Waikato’s first 24/7 animal hospital and referral centre opens in Hamilton
Waikato pet owners have another level of veterinary care available to them if their pets find themselves in need of specialist emergency or critical care.
Until now, Waikato pet owners did not have access to care at a 24-hour pet hospital within the region.
The new service, called The Referral Centre, launched today and is the region’s first multidisciplinary veterinary hospital operating round-the-clock. It provides a range of specialist and referral services above and beyond what pet owners receive at their regular vet practices.
The Referral Centre operates next door to the Waikato After Hours Veterinary Clinic on Anglesea Street in Hamilton.
“Our vet team works the same as when people receive day-to-day care at their medical GP, but then are referred onto a specialist when they need to be seen by a doctor with a unique set of knowledge and expertise.
“Our vets have expertise in areas such as small animal emergency care, dermatology, orthopaedic surgery, imaging, hydrotherapy for rehabilitation and more.
“Individuals can either be referred by their vet or approach us directly for help or a second opinion of a case,” explained Waikato After Hours Veterinary Hospital director, Dr Keith Houston.
Dr Trudi McAlees heads up The Referral Centre and says the vet team at the new centre is specially trained to handle tricky cases and emergencies.
“Critically ill animals are time consuming cases, and cause stress for not only their owners but their vets too. These special cases often require staff resources and equipment that general vet practices just aren’t able to provide.
“Our vet team has undertaken additional training, have advanced qualifications and are versed on how to handle referrals. They are dedicated to working with referring vets and their pet patients and will refer animals back to their regular vet for rehabilitation and recuperation.
“Animals under our care receive 24/7 vet supervision and on-site nursing care,” says Dr McAlees.
Dr McAlees says the vet team can treat a wide range of cases.
“We are capable of helping with lots of different critical and trauma care needs. To name just a few examples, we can provide care to pets if they are hit by a car, have problems related to diabetes, if they’ve swallowed a toxic substance, or if they have seizures or neurological issues.
“And we can also help with cases that require post-operative care, pain management or transfusions. Basically, we can help with anything that falls into critical, trauma or specialist care,” explains Dr McAlees.
Joining Dr McAlees at The Referral Centre are dermatologist Dr Sylvia McLean, orthopaedic surgeon Dr Boet Vermuelen, imaging consultant Dr Richard Lucy and canine rehabilitation expert Rachel Dellar.
“We are continuing to bring additional vet specialties into our team,” says Dr McAlees.
Vets or pet owners can make an appointment at The Referral Centre by phoning 0800 83 83 97.
PICTURED ABOVE: Dr Trudi McAlees heads up The Referral Centre along with Waikato After Hours Veterinary Hospital director, Dr Keith Houston