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 Fleas and Ticks

Fleas on Vancouver Island is what mosquitos are to Manitoba! Summer through fall can be a time for fleas to flourish in our environment. Unlike other areas of Canada, our mild coastal weather makes fleas a problem all year round with the worst season stretching from April to November. Did you know that one flea can lay up to 200 eggs on your dog, which can stay in your carpets and on fabrics for up to 12 months before they hatch? You might also be surprised to learn that fleas carry tapeworm, which can infect your pet and many skin-related conditions such as flea allergy dermatitis are also associated with flea infestations. Another pest we tend to see starting in the spring through to the end of fall is ticks. Although not as common as in some parts of the province, ticks can be a real problem for pet owners in the Comox Valley and tick awareness is growing among pet owners.

How can you tell if your dog has fleas or ticks?

Fleas can sometimes be tricky to spot, not all dogs react the same to fleas. Some dogs show no signs at all while others react to a single bite. Fleas are fast and don’t want to be found. If your dog has fleas you may notice several small black flecks throughout their fur known as the “flea dirt” which is, in fact, the flea’s feces. A flea combs works well at detecting fleas and can be purchased at your veterinarian’s office or at most pet stores. A great trick used to detect fleas is to spray any debris removed by the flea comb with water over a white sheet or paper towel. If the debris (or black flecks) turn red, you know your pets have fleas as these flecks are in fact the flea’s feces which is your dog’s digested blood. Ticks are most commonly found around the face, head, ears and neck of your pet but can also be found just about anywhere on the body. During tick season (early spring through to fall), it is recommended to thoroughly comb over your dog after hiking in the woods or walking through tall grasses. Ticks are often mistaken for small skin tags or lumps on your dog and are easier to find after they’ve attached and their bodies have swelled due to ingesting your dog’s blood.

How to prevent fleas & ticks in dogs?

There are several effective preventative medications on the market to help prevent or treat external parasite infestations, such as fleas and ticks. The best source for flea/tick prevention is your veterinarian. Depending on your needs and your dog’s lifestyle, your veterinarian may recommend either an oral form of prevention, such as Bravecto. It is administered every 3 months or a topical form of prevention such as Revolution which is applied monthly. Some dogs require prevention 12 months of the year, while others only need it when they travel or during the peak flea and tick seasons.

What are the treatment options for ticks in dogs?

At Van Isle Veterinary Hospital, we carry a few different options for the treatment and prevention of ticks in dogs. There is an oral chewable tablet called Bravecto which is administered once every 3 months, as well as a couple different topicals which are applied monthly such as Revolution or Advantage Multi. We recommend that you talk to your veterinarian to find out which form is right for your dog.


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