At Family Vet Centre, we provide an extensive variety of services to aid in the care of your pet's health. Family Vet Centre is proud of the extent and the quality of the services we offer.
Surgery & Medicine
Dr Jane Bromwich, Dr Nadine Miller and Dr Justin Clancy are members of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in Small Animal Surgery and Small Animal Medicine respectively. Soft-tissue and orthopaedic surgery can be carried out; including open chest surgery, fracture repair, cruciate and hip surgery. All facets of medicine are practiced; including cardiac medicine, oncology, endocrinology and dermatology. All anaesthetics are continuously monitored by trained staff, and we focus on attentive care for patient recovery.
We use state-of-the-art x-ray machines and x-ray developers to deliver the best radiographs possible when required for your pet. Contrast studies such as myelograms can be performed and more advanced imaging is employed in certain cases.
Penn-Hip Radiography for Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is the most commonly inherited orthopedic disease in dogs. It may lead to debilitating arthritis of the hip joint, causing pain, stiffness and affecting quality of life. From the 1980’s onwards studies have identified a link between the degree of laxity or “looseness” in the hip socket. Dogs with looser hips are at a higher risk of developing hip dysplasia than those dogs with tighter hips (less laxity).
As a result of these findings a special radiographic technique for assessing the degree of laxity of the hip joint was developed. This is known as the PennHIP procedure, developed by a non-profit organization at the University of Pennsylvania.
Briefly, under anaesthesia an x-ray is taken of the dog’s hips in a neutral position. A second x-ray is then taken with a special distraction device to show the maximum amount of hip laxity.
PennHIP can be safely performed on dogs as young as 16 weeks of age. This allows early interventions to help minimize the development of hip dysplasia should your pet be identified as being at risk.
Veterinarians must complete specialized training and quality-control exercises before becoming certified to perform the PennHIP procedure. Certified PennHIP members perform the PennHIP procedure at their practice and send the radiograph images to the PennHIP Analysis Center for evaluation. After the films are reviewed, a Hip Evaluation Report is mailed to both the veterinarian and the owner. Dr Chris Wolmarans is qualified to perform Penn-Hip Radiography.
For more information visit www.pennhip.org or speak to Dr Chris.
A high-quality ultrasound was purchased in early 2010 to enable clinicians to utilize this important diagnostic tool. Dr Justin Clancy has completed continuing education studies in ultrasound, and is available to perform studies. Pets undergoing ultrasound may require sedation, and it is important to be aware that the hair coat may be clipped to enable proper imaging.
Dr Mara King has completed the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society Certificate and is available to perform acupuncture by appointment
Acupuncture has been used as a healing modality for around 4000 years. In recent times acupuncture is used by veterinarians alongside conventional medicine treatments, particularly in pain management and conditions non-responsive to conventional medicine.
How does Acupuncture work?
Through the insertion of needles into special points throughout the body, energy channels connected to the nervous system and body organs are stimulated. This stimulation releases endorphins, which are like natural relaxant and pain relievers.
Does Acupuncture hurt?
Very fine sterile needles are used for insertion into particular points, occasionally animals react mildly to the initial insertion of a needle, a bit like an insect landing on their skin. Once in place most animals relax and are not bothered by the needles.
Can it cause any problems? Is it a safe treatment?
Practiced in the right context acupuncture is a safe modality and can be used for a range of conditions. Working synergistically with the body, acupuncture can be used to realign energy and improve health and well-being. On some occasions the condition being treated may appear to worsen briefly before improvement. Some specific points should not be used during pregnancy.
What conditions can be treated with acupuncture? Acupuncture can be used to not only to treat pain but also for many long term conditions or for animals that are no longer responding to the medications originally prescribed for a condition. Common conditions include arthritis, lameness, skin problems and gastrointestinal conditions. It can also be used to stimulate the immune system to strengthen the body’s own defense mechanisms. In fact there are many points identified that can be used for a wide variety conditions.
How long does a treatment take?
Depending on the condition and the individual animal's needs, consultations are around half an hour. For best results multiple treatments may be required once weekly to fortnightly for several weeks.
Muscle Release Therapy (Animal Arm of Bowen Therapy)
Muscle Release Therapy is a very gentle non-invasive manipulation of the soft tissues stimulating the body to restore its balanced state. It is never forced and is very relaxing for your animal. Muscle Release Therapy assists in relieving restrictions in the connective tissue of the body (especially the fascia which covers the muscles & extends to the organs of the body), freeing congestion, promoting the circulation and thereby increasing the nutrient supply to the body and the removal of toxins.
What conditions can be treated with Muscle Release Therapy?
Muscle Release Therapy assists in relieving pain and inflammation, improving the circulation (nutrient supply to the body), improving the lymphatics (removal of toxins from the body) and relaxation of muscle spasms therefore its is very useful in the treatment/management of the following conditions:
- Any acute injury – sprain or strain
- Back pain
- Chronic and/or degenerative conditions i.e. Arthritis, hip & elbow dysplasia
- Post operatively after surgery – especially musculoskeletal surgery to aid in pain relief and improve recovery rates
- Cystitis/urinary disorders
- Respiratory problems
- Working or competition dogs to maintain optimum health
What to expect in a treatment:
Each treatment is tailored to the specific needs of your animal. The treatment entails an initial assessment then a sequence of moves with breaks in between some of the moves to enable the animal’s body to process the treatment. In this time they may show a range of responses, some of the responses include:
- Licking themselves
- Stretching or sitting in different positions
- Taking themselves to a quiet corner for a few minutes before returning
What to expect after a treatment:
After a treatment your animal may sleep for a prolonged period which is fantastic as this enables the body to process the treatment & initiate repair & healing.
Your pet may be going through changes within his body for up to 7 days after a treatment. Generally you will notice that your animal seems much more relaxed, the condition of their coat looks fuller and softer and the coat may also change colour – become darker. They may also have changes in their behaviour i.e. happier. Offer your animal plenty of fresh water & allow him/her the space & time they need.
It is good to encourage light walking to help with the circulation & changes in the body but in most cases best to avoid strenuous exercise for a minimum of 4 days.
The general treatment protocol is once a week for 3 weeks then a fortnight later but this may very depending on your animal’s condition.
Dr Raquel says of Muscle Release Therapy: “I use Muscle Release therapy every day in my routine treatment of animals & I have been absolutely amazed at the results. It is so rewarding to be able to see the changes in the animals both physically & mentally. To see them enjoying their treatment and actually relaxing in the consultation room is fantastic.”
In-house laboratory services in both clinics means that many urgent laboratory tests can be performed immediately when required. We also provide a daily service to Melbourne for further laboratory diagnostics.
Both clinics have complete dental units to enable scaling and polishing of teeth for general dental care, as well as dental extractions for fractured or diseased teeth.
Family Vet Centre would like to introduce a new referral service available in our area. Dr Sally Nixon has worked as a veterinarian in mixed practice for 13 years and has been accepted as a member of the behaviour medicine chapter of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists.
With a passion for animal welfare, she hopes to increase awareness as to why appropriate treatment from a qualified behaviourist is recommended for any strange or frustrating behaviours.
Behaviour problems can be signs from your pet that they are having trouble coping in some or many situations, regardless of how pampered and loved your pet may be. Sally is qualified to understand the psychological and evolutionary needs of many species and how they behave to communicate to us when they need our help.
Soiling in the house, obsessive-‐compulsive disorders, separation anxiety, aggression and thunderstorm phobia are a few examples of the types of disorders for which Sally can provide a therapeutic management plan. These behaviour problems can indicate suffering on behalf of our pets and Sally hopes to help clients understand that they may be able to help their pet towards a happier future.
Please ask at the clinic if you have a pet with any concerning behaviours so that we can inform you of the options available to diagnose and treat the problem.
We are fortunate to have routine visits by Dr Andrew Turner, a specialist ophthalmologist (eyes) and Dr Greg Burton, a dermatologist (skin specialist) from Melbourne.
Puppy pre-school is a great way to get off on the right paw with your newest family member in a safe, fun and friendly environment. It is an excellent resource to puppy owners and benefits both puppies and owners.
Kittens adopted out from Family Vet Centre are desexed, microchipped and have had their first vaccination, worming and flea treatment. The cost of a kitten is $150 - a very significant discount on the true cost of each procedure. This is done by Family Vet Centre to encourage responsible pet ownership.
Kittens will not be put on hold, and are only available once desexed.
Please click here to view our kittens available for adoption