Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.
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The Facts About Dental Disease

If you were asked to name the most common disease of adult dogs and cats, what would your answer be?  Would it be heart disease?  Maybe liver or kidney disease?  Well, if you said dental disease, you would be correct.Studies indicate 85% of adult pets have some degree of periodontal disease.  This disease begins with the formation of plaque, which is a transparent adhesive fluid composed of saliva, food particles, and bacteria.  Did you know that plaque can form in only 2-5 days after a dental cleaning? We’ve all experienced waking up to that not so pleasant feeling in our mouths after 12 hours of not brushing… can you imagine your dog’s after eight years!

Tarter, which forms due to the plaque, inflames the gums and allows bacterial organisms to grow and cause further inflammation.  This causes swelling of the gum tissue and traps more bacteria below the gum line causing detachment of the gums and eventually leads to the destruction of the bone. Even though this destruction of tissue and bone may take 2 – 5 years, your pet can be in significant pain without you knowing it. Infection can also be absorbed directly into the bloodstream and travel to the liver, kidneys, lungs, spine and commonly the heart.

The most common sign of an oral disease is bad breath. Subtle symptoms could be your pet’s preference to softer food or less interest in his favourite chew toy. Your pet may start chewing on one side of his mouth or chew less, which in turn can cause vomiting. Other signs of dental disease include increased salivation, pawing at his face, bleeding from the mouth, oral growths and/or sudden change in behaviour. You may also be surprised to learn that things such as chronic eye infections or drainage, sneezing and nasal discharge, can all be related to dental disease. As dental disease progresses, the treatment becomes more involved and more costly. This means that sooner is better than later when it comes to addressing your pet’s oral health.

So what proactive steps can be taken towards your pet’s fight against dental disease?

Firstly, you should examine your pet’s teeth monthly and look for accumulation of yellow or brown material where the tooth meets the gum line. Once you notice plaque or tartar accumulation, it is time for a professional cleaning. Remember, dental disease occurs below the gum line. By only removing calculus from the exposed tooth, although esthetically pleasing, you are not removing the disease caused by plaque and calculus that is forming under the gums. Larger dogs need a dental exam once a year and smaller dogs, twice a year. The intervals between teeth cleaning procedures will depend on your pet and how often you can brush your pet’s teeth.

One of the most common questions veterinarians are asked regarding dental cleanings is: “Why does my pet need general anaesthesia?”

Anaesthesia provides three important functions: immobilization to perform a thorough exam and cleaning below the gum line, pain control and the ability to place a tube into the windpipe so bacteria cannot enter the respiratory system. Dental radiographs may be recommended for complete evaluation of dental disease and are impossible to perform without anaesthesia. Besides, could you imagine trying to tell your cat to just “say aww” for 30 – 60 minutes, especially when extractions are necessary!

Before a dental procedure, your veterinarian should perform a complete physical examination, which may include basic blood tests. Blood tests are run to evaluate the liver and kidney function, as well as red and white blood cell counts. An increase in white blood cells could be an indication of an infection. The risks of a dental procedure are usually minimal. Anaesthesia is never completely without risk, but appropriate evaluation of your pet prior to the procedure and close anaesthetic monitoring can greatly reduce these risks.

Remember, the best medicine is prevention. There are special diets manufactured to help control plaque and feeding these diets in conjunction with daily brushing is the best way to keep your pets teeth clean and their breath a little easier to bare during those early morning “wake up and feed me!” kisses.

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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Last updated: September 22, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 25, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.


This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

As you can imagine, we have a significant backlog of surgeries and wellness/vaccine exams to catch up on and we will be working hard over the next several weeks to do just that. We want to thank everyone in advance for your patience while we work through this. Although restrictions have been lifted, our health and safety protocols have not. It is important we continue to follow the guidelines set out by Worksafe BC and social distance our large team as much as possible. This means although we can offer these elective services, we are doing much fewer during the day then we were pre-COVID.



The use of our online store for easy ordering, payment and delivery of our pet's food, flea and tick medications. Orders over $100 can be delivered to your home for free! CLICK HERE


During the first 8 weeks of COVID, we were operating as a 24-hour facility to better serve our community and to maintain social distancing within our team. However, as the COVID-19 situation changes, so do we!

Our team of doctors felt it was important to get back to performing your pet's much needed regular services. In order to do so safely, we had to once again change the way we do business.

We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm

Saturday & Sunday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Thank you for your patience and understanding, and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital