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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Senior Cat Care

Senior cats are your affectionate, long time companions that have won your heart over! Over the years, you have learned their ins and outs and what makes them unique. In turn, they know how to make you smile. Although cats can age differently depending on breed, activity level and diet, cats generally begin their senior years around the age of 7 or 8. At Van Isle Veterinary Hospital we recommend annual senior wellness exams starting around 7 years of age. The health of your cat can rapidly change with age and often times these changes go unnoticed. Cats will often hide signs of pain or illness in its early stages and by time owners notice their cat seems “off,” the illness has significantly progressed. With regular annual exams, preventative blood screens and senior dietary consults, together we can help your senior cat enjoy a lifetime of good health. The most important thing to remember is to cherish your pet’s senior years; they come too suddenly and pass too quickly. These will be some of the best years and moments you will have with your old, loyal and loving friend. So let’s make every day count!

How to spot signs of aging?

One of the most common and most underdiagnosed conditions in senior cats is arthritis. About 90% of cats over the age of 12 are suffering from some form of arthritis, yet their owners are unaware of this. Cats are small and quite agile therefore they can often cover up mobility difficulties and pain due to arthritis. Unlike dogs, cats generally do not limp from arthritis but will show subtle changes in their lifestyle and behavior. These changes can include a reluctance to jump up or down from surfaces, urinating/defecating outside of the litter box, scruffy coat from lack of grooming and less tolerance of people or a withdrawn attitude. PU/PD (increased drinking and increased urination) is another sign of aging and is often related to renal disease or diabetes. A dramatic weight loss is also an indicator of an age related illness and should be addressed by your veterinarian.

My senior cat is losing weight, what can I do?

If you notice your senior cat losing weight, the best thing to do is book a consult with your veterinarian for a physical exam. Dropping weight could be an indicator of a wide variety of illnesses varying from a simple parasitic infection to dental disease, diabetes, renal disease or a thyroid condition. Your veterinarian may recommend some diagnostics such as a senior blood panel including a urinalysis or fecalanalysis or an x-ray to rule out any of these potential underlying, age related illnesses.

What are some common health issues in senior cats?

Common health issues in senior cats include obesity, dental disease, renal disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes and arthritis.

Why is my senior cat having behavioural issues?

It is quite common for your senior cat to develop behavioral issues during the senior years. This is most often related to pain and discomfort due to arthritis or another age related diseases as well as cognitive dysfunction.

How to care for your Senior cat?

Caring for your senior cat starts at home with lots of TLC and being aware of your feline companion’s changing environmental needs. Making sure litter boxes and perches are easily accessible, as well as having access to plenty of fresh water is important. Annual wellness exams as well as regular senior blood screens play a key role in early detection, treatment and management of age related conditions.


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