02 6884 1190 dubbovet@apiam.com.au

Companion Animals

Companion Animal Hospital

Dubbo Veterinary Hospital provides compassionate routine, medical and surgical care for your pets.
It’s reassuring to know that your call to Dubbo Veterinary Hospital will be answered 24 hours a day, everyday of the year.

We stock quality pet care products and premium pet food. Our friendly experienced staff can assist you with all any questions you may have concerning your pet health and veterinary care.

Our clinics have excellent facilities with state of the art technology including:
> Ultrasound
> Digital radiography
> Blood testing laboratory equipment.


State of the art Diagnostics.
Ultrasound is a gentle, non-invasive way to look inside your pet. The veterinary centres have upgraded our ultrasound machine to a Honda S 2000. This machine is an excellent tool for imaging of soft tissues. It is suited to diagnosing disease in the heart, liver, bladder, and pregnancy or cancer diagnosis. We also have veterinarians with extended training in ultra sound diagnostics.

Digital radiology

The latest technology for diagnosis and treatment of animals.
Instead of the old x-ray film being developed like an old fashioned photograph, x-ray pictures are viewed on a computer screen and can be saved onto a CD. There are many benefits for animals using this new technology. X-ray images are generated quickly and it is possible to adjust contrast and brightness and magnification. This means less retakes, and hence less stress for the pets. Digital radiography is also environmentally friendly. There are no hazardous chemicals and films, which would eventually end up as industrial waste. 


Accurate diagnosis of heart arrthymias.
The ECG (electrocardiogram) is a tracing that shows the hearts electrical action. It is generated by attaching small legs to the body and amplifying the minutely small electrical impulses normally generated by the heart. This results in a tracing on paper.

In house laboratory

Rapid and reliable.
We have onsite facilities to conduct blood testing and cytology. This means better care for your pet as we can conduct tests indicating snake bite almost instantly, and pre-anaesthetic blood testing prior to surgery. We can also do preliminary testing on tumours.

Pet Insurance and Vet Pay

Pet Insurance
It is common for some clients to assume that a Medicare rebate is available for pets, but there are unfortunately no subsidies for veterinary care, including both preventative and emergency procedures. The costs associated with providing high quality veterinary care to your beloved pet can be very expensive, particularly in emergency situations, and we find that most people are unprepared! It is for this reason that we strongly recommend that all of our clients consider a pet insurance plan. This covers your responsibility as a loving and caring owner to provide the best treatment for your four-legged companion who is completely dependent upon you for their health and wellbeing.

Ask our Reception team for a PetPlan Pet Insurance brochure or visit www.petplan.com.au

We understand how heartbreaking it can be when a beloved pet requires extensive veterinary treatment and the funds are not readily available. In some cases, this can mean owners are forced to make a decision not to treat their animal.

Our payment policy is that ALL visits are paid for at the end of each consultation and surgery. For this reason, we have paired up with a company called “VetPay” to cover the costs of those emergency visits that can unfortunately surprise us all. VetPay is a company that focuses in providing small loans specifically for veterinary treatment. The process of applying with VetPay involves a quick and simple approval process with us at the clinic and a small 10-20% deposit is made (dependent on the price of the procedure). VetPay will then pay for all of your pet’s treatment on the spot, while you make small repayments over time. VetPay is very flexible and will try their hardest to meet your needs, as we understand that each situation is completely different.

For more information on VetPay, or to seek initial approval, please visit www.vetpay.com.au, or give them a call on 1300 657 984.

Fur Life Vet

Dubbo Veterinary Clinic is proud to be a Fur Life Vet clinic.  Fur Life Vet clinics are located across regional Australia and are dedicated to providing exceptional veterinary services for clients and their companion animals.

Everything about a Fur Life Vet Clinic has your pet’s best interest at heart. Our highly trained and compassionate vets and nurses understand how important your pet is to you and work with your to care for your pet, providing skilled diagnostics, treatment and recovery plans alongside preventative health management.

When you make an appointment for your pet with a Fur Life Vet Clinic you become part of a team that puts your pet’s needs first, helping you to take a proactive approach to your pet’s long-term health.

To find out more about Fur Life Vet and where our other clinics are located visit the Fur Life Vet website.


Total Care for your pet

The Best Protection For your pet

Best Mates is Fur Life Vet’s preventative and protective healthcare program designed to keep your pet healthier and happier for longer. Best Mates is not a pet insurance plan, the annual program provides you will real savings across regular veterinary expenses such as vaccinations, desexing, dental work and medications. Plus unlimited FREE consults!

Annual Health Check

We recommend you bring your pet in every year for a health check. A yearly check means we can monitor your animal to ensure their ongoing well-being and address any changes that may adversely affect their health as early as possible.

The annual check also provides you with the opportunity to have a chat with us about any concerns you may have, as well as a chance to discuss your pet’s diet, exercise, and parasite prevention.

Combining your pet’s vaccinations with an Annual health check is a great way to ensure your pet stays fit and healthy and is protected against contagious diseases.

Why is an annual health check so important?

Pet Dentals

Dental disease is caused by the accumulation of plaque. Plaque is the thin, sticky film that covers teeth and is composed of bacteria and their by-products, saliva, food particles and sloughed epithelial cells. Much the same as with our own teeth.

Four ways to prevent dental disease:

  • Appropriate food.
  • Pet Dental chews.
  • Brushing your pet’s teeth.
  • Regular veterinary dental check-up.

Signs of dental disease
There are various signs you can look out for in your pet, these are:

  • Bad Breath (halitosis).
  • Discoloured or loose teeth.
  • Excessive drooling, sometimes blood stained.
  • Dropping of food from the mouth when eating, or reluctant to eat, especially hard food.
  • Pain when handled around the head or behavioural changes.
  • Facial swelling, pawing at the mouth Inflamed (gingivitis) or receding gums.

Pet dental treatment
A dental treatment involves:

  • Full veterinary pre-operative health assessment.
  • Admission and discharge appointments.
  • General anaesthetic including intravenous fluids.
  • Professional scaling to remove tartar.
  • Charting of the mouth to look for tooth decay, pain and mouth cancers.
  • Polishing of the teeth so they shine.
  • Advice on home-care to keep that smile sparkling.

For more information specific to your pet, we encourage you to make an appointment for a dental check.

Vaccinating Your Pet


We currently use a C5 vaccine – this protects against five common or dangerous diseases that are easily spread between animals:

  • Distemper – this disease can severely impact multiple body systems, and has a high fatality rate. It is no longer common due to several decades of vaccinating, however ongoing vaccination is required to prevent this disease from taking hold again.
  • Hepatitis – caused by a virus, this disease results in chronic and irreversible liver damage.
  • Parvovirus – this is a highly resistant virus that causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea, and has caused numerous recent outbreaks in Australia. It requires prolonged and intensive medical therapy, and can be fatal in young animals.
  • Canine cough – Often called Kennel Cough, this disease is rarely fatal, but can cause severe pneumonia. Our vaccine protects against the two most common forms, Bordatella bronchiseptica (bacteria) and Canine Parainfluenza (virus).
Vaccinating Puppies

Puppies gain some protection from their mother’s milk (as long as the mother has immunity) but this protection gradually declines around 6-8 weeks of age and we need to commence a vaccination program.

  • 1st Vaccination: 6–8 weeks
  • 2nd Vaccination: 10+ weeks. If a puppy commences the program after 10 weeks of age, only one vaccination is required. This is NOT a reason to delay vaccination until then as the puppy will be unprotected between 6–10 weeks.
  • 3rd Vaccination is a kennel cough booster vaccination (if an intranasal vaccination was not given as part of the 2nd Vaccination) and final health check.
Vaccinating Adult Dogs

Adult dogs require their 1st booster vaccination 12 months following their puppy course, which is usually around 15 months of age.

  • Triannual C3 Vaccinations – C3 vaccination lasts for 3 years in adult dogs.
  • Annual Canine Cough Vaccination – needs to be given annually.
Vaccinating Kittens
F5 Vaccination

  • 1st Vaccination: 8 weeks.
  • 2nd Vaccination: Minimum 12 weeks (or 4 weeks after 1st).

FIV Vaccination

  • 1st Vaccination: 8 weeks
  • 2nd Vaccination: 12 weeks
  • 3rd Vaccination: 14-16 weeks
Vaccinating Cats 6 Months Plus
Vaccinating Cats – 6 months of age

  • F5 Vaccination – two vaccinations 4 weeks apart.

FIV Vaccination

  • Will need a blood test to make sure the cat is negative for FIV, then three vaccinations given at 2-4 week intervals.

Annual Vaccination

  • Both F4 and FIV vaccinations require annual boosters.
Information about Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
What is FIV?
Feline Immunodeficiency virus (FIV), commonly known as feline aids, is a virus similar to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Once infected, FIV causes a lifelong infection that leads to immune suppression.  A FIV infected cat may not show any clinical signs for several years. Due to poor immune function, however, a FIV infected animal is susceptible to a variety of other diseases that may lead to severe illness.

How is FIV spread?
FIV is shed in saliva and, hence, spread by direct bite wounds between cats.

Who is susceptible?
Cats of all ages are susceptible. Aggressive biting behaviour with stray and feral cats poses risk to any free-roaming, outdoor cat. High risk factors include sexually intact, male cats, living outdoors due to their tendency to display territorial fighting behaviour.  Multi-cat households or high density habitats also increase the risk of territorial fighting and, hence, spread of FIV.

Public Health Risks?
It should be noted that FIV is host specific to feline species (including the domestic cat, lions, tigers, leopards, panthers etc) and cannot be spread to other species, including humans.
Due to their immunosuppressed state, FIV infected cats are susceptible to a variety of diseases; some of which may pose human threat. Humans who are immunosuppressed must be particularly careful.

Is there a treatment?
There is no cure for FIV; infection with FIV is life-long. Supportive treatment, however, can be offered. Furthermore, treatment may be directed at concurrent disease.

How do I prevent my cat from FIV?

1. Prevent exposure
Stop your cat from roaming freely outdoors. Spay or neuter your cat to reduce free-roaming and fighting behaviour.

2. Vaccination
A killed vaccine is available for prevention against FIV. Cats may be vaccinated from eight weeks of age. Any outdoor, freely roaming cat should be vaccinated to prevent infection with FIV. A full vaccination course should be completed before allowing your cat outdoors. An initial vaccination course requires 3 doses. Thereafter, yearly boosters are required. FIV positive cats cannot be vaccinated. Therefore, cats older than 6 months of age and unvaccinated must be tested for FIV infection before vaccination.

3. FIV blood test
An in-house blood test can be conducted to rule out FIV infection.  Cats older than 6 months of age and unvaccinated should be tested for FIV infection. Before introducing a new cat (> 6 months) into the household we recommend testing for FIV infection.  If your cat has been exposed to FIV (unvaccinated and freely roaming outdoors), we recommend testing to rule out FIV infection.


We have different levels of vaccinations for our feline friends. Our base vaccination is the F4. This covers for:

  • Panleukopaenia – the cat equivalent of canine parvovirus.
  • Herpesvirus – this causes significant disease of the upper airways and inflammation of the eyes. Cats become lifelong carriers, and stress can cause the disease to flare up and make your cat sick again. While the flare-ups can be treated, there is no cure.
  • Calicivirus – This also causes upper respiratory tract disease, and affected cats often develop severe ulcers in their mouth. As with herpesvirus, cats become lifelong carriers and the disease can flare up when stressed. While the flare-ups can be treated, there is no cure.
  • Chlamydiosis – This bacteria causes severe conjunctivitis and may also cause a respiratory tract infection. While it can be treated, it is debilitating, and has the potential to be fatal in young kittens.

In addition to these four core vaccines, we also offer vaccination against Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV).

  • FeLV – can severely impact a number of different body systems, and infected cats are at high risk of developing cancer. It significantly shortens lifespan.
  • FIV – most commonly causes suppression of the immune system, making cats more prone to developing other diseases and making it harder to recover. Also significantly shortens lifespan. (Further information about FIV on then left).

The most common route of infection for both of these diseases is through saliva, and thus is a particularly high risk for cats that get into fights. If your cat goes outdoors, we strongly recommend they be vaccinated against these two diseases.

Because of the potentially severe nature of these two diseases, any cat older than 6 months with an unknown FeLV/FIV history will require a blood test beforehand to confirm that they do not already have these diseases. Vaccinating for these diseases in a cat that is already positive can result in your pet becoming extremely sick. This test is done in our clinic and only takes 10 minutes to get results.


Rabbits can be vaccinated against calicivirus, which predominantly attacks the digestive system and can cause severe haemorrhage. It is nearly 100% fatal.
Another disease, myxomatosis, causes severe swelling and fever, and starts attacking various body systems. It is usually fatal. Vaccines are not registered for use in Australia, as this disease is relied on to keep the wild rabbit population under control.
Keeping your rabbit away from wild rabbits and hares, and protecting them from mosquitoes, are the only ways of preventing your rabbit from getting this disease

Vaccinating Rabbit Kittens
1st dose – 4 weeks
2nd and 3rd dose at 4 weeks intervals
Vaccinating Adult Rabbits
2 doses at 4 week intervals

Twice yearly booster
Every 6 months after finishing initial course

Parasite Protection

We offer a variety of parasite prevention products in our clinic to cover all the parasite groups discussed below. Our products are top of the range, whereas many supermarket products cannot guarantee sufficient protection. Please come in and have a chat to our staff … they can help you determine which parasite prevention products best suit your needs.

While these pesky bugs are most common in the warm weather, your pet can be infested all year round. Although fleas particularly love warm sandy environments, they can be found anywhere, including being tracked though your yard by strays and wildlife. In very severe cases, particularly in young animals, flea burdens can be life threatening.

Maintaining flea control, and regularly washing your pet’s bedding in a hot wash, are some easy but important ways to keep them healthy and itch free.

We are unfortunate enough to share this part of the world with a species of paralysis tick. These ticks are most commonly found in bush and beach regions, so keeping your furry friend protected when travelling through these areas, particularly in the warm weather, is paramount. Tick paralysis requires intensive medical intervention, and if left untreated is fatal.
Intestinal worms
There are a huge variety of species of intestinal worms, some more common than others, and your pet can pick them up in a variety of ways. In some cases, very heavy worm burdens can make your pet incredibly sick. Some worm species are also what we call ‘zoonotic’. This means they can be spread between animals and people. Ensuring your pet’s worm prevention is up to date also protects your family.
This parasite is spread by mosquitoes, and is particularly dangerous because by the end of a complex life cycle, the adult worms reside in the heart and all the major blood vessels from it, which can lead to some serious and potentially fatal cardiac complications.

It is predominantly a parasite found further north in Australia. However, there have been isolated cases of heartworm in the region over the last few years, and the potential for the disease to be carried into the area by another animal is high.

If your pet is not up to date with heartworm prevention, it is extremely important to get them tested before starting any heartworm prevention product. Prevention products can kill all stages of heartworm at once, and if your pet happens to be heartworm positive with adult worms living in their circulatory system, this can result in blockages (embolism) that will likely be fatal.

Canine Reproduction

When you want to breed your dogs, there are a number of different breeding techniques that can be used in order for you to establish the desired pregnancy. These techniques include natural mating, vaginal artificial insemination and surgical artificial insemination. Both vaginal and surgical inseminations can be performed with fresh, chilled and thawed frozen semen.

Dubbo Veterinary Hospital and Apiam Genetic Services can offer the collection, evaluation and processing of dog semen (both chilled and frozen) as well as artificial insemination (both vaginal and surgical) in bitches.

Dubbo Veterinary Hospital and Apiam Genetic Services have been successfully freezing dog semen and undertaking artificial insemination in dogs with thawed frozen semen for over 20 years.

Natural Mating

The simplest breeding technique is a natural mating.There are however some disadvantages to a natural mating. First of all, the sire and the dam must both be available, and be fertile, it must take place at the right time and they must be prepared to successfully mate. There can sometimes be disease risks during natural matings and even a risk of injury.

Semen Evaluation

A thorough semen evaluation can be performed on the selected stud dog to ensure his fertility a week or so before the joining. The quality of the semen, his clinical wellness and libido are all considerations that will contribute to his fertility.

Correct time of mating or insemination

Determining the correct timing for mating is essential. Again the simplest method is to put the bitch with the dog. Traditionally this was done day 9, day 11 and day 13 from the start of oestrous, provided the bitch will stand for the male.

Progesterone Assays and Vaginal Smears

Although puting the bitch with the dog can be successful, the use of progesterone assays and the evaluation of vaginal smears (cells collected from the vagina of female dog evaluated under a microscope) are used to successfully determine the correct time of mating. This can lead to more successful outcomes with natural mating and is essential when using artificial insemination.

Fresh semen collection and vaginal artificial insemination

Occasionally, even when the timing is correct a dog will not be prepare to successfully mate with the bitch. In such circumstances semen can be collected from the dog and the bitch artificially inseminated, usually vaginally, but in some circumstances is done surgically.

Chilled semen

If the dog and bitch are not in the same location, in order to achieve a natural mating one of the needs to be transported.

This can be overcome by using chilled semen, which survives for a number of days. Chilled semen involves collecting semen from the stud dog, then adding an extender before chilling it down to refrigerator temperature. The semen can then be shipped to the bitch and artificially inseminated. Insemination is usually via vaginal insemination, although some veterinarians may use transcervical or even surgical.

The timing of the collection and shipment is determined by progesterone assays and vaginal smears on the bitch. It requires significant organisation and logistics, but can allow artificial insemination anywhere in Australia.

Frozen semen and surgical insemination

Frozen semen allows the preservation of semen. The semen from the dog is collected and processed, before being frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen. Usually one collection can be extended for a number of inseminations with up to 3 being the most common. Frozen semen can be stored for an indefinite period and also shipped to any location provided logistics allow.

The advantages of freezing semen include: insurance for future breeding if the sire becomes infertile or dies; multiple joinings to bitches at anytime; opportunity to use sires with future generations; export; and reduced risk of transmissible disease of injury.

At Dubbo Veterinary Hospital and Apiam Genetic Services we use surgical insemination with thawed frozen semen. This will require a general anaesthetic and small incision in the dog’s abdomen. This gives us the maximum fertility rate and is relatively low risk.

Pregnancy Diagnosis

Dubbo Veterinary Hospital recommends that the pregnancy is confirmed via an ultrasound at around 4 week’s post mating or insemination.

Preparation for Whelping

Keep your bitch in a quiet warm room where she feels comfortable. If you have prepared a whelping box it should have enough room for the bitch and puppies and have a high raised edge so as the puppies cannot escape from the box. One edge may be cut down to enable the bitch to easily enter and leave the box when she needs to.

Measuring the body temperature of your bitch is a useful (but not 100% accurate) way of monitoring when your bitch may be due to whelp. It should be measured twice daily, and a drop in temperature may indicate your bitch is due to whelp within the next 12-24 hours. Measuring serum progesterone measurements tends to provide a more accurate assessment of when your dog is due to whelp.


Stage 1 Labour

Begins with the onset of rhythmic contractions within the uterus. These contractions are usually NOT visible externally. The stage is completed when the cervix has dilated fully. Please note that due to the length of the vagina in a dog, the cervix is NOT able to palpated manually. Stage 1 labour averages 6-12 hours but may last up to 24 hours. During this time your bitch may appear restless, inappetent, may vomit and usually begins nesting or searching for seclusion.

Stage 2 Labour

Begins with the full dilation of the cervix and expulsion of the puppy from the uterus.

Stage 3 Labour

Begins directly after this and involves expulsion of the placenta. In a bitch with more than one puppy, she will alternate between these two stages until all the pups have been born. The length of time of these two stages is highly variable.

Commonly the time of initiation of Stage 2 labour and the birth of the first puppy is 10-30 minutes. Active straining of longer duration than 30 minutes with no sign of a puppy is of concern and you should call the clinic for advice. It is not unusual for a bitch to deliver several puppies, then rest for a period before beginning stage 2 labour again. If there is any panting, muscle tremors or wobbly legs during this period, you should contact the clinic immediately. In this situation a lag of more than four hours is of concern and as mentioned above, any unproductive straining through this period should not last more than 30 minutes without producing a puppy.

The placenta generally passes five to fifteen minutes following the birth of your puppy. The bitch may eat the placenta after it has passed. While this is not a problem, it should not be encouraged as vomiting of placental material is common.

A dystocia is the term for a difficult birth. A successful outcome of live dam and puppies relies on early detection and intervention (if required). If in doubt, please always ring sooner rather than later. An abdominal ultrasound may be performed by us to determine if the puppies are under stress and require attention.

When to seek Veterinary Assistance

  • If your bitch does not progress from stage 1 to stage 2 within 6-8 hours
  • If your bitch is weak, wobbly or shivering
  • If your bitch is in extreme pain
  • If you see a dark green vaginal discharge without a puppy being delivered within 30 minutes.
  • If your bitch is actively straining for more than 30 minutes without producing a puppy
  • If the puppy is visible through the vulva, but is not progressing within 15–20 minutes

Call us at Dubbo Veterinary Hospital immediately if you believe your dog is in trouble whelping.

Dubbo Veterinary Hospital
  • Monday – Friday 8.30 am – 6.00 pm
  • Saturday 8.30 am – 12 noon
  • Telephone: 02 6884 1190
  • Email: dubbovet@apiam.com.au
  • AH Emergency: 02 6884 1190


355 Macquarie Street NSW 2830



Dubbo Veterinary Hospital

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