204 FLAXLEY ROAD, MOUNT BARKER |08 8391 1404
EMERGENCY CARE AVAILABLE FROM 6.30am - 10.30pm TO REGULAR CLIENTS Business Hours; Mon - Fri: 8.30am - 7pm Sat :8.30am -1pm


We love our Dogs and a lot of our work is looking after dogs. We offer an extensive service for our Canine clients including:


After Hours Service

We don’t just shut up shop and refer your pet for the long trip down to Adelaide like all the other practices in the area. For regular clients of Mt Barker Veterinary Clinic we offer onsite emergency care between 6.30am - 10.30pm 7 days a week, giving us access to your animals Health records to ensure continuity of care and fast, personal service. This is a real benefit in the common case of snakebite and other emergencies where time is of the essence. Outside of these times we refer you to SASH Emergency Veterinary Hospital at Kent Town.


A C5 is essential for dogs going into Boarding Kennels. A C5 vaccination immunises against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza and Bordetella infections.

Our recommendation schedule is a temporary C5 vaccination at 6 - 8 weeks of age followed by a C5 Vaccination at 12 weeks then a booster 12 months after this to complete your dogs primary course.These all include a full health check of your dog.

After this inital course, we now use a Triannual(3 yearly) vaccine for Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus meaning these only need to be boosted every three years. But Canine Cough,(Parainfluenza and Bordetella) still need be boosted every 12 months along with your pets annual health check. If you bring a unrine sample at this time, we will test it free of charge as an extra measure of your dogs health.

If your Puppy only had a C3 vaccination at 6 weeks we would then give C5 at 12 weeks followed by a Canine Cough/Bordetella Vaccination at 16 weeks then a C5 booster and Health check 12 months after this.


A microchip is a permanent method of electronic identification. Each chip has an unique number that is registered on a central database with your details and details of your pet.
Microchipping of all puppys before they can be sold or by 12 weeks of age is now compulsory in South Australia.
We use the smallest chips available and implant them under the skin between the shoulders. It is very important to keep your details up to date on the database so if you move house or change phone numbers you will still be contactable in the event of your pet coming lost or straying. The easiest way to keep your details up to date or transfer to a new owner is to search www.petaddress.com.au this site will redirct you to the database that lists your pets microchip number and details.

A “M” tatoo is no longer considered essential but if your pet does need an anaesthetic it can be performed at that time.

Heartworm Prevention

This is tailored to suit your situation. While we are very lucky Heartworm is not endemic to South Australia, so you don't need to treat if you dog remains in the state, but it is important if you dog travels out of the state they are protected from Heartworm. Our staff can advise you on a  heartworm prevention treatment for your particular needs.


We offer a large of in house testing from blood testing to tests for Pancreatitis, Heartworm, and clotting tests for snake bite and Rat Bait poison, Urine Analysis as well as glucose monitoring for diabetes. We also do skin scraping, ear smears and faecal worm examinations. We also have our own inhouse Blood testing machines that give us quick accurate results while you wait. This allows us to do pre aethestic blood tests as well as diagnose problems early. We can still utilize the expertise of an outside laboratory for a more extensive workup. They pick up the samples several times a day from the clinic and electronically send results and reports through to the clinic so the vet can get the information as soon as possible.


We have a dedicated X-ray room and digital processor and can do all x-rays as needed including Hip and elbow dysplasia scoring xrays. We can then send them to a Veterinary radiologist or specialist surgeon as needed.


Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to scan your dog and is very helpful in the diagnosis of bladder stones, tumours, blockages and other abdominal conditions. We can also view your pets heart working in real time. We also use it to diagnose pregnancy in bitches. For complicated medical cases we have a visiting Ultrasound specialist that comes to the clinic.


We offer a full breeding service from preconception to post birth.

We offer nutritional advice. Progesterone testing can be performed to find the best time for mating. If required Dr James is especially skilled at semen collection and artificial insemination. Pregnancy diagnosis is performed by ultrasound (from 24 days approx) and after 45 days we can do x-rays. Our team is very experienced at caesarean sections either as an emergency or elective and our puppy survival rate is outstanding.


Dr Ambrose has a special interest in behavior and has attended many behavioral seminars. He also a member of Australian Veterinary Behaviour Interest Group. Behavioural consults take a longer time than usual consults and a pre consult behavioural questionnaire needs to be filled out before your initial behaviour consult.  Nervousness, Anxiety or Aggression can be helped. Many Behavioural problems require a multimodal approach of medication, management as well as ongoing training. Dr Digby works closely with Barker Behaviour and Training to provide training for his clients and their dogs. Is your Dog wandering at night and becoming vague? Treatment for Mature Cognitive Dysfunction will help everybody sleep.


A Major component of our Canine practice is skin and ear problems. All our vets have a special interest in dermatology. Skin scrapings and ear smears and a full history are routine to help us diagnose and treat the problem. Allergy testing and food elimination trials and flea treatment can be part of the overall plan to control your dog’s scratching. We offer advice for the control of chronic allergic skin disease.


Having a clean healthy mouth is most important for your dog’s health and wellbeing. Dental disease can affect other parts of your dog not just causing ongoing pain in their mouth. Can you imagine trying to eat your dinner or bones with broken or cracked teeth or exposed roots.  We offer advice on preventive oral care to keep those teeth shining.

Part of the new Clinic build was having a dedicated dental area with a special dental treatment table and state of the art Dental Unit.  We can perform all routine dental procedures such as baby teeth extraction, teeth extraction, ultrasonic scaling etc.


With our purpose built Vet hospital we have two dedicated sterile operating theatres for all our sterile surgeries. Our up to date Anaesthetic machines are equipped with Respiratory, Pulse, Oxygen and Blood pressure monitors just as you would see in any Human operating theatre.
We have trained Veterinary anaesthetist nurses to monitor your dog during all surgeries and recovery afterwards in the recovery and intensive care area. In this theatre we perform operations such as desexing, cesareans, tumour removal, lumpectomies, orthopedic, soft tissue, intestinal and organ surgery.

Our high standards of care means it is mandatory for all surgical patients to have intravenous fluid therapy using an infusion pump and pain relief using a multidrug protocol. Pain relief is an important part of post operation recovery.

We have a separate large triage and treatment room complete with anaesthetic machine and a full range of monitors for triage in an emergency as well as all minor procedures such as grass seed removal from ears, stitch ups or abscess draining etc We also have a “wet” treatment table connected with water and flushing equipment for messy things such as enemas.


Dr Ambrose has an interest in chemotherapy and having done further study on chemotherapy, we have been offering chemotherapy at the clinic for a number of years now. He has had a lot of success with its use. Every patient’s course is tailored to their individual needs this may be Curative, Metronomic (small doses to slow or stop tumour growth or disease progression) or palliative.

Pet insurance

Like any form of insurance, pet insurance helps cover the cost of the unexpected. Statistics show that 1 in 3 pets will require emergency treatment from year to year. Increasing numbers of clients are now getting their pets covered and we have many happy clients who have had emergency treatment covered who would of had trouble affording it otherwise.

Whilst we do not endorse any particular insurance provider most are covered by the same underwriters. Each provider has different levels of cover and it can be sometimes like comparing your own health insurance. Some just cover accident or emergency while others provide comprehensive cover for any veterinary services but you may opt for just an accident policy. Some will pay 100% of the claim, while others have an excess. Most don’t include pre-existing conditions or genetic diseases. Most have an upper limit on cover. You need to choose a cover that meets your expectations and budget. When a claim is made you generally pay your account at the Clinic then you are reimbursed from the insurers. We can now submit all claims online speeding up the process for you.

They don’t pay us directly. You can search the net or check at the front of the clinic for a current comparison of providers. Dr Digby Ambrose recently completed a 26 week course of chemotherapy on a dog with lymphoma which cost in excess of $5000.00 The clients didn’t have to pay anything as they had insurance. If they weren’t covered they would of had to compromise on treatment.

Saying Goodbye

There is no time more difficult than the last few days of a pets life and regardless of how much time you have had to prepare, the decision to euthanise your friend will not be easy. Through out the life of your pet you have been concerned about their quality of life, but at this moment quality and dignity become immediate. We will give you all the information and support to enable you to make this end of life decision. All our staff are very sympathetic to this difficult decision.

Euthanasia is the medical procedure of alleviating pain and suffering by administering anesthetic drugs into the vein to stop the heart permanently and allow a quiet and painless death. All pets sedated before this to provide a stress free experience.

We have a dedicated bereavement room where you can sit with your pet whilst the injection is given, then you can stay with your pet as long as you feel necessary to say goodbye. You may find it easier to discuss body care before hand. (We can arrange cremation or a memorial or paw prints to be taken for you.)
We can also perform the euthanasia at your home if desired, especially if your animal is more comfortable in their own home.

Many studies have shown shielding children or making up stories eg”fluffy ran away” is destructive. It is important parents appreciate a child’s ability to comprehend death and to discuss it more in the light of “The cycle of life” and how the pet is no longer suffering but is now at peace.
Grief is a normal manifestation of loss regardless if the beloved friend is a person or a pet. You should be aware that the loss of a pet could cause physical and emotional changes that can last for weeks or months. You may wish to contact a grief counselor or pet loss support group.


We don’t overservice, instead we try to give you the best treatment options and a range choices for your pet. We allow you, the client, to make the choice to fit your individual situation and budget. In some cases we may recommend referral to a Veterinary Specialist. If you feel that your current provider is pressuring you or you have been given an estimate you feel is excessive, we are only too happy to give you a second opinion and a realistic estimate.