Animal Referral Hospital Canberra

About us

At our Animal Referral Hospital in Canberra, we believe life is better with a pet. Our compassionate team has a wealth of experience, allowing us to provide the best care to animals and their human friends. ARH Canberra incorporates a specialist referral service and emergency service into one seamless hospital, open 24 hours a day, all year round. Our specialist team operates from 8 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday, with the emergency department open all other hours. Our emergency department is open on public holidays with access to on-call surgical and medicine specialists for urgent cases. We will work with you and your regular veterinarian to find the best treatment option for your pet, and look forward to welcoming you to 364 Fairbairn Avenue, Pialligo ACT 2609. ARH Canberra is part of the larger ARH group, which was started in Sydney in 1999. With specialists around Australia, the group shares access to leaders in surgery, oncology, internal medicine, dermatology, ophthalmology, cardiology, diagnostic imaging, and emergency and critical care.


Emergency and critical care

Emergency service Canberra
(02) 6280 6344

If you have an emergency or are worried about your pet’s health, please call and we can assess the need for emergency treatment. You don’t need a referral or appointment to attend the hospital outside of regular veterinarian hours..

Our Facilities

Our emergency department is currently running at limited capacity, and hours may vary. Please call ahead on (02) 6280 6344 to speak with our team.

Our team has access to:

  • CT scanner
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Digital x-ray and ultrasound
  • Full in-house laboratory
  • Fully equipped intensive care unit 
  • Three dedicated surgical theatres
  • Eight modern consulting rooms

Canberra vet support services

At our Canberra hospital in Pialligo, ARH provides after-hour emergency services and specialist referral services in surgery, internal medicine, orthopaedic medicine and rehabilitation, oncology and imaging.

All of our services are combined into one fully integrated hospital. This means that whether your pet comes to us for specialist treatment or emergency care, they are treated by our team in a seamless manner. This ensures your pet’s treatment is as smooth and stress-free as possible. It also allows us to be flexible on pet pick-up and drop-off times and visiting hours.

Our surgeons provide world-class care and will talk you through a range of treatment options for your pet. Your ARH specialist will also work closely with your regular veterinarian to ensure a coordinated approach to your pet’s care.

Open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm, you will need a referral from your veterinarian to see a specialist. You can find out how to make an appointment to see a specialist on this site.

Our specialists have undertaken years of advanced training. After graduating as veterinarians, they completed internships and residency programs, then passed rigorous examinations allowing them to be registered in Australia as a specialist in their field.

We are fully equipped with the most up-to-date surgical equipment and implants, including:

  • Locking titanium and stainless-steel plates for fracture repair, as well as interlocking nails
  • Total hip replacements for dogs from 2 kg to 100 kg
  • Minimally invasive (keyhole) surgical equipment for arthroscopy, laparoscopy and thoracoscopy
  • In-house 3D printed guides for correcting limb deformity and fracture repairs
  • Ureteral stents and bypass implants for ureteral obstruction
  • Bipolar vessel-sealing technology for ligation
  • Stapling devices for organ removal

In-house CT, high-field MRI, digital radiography and ultrasound provide the most advanced diagnostic imaging options available in Canberra.

The Internal medicine service at ARH Canberra, is led by Dr John Angles who has more than 25 years experience in the field. In addition to John we have a registrar who has completed her training and two residents training to be specialists. They are all trained in both dog and cat internal medicine and treat a broad range of cases such as gastrointestinal disease (including liver, pancreas and bowel disease); cardiac and respiratory disease; endocrine problems (such as diabetes and thyroid disease); kidney; immune; and joint disease. Our Medicine team are expert radiographers and provide excellent ultrasound reports.  

The training and experience of our internal medicine team enables them to work with your local veterinarian to provide the highest standard of care for your pet. Our specialists receive referrals for patients that are critically ill as well as those with chronic or ongoing problems. They are able to use their expertise combined with diagnostic tools, including endoscopy, ultrasound, MRI and CT to investigate the cause of a pet’s illness and to offer the best possible advice on treatment options.

Dr Ah Young Kim has recently joined ARH Canberra as a sports medicine and rehabilitation specialist from Colorado State University.

Our orthopaedic medicine and rehab service will run from Tuesday to Friday each week.

Through precise diagnostics and preventative and non-surgical treatment options, Ah Young focuses on improving the quality of life for companion animals of all ages by restoring mobility, alleviating pain and improving fitness. Upon seeing patients through the orthopaedic medicine and rehabilitation service, further testing, including radiography, musculoskeletal ultrasound, CT, MRI and sampling (aspirates, biopsies and/or cultures), may be recommended.

Ah Young will discuss all available diagnostics and treatment options with clients to decide upon the best course for the individual patients and clients. 

Available treatments include:

  • Class IV laser therapy
  • Cold compression
  • Manual therapy (massages, stretching, joint mobilisation)
  • Acupuncture/electroacupuncture
  • Electrical muscular stimulation (TENS/NMES)
  • At-home exercise programs
  • Joint injections (platelet-rich plasma, steroid, hyaluronic acid, etc.)
  • Underwater treadmill (will be ready in the next few months)
  • Post-operative rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation for geriatric patients
  • Weight-loss programs

Dr Michaela Swan has completed her specialist training and is sitting her exams in July 2024. Michaela is currently on maternity leave but is providing support for our medicine team, who are managing her cases until she can come back to work after her exams. Micheala and the medicine team have been providing a vital service for Canberra’s pet cancer patients, which includes a careful and individual assessment of each patient followed by a tailored chemotherapy protocol and careful monitoring to ensure the best possible outcomes. The oncology team is also able to arrange radiotherapy treatment through partnerships in Sydney and assist with any follow-up care.

Our ARH Canberra facility has a 64-slice CT and Canberra’s only veterinary-based high-field (1.5T) MRI. We also have an on-staff radiographer to get the best possible images. While we do not have a radiologist on staff, we use teleradiology services to leverage the expertise of the best radiologists in the world to get overnight reports when a radiologist's opinion is required.

 

 

 

Meet the team

Our team at ARH Canberra are not just experienced leaders in their field; they are also compassionate, hard-working animal lovers. Our combined specialist and emergency hospital means all team members work hand in hand for your pet’s care.

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Dr Jacob Michelsen

BVSc BSc(Vet) MANZCVSc (Surgery) Diplomate ACVS(SA) Diplomate ECVS(Sa)

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Dr Jacob Michelsen

BVSc BSc(Vet) MANZCVSc (Surgery) Diplomate ACVS(SA) Diplomate ECVS(Sa)

Jacob graduated from Sydney University in 1990 and worked in mixed practice for two years before buying his own practice in South West Sydney with his wife and fellow veterinarian.

The practices grew to become a group of practices and after 15 years they were sold when Jacob and his family moved to Denmark for two years.

A surgical residency at Charles Sturt University enticed him back to Australia in 2008. Jacob passed his Board exams in 2013 and moved to Canberra in 2014 to take up a surgical specialty position.

Jacob and family live on a few acres outside of Canberra where they keep chickens, fruit trees and whippet called Sally.

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Dr Candice Evans

BVSc(Hons)

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Dr Candice Evans

BVSc(Hons)

Candice grew up on a small hobby farm in Queensland. After originally starting an engineering degree, she made the move into Veterinary Science and graduated with honours from the University of Queensland at the end of 2016.

After graduating, she moved down to Canberra and spent 2 years in general practice, before joining the emergency team at ARH Canberra and hasn’t looked back since. She obtained her Graduate Certificate in Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care through the University of Melbourne in 2020 and is currently studying for her memberships in emergency and critical care.

Candice loves all aspects of emergency work, with a particular interest in surgery. In her spare time, Candice enjoys riding her horse, running, camping and playing her violin and guitar.

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Dr Louisa Ho Eckhart

BVSc(Hons), MS, DACVS-SA

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Dr Louisa Ho Eckhart

BVSc(Hons), MS, DACVS-SA

Louisa graduated from the University of Sydney in 2004 and worked in a mixed animal practice for 3 years in Goulburn, before spending over 10 years in the USA for specialty surgery training.

She completed 3 internships in Virginia, Kansas and Texas, a surgical fellowship at Louisiana State University and a 3 year surgery residency at Oregon State University.

She then spent three years as an assistant professor, lecturer and faculty clinician in small animal surgery at Iowa State University.

Louisa joined the team at Animal Referral Hospital Canberra in October 2018 and enjoys soft tissue surgery, minimally invasive surgery, surgical oncology, interventional surgical procedures and neurosurgery.

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Dr Rui Sul

Veterinarian

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Dr Rui Sul

Veterinarian

Dr Rui graduated from the University of UTAD in Portugal in 2003.

He moved to England soon after graduating where he worked as a small animal general practitioner for six years in Yorkshire. He continued up north and did his rotating internship followed by an EVCS- approved surgical residency at the University of Glasgow, in Scotland.

After his residency, Dr Rui worked in a large private referral hospital in London (NDSR) for 3 years, covering orthopaedic and soft tissue surgery. He came to Australia with his partner and a young daughter in 2018 and worked as a referral surgeon at the University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Sydney University before joining ARH Canberra in March 2021.

Dr Rui has published on an extensive range of subjects, including cranial cruciate ligament disease, osteoarthritis and humeral fractures. He enjoys all aspect of small animal surgery, particularly orthopaedics and neurosurgery.

Outside of work Dr Rui enjoys cycling, travelling, the great outdoors and spending time with family and friends.

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Dr John Angles

BVSc BSc(Vet) MVS PhD MANZCVS Diplomate ACVIM Diplomate ECVIM-CA

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Dr John Angles

BVSc BSc(Vet) MVS PhD MANZCVS Diplomate ACVIM Diplomate ECVIM-CA

John graduated in 1988 with honours from the University of Sydney and worked for five years in small animal practice in Canberra, before completing a small animal medicine residency at the University of California at Davis.

He then spent four years as lecturer in small animal medicine at the University College Dublin prior to joining the Animal Referral Hospital in 1993.

John has advanced training in veterinary immunology and genetics, and extensive experience working with dog and cat breed clubs in Europe and the USA. He was awarded a PhD in Comparative Pathology in 2005 by the University of California at Davis, investigating causes for autoimmunity in dogs. John has published extensively in both veterinary and medical literature. His current research is directed at molecular causes for diseases in dogs and cats, with specific emphasis on mitochondrial DNA defects, haematologic diseases and breed-associated autoimmunity.

John is a Diplomate of both the American and European Colleges of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM and ECVIM). He receives referrals in all aspects of canine and feline medicine including gastroenteric, cardiothoracic, haematologic, neurologic, genetic, immune and endocrine disease.

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Dr Kim Cleary

BVSc(Hons)

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Dr Kim Cleary

BVSc(Hons)

Kim graduated from Sydney Uni in 2009 and worked in general practice in Canberra for several years before working in emergency/after hours practice for a year.

After her own dog, a 1-year-old staghound developed neurological signs and required specialist care, Kim was inspired to move to referral medicine at Animal Referral Hospital. Kim is now a resident in Small Animal Internal Medicine and appreciates being able to care for animals, then see them go home with their families.

When not at work, Kim enjoys spending time with her family, including the problem child staghound and two black and white DSH cats, adopted as strays from work.

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Dr Ah Young Kim

DVM, MS, CCRT, CVA, DACVSMR

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Dr Ah Young Kim

DVM, MS, CCRT, CVA, DACVSMR

Ah Young Kim graduated from the Seoul National University in South Korea as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2014 after which she completed an orthopaedic/neurosurgery training with a Master’s degree.

After working as a surgeon in specialty practices in Korea for a few years, she developed an interest in the nonsurgical treatment of mobility issues and rehabilitation. In 2019, she moved to the United States to undertake a Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation residency at Colorado State University.

She has a big passion to be a gait keeper of all the animals and improve their quality of life. During her residency, she performed research about canine gene therapy for treating osteoarthritis and muscle mass measurement.

Her areas of interest include rehabilitation, biologic therapies, veterinary orthotics and prosthetics, gait analysis, and diagnosing nebulous lameness cases.

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Dr Sasha Chapman

BVBiol/BVSc (Hons 1)

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Dr Sasha Chapman

BVBiol/BVSc (Hons 1)

Sasha graduated from Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga in 2019 with first class honours. Upon graduation she worked for 12-months in a regional small animal general practice in Albury, NSW (despite being from Sydney originally!).

Sasha always had a desire to pursue a speciality and after a year of general practice, she moved to Canberra and undertook a 12-month rotating internship in medicine, surgery and emergency critical care. After finding her stride with the ARH internal medicine team, Sasha embarked on an additional 6-months of a sole internal medicine internship.

Sasha commenced her residency in small animal medicine in 2022 through the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine under the supervision of Dr John Angles.

Sasha continues to enjoy studying and learning, having recently completed a year-long modular ultrasonography course and her certificate in advanced veterinary practice (small animal medicine) through the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and University of Liverpool (UK). Sasha loves everything medicine with a particular interest in gastroenterology, hepatology, neurology and oncology.

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Dr Jack Davey

BVetBiol/BVetSc(Hons I), MANZCVS (Surgery)

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Dr Jack Davey

BVetBiol/BVetSc(Hons I), MANZCVS (Surgery)

Jack graduated from Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, with first class Honours for his research on bone healing and also received the ‘Bruce Christie Surgical Prize’ in 2016 for a high level of aptitude and clinical skills in small animal surgery during the veterinary course. 

He then started his career as a veterinarian working in Launceston, Tasmania as a mixed animal veterinarian where his passion for surgery strengthened. In 2018, Jack was awarded the NVC’s ‘Best Recent Graduate’ award for his work in veterinary clinics across Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia with both large and small animals. 

Now with the aim to further his surgical skills, Jack is undertaking a residency in Small Animal Surgery at ARH Canberra through the European College of Veterinary Surgery. 

When he is not at work, Jack likes to garden and exercise with the company of his old dog Angie. 

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Dr Stefan Gouws

BSc BVMS

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Dr Stefan Gouws

BSc BVMS

Stefan graduated from Murdoch University, Perth in 2016. After spending several years in regional Western Australia as a mixed practice veterinarian, Stefan relocated back to Perth. Here, he further developed his interest in surgery working in a surgical role in several small animal private practices, before completing an extended small animal surgical internship at one of Western Australia's leading referral hospitals.

Stefan joined the ARH Canberra team in February 2023, and is one of our surgical intern veterinarians who assist our surgical residents and specialists in helping your beloved pet get the gold-standard care that we strive for here at ARH.

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Dr Shin Yin, Ling

BSc BVMS

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Dr Shin Yin, Ling

BSc BVMS

Shin Yin graduated from Murdoch University, Perth in 2016. Since graduating, she has worked in a busy small animal practice in regional Victoria-New South Wales. During the time, she has completed a graduate certificate in Small Animal Abdominal Ultrasound from the University of Melbourne. In 2023, she joined ARH Canberra as a surgery intern to further develop her interest in surgery.

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Dr James Iversen 

BVetBio/BVSc(Hons) GCertSAECC

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Dr James Iversen 

BVetBio/BVSc(Hons) GCertSAECC

James has been with ARH Canberra since graduation from Charles Sturt University in mid-2021. He has worked in various roles, including as a surgical intern and full time emergency veterinarian. In 2022, he obtained a Graduate Certificate in Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care from the University of Melbourne. He now joins the surgical department full time, as a surgical resident under Dr Michelsen.

He enjoys all aspects of the profession, with particular interests in analgesia (pain relief), emergency and critical care, and as expected, all things surgery. He also strongly believes in good patient welfare and mental health, wanting the most enjoyable and fun vet experience for your pet, and as such can often be found spending lots of time with each patient across the day.

Prior to becoming a vet, James worked with various church and charity organisations, providing support to at-risk youth from a variety of challenging home situations. Currently, he lives with wife, Kaitlyn, also a veterinarian, in the south of Canberra.

Information for vets referring to our Canberra hospital

Our specialist and emergency services are combined in one fully integrated business. We share the same team members, computer systems and equipment, making communication easier and ensuring treatment is as seamless and stress-free as possible. Our specialist and support services provide world-leading care for referral patients. We also have a well-developed research program and have published new procedures in orthopaedics and soft tissue surgery, as well as numerous case reports and analyses of current procedures.

ARH Canberra is part of the larger ARH group, with access to leaders in fields like ophthalmology, cardiology, diagnostic imaging, and emergency and critical care. Our connected emergency service ensures that if your patient requires an overnight stay or after-hours treatment, they are cared for in a consistent and coordinated environment. All pets are referred back to their regular veterinarian for continued treatment and management of conditions. We are not a general practice and do not perform any routine duties like vaccinations, heartworm injections or microchipping. ARH specialists are available via phone or email to provide advice to referring veterinarians. We can also talk through treatment options and cost estimates.

If you are a referring veterinarian, please contact us by phone to speak directly to a specialist in the relevant department. Our specialists will make every effort to come to the phone. However, if a specialist is not available immediately, one of our registrars or nursing team will be happy to take your call and answer any questions you may have.

We are also happy to discuss a case at any time, including providing after-hours advice from our emergency team.

We welcome feedback on any of your cases referred to ARH. Please fill in the information below. Alternatively, please phone the veterinarian you have been working with or the hospital manager on (02) 6280 6344 or email us directly at canberra@arhvets.com to provide feedback, follow-up information or suggestions.

Our ARH team members are passionate about sharing their knowledge with the veterinary community. We are in the process of developing a continuing education program and will share those details via this website, our Facebook page and direct email. If you have any suggestions regarding our education program, email us at seminar@arhvets.com.

Information for pet owners visiting our canberra hospital

ARH Canberra is open 24 hours a day. Our visiting hours are flexible throughout the day and evening, and will need to be arranged with your veterinarian.

You will need a referral from your regular veterinarian to see an ARH specialist. Appointments can be made by contacting a member of our reception team on (02) 6280 6344 or canberra@arhvets.com. We have free onsite parking.

Please bring your referral letter as well as any other information, such as x-rays and current medication. Usually, we get these directly from your referring vet, so don’t worry if you don’t have any paperwork.

Your specialist will discuss your pet’s history and assess your pet, who may need to stay in hospital for further diagnostic work or treatment. We advise keeping some flexibility where possible on the day of your appointment.

Your specialist will provide a complete range of options for your pet’s treatment, including prognosis and an estimation of costs. Our specialists will work closely with your referring veterinarian to ensure a coordinated approach is taken to your pet’s care.

Your specialist will discuss any costs with you before treatment begins unless it is an emergency situation. Please see reception after each appointment to finalise your account.

Your pet may be required to stay at our ARH facility for further diagnosis and treatment. You will be provided with a Consent for Treatment form, which will include an estimate of costs.

If your pet is coming in for a procedure, please discuss pre-admission feeding instructions with your veterinarian. Offer them as much water as they like. If they are diabetic or have any other medical conditions, please contact your vet or our friendly reception team to discuss.

Throughout your pet’s treatment, we will keep you updated on their progress. We understand you may miss your pet and be worried about them, and we encourage you to call for updates.

ARH Canberra is open 24 hours a day, and our visiting hours are flexible throughout the day and evening. Please speak to one of our receptionists to arrange a time to visit your pet.

Our team will discuss any costs with you before treatment takes place unless it is an emergency situation. Please keep in mind that this is an estimate, and costs can potentially increase due to unexpected patient complications and prolonged hospital stays.

ARH requires at least 50% of the treatment estimate to be paid prior to the start of treatment, with the account to be finalised at the time of your pet’s discharge. We may ask for a progress payment during your pet’s hospital stay. Please see our customer care team after each appointment to finalise your account. ARH accepts cash, EFTPOS and credit cards.

If you feel you will need assistance to pay your account, please speak to our customer care team as soon as possible. VetPay is a company offering affordable finance options. For VetPay finance to be approved, applications need to be made before treatment begins, so please speak to our customer care team for information as early as possible.

Our friendly customer care team members are happy to complete insurance claims for your pet’s treatment with us. Most insurance companies now accept claims online, so all we will need is your insurance company name and your pet’s policy number to process your claim. When you finalise your bill, please ask us to process your claim.

GapOnly™️

As a pet parent, when your fur baby gets sick or injured, the last thing you want to be worrying about is whether you can afford treatment. An innovation in the pet insurance claims experience is GapOnly™️, which reviews and calculates your claim while you’re still at ARH Canberra. You simply pay the gap (the difference between your ARH invoice and your pet insurance).

Learn more about GapOnly™️ here

 

 

 

 

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