel cough)

Lyme Vaccine
(This vaccine is recommended if visiting an area infested with ticks to help protect against Lyme disease)

What if I miss or skip one of my puppies vaccines?
Don’t panic, a few days is ok just be sure to resume the schedule as soon as possible. If it has been longer than three weeks please consult your veterinarian for further information. You will also want to keep you puppy away from potentially infectious areas; such as dog parks, boarding kennels or grooming facilities.

What vaccines does my cat need, and how often are the vaccines given?
(starting at 6-8 weeks of age) are given 2 vaccine boosters, 3-4 weeks apart. (to stimulate the immune system to fight against virus’).

receive a vaccine booster every 1-3yr (to help maintain immunity against virus’)

L.A. County requires cats be vaccinated against Rabies. Kittens receive the first vaccine at 4 months of age; the vaccine is valid for 1 year. Cats receive a booster at 1 year of age; this vaccine is valid for 3 years, and subsequently every 3 years.

4-1 Vaccine
A combination vaccine consisting of contagious respiratory virus’: Rhinotracheites, Calici, Panleukopenia & Clamydia 

FeLV Vaccine 

This vaccine helps protect against Feline Leukemia * Recommend testing for Feline Leukemia at 10 weeks of age * Can be combined with 4-1 series

Do you hold a vaccine clinic?
Yes, we offer a vaccine clinic every Wednesday evening from 6:00pm-7:30pm. If you believe your pet to be healthy and not in need of a physical exam, vaccines will be offered at our standard vaccine rates. By attending the vaccine clinic, you will be saving the cost of an exam or office visit fee as no exams or other procedures will be performed at this time. However, we highly recommend yearly physical exams.

Should I micro-chip my dog and cat?
Yes!! All pets should have permanent identification, even if they are an inside pet, L.A. County requires it. If your pet gets out and is lost, the best way for any agency to identify them is with a micro-chip. Collars can be removed or slipped off, a micro-chip will ensure you and your pet will be reunited as soon as possible. The process is simple and involves an injection between the shoulder blades to insert the chip; you then will register your pet with the micro-chip company.

How much should I feed my pet?
Different pets have different nutritional needs. Twice a day feedings are recommended to keep glucose levels stable and to keep your pet from feeling hungry. Feeding your pet snacks also will factor into their nutritional needs, remember to decrease the amount of food at meal time if snacks are given. No more than 10% of the daily intake should be snacks, no human food should be substituted as a snack or for a meal. A managed diet (recommendations of pet food bags/cans are only suggestions) and moderate exercise are best. Always check with your veterinarian about the right dietary needs for your pet.

How can I tell if my pet has a fever?
Use a rectal thermometer, lubricate it with petroleum jelly and insert it approximately 1 inch into the rectum. The normal temperature for dogs and cats is 102f; any temperature above 102.5f should result in contacting your veterinarian. Temperatures 105f and above requires emergency care. If high temperatures continue for a long period of time, serious side effects could occur including permanent brain damage and or death.

How do I brush my dogs’ teeth?
Always use veterinary toothpaste, as human toothpaste has foaming agents and could be toxic when swallowed. Many types of brushes and flavored toothpastes are available. Use the toothbrush on all surfaces of the teeth, especially the back molars, 1-2 times daily. It is best to start your dog with this process when they are young. Along with professional dental cleanings, brushing your dogs teeth will have long term benefits to their gums and overall health. Please visit the Dental Care portion of this web-site for more information.

How can I remove a tick from my pet safely?
Ticks can be removed with tweezers applied to the portion of the ticks head closest to the skin. Pull gently, with steady pressure. Examine the tick to ensure the whole head has been removed. Clean the site with soap and warm water then rinse well. Ticks should be removed as soon as possible, transfer of infectious disease can take place within 72 hours, and heavy infestations may lead to other serious conditions. Control options are available such as flea and tick baths as well as collars or once a month agents such as Frontline. Always consult your veterinarian before use of these products to discuss which option is right for you.

I have a feral cat in my neighborhood, but can’t catch it, how do I go about having the cat fixed?
You will need to trap the cat. The shelter as well as some pet and feed stores offer cat traps for rental or purchase. Place a tasty meal into the trap to entice the cat. It is not necessary to make an appointment for a feral cat; but please call our office to inform us prior to your arrival. Bring a regular cat carrier with you for us to place the cat in after surgery. We highly recommend that the cat’s ear is tipped while under anesthesia, as it will be easily identified as a feral cat that has been spayed or neutered.


Monday - Friday
8am - 12pm & 3pm - 6pm
Saturday - 8am - 12pm 


Every Wednesday
No Appointment Necessary


Available During Office Hours
OR Antelope Valley Animal ER & Critical Care
at 661-729-1500 


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