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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Let’s Talk About Your Dog’s Feet

Can we focus on FEET for a second? Look down, waaayyyy down, and there at the bottom of those cute, furry legs, are four important things. They take it all: the snow, the salt, the rain, the muck, and the heat. They get scratched, burned, matted, dirty, and most of the time, they smell like Nachos: your dog’s paws. The paws are a very important part of a dog’s and cat’s anatomy. Did you know that dogs sweat through the pads of their feet? YES! They are not able to sweat through their skin, so, body heat is regulated and escapes through their feet. For some dogs, they are a cause of constant anguish, for other dogs, they are extremely ticklish, but whichever way you look at it, caring for problem feet can be a real challenge.

In this blog post, we are going to have a look at allergies that affect and present in the paws. Many dogs suffer from allergies. Skin allergies for dogs can often be seen surfacing on or between the toes. If your dog chews his/her paws to the point of chewing them raw, it could be one of two things: an allergy-related to food intolerance, or an environmental allergy. It is a common fact that allergies in pets can be very difficult to isolate and identify, and a lot of research in the vet industry suggests that a process of elimination is often the best route to take when you are trying to determine the cause of an allergic reaction. Take notice of how your dog’s paws seem after a walk in the long grass or a romp through a sawdust-covered barn. If you see a flare-up in the paws or a peaked interest in chewing or licking at these areas afterward, it may be an environmental allergy you are facing. If you are feeding a new dog food, notice what protein sources are in the food and try to find a common denominator. Chicken can be a common allergen for dogs and cats, while duck is considered to be much less allergenic. Many dog food brands offer a hypo-allergenic diet, and a Nutritional Consultant can help you to choose the right food for your dog or cat. Look for red bumps or even pustules on the top of feet and in between toes. Notice inflammation and smell, and if you suspect your pet is suffering from sore feet, get in and talk to your vet about some things you can do to help ease this burden for your dog. A few of our fave suggestions are:

1. Try a warm Epsom salt soak. Add a ¼ cup of Epsom salts to a litre of warm water, and immerse the paws one by one. Do this for up to 10 minutes per foot, up to 3 times a day. Remember to dry the feet thoroughly and in between the toes to prevent infection.

2. Consider a booty! It might seem funny, but there are a lot of great options for protective booties, and this could save your pet a lot of grief. If you are planning a visit to an area that you know can be high risk, get used to the idea of using protective booties on your pet’s feet. You can purchase these on Amazon, or at a pet supply store. Remember to make sure the booties are completely dry before each use.

3. Keep paws trimmed and in good shape. Regular maintenance on your pet’s feet is worth the hassle. Teaching your dog or cat from an early age to be tolerant to you handling and caring for his/her feet is a huge convenience later on, and I promise, your groomer and veterinary technician will thank you for this! Trimming the toenails helps to keep nails from becoming overgrown and painful, and keeping the fur in between toes clipped will allow your dog much better grip and maneuverability as well as keeping painful mats from developing there.

4. NO licking! If your dog or cat has a compulsion to lick his or her paws, make sure you are taking measures to stop this behaviour whenever possible. Opening a wound on or between toes can allow bacteria to multiply and infection can spread very quickly. Put a cone on your pet to keep him/her from getting at it, or use a clean cotton sock that is not too tight to discourage your pet from irritating the area.

Having a dog or cat who chews his/her feet to the point of a painful injury is stressful for many dog owners. As such, if your dog or cat has developed problems with his paws, get in and talk to your veterinarian about what the cause of the issue may be and how to best keep it under control.

Written by: Van Isle Veterinary Hospital

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Blog

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