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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Dog Hotspots

What is a hotspot?

Living on Vancouver Island we tend to see a lot of hotspots here at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital. Hotspots are an acute, moist dermatitis (bacterial infection of the skin). A hotspot is typically a moist, red, smelly area of skin under the coat and will often have a crust.

How do dogs get hotspots?

Dogs can start a hotspot by licking or scratching at an irritated area. Unfortunately, flea bites are still the most common cause but anything can start and itch such as a bug bite, scrape or allergy which causes licking/ scratching, leading to a hotspot.

Which dogs can get hotspots?

Any breed of dog can suffer from a hotspot, but breeds with thick or long coats which hold moisture next to the skin for long periods of time tend to be more susceptible.

What do hotspots do?

The hotspot area is generally inflamed and oozing from the infection and is EXTREMELY painful. Hotspots grow very fast! A hotspot can be the size of a quarter in the morning, and then it can be the size of a baseball by dinner time. Most veterinary hospitals will treat a hotspot case as an emergency due to the pain associated with the condition as well as the speed in which the infection can spread.

How can I treat hotspots?

Hotspots almost always need treatment from a veterinarian. Your pet will need the area properly clipped and cleaned. As this is quite painful, your veterinarian will often recommend sedation. In some cases, when the pain is so severe, pets require a general anesthetic for treatment. Your veterinarian may prescribe topical treatment as well as oral antibiotics and in many cases, pain control. A cone is often sent home to prevent further licking. Hotspots can be tricky to treat as often times owners have no idea just how large they are or how far the infection has actually spread until you clip away the fur to reveal the full extent of the infection.

Can I treat hotspots at home?

If you catch the hotspot before it gets too big and before the infection has spread, it is possible to treat at home. However, be very aware of controlling the hotspot from growing. This happens very fast.  The area should be clipped and gently cleaned. In some cases, you can apply raw aloe or a thin layer of manuka honey but NEVER apply vinegar or Tea Tree Oil! These products are astringents and will cause pain. You should always contact your veterinarian prior to treating with any products from home.

Submitted by Sherry Duncan, RVT



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