Advanced and routine surgical procedures

Performing surgery requires a high level of knowledge, experience and dexterity, something we pride ourselves in at Rolleston Veterinary Services. All of our surgeries are performed following the highest possible standards, with a focus on excellent pain management. Surgery is required when there are conditions or diseases that will not respond to medication alone, instead needing physical intervention in order to solve the problem. Examples of this may be a fast growing tumour or a complicated bone fracture.

We differentiate between orthopeadic surgery, soft tissue surgery and routine surgeries, such as speys and castrations.

After each surgery, we will send your pet home with detailed discharge instructions and we will be support you, should you have any concerns.

Some examples of complex surgical procedures carried out at our clinic include Triple Tibial Osteotomy (TTO), Arytenoid Lateralisation (‘tie-back’), thoracic surgery and complicated fracture repairs.

Animal hospital

We have a large animal hospital for intensive care of your pet. This includes large dog kennels, outside runs, a quarantine area and a cattery. A team of dedicated nurses look after your pet under a vet’s supervision. We make your pet’s stay as pleasant as possible with lots of TLC, with the intensive care they require.

You are always welcome to visit during hospital visiting hours and we will update you over the phone or in person regularly with your pet’s progress.


Microchipping should be considered as a normal part of responsible pet ownership. Registration to a national database is included.

The microchip implant is about the size of a grain of rice and is implanted by a vet, under the skin between the shoulder blades. This procedure can be done during a regular consultation or while your pet is under anaesthetic for another procedure. Our reception staff will help you to fill in all the necessary paperwork.

The benefit of having a microchip is that animal control officers and vets routinely look for microchips to return lost pets quickly to their owners. The recent Christchurch earthquakes and resulting pet loss iterated the benefits of microchipping your pet! If your pet has a chronic illness, which they are receiving lifelong medication for, this can also be recorded on the database so your pet can be treated appropriately as soon as they are found.

Advanced imaging and radiation

We make regular use of modern advanced imaging techniques including both Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computer-aided Tomography (CT). We are also fortunate and relatively unique in our ability to offer Radiotherapy for specified cancer cases.


Fluoroscopy is an imaging technique that uses x-rays to obtain real-time moving images. It is commonly used to diagnose tracheal collapse, for interventional cardiology, barium studies and assessing position of implants after orthopaedic surgery. This saves unnecessary anesthetic time during surgery and negates the need for otherwise invasive procedures.

Radiation therapy using Iodine I131 treatment for Feline Hyperthyroidism

There are many different clinical signs related to Feline Hyperthyroidism. Weight loss, restlessness, increased appetite and thirst, and sometimes vomiting or diarrhoea are some of the common symptoms you may notice. Hyperthyroidism is very common in cats and a simple blood test, in conjunction with a full clinical exam can confirm the disease. Treatment is always necessary as sudden death, heart disease or blindness could occur. Treatment options include Iodine 131 treatment, surgery, lifelong medication with tablets or a very specific prescription diet. I 131 treatment has become the gold standard and is available here at Rolleston Veterinary Services. I 131 is a radioactive substance which destroys the abnormal thyroid tissue. A specific dose of I131 is tailored to your cat and is administered by a single injection under the skin. Your cat then needs to stay with us at the hospital for 5-7 days so radiation levels can be monitored. In 98% of cases cats are cured and don’t need any further treatment.

This treatment is not suitable for all cats unfortunately and each patient is assessed on an individual basis to determine their best treatment option.

Dietary and Nutritional Counseling

Not only will we give you advice on your pet’s nutrition on your annual visits, but we also run our own Weight Loss Clinic. Weight problems and nutritional imbalance is an increasing problem we see every single day. Being overweight will decrease quality and length of life for your pet.

Health risks involved in being obese are heart disease, joint problems, diabetes, bladder diseases, increased blood pressure and constipation. This is why it is so important for your pet to maintain a healthy weight.

We know how hard it is for your pet to lose weight and would like to support you as best as we can! We offer you an extended consultation, where we calculate your pet’s percentage of body fat, their ideal weight and customise an exercise and diet program to help them achieve this goal.

There are weight loss diets available, but if your animal is a very fussy eater, we can also work out a dietary plan for you without changing too much. For a one-off charge the weight loss program will continue for as long as necessary, with regular free follow-up visits where we can make adjustments to the program if required. For enquiries please contact the clinic or ask us at the time of your next visit.

Drop off option for your animal to be seen on the day

On your way to work, a busy day ahead of you or unable to get an appointment when you are free?

We offer a drop off service for your animal here at the clinic if you are too busy for a regular appointment but need your animal to be seen. We will examine and treat your pet while you are at work. A vet will stay in touch with you over the phone and keep you updated. We will arrange a convenient time to contact you so we can then discuss the case.

After hours and emergency service

Small animal emergencies after closing are looked after by the After Hours Clinic in Christchurch (on the corner of Disraeli and Antigua Streets) and are referred back to us the following business morning.

For all emergencies after hours just phone here at the clinic and you will be provided with the contact details of the After Hours Clinic and the on-call large animal vet. This will either be one of our vets or a vet from one of the clinics we share the Large Animal After Hour Service with.

Small Animal Internal Medicine

This applies to all conditions that require medicine or other non-surgical intervention. Some examples of medical conditions are diabetes, feline asthma, pancreatitis, chronic renal failure, most cardiac disease and skin diseases.
Animals cannot speak, so it is up to us to get the correct diagnoses and the most appropriate treatment for your pet. Further diagnostic tests like blood or urine tests, x-rays or ultrasound are often necessary to achieve a diagnosis. We have an exceptionally high rate of obtaining diagnoses, enabling us to get your pet on the most appropriate treatment regime as soon as possible.


Good dental hygiene is as important for your pet as it is for us. Approximately 80% of dogs and cats show signs of dental disease such as; bad breath, gum inflammation, tartar and tooth loss.

Our dental services include dental prophylaxis, scale and polish, teeth extractions, dental radiographs, medical treatment, and aftercare including advice on dental health. We also offer specialist endodontics.

Geriatric care

Dogs older than 8 years and cats older than 10 years of age are recommended to have regular health checks. This may include a simple blood test which will give us information about the internal organ function of your pet. Older dogs and cats suffer from osteoarthritis more than you may think, so watch your pet closely: Does your dog hesitate getting up in the morning? Does cold weather affect activity? Is your cat using a chair in between to reach the tabletop? These could all be signs of osteoarthritis and your pet may benefit from treatment to make them more comfortable.

Diagnostic Ultrasonography

Diagnostic Ultrasonography is a two – dimensional diagnostic imaging technique of internal organs and body structures such as the heart, liver, spleen, kidneys, reproductive tract and bladder. Ultrasound is used to easily detect a wide range of problems from tumours to acute intra-abdominal bleeding after a car hits an animal. It is also particularly useful for diagnosing and staging pregnancies. Ultrasound is also used to aid in the collection of tissue biopsies. The advantage with this is that we can visualise and sample organs without the need to perform invasive surgery. There are no side effects and we usually have instant results in real time.

Oncology and Chemotherapy

If your pet is diagnosed with cancer we will do our best to provide accurate staging of tumour spread. We have a close relationship with specialist oncologists and work with them to determine an optimal chemotherapy and/or radiation protocol for your pet whilst ensuring their welfare is our main priority.

Artificial Insemination

In case of mating difficulties, there is the option of Artificial Insemination (AI). We implant fresh semen, which is collected prior from the mating stud. The breeding bitch can be examined by cervical smear. Progesterone levels are often evaluated to pinpoint ovulation prior to mating.


This is a gentle and effective method to increase muscle strength and to decrease pain and discomfort after surgery. It is also useful for rehabilitation especially after orthopedic surgeries or trauma management of chronic joint diseases, arthritis, hip dysplasia, or spinal injuries.

House calls

If you are unable to get your pet to the clinic and they need emergency treatment, we are more than happy to collect them for you and bring them back to the clinic so they can receive appropriate treatment.

If you feel the time has come for that final goodbye, and you would prefer your pet was euthanased in your own home, then we are more than happy to arrange this for you.


In the terrible event that your pet passes away unexpectedly we offer an autopsy examination to provide an explanation as to what may have happened.

Exotic pet and bird medicine

All creatures ‘great and small’ are welcome here at Rolleston Veterinary Services and will all be treated with the same professionalism and respect.

Health examinations and preventative medicine

On a daily basis we provide comprehensive health checks, vaccinations, worming and flea treatment for your pet. Regular vaccinations will protect your pet from common infectious diseases by strengthening their immunity.

Dogs require vaccination for Canine Distemper Virus, Canine Adenovirus, Canine Parvovirus, Canine Parainfluenca Virus and Bordatella bronchiseptica (Kennel Cough).

Puppies are given a primary vaccination course administered at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age. After these first inoculations, an annual booster vaccination is required.

We don’t commonly vaccinate for Leptospirosis as this disease is more of a concern in the North Island, so let us know if you and your dog are moving there or going on a holiday and we can arrange this for you.

Cats are vaccinated against Feline Herpesvirus 1, Feline Calicivirus, Feline Panleucopania Virus and Chlamydia.

Kittens are given a primary vaccination course administered at 8 and 12 and 16 weeks of age. After this, an annual booster vaccination is required.

We recommend worming your pet every three months and flea prevention should be carried out every 4-8 weeks, depending on the product used. We provide a variety of the leading worming and flea products. These are available over the counter at reception. Advice is available free of charge by our staff.

Laboratory Services

We process all routine blood tests, urine samples and basic cytology immediately in house. For more complex laboratory tests we work together with several external laboratories such as; Gribbles Veterinary Laboratory based in Christchurch and Hamilton, and New Zealand Veterinary Pathology based in Palmerston North.


Endoscopy involves using a camera to look inside hollow organs or cavities for examination. With an endoscope, we are able to find foreign bodies in the stomach or up the nose. We can investigate symptoms of the digestive system (including nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain), respiratory system or confirm a diagnosis by biopsy.

Puppy preschool

We run puppy preschool for puppies between 8-14 weeks of age. The first couple of months in a puppy’s life are the most important; to socialise, learn basic commands and set baselines for the rest of their lives. Our aim is to socialise your puppy in a safe, fun and controlled environment. We will give you advice on nutrition, worming, flea treatment, vaccination protocols, basic training such as toileting, handling and some common commands. We will also offer advice on any individual issues you may have encountered with your puppy so far.

Pet supplies

We stock a wide range of food (including prescription diets), toys, jackets, treats, flea and worm treatments, collars and leads for dogs, puppies and cats. We have a great range of MUST-HAVES from leading manufacturers such as Hills, Royal Canin and Eukanuba. If there is something we are missing we are more than happy to order it in for you.

Small animal behavioural consults

Common behavior problems we see in pets are aggression, soiling the house, spraying, disobedience, fears and phobias (e.g. fireworks or thunder storms), over grooming or feet chewing. These are only a few examples of behavioural issues. If you are worried about any of the points listed above or some other issue applies to your pet, come and talk to us about it.

Digital Radiography

We have a digital radiography system at Rolleston Veterinary Services which enables us to immediately process high quality images without the use of film and chemicals.