Pittwater Animal Hospital
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X-ray Facilities
General Surgery
Orthopaedic Surgery
Intensive Care
Small Animals
Student Training
Puppy Preschool
Cat Boarding
House Calls
Pet Care Advice
Pet Foods

Services & Facilities

Services & Facilities

Since 1962 Pittwater Animal Hospital has looked after the needs of thousands of pets and their owners on the Northern Beaches. In that time we have evolved into one of the most modern and capable practices anywhere in the country.

Today we are doing more complex operations, diagnosing rare and often quite intriguing conditions and employing increasingly sophisticated techniques. In fact, because of the preventative programs we've been introducing, your pets are living longer, healthier lives. The best evidence of this are the many geriatric conditions we now help manage.

Here are the services which help keep us in good stead:

Reception - In some respects our reception area would be similar to many others, perhaps a bit airier and more spacious. You'll see shelves stocked with quality foods and medicines, even a fridge for the vets-only Tucker Time range. Large digital scales embedded in the floor. Accessories like collars, leads and toys. Numerous pamphlets covering all manner of pet conditions. And, of course, a computer network with brand new software and Web access.

But what sets the PAH reception area apart are the nurses you'll find there. Dedicated, hard-working and extremely knowledgeable, they field literally hundreds of queries daily. When they make suggestions or offer advice, you can be assured they know whereof they speak. To find out more about their individual qualifications, check Your Vets and Nurses.

Consultation Room

Consultation rooms - We have three, all fully air-conditioned, each with a networked computer which gives us instant access to your pet's history. We've made our rooms larger than most so that we can properly assess your pet's ability to move about.

Ibexx Catalyst

In-house pathology - We recently acquired a Idexx Catalyst blood analyser (pictured). This incredibly sophisticated, computer-driven instrument enables us to perform biochemical tests whenever we need them, rather than being restricted to the operating hours of commercial pathology labs. Needless to say, such flexibility comes in very handy during late-night emergencies and on weekends.

Using the biochemistry analyser we can run a full range of 23 blood tests, including the electrolytes, sodium, potassium and chloride. All in less than 10 minutes. This means you don't have to go home and wait for the results. However, for more unusual tests, haematology and histopathology of biopsy samples, we send specimens to Ibexx Pathology Lab in Rydalmere.

Digital X-Ray

X-ray facilities - By acquiring a hospital-grade radiographic system, we've said goodbye to the dated technology of X-ray film. The fully digital radiograph processor combined with modern X-ray plates gives us clearer and more informative photos than we ever had before. Once they're processed, we can magnify or adjust the image to see even the smallest of bone fractures and soft tissue changes that were previously undetectable. Thus, we can now diagnose an even wider range of problems.

This new technology also means we're able to cater for dogs weighing as much as 80kg all the way down to baby budgies. One more plus. Because everything's digital, we can burn a CD on the spot for you to take home to show family and friends.


Anaesthesia - Our vets are well versed in techniques of anaesthesia. We use a variety of drugs to induce and maintain your pet in a safe state of sleep while we perform surgery. At the same time our Cardell® monitor allows us to watch your pet's vital signs as he or she sleeps. Continuous heart rate, electrocardiogram (ECG), blood oxygen levels, respiratory rate, blood pressure and core body temperature are all available at the flick of a switch. Throughout your pet's surgical procedure, our experienced nurses are not just relying on these instruments. They are also trained to look for problems which may arise during an anaesthetic.


General surgery - Our surgical facilities at PAH include a dedicated surgery with operating table, patient-monitoring equipment and theatre lights. Close to hand we have suction and electrocautery equipment. Our surgical nurses see that surgical packs are ready every morning. Drapes and instruments are constantly upgraded. And the area is aseptically clean. (This is a priority for all of us.)

We perform an extensive range of surgical procedures. Everything from suturing up wounds from dog fights to mending broken legs. Repairing fractured jaws. Doing complicated skin flap reconstructions following tumour removals. Amputations. Intestinal surgery. Even operations on the lungs and airways. We should add that all of our veterinarians are highly capable soft-tissue surgeons and regularly handle desexings, abscesses, biopsies, lumpectomies and other such cases.

Orthopaedic Surgery

Orthopaedic surgery - Along with broken legs we commonly perform joint stablization surgery, especially in the case of cruciate ligament rupture in the knee. Because these surgical procedures require uncommon expertise and experience, Bryn's strong interest in orthopaedic work has led to our achieving some tremendous results.

By the way, unlike the human hospital system we have no waiting-list problem; most surgery is performed within a few days. If it's an emergency, we usually do the surgery immediately.

Intensive Care

Intensive care - Very sick pets need extra diligent management to pull them through. We go out of our way to make these animals as comfortable as possible, keeping them warm and dry and regularly monitoring their condition. We have two infusion pumps for intravenous fluids, three heat mats and two intra-nasal oxygen delivery systems. The latter are critical for very sick animals, in particular the victims of tick bites. We also have a suction pump that we often use for pets with tick paralysis.

For emergency situations, our pharmacy stocks all the drugs we could need in a hurry. A dedicated crash cart carries emergency medications prepared for immediate use. And our vets and nurses regularly rehearse emergency procedures so that we can consistently provide sick pets the best possible care.


Dentistry - Often overlooked, dental care is extremely important to the overall health of pets. Animals with dirty, inflamed teeth due to tartar and gingivitus should be treated with a prophylactic scale and polish. Doing so can often save their teeth and extend their life span, but only if regular cleaning then becomes part of your pet's regimen.

Infected or damaged teeth need to be extracted. Thankfully, we have both the equipment and skills to make it all happen with minimal discomfort for your pet. Most of our dental patients feel much better after having sore teeth removed.

Occasionally, some pets need root canal work, therapy, crowns or dental plates. In these cases we will recommend you to a specialised veterinary dentist.

Small Animals

Birds, reptiles and small furry creatures - Diagnosing problems in quite small animals can be extra difficult for several reasons. First, their size makes them hard to examine. Then there's the fact that often they exhibit few signs of illness. Worst of all, they commonly go downhill quite rapidly once they contract a serious ailment.

Fortunately, all five PAH veterinarians have had extensive experience with the most common small animals we see, namely: mice, rats, rabbits and guinea pigs. Even more encouraging, over the past few years our anaesthetic success has improved dramatically, with these little mammals recovering quickly from de-sexing, dental work and surgery. (In the photo to the left Heidi is operating on a ferret.)

Dr Bryn Lynar has long had an active interest in birds and reptiles and has earned an enviable reputation for his work in this area. Owners of parrots, finches, lizards, snakes and even tortises will bring their ailing pets many kilometres to see Bryn. Over the years he has used his extensive expertise to diagnose such complex problems as diabetes and kidney disease in birds and respiratory and fungal skin disorders in snakes.

Microchip Scanner

Microchip implantation - NSW law requires that all dogs and cats be microchipped before they are sold or re-homed. They also must be registered with your local council by the time they are six months old and also wear a collar with an identification tag. Fortunately, microchipping is quick, painless and inexpensive.

Using a special instrument, we implant a tiny microchip encased within a sterile and inert glass capsule just under the skin at the base of the neck. Because the micrcochip quickly bonds into the animal's tissue, it's virtually impossible to lose, alter or intentionally remove.

The Companion Animal Registry (run by the NSW Government) records your pet's details and keeps them on hand for the rest of its life. This way anyone with a scanner can read your animal's unique number. They then call the Registry which, in turn, accesses your information, contacting you directly to protect your privacy.

As well, other registries offer Australasia-wide databases. Easy and inexpensive to join, these registries allow your dog or cat to be identified anywhere in Australia or New Zealand. Ideal for pets with the travel bug.

Vaccination Courses

Vaccination courses - Dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets should be vaccinated annually to prevent contagious viral diseases. At the same time we will carry out a basic 10-point health check. To make sure your pet doesn't miss its vaccination, each year we send out a reminder when the next one is due. You'll find more information on the pages devoted to these four animal types as well as among the Fact Sheets.

Pharmacy - As well as full surgical and medical facilities, we manage an in-house pharmacy which supplies nearly all the drugs your pets will need. We can choose from a full range of products to combat parasites, fleas and ticks, heartworm, intestinal worms and ear mites. We also keep a variety of antibiotics on hand. As well as heart and kidney drugs, pain relievers, special creams and more. Quite a bit more.

Because all these pharmaceuticals must be kept in stock and up to date, Gen Uren, our inventory and marketing nurse, continually monitors supplies and, most important, their expiry dates.

Specialist referrals - Over the past decade or so, we have seen an increasing number of specialist services become available to Sydney veterinarians. By establishing good working relationships with a number of them, we can sometimes make a phone call to take advantage of their particular knowledge in the case of small but unusual problems.

For more difficult problems we will refer you to one of those specialists who has earned our trust and confidence in order to give your pet the optimal chance of cure or control. (A word of caution. Specialists are independent practitioners and we have no say about their fees. So it's a good idea to ask about any and all charges when you call to make an appointment.)

Our sense of responsibility doesn't end just because you've taken your pet to a specialist. If you find yourself faced with difficult decisions regarding the recommended treatment, please don't hesitate to ring us. We'll be pleased to help you evaluate your options.

Student Training

Student training - Pittwater Animal Hospital supports the future of veterinary science through a range of training programmes. As an accredited practice for Sydney University's Veterinary Student Internship Program, we help final-year students hone their medical and surgical skills during four weeks of hands-on experience. At the same time they learn the kind of valuable practical techniques that can't be taught in a classroom. We also provide extramural clinical studies for students from the new Charles Sturt University Veterinary School.

Since 1995 we have hosted secondary school students for their Year 10 work experience programs as well as other teenagers completing community service activities for their Duke of Edinburgh Awards. The experience they gain working here often leads these students into casual holiday or even full-time employment as animal attendants, nurses and veterinarians.

In local primary schools we have supported the Pet Pep Program, made school visits and managed Pets in Schools projects. When it comes to promoting social responsibility and animal welfare in our community, you can't start too early.

Puppy Preschool

Puppy preschool - Since 1994 PAH has been running classes which help puppies properly socialise so that they become well adjusted adults that are not only wonderful companions but good citizens as well. To find out much more about the curriculum, session times, class sizes and special discounts, just visit our Puppy Preschool page.


Dog and cat bathing and grooming - It might surprise you to learn that our hydrobath has turned out to be an inspired purchase. Because it recycles the water containing the medicated shampoo, pumping a pulsating stream deep into your pet's coat, the bath makes more efficent use of the shampoo's ability to both clean and medicate. This thorough cleansing, which tends to reduce the need for subsequent medication, has turned regular hydrobathing into a front-line treatment for dogs with persistent skin disorders.

Another surprise for you: we also bathe cats. In fact, so caring are our nurses that many cats just sit there calmly for their shampoos and clip. Of course, cats being cats, a few occasionally prove somewhat recalcitrant. Sedations may be necessary to clip the knots on long-haired cats or to bathe a cranky moggy. But this isn't a problem; our vets are in complete charge of administering any sedatives, and the pets are closely monitored during recovery.

Among their many skills, our nurses are also accomplished dog clippers. Every summer long-haired dogs line up for their now-traditional very short tick clips. Others come in all year round. We have some regulars who opt for their own individual styles (say, Number 2 on the body, Number 5 on the ears with a scissor trim around the nose). A few dogs even have their preferred 'stylists'.

Cat Boarding

Cat boarding - Pittwater Animal Hospital offers indoor boarding at very reasonable rates. Because we have exceptionally roomy cages, you either can board a cat alone or with another cat from the same family. We will feed and clean them twice a day and look in on them on a regular basis.

Obviously, if your cat is on any sort of medication, we will see to that as well. Also, it's not uncommon for boarded pets to have their desexing operations or dental work done during their stay with us.

Before he or she heads home, we will brush your cat and, if desired, clip its nails. We also generally clean the carry cage. If you don't have one, we'll loan you one for a fully refundable deposit.

Our long opening hours encourage weekends away. Just drop your cat off before 8pm Friday and pick him or her up between 5pm and 6pm Sunday evening.

House calls - We will readily come to your home for simple procedures such as vaccinations, lameness and euthanasia. However, complex problems requiring special equipment like our X-ray or blood-testing machines, the administration of unusual drugs or hospitalisation make such calls impractical. If you don't have transport available, there are several pet taxi services catering to Northern Beaches residents.

We charge our normal consultation fee for this service plus a travel charge from $25 to $50, depending on the distance involved.

Pet care advice - It puzzles us that people will go to a pet shop for advice when they can find considerably more knowledge and objectivity right here. Collectively, our nurses and vets are a font of useful information. Moreover, with our extensive and ongoing experience treating pets in this area, we know what techniques and medications are working best at any particular time.

You'll find numerous Fact Sheets on this site addressing common situations. For more specific information, please don't hesitate to call us on 9913 7979

Australian Quarantine Inspection Service - If you are travelling overseas for an extended stay and want to take your pet, you will need an AQIS-accredited veterinarian to organise any treatment and paperwork. Bryn is just such a vet. You should contact us well in advance of your departure; different countries have different requirements for entry of animals, and you could well have to make an appointment weeks before leaving.

Pet Foods

Quality pet foods - One of the major reasons pets are living longer nowadays is the range of high-quality foods that have become available. From years of observation at PAH we have found that pets fed high-quality professional diets are often healthier with shinier coats.

The emerging recognition of the importance of dental health has led us to always recommend raw meaty bones without too much fat and/or Greenies treats to help keep teeth clean. Where a dental problem has been diagnosed, specially formulated dental diets are useful in helping keep your pet's mouth clean and healthy.

For those pets with chronic conditions such as bladder stones, kidney disease, intestinal disorders or pancreatitis, we now prescribe foods specially formulated for these conditions. They have proved to be an excellent adjunct to medical treatment and, thankfully, have become a good deal more palatable, an especially important consideration when pets aren't feeling their best.

We stock a wide variety of the pet foods we have had the most success with at PAH. If you have any questions, just ask any of our vets or nurses.