Frequently Asked Questions
Here you’ll find answers to commonly asked questions about routine pet care and our hospital.
- What if my pet requires after hours treatment?
For after hours emergency care please contact the Animal Referral Hospital on (02) 9758 8666 The Animal Referral Hospital is open 24 hours a day with veterinarians and nurses rostered on site to give constant care when needed in emergencies. It is equipped with the most modern technology needed to diagnose illness and injury, including MRI and CT scans and blood pathology on site. It is located in Homebush, only 30 mins drive just off the M4 on the corner of 250 Parramatta & Flemington RD Homebush West (beside Sydney Markets)
- How much will my pet’s treatment cost?
At Coreen Ave Veterinary Clinic and Western Sydney Cat Hospital we aim to provide quality service and medical treatment for your pet at an affordable cost.
Payment for services is required at the time of consultation and can be made with credit card, cash or using the GEM Visa payment plan option. Our receptionists will be happy to discuss these payment options at the time of making your appointment.
We see many of our clients and their pets at the most stressful times and we understand that bringing your pet is often due to unforseen illness or injury. Anticipating the costs of such events can be difficult while worrying about the welfare of your pet.
We are able to provide you with an estimation of costs after a consultation with one of our veterinarians. This is sometimes only for the first 24 hours, after which time a more detailed treatment plan can be confirmed. Unfortunately estimates may change as your pet’s condition changes but the veterinarian will discuss this with you each step of the way. For hospital admissions a deposit of 50% of the estimated costs may be required and the attending veterinarian and receptionists will discuss with you at the time of admission.
- What happens when my pet requires euthanasia?
Unfortunately, there comes a time when we need to discuss having our pets ‘put to sleep’ or euthanased. This may be due to illness, old age or unacceptable behaviour. We consider this option when the pet’s quality of life is poor or when our pet may be suffering.
Euthanasia is a very personal decision so if you are considering this for your pet, a discussion or consultation with the veterinarian should be considered. We will assist you in making an informed decision for your family pet.
Once this emotional decision has been made, we suggest you discuss the options of where you would like this performed; at home or at the clinic. Various choices of burial or individual pet cremation are also available. We understand that saying goodbye to your beloved family pet is an extremely emotional time for the entire family. It is worth remembering that grieving for your pet is normal and an individual process for us all.
Vaccinations, Intestinal Worming & Heartworm Prevention
- Does my pet need to be on Heartworm prevention?
Heartworm disease is a silent killer of dogs and cats. It is a slow disease that can initially have no symptoms but can be fatal if left untreated. The best thing is THIS DISEASE IS EASILY PREVENTED.Heartworm is NOT an intestinal worm, and ‘all-wormer’ tablets that are bought from the supermarket do prevent heartworm. The heartworm lives in the right side of the heart, where they obstruct blood flow. Signs of a heartworm infection depend on the number of worms that are present, and how long these worms have been in the heart. Dogs with a chronic heartworm infection may show signs of coughing, lethargy and weigh loss. A severe infection is seen when a large number of heartworm larvae are maturing into adult worms at the same time, leading to blockage of the blood vessels and possibly death within a few hours. Unfortunately we may see no symptoms at all when a dog is infected with heartworm disease.Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes, so even dogs that never leave the backyard can become infected. Prevention of heartworm disease is much preferred to treatment, which is involved and often expensive process. There are a number of heartworm preventative medications available, including daily, monthly and yearly prevention, which needs to be given for the entire dog’s life.
- Does my pet need to be wormed?
Correct intestinal worming is an important part of keeping your pet happy and healthy. We suggest that you seek our advice on what worming products you should use for your pets, as we will prescribe the correct product, at an accurate dose, at the appropriate time.Puppies and kittens need to be wormed weekly until twelve weeks of age, to ensure that all immature worms and eggs are completely removed. Worms may be passed following treatment, and should be disposed of as soon as possible. The puppy or kitten should also be bathed, to ensure that there are no worm eggs left on the coat.Adult dogs and cats need to be wormed every three months. The easiest way to remember this is every Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.There are four main intestinal worms (Roundworm, Hookworm, Whipworm and Tapeworm) that we can worm against, and they all live in the intestine of dogs and cats. Roundworms and tapeworms are the only worms that can be seen in the faeces, so to diagnose whipworm and hookworm infection infections, a sample of the faeces needs to be examined under a microscope.
- Does my pet need to be vaccinated?
Vaccination gives the best all round protection against deadly infectious diseases. The vaccination stimulates the immune system to be able to fight the virus if your dog is exposed. Most vaccinations are given by way of an injection beneath the skin. In order to stimulate a complete resistance, vaccinations normally need to be given more than once. The veterinarian will design an individual vaccination program specifically for your dog at the first visit. Programs vary depending on the age of your dog, and prior vaccinations given. The diseases that we can vaccinate our dogs against include, Canine Parvovirus, Canine Distemper, Canine Hepatitis, Canine Cough, Canine Coronavirus, Canine Leptospirosis. The diseases that we can vaccinate our cats against include, Feline Respiratory diseases (Cat Flu, Chlamydia), Feline Panleucopaenia, Feline Leukaemia, FIV.
Does my pet need to be microchipped?
Yes. By law, all puppies and kittens need to be microchipped by 12 weeks of age or at the time of sale, whichever is earliest. Adult dogs also need to be microchipped by law, and must also be identified with a collar and tag. The veterinary surgeon will place a small amount of local anaesthetic gel on the dogs’ skin. This will numb the area prior to the microchip needle to be given. This does not seem to be any more uncomfortable than the vaccination needle being given.
All you need to do is ring the clinic and book an appointment time. Part of the microchipping procedure involves the owner filling out address and telephone contact details, and ensuring that the animals details are correct. We will then issue you with a copy of the paperwork, which you will then need to take to council, in order to get your pet registered for life. The council will put your pets’ details onto the NSW Companion Animals Register, so that you can be contacted if your pet is found. Your privacy is protected by the registry as it can only be accessed by authorised people, and is not linked to any other database.
For a desexed cat or dog , lifetime registration is $51 or $20 for a pensioner. The cost for an undesexed pet is $188. Cats and dogs need to be registered with council by the time they are 6 months of age. It is therefore best to get your pet desexed at about 5 months of age, so they are ready for the cheaper registration before 6 months. If you are unsure about your pet’s microchip status, you are welcome to visit Coreen Ave Veterinary Clinic (0247 313 055) to have your pet scanned.
- How can I stop my dog from barking?
It is natural for dogs to bark. Sometimes we consider barking a benefit such as alerting us to danger or deterring intruders from our property. Unfortunately for some dogs their barking can become excessive and lead to neighbour disputes.
Solutions to barking problems come from how you manage and train your dog. Dogs bark for more than one reason, and finding the cause can help reduce the noise and stress that it can bring. Changing your dogs barking behaviour using positive training techniques is a step in the right direction to solving this common problem.
Every dog needs to be assessed on an individual basis. Our veterinarians will suggest a general consultation to rule out any underlying medical problems before implementing a behaviour modifying program to help with the barking issues you may be experiencing.
Dr Lynn Mathison is a Behaviour Veterinarian at Coreen Ave Vet Clinic. She has completed further studies in this area and is available to assist you in a range of unacceptable behaviours your pet may be exhibiting.
- What are the advantages of desexing my male pet?
We recommend desexing male pets for a variety of reasons. Desexed dogs and cats live longer and happier lives with generally less health problems. Male pets that have been desexed cannot develop testicular tumours (cancer), because the surgery involves the removal of both testicles. The male hormone testosterone can cause problems with the prostate gland, leading to problems going to the toilet. Our desexed male dogs and cats have a much lower chance of developing such prostate problems. Unfortunately, we sometimes have to address inappropriate behaviours in undesexed pets. Desexing male animals can reduce unwanted behaviours such as aggression and urine marking or spraying.
- What happens during the male desexing operation?
In both dogs and cats, both testicles are removed during desexing operation. In a male cat, two small cuts are made in the skin of the scrotum and no sutures are required to close the skin. Male dogs have a small wound with stitches usually put beneath the skin, which means that no sutures need to be removed at a later date. Although this is a routine procedure, it is major surgery and does carry a small risk, as does any surgery where the animal has a general anaesthetic. We use an anaesthetic gas which is also used in human surgery, and it is the safest available at the present time. A trained veterinary nurse will monitor your pet at all times and every precaution is taken to make sure the surgery is safe and uneventful.
- What if my male pet only has one testicle that I can see?
Male dogs and cats that only have one testicle in the scrotum are called cryptorchid animals. The testicle that is left in the abdomen is at a much higher temperature that it should normally be kept at, and in most cases, it will become cancerous as the animal gets older. For this reason it is important to desex the dog or cat at a young age.
- What are the advantages of desexing my female pet?
We recommend desexing male pets for a variety of reasons. Desexed dogs and cats live longer and happier lives with generally less health problems. In our female pets, the hormones produced by the ovaries during a season or heat, have an effect on the uterus and mammary tissue. The more seasons she has, the more effect the hormones have on these tissues. This can lead to an infected uterus (pyometron), as well as mammary tumours (cancer) in older dogs and cats. By desexing your female pet no unwanted pregnancies occur, greatly reducing the number of unwanted puppies and kittens each year.
- What happens during the female desexing operation?
In both dogs and cats, an ovariohysterectomy is performed, which involves removing both ovaries and the whole uterus. Although this is a routine procedure, it is major surgery and does carry a small risk, as does any surgery where the animal has a general anaesthetic. We use an anaesthetic gas which is also used in human surgery, and it is the safest available at the present time. A trained veterinary nurse will monitor your pet at all times and every precaution is taken to make sure the surgery is safe and uneventful.
- Can you desex my pet if she is in season?
Yes definitely. There is a greater blood supply to the ovaries and uterus while the animal is in season, therefore the surgery will take slightly longer and be most difficult to perform. For this reason, there is a slightly increased cost for the desexing surgery while the female is in season.
- Can I wait until my pet is out of season?
Yes, but the hormones which act upon the uterus while in season mean that the uterus does not go back to its normal size for about six weeks. Remember that your pet could fall pregnant during this time.
- Can you desex my pet if she is pregnant?
Yes. The stage of pregnancy will determine if additional things need to be performed, such as intravenous fluids or blood tests. The veterinarian can discuss this with you prior to admission to hospital.