After-Hours Contact
Emergency

If you have an AFTER HOURS EMERGENCY between the hours of 6pm and 8am only please ring the appropriate number below

Companion animals

0438 311 533

Equine

0428 346 756

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Companion animal clinic services

Please click on a heading for more information.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a technique of placing fine needles into specific points on the body in order to treat a variety of diseases. It helps to stimulate the body to repair itself and promote healing. Acupuncture is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and can be used either by itself or in conjunction with western medicine, to treat these conditions. Acupuncture can be of assistance in chronic conditions that are sometimes not able to be completely controlled with medications, such as arthritis and other chronic pain conditions. Acupuncture is very safe and has minimal side effects. However, treatment may be contraindicated in pregnant animals, highly stressed animals, patients with severe skin infection, and certain cancer. A full veterinary examination will be performed to determine how often treatments are needed. For further information, contact Dr Horace Tang

Artificial Insemination

We perform canine artificial insemination when requested by our clients. This is often coupled with preliminary tests to determine the right time in the bitches reproductive cycle to perform the insemination in order to maximise chances of a pregnancy. These tests are done onsite.

Avian Medicine and Surgery

This practice happily attends to all aspects of bird health. Dr Aaron Luttrell has a special interest in avian medicine and surgery, and the practice carries a variety of avian products to suit the needs of household pets and breeding aviaries alike. We are always happy to order in special products for clients.

BAER Hearing Testing

This practice performs BAER hearing testing on adult dogs as well as puppies. BAER stands for Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response. This test detects electrical activity in the cochlea and auditory pathways in the brain. The test involves placing small electrodes at the base of each ear and one on top of the head. An earpiece is placed in the ear and a series of clicks is directed into the ear via the earpiece. Each ear is tested separately and a waveform printout is produced. A normal result is shown below. Printouts from animals that are deaf resemble a flat line. Please call our Sturt St clinic to arrange a time for testing. Mild sedation is sometimes required, particularly for puppies. This attracts a small additional charge.

Ballarat Mobile Vet

The practice offers a companion animal mobile service that runs Monday to Friday. We can arrange one of our vets to come to your home to attend to your animal. This can be for any reason, the two most common being vaccination and a peaceful home euthanasia. Reasons many of our clients use the mobile service include, a particularly large breed of dog, the pet gets carsick, the pet is unable to walk or transport isn't readily available. To make arrangements for the mobile vet to visit you, please ring (03) 5331 1533.

Behaviour

Problems with behaviour can cause a lot of stress in the household and can really affect the entire family. Busy modern lifestyles and dwellings can prove less than ideal for some pets and lead to the development of anti-social behaviours. Other animals have an inbuilt predisposition to certain behaviours. Most of the time there are numerous factors involved and the approach to addressing these issues needs to consider all factors. This involves behavioural modification and in some cases, medication can be beneficial to facilitate the behavioural modification. Dr Ruth Duncan conducts behavioural consultations at the Sturt St clinic on Mondays and Fridays by appointment. If you have a pet who is suffering from a behavioural issue and you would like a consultation with Dr Duncan, please download either the feline or canine questionnaire below. Print it out and take time to fill it out in as much detail as possible. Drop it in to the clinic, or alternatively email, fax or post it. Dr Duncan will read through it and then ring you to a arrange a suitable time for a consultation.

Canine Behaviour Questionnaire

Feline Behaviour Questionnaire

Canine and Feline Surgery

This practice performs a wide range of soft tissue and orthopaedic procedures, ranging from desexing to thoracic and abdominal surgery to complicated fracture repair. Every general anaesthetic carries some risk. Here at the Ballarat Veterinary Practice, each patient is assessed pre-operatively by physical examination, and where appropriate, on-site pre-anaesthetic blood testing and intravenous fluid therapy during surgery. EVERY patient undergoing surgery receives appropriate medication for pain relief. This includes the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, opiates and epidural anaesthesia for more major surgery such as hindlimb orthopaedic procedures. We employ modern anaesthetic protocols, tailored to individual patient needs, as well as pulse oximetry, and an ultrasonic doppler flow detector to monitor parameters such as heart rate and blood oxygen levels during surgery.

Chemotherapy

Unfortunately, cancer affects our pets just as frequently as it does ourselves. Hardly a day goes by where we do not see a pet affected by cancer come into our consulting rooms. Some cancers can be treated successfully with surgical excision alone, especially when attended to early. This is easier to achieve with cancers of the skin and superficial structures, where they are visible earlier on. Unfortunately, many internal cancers are more advanced by the time they cause clinical signs and the animal is presented to us. Surgery is still useful in many of these cases, but as in human medicine, adjunctive chemotherapy can drastically improve the survival times, and in some cancers, achieve remission. Once a definitive diagnosis is made - usually by biopsy - we will advise if your pet is a suitable candidate for chemotherapy, which protocol would be best, the likely outcomes, and possible side effects. The good news for pet owners, is that dogs and cats tend to have much fewer problems with side effects than humans do, although we still, of course, monitor all our chemotherapy patients closely and address any concerns if and when they arise

To download a word document about caring for your pet during chemotherapy, click here

Clinical Pathology

We have a pathology laboratory on site staff which handles a variety of pathology requirements. These include blood testing for pre-anaesthetic assessment, as well as diagnosis of illness, faecal and urine analysis, cytology including fine needle aspirate assessment of tumours, and heartworm testing. We also now have the capability of processing, cortisol (for cushings and addisons disease patients), thyroid hormone and phenobarbitone (for monitoring epileptic treatment) on site at Sturt St. These previously had to be sent to Melbourne and resulted in next day results. We can now deliver same day results

Computed Radiology

Our radiology facility features a modern veterinary xray machine, capable of accommodating even our largest patients.

We utilise digital processing of images, which carries a great many advantages over traditional silver emulsion film and "darkroom" chemical processing.

The obvious environmental advantage is the elimination of chemicals and film from the whole process. Digital processing is much quicker to perform meaning the patient is under sedation for a shorter period of time while the radiographic study is being undertaken.

Radiographic detail is enhanced allowing more accurate diagnosis compared with traditional developing. Images are easier to handle. They can be emailed in digital format to specialists when required, this is especially useful for breeders submitting dogs for official hip scoring.

Owners can have their patients xrays given to them as a laser printout on plain paper for their own interest, or in jpeg or DICOM (the medical standard format) on CD-ROM complete with a copy of the reading software so you can have a look at the xrays on your home PC. All you have to do is ask, and this can be done in minutes.

Cruciate Ligament Repair Surgery

We Recommend and perform Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy (TPLO) as the treatment for choice for repair of cranial cruciate injury in dogs. This technique alters the biomechanics of the knee joint resulting in a resolution of lameness in suitable candidates. This technique is particularly applicable for larger breed dogs who in the past have tended to have a poorer success rate with more traditional methods of repair. Please ring and speak to Dr Stewart Greedy or Dr Richard Lawrence if you have any queries regarding this procedure. We also offer soft tissue procedures for smaller dogs and cats. In every case, we carefully assess your pet's condition and advise on the best method of repair

Dentistry

Dental health is an important part of your pet's well-being. Dental disease can not only cause problems in the mouth, but can act as a portal of entry for infection into the rest of the body. We can accommodate a wide range of veterinary dental needs from an ultrasonic scale and polish to maintain a healthy mouth, to tooth root problems and multiple extractions. The most common mistake made is waiting until your pet actually has obvious problems with loose teeth and/or eating. While we can treat your pet and bring the mouth back from the brink, it will involve a much longer anaesthetic, loss of teeth and more cost due to the time taken. It is far better to perform a scale and clean (just like you have done on your own teeth) when tartar is starting to build up and gingivitis is beginning to show. We will advise you on the state of your pet's mouth whenever we examine your animal. We also have a dental radiography unit. Dental xrays are important as part of a full assessment of more advanced disease, as well as neck lesions in cats (very common) and tooth root abscesses to correctly identify the affected tooth.

Desexing

Desexing your pet is widely accepted as part of responsible pet ownership. In the case of female animal, this prevents them coming on heat and therefore also prevents unwanted pregnancy. In addition to this, a female dog desexed before she has her first heat season will not develop mammary cancer later in life. In the case of the males, of course they will not help produce unwanted pregnancies, but male dogs that are desexed won't develop the more common prostate diseases later in life. In both cases it reduces the likelihood of roaming and therefore less chance of being involved in road trauma and also getting fight wounds. The best time to desex your animal is 4-5 months of age. The healing at this age is fast, recovery from anaesthetic is rapid and females are extremely likely to have a heat cycle at this age. We carry out desexing Monday to Friday and both clinics. The procedure involves a general anaesthetic but the animals are admitted in the morning and go home in the evening.

Electrocardiography

An ECG is a very useful tool in the diagnosis of heart disease in conjunction with radiography and ultrasound.

Endoscopy

The practice has a TWO flexible endoscopes of different sizes for use in companion animals. The instrument allows visualisation of the throat, oesophagus, stomach, colon, the trachea and larger airways. This is done under general anaesthesia. The main advantage of this technique is the examination of the lining of these structures without the need for invasive surgery as well as the ability to take small biopsies if required.

PennHIP Radiographic Evaluation

Dr Stewart Greedy is an accredited member of the PennHIP referral network. The PennHIP method, developed at the University of Pennsylvania, is becoming widely recognised as the most reliable screening technique to identify dogs most at risk of developing Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) later in life. This procedure can be done as early as 16 weeks. It is advantageous for both breeders to identify those dogs that are most ideal to be bred from, and owners of dogs that wish to know what risk their dog has of developing CHD later in life. There are various treatments available to growing dogs that have been identified as being at greater risk of developing CHD as a result of PennHIP analysis . The other standard screening method used in Australia requires that the dogs be over 12 months of age. Further information on this technique can be obtained from the PennHIP website

Rabbit and Rodent Medicine and Surgery

This practice also offers a range of veterinary services for exotic animals including rabbits, guinea-pigs, ferrets, rats and reptiles. These services, led by Dr Aaron Luttrell and Dr Glynnis Lam, include routine vaccination (of rabbits and ferrets) de-sexing, as well dental treatment and attending to all aspects of exotic pet health. We also stock a small range of exotic pet products and are always happy to order in special products for clients.

Radioactive Iodine Treatment of Hyperthyroidism in Cats

The Ballarat Veterinary Practice offers radioactive iodine treatment of hyperthyroidism in cats. Hyperthyroidism is a relatively common problem of older cats, usually caused by a benign, thyroid hormone secreting tumour. Radioactive iodine is recognised as the treatment of choice for this condition. It involves oral administration of the compound and a week's stay in our isolation ward at Miner's Rest, while the medication has it's effect. For further information, contact Dr Richard Lawrence on (03) 53392266.

Ultrasonography

We frequently use ultrasound examination in the diagnosis of pregnancy, as well as the diagnosis of disease. This is a very useful, non-invasive technique for investigating diseases of the heart and abdominal contents in particular. We have recently upgraded our ultrasound unit to the latest technology which includes colour doppler among other features

Vaccination and Annual Health Check

Vaccination and annual health check is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your pet stays happy and healthy. The annual health check can pick up things that may not be immediately obvious but are likely to cause problems for your pet down the track.

Dogs

The recommended vaccine for dogs is known as the C5. This vaccine protects against

-Parvovirus

-Canine infectious hepatitis

-Distemper

-Canine Cough

The first three viruses are contained in one vaccine and is available as an annual and a triennial (3 year) vaccine. The canine cough component is an annual vaccine. The C5 is recommended for all dogs and is compulsory for dogs going into boarding kennels.

The Parvo myth busted

My dog never sees other dogs and/or never leaves the property he can't get parvo, can he?

He certainly can. Parvo is the "odd one out" in the virus world. Most viruses are actually very weak organisms and don't survive long outside the dog. Parvo can survive up to a year in the environment and can be spread on the soles of shoes, clothing, etc. Your dog can contract parvo by walking over/sniffing etc ground contaminated up to a year earlier by a dog infected with the virus, so the local park, dog tracks etc are a great potential sources of infection. You can also bring the virus home to your dog on your shoes and clothes. The only way to ensure your dog doesn't get parvo is to vaccinate

Canine Cough myths busted

Myth 1.- Dogs only get canine cough from kennels

Incorrect. Dogs can pick up this highly contagious disease from any dog. The likelihood is higher where there are larger numbers of dogs so kennels, the pound and dog shows are the most common sources, although since the insistence by kennel owners of only admitting dogs that have been vaccinated against canine cough, the incidence of dogs picking up the disease from kennels these days has greatly reduced. The fact is your dog can pick up canine cough anywhere they come into contact with another dog : through the front yard fence, down the park or a friend's place.

Myth 2 - My dog hasn't come into contact with any coughing dogs - he can't have canine cough!

Incorrect. Once a dog is infected the incubation period (time until the dog actually starts coughing) can vary depending on the pathogen involved and can be up to 2 weeks, during which time, the dog can be actively infecting other dogs without anyone knowing.

Myth 3 - Canine cough vaccines don't work.

Not true. Most canine cough vaccines protect against Bordetella, the main bacteria involved, and canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2) the main virus. Unfortunately Canine Cough can be caused by a number of other, lesser pathogens, so your dog can pick up these pathogens and possibly contract canine cough, but it is a much milder form of the disease and usually requires little or no treatment. It's a bit like us having the flu shot - we can still catch the common cold which looks similar but is nowhere near as serious

Cats

The recommended vaccine for cats is the combination F4/FIV. This vaccination protects against

-Cat "Flu"

-Feline enteritis

-Feline panleucopaenia

-Feline Immunodeficiency Virus which cause feline AIDS

FIV is considered the most important of these as it is very common, once infected your cat is infected for life, and the disease is eventually fatal. FIV is caught from a bite from another cat. ie during a fight (another good reason to have your cat desexed and locked in at night as these are the most prominent reasons that cats will fight)

The 2 vaccines are given at the same time and boosted annually.