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Vet recommendations around Belconnen area?

By enfoldeadgrrl - 5 January 2011 49

Hi Rioters

Our family is sadly reaching the conclusion that we are no longer happy with the vet clinic where we’ve been taking our cats for years. It’s changed ownership and the focus has shifted from ‘maintenance’ of our mature-to-elderly cats which each have a chronic condition, to making more money.

This leads me to ask whether there any cat-loving Rioters would recommend their vet clinic. We are looking for a practice with a caring vet who will facilitate palliative care rather than pushing “upgrade” options. The cats hate being in the car, so one around Belconnen would be best, but we’d drive further for a really great vet.

We love our cats dearly and want to keep them as healthy and happy as possible, but we know that each cat now needs regular medication to slow their decline and allow them to enjoy their remaining days.

Our vet wants to monitor the cats’ conditions regularly, but we can’t afford it: each visit costs upwards of $200, often closer to $300, and the outcome is that we are to continue with the medication. It would bother me less if the visits were optional, but they cut off access to the medication if the last checkup was over 6 months ago.

Ideally, I’d like to revert to taking each cat to the vet once a year for a general checkup, prescription renewal and vaccinations, so we can continue to keep them medicated year-round and they can continue to enjoy each of their days as fully as possible.

So, where can we find a good vet?

What’s Your opinion?

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49 Responses to
Vet recommendations around Belconnen area?
shirty_bear 2:49 pm 05 Jan 11

+1 more for Belco Way & Coulter Dve, Weetangera; Rob’s been good and not money-hungry, though not necessarily cheap (and a small tick for Ernie – he could easily have pushed us down the expensive path, but didn’t even try).

Seem to recall Jan Spate has been strongly recommended on this forum in the past.

Jim Jones 2:46 pm 05 Jan 11

“So you love your cats dearly, but you’re also not happy to pay for them to live?”

Conan – read the post properly. The cats need regular medicine (which the OP is happy to pay for), but the vet won’t provide medicine without also insisting on expensive unnecessary consultations.

Lefty 2:42 pm 05 Jan 11

Our 13 year old cat over the past 6 months has deteriorated with a tumour on her brain – and the vet at Melba (cnr Alfred Hill and Kingsford Smith Drive)has been really supportive. They didn’t rush to put her on medication. They gave me options and didn’t push. The fees I have paid per visit have been reasonable and they are very nice people.

DeadlySchnauzer 2:39 pm 05 Jan 11

I would second and third Belconnen Animal Hospital (, they are awesome. Don’t be put off by the slightly old and faded decor 🙂 … As well as great staff, they keep meticulous computerised records on the medical history of your pets that they pull up and reference at each visit.

We moved away from Belconnen a few years ago, but still make the long trek out to see them because we are yet to find a better vet.

preacher 2:29 pm 05 Jan 11

Incidentally, is also the one on the corner of Belconnen way and Coulter drive that Neanderthalsis mentioned, but I’ve also heard good things about Jan Spate, but can’t remember from where.

mr_spoon 2:28 pm 05 Jan 11

I’d second Mr Caulfield’s Gungahlin recommendation. A compassionate mob of vets who are generally realistic about pricey medical interventions.

preacher 2:27 pm 05 Jan 11 – 1 Belconnen Way, Weetangera

These guys are great. Rob, Wendy, Tamara and Katie are all very helpful, patient, and empathic to your needs. I’m not so fussed on Ernie, but mainly because I found his bedside manner a bit harsh, but he was probably more concerned about my dog at the time, rather than being diplomatic.
It still won’t be cheap, but they don’t come across as being money-centric. I know that Rob never pushed “upgrade” options, when my dog was getting old and frail.

MissMoniker 2:26 pm 05 Jan 11

+ 1 Jan Spate at Hall
Ph: 6230 2223

She is brilliant.

Gerry-Built 2:24 pm 05 Jan 11

We also were unhappy with the Vets in the West Belconnen area (though admittedly, more than 10 years ago)… One in particular, was very quick to recommend putting animals down as a valid option to treatment.

We have been using Canberra Veterinary Hospital in Lyneham for a dozen years or so. Very happy with their care and service, as have other members of our family. They have even sent out flowers or cards when we’ve had to have animals put down in their surgery.

indigoid 2:22 pm 05 Jan 11

Matt Almond at Small Friends in Amaroo.

I would (and have) drive(n) right across Canberra to take the Burmese there. His service has been nothing short of excellent.

LiamMarsh 2:18 pm 05 Jan 11

Jan Spate in hall, good vet, very nice lady, super cheap. Sorry I don’t have a number for you. when you find her address/number don’t bother calling you just turn up to the clinic on a first there first served type thing.

T1G3R 2:16 pm 05 Jan 11

My family still takes all our pets to Weetangra (spelling?) vet. Its cheap and effective treatment whilst the vet in Kippax are in it for the money and would put your pet in danger with unnecessary surgery. For example cats heal so fast that their wounds dont ‘flush’ the infection so it heals over the infection. My cat had a huge infection but it was treated with a quick shot of antibiotics and pills, whilst the kippax vet wanted to do surgery and put in a drain saying that he was very sick and needed it immediately. Fair enough my kitty was sick but there was less invasive actions to cure him.

Now that i’ve moved to the gungahlin area i recommend small friends vet in Amaroo. This is the only vet i take my pets to now and they are quite informative, supportive and look at you with $$$ signs. At the moment i have a very fussy eater of a dog and they check up on me to see how my princess is keeping up.

Other than small friends vet the only other place i recommend is weetangra. Don’t go the gungahlin vet near the autocentre because they are out to rip you off just like kippax.

neanderthalsis 2:11 pm 05 Jan 11

We take our cat to the one on the corner of Belconnen way and Coulter drive, cant remember the name, but we have had no issues with them in treating the occasional battle wound or for the more usual jabs.

ConanOfCooma 2:05 pm 05 Jan 11

So you love your cats dearly, but you’re also not happy to pay for them to live?

You could get them taxied, then they would be with you forever. In whichever permanant pose you choose.

TBH, out of all the cats I have had, I have only taken them to the vet to be vaccinated or put down. They are an incredibly hardy creature, and if they are on the decline, you may just be prolonging their suffering.

For the record, the above mentioned cats that were put down, were 21 and 16 years old. No meds needed to get them that far.

Holden Caulfield 1:50 pm 05 Jan 11

We’ve been using Gungahlin Vet Clinic for years, which made perfect sense when both of us were in Nicholls. However, they are now in Gungahlin Town Centre and we have moved to the inner north. We still use Gungahlin Vet Clinic, though, as for the most part they have been excellent with our animals.

It started as a small husband/wife practice but has since grown. Thankfully, though, the same personal service is still delivered, well, as best as can be following growth and flexible staff rosters etc.

If we moved further away we’d still go out of our way to continue using them.

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