Animal Referral Hospital Homebush

Specialist & consultant services

Our specialist and consultant practitioners provide world-class medical care in surgery, internal medicine, diagnostic imaging, critical care, oncology, ophthalmology, dentistry, behaviour and physiotherapy and will talk you through a range of treatment options for your pet.

Your ARH specialist/consultant will also work closely with your regular veterinarian to ensure a coordinated approach to your pet’s care.

Our specialists have undertaken years of advanced training in veterinary medicine. After graduating as veterinarians they have completed internship and residency programs. They have sat and passed rigorous examinations that subsequently allow them to be registered in Australia as a specialist. Veterinary specialists are recognised by their peers as having the highest level of skills and knowledge within their field of veterinary medicine.

Many of our specialist services require a referral form from your veterinarian, please contact us for more information or to book an appointment.

ARH offers a comprehensive range of surgical solutions for dogs and cats including orthopaedic, soft tissue, trauma, reconstructive and neurological surgery. Led by surgical specialists, Dr Sarah Goldsmid and Dr David Simpson, we take a considered approach to surgery and 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 insufficiency, fracture repair, limb deformity correction, arthroscopy, abdominal and thoracic surgery, reconstructive surgery, hemilaminectomy and ventral slot procedures for intervertebral disc disease and spinal stabilisation for vertebral fracture/luxation.

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 MRI, CT, digital radiography and ultrasound provide the most advanced diagnostic imaging options available in New South Wales.

Our specialist surgeons are assisted by a highly qualified support team. The integration of surgery with internal medicine, oncology, ophthalmology, physiotherapy, 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 specialists are qualified in both canine and feline internal medicine. They 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 and liver; immune system; and joint disease.

The training and experience of our internal medicine specialists enables them 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, CT and MRI, 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.

The ARH Homebush oncology team is headed by Dr David Lurie, the first and most experienced veterinarian in Australia who has specialised in both medical and radiation oncology.

David is supported by a team of highly qualified and experienced veterinarians and oncology nurses.


Upon seeing our oncology service, further tests may be recommended for your pet. These may include diagnostic imaging such as radiography, ultrasound, CT or MRI. All of these facilities are available at our hospital in Homebush.

Our oncologists will discuss all available treatment options and together you will decide the best course of treatment for you and your family. Oncology treatment is supported by our ARH specialists in medicine, surgery and intensive care to allow the very best outcome.

In addition to chemotherapy and other forms of medical management of cancers, ARH Homebush is the only hospital in Sydney to offer radiation therapy for veterinary patients.

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.



ARH Homebush’s diagnostic imaging suite is the most advanced in New South Wales. This enables our specialists and consultants to obtain the highest quality images required for diagnosis, treatment planning and prognosis of your pet’s condition.

Onsite, ARH Homebush’s imaging suite consists of:

  • 1.5T high field MRI
  • Siemens 64 Slice Cardiac CT
  • Fuji DR Digital Radiography
  • Cardiac and Abdominal Ultrasound
  • Digital subtraction angiography fluoroscopy system

Images are interpreted by highly skilled clinicians and supported by specialist radiologists within the ARH group.

What is a CT Scan? 

CT or computerised axial tomography is a system that employs a rotating beam of x-rays produced by a large x-ray tube mounted in a ring that rotates rapidly around the patient enclosed in a large ring shaped housing. The patient lies on a table (gantry) that slowly passes through the exposure field produced by the rotating x-ray tube. The receiver of the x-ray beam also spins opposite to the x-ray generator tube and thus detects changes in the intensity of X-rays that have passed through the body at that point.

A powerful computer system then uses the information to recreate an image of a single slice of the patient at that level. It is analogous to cutting a cucumber to look at the slice end on. However, a typical CT scan might produce anything up to several hundred radiographic slices in sequences taken down to a distance of half a millimetre apart. This makes the CT scanner excellent for distinguishing between any structures of varying radiodensity. It lets you look inside a turtle’s shell or the skull of a dog with a brain tumour. 


The Animal Referral Hospital led the Australian veterinary profession in 2005 when we obtained the first CT scanner in a veterinary facility in NSW. Since then we have developed a wealth of experience in this amazing imaging modality that has revolutionised our approach to many conditions. In late 2010 we took the opportunity to upgrade to what is our third CT scanner when we moved into the new premises at Homebush.

We have teamed the new scanner with two new important elements. Firstly, we now have the ability to file serve our PACS stored scans to some of the best overseas veterinary radiology specialists to obtain written opinions and reports on the scans online. Secondly, the production of impressive three dimensional digitally rendered images such as those seen in the gallery below is now possible using our new powerful Linux based imaging computer system.

Such images have greatly improved our ability to treat many conditions where complex anatomical structures and disease require a complete perspective to develop a sound treatment plan. From intrahepatic portosytemic shunts to severe spinal fractures, cancers of the head and neck to complex pelvic fractures. The ability to create a navigable three-dimensional image of our patients is a huge advance in understanding diseases and especially for planning surgical interventions

What is an MRI Scan?

MRI or magnetic resonance imaging is an advanced imaging option employed by the specialists at the Animal Referral Hospital. The physics behind an MRI scanner are vastly complex but the simplest explanation of an MRI scan comes from Prof Hans Schild: “The patient is placed in the magnet, a radio wave is sent in, the radio wave is turned off and the patient emits a signal that is received and used for image reconstruction.” 

MRI scans are ideal at showing cross-sectional images of many tissues of varying fat and water content. For example the MRI scanner will do a better job of distinguishing CSF from grey matter from white matter of the brain compared to a CT scanner. However, it is fair to say that CT scans are more impressive when bone detail and sharp radiographic contrasts exist (e.g. fat vs. muscle vs. air vs. bone). In some cases MRI may be the better cross-sectional imaging modality (e.g. brain and lumbosacral spine) than CT scans and in others the opposite is true.

Your ARH specialist would be happy to explain the different advantages of the various diagnostic imaging modalities available for the referring veterinarian or owner of any patient. MRI is non-invasive and allows the inspection of slices of the body without physically invading the structure. MRI needs to be performed under an anaesthetic and, like a CT scan, can be made available in digital format for review by owners, their vets and by MRI specialist radiologists around the world.

MRI for neurology

Patients with problems of the central nervous system (spinal cord and brain) may show a wide variety of clinical signs including but not limited to seizures, lameness, pain, behavioural abnormalities, ataxia (wobbliness), tremors, coma, loss of learned responses, altered eye positions, blindness etc.

Most of the specialists working at the Animal Referral Hospital were undergraduates at university before MRI and CT were available to veterinarians. In those days few intracranial diseases were precisely diagnosed before the death of the patient. With MRI scans we can see life like cross sectional pictures of brain and spinal cord tissues that show lesions in great detail.

Because of the various manipulations of the process that can be employed we can often determine what a lesion is made of and often pinpoint the exact area of the brain or spinal cord that requires treatment. Peripheral nerve disorders such as peripheral nerve sheath tumours are another indication for MRI.

MRI for Orthopaedics

There are many uses for MRI in diagnosing the previously elusive causes of lameness where basic radiographs showed the bones and joints to be normal. We are now able to see so much more of the shoulder joints and the muscles and tendons of the fore limb so that soft tissue orthopaedic injuries are now far more readily diagnosed than in the past.

ARH Homebush’s ophthalmology service provides specialty eye care for all animal patients. Led by specialist ophthalmologist, Dr Matt Annear, we provide complete eye exams and a range of medical and surgical treatment options are available. This includes:

  • Cataract surgery (phacoemulsification)
  • Glaucoma surgery
  • Treatment of complicated corneal ulcers
  • Cosmetic and reconstructive procedures
  • Retinal function testing

Our advanced equipment, including slit lamp biomicroscopy and indirect ophthalmoscopy, ensures thorough diagnosis of your pet’s condition. If surgery is required, our advanced microsurgical equipment and techniques will ensure the best possible outcome for your pet. An initial consultation and evaluation will be performed prior to surgery.

Our specialists are happy to discuss diagnosis and treatment of patients with referring veterinarians by phone or email correspondence.

ARH and AAERC has proudly offered dentistry services to NSW since 2009 and SA since 2014. We are excited to welcome Dr Kirsten Hailstone to the Dental service in Homebush.

Your pets can now have access to an expanding range of dental procedures designed to improve their outcomes by saving their teeth and managing oral care on a long term basis.

Every pet deserves a healthy, pain-free mouth and you can expect the latest and best treatment options for all dental and oral disease.

State of the art facilities including the most current in digital intra-oral and extra-oral radiology which enables your pet to have all of the dental disease diagnosed by viewing the 60% of the tooth which you cannot see. Together with CT and MRI facilities Homebush has all that your pet needs to get the diagnosis right.

You can help your pet overcome the following problems without losing all their teeth.

  • Broken, damaged or discoloured teeth
  • Malocclusions – or misplaced teeth
  • Periodontal disease
  • Un-erupted or impacted teeth
  • Oral and facial trauma
  • Oral tumors

If your pet does need teeth extracted, Dr Hailstone’s advanced training with specialist dentists will mean your pet has the very best treatment possible. You can expect improved recovery and outcomes after extraction. Pain relief using local anaesthesia means your pet never experiences the pain of extraction from the outset and extensive training optimises surgical outcomes when extractions are difficult.

If your pet has concurrent disease and you are concerned about anaesthesia, the advanced training of all of our staff means your pet can successfully undergo treatment whilst minimising risk.

You all know what dentists do for you… root canal therapy, crown application and every parent knows about orthodontics. Now your pet can have this kind of treatment as well.

More information.

ARH Sydney’s behaviour management team is led by behaviour specialist, Dr Kersti Seksel, who has more than 25 years experience in the field.

Most behaviour problems are due to neurochemical imbalances in the brain that need to be normalized therefore in some cases medication is also necessary. Our methods are kind and humane to both pets and their owners and focus on reward based methods.

Examples of canine and feline cases commonly seen include:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Noise phobias ( e.g. thunderstorms, fireworks)
  • Aggression directed towards people
  • House soiling, urine spraying
  • Separation anxiety
  • Aggression directed towards other pets
  • Obsessive behaviours (e.g. tail spinning, fly snapping)


Your pet will be individually assessed by our team and then a behaviour modification program, along with environmental management strategies, will be recommended. Your pet’s plan will take into consideration your pet and its needs, your broader family and your lifestyle.

A behaviour consultation can take anywhere from 90 minutes to three hours depending on the problem.

Our behaviourists are happy to discuss diagnosis and treatment of patients with referring veterinarians by phone or email correspondence.

Our Emergency and Critical Care specialist Dr. Patricia Rosenstein and Senior Registrar Dr. Louis Eramanis,  run our emergency and critical care department, which 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.

Referral to specialist emergency and critical care is available by appointment.

Cases that are referred to ARH for cardiology issues are initially booked in to see one of our Internal Medicine Team. The specialist will assess the patient and decide if further work up is needed. The medicine specialists are supported by the Diagnostic Imaging team. ARH Homebush is fully equipped with the latest cardiology equipment including cardiac ultrasound and a cardiac 64 slice CT.

250 Parramatta Road, Homebush West
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