We wish to acquaint our clients with issues related to provision of after hours, weekend and public holiday emergency veterinary services.

In this practice we believe that we have an obligation to provide basic emergency services for our clients and patients when the clinic is closed. To achieve this our vets are rostered to be on call-back from home on weekdays and over weekends and public holidays in addition to their regular work week.

We will always do our best to help patients at urgent risk or in distress

Currently there is an Australia-wide shortage of veterinarians in general practice. This shortage is particularly severe in rural areas and more so for practitioners who will treat farm animals and are willing to be available for after-hours services.

Apart from this practice, there is limited emergency service provided by practices between Melbourne, Ballarat and Bendigo and virtually no other practices that will consistently perform farm visits after hours. We understand their situation as they also need to maintain adequate rest in the face of the same problems we do.

As you can imagine from this situation, we receive after-hours calls from a very wide region outside of our regular service delivery area. Of recent months this has been increasing to the point where our veterinarians are so busy after hours that it is difficult for them to maintain adequate rest and personal life to be sustainable.

We are actively working to recruit additional vets to assist in this load, but as noted above there is a very limited availability of practitioners available willing to enter into this type of work and time demand in spite of our best efforts.

We are trying hard to manage this emergency case load internally and by entering discussions with other veterinary practices in the area.. In the meantime, it may sometimes be necessary to provide afterhours services to our own existing clients only, until a long-term solution can be found locally, state-wide and Australia-wide. We are also no longer able to provide farm services outside our primary practice area (approximately 25km from Kyneton.)

We will be working with our colleagues in surrounding practices to find some local solutions if possible.


  • If you are concerned about your pet's or farm animal's health please call us during office hours and early in the day for an appointment or advice. This helps us to plan a way to help you get the help you need. Calling just before closing time or afterwards does not help us provide help to you or your pet. It also increases costs for you and is exhausting for our staff. You would be surprised how many times we get a call at or after closing time reporting an illness that has been apparent all day or for several days. By this point this will have to be dealt with after-hours (at after-hours rates) and without the benefit of our whole team to support diagnosis and treatment.
  • Please only call our after-hours number for genuine emergencies and very urgent enquiries. Our on-call vets regularly get calls enquiring about routine matters or attempting to make appointments. These are not emergencies requiring immediate attention and intrude unnecessarily into the personal time of our veterinarians. A good question to ask yourself is, "If this were a human would I take the patient to a hospital emergency department or call Triple Zero for an ambulance?" Examples of potential emergencies that might need attention of urgent advice would be:
    • car accidents
    • severe or extensive injuries
    • collapse or severe illness
    • sudden onset of inability to stand
    • significant distress or pain associated with foreign bodies in eyes, ears or noses
    • out of control diabetes with collapse
    • Seizures
    • recent snake bite signs
    • ingestion of poisons such as: chocolate, raisins or grapes, lilies (for cats), medications, snail bait or others
    • onset of difficult birth or delayed delivery
  • CLIENTS of other practices:  talk to your regular veterinarian now about how they provide you with emergency and after-hours services and perhaps suggest that they consider improving their arrangements so you can get the services you need.
  • Please be patient with our staff - they are doing their best and may not be able to answer your call immediately while they attend to other patients.
  • Please understand that like other workers we need to pay our staff to be on-call. For many years veterinarians have performed after-hours services for little or no additional payment. In this day we are obligated to adequately remunerate our staff and indeed we are VERY lucky to have most of our staff willing to provide this service. We know how difficult it is to recruit vets to regional areas where after-hours service is such an important part of what we offer our clients and patients. We are sure you will understand that there are substantial additional fees for after hours attendances. In spite of this you will find in most cases that our fees compare favourably with similar situations involving tradespeople and other services. If we do not provide adequate remuneration for our highly trained staff we will not be able to continue to attract and retain quality staff members to provide services to you and our patients.

We are always happy to discuss this aspect of our service and welcome your thoughts on this and other matters related to how we serve you. Please email


Greg McIntyre and our team.