Please click on the titles below for answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a referral?2017-08-28T09:53:25+10:00


In order to provide the excellence in veterinary and patient care that we pride ourselves in, we have to work as a team with your regular veterinarian.

After your pets consultation and/or treatment with us, we will work closely with them to further monitor and treat any ongoing problems.

It is therefore very important that they be involved in the referral process so that we are able to continue to work with them during your pets recovery.

How do I get a referral?2017-08-28T09:50:08+10:00

Your regular veterinarian will generally initiate a referral to one of our veterinary team if they believe your pet requires more advanced and specialised care and/or treatment.

You can also request a referral from your regular veterinarian if you wish. Your regular veterinarian will provide us with your pet’s medical history and any relevant radiograph and diagnostic testing that has already been completed.

In the case of an emergency, your veterinarian may contact our veterinary team to arrange immediate transfer and care.

Is there a veterinarian on staff 24-hours a day?2017-08-28T09:52:32+10:00

There are veterinarians and highly-trained staff in the hospital 24-hours a day, 365-days a year to care for patients.

What are the visiting hours?2017-08-28T09:55:15+10:00

Please see our Visitation Guidelines for more details.

What if I can’t afford surgery or more tests?2017-08-28T09:55:40+10:00

Because each of our clinicians only deals with one aspect of veterinary medicine we can sometimes make a diagnosis after an examination or an inexpensive test.

We make every effort to give a range of treatment options.

Unfortunately it’s not always possible to make a diagnosis easily, but we will explain clearly what tests are going to be required to aid in diagnosing your pet’s problem.

Our primary goal is always to give you information you need in order to make the best decision for you and for your pet.

Will my veterinarian be updated?2017-08-28T09:37:48+10:00


Your regular veterinarian will receive written reports and copies of diagnostic test as they become available.

When your pet is in hospital more than a day or two, regular updates will be sent, so that they are aware of the progress your pet is making.

Our team of clinicians will keep both you and your regular veterinarian updated.


On arrival to North Coast Veterinary Specialist and Referral Centre, one of our receptionists will first ensure that we have the correct information about your pet, and yourself.

They will also inform the veterinarian and their staff that you have arrived. If your pet is in a critical condition, one of our nursing team will take your pet through to our treatment room, where triage can be performed, vital signs monitored and emergency treatment given if required.

One of our reception team will direct you into a consulting room when the veterinarian is ready to see you. Your veterinarian will try hard to keep to your appointment time, however sometimes another case may take longer than anticipated or an emergency will delay their schedule. Whilst every attempt is made to inform clients of delays in advance, where possible, this may not always be possible. If you have a deadline by which time you must leave then please inform us as soon as possible. Otherwise please be patient; we do have a WiFi connection if you choose to bring your laptop. Please know that once they are free, your veterinarian will take as much time with you as you need to help your pet.

At the time of consultation your veterinarian will take a history from you and will then likely do a physical examination of your pet. From this information your veterinarian will estimate the nature of the problem before discussing their recommendations with you. The first step in this process will nearly always involve one or more diagnostic tests (eg: blood test, radiographs, ultrasound etc) to determine the exact nature and extent of the problem. You will be provided with an estimate for the costs of each of these tests; from this you will decide if you wish to go through with any tests and in what order. The second step in this process relates to what treatment and/or surgery options might be available for your pet. We will give you an estimate for these costs as well but they may have to be refined in cases where the diagnosis is not yet certain. We will send your regular veterinarian a detailed letter within a few days.

If your pet is admitted to our hospital, both you and your veterinarian will be notified daily about their progress. While your pet is with us you can rest assured that your pet will receive around the clock care by our skilled Veterinarian and nursing team and the staff from Sunshine Coast Animal Emergency Service.

We understand that you want the best possible care for your pet. We will therefore strive to offer you the most effective care available and then let you decide what is best for your pet and for your family. We understand that some people will need time to think through their options before coming to a decision or may choose not to pursue diagnosis or treatment. Our goal is to give you the information needed to make the best decision and then we will do our best to get your pet back to health and living a happy full life.

Emergency Care2017-08-28T09:35:52+10:00

If your pet comes to our practice as an emergency it will be immediately taken to our treatment area.

Here our veterinary and nursing team will perform triage, vital signs monitored and emergency treatment (e.g oxygen therapy, CPR etc) can begin if required.

The veterinary team will do an assessment, then will advise you on the next steps.

What happens in the initial consultation?2017-08-28T10:12:50+10:00

View What to expect page.

Can I choose to see the specialist I want?2017-08-28T08:01:12+10:00


We usually make appointments on the first available basis within the department but if you have a preference, please have your veterinarian state it or make the request when your appointment is made.

Can North Coast Veterinary Specialist & Referral Centre be my regular veterinary clinic?2017-08-28T08:00:35+10:00

Our practice only provides specialist & referral services.

For example, we do not perform vaccinations, regular spays or neuters.

It is therefore crucial for your pet’s overall health that we act an extension of your regular veterinary practice team and so work with them on a referral basis.

Do you have a payment plan?2017-08-28T07:59:41+10:00

Please see our Cost of Care

Can NCVS be my pet’s family veterinary clinic?2017-05-24T04:29:42+10:00

No, our practice only provides specialty services.

NCVS works directly with your family veterinarian on a referral basis.

When each healthcare provider focuses on what they do best, from routine preventative care or complex treatment for rare illness your pet gets the most comprehensive care possible.

What is the difference between a family veterinarian and a veterinary specialist?2017-05-24T04:25:52+10:00

A family veterinarian and a veterinarian both have earned their Bachelor Degree in Veterinary Medicine, requiring 5 years of veterinary college and professional training.  Your family veterinarian, also called a primary care vet, is in general practice and has the primary responsibility to manage your pet’s overall health, including preventative care.

A veterinary specialist has typically completed at least 3 additional years of specialty training.  This can include a 1-year internship and a 3-year residency program in a particular practice area i.e Internal Medicine, Surgery etc.  To become board certified, these candidates must also pass rigorous training and testing requirements.  Following passing these requirements, the Veterinarian can then apply for Specialist Registration.

Why would my pet need to go to North Coast Veterinary Specialist and Referral Centre?

Your family veterinarian will refer your pet to our specialists and veterinary practitioners if your pet requires specialised testing, treatments or advanced procedures that your family veterinarian does not offer, or if advance care can improve your pet’s quality of life.  Your veterinarian’s decision to refer to North Coast Veterinary Specialists (NCVS) means that the optimal care of your pet is your vet’s primary concern.

Our team at NCVS will work closely with your family veterinarian to co-ordinate your pet’s overall care plan.  We make sure that you and your veterinarian are informed about any treatment and care provided.


If you have an after hours emergency please come to 431 Tanawha Tourist Drive Tanawha and see the Sunshine Coast Animal Emergency Service. Their entry is via the Chancellor Park Veterinary Surgery, which is located in the building beside ours. The emergency veterinarians, along with their team of support staff, help us provide 24 hours care, 7 days a week. They are also available to treat emergencies that occur out of hours. There is always at least one veterinarian on duty with a team of support staff, at all times. Our team of veterinarians and specialists are available for emergency surgeries and procedures to ensure the best possible care for all patients.

Our Location

431 Tanawha Tourist Drive Tanawha, QLD. 4556 07 5453 7555 Reception hours: Monday to Friday: 8:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m