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Looking for a quick answer to a common question?

You might find the answer here, but if not you can always give us a call or message us and we'll do our best to answer.

How much does it cost to desex my dog, or, cat, or rabbit...?

The cost of a desexing procedure depends on a variety of different factors, including age, general health, previous health conditions and different options that you can choose to make your pets' recovery easier, faster and smoother.

If you're after an estimate for a desexing procedure, please give us a call at any one of our clinics and our friendly staff will be happy to talk you through the process and the options to work out how much it will cost you and when we can book you in.

Why does it cost so much to see a vet or treat an animal?

There are two main reasons why the costs of seeing a vet or having veterinary surgery are not cheap - First it is the specialised equipment modern veterinary practice requires, and second is Medicare.

Veterinary Medicine has come a long way in recent years. The classic image of the rural vet that sees them travelling from farm to farm with their medical bag is well out of date. These days the vast majority of veterinary work is carried out in practice with specialised equipment - x-rays, ultrasounds, testing equipment and purpose built surgical tools.

This modern specialised equipment is neither cheap to buy, or to maintain, and the costs of this equipment, without which we would be unable to make many diagnoses, is one of the main contributing factors to the cost of veterinary services.

Border Collie Puppy playing with toy rev

The second issue relates to Medicare. Just like we do with your pets, human doctors use this same specialised equipment to make the diagnoses that help keep your pet in good health and treat ailments and sicknesses that arise.

The difference is that the equipment used by doctors on humans is subsidised by the Government through the Medicare System. There is no equivalent for animal health, meaning that the costs of animal medical care must cover the costs of purchasing, using and maintaining this essential equipment - without which we would not be able to make the diagnoses and carry out the treatments needed to help your pet.

Wages, however, are not the major cost of a veterinary clinic. According to ABS statistics the average weekly earnings of Veterinary Surgeons is well below that of those working in the Mining, Transport, Education and Public Administration, and well below the All Industries average.

At GVS we recognise that one of the major hurdles to owning a pet is the costs involved, and our focus is on making pet ownership as cheap and easy for you as we can make it, while still ensuring your pet maintains good health and an excellent quality of life. That's why we focus so much on preventative medicine, not only is it better for your pet, but it's also cheaper for you!

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What animals can be microchipped?

Just about any pet can be microchipped. 

At our clinics we have microchipped cats, dogs, rabbits and birds. The chip itself is about the size of an uncooked grain of rice and a comfortable spot can be found on just about any animal.

Microchipping is an important part of pet ownership. Aside from being mandatory for any pet born after 1 July 2018, microchips are an invaluable tool for reuniting lost animals with their families. We've had more than a few animals found and handed into us, but thanks to their microchip we were easily able to track down their owners and get them back home.

Why do I have to get my pet desexed?

The first and most important reason is that it is now the law in South Australia for all cats and dogs over the age of 6 months to be de-sexed, and owning an undesexed pet can result in being issued with a fine from the local council.

But there are many good health reasons to have your pet desexed as well, including:

  • Reducing the risks of some potentially serious health problems. i.e. mammary cancers, uterine infections or false pregnancies.

  • Preventing reproductive cycle behaviours such as your female cat ‘calling’ when she is on heat/in season. Undesexed female dogs will often bleed from their vulva when they are on heat/in season, while male dogs will often be very persistent in their attempts to get to females who are on heat/in season.

  • Eliminating the risks involved with your pet being pregnant, giving birth, and raising young, which are surprisingly substantial

  • Decreasing their likelihood to roam

  • Reducing aggressive behaviour

  • Reducing the likelihood of scent marking by urination

Desexing is a fairly major operation for your pet. But they are much better placed to cope with the operation at a younger age than as they get older.

Can I get an exemption from having to get my cat or dog desexed?

Exemptions from the mandatory desexing laws introduced in 2018 are difficult to get, so as a general rule, no, exemptions are not normally available.

However, there are some categories that your pet may fall into which will allow you to apply for an exemption to the mandatory desexing law. For example, these may include:

  • Working dogs

  • Breeding stock

  • Show dogs or cats

If you are hoping to get an exemption your best method is to get in contact with the Dog and Cat Management Board. Talk to them first about what they will require from you as the owner in order for an exemption to be granted in your individual case.

My pet stays indoors all the time, do I still need to get vaccinations done?

We always recommend keeping up to date with your pets' vaccinations.

Even indoor pets should maintain their vaccination schedule. It is not uncommon for indoor pets to manage to escape outside, and it is possible for the mud on your shoes to track infections indoors.

To maintain the best protection for your pet, we recommend adhering to your pets' vaccination schedule. It provides you as an owner with peace of mind, and - as we always say - prevention is always better (and cheaper) than a cure.

I've missed giving my pet their medication, what should I do?

If you're giving your pet regular medication and you miss a dose, please call the clinic as soon as practicable to discuss with your vet.

What the best option will be will depend on complex considerations of the type of medication, the amount of medication, the type, size and general health of the animal, the interaction with other medications that may be being taken.

For this reason, if you miss your pets' medication, please call us as soon as you can so we can advise you of the best course of action.

It's just a simple surgery isn't it?

There's no such thing as simple surgery.

Any procedure that makes use of anaesthetic or surgical methods runs a risk for the patient. How big that risk is depends on the type and length of surgery, the general health of the animal, other complications that may be involved or arise during the surgical process.

Whenever we do surgery we recommend the full suite of anaesthetics, pain relief and fluids. While this does increase the costs slightly it helps to minimise risk and give your pet the best chance of a speedy recovery. 

Why do I have to bring my pet in for another visit if they're recovering well from their surgery?

Because we want, to the best of our abilities, to make sure that your pet makes the best and fastest possible recovery from your surgery.

This means not just carrying out the initial surgery, but also keeping continual tabs on your pets' recovery, ensuring they are responding as expected to treatments and continue down the road to recovery.

By doing this we have the best chance of preventing any complications developing, reducing the pain or discomfort your pet will feel and saving you money in the long run.

It is our best practice policy to routinely book a follow up appointment after we have administered treatments to your pets

What do I need to know about Parvovirus?

Each year in the northern suburbs of Adelaide we see outbreaks of Parvovirus.

While normally spread from dog to dog via contact with faeces, the virus’ near indestructible nature means that it can survive in soils for a year or more and can attach to footwear, clothing, bedding, water bowls or toys and spread from there.
Only strong bleach or broad spectrum disinfectants can kill it, and when it strikes the consequences can be devastating.

Parvovirus attacks the lining of the intestines and bone marrow. While the virus destroys the lining of the gut it also prevents the bone marrow from producing white blood cells to combat it.

There is no known cure for parvovirus, but animals can be saved if they receive early treatment to address the symptoms, have a resilient immune system and are very, very lucky.

But treatments are expensive and have a very low success rate, and the overwhelming result of infection is euthanasia.

If a dog contracts parvovirus it will take up to a week for the virus to develop. Then symptoms such as excessive lethargy, abdominal pain and lack of appetite start to become apparent, before the virus moves into the final rapid stages where vomiting and bloody diarrhea occur. By this point treatment is virtually ineffective.

But after these horrible descriptions of the virus, here’s the good news:

Parvovirus is preventable.

A C3 vaccine is available which provides protection for your pet and gives you peace of mind during the yearly outbreaks of parvo in the northern suburbs.

So, what to do to protect your pooch?

If you’ve got a puppy, get them vaccinated on schedule at 6-8, 10-12, and 14-16 weeks of age, and be wary of where you take your puppy until the vaccination program is complete and they are fully protected.

If you’ve got an older dog that either hasn’t been vaccinated or has missed a booster – get it done now!


Vaccination is the only protection against parvovirus.

At GVS we often talk about how prevention is better than a cure, but in the case of parvo it is the only option.

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