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 Skin Care

Here at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital, we regularly see dogs with a wide variety of skin conditions due to allergies, parasites, poor nutrition, metabolic disorders or bacterial skin infections. Unfortunately for many pet owners, this can be a recurring condition which is often associated with living in this beautiful part of the country. Chronic skin conditions can often mean a pet’s lifetime of committing to treatments with the use of oral medications, topicals and/or special diets. These chronic conditions can be extremely difficult for dog owners and can greatly affect your dog’s quality of life. Your veterinarian will work with you and your pet in an attempt to diagnose, treat and manage your dog’s skin disease.

Causes, symptoms & diagnosis of Bacterial Skin Infections?

Bacterial skin infections or Pyoderma can be a common condition in dogs with some breeds (German Shepherds, Shar Peis and Bulldogs) being more predisposed to the condition. Common causes for skin infections include allergies, parasites (fleas), dogs that aggressively scratch or lick at their skin, and breeds that have lots of skin folds which trap yeast and bacteria. Symptoms can include itchiness, hair loss, small red spots on the skin, scaly and crusty areas as well as a bad odour. Some skin conditions (such as hotspots) can be extremely painful and are often treated as an emergency or top priority when seen by a veterinarian.

What are the causes, symptoms and treatment of ringworms?

Ringworm, contrary to its name, is not a worm but a fungal infection. Ringworm infections can be small localized lesions or large generalized infections. Ringworm infections are highly contagious and can be spread from pet to pet, pet to human and even human to pet! Ringworm is most often described as circular or irregular patches on the skin with variable scaling and the hair is usually stubbled or broken off. Ringworm is typically diagnosed by a physical exam with the use of an ultraviolet light known as a Wood’s lamp as well as a fungal culture. Depending on the type of infection or severity, treatment may include both topical and or oral antibiotics and antifungals.

What are the causes and treatment for Allergic skin diseases?

Skin allergies are one of the most common conditions we see in dogs living in the Comox Valley. Three common allergic skin diseases are flea allergy dermatitis, atopic dermatitis (chronic itchy skin associated with environmental allergens) and food allergies. One of the most common being in our area is flea allergy dermatitis. Treatment for skin allergies can be lengthy and costly and usually involves a combination of treatments. Sometimes your veterinarian may suggest a referral to a dermatologist for further work up. Many dogs live their entire lives with skin allergies and require lifelong treatment. Treatment can include special diets, medicated shampoos, oral antibiotics, steroid therapy and or an antipruritic (anti-itch) medication.

What are the causes and treatment of parasitic skin diseases?

Parasitic skin diseases such as mange or Demodex is an inflammatory parasitic disease of dogs characterized by an increased number of mites in the hair follicles and epidermis. Depending on whether you are dealing with a localized or generalized case of Demodex, treatment can range from doing nothing as most cases of localized Demodex resolve on their own, to long-term medication for those generalized, severe cases. Flea allergy dermatitis results in balding, scaly skin around the base of the ears and over the base of the tail. Preventative flea control is your best defense, especially during warmer months.


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