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North Hobart Veterinary Hospital


Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles into specific skin points on the body and it has the ability to alter various physiological body functions. Along with herbal medicine, it is probably one of the oldest forms of human and veterinary medicine in the world. Although pets have only recently been treated with acupuncture in the West, in China, horses, cows and pigs have been treated for well over 3000 years.

Scientific Research

The effects of acupuncture is not limited to pain relief. Traditional Chinese Medicine aims to rebalance the whole body and promote healing and a sense of wellbeing throughout. It can relieve muscle tension, improve blood and lymphatic circulation, stimulate nerve regeneration, and balance the immune systems and endocrine functions. Scientific studies have shown increases in endorphins, red and white cell counts and cortisol levels in the blood stream after acupuncture. It stimulates many pathways in the body, always bringing the body back to a state of balance and homeostasis.

In the west, acupuncture is used primarily when medications are not effective or contraindicated due to side effects or when surgery is not feasible. Approximately 80% of veterinary acupuncture treatments are used to treat musculoskeletal conditions e.g. hip dysplasia, arthritis, intervertebral disc disease and chronic lameness.

Many other conditions also respond to acupuncture, e.g. diseases of the skin, urinary tract, gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, reproductive tract, cardiovascular system, nervous system, eyes, ears, immune system and behavioural problems.

Is acupuncture painful?

For small animals, the insertion of acupuncture needles is virtually painless. Once the needles are in place, there should be no pain. Most animals become very relaxed and may even become sleepy. Nevertheless, acupuncture treatment may cause some sensation, presumed to be those such as tingles, cramps, or numbness which can occur in humans and which may be uncomfortable to some animals.

Is acupuncture safe for animals?

Acupuncture is one of the safest forms of medical treatment for animal. Side effects of acupuncture are rare, but they do exist. An animal’s condition may seem worse for up to 48 hours after a treatment. Other animals become lethargic or sleepy for 24 hours. These effects are an indication that some physiological changes are developing, and they are most often followed by an improvement in the animal’s condition.

How can my pet benefit from acupuncture?

The success of the treatment will vary according to the condition being treated and the number and frequency of acupuncture treatments. The length and frequency of the treatments depends on the condition of the patient and the method of stimulation (dry needle, electroacupuncture, aquapuncture, etc.) that is used by the veterinary acupuncturist. A simple acute problem, such as a sprain, may require only one treatment, whereas more severe or chronic ailments may need several treatments.

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After Hours Emergency Service

AHVEC (After Hours Veterinary Emergency Centre) is situated at 37 Derwent Park Road Moonah and is open whenever we are closed.

If your pet needs to be admitted into the after-hours hospital by the AHVEC team, they will be carefully returned to us for ongoing care as soon as we reopen.

If our vets decide your pet needs ongoing care through the night, we will carefully transport your pet to AHVEC where their dedicated team will continue treatment.

To contact AHVEC afterhours phone: 1300 302 912

Cat Friendly Practice

North Hobart Veterinary Hospital recognises that cats are different!

And as such we are committed to catering for the specific needs of your cat whilst providing all the services you expect from a sophisticated veterinary hospital.

We have a team of specifically trained feline veterinarians and nursing staff who form the “feline advocate group” at North Hobart Veterinary Hospital:

  • Dr Roshan Fantini has undergone further study and achieved a membership in feline medicine
  • Kendall Healy and Helen Heazlewood are both Certificate IV veterinary nurses with extra training in nursing feline patients:

We have held our Gold Certification from the International Society of Feline Medicine for over 5 years.

We ensure your cat is comfortable visiting us by having:

  • Cat only waiting area
  • Cat only consultation room
  • Cat only hospital ward

The Cat Friendly Practice Program (CFP) – Gold status 

Find out more about CFP at

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Saying Goodbye

Deciding when is the “right time” to let your pet go is always difficult. Our aim is to make this decision with you, and to help make the process as peaceful as possible.

Our staff are advocates for your pet’s health and will help guide you however ultimately it is up to you and your family and we will support you at this time.

One of the most common questions is “when will we know it is time?” To help with this, we have attached a link to two versions of Quality of Life Assessment Forms (see below). If you fill it in day by day, it will help highlight what your pet is going through.

Quality of Life Assessment:

Quality Of Life Scale

How Do I Know When it’s Time?

There are some choices surrounding the compassionate euthanasia of your pet, and it is worth considering some things before the actual day when you may be too upset to decide:

  • The euthanasia of a pet can be administered at the hospital or at your home by arrangement.
  • You can be present with your pet or choose to hold the living memory whilst our caring staff support them on their journey.
  • You are welcome keep your pet’s collar with you after they have passed; wrap them in a special blanket; trim a piece of their fur to keep or give them a small keepsake to keep by their body – everyone’s farewell is different and we will be there to accompany you and assist where we can.
  • You may like to bury them at home in the garden, at the family holiday home, or we can arrange cremation through a pet burial company.

Please feel free to talk through this procedure with our staff beforehand.

We sedate all pets before euthanasia to alleviate any pain as well as to relax them. Often we place an intravenous catheter before giving the final intravenous dose of anaesthetic agent.

Grieving for the loss of your pet is a deep expression of the bond you have shared with your pet. We never really know how it will affect us and some people may find it difficult to express the feelings they are going through.

Our team have had very close experience with the loss of pets. Please talk to us and we will try and guide you.

Pets and People: Loss, Grief Support & Counselling Website

Call us to discuss your pet’s needs on 6234 7044

Dental Treatment

Just as you look after your teeth to prevent plaque and dental disease, our pet’s teeth and gums also change over time.

Gently lift your pet’s lip – take care, you could be in for a surprise. Take note of the smell, and the appearance of the teeth and gums

More than 85% of dogs and cats over four years old have some form of dental change.

Look out for the signs, such as:

  • Bad Breath
  • Broken or loose teeth- compare teeth to the ones on the other side of the mouth
  • Bleeding gums
  • Discoloured teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Reluctance to chew or eat- maybe only on one side
  • Rubbing at the face
  • Excessive drooling

If you think your pet is showing the signs of dental disease it is important that treatment is started early to prevent deterioration and pain. Remember your pet may have worked out a way to eat so as not to minimise the pain and in doing so may hide discomfort from you.

Call us on 62 347044 to make an appointment for your pet’s dental check-up.

NHVH Dental Treatment Brochure

Home Visits

Please ring our experienced reception team who will be able to discuss your request and arrange a solution.

Home visits involve both the veterinarian and a nurse and can be arranged Monday to Friday. Please book your home visit in advance by calling 6234 7044

Laboratory Services

At North Hobart Veterinary Hospital we offer a complete laboratory service. This service is a valuable resource in helping us make important decisions about your pet’s health and care.

In-house blood testing equipment enables us to perform many tests on site and allows us to receive results quickly. Other more comprehensive tests and samples are sent via overnight courier to an external veterinary pathology laboratory and results are often back the next day depending on the test requested.

Frequently performed Blood Tests

Pre-anaesthetic blood tests enable us to check the inner workings of your pet. It will help us determine if your pet is medically fit to have an anaesthetic and surgery.

Older pets require screening tests to check how their body organs are functioning as they age. It also helps us determine the correct medications to choose and minimise the chance of adverse side effects.

When your pet is on longer-term medication we need to regularly check how the body is responding to the medication and determine if adjustments can be made BEFORE your pet shows signs of deterioration. These tests are often done in-house and the results are often available within half an hour.

Understanding the importance of laboratory testing allows you to be an informed partner in your pet’s care. Published research shows that more than 10% of pets brought in for annual check-ups have an underlying disease or abnormality. Some diseases may not yet visible on physical examination and your pet’s illnesses may be undetected without laboratory work.

Some testing requires that you pet not eat for 12 hours before the sample or that the sample be taken at a certain time of the day. Please check with us and we will happily tell you what to do.

We routinely apply a local anaesthetic cream to you pets skin allowing the test to be done painlessly. Treats are always offered to the patient after the blood testing.


Some tests are better performed on urine and sometimes the urine may hold answers that will help understand changes to the blood.

We often ask you to collect a urine sample at home- you would be surprised how talented you are at this procedure.

Please refer to the links below for handy (and amusing) tips how to collect urine from your pet.

Handy Tips for Collecting Your Pets Urine


In Tasmania, compulsory microchipping of dogs took effect from 1 July, 2011. From this date all dogs over six months of age must be microchipped and registered with your local council.

If your dog is not microchipped an infringement fine of up to $1,200 may be enforced. If your dog strays or is lost, the council may microchip your pet without your consent. This cost must be paid before your dog is returned to you. 

While not compulsory it is strongly advised that your cat should also be microchipped. Some rabbit owners also choose to microchip their bunnies.

Why should I have my pet microchipped?

  • Microchips provide a permanent form of identification that cannot be changed or removed and this identification lasts for the life of the pet
  • If your pet ever escapes your yard and is injured a vet can contact you to rapidly re-unite you with your pet OR to begin possibly life saving treatment for injury or disease.
  • A microchip cannot be lost, unlike a collar or tag
  • Microchips identify a pet anywhere in Australia and on a 24 hour-per-day basis compared with some council registration systems that only operate during business hours.
  • Microchips are simple to implant and implantation only needs to be done once in an animal’s life.
  • Microchipping is inexpensive – a once-off minimal cost will protect your pet for life.
  • Similar-looking animals can be uniquely identified by their microchip.

Disadvantages of microchipping are very rare.  There are some reports of microchips migrating from the original site of injection but changes have been made to many brands of microchips to resolve this problem.

The advantage of identification tags on collars is that they allow immediate identification by any person who finds the pet, without relying on them having a scanner in their back pocket!  Tags and collars can be lost, but a tag is very cheap to purchase and, in many cases, welfare societies supply free tags. Microchips don’t replace tags and collars but supplement them.

How is the microchip inserted?

At NHVH a small injection of local anaesthetic may be given before cleaning the skin (a small patch of fur may be clipped) and the microchip is inserted painlessly into the loose skin between the shoulder blades. The microchip is then scanned to check its placement.

A microchip can also be implanted when your pet is anaesthetised – like when they are being de-sexed.

Registering the microchip

After the microchip is placed on your pet, the chip’s number is recorded on the database for your pet’s entire life. It is of utmost importance that you contact the database whenever your details change. Your local council details are not linked to the database.

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At North Hobart Veterinary Hospital, we recognise the importance of proper nutrition, balanced for every life stage of your pet.  Good nutrition plays a huge role in helping out pets to live long, happy & healthy lives.

We stock premium Hills Pet Nutrition products for dogs and cats, to take your pet from puppyhood through to more mature stages.  We also have a comprehensive range of Hills and Royal Canin Prescription diets to meet the therapeutic needs of your pet.

We are also the local stockist for a wide range of Oxbow and Burgess rabbit & guinea pig foods.

Pet Insurance

Pet insurance or pet health insurance helps cover the cost of medical and surgical expenses should your pet become ill or have an accident.

We have never heard a client say, “I wish I never had pet insurance”.


Reduces the financial constraints of obtaining the very best veterinary care

  • Gives you a choice in deciding what treatment to choose
  • Encourages and assists pet owners in obtaining routine/preventative care
  • Reduces the times when euthanasia is chosen because you are unable to pay for the treatment your pet needs.
  • You can seek veterinary care sooner

We recommend that you insure your puppies and kittens at a young age to enable you to choose the cover you want – bearing in mind that animals over 9 years of age and those with pre-existing illness have limits placed on the cover they receive.

We strongly recommend that if not arranging pet insurance that you regularly put money aside for those unforeseen events that can affect your pet.

There are many companies to consider and to help you we have attached links to sites that make comparisons between companies. Please take the time to do the research as there may be certain features that are more important for your pet.

Puppy School

Let us help guide you through the early stages of puppyhood!  Our puppy school is specifically designed for young puppies (8-12 weeks) and provides a safe, controlled environment for puppies to start their vital early socialisation process.  Positive early socialisation and learning plays an important role in our puppies becoming confident, happy & well-adjusted members of our family.

Our fun and interactive classes are held in the evening and will help new puppy owners learn about canine behaviour, positive reinforcement training methods, health & well-being information and most importantly have lots of FUN!  This gives your puppy an opportunity to become comfortable while visiting our hospital and will make future visits more enjoyable.

Puppies need to have had their first C3 vaccination prior to starting our classes.

Enquire About Puppy School


We love rabbits at North Hobart Veterinary Hospital!

Our hospital has invested immensely to provide exceptional care for rabbits that is equal to dogs and cats.

Some of our veterinarians have spent time overseas where rabbits can account for a large proportion of the pet population. Dr Manty Arnott has completed extra courses in rabbit surgery and dentistry to make sure rabbits receive the excellent care they deserve.

Did you know the average pet rabbit can live 7-8 years? We encourage all new rabbit owners to make an appointment to discuss their special pet’s life long care – it is quite different to dogs and cats. We are committed to providing you with the information about nutrition, housing, vaccination and desexing that will ensure your bunny has a long and happy life.

We stock Oxbow and Burgess rabbit and guinea pig products and a range of toys for rabbits.

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What is rehabilitation?

In the animal world, rehabilitation is another word for physical therapy.

At North Hobart Veterinary Hospital we use various forms of rehabilitation to help patients manage pain and discomfort often associated with certain conditions such as osteoarthritis, post orthopaedic surgery and musculoskeletal injuries.

If you have ever been to the doctor for a treatment of an injury, referral to a physiotherapist is usually the first step towards recovery, so we should be considering this for our furry friends.

Rehabilitation can be used for many diseases/conditions and can help your pet regain mobility and become pain free more quickly.

A Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist/Practitioner is someone who has undergone the necessary training and advanced learning to attain formal qualifications in this field (CCRT or CCRP) from a recognised Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner Training Institute. Only a veterinarian with the required special training in Animal Rehabilitation can provide a holistic approach to body care, perform a diagnostic evaluation prior to designing a treatment plan and recommend relevant medications or treatment modalities.

Our very own Dr Miriam has completed a Certification in Canine Rehabilitation through the University of Tennessee and a Veterinary Acupuncture Certification through IVAS.

Our team of nurses work under her guidance to ensure your pet will receive a very high standard of care during their rehabilitation program.

The following conditions can be treated with rehabilitation therapy:

  • Arthritis conditioning
  • Weight loss
  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • Senior concerns
  • Hip & Elbow dysplasia
  • Post orthopaedic surgery
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Spondylosis
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Lumbosacral stenosis
  • Fibrocartilagenous embolism (FCE)
  • Wobblers

Rehabilitation can also be used as a preventative therapy before and/or after agility training and show ring work.

Rehabilitation services and therapies that we offer

  • Therapeutic Exercises
  • Massage Therapy
  • TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)
  • Veterinary Acupuncture
  • Nutritional Counselling
  • Cryotherapy & Thermotherapy
  • Exercise Equipment
  • Dr Buzby’s Toe Grips
  • RockTape Application
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North Hobart Veterinary Hospital has a fully equipped surgery. We offer routine surgery, orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery, and specialist surgery.

Our hospital offers comfortable and appropriate facilities for all manner of pets that may need surgery. We have three separate wards and a recovery area so that pets can be cared for in quiet and safe environments.

We pay particular attention to anaesthetic safety – we have full in house laboratory for pre-anaesthetic blood tests, a range of anaesthetic agents for use in even the oldest and most frail patient, state of the art anaesthetic monitoring equipment and highly trained nurses to monitor every anaesthetic.

Our spacious surgical suite is designed to allow the highest standards of sterility and patient care.

After surgery your pets are monitored in a recovery area. Pain relief is of enormous importance to us and we assess every patient individually on their need for pain relief post surgery.

NHVH Before Surgery Brochure

Call us to discuss your pet’s surgical needs 6234 7044

Treatment of Feline Hyperthyroidism

We are the only clinic in Tasmania offering this specialist treatment.

What is Hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism may be the single most commonly diagnosed endocrine disease in cats next to diabetes. It is generally a disease of cats with an average age around 9-10+ years. The disease is caused by a new growth of tumour-like cells that secrete thyroid hormones in excess to the normal hormones.

If left untreated, a hyperthyroid cat can exhibit many, (if not all) of the following signs: extreme weight loss despite a good appetite, muscle weakness, heart disease (increase in the size of the heart, increased rate, changes in heart rhythm, cardiac arrest), intolerance to stress, and eventually death. Currently many hyperthyroid cats are treated with tablets twice daily for life.

Radioactive Iodine I131 Treatment

We have treating cats this way since 2009 and have had more than 120 cats go through the procedure.

Iodine 131 is a small capsule of radioactive material that is given by mouth your cat. It is rapidly absorbed into the thyroid and destroys the bad thyroid cells. Your cat is then housed in the nuclear medicine ward for approximately 7 days while it becomes less radioactive and “safe” to take home. The treatment room has a special lead lined cage that allows your cat to be comfortable during their stay in hospital.

Iodine 131 treatment is given once (in 95% of cases), and means that no tablets have to be given after treatment – much to the relief of many cats and their owners!

Call us on us on 6234 7044 to discuss your pets requirements or to organise a referral.


Vaccinating your pet (from rabbits and ferrets to cats and dogs) is an integral part of their long term health plan.  Remember that the diseases we vaccinate against can be highly contagious (eg cat flu, parvovirus) and can last in the environment for months or even years under certain conditions.

But not every pet is the same so at North Hobart Veterinary Hospital we discuss with you which vaccinations are important for your pet and their particular lifestyle.

We formulate a vaccination regime with consideration to the WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association) guidelines, as well as local factors.

Vaccines to consider and discuss with your veterinarian are:

DOGS:  Parvovirus, Hepatitis and Distemper (considered the “core vaccines”), Canine Cough (often called Kennel cough, which can include parainfluenza and bordatella or variations thereof), Tetanus and Leptospirosis

CATS:  Feline enteritis, Feline herpes, Feline calici virus, Feline AIDS, Feline Leukaemia

FERRETS:  Distemper vaccination

RABBITS:  Calici virus vaccination

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Skin Disorders

Skin allergies and itching are one of the most common reasons owners bring their dogs to veterinarians. If you consider that ear infections and hotspots are often due to underlying allergies, it is important to get your pets skin checked if you have any concerns. Our vets check your pet’s skin thoroughly at every consult. NHVH also have a regular visiting skin specialist available for appointments if necessary.

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If your pet has eaten something and you are worried please call the Australian Animal Poisons Centre directly on: 1300 869 738

You will be advised from this specialist service as to whether you need to see a vet or not.

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