Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions about coming to one of our clinics, please see our Frequently Asked Questions below. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, feel free to email us or give us a call at 210-444-9237.

How do I know when you will be at a location near me?

Please check out calendar for a complete list of upcoming events.

How do can I access my pet’s vaccine records?

Your pet’s invoice and rabies certificate will be emailed to you at the time of service. At this time you may also request that your pet’s vaccine record be emailed as well; or, you can request access to your online client account. Upon setting up the account with our clinic staff, you will be able to access your pet’s vaccine records from your phone or computer.

Can I get a printed copy of my invoice, vaccine record, or rabies certificate at a mobile clinic?

No, we are unable to provide printed copies of invoices, records, or rabies certificates at our mobile clinics. All documents are emailed immediately making them harder to lose and more accessible to you. If you are unable to receive your documents by email, please let our staff know and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.

How much do the vaccines cost?

The cost of the vaccines will depend on your pet’s lifestyle and needs. A pet that goes to dog parks, stores, boarding, or grooming will need more protection than a pet that stays exclusively at home. That said, every dog and cat should also be on Heartworm Prevention.

For an estimate on the vaccine cost for your pet and his/her needs, please visit one of our events to speak with a veterinarian or veterinary technician or call our office at 210-444-9237.

Can my pet get the 3 year rabies vaccine?

To receive a 3 year rabies vaccine, your pet must have received a 1 year rabies vaccine with Vanguard Veterinary Associates no more than 12 months prior, or a 3 year rabies vaccine with Vanguard Veterinary Associates no more than 36 months prior.

Can my pet be vaccinated at the mobile clinics if he/she has had a reaction?

No. Pets that have had vaccine reactions in the past must go to one of our full-service veterinary hospital for vaccinations. Vaccine reactive pets can still receive heartworm testing and prevention through our mobile clinic events.

Can my pet be vaccinated if he has been sick recently?

No. Pets should not be vaccinated if they have been ill in the past two weeks or are currently taking antibiotics or steroids. Vaccines have the potential to make a pet feel worse if they are currently fighting off an illness and steroids like Prednisone can impede the vaccines effectiveness.

Does my pet really need Heartworm Prevention?

Absolutely! Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes, making them prevalent and easily contracted through the United States. Heartworms cause serious damage to the heart and lungs. Pets that are positive for heartworms will likely not show any symptoms of heartworm infection until the damage has become too severe to treat, making it imperative that all dogs, inside and outside dogs, stay on heartworm prevention all year round.

You can read more about heartworms and heartworm disease at

Can my cat get heartworms?

Yes! Cats can contract heartworms through mosquito bites just like dogs and should be on a regular heartworm prevention. Due to differences in how heartworms affect the cat, cats do not require a heartworm test prior to starting a heartworm prevention regimen. Both indoor and outdoor cats should be on heartworm prevention.

How can I protect my dog from heartworms if he/she won’t take pills?

The Proheart 12 injection is a great option for dogs that are difficult to give oral heartworm preventions to.

Why does my dog need a heartworm test before getting heartworm prevention?

Because heartworms live in the circulatory system (in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels), care must be taken when getting rid of them. Dogs that are positive for heartworms run a higher risk of having a reaction to the heartworm prevention. Heartworm positive dogs should only receive heartworm prevention from a full-service veterinary hospital so that medical care is easily accessible should the pet have a reaction.

When can my puppy/kitten start getting vaccinated?

Puppies should start receiving vaccines and deworming medication at 6-8 weeks of age. Kittens should start receiving vaccines and deworming medication at 9 weeks of age.

When can my puppy go to the dog park, pet store, or groomer?

Puppies are at the highest risk for contagious diseases like parvo before and during their puppy vaccines. Puppies should be kept in controlled environments with low risk for exposure to contagions until 2 weeks after their last round of puppy vaccines.

A typical vaccine schedule for a puppy that starts vaccines at 8 weeks old is as follows:

8 weeks: Distemper/Parvo (DA2PP), deworm, begin heartworm prevention.

12 weeks: Distemper/Parvo (DA2PP), Rabies, Bordetella, Influenza, deworm, heartworm prevention.

16 weeks: Distemper/Parvo (DA2PP), Bordetella booster, Influenza booster, deworm, heartworm prevention.

Continue to return monthly for heartworm prevention until dog reaches adult weight.

What vaccines does my kitten need?

A typical vaccine schedule for kittens is as follows:

9 weeks: Feline Distemper (FVRCPC), heartworm prevention.

12 weeks: Rabies, Feline Distemper (FVRCPC), Feline Leukemia (FeLV), heartworm prevention.

16 weeks: Feline Distemper (FVRCPC), Feline Leukemia (FeLV), heartworm prevention.

Continue to return monthly for heartworm prevention or request a 6-12 month supply.

What is Parvovirus or Parvo?

Parvovirus, frequently shortened to “parvo”, is a highly contagious disease that affects puppies and young dogs. Parvovirus causes severe diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and loss of appetite. Parvovirus is considered a medical emergency due to the severity of the symptoms and how quickly a dog’s condition will deteriorate, typically 1-3 days from normal to emergency condition. The most effective treatment for this virus is 24-hour supportive care with IV fluids to combat dehydration and antibiotics to control secondary bacterial infections. Emergency and other 24-hour veterinary hospitals are the best option for a pet suspected or confirmed to have parvovirus.

The parvovirus vaccine is very effective in preventing the disease in dogs. Puppies should receive a parvovirus vaccine, commonly included in a combo vaccine – DA2PP – starting at 6-8 weeks old and receive a booster vaccine monthly until 16-20 weeks old, then revaccinate once annually. Puppies should be kept in controlled environments until they have been vaccinated completely for parvovirus.

For more information, go to:

What is Canine Distemper?

Canine distemper is a viral disease that first causes flu-like symptoms such as runny nose, nasal discharge, fever, coughing, and loss of appetite. The disease will progress to cause vomiting diarrhea, and then neurological damage including seizures, loss of balance, and tremors/twitching. This virus is very contagious and is spread through bodily secretions.

The canine distemper vaccine has been highly effective in preventing this disease. Puppies should receive a canine distemper vaccine, commonly included in a combo vaccine – DA2PP – starting at 6-8 weeks old and receive a booster vaccine monthly until 16-20 weeks old, then revaccinate once annually. Puppies should be kept in controlled environments until they have been vaccinated completely for canine distemper.

For more information, go to:

What is Bordetella or Kennel Cough?

Bordetella, commonly known as kennel cough, is a respiratory disease that causes a hacking/honking cough in dogs. Bordetella can lead to pneumonia if untreated. This disease is most commonly contracted in dog kennels and dog parks, so it is imperative that your pet be vaccinated for Bordetella if he/she goes to kennels, stores, or dog parks.

For more information, go to:

What is Canine Influenza?

Canine influenza is respiratory illness similar to the various human flu viruses. This virus causes cough, runny nose, fever, lethargy, eye discharge, and reduced appetite in dogs. It is most frequently contracted in kennels and dog parks and is transmitted in water droplets produced when coughing or sneezing.

For more information, go to: or

What is Leptospirosis or Lepto?

Leptospirosis, commonly known as Lepto, is a water-borne bacterial disease that causes acute kidney failure and fever in dogs. Lepto is transmitted in the urine of rodents like rats and squirrels. This disease is also zoonotic – meaning that it can be transmitted to humans. Any dogs with access to standing water like ponds, lakes, and puddles should be vaccinated for lepto. This vaccine can be combined with our DA2PP vaccine at no additional cost.

For more information, go to:

How can I get rid of fleas on my pet?

There are a variety of excellent flea control options available today, both oral products and topical products. Fleas must be treated for a minimum of 3 months to disrupt the larvae to adult life cycle of the flea. It is best to stay on flea prevention all year round.

Do I need to bring my pet to get flea prevention?

If…  a) we have not seen your pet at one of our vaccine clinics or full-service hospitals within the past year, or b) your pet has not yet reached its adult weight, you will need to bring your pet. If we have seen your pet within the past year and it has not gained or lost weight since your last visit, you do not need to bring your pet.

How did my pet get tapeworms?

Tapeworms are contracted through the ingestion (eating of) fleas. Even if you do not see fleas on your pet, he/she may still have exposure to fleas when going outside, from other animals, or just in too small of a quantity to spot with an untrained eye. The best way to prevent tapeworms is to prevent fleas. Vanguard Veterinary Associates carries a variety of flea prevention medications for dogs and cats.

Is there a shot for fleas?

There is currently no shot, or injectable form, of flea prevention. There are oral products in the form of pills and chewables and topical products, meaning applied to the skin.

Can I get my pet spayed or neutered at the mobile clinic?

Surgical procedures are not available at our mobile vaccine clinics, but our full services veterinary hospitals can perform various surgical procedures, including spaying and neutering.

At what age can my pet get spayed or neutered?

Both male and female dogs and cats can be neutered as early as 6 months. Larger dog breeds are recommended to wait until 9-12 months of age.

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