Advanced Vet Care Services
Our in-house laboratory can provide some results within minutes and thus take no longer than a consultation. For all other tests, Northcote Animal Hospital is associated with an external laboratory which performs a full spectrum of diagnostic tests. This is carried out in an accurate and rapid fashion which is especially important in very ill animals and those requiring immediate or emergency treatment. Specialised testing may take 12-24 hours for blood results or up to 5-7 working days for biopsy results, depending on the nature of the test being performed.
At Northcote Animal Hospital (nOah) in Northcote, we pride ourselves on always providing owners with their pet’s laboratory results as quickly as possible. Results are discussed at length by the veterinarians and any further treatment options are explained in a clear and compassionate manner. You can be assured that nOah’s patient’s best interests are always at the core of all clinical decisions.
What is an ultrasound scan?
Ultrasound scanning is a painless procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves (inaudible to humans) to produce images of structures within the body. When sound waves are directed into the body, some are absorbed by body tissues and others bounce back. The sound waves that bounce back are measured by the ultrasound machine and are transformed into an image on a screen. The images can be printed or recorded. Extensive training is required in order to correctly use this equipment and interpret these images.
Ultrasound scans are most useful for looking at soft or fluid-filled organs; like the liver, kidney, bladder and heart. It is less effective for examining bones or air-filled organs, like the lungs.
What happens to my pet when it is booked in for an ultrasound scan?
Most of our patients are admitted into the hospital for the day to have an ultrasound scan done unless it is an emergency and we will refer you immediately. We ask that you bring your pet in fasted overnight, as they may need to be sedated to allow us to do the best scan possible.
The area to be scanned will be shaved, so your pet may look different when they come home. No pain is felt during an ultrasound exam; however, discomfort from pressure may be experienced. Sedatives may be necessary for those animals that won’t stay still or are uncomfortable. During the scan, a water-soluble gel is applied over the clipped area to be examined and a transducer (probe) is placed on the skin.
Once the scan has been done we will give you a call or book an appointment for our veterinarians to show you the images and to discuss the findings and treatment plan for your pet if required.
Our staff will discuss your pet’s case and conduct a thorough physical examination to determine if your pet requires X-rays. Pet X-rays are a very important tool to help us diagnose diseases in animals, particularly for conditions involving bones, the chest or abdomen.
What happens to my pet when it is booked in for radiographs?
Most of our patients are admitted into our clinic for the day to have X-rays taken unless it is an emergency and we’ll take them immediately. We ask that you bring your pet in unfed on the morning of admission, as they will most likely be sedated or anaesthetised to allow us to take the best quality X-rays possible.
Once the X-rays have been taken we will give you a call and book an appointment for our veterinarians to show you the images and to discuss the diagnosis and treatment plan for your pet.
Why do pets need to be sedated or anaesthetised to have radiographs taken?
When we have X-rays taken the radiographer asks us to keep perfectly still, often in unnatural positions. Most pets would never lie still enough, in the correct position, for us to take good quality radiographs required to diagnose their condition. Sedation and anaesthesia allow us to get the most useful radiographs possible. It is also much less stressful for your pet. nOah’s digital X-ray unit allows X-rays to be taken and processed quickly so that your pet is only under sedation or anaesthesia for a short time.
Australian registered veterinary specialists undergo a rigorous training and examination process to obtain their qualifications, and like human specialists are considered to be the epitome of knowledge in their field. We work closely alongside the specialists and together can offer optimum care for pets that require this service.
Specialists are independent veterinarians and set their own fees. It’s a good idea to ask them about costs when you call to make an appointment.
Northcote Animal Hospital’s staff will always continue to assist you throughout the referral period. If you find yourself faced with difficult decisions regarding the recommended treatment, or are having difficulty with administering medications, please don’t hesitate to call us at nOah. We will try and help you in any way we can.
We’re happy to discuss and organise a specialist referral if required by your pet.
A diagnosis of cancer can be a stressful and confusing time. The vets at nOah are able to help you by providing you with information about various treatment options so that you can make the most appropriate decision for the management and/or treatment of your pet’s cancer. They can perform some types of cancer therapies at nOah, or if more advisable, refer you to appropriate specialists. Many of the same treatments that are available for humans are now available for pets. Types of treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
- Dental Procedures
- Flea, Tick and Worm Products
- Medications and Supplements
- DNA Breed Testing
Pet Food and Nutritional Advice
Northcote Animal Hospital stocks a range of prescription diets, premium puppy and kitten foods, premium adult foods, natural diets and treats. Our staff are educated to give you expert advice in nutrition and we welcome you to drop in for a chat, or call us to discuss, the best diet option for your pet. We can also order in any premium food preference you have if we don’t already stock it.
For some more information on nutrition, please see the relevant paragraphs under our dog and cat care sections.
Desexing or neutering your pet is a surgical procedure that prevents them from being able to reproduce. In male pets, it is commonly referred to as a “castration”, and in female pets as a “spey”. This is the most frequent surgery performed by our vets, they are all very experienced and competent and generally, your pet is home resting comfortably by the evening of surgery.
The most common age to desex your pet is between 5 and 6 months, however, they are never too old to be desexed. Some large breed dogs may benefit to wait until 9-12 months of age. nOah’s veterinary staff are happy to discuss and advise you of the best timing for your pet, please call us if you have an enquiry.
There are many benefits to desexing your pet. They include:
- Preventing unwanted litters, which can be very costly, and may add to the already overwhelming number of stray animals that are put down each year
- Prevention of testicular cancer and prostate disease in males, and it can help prevent pyometra (infection of the uterus) and mammary tumours (breast cancer) in females
- Stopping the “heat” cycle in females
- Decreasing aggression towards humans and other animals, especially in males
- Being less prone to wander, especially in males
- Living a longer and healthier life
- Reduction of council registration fees
Common questions about desexing
“Will desexing affect my pet’s personality?”
Your pet will retain their pre-operation personality, possibly with the added bonus of being calmer and less aggressive.
“Should my female have one litter first?”
No, it is actually better for her not to have any litters before being speyed. Her risk of developing breast cancer increases if she is allowed to go through her first heat.
“Will it cause my pet to become fat?”
Your pet’s metabolism may be slowed due to hormonal changes after desexing, however, this is easily managed by adjusting feeding and ensuring adequate exercise.
“Is desexing painful?”
As with all surgery, there is some tenderness immediately after the procedure, but most pets will recover very quickly. As experienced veterinary surgeons, we pride ourselves on using the best surgical protocols and this includes a combination of pain relief medications. We administer pain relief prior to surgery and after surgery too. Your pet will be discharged with a short course of pain relief medication to take at home for the first few days after the surgery. In many cases, your pet will likely need some encouragement to take it easy!
“Will my dog lose its “guard dog” instinct?”
No, your dog will be just as protective of its territory as before the surgery.
What to do before and after surgery
- Make a booking with nOah for your pet’s operation.
- If your pet is a dog, wash them the day before surgery as they are unable to be washed after until the stitches are removed.
- Do not give your pet food after 10pm the night before the operation and do not give them any water after 8am on the day of surgery.
- A blood test may be performed prior to surgery to check vital organ function.
- The vet will perform a thorough physical examination before administering an anaesthetic.
- All pets will require intravenous fluid support during surgery which helps with anaesthetic safety. This is provided at no extra charge.
- To ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible, all pets receive pain relief prior to desexing and to take home for a few days after the procedure.
- Keep your pet restrained and quiet as the effects of anaesthetic can take some time to wear off completely.
- Keeping them quiet is also essential to allow the wound to heal.
- Food and water should be limited to small portions only on the night after surgery.
- Ensure all post-surgical medications (if any) are administered as per the label instructions.
- Ensure your pet’s rest area is clean to avoid infection.
- Check the incision at least twice daily for any signs of infection or disruption (eg. bleeding, swelling, redness or discharge). Contact the vet immediately if these symptoms appear. Do not wait to see if they will spontaneously resolve.
- Prevent your pet from licking or chewing the wound. Special cone-shaped collars assist with this problem. A single chew can remove the careful stitching with disastrous effects.
- Ensure you return to us on time for routine post-operative check-ups.
If you have any concerns before or after your pet has been desexed, please call Northcote Animal Hospital (nOah) immediately to discuss.
A microchip is a chip that is injected under your pet’s skin to provide permanent identification. Northcote Animal Hospital uses the smallest microchips available so that they can be inserted during a normal consultation with minimal discomfort. The microchip is embedded with a code unique to your pet and is the most effective form of permanent id. This code is placed onto a national computer database, so it is particularly useful in the return of lost pets. They can also assist where the ownership of an animal is in dispute.
Microchipping of pets is now compulsory. All puppies, including those that are bred for sale, should be microchipped by the time they are 12 weeks old in Victoria.
If a pet is ever lost and is handed in at a veterinary clinic or animal shelter a microchip scanner is passed over the animal to reveal the unique code. The vet or animal shelter can then refer to the database to identify the name, address and phone number of the owner, so they can be reunited.
If your pet is not microchipped please give us a call at Northcote Animal Hospital (nOah) to make an appointment to have one inserted. If you find a lost pet please call us to arrange a scan; we can reunite microchipped pets with their worried owners.
Northcote Animal Hospital provides a professional dental service carried out by experienced and skilled veterinarians. Dr Kristina has had several years of experience in performing dental procedures. They use the latest in dental equipment which means a great result for your pet’s teeth. To read about why dental health is so important, and to book your free dental quote, click here….
Flea, Tick and Worm Products
Northcote Animal Hospital stocks a trusted range of flea, tick, heartworm and intestinal worming products. Choosing the right product for your pet can be confusing as there are so many different brands available, with differing formulations and schedules of application. The staff at nOah are educated on the latest available products and their effectiveness and can help you decide which is best for your pet, so please call us or drop in if you need advice.
Medications and Supplements
nOah stocks a comprehensive range of medicines for all common diseases. For those rarer conditions, we can accommodate any medication requirements by placing a special order which will arrive within 24 hours. Furthermore, if your pet is difficult to tablet, we can organise the tablets to be reformulated into flavoured treats, pastes, lotions, or liquids. Please call us anytime to discuss the possibilities for making medicating your pet easier.
nOah is also able to give advice and supply natural supplements for various illnesses.
Repeat medications for ongoing diseases can be ordered over the phone. Please allow a minimum of 24 hours, or one business day, for repeat medication scripts to be filled.
DNA Breed Testing
With so much information known these days about medical and behavioural issues associated with different breeds, our DNA test for crossbred dogs have become very popular. This test has a database of over 200 breeds and can determine a dog’s ancestry back to their great grandparents. Knowing the breed ancestry helps identify physical traits, also behaviours such as digging, herding and barking may come from various breeds in a dog’s family tree. Once an owner understands their dog’s natural tendencies, it makes it easier to create a tailored training, nutritional and medical program to fit their one-of-a-kind needs. This test is so simple to do, and low cost, why not call us today to find out more?
nOah stocks a selection of dog and cat dental treats, toys, dental dry food, drinking water additives, toothpaste and brushes. All our products are of excellent quality and excellent price. nOah also stocks shampoos and other skincare products and can give you great advice tailored to your pet’s individual needs.