Clinic Name: Rouse Hill Family Vets
- Location: 10/591 Withers Rd, Rouse Hill, New South Wales, Australia
- Opening hours: 9am – 6pm
- Social Media:
- Services: “Fear Free” Consultations, Acupuncture, Dentistry, Desexing, Imaging, Bloodwork, House Calls, House Call Euthanasias, Behavioral Consults, Palliative Care, Vaccinations, Surgery, Puppy Preschool, etc.
About the clinic
Dr. Belinda Parsons is a veterinarian and certified veterinary acupuncturist. She is the owner of Rouse Hill Family Vets as well as on the Board of Directors of the Australia College of Veterinary Acupuncture. She has been a small animal veterinarian for over 13 years and has always been a passionate advocate for senior pet health care.
She has completed 3 additional years of study in Veterinary Oncology, Small Animal Endocrinology, and Small Animal Neurology through Massey University. She attended the first Australian Veterinary Palliative Care Advisory Council Conference in May 2018.
She is an avid campaigner for Fear Free Veterinary Visits and is a Level 3 Certified Fear Free Practitioner. She understands that the emotional wellbeing of a patient is just as important as their physical wellbeing and proactively takes steps to reduce fear, anxiety, and stress in her patients.
Our clinic was founded in April 2020 – right in the middle of the pandemic. Dr. Belinda wanted to create her own environment, where she could freely adopt a Fear Free approach to clients and patients, as well as create a healthy work environment for employees. So far, the experience has been amazing!
About the staff
Currently, we count 10! 11 with a new Vet starting soon!
Volunteering and internships possibilities
There is one vet nursing student that has been employed at a reception at the moment.
We are committed to giving our patients the most “Fear Free” experience possible.
Almost all of our staff now are officially Fear Free certified, which is the course we base our business model on.
So how are we different from most clinics?
– All of our consultations are half an hour (or longer), to give your pet enough time to feel comfortable, and ensure your visit isn’t rushed. We do our best to get you straight into a consult room too, to help avoid waiting room run-ins with pets that may be anxious around other animals.
– All dogs are given an Adaptil© sprayed bandana, and our cat-only consult room is sprayed with Feliway© on arrival to utilize comforting pheromones during your pet’s visit. We also have spray diffusers around the clinic to keep that pheromone-game strong!
– Unless when absolutely necessary (like in an emergency), we do not use forceful handling techniques on any animal. Cuddles and bribery with lots and lots of snacks is how we roll! Distracting with licky-mats is a personal favorite for our injections! We would rather reschedule an appointment when your pet is more comfortable than forcing them into a situation that may make them become afraid of the vet!
– We will never “take your animal out the back” for treatments. All needles, blood draws, nail clips, ear cleans and other small procedures are done with the owner present, to minimize the anxiety caused by removing the animal from their person.
– For the bigger procedures, dentals and surgeries, there’s no “morning drop-off” – we ask you to stick around with your pet while they get nice and sleepy, before taking them away for their operation. They will also never wake up alone in a cage – we find they come around much smoother waking up in a nurse’s arms. ??
– We will not use medication as a “last resort” when treating an anxious pet. Drugs such as Gabapentin are happily prescribed as a pre-med before your consultation, to put your pet in a relaxed mindset when visiting the clinic.
– We are big advocates for “friendly visits” (coming in, for free, and being showered with love and nothing pointy), and desensitization techniques – introducing our nervous patients slowly to scary things like blood tests!
– Even our scales are covered in fake grass to make them a little less scary for our pooches!
Which events do you celebrate at your clinic?
We had Vet Nurses Day and the boss gave us all a gift! On birthdays we get a cake, and we’ll be having our first Christmas Party this year – all-you-can-eat wood fire pizzas at the boss’s house!
Most common vet cases
Probably vaccinations and anxiety cases since we do so well with our anxious friends. We don’t believe animals should be scared of their vet. We do a lot of acupuncture as well.
We also sadly specialize in euthanasias. We’re a very compassionate all-women team and are the only vet in the area that offers house-call euthanasias.
What is the most remarkable case that came to your clinic, one that the whole staff remembers to this day?
A border collie called Mac. Mac came to us as one of our most anxious patients. He was incredibly terrified of vets and in particular veterinary treatment. Back in June this year, his mum Karen started bringing him to our clinic at night to just sniff around out the front. Eventually, these visits turned into our nurse Friendly Visits inside the clinic. We couldn’t even look in Mac’s direction without him being frightened and reactive.
After three visits, we needed to examine his limping, and so Dr. Belinda used her sneaky ninja powers to sedate Mac without him noticing. His next visits were for Synovan injections and here is where he really started coming out of his shell! He absolutely adored Dr. Belinda and her bottomless treat jars, and now we can even check Mac’s ears with no dramas.
He will rest his head on Dr. Belinda’s (or even the nurses’) legs begging for snacks, and he drags his mum into the clinic!
We are beyond amazed by Mac’s progress, and it’s all thanks to his mum’s hard work and our FearFree way of life!
What do you, or the management team do to maintain a healthy work environment?
We have monthly “check-ins” with our boss where we can have a completely honest one-on-one to raise any issues or wins with each other, give feedback on the clinic, and see how we can improve (both boss and employee).
We also are SUPER supportive of everyone. We all seem to have anxiety so we just get each other.
Do many of your clients take advantage of pet insurance?
Yes, about half of our clients. We also offer gap-only for bigger procedures.