Pet Owners

Visiting The Referral Centre

If you are a pet owning client needing the next level of care then ask your veterinarian to contact us for a referral. They can call us on 0800 Vet Expertise (0800 83 83 97), or get them to send an email to

Hamilton Clinic – admin@thereferralcentre.co.nz

Tauranga Clinic – bay@thereferralcentre.co.nz

You can also contact TRC directly to make an appointment to see any of our specialists or referral veterinarians.

We will work together with your regular vet to provide the best care for your animal. Your regular vet will send us all of your animals medical and surgical history along with details of any treatment he or she is currently receiving.


01. Choose

Choose the specialist or referral vet and service you need.


02. Contact Us

Call 0800 Vet Expertise or email: 

Hamilton – admin@thereferralcentre.co.nz

Tauranga – bay@thereferralcentre.co.nz

to enquire about appointment times.


03. Send Us

Paperwork: please send in your animal’s referral letter, all medical records and previous diagnostic results at least a day before your visit. This means the vet you are seeing will have time to thoroughly review all material prior to your arrival. If you have been referred, your regular vet will usually do this for you.



04. What to Bring

What to bring with you: Copies of your referral letter and your animal’s history. Bring any medications your pet is taking, or has recently taken too.

Services Offered

Emergency and Critical Care Medicine

Critically ill animals often require resources and equipment that general practices just aren’t able to provide. We are experienced in dealing with these very sick patients and will look after your animal in hospital until it is suitable for treatment by your clinic during the day or as an outpatient. No more transferring your pet back and forth between clinics in the morning and again in the evening.

Animals we see include unstable diabetics, animals on oxygen, those that have suffered serious injuries, animals needing ongoing pain management, fluid support and nutrition.


Skin disease can be highly uncomfortable for pets and frequently develops into an ongoing or refractory disease. Even though the symptoms may appear similar (itching, inflamed skin, smell, hairloss), the causes and approaches are not simple and they require time and usually multiple steps to lead to a diagnosis. Allergic skin disease is frequently the cause and with the popularity of certain breeds, there seems to be an increase. Frequently long term and ongoing management is required for these cases. The standard consultation times in general practice may not allow to look into all aspects and differentials when working up a patient with skin disease. This is why referral can be a way forward towards a more comfortable pet.

An initial appointment with Sylvia will be 90 minutes and follow ups will be 30 to 60 minutes. Sylvia will remain in contact with you during the work-up process. Eventually, your general vet can take over the ongoing care again. After each consultation, a report will be emailed to you and your vet.


Procedures commonly performed include:

  • knee ligament and dislocating kneecap surgery
  • broken bone repair
  • intestinal and abdominal surgery
  • airway surgery
  • bladder surgery

You can rest assured that your pet will be attended to by staff who have experience in dealing with pets with critical conditions.  Staff are on hand to care for hospitalised animals 24/7 and the referral patients are cared for overnight by dedicated after hours vets and nurses.


Referral abdominal, pregnancy and cardiac ultrasounds are available every Tuesday and Wednesday, and other days by arrangement. Your animal will be scanned and a full written report sent to your referring vet.

If indicated, further diagnostics including fine needle aspirates or biopsies can be performed.

Advanced Imaging

Here at TRC we have digital radiology, digital fluoroscopy and cone-beam CT capability.

We also have access to off-site fan beam PET CT and MRI imaging and can usually get an appointment within a week, occasionally on the same day depending on their human case load and staff availability.

All referrals for advanced imaging have a consultation with Dr Trudi McAlees to assess the stability of your pet for general anaesthesia and to discuss which of the different imaging modalities is best in your particular case.

Eye Specialist

Kellam will collect a thorough history, then use a variety of equipment giving us the correct lighting and magnification to fully examine all parts of the eye. Additional tests to check out any areas of concern can then be performed if required.
Once a diagnosis is made, treatment options are discussed with you to come up with the plan that best suits you and your pet. We then start medications and/or book follow up appointments, procedures or surgery as needed. We regularly send updates to your usual veterinarian during the course of the treatment to keep them in the loop.

Exotic pets

Dr Earles has a special interest in the slightly unusual pet species. He would love to meet you and your pets and is available for consultations and surgery at The Referral Centre in Tauranga Exotics on Tuesdays and Fridays.Veterinary care for birds, rabbits, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, and aquarium fish.

See more here 

Hydrotherapy and Rehabilitation

Hydropaws is devoted to canine rehabilitation, health & fitness. Our primary aim is to improve quality of life for your dog.  

Hydropaws offers a holistic approach to canine care integrating hydrotherapy into rehabilitation programs to promote good health and mobility, performance and recovery from injury  allowing dogs to live life to the full.

If your dog has been diagnosed with any of the following conditions, please get in touch to see how hydrotherapy can help your dog.

  • Joint disease including hip and elbow dysplasia 
  • Arthritis, reduced function, stiffness and muscle weakness in senior dogs  
  • Spinal injuries, disc disease and paralysis 
  • Cruciate ligament disease  
  • Pre and post orthopaedic surgeries 
  • Obesity and weight related issues 
  • Performance improvement in the athletic and working dog

Email rachel@hydropaws.co.nz


Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have a vet referral?

No, while it is more common to be referred by your regular vet, you are welcome to approach us directly for help.

How do I get a vet referral?

Speak to your regular vet about coming to see us at The Referral Centre. They will then send us your animal’s clinical records, and we will contact you to make an appointment.

How can the clients pay?

TRC accepts cash, EFTPOS, bank transfer, Mastercard and VISA. If finance or a payment plan is needed then we can help you organise this, we currently offer PetfundersQ Card and Humm finance options

Do you take credit card?

Yes, but not AMEX.

What do I need to bring with me?

In most instances, your pets records will have been sent to us electronically, so you don’t usually need to bring anything other than the medication your pet is currently taking.

I have pet insurance do I need to get a pre-approval?

Every insurance company is different – some give pre-approval, some don’t. You will need to contact your company directly to ask them.

Can I come without an appointment?

No, The Referral Centre runs on appointments only. Clinicians are not always available here as many work in other clinics as well.

Is my pet monitored 24hrs?

Yes, in conjunction with Waikato After Hours Veterinary Hospital and Bay After Hours Veterinary Hospital there are nurses on site 24 hours a day, and usually a vet too.

What if my pet has an emergency situation?

Waikato After Hours Veterinary Hospital and Bay After Hours Veterinary Hospital are open when your regular vet is closed – nights and weekends. During the day, your local vet is able to deal with emergency situations. Once they have assessed your animals, an urgent referral may be able to be arranged.

What if I can’t make my appointment?

Waikato After Hours Veterinary Hospital and Bay After Hour Veterinary Hospital are open when your regular vet is closed – nights and weekends. During the day, your local vet is able to deal with emergency situations. Once they have assessed your animals, an urgent referral may be able to be arranged.

Will my primary vet be updated with information on my pet?

Yes. All clinical records and results will be sent to your vet.



576 Anglesea Street,
Hamilton, N.Z


1450 Cameron Road
Greerton, Tauranga, N.Z