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Vitality Vetcare

Phone: 02 6687 0675
4a Ballina Rd Bangalow
NSW 2479 Australia

Integrative Medicine

Integrative Medicine

There is no line between conventional and natural therapies.

Our priority is what is going to be of the most benefit to your animal.

Modern Veterinary Hospital

Modern Veterinary Hospital

State of the art surgical, x-ray & hospital facilities.

We aim to create a pleasant relaxed welcoming atmosphere for everyone.

Herbal Medicine

Herbal Medicine

We use Western and Chinese herbal medicines for a wide range of acute and chronic problems including skin, digestive, nervous and painful conditions.

Vitality Vetcare Homeopathy

Vitality Vetcare Homeopathy

Homeopathy can be a safe and effective treatment for a wide range of acute and long-term problems for a particular animal or group of animals.


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Vitality Vetcare Latest News and Events

Village Eco News

on Tuesday, 30 August 2016. Posted in Vitality Vetcare Latest News and Events

Bangalow Land and Rivercare

Village Eco News

Have a read of the Bangalow Land and Rivercare's newsletter Village Eco News to find out more about the wonderful work they are doing to care for our beautiful Byron Creek. They created a massive project of planting 2000 trees in the land next to the Anglican Church and across the creek from Vitality Vetcare. It is well worth a look to see the young trees recovered and thriving after the recent East Coast Low flooding. Whilst you're down there you can see the work that is being done on the weir and drop in for a cuppa at Heritage House. Our creek bank has received some care and another 100 indigenous trees have been planted in the paddock close to Byron Creek thanks to the wonderful work of Liz Gander and her team. Dr Megan Kearney spotted a platypus in Byron Creek early one morning whilst out walking and then was fortunate to see a healthy pair of platypus in Byron Creek 2 days later! We are so blessed to be living in such a beautiful and biodiverse area.

Going to the Wild Side

on Wednesday, 13 July 2016. Posted in Vitality Vetcare Latest News and Events

Where did Dr Megan go?

Nile crocodile ready for sedation

Dr Megan Kearney, owner of Vitality Vetcare, spent some time away in the autumn working with wildlife in South Africa and the Australian Wildlife Health Centre, Healesville Sanctuary, Victoria as part of her Masters of Veterinary Studies in Conservation Medicine. She learned how to capture and immobilise free ranging wild animals at Wildlife Vets, which is a wildlife veterinary hospital and training centre for vets in wildlife medicine. She worked with elephant, giraffe, white rhino, wildebeest, crocodiles, ostrich and other species. 


Amazing Echidnas

on Wednesday, 06 July 2016. Posted in Vitality Vetcare Latest News and Events

Fun facts about our spikey friends

A fast moving echidna on the move at Healesville Sanctuary

The short beaked echidna is an amazing animal! Read some of the fun facts that Dr Megan Kearney learned when she did a special project on the short beaked echidna whilst spending a month doing a post-grad student placement at the Australian Wildlife Health Centre, Healesville Sanctuary in May 2016.

What is a baby echidna called? Do echidnas have teeth?

Did you know that Echidnas are great swimmers even in the ocean and that they can climb up to 2m?

Natural History of the short beaked echidna

body weight



throughout Australia

life span

up to 50 years

favourite food

termites & ants

breeding season


preferred shelter

hollow logs & rotting tree stumps


22-24 days

preferred temperature


number of eggs



temperature <12°C


10 days

hibernation length

6-28 weeks

puggle pouch life

45-55 days


dusk & dawn

emergence from burrow



solitary except 'trains'

Smile - your vet's got it covered!

on Monday, 20 July 2015. Posted in Vitality Vetcare Latest News and Events

Smile - your vet's got it covered!

 August is Pet Dental Month at Vitality Vetcare 

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) Pet Dental Health Month is the annual celebration of healthy smiles and the well-being of our pets. The team at Vitality Vetcare are again pleased to participate by offering FREE Dental Checks  for dogs and cats with our qualified veterinary nurses for the month of August.

Sadly four out of five dogs and cats over the age of three years have some sort of dental disease which may go unnoticed by owners.

Not sure of your pets dental health? Book your pet, whether he or she is a dog, cat, rabbit, guinea pig, horse or something else, for their Dental Check with our lovely staff at Vitality Vetcare in Bangalow on 02 66872720.

The Dreaded Pill

on Monday, 23 May 2016. Posted in Vitality Vetcare Latest News and Events

Medicating your pet can be a better experience for all.

Giving your pets tablets can seem like a daunting task but once you know how it can be quite a simple process. Below is a step by step guide to give you a helping hand.

pill cartoon 1Step 1 - Standing next to your pet restrain their head by gripping the cheek-bones to hold the head firmly using the lips to cover the top teeth. Make sure you use your left hand if you are right-handed. It is best to approach your pet from the side rather than from above as dogs and cats often feel threatened when approached from above.

Step 2 - Gently tilt the head upwards, and use the middle finger of the hand holding the tablet to pull the lower jaw down and open the mouth.

Step 3 - Hold the tablet in your right hand between your thumb and index finger.  Place or drop the tablet as far back over the tongue as possible, then immediately close the mouth and gently rub the cats throat which will encourage them to swallow.

Step 4 - Monitor for the next 30 seconds or so to make sure the tablet has been swallowed.

Step 5 - This may take a few attempts before you have success but will get easier with practice.

The staff at Vitality Vetcare are more that happy to walk you through this procedure the next time you dog or cat needs medicating.

Practising this technique with treats is a great way to teach your pet that tableting doesn't always mean a bitter tasting pill is coming and will generally make the real thing a much more pleasent and safe experience for you and your pet.

Tips on Tablet Training-

A Walk In My Shoes.

on Wednesday, 08 June 2016. Posted in Vitality Vetcare Latest News and Events

A short story by Ally Grace

It was a crisp morning in September, the beginning of Spring in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales. The sun was peaking through the trees offering the perfect opportunity to catch some rays, to “energise” before addressing the routine of the day ahead. I stretched the full length of my body and took in my surroundings, familiar to me for the last decade; a peaceful country setting, a rustic cottage with a wooden fence and a hedge that hadn’t been trimmed for some time - a hedge that provided a haven for birds, snakes and perhaps a bandicoot or a native marsupial of some type.

Snakes in Winter?

on Wednesday, 08 June 2016. Posted in Vitality Vetcare Latest News and Events

Snakes in Winter?

Many people associate snake activity with the warming weather so Summer is known as snake season. However they are also quite active as the weather cools as they try to find places to warm up so it is best to be vigilant in Autumn too.

Snakes are shy creatures and will avoid contact if they can, but our pets (and many people!) don’t know that. If a snake feels threatened, it will bite.

Most common around this area is the eastern brown snake. Not all eastern brown snakes are brown in colour and not all brown coloured snakes are eastern browns. Non-venomous snakes can be easily confused with the very venomous eastern brown snake.

Other common venomous snakes in this area are...

Billy Cart Derby 2016

on Wednesday, 23 March 2016. Posted in Vitality Vetcare Latest News and Events

We're good at billygoats!

Billy Cart Derby 2016

Billy Cart Derby 2016, Sunday 15th May

Yes, it's that time of year again! The buzz of the BILLY CARTS, the smell of the HAY BALES and the crowds lining the main street awaiting the START WHISTLE!!

Our loyal followers will remember our spectacular efforts of the last two years. We're good at billy goats not billy carts! We have been forewarned however that if we are as slow this year we may be disqualified (!) So, with that incentive we are planning quite a comeback! Our History.....


turtle knitted

Our Vision.....

fast dog

From this.....

billy cart



Nails by Sasha

on Monday, 21 March 2016. Posted in Vitality Vetcare Latest News and Events

Handy hints on clipping nails

Nails by Sasha

A guide to clipping your pets nails.

The most common reason for avoiding nail trims is that owners are afraid of cutting the nail too short which can cause bleeding and pain for the animal. This creates ill feeling around the procedure and possible mistrust in the dog. The result being that nail cutting becomes an event surrounded by angst and drama.

If nails are left too long this can cause painful feet and deformed toes. When a dog’s nails contact hard ground like roads and footpaths the hard surface pushes the nail back up into the nail bed. This either puts pressure on all the toe joints or forces the toe to twist to the side causing the toes to become very sore.

For very active dogs who walk often on varied surfaces, cutting nails may not be necessary.

Many dogs also have front and back dew claws. Dew claws are higher up, like our thumb, and dont reach the ground. These can become quite sharp and long and almost always require clipping at some point even if the others don't.

Often nails are clipped too short because the dog doesn't like having their feet touched and they will often move around or try to run away causing the person with clippers to slip. This is especially so if they have had a bad experience with nail clipping in the past, and the cycle of fear and stress contunues. However, nail clipping doesn't have to be as daunting or stressful as it this. Desenstising a dog to the stress of nail clipping is possoble and can even make the activity a fun, treat filled experience.


Check out this great video from Dr Sophia Yin on how to countercondition a dog to nail clipping and have a practice at home.  The diagram above will show you where to clip long nails in order to get it right and prevent any accidents.


Always remember, when it comes to clipping nails less is more and more often is best.


These tips will also help with other species, including cats, bird and rabbits. Dr Yin has a great artilce on Fin, the cat who's afraid of toe nail trims.



Time to vaccinate your horse against Hendra virus

on Tuesday, 22 March 2016. Posted in Vitality Vetcare Latest News and Events

Keep your horses and family safe

Time to vaccinate your horse against Hendra virus

Horses can become infected with Hendra virus at any time of year but there can be a peak in cases in late winter and spring. Now is a good time to have your horses vaccinated to ensure you and your horses are protected against Hendra virus.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries states:

"Vaccination is the single most effective way of reducing the risk of Hendra virus infection in horses. Human infection and death have occurred following high-level exposure to body fluids from an infected horse. Vaccinating horses is an important measure to prevent this occurring and provides a public health and workplace health and safety benefit.

The vaccine has been released under special conditions and only veterinarians who have completed an online training module managed by the manufacturer will be accredited to order and administer the vaccine."

New Emergency Service

on Tuesday, 22 March 2016. Posted in Vitality Vetcare Latest News and Events

North Coast Emergency Vets weekends & PH

New Emergency Service

We are pleased to announce that North Coast Emergency Vets is providing after hours cover for Vitality Vetcare from 6pm Friday to 8am Monday and all public holidays. The vets at NCEV have a special interest in emergency medicine and surgery. You can rest assured that your pet will receive an excellent standard of care. Your pet will be closely monitored around the clock and the vets can respond to any changes in your pet's condition straight away. The services they provide include radiography, ultrasound, endoscopy, surgery, laboratory tests and 24 hour monitoring of hospital patients. It is approximately a 20 minute drive from Vitality Vetcare, Bangalow to North Coast Emergency Vets, Ballina. The team at Vitality Vetcare Bangalow have a good relationship with North Coast Emergency Vets. You may have already met Dr Ailsa Rutherford, who runs NCEV, as she occasionally works as a locum vet at Vitality Vetcare.

The vets at Vitality Vetcare provide emergency services as usual for the animals in our care on weekdays from 8am Monday to 6pm Friday. Vitality Vetcare continues to be open on Saturday mornings from 8:30am-12pm.

Vitality Vetcare 6687 0675 4a Ballina Road, Bangalow. Emergencies 8am Mon - 6pm Fri

North Coast Emergency Vets 0424 054 056 14 River Street, Ballina. Emergencies 6pm Fri - 8am Mon

Easter Chocolate and your pets!

on Monday, 21 March 2016. Posted in Vitality Vetcare Latest News and Events

Keep your dog safe this Easter

Easter Chocolate and your pets!

Chocolate toxicty

Chocolate contains cocoa and cocoa contains the compound theobromine. Chocolate poisoning is a problem that occurs mainly in dogs but also occurs occasionally in cats or other animals.

The concentration of theobromine varies depending on the type of chocolate. For example, cocoa powder, baking chocolate and dark chocolate contain higher levels of theobromine compared to milk or white chocolate.

The toxicity effect the chocolate has is dose-related, therefore the overall effect of the chocolate on the dog depends on their size, the amount of chocolate that has been eaten and the type of chocolate eaten. 

Symptoms usually occur within 6-12 hours of eating a toxic dose of chocolate.


Fleas, fleas, fleas.

on Thursday, 17 March 2016. Posted in Vitality Vetcare Latest News and Events

Learn how to control fleas effectively

Fleas, fleas, fleas.

The flea life cycle:

Understanding the flea life cycle is helpful in understanding why it is sometimes difficult to control fleas on our pets. The flea has four main stages in their life cycle; egg, larva, pupa and adult.

The ADULT flea prefers to live on the animal. The female lays her eggs after she feeds on a high protein diet – blood! She can lay up to 50 eggs per day!

The EGGs are found both on your pet and in the environment. The female lays her eggs on your pet and they then fall into the environment as your pet sheds. The eggs hatch in the environment depending on the climate – anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks.

The PUPA is the stage before the adult. The adult flea can lie in the cocoon for up to 6 months. The adult will emerge when there is high humidity and warm temperatures. This means that if a single flea treatment is missed, you have the potential for an outbreak in your environment for up to 6 months.

The LARVA emerges from the egg in the environment and then feeds on organic debris including the faeces from adult fleas. The larval stage lasts between 5 and 18 days before which it spins a cocoon and pupates.

Grabbing a dog by the ear.....

on Thursday, 03 March 2016. Posted in Vitality Vetcare Latest News and Events

Grabbing a dog by the ear.....

Dog ears come in all shape and sizes. Although nice looking, some dog ears are not ideally designed for good air flow. Combine this with a dose of breed specific genetics and a large portion of allergen exposure and/ or lifestyle factors and ear infection has commenced.

Ear infections are unfortunately very common in dogs and can be surprisingly complex in origin.

The team at Vitality Vetcare can do a lot to help your pet with recurrent ear problems from a conventional and integrative perspective. Ask us about how taking a holistic approach that looks at your animal's health as a whole and integrates nutrition, herbal medicine or homeopathy with pharmaceutical drugs can help your animal recover from ear pain and infection and return to good health and wellbeing.

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Opening Hours

8:30am-5:30pm Mon-Fri

Consultations by appointment.

After hours emergencies please call: 6687 0675 or 0448 870 675 Mon-Thur

Weekends & Public Holidays, North Coast Emergency Vets 0424 054 056


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