Changes to service during lockdown restrictions

Concierge service

Before your booking, we may call to ask you some questions about your health or recent travel, in order to ensure the safety of everyone who is treated, visits or works at U-Vet. When you arrive at the hospital, we’ll ask you to wait outside in your car and call reception on 03 9731 2000. Our reception staff may ask you further questions and then will arrange to collect your pet from you. Asking you to wait outside means you can keep your distance from other waiting pet owners. We have implemented extra measures to ensure your security.

What happens to my pet once inside the clinic?

It’s difficult and emotional to be separated from your pet when he or she isn’t well. U-Vet wants all pets to feel as safe and comfortable as possible. Every visiting animal will be assigned to one caring nurse who will stay with them for the duration of their visit. Once your pet is in the consulting room, the vet will phone you to discuss symptoms, history and treatment options, and to confirm your consent. You’ll receive another call when your pet is ready for pick-up at the front door.

What if my pet is critically ill or difficult to handle when I’m not present?

U-Vet has set up a dedicated consulting room with direct access from outside the clinic, to minimise traffic through the hospital, so you can be in the room with your pet, if necessary.

How do I make payment?

U-Vet will only be able to accept electronic payment at this time, such as credit card payment by phone or BPAY.

Operational changes as a result of COVID-19

As you may know, the University of Melbourne is implementing a plan to manage the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Phase 1 of this plan involved an examination of service delivery and organisational structure at U-Vet to increase efficiency and service quality.

Changes at the Equine Centre

From Monday 7 June 2021, the U-Vet Werribee Equine Centre will continue to provide all equine clients with referral (medical, sports medicine and surgical) investigation and treatment services and advanced diagnostic imaging services, but will no longer accept emergencies or provide a 24-hour service. Please reach out to us at vet-equinecentre@unimelb.edu.au or 03 9731 2268 to enquire whether your horse’s condition is suitable for diagnosis and/or treatment at the Equine Centre or to discuss an appropriate alternative equine clinic for your needs, if necessary.

From the 1 July 2021, U-Vet Werribee Equine Centre will become a referral lameness investigation and treatment and advanced imaging centre. Imaging services we will continue to provide include radiology, ultrasound, scintigraphy, standing limb and head CT, and high field MRI. These services will be supported by specialists in equine surgery and diagnostic imaging and the world’s leading research program in equine limb injury prevention.

Increasing our Primary Care services

As we have undergone the change process, it has highlighted the need to pivot towards a stronger full-service general practice and primary care service. As such, our Primary Care team will increase to make more appointments available to you, our regular U-Vet clients. This will enable us to provide your pets with consistent care across a range of issues, from preventative medicine (such as vaccinations and routine surgeries) to intensive care (such as organ problems and serious infections) from a regular vet who understands their histories.

To make this possible, we request that all clients book an appointment ahead of your visit so we can ensure you are able to see your regular vet and we can schedule adequate time for your pet’s needs. U-Vet opening hours are 8am to 8pm, Monday to Saturday. Book your appointment by calling our friendly reception staff on 03 9731 2000.

Changes to emergency services

As of 10 December 2020, U-Vet will offer emergency services between 8am and 7pm, Monday to Saturday (6 days per week).

For animals requiring out-of-hours care after 8pm, before 8am and on Sundays, U-Vet recommends our preferred partner Greencross Vets at Animal Referral Hospital Essendon Fields.

Alternatively, depending on the urgency of the case, you may choose to wait for an appointment with us during opening hours.

U-Vet will still be accepting referral patients from other veterinary practitioners 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What if my pet is staying at U-Vet for care?

The U-Vet hospital wards are always open with veterinary and nursing staff on hand to provide care for animals housed with us.

What if I arrive and my animal is in a critical condition?

Your animal will be assessed by one of our vets and, if it is determined that an animal requires immediate veterinary care, we will of course see to their health and ensure their welfare.

As always, high-quality animal care is our top priority.

Strays policy

To minimise the risk of staff infection and subsequent shutdown through human-to-human contact, U-Vet will no longer accept stray and unowned animals, unless sick or injured.

We remain open and are prioritising urgent cases, which include sick or injured strays, to ensure that we can offer continued care to animals while maintaining the safety of our clients and staff. Our staff are committed to the welfare of all animals and, like you, are adapting to the changes in the way we work.

If you come across stray animals, please contact your local council for information on where and how to deliver them.

Wildlife

If you find injured wildlife, please conctact Wildlife Victoria who can advise the nearest wildlife specialists to you.

We thank you for your understanding as we do our best to ensure the health of our community. The University of Melbourne continues to make decisions in line with the continuing advice from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Australian Government Department of Health in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19). You can find the University’s full response at the dedicated COVID-19 webpage.

We wish you and your pets the best of health as this situation unfolds.

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