Middle Road Veterinary Hospital

Frequently Asked Questions







What age should my pet be de-sexed?

Middle Road Veterinary Hospital will desex your pet from 6 months of age.

What are the benefits of desexing my pet?

Why Desex Male Dogs

  1. Lifespan is increased
  2. Aggression between dogs and towards family members
  3. Urine marking and roaming are reduced
  4. Risk of medical conditions such as prostatic enlargement, cystine bladder stones, perineal hernia, testicular cancer & perianal cancer are reduced or eliminated.

Why Desex Female Dogs

  1. Lifespan is significantly increased
  2. Heat periods and unwanted pregnancy are eliminated
  3. Pyometra (uterine infection) is prevented

Why can’t my pet have surgery if he / she ate something after 7pm the night before?

It is very important that our pets don’t eat after 7pm the night prior to surgery as there may be a risk of aspiration, vomiting, infection and other surgery complications.  These instructions are given to us also when going to surgery.  The combination of anaesthesia, which paralyses the body, and intubation makes it possible for you to inhale the vomit into your lungs. Asleep and ‘paralysed’, the ability to cough, or even to spit vomit out, is taken away and the risk of aspiration is high.  This aspirated food or fluid can quickly lead to aspiration pneumonia, a lung infection caused by inhaling foreign material, this can be fatal for your pet.

The best way to prevent aspiration from happening is to make sure your stomach is empty before surgery.

What if I can’t afford payment?

There is a consultation fee of $64 for every pet examined by our veterinarians. The veterinarian will examine your pet and will provide estimates for further medication, diagnostics or hospitalisation of your pet. There is an array of solutions available depending on your personal circumstance. 

Please discuss with either the nurse or the receptionist before seeing the vet to raise any financial or treatment concerns.  To help ease the upfront financial burden, there is Zip Money and Vet pay available.  Please let us know if you are thinking about either of these payment options so we can start organising it for you.

Why does veterinary treatment cost so much?

Compared to other veterinary hospitals, Middle Road Veterinary Hospital is quite competitive.  Compared to us and our medical care, Medicare and private health insurance, our pet’s veterinary treatment or surgery appears to be greater.  Unfortunately, Veterinary care isn’t subsided so the costs of diagnostics (blood tests), radiography (x-rays) and medications can become a shock.  However the cost of keeping highly skilled veterinarians, veterinary staff, state-of-the-art equipment, equipment maintenance, medications, supplies, anti-venes, vaccinations and the list goes on, is to provide you and your pet the best veterinary care.  Our medical costs are quite concealed due to government funding (i.e. cost of drugs, PBS etc.)

We operate similar to a ‘mini human hospital’ with full facilities such as blood and other diagnostic laboratory, x-ray and ultrasound, surgical suite, sterilisation equipment, hospital consumables, IT, accounting payroll for qualified veterinary doctors and veterinary nurses, continuing education requirements, high insurance costs, regulatory costs, facilities management and rent or property expenses. The list goes on.

Your veterinarian is not just a general physician, he /she is your pet's surgeon, radiologist, dentist, dermatologist, ophthalmologist, psychiatrist, behaviourist, ears/nose/throat doctor and pharmacist.

In recent years veterinary medicine has seen an amazing level of advancement, often mirroring that of human medicine. This means more can be done to treat your loved ones than in the past. Just like human medicine enabling our better quality of life and increase in age, the same is for our pets. 

Why do I have to have an appointment?

Appointments help our staff as well as reducing waiting times for our clients, compared to a walk-in service.  This allows quality time spent with you and your pet, to address your concerns thoroughly and provide the best customer service to you and your pet.



Why can't I make an appointment during the middle of the day?

Between our two consulting periods in the morning and the afternoon, from 11am to 4pm our veterinarians and veterinary nurses perform surgeries and procedures, monitor patients, write up extensive medical notes, research cases, look after boarders and perform administrative work.

Do you provide accounts?

Unfortunately, Middle Road Veterinary Hospital do not provide accounts.  If we were to provide accounts, we would need to charge more to increase our cash-on-hand to pay suppliers and staff.  Instead, we offer the financial services of Zip Money or Vet Pay for those needing a little help.

Why can't a veterinarian or nurse diagnose or prescribe medication based on a phone conversation?

For the same reason a human doctor cannot: it is both unethical and illegal. Without physically examining a patient, it is impossible for the veterinarian to arrive with an accurate diagnosis and plan of treatment.  Just like our Doctor, a veterinarian can't make a diagnosis based on symptoms only as observed by an owner.  A complete physical examination and possibly other diagnostic tests are required to determine the cause of the symptoms and best course of treatment. 

Why may I be informed that I must bring my pet in for an appointment before receiving a prescription renewal?

For the same reason a human doctor requires this. Our veterinarians have an ethical and legal requirement to ensure that the medication prescribed is continuing to be of benefit to your pet, is being prescribed at the appropriate dosage and any side effects are considered.  Without physically examining a patient, it is impossible for the veterinarian to arrive and maintain a correct diagnosis and plan of treatment for your pet.

How often should my pet have a check-up?

This will vary, depending on your animal’s baseline level of health and wellness. But at a minimum, we recommend popping in at least once a year for an annual check-up, which is a part of your pet’s annual vaccination.  For pets over 7 we recommend at least 2 check-ups per year.

Why does my pet need pre-anaesthetic blood test?

Middle Road Veterinary Hospital provide pre – anaesthetic blood tests as an option for your pets.  Pre-anaesthetic blood tests are particularly important for pets over 7 years old.  A blood test helps screen for conditions such as thrombocytopenia, high or low glucose, high white cell counts and anaemia, which may greatly reduce the risk of anaesthetic and surgical procedures.  This blood test also helps check the liver and kidneys; organs needed for processing anaesthetic inhalants.

Evaluating electrolytes, haematocrit and total protein in fasted patients is essential for minimising risks of hypotension’s and arrhythmias. Checking organ functions particularly kidney and liver is also considerably important prior to an anaesthetic.

Pre-anaesthetic blood testing allows the veterinarian to tailor anaesthetic protocols, enhance potential required monitoring i.e. BP, change anaesthetic agent, fluid therapy and pain medication based on individual results. Blood tests also provide an invaluable baseline referencing and interpreting for future blood work if your pet does gets sick.

Why should my pet have fluids whilst in surgery?

Again, Middle Road Veterinary Hospital provide an option of IV fluids for your pet whilst in surgery.  Fluids help to prevent dehydration and assist the anaesthetic drugs being flushed through the system.  There are other reasons such as hypotension or high blood pressure where IV fluids would benefit your pet whilst in surgery.  However, your pet has a pre - existing medical condition (i.e. kidney failure) or simply if the Veterinarian advises by case basis, fluids should be done for your pet.

How do I know when my pet needs a dental performed?

When your pet has bad breath, inflamed gums, plaque and tartar build-up, and loose teeth are all great concern.  If you notice any of these signs, please bring your pet in for a dental check-up so the Veterinarian can do a full health check, provide advice and tailored quotes for your pet.  If your pet’s teeth are not in need of a cleaning at the time of the check-up, we can give you recommendations to help maintain your pet’s overall mouth health such as helpful treats/toys, teeth brushing, and other pet safe dental products. 

Should my dog be on heartworm medication?  What happens if I miss a dose of heartworm medication?

Yes.  Heartworm disease is very easy to prevent but very difficult to treat and even life threatening.  There are chews, injections etc. available to treat heartworm for your pet.  Please talk to one of our Veterinarians.  If you miss a dose or doses of heartworm preventative, please do not ‘double dose’ as this can be fatal.  Please consult with us immediately on 3802 1155.

Why is my pet scooting its rear on the ground?

There could be several reasons that your pet is scooting on the ground.  Your pet may need its anal gland expressed, need to be dewormed, or may have other more serious medical issues.  Please call the clinic to make an appointment 3802 1155. 

What does my dog’s annual vaccination include?

The annual canine C5 vaccination includes;




Kennel Cough



  1. Canine Distemper

Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that can affect dogs of any age with young puppies being at highest risk.

Symptoms vary but can include fever, coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and depression. Muscle tremors, fits and paralysis usually occur later in the disease. Treatment is usually ineffective and the recovery rate very low. Dogs that do recover may have permanent brain damage.

Canine Hepatitis

Canine hepatitis is a viral disease which, like distemper is extremely contagious and often fatal. Dogs of any age can become infected, however severe cases are rare in dogs over two years of age.  Symptoms include high fever, depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and acute abdominal pain. In severe cases death can occur within 24 to 36 hours. Dogs that recover may develop long term liver and kidney problems and can act as carriers spreading the disease to other dogs for many months.

Canine Parvovirus

Canine parvovirus is a disease that affects dogs of all ages and is most serious in young pups and older dogs. The virus attacks the intestines causing bloodstained diarrhea, uncontrollable vomiting and severe abdominal pain. Dogs often die from severe dehydration despite intensive veterinary care.  It is not necessary to have direct contact with other dogs for the disease to be spread. The virus is so persistent that the infected dog’s environment needs to be cleaned with a potent disinfectant to prevent spread to other dogs. Outbreaks occur regularly throughout Australia, especially in summer.

Canine Cough

Canine cough is a condition produced by several highly infectious diseases, which can be easily spread wherever dogs congregate, such as parks, shows, obedience schools and boarding kennels. Among the infectious agents associated with canine cough is the bacterium known as Bordetella bronchiseptica and the canine virus’s parainfluenza, adenovirus type 2 and distemper.  Affected dogs have a dry hacking cough which can persist for several weeks. It is distressing for both, the pet dogs and their owners. It is a major problem for working and sporting dogs. Pneumonia can also be a consequence of infection.

Canine Coronavirus

Canine coronavirus is another contagious virus and causes depression, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea especially in young dogs. Diarrhea may last for several days in some cases. Most dogs will recover with treatment, coronavirus has the potential to be fatal, especially if other infectious agents such as parvovirus are present.

Canine Leptospirosis

Canine leptospirosis is a serious disease risk in some areas and can cause high death rates. It is spread by the urine of rats and is usually transmitted to dogs by contaminated food and water, or by rat bites.

There’s an increased risk where high rat populations exist such as rubbish dumps or green sugar cane cutting areas. Incidence can also increase after long periods of wet weather, when rat populations are forced to move or concentrate. Leptospirosis is an animal disease that can be passed to humans who may then suffer a persisting “flu like” illness.

Is there a tablet I can give my dog instead of the injection?


When do I get my puppy’s vaccinations done?

The puppy vaccination schedule is;

  1. One C4 vaccination at 6-8 weeks of age
  2. One C5 vaccination at 12 weeks of age
  3. One C5 vaccination at 16 weeks of age

If the puppy is over the 12 weeks of age and is not vaccinated, start the puppy on a C5 vaccine schedule of two C5 vaccinations given one month apart.

What does my cat’s annual vaccination include?

Herpes Type I







Feline Enteritis (also known as Feline Panleucopenia)

It is very contagious, and the death rate is high, especially under 12 months of age. Pregnant cats may lose their young or give birth to kittens with abnormalities, quite often with brain damage. Symptoms are depression, loss of appetite, uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhoea, often with severe abdominal pain.  The virus spreads easily that heavily contaminated areas may need cleaning with a special disinfectant. Cats that do recover may continue to carry the virus for some time and infect other cats.

Feline Respiratory Disease (Cat flu)

It is caused in 90% of cases by feline herpesvirus (feline rhinotracheitis) and/or feline calicivirus.

Feline respiratory disease affects cats of all ages, especially young kittens, Siamese and Burmese. It is highly contagious and causes sneezing, coughing, runny eyes, nasal discharge, loss of appetite and tongue ulcers.  Fortunately, the death rate is low except in young kittens, but the disease is distressing and may persist for several weeks. Recovered cats can continue to carry and spread the infection for long periods and can show signs of the disease again if they become stressed.

Chlamydia (also known as Chlamydophila)

Feline Chlamydia causes a severe persistent conjunctivitis in up to 30% of cats.  Kittens are more severely affected by Chlamydia when also infected with “Cat Flu” and Chlamydia can be shed for many months. Vaccination against cat flu and Chlamydia helps protects against clinical disease.

Feline Leukaemia (FeLV)

Feline Leukaemia is a serious disease of cats caused by feline leukaemia virus.  The virus attacks the immune system and may be associated with lack of appetite, weight loss and apathy, pale or yellow mucous membranes, vomiting, diarrhoea, reproductive problems, increased susceptibility to other infections, leukaemia and tumours. Many cats may be infected and show no signs at all.  About one third of infected cats remain chronically infected and may shed virus in their saliva, tears, nasal secretions and urine. The disease is then spread to uninfected cats by mutual grooming, fighting, sneezing or even flea bites.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)

Feline AIDS is a disease caused by infection with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and affects the cat’s immune system. Their natural defence against attack by other diseases may be seriously affected, much in the same way as human AIDS.

This disease is not transmissible to humans.  FIV is almost always transmitted by bites from infected cats. The virus that causes the disease is present in saliva.  While some infected cats show no sign of disease, others may display initial symptoms such as fever, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, lethargy and swollen lymph nodes.  As the disease progresses, symptoms may occur such as weight loss, sores in and around the mouth, eye lesions, poor coat and chronic infections.  Eventually, the immune system becomes too weak to fight off other infections and diseases. As a result, the cat may die from one of these subsequent infections.

Unfortunately, in Australia, a lot of cats are infected with this virus.

Is there a tablet I can give my cat instead of the injection?


How often does my kitten need vaccinations?

  1. One F3 at 6-8 weeks of age
  2. One F4 at 12 weeks of age
  3. One F4 at 16 weeks of age

If the kitten is over 12 weeks of age and is not vaccinated, start the kitten on a F4 vaccine schedule of two F4 vaccinations given one month apart.


How often does my puppy need have worming treatment?

Once a week every two weeks until 3 months old

Once a month every month until 6 months old

Worm every three months thereafter

How often does my kitten need have worming treatment?

  1. Once a week every two weeks until 3 months old
  2. Once a month every month until 6 months old
  3. Worm every three months thereafter


Why can’t nurses and other staff give blood test results or any other results to you over the phone?

Upon calling Middle Road Veterinary Hospital, if the Veterinarian is able, we will put your call through to him / her to discuss your pet’s blood test / other results.




The reason why nurses or other staff are unable to discuss results with you is because;

1/.  Nurses and receptionists or any other staff member are not medically qualified

2/.  Your Veterinarian can interpret and explain the results and answer any questions you may have at that point in time.

3/. Confidentiality