Emergency FAQs

Emergency Department Frequently Asked Questions


Top questions our Emergency Team are asked.

These are some of the common questions we get asked when people use our services. 


Things you need to know about the Emergency & Critical Care Service.
  1. We are committed to providing the best care possible for your pet.
  2. We are an emergency center so we only deal with the emergency at hand. For long term problems, we would recommend you work with your regular veterinarian who knows your pet best.
  3. We will have discussions about finances. We all wish healthcare for pets was free but sadly it is not. We will work within your constraints to provide the best care possible. We highly recommend that you have pet insurance so you never have to make decisions based on finances.
  4. We will do our best to have honest, detailed and realistic communications with you about your pet’s condition but it is your responsibility to ensure that understand what is going on, ask if you do not understand, and understand that complications and the unexpected do happen at times.
I think my pet is sick. What do I do?

During normal working hours, we would generally recommend that you contact your veterinarian as they will generally be located close by and know your pet and your family well. Following emergency treatment, your vet may subsequently refer your pet to WAVES for critical care if they have ongoing concerns. You may occasionally be directed by your vet to immediately proceed to WAVES for emergency care if their patient load prevents them from providing optimal care for your After hours pet.

After hours, WAVES provides a free telephone advice service should you have an emergency or if you are unsure whether your pet requires urgent attention. Please call us to discuss any concerns you may have. If you have an emergency, proceed directly to WAVES. You may choose to call us whilst you make your way to the hospital so we can prepare for your arrival.

What should I bring with me?
  1. Bring any documentation, images, or test results you may have on hand or been given by your veterinarian
  2. If your animal is insured, please bring along your policy number and details
  3. Bring any medications your pet may be on
  4. If your pet has eaten something he/she should not have had, bring along the packaging or pictures to allow us to identify the item
  5. Bring your pet!
  6. If you need to apply for finance, remember to bring identification along.
Do I need an appointment or a referral to see the Emergency Service?

The emergency service operates on a triage basis and as such, we do not schedule appointments. When you first come into the hospital, your pet will be evaluated to determine how severe his or her problem is. This means that if your pet has a severe life-threatening problem and needs immediate attention, he or she will not be made to wait until everyone else has been attended to.  Occasionally if your pet’s condition is less critical, there may be a wait to see a veterinarian if there are patients with more critical problems.

What can I expect?

The emergency service operates on a triage basis. Patients with more severe and life-threatening problems are attended to first. Occasionally if your pet’s condition is less critical, there may be a wait to see a veterinarian if there are patients with more critical problems.

During the consultation, the veterinarian will examine your pet and formulate a treatment and diagnostic plan together with you. Depending on your pet’s problem, hospitalisation for treatment and tests may be required.  The costs associated with this will also be discussed thus enabling you to make an informed decision. 

We realise that you do not plan for your pet to have an emergency and that this can be a stressful time. However, we do require payment at the time of service. If required, please feel free to ask our staff about finance options like Zip Pay or VetPay, which may be helpful during these unforeseen circumstances.

What tests and treatments are required?

The tests and treatments that your pet requires depend largely on the problem your pet has. Following a physical examination, the veterinarian examining your animal will determine what tests and treatments are recommended and discuss these requirements with you. 

How will I find out what is happening whilst my pet is in hospital?

Keeping you well informed about your pet is very important to us. After the admission of your pet into the hospital, we will generally be in contact with you after receipt of any test results. Whilst your pet is in hospital, we will generally be in contact with you at least once or twice a day to provide updates. 

If you have not heard from us and would like an update, please feel free to call. We will do our best to be available to speak to you but clinical work is unpredictable, and there may sometimes be a delay before we can make contact. Please be patient under those circumstances.

 At the time of discharge, we will also give you a document that outlines your pet’s condition and treatment received in the hospital. If you need to visit your regular veterinarian soon after your pet is discharged, please take this document with you. Your veterinary surgeon should have also received the same document but it is always useful to have it on hand.

Can I visit my pet in hospital?

Prior to COVID-19, WAVES had an open door policy with regards to hospital visits. Unfortunately, with COVID-19, we have had to change our visiting policy to minimise the risk to staff and clients being exposed to COVID-19 and to comply with occupational health & safety.

We ask that visits be limited to a maximum of 15minutes and that all visitors intending to enter the main hospital area wear an appropriately fitted mask that covers the mouth and nose. 

I have been referred by my veterinarian for overnight care. What does this mean?

There are times when your pet may need attention overnight in hospital. Rather than staying alone in hospital overnight and unwatched, your veterinarian may refer your pet to WAVES for overnight care where we are staffed around the clock and can continue to provide care, treatment and observe your pet overnight. 

Our overnight care service is a discounted service and only suitable for patients with a confirmed diagnosis and a stable condition. Your pet will generally return to your regular vet the following morning for ongoing care or treatment as required.


I need a repeat of a prescription. Can I get that from WAVES?

By law, veterinarians are only allowed to supply medication for an animal under their care, which means that the veterinarian must have seen your pet for the condition for which it is receiving the medications prescribed. As we are an emergency service, we do not generally perform follow-up examinations of patients and as such, generally do not dispense repeat prescriptions. Follow-up examinations are commonly recommended to take place with your regular vets who have a long-term relationship with you and your pet. 


Have a referral?

Have you been referred by a vet? Please complete the registration form.



Meet Our Emergency Team

Our team is our greatest strength. They are the people who look after and care for your ill pet, communicate good news and bad news, laugh with you and cry with you. They are the people that believe that caring for animals is not what they do, but who they are. They are the sunflowers in our world.



Specialties & Services






Diagnostic Imaging

Internal Medicine & Oncology




Medicine & Oncology


Diagnostic Imaging





Veterinary Referral & Emergency Services