We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

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Beach Safety Tips for Your Pet

Ah, summer… we are in the full peak of summer here in the Comox Valley and what better way to beat the heat them a frolic at the beach! Summer on Vancouver Island is a favourite season for many, including our pets who love joining us at the rivers, lakes and many beautiful beaches, just minutes from our doorsteps.

If adventures to the beach are your pet’s favourite summer past time, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:

Be Sun Smart! – Just like humans, dogs can suffer from heatstroke and hyperthermia. Heatstroke sneaks up on your pets quite quickly, as they often don’t know when it’s time to take a break and seek shade. For those ball chasing, wave jumping, stick obsessed canines, they will literally play until they drop. It is up to us, the pet owner, to be aware of our dog’s heat tolerance and force several breaks during play time.

Pick Your Times – Avoid the hottest times of the day and take an early morning stroll or a late evening swim with your pet to cool off. Peak times are not only too hot for your canine companion, but often the beaches are crowded, which can mean a greater risk of conflict or confrontations with other, heat exhausted canines.

Watch Those Feet! – The sand can be hot! Dogs will spend hours running and be playing on the hot sand, without realizing the damage this can cause the pads of their feet. If the sand is too hot for you, then it is too hot for your dog’s feet. Just like you, your dog may also appreciate a grass mat or towel to stand on. We often see pets coming in this time of year with cuts and scrapes to the bottom of their feet, as well as torn dewclaws. This usually occurs from running over barnacles and sharp rocks. It’s always a good idea to have a first aid kit in your car when going out on beach adventures.

Keep Control of Your Companion – Unfortunately, we also see an increase in injuries this time of year due to dog fights. Canine conflicts occur for several reasons and it is inevitable when you have several dogs in one place, at one time. Please be respectful of each other’s space, as well as your dog’s space. You may have the “friendly” dog, but that doesn’t excuse him from kicking up sand on your neighbour’s picnic or invading another “less friendly” dog’s space, who is under control and on a leash. Please pick up after your pet at the beach. These beautiful public spaces are for everyone to enjoy, including our four-legged friends, so as dog lovers let’s keep the peace and keep the beaches clean and safe for all of us to enjoy.

Water Toxicity – There have been several articles going around social media lately about water intoxication in dogs and this is a real danger. Dogs will often swallow water while swimming or retrieving sticks. Too much salt water will cause dehydration, as well as vomiting and diarrhea. It is usually pretty instant and can be quite violent. There is also a danger with fresh water intake. Depending how much water they drink, some dogs can become quite ill, quite as fast as an excessive amount of water over a short period of time can actually cause swelling of the brain. This condition, due to an electrolyte disorder when sodium levels become dangerously low, is also known as hyponatremia. This can be fatal without treatment. This is not a common condition, however, an important one to be aware of if your dog spends hours in the water and has a habit of lapping up water while he swims.

Symptoms of Hyponatremia include:

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Staggering/Stumbling
  • Pale Gums
  • Excessive Drooling
  • Dilated pupils
  • Bloating

If you are concerned that your dog may be showing signs of water intoxication, seek veterinary help immediately. Give us a call at 250.334.8400.

Written by Van Isle Veterinary Hospital


Get a Cupcake and Support BC Animals in Need During Treat Week (Feb 24 - Mar 1, 2020)

Van Isle Veterinary Hospital is super excited to be hosting our 4th annual cupcake day fundraiser! BCSPCA celebrates “Treat Week” across the Province from Feb 24th – March 1st 2020 where business, pet owners and animal lovers can bake up a storm and sell treats with the proceeds going to BC animals in need.

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes are effective as of Friday, March 19, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a “closed waiting room” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 250.334.8400. We will take a history of your pet from outside your car, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. Once the examination is finished, the Doctor will either call you or come out to talk to you to discuss the treatment etc for your pet. For those who do not have a mobile phone, an easy knock at the door will work the same way!

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. We are OPEN and temporarily operating as a 24-hour hospital.

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the Online Store, visit our website.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

6. Online consultations are now available! If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital