Pet Healthcare

We offer consultations of 15 minutes or longer if required, with one of our team of experienced veterinarians. Between our practices, our vets have a combined total of 209 years of experience!

By having a multi vet practice we are able to offer consultations throughout the whole day at our Paremata and Tawa clinics, and at specified times at our Plimmerton, Titahi Bay and Whitby clinics.

We want you, and your pets to be as comfortable as possible when you come to visit us. By having multiple vets we can pretty much keep to appointment times minimising the stress to your pet, and yourself . Sometimes we do get interrupted, or can run behind because as well as seeing routine problems, we also deal with accidents and emergencies.

We like to do a thorough examination to consider your whole pet. Unfortunately our pets can not tell us how they feel, so it is always best to come and see us if you think your pet is suffering in any way. Because your pets cant tell us how they feel either, sometimes further diagnostics are needed (blood tests, x-rays etc) to get to the root cause of the problem.


Because we are a BESTPRACTICE accredited clinic we have an amazing team of qualified veterinary nurses. They are trained and able to perform vet nurse consultations that involve technical aspects of veterinary medicine and surgery. This includes performing post-operative checks on routine surgery and dentistry, performing dental assessments, giving routine injections and discussing nutritional requirements, If your pet needs more than what the vet nurse is qualified to carry out we will involve a veterinarian.

Prevention is always better than cure, and certainly with animals that is most certainly the case. That is why we call these Wellness checks, because they are being done to prevent illness. By performing regular health checks we can pick up problems earlier, or even better prevent them from occurring in first place. It is most certainly better for your pet and often cheaper for you long term.

Wellness health checks include kitten and puppy checks, annual health checks on adult pets, senior and geriatric checks on older pets. Pets age much more quickly than humans do. A once a year check is like you going to the doctor or dentist only every five years.

Wellness checks often involve blood and urine tests to help us determine how your pet is doing on the inside, as they can’t tell us exactly how they feel.

To provide the best care for your pet we encourage wellness health checks as being integral to your pet having a long, happy, healthy life.

Contact us today to schedule your pet’s next wellness health check.

Vaccinations are used to prevent animals, and people, from getting serious, sometimes life-threatening, and contagious diseases. They are highly effective and in the main extremely safe. We encourage vaccinations as part of your pet’s preventative healthcare. However we try to minimise the amount of vaccination while still maximising the cover they provide. To this end we use the best vaccines available that provide the longest proven duration of immunity. We also perform a health check with vaccinations to ensure that everything else is fine with your pet and they are as healthy as can be when they receive the vaccination so their immune system will maximise the benefit from it.

Vets do animal behaviour, as well as neurology, physiology and pharmacology (all useful in behavioural consults) as part of their degree course and are better placed to perform behavioural consults and counselling than most lay people or dog trainers.

Vets obviously know about veterinary medicine and can rule in or out medical problems that can be possible red-herrings for behavioural problems, especially to non-veterinarians. Common examples are toileting problems in cats (with crystals or cystitis), self-mutilation in dogs that are suffering from joint pain or neuralgia, epilepsy, senility, hearing problems, brain diseases.

Just as some vets in the practice are more interested in doing certain types of work, that does not preclude any of us from doing general veterinary consults, and this includes behavioural consults.

Clients often do not seek veterinary assistance as they think we only deal with sickness and injury. Behavioural consults are as important, we think, because more dogs (and possibly cats) will be euthanised every year for behavioural problems than will die of parvo, distemper or leptospirosis and infectious illnesses that we have no problem happily vaccinating for.

Behavioural consults can be harder than sick animal consults because the problem is often associated with or even caused by the owner. It therefore requires excellent history taking, time and follow-ups.

Rappaw are able to offer a range of in-clinic and in-home behavioural consultations to best suit the needs of your pet and your families requirements.

Puppy preschool is some of the best and most rewarding behavioural work we currently do. Very few problem dogs come out of the 120 plus pups that go through puppy preschool every year.

We as vets often having trouble charging for our services, and even more so for behavioural problems, yet these can be expensive problems if left for our clients, with destruction of furniture and cars, impounding fees, soiled, smelly carpets, attacks on other animals (and their vet bills), in addition to the mental angst many clients have.

Our practice mission is that in caring for their pets and looking after our clients and by doing our very best every time and every day our clients will have a healthy, happy bond with their pets. A pet with a behavioural problem does not make for a happy relationship or bond.

There is only one thing worse than losing a much-loved pet to illness or injury, and that is actually losing a pet and never finding them again.

The Christchurch Earthquakes proved the true worth of micro-chipping, with micro-chipped pets being easily re-united with their owners. Unfortunately many of the owners of the pets not micro-chipped may never see them again.

Micro-chipping involves a vet or registered implanter inserting, using a special needle, a tiny 1mm by 3mm chip under your pet’s skin. Each microchip contains an internationally unique 15-digit code. These can be read by special radio frequency scanners. The microchip is just like a barcode on a grocery item.

Dog Control Act was amended in 2007. All new dogs are required to be micro-chipped as part of their registration.

Micro-chipping is by far and away the best form of identification as the pet cannot lose it and the identification number it carries is totally unique to your pet. Pet tags are still a good idea as well but these can come off or be taken off if the pet is stolen.

Another advantage of micro-chips is that important information such any specific health issues the pet may have, such as epilepsy, diabetes or penicillin allergies can be recorded on the database.

Microchip technology is also being used in pet accessories such as cat doors.

With microchips implanted at Rappaw the fee includes registration of your pets number on the NZ Companion Animal Registry.

If you have purchased a pet that is already micro-chipped it is well worth checking if the chip has been registered. Many breeders provide the chip but not the registration.

Rappaw clinics