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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Living With a Senior Cat

Senior cats are your affectionate long term companions that have won your heart. You have had them for years, know their in’s and out’s, and what makes them unique, and in turn they know how to make you smile.

Although all cats age differently depending on their diet, activity levels and personality, cats generally begin their senior years around the age of seven.

With the cooler months approaching, a common medical problem to be aware of when your cat reaches its senior years is arthritis. Arthritis is one of the most under diagnosed and under treated condition in cats. About 90% of cats over the age of 12 are suffering from some form of arthritis and yet many owners are unaware of this.

Because cats are small and quite agile they can often cover up mobility difficulties and pain from arthritis. And unlike dogs, cats generally don’t limp with arthritis but will show subtle changes in their lifestyle or behavior such as; reluctance to jump up to or down from obstacles or go through a cat flap, sleeping more often and for longer periods of time, stiff or creaky joints, matted or scurfy coat from lack of self-grooming, less tolerance for people or more withdrawn attitude.

There are many ways to help with the pain of this condition such as a joint support supplement. A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory may be prescribed by your veterinarian but it is recommended to run a full blood panel on your pet before using this medication.

Changing your cat’s exercise routine and altering their movement around the house may also help to decrease discomfort and further damage to the joints; slick floors, jumping up on or down from high surfaces and furniture, and stairs are all obstacles that may need to be avoided or reduced is possible for your pets comfort.

Maintaining activity and play at low levels is very important. Creating places where your cat can easily climb and hide, and playing gentle games with him/her are great ways to keep them active and keep their mind sharp while reducing the impact on their joints. Relocating their food, water, and litter box may also be necessary for ease of access.

Controlling your cats’ weight can also be a major factor in keeping their joints healthy and pain free. Excess weight can put extra strain and pressure on the joints which increase the risk of arthritis at any age. Mobility/Joint Support diets can also add great support and relief for sore, swollen joints.

Just like people, the cooler weather can elevate your cat’s aches and pains associated with arthritis. Make sure they have a warm, cozy bed to curl up on where they can sleep those rainy days away.

A wise precaution for cats over the age of seven is to have, at least, annual health exams to assess their health and catch arthritis in the early stages. Although you cannot prevent arthritis from happening, you can certainly help slow down the process and provide ways to keep your beloved feline friend as pain-free and limber as possible during their senior years.

The most important thing to remember is to cherish your cat’s senior years; they come too suddenly and pass too quickly. They will be some of the best years and moments you will have with an old, loyal and loving friend. So make every day count!

Written by Van Isle Veterinary Hospital

 

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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