Frequently Asked Questions
Questions regarding our services during COVID-19:
Are we open?
- Yes! We are currently conducting curbside service according to our regular business hours.
Can I still board my pet?
- Yes! Our intake for boarding and daycare will be conducted curbside.
- Recently, we renovated our upper kennel to make your pet’s stay even more comfortable.
How does curbside work?
- Upon your arrival, call our phone number (205-823-5433) and tell us which vehicle you are in. A team member will come out to your vehicle, discuss your medical concerns with you, and will bring your pet inside our facility to address any needs.
- Afterwards, a doctor or team member will call you to discuss next steps. If you wish to stay in the parking lot during the exam, you are welcome to OR you can also take advantage of our convenient drop-off option.
- After your pet is treated, a team member will call and let you know that they are ready to go home. A team member will then bring your pet out to you and discuss any medications.
I would like to come inside for my appointment, is that an option?
- If you wish to make an appointment inside the building, we request that you schedule it with Dr. Stumpff. Let us know ahead of time and then arrangements can be made for you to come inside.
- We request that no more than one person be present per pet and that you wear a mask upon entering the building. Exceptions can be made for additional guests coming inside for end of life services, as long as we are informed in advance.
- If you are experiencing any clinical signs of illness or have been exposed to COVID, please let us know in advance.
How do I pay?
- A team member can take your credit card inside to process the payment and will deliver it back to you OR you can call our number (205-823-5433) to make your payment over the phone. We also take cash and checks.
Do I need to wear a mask?
- A mask is always preferred for all conversations and is required if you enter the building.
- Based on CDC guidelines, we recommend that you maintain social distancing as much as possible during your visit–and we will do the same!
What is AVC doing to take precautions as a result of COVID-19?
- We have increased our cleaning protocols of high-touch surfaces as recommended in the CDC guidelines. We are also practicing social distancing, wearing masks, and checking temperatures of all staff members before they arrive at work. So far, we have been very fortunate to have no cases of COVID among our staff!
When will you re-open your lobby?
- Dr. Stumpff is monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely. When she feels that the risk has declined enough and that it is socially responsible to open up the lobby again, then she will communicate this via social media and email to all clients.
- We are taking our responsibility to our community, clients, patients, and staff members very seriously during this pandemic. We are putting forth our absolute best effort to always keep everyone as safe as possible from the risk of COVID, while making every effort to maintain effective communication.
General FAQ Questions:
What types of pets does AVC treat?
- We primarily treat dogs and cats. Please call us if you have any other specific individual inquiries or questions.
What info about my pet should I bring to the visit?
- If your pet has received vaccines elsewhere, we recommend bringing your medical records (including your vaccine history) to your visit so that we can formulate a wellness plan for you.
- You may also bring in a stool sample for a discount.
How long will my visit take?
- While every appointment is different, a regular scheduled visit with one of our veterinarians generally takes about 30 minutes to an hour. It could take longer, however, if your pet is in need of any additional procedures or diagnostics.
How do I know when my pet is need of veterinary care?
- Pets cannot communicate with us, so by the time they show clinical signs of disease, they have likely been sick for several days. Therefore, when you first notice that your pet is experiencing health issues, please bring them to see us immediately.
- Some signs that your pet may need immediate medical attention:
- Eye irritation, especially if the pet is holding an eye closed
- Refusing to eat, especially if they miss two or more meals
- Vomiting more than once
- Straining to eliminate, especially for cats
- Difficulty breathing
- Itching, or wounds
- Diarrhea with blood in it
- Please call us at (205) 823-5433 if you have ANY concerns that your pet is acting abnormally.
What if my pet has an after-hours problem/emergency?
- There are two emergency veterinary clinics available to use in Birmingham: Steel City Emergency Vets and Veterinary Specialists of Birmingham. If your pet is experiencing a severe emergency during the day, we recommend that you visit Veterinary Specialists of Birmingham, as they are a 24-hour emergency clinic. Their contact information can be found on our "Referrals" tab.
How often should my pet have exams and bloodwork?
- Your pet should be examined a minimum of once per year. Elderly pets as well as puppies and kittens should visit AVC for more frequent exams. Your pet should have their bloodwork checked once a year at a minimum. If your pet is on chronic medications, has pre-existing health problems, or is getting sedated, then bloodwork should be done more frequently.
At what age do I need to start bringing my puppy or kitten to AVC for their first exam?
- Always bring your pet in immediately after you adopt them to check for wellness and make sure they don’t have any parasites. If they are 6 weeks or older, then they will need start their vaccination series.
What will my new puppy or kitten need for preventative care?
- Puppies and kittens that are 6 weeks of age or older will need to start their vaccine series.
- AVC’s protocol is as follows: vaccines and wellness check-ups every 4 weeks starting from 6 weeks of age or older depending on when you adopt them, with the last core vaccine falling between 17 to 20 weeks of age. For more detailed information about the puppy and kitten vaccine series, please consult our “Wellness” tab under “Services” on our website.
At what age should I have my pet spayed/neutered?
- The appropriate age to spay/neuter your pet varies depending on their gender and breed. For cats and most small to medium-sized dogs, it is recommended to spay/neuter at 6 months of age. Please consult your veterinarian regarding large breed dogs, but typically the appropriate age to spay/neuter is between 6 months to 1 year.
How do I refill my pet’s medications?
- You may log in through our online store (found under the “VetSource Pharmacy” tab) and have your pet’s refills shipped straight to your door from our own supplier. If you need your pet’s medications refilled at a local pharmacy or if you wish to pick them up at AVC, you may call in your request at 205-823-5433. Please allow 4 to 24 hours for refills.
What kinds of heartworm and flea prevention does AVC carry?
- For heartworm prevention, we carry Sentinel, Heartgard, Advantage Multi, and Proheart injection. For flea prevention, we carry Nexgard, Bravecto, and Seresto collars.
- The type of prevention that is right for your pet will vary depending on your lifestyle and your pet’s specific needs. Please consult your veterinarian to discuss which prevention(s) are right for you and your pet.
Where will my pet be kept during his/her stay?
- Pets that require monitoring or IV therapy will be kept in our hospitalization area, which is within our treatment room. Pets that are stable and awaiting care will be boarded in our lower boarding facility. Pets that are participating in daycare or are boarding will stay in our newly renovated upper boarding facility.
How do I pay?
- Payment is due at time of service.
- We accept Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, as well as CareCredit®. We also accept checks and cash.