138 Castle Hill Road
West Pennant Hills
Mon to Fri: 9am-12pm, 3:20pm-6:30pm
Sat: 9am-12pm, Sun: 10am-12pm
In March 2022 we increased our consultations to 20 minutes for each appointment. This allows us ample time to examine your pet and to formulate and explain our investigation and treatment plan. Our current standard consultation fee is $85. Our consultations are run on an appointment schedule. Our veterinarians plan their day based on the appointment schedule prior to the consultation session commencing. To compensate for the disruption, we have recently introduced a surcharge of $25 for emergencies, walk-in consultations and bookings made within 4 hours of calling. We have three consultation rooms and there are two veterinarians on duty at most times. This allows one veterinarian to be available for complex cases, emergencies or to undertake procedures. As small animal veterinarians we are comfortable seeing a range of species such as dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds and some reptiles. Currently none of the veterinarians on staff has a specific interest in exotic pet or avian medicine. If we cannot be of assistance to your exotic or avian pet we will provide an alternative option for you. We have two consultation sessions from 9am to 12pm and 4pm to 7pm. Outside of these hours we may be able to provide urgent or emergency care but please call the clinic if possible. In the hours between 12pm to 4pm the veterinarians are usually performing procedures and operations, following up on complex cases, returning calls, attending to housecalls and hopefully finding time to have a lunch break.
Vaccination is essential to prevent serious and potentially fatal diseases. Vaccination doesn’t only protect your pet but also the pets in your area by reducing the pool of susceptible animals that can acquire an infection. West Pennant Hills Veterinary Hospital is committed to achieving the highest possible vaccination rates in puppies and kittens, so much so that we discount the fee for this relative to an annual vaccination. A vaccination appointment includes an annual health check where we discuss any concerns you may have with your pet’s health and we detect any developing health concerns. As a pet ages the health check becomes as important, if not more important, than the annual vaccination.
We routinely vaccinate against canine parvovirus, canine distemper, canine hepatitis, canine parainfluenza virus and Bordetella brochiseptica (a C5 vaccination). Three vaccinations are recommend for puppies between the ages of 6-16 weeks and then an annual booster. A current vaccination status is usually required for admission to most boarding facilities and is strongly recommended for dogs who attend grooming parlours, dog parks and are generally social with other dogs. As some pets age their risk of acquiring an infectious disease changes so our vets will tailor a vaccination program to you and your pet’s circumstances. Recently in-house test kits have been developed to allow us to check blood anti-body levels to confirm if vaccination is necessary. These kits also allows us to tailor the vaccination program to your dog’s individual needs..
Cats are vaccinated against feline parvovirus, feline herpes virus and feline calicivirus (a F3 vaccination). Feline herpes virus and feline calicivirus cause feline upper respiratory tract infection or cat flu. Cat who are infected before they can be vaccinated can develop a chronic infection that leads to life-long symptoms and both diseases are often fatal in young kittens. Like dogs, three vaccinations are recommended between 6-16 weeks of age and then annual vaccination. It is a requirement of most catteries that a cat is current with their F3 vaccination prior to admission. Cats are kept in a wide variety of situations from entirely inside to freely able to move inside and outside so their exposure risk is quite variable. We discuss the risk and benefits of particular vaccines with you according to your cat’s situation.
Rabbits are vaccinated for calicivirus between 10-12 weeks of age. Calicivirus is also known as rabbit haemorrhagic disease and is associated with a high death rate in susceptible rabbits. It is highly contagious and was developed to assist with the control of the wild rabbit population. If there is a known outbreak of calicivirus in your area then your rabbit should be vaccinated before 10 weeks of age but will required a booster after a month. An annual booster vaccination is recommended to maintain immunity. Myxomatosis is another fatal viral disease of rabbits. Unfortunately there is no vaccination available against this disease in Australia so prevention is the only management strategy. It is spread by biting insects, especially mosquitoes, so good insect-proof housing is essential.
Companion animals are susceptible to numerous parasites. Some of these parasites can also affect people so it is important to make sure your pet is parasite free. Broadly speaking these parasites can be grouped into internal parasites and external parasites.
Internal parasites include heartworm and intestinal worms. These parasites affect dogs, cats and birds but are generally less of a concern for rabbits and guinea pigs.
Heartworm is spread by biting mosquitoes and the target host is the dog although other species such as cats, foxes, ferrets and rarely humans can be infected. The parasite takes months to develop within the tissues of a dog before eventually migrating to the vessels of the heart and lung. The severity of the disease depends on the number of worms an animal is infected with. This disease can be difficult and dangerous to treat so prevention is the best options. There are multiple options for prevention. The most convenient is an injection under the skin given by a veterinarian. This can be given to puppies from 12 weeks of age, who usually require a booster at 6 months and then an annual injection from 15 months of age onwards. An alternative to injection prevention is monthly medications either as tablets or chews or as a treatment applied to the skin. Our staff can provide advice as to the most suitable product for you, your pet and your budget.
Intestinal worms will usually cause gastro-intestinal symptoms but sometimes the symptoms can be subtle especially in mild infections. Some intestinal worms can infect people so as well as maintaining good hygiene it is a good idea to regularly worm your pet. There are numerous different preparations for worming pets but the schedule for dogs and cats is the same regardless of the preparation. Kittens and puppies are wormed every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age then monthly until 6 months and then every 3 months. As adult animals have different diets and different habits we can provide the best advice as to when to worm your pet and which product to use.
External parasites include ticks, fleas, lice and mites. These parasites affect all companion animals, some are species specific and some are indiscriminate in who and what they will bite.
There are three different types of ticks but in Sydney the most concerning type of tick is the Paralysis tick. This tick is life threatening for dogs and cats and is spread by bandicoots and possums. They are particularly a problem in bushy areas around water-ways. Paralysis ticks cause something known as ascending paralysis. It starts with weakness in the back legs and ends in death from respiratory failure. This process usually takes days but it depends on the size and health of the pet and the tick. Cats being smaller tend to get sicker with ticks but are also better at grooming them out before they attached. Ticks don’t just cause paralysis, they also spread blood borne disease and cause local irritation. Regular tick checks are recommended regardless of the type of prevention used. Preventatives include chews, topical treatments and tick collars and many of the newer products are highly effective and long lasting. Please contact us to discuss which product is most suited to your pet.
If you find a tick on your pet please call us on 94843004 to discuss if a consultation is required.
Fleas cause skin irritation and can spread blood borne disease. They are indiscriminate in who they bite so can affect any family member, human or pet. The most common sign of flea irritation is itchiness and like allergies in people can vary tremendous from person to person, the response to flea bites varies from pet to pet. We will see multiple animals in a household affected by fleas but only one pet is scratching intensely and developing skin sores but all pets in the house need to be treated. A lot of the products that treat fleas will also treat ticks and potentially other parasites. Please contact us if you are confused about which product is most appropriate for your pet.
Lice and mites cause skin and coat changes. The mite that causes scabies in animals is not the same mite that causes scabies in people but it can cause temporary itching and irritation in owners. Fortunately, mites and lice are relatively rare in dogs and cats. They can be more of a problem in rabbits depending on their environment. There are numerous topical treatments that are effective at managing lice and mite infestations.
Desexing or neutering your pet is a permanent method of controlling reproduction. In males, this procedure is known as castration and it involves the surgical removal of the testicles by an incision between the scrotum and the prepuce (or sheath). For females, the surgery is called a spey and requires the removal of ovaries and uterus by an incision through the skin and muscles of the abdomen below the belly button. These surgeries are day procedures carried out under a general anaesthetic and are amongst the most commonly performed surgeries by veterinarians. These procedures are carried out Monday to Friday and require your pet to be dropped off in the morning between 8:30 and 9:30am.
Population control is not the only reason we recommend desexing your pet. There are many undesirable behaviours in dogs and cats which start at puberty due to a rise in sex hormones. These problem behaviours include fighting and conflict between males, aggression, a desire to escape and territorial urine marking. Desexing stops the female reproductive cycle and associated bleeding. The risk of several important diseases is reduced by desexing. For female pets, these diseases include uterine infection, (known as pyometra), cancers of the cervix, uterus and ovary and mammary tumours. Castration reduces the risk of prostatic disease, perianal tumours and prevents testicular cancer.
If you are hesitant about permanent surgical castration, then it is possible to medically sterilise your male dog with an injection called Suprelorin. This is an injection given under the skin that provides 6 or 12 months (depending on the size of the implant chosen) of sex hormone control. This allows owners to see the difference, or lack thereof, in their pet before permanent desexing. It is also used to prevent the unwanted effects of testosterone where a surgical procedure is not possible or not recommended.
In addition to the health benefits, the council reduces the registration fee for desexed cats and dogs to discourage unwanted litters and abandoned pets. The recommended timing of desexing depends on the size and breed of your dog or cat.
For Local Council registration of cats and dogs, a discounted registration fee is available if a cat is desexed and registered by 4 months of age and for dogs by 6 months of age. See the section on microchipping and registration for more information.
Male rabbits can be castrated and female rabbits speyed. This is usually done around 4-6 months of age. As well as population control and preventing the attraction of wild male rabbits, desexing a female rabbit is recommended due to the risk of uterine cancer. Uterine cancer is relatively common in female rabbits and surgical desexing is a good method to prevent this. Castration of male rabbits is recommended to reduce aggression, territorial behaviour and urine spraying,
Rabbits should not be fasted prior to admission and we would recommend dropping off a small amount of their favourite food when they are admitted. A rabbit’s gut is very sensitive and if it is inactive for too long this can lead to a severe or fatal illness. To prevent this complication we will feed your rabbit as soon as he or she has recovered from their anaesthetic. After any anaesthetic, we would recommend monitoring a rabbit very closely at home to make sure they are eating and producing faecal pellets.
It is not always possible or convenient to bring your pet to the hospital, so we are able to offer a limited house-call service Monday to Friday between 12:30pm and 3pm by prior arrangement. Due to scheduling requirements, we may not be able to provide this service at short notice. There is a house-call fee determined by travel distance. We are also able to offer a pick-up and drop-off service, again charged by distance. We will call you prior to departure so please confirm the best contact number to reach you on the day. We would also appreciate it if you are able to confine your pet to as small an area as practical once we call to advise of our departure.
We most commonly provide this service for clients wishing to have pet euthanasia performed in their familiar home environment. We can transport your pet back to the clinic and organise cremation or other suitable after-care arrangements.