At Maroubra Veterinary Hospital we operate on an appointment system. A standard consultation will usually run for about 15 minutes. More complex problems may require a longer consultation, up to around 30 minutes.
The initial consultation will be quite different from what you would see at a visit to our human colleagues. Obviously, our pets cannot tell us what is wrong. Consequently, a detailed history and thorough physical examination is paramount to diagnosis of the problem (or at least giving us some idea in which direction we are heading and what to do next).
In many instances, there may be more than one option to consider in the management of your pet’s problem. Our veterinarians will help you in the decision making process taking into account many factors such as family considerations, financial considerations, age and general health of your pet and what viable alternatives exist. Every situation is different, and we will provide you with the guidance needed to make the right decision for your circumstances.
If you have difficulty getting your pet to our hospital, we can do a house call at a mutually convenient time.
Our hospital is well equipped with the tools that allow us to provide your pet with a timely diagnosis and effective equipment.
Radiography is an essential tool for diagnosing many diseases and pathology. Digital radiography is a relatively new technology that offers significant advantages over traditional film radiography.
Images produced by digital radiography are vastly superior to those produced by film radiography, allowing us to detect subtle abnormalities that may otherwise not be evident.
Digital radiography is fast! We will have an image to look at 20 seconds after taking the x-ray.
The use of digital radiography means your pet will be exposed to a decreased dose of radiation compared to if film radiography was being used. As with other digital images, your pet’s radiographs can be saved to disc, sent via email or provided to you on a CD.
Electrocardiography (ECG) allows us to assess disturbances in heart rhythm. It is used for diagnosis of heart abnormalities as well as monitoring of the heart during anaesthesia. Our ECG unit has a wireless function, allowing us to monitor your pet’s heart rhythm continuously throughout our hospital.
Our GE Logiq® ultrasound machine is an advanced ultrasound system that has all the features required for diagnosing heart conditions, assessing abdominal organs and diagnosing pregnancy.
Diagnostic ultrasound also allows us to perform non-invasive biopsy of lesions in the chest and abdomen. Consequently, a diagnosis can often be reached without the need for general anaesthesia and surgery to access the affected part of the body. This means much less trauma for your pet and significantly reduced costs to you.
Comprehensive Pathology Laboratory
On site pathology laboratory means fast diagnosis for your pet, as well as timely institution of the most appropriate treatment. It also facilitates convenient ongoing monitoring of progress of hospitalised patients and allows us to make appropriate changes to treatment promptly.
General Anaesthesia and Monitoring
Having your pet undergo a general anaesthetic can be quite anxiety provoking. Should your pet need to have a general anaesthetic, whether it be for something as routine as desexing or a major surgery, you can rest assured that at Maroubra Veterinary Hospital we use the most up to date drugs and techniques.
During anaesthesia, your pet will be connected to equipment that monitors heart activity (ECG), the amount of oxygen in the blood (pulse oximetry), body temperature, respiratory rate and blood pressure.
That’s all wonderful for your pet, but it’s not enough! No piece of equipment can replace experienced eyes, ears, touch and brains. To that end, we have an experienced staff member monitoring your pet from the very start of anaesthesia right through to the recovery period when your pet is sitting up.
This close post–operative monitoring also entails assessment of pain management, so that if your pet is showing any signs of pain upon awakening from anaesthesia, further pain management can be administered.
Low body temperature (hypothermia) is a big problem during anaesthesia and in the immediate post-operative period. We use a device called a Bair Hugger® to help control your pet’s body temperature during and after surgery. This circulates warmed air through a blanket that is placed under and/or over your pet. They are very safe and effective. We do not use electrical heating pads. These products are in widespread use however they are dangerous, and are the number one cause of severe burns in companion animals presented to referral institutions.
Fluid Infusion Pumps
If your pet needs intravenous fluids, we will be using an infusion pump designed for pets. This means we have accurate control over your pet’s fluid needs, avoiding both over and under-administration of fluids. These pumps also allow us to continuously infuse medications like painkillers and anti-nausea drugs.
Our theatre is equipped to monitor your pet’s important vital signs during surgery, and one of our team will be by your pet’s side recording the vital signs which are kept as part of your pet’s medical record. These include heart rate, pulse rate, mean arterial blood pressure, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, blood oxygen levels and body temperature.
Most of the surgery we perform falls in to one of the 3 following categories:
Soft tissue surgery – This encompasses common procedures like neutering and cat bite abscesses, through to more complex procedures including abdominal and thoracic surgery.
Orthopaedic surgery – We are experienced with procedures such as complex fracture repairs, cruciate ligament ruptures and luxating patella’s (dislocating kneecaps). In some instances, referral to specialist surgeons is the most appropriate course of action. The consultant surgeons we use are amongst the most experienced in Australia.
Reconstructive surgery – Reconstructive surgery is the process of closing (usually large) wounds. This may be achieved through techniques including skin grafts, skin flaps, tissue expansion and skin stretching.
The methods and drugs we use on our patients are the same as a person would have when having a general anaesthetic. Broadly speaking, there are two different techniques we may use:
(i) Induction of anaesthesia with an ultra-short acting drug, followed by maintenance of anaesthesia via inhaled volatile gas.
(ii) Induction and maintenance of anaesthesia using a constant rate infusion (use of a syringe pump to constantly administer the anaesthetic drug) for the duration of the anaesthetic. A strong pain killer is usually also administered using this technique.
All patients that are going to receive an anaesthetic are thoroughly examined on admission. They are then given a pre-medication – usually a combination of a tranquiliser and analgesic drug. This both calms your pet, and also reduces the dose of anaesthetic required.
All patients undergoing general anaesthesia are given intravenous fluids during the procedure to maintain blood pressure and ensure vital organs get adequate oxygenation during anaesthesia.
Patients undergoing painful procedures are also administered strong pain killers (morphine) constantly via the intravenous fluids.
We all understand that pain is an unpleasant sensation. We know that our pet’s experience pain in a similar, if not identical way to us. Untreated pain reduces quality of life and prolongs recovery from surgery, injury and illness.
Preventing and managing pain is a fundamental part of the compassionate care we provide for our patients. If your pet is to undergo surgery of any type, it will be receiving the appropriate pain management.
With elective procedures (like neutering for instance), we administer pain-killers (analgesics) before we even anaesthetise your pet. This is called pre-emptive pain management; that is providing analgesia before the pain is going to occur. This approach gives improved pain relief, allows for lower doses of anaesthetic and gives a smoother recovery from the anaesthetic. This is better and safer for your pet. More analgesia is provided both during and after your pet’s surgery.
Clients often express surprise at how bright and active their pets are such a short time after procedures like desexing. A big part of the reason for this amazing recovery is that they are not feeling pain. Your pet feels good, and we, the professionals feel good, knowing we have done our job in providing effective pain management.
Because prevention is better than cure, we advocate preventative programmes of care designed to keep your pet healthy, including:
- Full health check at least annually and biannually for older pets.
- Vaccinations – C5 for dogs and F3 for cats
- Heartworm prevention for dogs – annual injections now available or alternatively monthly preventatives.
- Regular worming for intestinal worms
- Flea control
As our pets are now living longer, we are seeing cancer of various types more frequently. Many of these cancers can now be managed successfully. As a result, we can help our pets live longer with excellent quality of life.
Treatment of cancer may involve surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of these.
The chemotherapy we prescribe for animals will rarely make them very ill. It is also very rare for animals to lose their hair when undergoing chemotherapy. We can guide you through the decision-making process if your pet has cancer and discuss the various treatment options.
Caring for your pet’s teeth is essential. Regular cleaning is necessary to ensure they stay healthy. The best way to achieve this is by feeding a diet including raw meaty bones. This diet may not be suitable for all pets for a number of reasons. If you are in any doubt about feeding raw bones to your pet, consult one of our veterinarians for advice. Never feed your pet cooked bones.
Periodontal disease is one of the most common diseases encountered in pets. If allowed to progress unchecked, it may result in severe infection in the mouth and elsewhere in the body, pain and loss of teeth. If your pet has significant periodontal disease, we may recommend a dental prophy, which involves a light anaesthetic, ultrasonic scale followed by polishing. We will then recommend strategies to limit the development of further periodontal disease.
Whilst desexing is a commonly performed routine procedure, it is none the less still a surgery that requires care, skill and attention to important detail such as the general anaesthetic.
Being a routine “set fee” procedure, it is common for pet owners to shop around to compare fees for this service. In doing so, it is important for the pet owner to be well informed, and be comparing like with like, as different veterinary hospitals offer different levels of service for the fee. Some hospitals offer “extras” (such as fluid therapy) for an extra fee.
At Maroubra Veterinary Hospital, our desexing fee covers everything that we feel is important for the wellbeing of your pet both during and after the procedure.
Our desexing fee includes the following:
- All patients have an indwelling intravenous cannula placed before anaesthesia. This facilitates rapid administration of drugs that may be required urgently during anaesthesia, as well as allowing administration of intravenous fluids.
- All patients are administered intravenous fluids for the duration of their anaesthesia. This allows maintenance of blood pressure, thereby protecting vital organs during anaesthesia.
- All patients are given strong pain killers (analgesic drugs) pre-emptively – that is before the surgery commences. We know that doing this provides vastly superior control of pain for your pet.
- In addition, all dogs are given a constant infusion of 3 different analgesic drugs during their operation.
- All patients are given long acting injectable analgesic drugs at the completion of their procedure, and dogs continue on medication for 2 days post-operatively.
- All our surgical wounds are closed using intradermal sutures, meaning there are no sutures outside the skin that your pet can attempt to remove. Consequently, it is very rare that we see post-operative wound problems.
- The suture materials we use are all human branded individually wrapped single use with attached needle. This ensures sterility and reduced tissue trauma.
- Our surgeons are appropriately attired for sterility – disposable single use gloves, cap, masks and surgical gown.
The benefits of doing all the above is seen in the excellent recovery and rapid return to normal behaviour we see in our patients.
Our pets are living longer today than they were 15-20 years ago because of the huge advances in veterinary medicine. As a result, we are now having to deal with problems such as osteoarthritis and kidney disease more frequently.
If your pet is older than ten years old, he or she may benefit from a geriatric health check. Diagnosis and treatment of these diseases, which commonly afflict our older pets, can markedly improve their quality of life as well as adding quality years to their lives.
If you are trying to breed your pet unsuccessfully, one of our veterinarians can help. The solution may range from diagnosing underlying problems preventing conception, ensuring mating is being carried out at the correct time to artificial insemination.
Many medical problems can now be very effectively controlled with dietary management. We can advise you if there is a diet suitable for management of your pet’s problem. A special diet may even be a suitable alternative to surgery for some problems.
We merchandise and sell a small range of pet accessories at the practice for dogs and cats. Should we not stock an accessory you wish to purchase for your pet please ask our reception to see if we can place a special order for you.
At Maroubra Veterinary Hospital our professional groomers can bath, clip and style your pet’s coat.
We do not routinely sedate dogs or cats for grooming, however if sedation is required, you can rest assured that a veterinarian will administer the sedation after a thorough physical examination, and monitor your pets condition during the period of sedation. Appointments are necessary.
We provide cat boarding facilities for our clients when they are travelling abroad or interstate or are unable to care for their cats for reasons such as being hospitalised themselves.
We have a large sun filled room devoted to our boarding cats. During the day cats are free to roam around the room, play with some of the cat toys in the room or sleep in a padded cat house.
For your cats’ protection, all cats must have an F3 vaccination at least 2 weeks before admission. They must also have been treated for fleas. We will not allow non-desexed male cats into our cat room to roam and interact with our other cat boarders.
We do not provide dog boarding however can recommend our preferred partners to board your dogs for you. Please ask our reception for further details.
Our Puppy Pre-School course runs for 4 weeks on Tuesday evenings from 7.30pm. These classes provide your pet with some basic obedience skills, and more importantly allows safe socialisation at an age (8 to 18 weeks) when we know it is imperative for a puppy’s normal social development. Places fill fast so bookings are essential. Please contact our reception for rates and to book.
Cat Adoption Program:
Every year we re-home around 100 kittens per year. These kittens have often been rescued from construction sites, abandoned properties or are left with us when they are the result of an unwanted litter.
We have a “no euthanasia” policy for kittens, and take pride in ensuring all our kittens go to good homes. We have a nominal adoption fee that covers all the kitten’s vaccinations, microchipping, worming and desexing.
At Maroubra Veterinary Hospital we care for hundreds of cases of injured native fauna every year. We happily donate our skills, services and medications in order to treat injured wildlife with a view to releasing them back into the wild where possible.
Our pets are living longer than ever thanks to advances in medical and surgical care, as well as more widespread availability of equipment that was previously unavailable or too expensive for vets to consider purchasing. Many of the medicines and procedures we use in the treatment of your pet is the same as what would be used in a person.
There is no Medicare for pets, and so pet insurance is an excellent option that removes financial concerns from the decision making process if your pet becomes very unwell, requires 24 hour care or is involved in an accident.
Maroubra Veterinary Hospital does not provide pet insurance however we strongly recommend you have cover for your pets. There are many companies that now provide cover for your pet and we advise our clients to do an online comparison and choose the policy they feel is the best fit for them and their pet.
Pet Export & AQIS Accreditation:
Dr Adam Gordon is an APAV (Accreditation Program for Australian Veterinarians) and AQIS (Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service) accredited veterinarian for export of companion animals overseas. He can advise and perform requirements for pets travelling or relocating overseas.