Animal Referral Hospital Essendon Fields

Specialist services

ARH Essendon is one of Melbourne’s largest specialist referral and emergency hospitals for pets.

We provide a 24 hour emergency service as well as specialist referral services in small animal surgery,  internal medicine (Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm), critical care and ophthalmology. We also offer teleradiology in conjunction with our veterinary radiologists in Sydney, as well as Oncology.

This is supported by a range of complimentary on-site services including our pathology lab, diagnostic imaging, nursing team and intensive care unit.

All of our services are combined in the one fully integrated hospital, and our team of specialists and emergency veterinarians work closely together to ensure you pet is receiving the best care around the clock.

Our specialists have undertaken years of advanced training in veterinary medicine. After graduating as veterinarians they have completed internship and residency programs. They then passed rigorous examinations that subsequently allowed them to be registered in Australia as a specialist in their field.

ARH offers a comprehensive range of surgical solutions for dogs and cats including orthopaedic, soft tissue, trauma, reconstructive and neurological surgery.

Our surgery department is led by Dr Simon Kudnig, who is a specialist in small animal surgery and Diplomate of  the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) and Fellow of the Australian College (FANZCVS) Simon has many years of experiences as a surgeon and takes a considered approach to surgery. Simon and his team will provide a thorough plan to help ensure the best result for your pet.

Common surgical procedures performed at ARH include stifle (knee) stabilisation procedures for cruciate ligament injuries, fracture repair, limb deformity correction, arthroscopy, abdominal and thoracic surgery, reconstructive surgery, hemilaminectomy and ventral slot procedures for intervertebral disc disease, spinal stabilisation for fractures or dislocations and laparoscopic procedures.

We are fully equipped with the most up to date surgical equipment and implants including:

  • Standard and locking, titanium and stainless-steel plates for fracture repair
  • Minimally invasive (keyhole) surgical equipment for arthroscopy, laparoscopy and thoracoscopy


  • External fixation implants for limb deformity correction and fracture repair
  • Ureteral stents and bypass implants for ureteral obstruction
  • Bipolar vessel-sealing technology for ligation
  • Stapling devices for organ removal

In-house access to CT, digital radiography and ultrasound provide the most advanced diagnostic imaging options available.

Our specialist surgeons are assisted by a highly qualified support team. The integration of surgery with internal medicine, oncology, diagnostic imaging and emergency and critical care ensures a seamless approach to your pet’s care. Exemplary postoperative pain relief and care for surgical patients is provided by our 24-hour hospital and intensive care unit.

Our specialists are happy to discuss diagnosis and treatment of patients with referring veterinarians by phone or email correspondence including a radiographic appraisal of any case.

Our internal medicine team, led by Dr Robert Labuc, treat a broad range of cases such as gastrointestinal disease (including liver, pancreas and bowel disease); cardiac and respiratory disease; endocrine problems (such as diabetes and thyroid disease); kidney; immune; and joint disease.

The training and experience of our internal medicine specialist enables him to work with your local veterinarian to provide the highest standard of care for your pet. Our specialists receive referrals for patients that are critically ill as well as those with chronic or ongoing problems.

They are able to use their expertise combined with diagnostic tools, including endoscopy, ultrasound and CT to investigate the cause of a pet’s illness and to offer the best possible advice on treatment options.

Our specialists are happy to discuss diagnosis and treatment of patients with referring veterinarians by phone or email correspondence including a radiographic appraisal of any case.

Led by Dr Merrin Hicks, our emergency and critical care department at ARH Essendon offers a high level of patient care, diagnostics, and intensive care medicine. This includes blood transfusions, emergency oxygen therapy, mechanical ventilation, emergency surgical procedures, blood gas analysis, constant delivery of pain medications, treatment of heart failure, poisonings and trauma.

Specialist referral to emergency and critical care is available by prior appointment. Merrin also provides regular support, case rounds and backup for our emergency team at other times.

Specialist referral to an ophthalmologist is available at ARH Essendon by booking directly through Animal Eye Care, who are based on East Malvern, phone: 03 9563 6488 or email

Dr Robin Stanley is one of Australia’s most prominent veterinary ophthalmologists, and will provide your pet with the best eye care available.

72 Hargrave Avenue, Essendon Fields
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