Information For Pet Owners Visiting Our Essendon Fields Hospital

When your pet is staying at ARH, we encourage you to visit during visiting hours.

The vet looking after your pet will be able to advise you if this is appropriate or not, so mention it to them when they call to update you. Please speak to one of our receptionists to arrange a time to visit your pet.

Throughout your pet’s treatment we will keep you updated on their progress. We understand that you may miss your pet and be worried about them and encourage you to also call for updates.

New safety measures in place in response to COVID-19.

Our aim is to continue to be able to provide the highest levels of care to our patients. In order to do that we are taking steps to protect you and our team. Please click here for more information.

You will need a referral from your regular veterinarian to see an ARH specialist. Appointments can be made by contacting a member of our reception team on (03) 9379 0700 or We have free onsite parking.

Please bring your referral letter as well as any other information such as x-rays and current medication.Usually we get these directly from your referring vet so don’t worry if you don’t have any paperwork.

Depending on the nature of your pet’s illness you will meet with either a surgical or medical specialist. Your specialist will discuss your pet’s history and assess your pet. Your pet may need to stay in hospital for further diagnostic work or treatment so we advise keeping some flexibility where possible on the day of your appointment.

Your specialist will provide a complete range of options for your pet’s treatment including prognosis and an estimation of costs. Our specialists will work closely with your referring veterinarian to ensure a coordinated approach is taken to your pet’s care.

Your specialist will discuss any costs with you before these take place unless it is an emergency situation. Please see reception after each appointment to finalise your account.

A veterinary specialist is a veterinarian who has undergone specialized residency training in a chosen field such as surgery, neurology, internal medicine, or emergency and critical care for example. Specialist training commences after the completion of a veterinary degree, and usually involves between three and five years of additional training and supervision.

This includes rigorous requirements for hours worked and procedures performed, as well as research and publications. Following this, intensive study period is undertaken prior to sitting a series of examinations. Once the examinations are completed successfully, the veterinarian can then apply for specialist registration. Only then, when approved by the relevant veterinary board, may a veterinarian consider himself or herself a specialist.

Many veterinarians also have a special interest in a certain area of veterinary medicine, and practice at a very high level or as a consultant in this area, but may not be registered specialists.

A referral from your primary care veterinarian is generally recommended when seeing our team of specialists. They will provide us with your pet’s medical history, and any X-rays or blood tests performed. Your primary care veterinarian will remain involved and updated in your pet’s treatment whilst under specialist care, and we will provide them with regular reports and phone updates.

Veterinarians in our emergency department staff our hospital 24 hours per day. Like a human hospital, no appointment is needed for the emergency department. However, if you are seeing a specialist you are required to book an appointment. Our reception desk is open 24/7 and you can book an appointment at any time, however appointments with our specialists are conducted during normal business hours.

Your pet may be required to stay at ARH for further diagnosis and treatment. You will be provided with a Consent for Treatment form which will include an estimate of costs.

If your pet is coming in for a procedure please fast them from the night before. This means they can have dinner as normal and take their food away around 10pm so they have an empty stomach for their procedure. Offer them as much water as they like. If they are a diabetic, or have any other medical conditions, please contact your vet or our friendly reception team to discuss. Please note- Do not withhold food from exotic and avian patients.

During your pet’s hospital stay, you may miss your pet and be worried about them. We encourage you to call us at anytime, day or night and find out how your pet is going. The treating vet will do their best to update you as often as possible, but in the event they are attending to another patient or are performing a procedure when you call, please understand we may need to leave them a message for them to contact you.

ARH Essendon  is open 24 hours a day and our visiting hours are flexible throughout the day and evening. Please speak to the treating vet to arrange a time to visit your pet.

Our team will discuss any costs with you before treatment takes place unless it is an emergency situation. Please keep in mind that this is an estimate and costs can potentially increase due to unexpected patient complications and prolonged hospital stays.

ARH requires at least 50% of the treatment estimate to be paid prior to the start of treatment with the account to be finalised at the time of your pet’s discharge. We may ask for a progress payment during your pet’s stay in hospital. Please see customer care team after each appointment to finalise your account. ARH accepts cash, eftpos and credit cards.

If you feel you will need assistance to pay your account please speak to our customer care team as soon as possible. VetPay is a company which offers affordable finance options.

For VetPay finance to be approved, applications need to be made before treatment begins so please speak to our customer care team for information as early as possible.

Our friendly customer care team members are happy to complete insurance claims for your pet’s treatment with us. Most insurance companies now accept claims online so all we will need is your insurance company name and your pet’s policy number and we can process your claim. When you finalise your bill, please ask us to process your claim.


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Learn more about GapOnly™️ here

72 Hargrave Avenue, Essendon Fields
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