After-Hours Contact

If you have an AFTER HOURS EMERGENCY between the hours of 6pm and 8am only please ring the appropriate number below

Companion animals

0438 311 533


0428 346 756


29 March 2019
Equine Surgical Internship 2019/20

Now taking applications for our 2019/20 intake! To learn more click here and to apply, email

29 January 2019
Ali Cunneen is first to start the 2019 internship program

Welcome to Ali. She comes to us from the University of Queensland. She is the first intern to start in 2019.

29 January 2019
Rosan Peters Sengers-Baas is our second intern to start in 2019

Rosan is our second intern to start in 2019. Rosan comes from the Netherlands and has experience in mixed animal practice. She has also worked in Malawi and Argentina. Welcome to BVPEC Rosan.

31 August 2018
2018 Business of the Year!

We are absolutely thrilled and humbled to announce that the Ballarat Veterinary Practice has been named the Commerce Ballarat Federation Business School Business of the Year for 2018.

We were announced as the winners of the Matchworks Health and Wellbeing Category earlier in the night, before being awarded the overall prize at the end of the evening.

We would like to thank Commerce Ballarat, the Federation Business School as the main sponsor, Matchworks and all the other category sponsors. Congratulations to all the businesses that were named as finalists and the category winners. Thanks to the judging panel for their many hours of work in judging all the categories over the past few months.

Thanks go to all our clients and their fabulous furry family members for placing their trust in us for the care and wellbeing of their fur families! You of course are the reason we are here. We look forward to looking after you for many years to come.

Finally, but not least, the practice would like to acknowledge the hard work, compassion, dedication, professionalism and expertise of all our vets, nurses, reception and admin staff. Our team, without which, there is no BVP!

24 July 2018
Commerce Ballarat Business Awards Finalists

BVP are proud to announce we have been chosen as one of the three finalists in the Federation Business School Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards in the Matchworks Health and Wellbeing category for 2018. Congratulations to our fellow finalists, Health Connection and Oak Tree Dental.

The winner will be announced on the 30th August at the awards dinner.

We'd like to thank all our clients for continuing to support our practice by allowing us to care for you and your furry family members. Wish us luck!

8 April 2018
Dr Alona Kalamanova completes our 2018 Intern group

Welcome Dr Alona Kalamanova to the BVP internship. Alona comes to us from Kiev, Ukraine, via vet school in Nottingham, England. 

8 February 2018
Welcome Dr Rachel Bartels to our Internship

Dr Rachel Bartels has joined our internship program along with Dr Krystal Grant and Dr Wei Yeh Lee. Rachel has completed a Bachelor of Applied Science before Veterinary Science. She has been around horses since she was very young and has enjoyed Pony Club and Show Jumping. Welcome Rachel to the BVP Equine Clinic team.

17 September 2017
Dr Fiona Anderson wins Victorian dressage award!

Dr. Fiona Anderson and Woodleigh Romanze, sponsored by 4Cyte Equine, has won the Western Victoria Dressage Club Horseland Geelong Novice Dressage Championship at Echo park on 16th September 2017. Fiona is a companion animal vet by day and an equine enthusiast on the weekend. Congratulations Fiona on this great achievement. 

12 September 2017
Dr Ian Fulton awarded top AVA award

In June of this year, Dr Ian Fulton was presented with a Meritorious Service Award by the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA).  The Meritorious Service Award is given to AVA members who have rendered special or long-term service to the association, its divisions, branches or special interest groups.
Dr Fulton has provided great service to the equine veterinary profession and is regarded as an industry leader.  Dr Fulton has served as the President of the Equine Veterinarians Association (EVA) and he is currently the AVA's nominee to Racing Australia's Veterinary and Analysts Committee and he is also AVA's racing industry spokesperson, providing expert veterinary commentary on behalf of the profession.
Ian is pictured above, receiving his award from AVA President, Dr Robert Johnson.
We congratulate Dr Fulton on this significant award.

29 August 2017
Ballarat Turf Club wins important award!

Congratulations to the Ballarat Turf Club on winning the 2017 bet365 Country Racing Victoria Club of the Year. We are very proud that our own Dr. Brian Anderson is an active Turf Club Board Member. Well done to the whole board and everyone involved with the Turf Club.

23 August 2017
Dr Alex Tapp becomes a member of the college in equine medicine

Dr Alex Tapp has become a Member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientist (MANZCVS) in the Equine Medicine chapter. This is a very difficult qualification to acquire and requires both written and oral examinations. Congratulations to Alex on this massive achievement. 

23 August 2017
Wei-Yeh wins coveted Award at Bain Fallon conference

Dr Wei-Yeh Lee has taken out the coveted "EVA clinical case based poster" award at the Australia wide Bain Fallon Conference. His poster was titled "Facial nerve paralysis resulting from a dentigerous cyst in a Thoroughbred racehorse". We are very proud of Wei-Yeh and congratulate him on this great achievement.

15 August 2017
Southwest Equine Veterinary Group starts in Warrnambool

The Ballarat Veterinary Practice has joined forces with Warrnambool Veterinary (Apiam Animal Health) to develop an equine specific veterinary service in the Warrnambool and surrounding districts. This business is called Southwest Equine Veterinary Group (SWE). The team was very excited to pose for a picture on the first day. (L-R) Nicole Anderson (Practice Manager), Dr Michael Wraight, Dr Kelly Gowland, Dr Andrew Cust and Hayley Croft (Veterinary Nurse).
The clinic focuses on everything equine including general horse health, vaccinations, dentistry, poor performance and lameness. The purpose build cars are fully equipped with a mobile digital Xray machine, ultrasound and video endoscopy that allows us to show the clients everything in real time and record the images/videos for future reference. The cars are also set up with everything an ambulatory vet could need including examination equipment, dental equipment, foaling support gear and general reproduction equipment. The ambulatory vets from SWE will be supported 24/7 by the team at the BVP equine hospital.

15 August 2017
Business Excellence Awards 2017

We are thrilled to announce that the Ballarat Veterinary Practice has won the GMHBA Health and Well Being category in the Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards!

We are thrilled with this recognition and thank our staff and clients for their continued support.

9 June 2017
Equine Veterinarians: Vital Partners in Horse Health and Wellbeing

Equine Veterinarians Australia has launched a video for Veterinarians, horse owners and the general public. It is a celebration of the partnership between the equine veterinarian and your horse owners, trainers and riders. It recognises the knowledge, hard work and dedication that vets bring to that partnership, working together for the health and well being of Australia's horses.

27 April 2017
Lucas Vet Clinic - Now Open!

The clinic is is now complete and is now open. It is a fully functional veterinary clinic complete with the after hours support and care that clients of our Sturt st and Howitt St clinics have come to expect and appreciate. 


4 May 2016
Canine Blood Donation

17 October 2014
ABC Ballarat: BVP's Dr. Andrew Cust on Spring Carnival and being a racehorse veterinarian

"It's that time of year again, when some of the best race horses in the world converge on Victoria to compete for glory and riches. Behind the scenes, equine veterinarians like Andrew Cust are working hard to prepare them for the track." - Lily Partland, ABC Ballarat

Click on the linked quote above to read the ABC news story focused on BVP's Dr. Andrew Cust and his experience as a racing stable veterinarian. Andrew and the Ballarat Veterinary Practice are proud to provide the gold standard in veterinary care for these elite athletes and support a healthy racing industry.

18 September 2014
Ballarat Veterinary Practice BTC Awards

On Saturday 13th September the Ballarat Veterinary Practice Equine Clinic sponsored the Ballarat Turf Club Awards for the 2013-2014 racing season. Our equine veterinarians joined trainers, owners, jockeys and many other industry identities to celebrate the year's top trainers, jockeys and horses. Good food and entertainment were enjoyed by all. Special guest Mike Brady even invited a few attendees to help him sing his famous anthem Up There Cazaly. Congratulations to all of the winners and thank you to all attendees for a great evening.

1 September 2014
Dr Andrew Cust takes on the ALS ice bucket challenge

Last week BVP partner and equine associate Dr. Andrew Cust joined Darren Weir and several others at the Darren Weir Racing stable to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. This worldwide fundraising phenomenon has resulted in over $90 million in donations from supporters like Dr Cust to the ALS Association, with the funds being used in the fight against Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. To learn more about ALS and how you can help the ALS Association fight this devastating disease, visit the ALS Association website.

21 July 2014
BVP at Bain Fallon 2014

The 2014 Bain Fallon Memorial Lectures were held on 13-17 July at the RACV Royal Pines Resort on Queensland's Gold Coast. The Bain Fallon is the best week of equine veterinary continuing education in the southern hemisphere. This year Dr. Ian Fulton and Dr. Andrew Cust attended the conference and full and returned with an abundance of knowledge about developments in the field of equine practice.
Dr. Nicola Lynch presented at the EVA/ANZCVS Research and Clinical Papers session on Sunday 13 July. Her presentation, "The use of MRI when presented with inconclusive radiographic findings," was well-received by the audience at the session.
Dr. Nicola Lynch presenting at the Bain Fallon EVA/ANZCVS Research and Clinical Papers Session
Dr. Molly Allen produced two clinical case posters supervised by Dr. Ian Fulton and Dr. Brian Anderson for presentation at the Bain Fallon Poster Competition. The posters were presented to the judging panel by Dr. Andrew Cust and Molly's poster, "Fracture of a thoracic vertebral body in a Thoroughbred racehorse" won the EVA Poster Award.
Dr. Andrew Cust and Dr. Ian Fulton with posters submitted by Dr. Molly Allen.

16 June 2014
FEI accreditation for another BVP veterinarian

On 6-7th June 2014 Dr. Andrew Cust completed the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) veterinarians course at Werribee Mansion. This was run concurrently with the Melbourne International Three Day Event. Andrew joins Dr. Ruth Elphinstone as an FEI accredited veterinarian and gives them both a great handle on the FEI initiatives including FEI rules and regulations and FEICleansport. Ruth has been accredited since 2010 however with the promotion of the Ballarat Horse Trials to FEI level and the growing number of FEI/EA registered horses in the Ballarat area and state wide we think it is important to have another veterinarian accredited and able to work with these horses and owners on all things FEI. If you have any questions about FEI veterinary issues please do not hesitate to contact Ruth or Andrew.

16 January 2014
Hallmarq MRI Clinical Users Meeting Chamonix France 2014

It was quite the contrast to our current heat wave when Dr Brian Anderson made the trek to the mountain ski resort town of Chamonix-Mont Blanc France for the Hallmarq MRI Clinical Users Meeting, two and a half days of the latest information on using standing MRI on equine patients. Presentations by some of the worlds leading experts in equine MRI together with short reports on clinical cases provided a vast array of useful information. Topics included fetlock bone pain in dressage horses and showjumpers, fetlock problems in Standardbred racehorses and the affects of chronic abscessation in the foot. While the Ballarat Veterinary Practice has only been using MRI for 6 weeks it was good to see our image quality was equal to the rest of the world. Contacts were made with other operators of this technology in Italy, Germany, France, UK and Dubai. This means when there are tricky cases opinions can be obtained from all around the world!

3 December 2013
Equine Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Equine Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has arrived at BVP

The Ballarat Veterinary Practice Equine Clinic is pleased to announce the arrival of our Standing MRI equine scanner.
We have successfully completed installation, training and quality control. We have now scanned seven horses and are ready to receive referrals. We have established relationships with leading specialist radiologists in the UK and USA who have been providing written reports on our images. Below are two case studies from imaging of some or our first patients.
CASE 1 - 4 year old Quarter horse, 4 of 5 lame in the left front foot with a history of a penetrating wound to the lateral sulcus of the frog of one month's duration. Admitted for evaluation with the view to surgical therapy.

MRI Case 1
Inflammation/infection of the DDFT Normal DDFT

In these T1 weighted 3D sagittal images the DDFT in the normal foot (right image) is seen as a black linear structure inserting on to the pedal bone (white arrows) but in the left image the DDFT has a grey or hyperintense signal indicative of significant inflammation. A penetration injury resulted in inflammation and most likely infection in this tendon. In this case imaging with MRI provided detailed pathological information; surgery was not attempted due to the guarded prognosis.

CASE 2 - 4 year old Standardbred gelding with a history of marked left hind lameness following fast work. Two weeks rest reduced but did not resolve the lameness. Pain was isolated to the fetlock by the referring veterinarian but radiographs were unremarkable. A bone scan was performed and an intense area of radionuclide uptake in the lateral distal condyle of MT3 was noted (left image below). Repeat radiographs were performed and a suspicious sagittal fracture was identified. Standing MRI was performed to more precisely define the pathology present and a sagittal plantar fracture was confirmed (white arrows right image). Lag screw fixation under standing sedation was performed

MRI Case 2

HOW MUCH DOES A SCAN COST? - The scan costs $2046, which includes two sites. Horses usually stay for 2 days and with the cost of sedation and specialist reading fees of the images the total cost is $2528.

HOW DO I BOOK IN A CASE ? - Please contact Mrs Chris Clarken or Mrs Kim Hill at our clinic on 0353346756.

WHAT IS IT USED FOR? - MRI technology is the "gold standard" in medical imaging of soft tissues including tendon, ligament, joint capsule and articular cartilage, giving exquisite anatomical detail and precise localisation of lesions. MRI also provides precise localisation and differentiation of various pathological processes in bone. MRI finds its greatest use in lameness conditions of the lower limb, principally the foot and has revolutionised the diagnosis of injuries/conditions formerly collectively grouped as "navicular syndrome".

WHAT CASES ARE SUITABLE FOR MRI? - Standing MRI is not suitable for large areas or survey imaging of regions of interest unlike nuclear scintigraphy. Therefore, precise localisation of the source of pain is necessary with nerve blocks or on clinical grounds. Indications include:

  • Foot pain localised with nerve blocks but with negative radiographic findings
  • Penetration injuries to the foot
  • Lameness localised to the pastern and fetlock with negative radiographic findings including "hotspots" diagnosed with scintigraphy
  • Differentiating the cause of subchondral bone pathology of the fetlock in performance horses
  • Localising the source of carpal/subcarpal or tarsal/subtarsal pain where other imaging modalities are inconclusive

4 August 2013
New Vaccination for Hendra Virus

Ballarat Veterinary Practice has been working hard with our clients to assess their risk of being exposed or contracting the Hendra Virus.  We have conducted two information seminars over June and July and have had an amazing response.  The general thought is that we are a "long way from the action". This is true in relation to the most recent outbreaks in Northern NSW and Queensland however there are fruit bats (flying foxes) that have tested positive to the Hendra Virus in the Melbourne and Adelaide Botanical Gardens and even in Bacchus Marsh.  This certainly changes the risk for some people.  If you have any questions regarding the Hendra Virus and how you can reduce your risk please contact our clinic and speak to one of our veterinarians.  All of our vets are fully qualified to consult with you and if deemed necessary vaccinate your horses. 

11 May 2013
New Treatment for Equine Sarcoids at BVP's

Sarcoids are the most common form of equine skin tumour and are notoriously difficult to treat. There are many treatments available but none are considered to be universally effective.

A new treatment called electrochemotherapy has become available and recent research has had very positive results. The treatment involves placement of cisplatin beads (a chemotherapeutic agent) into the sarcoid followed by the application of strong electrical pulses 5 days later.  The electrotherapy takes palce under a brief general anaesthetic. Most horse will need at least 2 treatment cycles. Sarcoids that have failed to respond to other treatment attempts are still suitable for this therapy.

While cisplatin beads have been the mainstay of sarcoid treatment at BVP for sometime, the recent purchase of an electropulsator will increase the effectiveness of our sarcoid treatments. The application of electrical pulses to the sarcoid increases the permeability of the cancerous cell membrane and allows higher concentrations of cisplatin to enter the cell and ultimately cause cell death.

Recent research has found horses treated with this method have a non-recurrence rate of 98% four years after treatment (Successful treatment of equine sarcoids with cisplatin electrochemotherapy: A retrospective study of 48 cases, Tamzali et al. EVJ. 44 -2012, p214). This is the first time this treatment has become available in Australia and we hope it will revolutionise sarcoid treatment in the horse.

10 June 2011
Surgical treatment for "Kissing Spines"

Pain in the back region of racing thoroughbreds is not uncommon and can result in lameness and poor performance.   Most horses with sore backs don't want to stretch out properly, have a shortened hind limb "action" and may even buck when being ridden.  There are multiple causes which include muscle strain, ligament injury, spinal and joint disease. The diagnosis of the cause of back pain can be difficult but includes palpation, nerve blocks, radiography (x-ray), ultrasonography and nuclear scintigraphy (bone scan). At the Ballarat Veterinary Practice over 250 horses have a bone scan every year and one of the more common findings in horses presented for evaluation of back pain or poor performance is dorsal spinous impingement of the thoracolumbar vertebrae.  This is commonly known as "kissing spines". In horses that have "kissing spines" the normal gaps between the spines (see Figure 1) are no longer present and the spines "rub" or knock into each other causing pain when the horse is exercising. Some horses tolerate this without problems and even may have abnormal x-rays. Other horses however can get very painful backs, show reduced muscle mass (atrophy) along the "top line" and diagnostic tests such as x-rays, bone scan and nerve blocks need to be used to confirm that "kissing spines" is indeed the problem.

Traditional therapy for the pain caused by this condition includes local pain relieving injections, shock wave, massage and alteration in training methods.  While these treatments can be successful they don't often last.  Due to our frustration with this therapy we have started to surgically remove the tops of the offending spines which are rubbing (Figure 4).

This surgery was first reported by surgeons in Europe mainly on sport horses but we have begun operating on racing thoroughbreds to see if we can achieve a more permanent cure. The surgery is performed in the standing sedated horse and so avoiding the risks of a general anaesthetic. It takes three months before exercise can begin and it will probably take 6 months before horses are back in full work. 

The ideal candidate is a young proven horse where no other performance limiting condition exists, the diagnosis is confirmed and plenty of time for recovery is possible. The results in sport horses indicate approximately 72% of horses returned to full work without back pain.  The success in racing thoroughbreds is not yet known but this technique offers promise for a longer lasting resolution to the pain that is stopping good racehorses from competing.

For further information regarding this surgery, please contact Dr Brian Anderson at the equine clinic