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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The Deadly Facts about Antifreeze in Cats & Dogs

Waking up to these first few crisp mornings is a good reminder to pet owners (and non-pet owners) about the dangers associated with antifreeze.

Antifreeze poisoning is one of the most common forms of pet poisoning this time of year and can be one of the most fatal toxins your pet will ever ingest. Commonly found in almost every household, antifreeze poisoning usually occurs when spills from a car’s radiator are licked off the pavement, driveways or parking lots. The deadly toxin in antifreeze is ethylene glycol and dogs love its sweet flavour. Ingested readily, it only takes a very little amount to cause significant damage, effecting your pet’s liver, kidneys and brain.

Symptoms of antifreeze poisoning in dogs and cats can include nausea/vomiting, wobbly drunken behaviour, uncoordinated movement, excessive urination, diarrhea, rapid heartbeat, weakness, collapse, tremors/seizures, coma and death.

For immediate first aid, try to induce vomiting. This is only recommended if you have witnessed your dog ingesting antifreeze. Both hydrogen peroxide and table salt are commonly used to induce vomiting in pets but it is recommended to phone your veterinarian for assistance first.  Using either of these methods can be dangerous as some toxins can do more damage than good when brought back up through the esophagus.  Never force your pet to vomit if your pet is having trouble breathing or is unconscious. No matter the amount ingested or if you’ve been successful at inducing vomiting, always seek immediate medical attention from your veterinarian.  Time matters.  The faster treatment starts the better chance your pet has at survival.  If you are not 100% sure that your pet ingested antifreeze, your vet will confirm with an ethylene glycol test.  Your veterinarian will most likely administer IV fluids, an antidote and activated charcoal to stop any further absorption.  Survival rate will depend on the amount of antifreeze ingested and the amount of time between ingestion and medical treatment. Those that survive the initial poisoning will most likely develop kidney failure within days of ingestion. Unfortunately death is extremely common due to kidney failure post antifreeze poisoning.

The best way to protect your pet is to prevent spills from happening in the first place. Keep all dangerous chemicals out of reach of pets and children.  When using antifreeze at home, clean up any drips or spills thoroughly and immediately by rinsing with plenty of water or cover the area with kitty litter to soak up the residue and  dispose of safely. Whether you own a pet or not, it is important that we all take immediate responsibility for our spills.  If you see what looks to be antifreeze in a parking lot or outside of a storefront, bring it to the building’s owner or manager immediately. By being aware of its dangers, the proper handling recommendations and knowing the signs and symptoms of antifreeze toxicity, you could potentially save yours or somebody else’s beloved pet.

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