We are now operating under Level 2. This mean we are again able to offer our full range of services.
Please note that our opening hours have returned to normal during this time. Monday-Friday 8am-6pm.
We still remain a referral-only practice, so initial contact must be made with your regular vet clinic. The exception would be if we have already seen your pet for the issue in question. We ask that you phone ahead so that our nurses can assess your situation and secure you an appointment time if necessary.
If you are coming in for an appointment, our door will be locked. We ask that you remain in your vehicle and call the clinic when you arrive.
To continue to do our best to look after you and your beloved pets safely during Level 2, we ask that you adhere to the following safety measures:
- Avoid attendance if you are unwell.
- We ask that only one healthy adult accompany your pet into the clinic.
- We are working to keep the waiting room as clear as possible and social distancing rules will apply in the waiting room.
- If you or anyone in your household becomes unwell prior your appointment, please call us on 03 341 6449 to discuss the best way for us to ensure your pet receives the best care available.
- Payment will be required via a contactless means (no cash will be taken) at the time of the appointment, we can discuss these options with you.
We would like to reinforce that we will continue to maintain our disinfection measures within the clinic.
We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time as we try our best to care for your pets in a safe and thoughtful way.
**Please note that the After-Hours Vet Centre is a different business to Vetspecs and will be open their normal hours for emergencies. Please call them with any queries.**
Who are we?Formed in 1999, Vetspecs is the South Island's only Small Animal Surgical Specialist Veterinary Centre. Our building is shared with the Afterhours Clinic and because of this the Vetspecs patients can stay on site and their care will be maintained by the Afterhours staff overnight. We provide advanced specialist skills, expertise and equipment enabling us to give the best possible care for our clients and their pets. Our ethos is one of true compassion from a supportive team that really cares.
Vetspecs has two registered veterinary specialists: Dr Brent Higgins and Dr Michael Nawrocki.
Vetspecs' Specialist Surgeons are all members of the New Zealand Institute of Specialist Veterinary Surgeons (NZISVS). We offer a wide range of diagnostics and treatments for complex orthopaedic, neurologic and soft tissue surgeries in cats and dogs.
Surgical services available at Vetspecs include:
- Lameness diagnoses and treatments
- Arthroscopy, with access to MRI and CT imaging
- Cruciate ligament surgery - Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy (TPLO)/ Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA)
- Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis
- Fracture and dislocation fixations
- Angular limb deformity correction
- OCD and dysplasia diagnosis and treatments
- Advanced imaging: access to MRI and CT
- Spinal decompression
- Spinal tumour removal
- Stabilisation of spinal fractures
- Ear, nose and throat surgeries
- Airway surgery
- Cardiothoracic and cardiovascular surgeries
- Gastrointestinal, hepatobiliary and portosystemic shunt surgeries
- Genitourinary surgeries
- Skin, oncological and reconstructive surgeries
- Endoscopy, rhinoscopy and bronchoscopy
- PennHip assessment
Nursing and Support Team
The Vetspecs nursing team is led by the Team Leader, Libby Leader. Our dedicated nurses are fully qualified and highly experienced in providing the level of care and expertise expected at a specialist facility. They play an integral role in the care of our patients and undergo continuous professional development in order to provide the most up-to-date care. The nursing team’s roles include: Surgical assistance, intensive care, anaesthetic support (including pain management and fluid therapy), radiology, diagnostic procedures, wound care and physiotherapy advice.
Team Leader/ Senior Vet Nurse - Dip VN, Dip ECC
Senior Vet Nurse - Cert VN
Senior Vet Nurse - RVT
Vet Nurse - Dip VN
Vet Nurse - Cert VN
Vet Nurse - RVN, AM Cert
NZISVS MissionThis partnership of New Zealand's most highly trained veterinary surgeons provides an organisation for advancement of, and excellence in, small animal surgery.
We promote significant research and surgical innovation through collaboration of specialists using new and established national and international relationships.
Through the discussion of new ideas and critical support of its members, we endeavour to advance the health, welfare and wellbeing of all animals.
Through communication and sharing of expertise and resources within the group, we seek to provide animal owners in New Zealand access to the very best veterinary care in the world.
What is a veterinary specialist?
Specialists have higher qualifications and skill levels than most veterinarians. Their advanced training consists of a minimum three-year residency program. This includes one-on-one mentoring with specific training and case load requirements, research, publications and passing a rigorous examination process. In addition to having advanced training, specialists also have access to facilities, equipment and support staff that are not always available to your primary veterinarian.
How is my pet being looked after in your hospital?
At Vetspecs, we genuinely care for all our patients as if they were our own. We customise our care plan case by case to ensure your pet will have the highest level of personal attention. Cats are hospitalised away from noisy dogs. We carry out customised feeding, exercise/play, physiotherapy, bathing and grooming as individually required. We have clean, comfortable cages and bedding, including orthopaedic mattresses and electric blankets.
Why see a veterinary specialist?
Your family veterinarian provides the primary and daily care for your pet. However, as in human medicine, there are some cases that require advanced skills, expertise and equipment to provide the best possible surgical treatments. Vetspecs is a collaborative team of small animal surgical specialists. We are part of a national and international network of specialists 100% dedicated to providing the next level of care for your pet. Our team is committed to ensuring that you and your pet are treated with the utmost compassion and care. We are pet owners too and understand the importance of the bond between you and your companion.
The referral process
You can ask your veterinarian any time for a referral to a specialist, who will work closely with your primary veterinarian before and after surgery to ensure continuity of care for your pet.