Comparing Prices Between Vets: What To Consider

vet at night

Vets are businesses, and like any other their prices will vary. However, it’s very hard for the average consumer to understand what the price of any specific procedure means.

Here I’m going to help you, not by giving you the answers, by giving you the right questions to consider. Sometimes the difference will be due to the pricing policy, but often there are other factors at play.

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We Need A Better Online Pet Chemist System

dog getting medicine

This week I’ve done two new things:

  1. Made a police report against a former client
  2. Complained to the Pharmacy Council of New South Wales

It was pure luck that we found out about the fraud, and it’s taught us all a valuable lesson: that the online pet pharmacy system is not fit for purpose. It must change.

As the friendly policeman said later, he could understand her actions because the temptation was put in her path. The real problem is that it was so easy.

Here’s what happened.

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Cat Curfews & Confinement In Australia

stray cat

Driven by high levels of public approval, Australia is haphazardly but relentlessly moving towards greater containment of cats. I support cat curfews, and keep my own cat inside, but I still have concerns.

The big problem with cat laws in Australia is that they seem to be enacted by those who know the least about cats. It’s leading to unrealistic expectations and poor results.

I’ll discuss why that is in a minute, but to not sound negative I’ll start with the benefits of curfews.

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Had A Bad Vet Experience? Please Read This

Dog and laptop

Last week when I wrote about the shortage of Australian veterinarians, I laid the problems of our industry bare. Poor work conditions, inadequate support and low pay are just a few. They’re leading to what some people see as a crisis for the veterinary profession.

There’s something else contributing to the problem that I did not mention, because it’s tricky to bring up without blaming innocent people. It’s the deterioration of the relationship between vets and pet owners.

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Why Aren’t There Enough Vets In Australia?

vet helping cat

You may have heard the sad news that one of the vets in Berri is closing. This comes hot on the heels of YP vets announcing the same thing: the closure of their Port Pirie clinic.

In both cases, a lack of vets has been cited as the main reason. So in the interests of the care for your pets, it’s worth taking a closer look at what’s happening to the vet supply in Australia. Afterwards, I’ll offer some advice for new graduates and recently employed vets.

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Buying A Puppy In Adelaide

young new puppy

Are you looking for a puppy in Adelaide? Then no doubt you have already seen how hard it is to get one. There’s a massive demand for new puppies, and seemingly a reduced supply since the new dog breeding regulations came into effect.

Traditional sources like breeders and shelters have long waiting lists. The only quick and easy way to get a puppy is from a pet shop. I perfectly understand if you’ve thought about it. But before you make the commitment, there are a few things to consider.

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Dog Attacks: What To Do, How To Prevent Them

dog attack

Emergency Info (details to follow):

If Your Dog Is Being Attacked

To separate dogs, try:

  • Water sprays or buckets
  • Aerosols and sprays (pepper spray is only legal in WA)
  • Personal duress alarm (hold buttons on each side of an iPhone down for 5 seconds)
  • A beach towel thrown over the aggressor
  • Picking the aggressor up by the back legs (wheelbarrowing) is dangerous and should only done by the dog’s owner

Do not try to pull the other dog off. That’s up to their owner to do. You will get badly injured. Click here for your closest Adelaide Emergency vet.

Do not blame yourself. Often there’s nothing you can do due to the size and determination of the aggressor. You’ll probably also fail to get the owner’s details in the heat of the moment.

Now dive deeper…

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Starting A Vet Blog: My Story

Think you could never write a blog? Well not so fast. All of us have something worth saying, and these days it is easier than ever.

Just look at me. When I wrote my first vet story, there was no grand plan, just an instinctive need to communicate that I could not explain. I got home from work, sat down at the kitchen bench, wrote a long-form article and immediately posted a link on Facebook. You can still find it here.  

I was blown away by how much people enjoyed it, as faulty as it was. With the encouragement of a growing readership, the blog evolved and improved. I learned to listen better to pet owner needs, and picked up some technical skills along the way. But even now, despite its size, reach, and influence, at its heart the blog is still a cottage industry. 

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Your Dog or Cat & Coronavirus COVID-19

kitten with interferon

Find the facts below about dogs and cats and coronavirus COVID-19. Keep checking this page for updates on the situation.

Vets across Australia are open as normal. Walkerville Vet requests that clients:

  • Maintain 1.5m from staff and other clients (nurses will hold your pet for examinations)
  • Do not pay with cash
  • Not attend the clinic if in isolation or even mildly unwell
  • Wait on the front lawn if there are 6 or more people in the waiting room
  • Come to the clinic alone whenever possible, and without children

Now dive deeper…

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Do We Really Want To Live In A Society That Traps Cats?

“Unfortunately, there are people out there who don’t like cats — hate cats — and too often we see what happens to cats when they are trapped by these sorts of people.” RSPCA South Australia chief executive Paul Stevenson

“A law like this would give the worst elements of society Carte Blanche to abuse their neighbours’ pets” Brian May (guitarist in Queen)

Why are these two so worried?

New cat curfew laws proposed by Marion Council will allow the trapping of any cat found off the property from 9pm to 7am. Not just by council staff either. By anyone at all.

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Cavoodle Puppy-Selling Scams

cavoodle puppy sale scam

*Note: if you’re here to check on a possible scam site, scroll down to the comments where there’s a lively discussion! Here is a quick summary of what’s been found:

List Of Cavoodle Scam Sites

This list changes quickly as sites appear and disappear so accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Remember: do not buy from any site using the word Cavapoo as this is not used in Australia.

  • Cute Mini Cavoodle Puppies Home
  • Cavoodles With Love
  • Dove Cavoodels Puppies Home
  • Hobart Cavoodle Puppies
  • Home Raised Cavoodles
  • MJ Cavodle Pups
  • Mona Cavoodle Puppies (take a look as well at
  • Our Cavoodle Pups
  • Precious Cavoodle Puppies
  • Quality Cavoodle Puppies
  • Sweet Cavoodles
  • Whitty Cavoodle Home

There are also Facebook pages, which I am not able to follow. If you are scammed by one of these, contact Facebook directly to have them taken down.

Now dive deeper…

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The Senate Pet Food Safety Inquiry & You

pet food safety

Update 2021: still no news on whether the findings of the Inquiry will ever make it into law.


Australia lacks any form of oversight regarding pet food safety or basic standards of hygiene or quality.

Australia also lacks any way to report faults in pet foods. Mistakes happen even with good brands, but attempts in the past by individual vets to highlight them have invariably led to threats of ruinous legal action against the vet involved.

I provided evidence at the public hearings into the safety of pet food on Tuesday the 28th of August, 2018 in Sydney. Here you can read my oral and written submissions.

You might also like:

I went there to put forward the demands of ordinary pet owners. You can be sure that industry was well-represented but what about you? We needed the opinions of ordinary consumers and average Australian pet owners.

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Secret Payments, Incentives & Bias

earliest puppy vaccination

The trust our pets give us seems almost like too much responsibility at times. What if we accidentally don’t do the best we can? That’s why we get our advice from trusted sources.

Can you still trust advice when financial interests and your pet’s interests don’t match? Thankfully, yes, just because animal lovers are some of the best people there are. However, I still want you to know of the ways sellers are being tempted to give biased advice.

I can’t apologise enough for not naming names but at least if they ever happen you should be able to spot these tricks, and even help me fix a few. 

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Allergy To Dogs And Cats

Devon Rex bed

I love Devon Rex cats (that’s mine above) but they aren’t good for allergies. To cats, that is. (for allergies of cats & dogs, follow this link)

My previous Devon Rex was dumped at a shelter after 18 months being locked in a room. She’d been bought on the misguided belief that she wouldn’t cause cat allergy. It took me years to get her settled after that rough start, and it could have been worse.

I’ve seen plenty of animal lovers who are allergic to their pets. It’s heartbreaking to watch. The good news is there are things you can do to help.

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Dog Debarking Surgery

Here’s a rare public comment on a dog breeder forum about what I think is one of South Australia’s dirty little secrets.

debarking SA laws
“You need a stat dec signed by a JP stating the dogs barking is a nuisance etc and all the other methods of redicign the dogs barking have already bent tried and failed. Then you can get your dog debarked. I live on the SA/NSW border and thats how ppl here get thier dogs debarked. a letter froma JP and they hop over the border and get the Op done by a SA vet”
dog after debarking
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The New Laws For Dogs & Cats


In July, 2018 the new laws for dogs and cats came into force. You can read the details by following the link.

Although it will not be universally popular, the move towards universal desexing and microchipping of dogs and cats should produce a clear net benefit to pets and the community.

Regarding the concerns I raised below back in 2016, most have been addressed satisfactorily:

  • Vets can only give temporary exemptions
  • Guard dogs and remote communities are not specifically exempted
  • Breeding standards are already law and now breeders must also be registered, making the removal of rogue operators easier


  • I’m yet to be convinced of the benefit of cat owners being asked to register their cats. Most owned cats have no harmful effect on communities or councils. There are existing laws on the removal of unidentified stray cats that function perfectly well.
  • Compulsory microchipping and desexing are an excellent idea for all cats, but the existing databases you already pay for are still necessary, and in my opinion, all that is needed.
  • You can still buy puppies at Adelaide pet shops from interstate puppy farms.
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Who Owns Adelaide Vet Clinics?

company share prices

Ever wondered about how vet practices are owned? No? I’m not surprised; it really doesn’t matter that much.

For those with a passing interest, though, there has been a bit of a shakeup in the past few years.

Major acquisitions of vets by corporate entities have been happening across Australia. I personally received three letters of interest in one year!

As of 2020 there are three major groups active in South Australia. As vets near retirement and find how easy it is to sell to these groups, this list is sure to lengthen. I’ll try to keep it updated but given the fast pace of change and private nature of sales I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this list.

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Kids and Dogs

child cuddling dog

Most of the time it’s just assumed that modern pets in families will know what to do, have good manners and to be perfect angels.

When it goes bad, it’s usually the children that suffer. Dogs are more likely to bite kids in the head or neck (63% of bites compared with only 13.3% of older people) and kids are more likely to need surgery and to stay in hospital (Ting et al, 2016). You’ve only got to look at the picture of my young son (above) to see why.

Usually the dog gets the blame, sometimes with tragic consequences, even though the causes are a lot more complicated. Usually it could have all been prevented with better understanding.

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Vets, Stress and Suicide

vet stress suicide

There’s suddenly a lot of talk about the suicide rate in vets, thanks to a new study from the USA. It’s re-opened an important conversation, but I believe also created a lot of misinformation.

For example, I saw one vet say it was because of bad debts and emotional blackmail by pet owners. That’s clearly just his experience. So here’s the evidence we have for what’s going wrong, and my suggestions for fixing it.

Also Read: Australia’s Vet Shortage | How The Vet-Owner Relationship Is Changing

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Dog Rescue Scam Foiled By Dr Sky

puppy rescue scam

It’s unlikely there will be enough information to catch these people. We need you to help. We also need you to be aware of what they are doing.

Our rescue puppy
Our rescue puppy Arkie

That’s Arkie above. He was found wandering the streets near Walkerville Vet and brought to us, as are so many other stray pets. Usually all we do is scan their microchip and make a phone call to reunite them with their owners.

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