Ideally all consultations require an appointment, just call 4454 4949. However emergencies will be seen straight away during our opening hours of 8am to 6pm weekdays and 9am to 12 noon Saturdays. Just ring ahead to tell us you are coming and we will get prepared.

Pets undergoing a general anesthetic need to be food starved from 9 pm the previous night (this includes, bones, treats, dental chews and the cat’s food). Water should be removed at 6am the day of surgery and all members of the family should be reminded not to feed them at breakfast time. Drop off for surgery is between 8am and 10am.

Ferrets need only be starved from 6 am the day of surgery. Rabbits do not need to be starved and should be admitted with a one days worth of food in a container as we will get them eating soon after they wakeup.

We have an open phone policy meaning no question, worry or concern is considered too trivial. Phone us on 4454 4949 during opening hours and if our fully qualified nurse cannot assist she will organise one of our vets to call you back as soon as they are free.

The NSW Companion Animals Act compels anyone who finds and takes “responsibility” for a stray animal to immediately take them to a vet or council ranger for microchip scanning. This allows them to identify and contact the pet’s owners. Many people who find stray pets want to hold onto them until the owner is found not realising that they are breaking the law and risking significant fines.

If you are using Bravecto or Nexgard finding dead ticks is normal and means your product is working as it should. Otherwise there is a time lag between toxin injection and clinical symptoms. Measure the tick across the abdomen. If it is larger than 3-4mm and your pet is not resistant then you should seek veterinary attention ASAP. Once the toxin leaves your pets’ blood stream and binds to target sites the antitoxin we give becomes less effective.

Paralysis ticks classically cause a hind limb wobbly gait, gagging/coughing/vomiting and respiratory distress. However tick paralysis can mimic disease in just about any body symptom and do so in a time dependent manner.

After attachment ticks have a small blood feed then go into a 48 hour “paused state” as their body undergoes changes that allow it to subsequently feed, expand and concurrently inject the potent neurotoxin that kills many pets each year. Clinical symptoms generally occur 3-5 days after attachment and progress rapidly over 24 hours even after tick removal.

Early symptoms include change or loss of voice, hindlimb weakness [walk dogs up stairs 5-10 x or drop cats from chest height, tick affected dogs become stumbly/weak and cats will land heavily often with their chins hitting the floor], changes in breathing effort, gagging/grunting or coughing.

More advanced symptoms include an ascending paralysis where the forelimbs are affected, vomiting or regurgitation and marked respiratory noise.

Terminal symptoms include the inability to stand or sit upright and respiratory failure often combined with aspiration pneumonia.

If you suspect your pet has been envenomated [see below] seek veterinary attention immediately. Vets in the region use a multivalent antivenom which covers all of the local elapid snakes and like most antivenoms it is more effective the earlier it is given.

The most common snake in the region is the red belly black snake. Whilst relatively harmless to people, it can be deadly in cats and dogs. Bite sites can be hard to see but generally are swollen, bleed from the puncture sites and the skin surrounding often turns dark red or black. Envenomated pets will often show vomiting or diarrhoea then weakness/collapse with either death by respiratory failure or in some cases apparent recovery. The venom then lyses or “ruptures” red blood and muscle cells and the contents of these cells turns the urine a “port wine” colour.

We endeavour to provide an emergency after-hours call service for most of the year by leaving a contact mobile number on our answering machine. This is for genuine emergencies only which require an after-hours consult.

If your pet has a problem that is not life-threatening you can leave a message for us to call you back during opening hours or you can wait until tomorrow and call us then. We are open 8 am to 6 pm weekdays and 9 am to 12 noon Saturdays. We also check phone answering machine messages over the weekend at 5 pm Saturday and again at 9 am and 5 pm Sundays.

For genuine emergencies on the rare occasions when we do not have the staffing levels to have someone on call [ie no mobile number has been provided on the answering machine message] then you have a few options;

  1. Check the Yellow Pages for veterinarians in the Shoalhaven region offering a 24 hour emergency on call service [NB not fully staffed 24-hour emergency hospitals like in Sydney]
  2. If your dog is stable and can be transported contact VSOS in Miranda on 8376 8767 or ARH in Canberra on 6289 6344 [NB ring before you start driving as even these facilities are struggling to maintain full staffing levels]. These are both fully staffed 24-hour emergency hospitals

No, as we are not a financial institution we are not legally allowed to give you a loan. We are a family-run small business who, unlike human hospitals, receive no financial support from the government. We are agents for Vetpay which is a financial product which allows you to pay 10 to 20% upfront and the rest over fortnightly payments. There are qualifying requirements and there is an upfront fee and an interest rate of 18.4% but if you need something done immediately and do not have the funds we can help! See vetpay.com.au. We are also agents for the buy now pay later provider Zip Pay. We recommend due care when using these financial instruments and advise considering loans from family members who are unlikely to charge you interest if you default.

Becky the dog trainer is Delta Society accredited and is our go to for evidence based operant conditioning techniques. She can be located at www.bestbehaviour.net. She has unfortunately stopped doing Puppy Schools but has provided and excellent online video tutorial which can be located on her website via the top right “drop down list”.

We recommend the Milton Ulladulla Dog Training Club who run classes on Sundays for schedules and more information see their website at www.mudtc.org.au.