Emergency service Essendon
(03) 9379 0700

If you have an emergency, or are worried about your pet’s health, please call and we can help assess the need for emergency treatment. You don’t need a referral or appointment to attend the hospital outside of regular veterinarian hours.

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.

Our hospital is open 24 hours a day and is managed by experienced emergency and critical care (ECC) veterinarians to help your pet when an emergency arises.

Our team has access to:

  • A full in-house laboratory
  • Digital x-ray, ultrasound and 16-slice helical CT
  • 24 hour dedicated Intensive Care Unit with mechanical ventilator support
  • Separate dog and cat wards and treatment areas
  • Two fully equipped dedicated surgical theatres
  • Comprehensively stocked onsite pharmacy

In addition to specialist services, ARH Essendon is a vet hospital open 24 hours .We are open when your normal daytime vet is closed, including after-hours, weekends and public holidays. Our team of highly-trained emergency vets are available 24 hours per day, and no appointment is needed.

You may also be referred to our emergency department by your normal daytime veterinarian For example, if your pet requires intensive care, overnight monitoring, or an emergency procedure such as surgery. We accept referrals 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Please phone ahead, or have your veterinarian phone ahead, so we are ready and available to help your pet when you arrive.

If your pet suddenly becomes ill or injured please phone us on (03) 9379 0700. Alternatively you can come straight to our hospital, located in Essendon Fields, within the main Essendon Airport Terminal. Emergency parking is available at the front of our hospital.


When you arrive, your pet will be triaged by one of our nurses, and have their temperature, and vital signs checked very soon after arrival. Once your pet’s medical history has been taken, a veterinarian will attend to you as soon as possible. Similar to a human emergency department, pet emergencies are seen in order of urgency, not necessarily in order of arrival

If your pet is admitted to hospital for treatment you will be asked to sign a consent form and leave a deposit of the estimated costs, in order for treatment to proceed.

Your ECC veterinarian will keep in touch with you during the course of your pet’s stay in hospital. If ongoing care is necessary following emergency treatment your pet will typically return to your regular veterinarian.  If your pet requires further treatment by an ARH specialist we will work closely with your veterinarian to ensure a coordinated approach to your pet’s care.

An emergency for your pet may include sudden illness, not eating, vomiting, heavy breathing, rapid breathing, seizures or collapse.

Accidents can also happen at any time of the day or night, such as your pet being hit by a car, sustaining an injury at the park, being in a fight with another cat or dog, snake bite, tick paralysis, or ingestion of a poison. Our veterinary team are highly trained in these specific areas of emergency medicine.

Poisonings in pets may include, but are not limited to, chocolate, grapes, anti-inflammatory medications such as Nurofen, other human medications, illicit drugs, snail bait, rat bait, macadamia nuts, or rotten food / rubbish to name a few. If you are concerned about any sudden or urgent condition, please contact us or come straight to the hospital.

Conditions which may require emergency assessment and treatment are listed below. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and if you are worried about your pet’s health you should contact your local vet during business hours or our emergency service after hours:

  • Snake bite or suspected snake bite
  • Sudden collapse
  • Unconsciousness
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vehicular trauma
  • Ingestion of a poisonous substance
  • Severe pain or lameness, including suspected fractured bones
  • Severe bleeding or bleeding that lasts more than a few minutes
  • Suspected over-heating or heat stroke
  • Inability to urinate or defaecate
  • Continued coughing, gagging or retching
  • Ataxia or paralysis
  • Continued vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Refusal to eat or drink for more than 24-hours
  • Eye injuries
  • Difficulty whelping or giving birth

You don’t need a referral or appointment to attend ARH emergency outside of regular veterinarian hours. Please phone us anytime day or night or proceed directly to the hospital.

72 Hargrave Avenue, Essendon Fields
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