At Total Vets we are proud of the exceptional services we offer and the state-of-the-art technology and equipment that we use. We have highlighted a few of our services here. If there is a service we haven’t listed that you would like to know more about please ask, the chances are we can offer it or know someone who can!
General Health Checks
We provide general health checks for all pets, from cats and dogs, to rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and mice, birds, reptiles and everything in between.
Unlike us, our pets can’t tell us if they aren’t feeling well. Regular health checks are important as it can help detect problems and disease early and allow treatment to be started before the problem gets out of hand.
The health check involves a full physical examination, often in conjunction with a vaccination, but can be done at any time. We can advise you on the best vaccination program tailored to your pet.
Our vets are accredited by MPI to perform pre-export checks prior to international travel.
These checks are required by law prior to ensure that your pet is healthy enough to fly. The check involves a complete physical examination, microchip scanning and implantation when required, flea and worm control.
Feel free to contact us for advice on the export requirements and timing for different countries – some countries require special vaccinations and blood tests which we can easily arrange for you.
We can recommend companies that can make all the travel arrangements on your behalf to make the move as stress-free as possible.
A microchip is a small device about the size of a grain of rice. The microchip is implanted in the soft scruff of the neck using a special needle. This is usually done during one of your pet’s vaccination visits, using a local anaesthetic cream to make the experience pleasant. The microchip has a unique number that can be read by a special scanner, similar to a barcode scanner enabling your pet to be identified.
By law your dog must be registered by the age of three months old. Once the microchip has been placed you can register your dog at your local council service centre or online at www.ccc.govt.nz. This registration needs to be renewed annually. Dogs registered for the first time after 1 July 2006 are required to be micro-chipped. While dogs first registered prior to 2006 are exempt, we strongly recommend microchipping these dogs regardless.
We also recommend that you register your pet on the Companion Animal Registry. We can arrange this for you and the small fee covers registration for the lifetime of your pet no matter how many times you move or where you live in New Zealand.
Surgery and Anaesthesia
It is important for you to know that not all veterinary hospitals approach anaesthesia and surgery in the same way.
We understand how stressful it can be entrusting your pet to us for even the most routine surgery.
You can be confident that your pet will be provided the highest quality of care with the most compassionate approach. This includes the latest pain management protocols, the most advanced monitoring equipment, a highly trained nursing staff, the safest anaesthesia, and even thermal warming mats to maintain body temperature.
When your pet is admitted to our hospital for surgery, several steps are taken before the actual surgery. On arrival, your pet’s attending veterinary nurse will perform an admittance consultation with you to determine if there are any current issues that we can address prior to surgery. Any questions or concerns regarding the surgery can hopefully be alleviated and the attending nurse will be your point of contact during your pets stay.
After admittance a further examination will be conducted by the vet conducting surgery for the day. They will tailor a pre-anaesthetic and pain management plan for your pet.
If all is well, your pet’s nurse will administer a pre-anaesthetic sedative to reduce pain, calm your pet, and reduce the amount of anaesthetic gas needed. Later, a short acting drug is given to allow your pet to fall asleep. At that point, a breathing (endotracheal) tube will be placed and an anaesthetic gas will be administered directly into the lungs. We use the same anaesthesia as human hospitals. Monitors will be attached to your pet showing heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation. Based on our careful monitoring, anaesthesia can be adjusted accordingly, and any physiological changes can be detected before serious problems occur.
Surgeries are performed in our dedicated surgery. The veterinarians are gloved and gowned, and your pet’s surgery site is prepped and scrubbed. Your pet is constantly monitored by an attending veterinary nurse during the procedure and when the surgery is complete, the anaesthesic gas is turned off and oxygen is administered. Your pet continues to be monitored by our trained staff during the recovery period, and is given additional injectable pain management later in the day.
Total Vets is on the forefront of pain management, providing a level of pain control for our patients that rivals or exceeds our human counterparts. Owners are often amazed how great their pet looks when they walk out to greet them, often with little or no indication that they have been under general anesthesia or had surgery.
In addition to standard neuter/spay procedures and mass removal surgeries, vets at Total Vets are qualified to perform advanced surgical procedures including ophthalmic (eye), otic (ear), orthopedic (bones and joints), gastrointestinal (stomach and intestines), urogenital (kidney, bladder and reproductive organs), and certain cardio/respiratory procedures.
Internal medicine is the branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and nonsurgical treatment of diseases of the internal organs. This covers a wide range of diseases and therefore requires a variety of diagnostic procedures to best evaluate and treat our patients. At Total Vets, our mission is to provide the highest quality medical and surgical care for our patients with the most compassionate approach. Therefore, we have made it a priority to ensure we have the proper equipment and knowledge to be able to provide our patients with noninvasive and minimally invasive diagnostic procedures allowing us to accurately diagnose and effectively treat your pets.
Veterinary oncology is the treatment of cancer in our animals. With new advances in veterinary medicine, many pets with cancer are living longer and with a greatly improved quality of life. Total Vets offers many tools to diagnose, stage, and treat a variety of cancers in dogs and cats.
Early detection is the key to successful treatment. However this detection can be difficult, as cancer can occur internally and therefore may not be detected until clinical signs develop. Annual physical exams are the best way to monitor changes in body weight and physical condition. If a growth is found by the owner or veterinarian, a fine needle aspirate is performed and cells are then examined under a high powered microscope for evidence of malignancy. Detecting tumors within the body may be more difficult depending on the location. State of the art digital radiographs and ultrasound are other important diagnostic tools that we at Total Vets use to screen for cancers in our pets.
Treatment depends on the type and location of the cancer. If possible, surgical removal of the tumor and/or involved organ is recommended. The tumor is then biopsied to determine the type of cancer and potential follow-up treatment. Some types of cancer are responsive to chemotherapy, which includes a variety of oral or injectable drug combinations. Dogs and cats tend to tolerate chemotherapy well, and we usually do not see the side effects that are associated with chemotherapy in people.
The purpose of our oncology detection and treatment services is to provide a good quality of life for your pet. The knowledgeable and compassionate staff at Total Vets is able to assist you and your pet from diagnosis through treatment. We are here to answer questions, offer support and guidance, and provide the best care available.
Your pet may have to be admitted into our hospital for further workup or treatment. Their well-being is our prime focus.
Your pet’s comfort is of paramount importance to us. For our small pets we have heated cages and we have underfloor heating for our larger patients as well as heat pumps and air conditioning. Although you are welcome to bring your pets bedding we provide fluffy vetbed (designed to soak any moisture away should there be an acccident and also polar fleece blankets.
We have 8 intravenous fluid pumps to deliver accurate amount of fluids to your pet should they be required to be on intravenous fluids.
You are welcome to visit your pet should they require to be hospitalised.
- Select stud dog or obtain access to semen
- Investigate transport options if bringing semen from out of town / overseas
- Select a method of mating – natural, artificial insemination, frozen / chilled semen
- Ensure all health testing requirements for your breed are completed – DNA, hip and elbow scores etc
- Ensure you bitch is in optimal health – worming and vaccination status up-to-date
- Ideal weight – remember that overweight bitches are less likely to conceive
- Traps to avoid – what not to feed, medications to avoid
Progesterone is a hormone released by the ovary that can be used to gauge fertility. Through correct testing and interpretation we can help maximise you chances of success. Contact us and we can tailor a plan to suit your breeding requirements. If you are not in Christchurch we can advise you what steps to take so that you can get accurate lab results where you live. Important things to consider are: what laboratory will be used; what type of machine they have; timing of tests; frequency of tests and when to retest; and issues specific to your bitch. Vaginoscopy using a scope allows us to further recognise the fertile period of your bitch. This visual examination is non-invasive and further helps pinpoint the exact time of fertility. We can also help identifiy issues if matings have been unsuccessful in the past. Having trouble getting pups? Give us a call
Total Vets endorses the Accredited Breeders Scheme and offers all the health testing services you need and can advise on the correct tests required for your breed. Health testing ensures you help eliminate breed specific problems and improve the long term health of your breed.
- DNA testing and profiling
- Digital radiography for hip and elbow scoring
- Penn Hip certified
- Regular Baer hearing test clinics by specialist neurologist
- Regular visits by special ophthalmologist for eye certificates
Types of Insemination
This is a simple and non-invasive procedure where the stud dog’s semen is collected and then the semen is inseminated directly into the bitch – the whole process takes about 30 minutes. This method is not suitable for frozen semen and is not ideal for chilled semen either. No surgery or sedation is required and this technique is ideal when there is difficulty in achieving a natural mating or if there is aggression.
The plastic catheter has a balloon at the end which is inflated once in place before the semen is released. The balloon seals to prevents the semen from escaping.
TCI stands for TransCervical Insemination and uses a catheter to deposit the semen directly into the uterus through the cervix. This process can be used with fresh, chilled or frozen semen and maximises the chances of success by ensuring the semen is delivered into the uterus. This is a non-invasive process, no surgery or sedation is required and it typically takes 30 minutes. We use the Storz endoscope that is specifically designed for TCI. TCI may not be suitable for every bitch.
As with TCI this method can be used with fresh, chilled or frozen semen. The semen is surgically deposited directly into the uterus close to the ovaries. This method allows the uterus to be visually examined during the procedure. As the procedure is surgical a general anaesthetic is required.
Management of Pregnancy
- Ultrasound pregnancy diagnosis
- Low power digital Xray system
- Elective and emergency Caesarian section
- Vet “mid-wife” advice for your piece or mind
- 24 / 7 veterinary advice
- Advice and care of puppies
Total Vets Semen Services
- Collection, freezing and storage
- Assessment of stud dog semen
- Export and import of frozen semen worldwide
- Transport of frozen semen within New Zealand and internationally
- Chilled semen preparation and shipment within New Zealand and to Australia
The purchase and use of frozen-thawed semen is expensive so we want you to have the best chance of success – that is why Total Vets is your best choice for anything to do with breeding. It is important to plan well in advance which dog you would like to use and where it is located so that there is plenty of time to meet the import requirements of MPI and ensure the semen arrives safely and on time. Advance notice will allow the time necessary to:
- Investigate regulations / requirements of the country of exportation and local kennel registry
- Obtain necessary documents
- Have semen frozen according to regulations
- Arrange shipping of semen in specially designed containers which keep the semen frozen while it is being transported.
Total Vets are trained and accredited in the use of both straws and pelleted frozen semen. Give us a call or email to discuss what is best for your needs prior to collection. Semen is stored in liquid nitrogen at -190 degrees – power is not needed to keep the semen frozen. Once frozen it has an indefinite life – we have had successful matings from semen that was frozen over 25 years ago!
Digital radiography allows for quick production of radiographs (x-rays). The quality of the radiograph has superior detail allowing for more accurate analysis. For our challenging radiology cases we have the ability to immediately send out radiographs for analysis by a board certified radiologist. The results are returned to us within 24 hours.
We are Penn Hip licensed. Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) is the most common, heritable orthopaedic problem seen in dogs. It affects virtually all breeds of dogs but is especially problematic in large and giant breeds. Clinically, the disease manifests itself in one of two ways:
- A severe form that typically afflicts the younger animal and is usually characterised by marked pain and lameness.
- A more chronic form with more gradual onset of clinical signs such as mild intermittent pain, stiffness and a restricted range of motion in the hips as the dog ages.
It is well recognised that the current diagnostic methods of hip evaluation are associated with disappointing progress in reducing the frequency of CHD. In 1983 Dr. Gail Smith from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, developed the PennHIP method of hip joint assessment. PennHIP allows us to accurately predict which dogs will develop hip dysplasia and so develop hip arthritis, as well as provide a very accurate assessment of which dogs should be used to breed with in order to eliminate hip dysplasia. PennHIP assessments can be carried out from 16 weeks of age.
Because an animal can’t tell us what is wrong, veterinarians must sometimes supplement physical exams with sophisticated diagnostic testing. Total Vets is equipped with an in-house laboratory that allows us to measure more than 120 lab values, with results often available in a few hours. In addition, we work with several referral labs for specialised testing, and we download the results directly into each patient’s computerised medical record, which enables fast and accurate reporting. Our laboratory capability also includes cytology, which is the examination of individual cells under a high-powered microscope. Samples are collected by swabs, fine needle aspiration, ultrasound-guided biopsy, endoscopy, or surgery. After special staining, these samples are examined by our pathologist and can help diagnose a range of conditions from ear infections to various tumours. This enables us to attain preliminary results very quickly, allowing us to treat our patients as soon possible – often while they are still in surgery or in treatment. Something that sets us apart from the crowd is our very own Board Certified Clinical Pathologist Dr Nicki Shackleton BSc BVSc [Dist] DACVP. Nicki, who is with us three days per week to analyse test results and cytology preparations, is an integral part of the Total Vets team.
A happy mouth equals a happy pet! Here at Total Vets we strive to offer you the best quality veterinary care around, which includes dental care for your pet. Many people don’t think twice about what’s going on with with their pets’ teeth but the reality is, nearly 90% of pets who walk through our doors have dental pathology in their mouths. This includes tartar buildup, gingivitis, fractured teeth, oral masses, tooth root abscesses, retained baby teeth…the list goes on! This is one of the many reasons why an annual general health check is so essential for your pet.
While it would be nice to be able to tell Fido to sit and say “Ahhhh,” veterinary dental procedures do require a general anaesthetic. Thanks to advancements in veterinary anaesthesia over the past 25-30 years a general anaesthetic in your pet doesn’t have to be a scary endeavour. We recommend pre-anaesthetic bloodwork for any animal before the procedure so we can customise their anaesthetic drug protocol to meet their needs. In addition, your pet will be monitored by one of our capable nurses throughout the procedure. Intravenous fluid support while your pet is under anaesthetic is beneficial to maintain blood pressure as well as help with a smooth recovery from the anaesthetic. Nerve blocks, just like at your dentist, are routinely used for additional pain relief when required to help make your pets anaesthesia smoother and more comfortable.
Total Vets is pleased to now offer dental radiography with the addition of a dental-specific digital x-ray machine to enhance our diagnostic abilities. Our aim is to perform full-mouth dental x-rays on every pet before their dental is performed and here’s why: When looking in your pet’s mouth, what you see on the surface doesn’t necessarily reflect what is going on below the gumline. For example, our ability to decide whether to extract a tooth or not relies heavily on what is going on at the tooth root and surrounding bone, something we can only see with the help of an x-ray. Other examples of what x-rays can detect include enamel defects, fractures beneath the gum line, retained tooth roots and bone loss—all serious issues that can go undetected during a standard dental exam and cleaning. In cases where patients’ x-rays don’t reveal any underlying problems, these are still of value as they can be compared with future x-rays to ensure any developing problems are spotted early.
Once your pet has had a dental procedure, our staff will talk you through ways you can keep your pets mouth healthy at home.
Weight loss clinic
Why is my pet’s weight so important?
An overweight pet is more likely to suffer from health issues such as:
- Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Respiratory problems & decreased stamina
How do I know my pet is overweight?
You may notice some of these changes:
- They become obsessed with food
- The ribs can’t be felt without applying pressure
- They become less active
- No obvious waist line
- You have had to loosen your pet’s collar several times since it has become an adult
What is the Weight Loss Clinic?
One of our vet nurses trained in animal nutrition will prepare a weight loss program that is tailored for your pet free of charge. They will outline a goal weight and supply you with a planner and progress tracker with a nutritional plan. We use diets that are specifically for weight loss. These are reduced in calories and are more effective in burning fat as well as helping them put on lean muscle. If your pet refuses to eat them there is also a money back guarantee. You will be asked to visit us regularly for free follow-up visits so we can check progress and make any adjustments to the program that may be required. Most owners notice that once their pet is back to their former trim figure they seem to have a new lease of life!
Here at Total Vets we stock a wide variety of Premium foods and supplements including Eukanuba, Hills, Royal Canin, Nutro, Proplan and Now. We also have a great range of high quality leads, collars and harnesses from the unique brand Rogz. Come in and check out our range of cute doggy jackets, kitty sleeping bags, and natural dog treats.
If an item that you would like is not on display, please ask, as we may have it out the back (our wonderful villa has all sorts of nooks and crannies to store stock!)
Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are here to help you find the perfect food and fashion for your beloved pet!
Spectrum Allergy Testing
Dogs and cats, just like humans, can have allergies. In fact more than 30% of all skin irritations in our pets can be attributed to allergies. These allergies can come from foods, inhaled allergens like weed, tree, and grass pollens, fungi, even insects and storage mites. Up to 91 allergens are tested and the panel is tailored to New Zealand. The test involves taking some blood from your pet which is then sent to the United States for testing. Total Vets is the New Zealand agent for Spectrum and we receive samples from all over New Zealand. Once we have the results we contact you to go over them and devise a plan for helping you pet with it’s allergies, this may involve diet changes and hyposensitising injections.
Since there is no known “cure” for allergies and the prospect of avoiding all the things your pet reacts to is unrealistic, we turn to hyposensitisation, or allergy injections to help us most effectively manage your pet’s allergies.
No one enjoys getting or giving injections but the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Suppression therapy like steroids, antihistamines and cyclosporine can not only be more expensive than treatment but with long term use come with some potentially serious side effects. At best, these methods are only effective in about 50-60% of the time.
Increasing a pet’s tolerance to the allergens they react to through hyposensitisation has proven to be, other than avoidance, the best way to successfully manage allergies and provide lasting relief. It is also safe for long-term use and can provide your pet with much longer-term relief than suppression therapy. Done correctly we garner success rates as high as 90%. We will talk you throught the hyposensitisation process and teach you have to give your pet it’s injections.
For more information about Spectrum click here to go to their website. Give us a call if you would like to talk to us about testing your pet or you have any further questions.
Stem Cell Treatment
Finally there is a better option:
- Non-invasive treatment uses your pet’s own body to heal itself
- Reduce or eliminate pain relief medication
- Ideal treatment for osteoarthritis, ligament and tendon damage, stiffness from ageing, fractures, cartilage and OCD damage. It can not be used in animals with active or recent remissions of cancer or latent or overt infection.
The power of stem cells
Every animal has millions of dormant adult stem cells waiting to be used for regeneration. Now this scientific breakthrough enables us to collect these dormant cells from a small amount of your cat’s or dog’s own fat tissue to be used for providing anti-inflammation as well as regeneration of various tissues.
Your vet will remove some fat under a brief anaesthesia and the stem cells are then separated and activated in the laboratory. Once this is completed your vet will administer the activated stem cells to your pet’s damaged joints.
The stem cells are capable of developing into new bone, ligament and tendon cells, and they provide a powerful anti-inflammatory effect on sensitive arthritic joints.
You may start to see improvements in your pet’s mobility and general wellbeing in a matter of days!
What are stem cells?
Stem cells are found throughout the body and have the ability to renew themselves, divide and change into many different cell types. They are a natural way in which your animal repairs its own tissues and organs. we can now collect these stem cells, bring them out of dormancy and then use them in areas that need repairing, in much greater numbers than the body can normally attract to these affected areas, therefore realising a far greater beneficial effect.
Is it safe?
Yes, because the fat is removed from your own animal under surgical conditions, there is no concerns with cell rejection or disease transmission. There are no known side effects to using this technique.
Is it ethical?
We don’t use embryonic stem cells. We collect the stem cells found in fat tissue as this is far easier and greater numbers are harvested than other methods such as bone marrow harvesting. The stem cells found in the fat are adult stem cells. Their origin can be certain and no donor animals are used.
A pre-procedure workup includes:
- Blood testing to ensure your pet is a good candidate for stem cell therapy and the anaesthetic involved.
All non-essential medication should be stopped 7-14 days prior treatment. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (which your pet is likely taking for pain relief) should be stopped 48 hours prior to treatment. Let us know what medications your pet is taking and we can advise which medications should be stopped.
Your pet will be anaesthetised to remove a small amount of fat from the abdomen. This fat is then processed along with a sample of your pet’s blood to activate and concentrate the stem cells. This process takes about 4-5 hours and is performed in our lab where we can prepare everything under aseptic conditions and have strict quality controls in palce. Once the stem cells have been processed they are injected into the affected area, this may involve sedation. The process is less painful than a desexing procedure.
If you have any questions about stem cell therapy you can contact us or check out the StemVet website here.
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