Latrobe Veterinary Group provides a wide range of veterinary services and products for small animals – your pets. Some of these are commonly available in most veterinary clinics, some are quite unique to this practice.
Small Animal Consultations
Small animal consultations are available by appointment, during clinic opening hours.
This time with the vet includes a full health examination to assess any ailments your pet has, and ample time for explanation of findings and discussion of diagnostic and treatment options. In some cases, further diagnostics may be necessary, such as blood tests, ultrasound, x-rays. Treatment options may include medications, hospitalisation or surgical correction. If medications are required for your pet, we can dispense them from our comprehensive pharmacy.
Consultation times may be arranged for routine check-ups, or requested whenever you are concerned about a problem.
We strongly recommend that your pet should be examined once a year to pick up subtle problems you may not know about, before they become serious. For pets over about 10 years old, a 6 monthly check is recommended, and where there are serious health concerns, we review cases at closer intervals. Many problems can be managed easily to minimise discomfort to your pet, if picked up early.
Microchipping, Desexing, Vaccinations
Of course, the Latrobe Veterinary Group offers these routine small animal services – with our high standards of care applied to all. We recommend microchipping at the time of desexing.
Our desexing base standards of care are very high for all our patients. Every animal is thoroughly health checked before anaesthetic, given pain relief before & after surgery, intravenous fluids throughout the anaesthetic and all patients are continually monitored by a veterinary nurse while under anaesthetic. We use “high tech” suture materials which minimize the chances of site reactions and wound breakdowns. We do not routinely use antibiotics as our sterility standards are continually maintained and our experience is that antibiotics are very rarely required.
Rather than just automatically giving vaccinations every year, we assess your situation and determine – in consultation with you – what your pet really needs. We are regularly monitoring the scientific publications regarding requirements for vaccination and determining best practice to minimise risks of disease and risks of vaccination reactions in your pets. We stress the importance of an annual health check – the vaccination requirement is more variable. We also offer the alternative of titre testing to assess vaccination status for situations where accurate knowledge of the pet’s status is important.
Latrobe Veterinary Group is very well equipped in the imaging department with digital radiography, dental radiography, video-endoscopy and a quality ultrasound unit. Images are transferred and stored on our clinical database, available to every vet who reviews a case. CD-roms of images can be created for referrals or client records, but most frequently we simply email the images.
Latrobe Veterinary Group installed state-of-the-art pathology equipment in mid 2012, so that we can get results for you when you need them (i.e. right away!). We can perform the vast majority of routine pathology tests in house, with more tests coming online regularly as software is upgraded. Some samples are still sent to external laboratories, when expert veterinary pathologist opinion is required, or the required test is outside the scope of our equipment.
Complex Medical Cases
Dr Fiona Armstrong has a strong interest in small animal medicine and challenging cases — but all our veterinarians handle medical cases on a daily basis. We frequently make contact with specialist clinics to seek advice on tricky cases, and regularly offer referral where specialist intervention is the best option for diagnosis and management of cases. Many cases are co-managed between our practice and the specialists.
Pet Behaviour Services
Latrobe Veterinary Group was the first veterinary clinic in the Latrobe Valley to recognise the social importance of pet behaviour and introduce puppy training classes to its range of services. We regard theunderstanding of positive reinforcement training and clear communication between human and dog as one of the most important skills we can help our clients attain. We have been lucky to have three qualified Delta dog trainers work with our practice to develop training classes and educate our staff. Our current trainer, Jane Morrey, is a qualified Delta trainer with decades of experience in dog training and veterinary nursing. Our youngest vet, Dr Carly Visser, is developing a strong interest in pet behaviour.
Our animal handling within the clinics has been heavily influenced by what we have learned from our trainers about interpreting animal body language and understanding their fears — as our understanding has increased, so has our tolerance, patience and level of reassurance to our patients.
We are committed to ongoing involvement in dog training as we regard this as a vitally important part of helping our clients to provide the best care for their pets.
House Calls for Small Animals
With the increased workload within the practice and the arrival of very good mobile Veterinary practices in the area, we now rarely offer house call visits. Our facilities and equipment are one of our great strengths and it makes most sense for patients to come to us for the best care we can offer.