Non-Contact Consulting During COVID-19

Please read below for the latest update from Dr Melissa Kozaruk on COVID-19 at Erina Heights Veterinary Hospital, as we have made some important new changes.

First of all we are still open to take care of your pets, but in order to adhere to social distancing measures, do our bit to flatten the curve, and minimise the chance of our staff getting sick, we have made a couple of changes.

We are asking that if you are in self-isolation, are unwell or been overseas in the last 14 days that you don’t visit the clinic. Call us first so we can make arrangements if your pet needs to be seen urgently.

Non-Contact Consulting

We are asking that for now, no one other than staff enter the clinic.  The reason is – if one of us gets sick, it limits how many of us are available to help your pets. We are also doing this to protect you.

  • Always call to make an appointment (our online booking module has been switched off to triage patients appropriately);
  • When you arrive, stay in your car and call our reception on 0243845888 to let us know you are here. One of our nurses will come to collect your pet and take them inside;
  • One of our vets will call you while the examination takes place so you can ask them any other questions or concerns;
  • Please keep 1.5m away from staff and other customers while waiting.

As you can imagine, this process does take a little bit longer, so we have spaced out consultations and have put some limits on the types of procedures we can perform in a day. We are also being very careful with our usage of gloves and masks and other medical supplies, so we can have this available for the months to come.  

We recognise that it can be hard to part with your pet, even for a short period of time. Be rest assured, we practice low stress handling techniques and we will continue to provide lots of cuddles and treats.

Telemedicine Consulting

We are also happy to announce that as of next week, we will also be offering telemedicine consultations for certain cases, especially if you can’t visit the clinic.

Opening Hours

In order to thoroughly clean the clinic each day, we have made some temporary changes to our opening hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 8am to 5.30pm
  • Saturday – 8am to 2pm
  • Sunday – 8.30am to 12 noon

Consultations are by appointment only.

Medications and Food

If your pet is in need of any food or medications, please call us in advance so we can arrange this for you prior to pick up. We are starting to see some delays due to low stock levels with our suppliers. You don’t need to stock pile, but just don’t leave it until the last minute when you are running low. We can process payments over the phone prior to pick up and have everything ready for collection at the door or brought out to your car.

Can Your Pet Catch COVID-19?

While COVID-19 seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-to-person. There is no evidence that any animals including pets might be a source of infection with this new virus. There have been no reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 in Australia. We do recommend the usual hygiene measures of washing your hands well after handling your pets.

Cleaning Products Can Be Toxic to Pets

Please be careful with some cleaning products, as we have already seen some pets being affected by products such as Dettol – it is highly toxic to cats. Dettol can cause severe oral ulceration, vomiting, liver disease and death.

Thank You!

Last of all, we would like like to thank each and every one of our clients for being patient and understanding with all of these changes. Please remember, we are staying safe so we can stay open and take care of your fur family members. Thanks again!

Dr Melissa Kozaruk BVSc (Hons) – Hospital Director

COVID-19 Update

We’re here to help you!

We would like you to read this important update for our clients from Dr Melissa Kozaruk on COVID-19.

The health and wellbeing of our people and clients is paramount.  Given the evolving situation of Coronavirus (COVID-19) within Australia and across the world, we wanted to provide you with an update of the changes we’ve put in place to ensure the wellbeing of our team and our clients to help do our bit to slow the spread of the virus. We are monitoring the situation daily and will adjust how we operate accordingly. We want to reassure you that there is no immediate concern for clients at our clinic. 

We remain open at the same operating hours and continuing business as usual at this time, however minor delays are to be expected.

We have lifted our health and hygiene standards even higher to keep our team and clients safe, together with other precautionary measures:

  • Disinfecting public areas and toilets including handles, chair surfaces, reception bench area and front door regularly throughout the day;
  • Placing hand sanitisers on our reception area and consultation rooms for clients to use when entering the clinic;
  • After each consultation, the consultation room and equipment is thoroughly cleaned with F10 veterinary disinfectant;
  • A strict wellness policy, employees must stay home if they are showing any signs of illness;
  • We’ve placed posters in our reception and toilet areas to remind people of good hygiene;
  • We are not shaking hands, give us a wave or an elbow bump instead!

There are several areas we are asking for help from our clients; they are:

  1. If you have returned this week from overseas travel, in line with Australian Government guidelines around self-isolation, please don’t visit our clinic.  If your pet needs urgent assistance, please call on 0243845888 to discuss options.
  2. If you have cold and flu symptoms, or are self-isolating, we ask that you delay your consultation until the period of self-isolation is complete or symptoms are resolved.  If your pet needs urgent assistance, please call us to discuss options, this will help us to determine the best course of action, which may include collecting your pet from your car or conducting the consultation via phone. 
  3. Social distancing. Medical experts deem that social distancing keeps more people healthy, will help flatten the curve and slow the spread of the virus.  To provide social distancing in our waiting room, please call us when you arrive and wait in your car with your pet or outside.  Once we are ready to see you, we will with text or call you to come around to the clinic. If you are running late, please let us know in advance so we can manage this. Please use contact-less payment methods and bring your own pen to complete any relevant forms.

Can your pet catch COVID-19?

While COVID-19 seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now mainly spreading from person-to-person. There is no evidence that any animals including pets might be a source of infection with this new virus. There have been no reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 in Australia.  There is also no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19.

Precautionary steps to follow as a pet owner:

  • Follow good hygiene when interacting with your pets
  • Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap and water after touching your pet
  • Avoid sharing food with your pets or letting your pets kiss or lick your face or mouth
  • Keep your pet’s vaccinations and parasite treatments up to date and maintain regular veterinary health checks

If you are well, have an appointment for your pet for a health check, vaccination or they are unwell, please come in and see us, it’s important you keep up with your pet’s health regime.

Thanks for your ongoing support of our clinic at this difficult time.  We wish you and your family well.

Dr Melissa Kozaruk BVSc (Hons) – Hospital Director

OPEN DAY & 10th Birthday Celebration Saturday 21st September

Have you ever wondered what happens in a vet hospital? Come behind the scenes at Erina Heights Vet Hospital and help us celebrate our 10th Birthday!

Bring your pets along and join us for a fun filled day with:

  • Tours of the Hospital
  • Meet our Vets and Nurses
  • Market Stalls
  • Photo Booth
  • Fire Engine from Wamberal Fire Brigade
  • Wildlife Demonstrations
  • Face Painting
  • Activities for the Kids
  • Competitions and Giveaways


All funds raised on the day will go to Wildlife Arc and Wamberal Fire Brigade so come along help us support our local community.

When: Saturday 21st September 2019

Time: 10am – 2pm

Where: Erina Heights Vet Hospital, 661 Central Coast Highway, Wamberal NSW 2260

WELCOME Dr Ellise Cumming & Dr Mel Prunster

We are busier than ever at Erina Heights Vet Hospital and so we have expanded to welcome another two vets to our team!

Dr Ellise Cumming completed her Bachelor of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney, following on from previous studies with a Bachelor of Commerce (Business Economics) and Bachelor of Science (Biology). Ellise is familiar with working as a vet on the Central Coast, and has joined our team to expand her skills in medicine and surgery. Ellise enjoys caring for dogs and cats, but she also has a strong interest in wildlife and pocket pet medicine, including rabbits, guinea pigs and birds. Welcome Ellise!

Dr Mel Prunster completed her Bachelor of Veterinary Biology and Bachelor of Veterinary Science at Charles Sturt University. Mel is passionate about behavioural medicine, having completed the University of Sydney Centre for Veterinary Education distance education course in Behavioural Medicine in 2018. Mel aims to develop a low stress and fear free veterinary clinic, important for the comfort of our patients and clients. Welcome Mel!

NEW Ultrasound with Dr Jesse Hughes

Erina Heights Vet Hospital is committed to providing your pet with the highest standard of patient care. Recently, we acquired a brand new ultrasound machine – a significant upgrade from our previous model.

Dr Jesse Hughes has also completed his Graduate Certificate in Small Animal Ultrasound (Abdominal) through the University of Melbourne. Ultrasound is frequently used in veterinary practice, particularly for diagnosing diseases of the abdomen in unwell animals, and can be performed conscious or with light sedation.

From Dr Jesse Hughes:

Our new ultrasound machine provides excellent image quality and detail, allowing us to diagnose tricky cases, such as finding an elusive foreign body that a pet has eaten!

Online Booking is Here!

We are excited to introduce ONLINE BOOKING! You can now book your pets’ appointments online, from the convenience of your mobile device or computer, at any time of day or night. You can do this via the link on our website, or the BOOK NOW button on our Facebook page, or click this link HERE to try it out now. We will still have some appointments available outside of the times listed on the online booking platform, so if these times do not suit, or your pet needs to be seen as an emergency, please call the clinic on 0243845888.

We will also now be transitioning to sending reminders for vaccinations and check ups via email and SMS text message, rather than the traditional snail mail system. We hope this will reduce our impact on the environment by reducing paper waste.

NEW Dental Radiography

We have recently upgraded our dental equipment, and now have a brand new state-of-the-art dental radiology suite. Dental radiographs are essential when performing dental procedures, as they can show enamel defects, hidden bone loss and infections under the gum line, before they cause discomfort to your pet. Our new equipment provides high-resolution dental images with a super-fast processing time. We can achieve a full mouth series of radiographs in a matter of minutes. If our vets recommend a dental procedure for your pet, they will most likely also recommend dental radiographs. Ask us about this service next time you are in.


Simon The Brave

Exhausted to the point of collapse and coated in oil, the suffering pelican climbed the bank of Ourimbah Creek to the safety of a suburban backyard. At a glance it looked like the adult bird was dead, but once residents of the property got a closer look, they saw that he was still breathing – just.

“We had to do something, we couldn’t just let him suffer; so, we called Seabird Rescue.”

Once Seabird Rescue were contacted, they responded immediately, and the oil-coated pelican, now known as Simon the Brave, was taken into care.

“Initially we thought Simon had botulism [a paralytic disease brought on by neurotoxins] but after further investigation we realised that that wasn’t the case.” Cathy Gilmore from Seabird Rescue told us. 

Simon was initially treated for shock and dehydration. He was then cleaned. Simon’s carers were deeply saddened at the sight of such a majestic creature, who although in a life-threatening state, franticly tried to preen the thick oil from his body. Once Simon was stable, he was treated with antibiotics and parasitic medications.

The days following were touch and go for Simon the Brave, but thanks to the ongoing care of committed volunteers and Veterinary staff, Simon’s condition improved. However, before the beloved bird could be released, he required blood testing to ensure that any toxicity he had endured had not damaged his liver, and also that all infection had gone.

Last week, Simon visited Erina Heights Veterinary Hospital for his final check up and blood test. After a thorough examination, Dr Melissa Kozaruk drew blood from Simon’s pouch, and the sample was then sent off to an avian pathology laboratory.


“We all fell a little in love with Simon, so the entire team was anxiously awaiting the results of his blood tests.” Dr Melissa said. 

Thankfully, Simon’s tests came back all clear. And a few days later he was released back into the wild. Dr Melissa is confident that Simon the Brave will live a long and healthy life providing he is able to keep clear of toxins in the water and rubbish hazards.    

Team News

We wish to welcome back Dr Holly Boyden, who has returned to EHVH after her maternity leave. Dr Holly will be available for consultations on Thursdays and Fridays, and occasional Saturdays. Dr Holly’s interests include emergency and critical care medicine, anaesthesia and complex medical cases. Welcome back Holly!



We also welcome Dr Cameron Keller to our veterinary team. Dr Cameron joins us for a change of scenery, after spending his first couple of years in practice in Northern NSW. Dr Cameron is well travelled, originally from USA (can you spot his accent?!), and graduated from University College Dublin, Ireland. Cameron’s interests include soft tissue surgery and internal medicine. Welcome Cameron!


“Ullr” the Cat Burglar Swallows a Ring

Introducing “Ullr” the cat burglar! Ullr presented to Dr Laura Piddington after Ullr’s mum suspected that Ullr may have swallowed her precious ring after he was seen to be playing with it and then it disappeared! Dr Laura confirmed via X-rays that Ullr had indeed swallowed the ring! Dr Laura performed an exploratory laparotomy to retrieve the missing ring and Ullr has now made an excellent recovery. Hopefully Ullr doesn’t attempt this party trick again!