Why Do Our Pets Need a General Anesthetic to Have Their Teeth Cleaned?

One of the main reasons your pets require general anesthesia for dentistry is safety. A very small percentage of dogs actually have their teeth brushed every day and due to the fact that they chew on various objects (sticks, toys or rocks), they often require a more in-depth procedure. We are often faced with fractured or worn teeth, gingivitis, heavy tartar and periodontal disease. This can be a long, painful procedure and unfortunately, our communication with pets does not include “Say ahhhhhh and try not to move for the next hour or more.” Therefore, a general anesthetic is the safest, shortest way to accomplish the best results for your pet.

General anesthetics do carry some risk but in today’s protocols with IV fluids to support blood pressure and kidney function, blood work to check liver and kidney values and complete blood counts, anesthetics are quite safe. Registered Technicians are monitoring heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate and temperature during the procedure as well.

We often get asked why we can’t sedate your pet for it’s dental. Although sedation in the right circumstance is completely safe, sedated and or restraining your pet for a moderate to severe dental procedure could cause aspiration or a compromised airway because of the positioning needed to do our work. We prevent this in general anesthesia with the placement of a breathing tube.

Lastly, we need to address genetics. Pets come in various shapes and sizes, some with fantastic teeth and others no matter how much brushing is done… they have terrible teeth and gums. Diet can play a roll in maintaining a healthy mouth but hand in hand with genetics, your pet may still require a dental.

The most humane and safest way for our pets to have a thorough evaluation of the mouth through probing, x-rays, dental scaling above and below the gum line, extractions or reparative dental work is to have a general anesthetic. The added benefit is it is also safe for the technicians, veterinarians and assistants working with your pet too!

Written by: Sherry Duncan, RVT


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: March 30, 2021

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.


We are very excited to welcome you back into our lobby! We have put some important safety measures in place to help keep our clients and our team safe.


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. 

As such, effective October 6, 2020, we will no longer be available for after-hours, on call services between midnight and 7:00 am. After-hours emergency care will be referred to Central Island Veterinary Emergency Hospital between the hours of midnight - 7:00 am. They can be reached at 250-933-0913.

We will continue to be available until midnight for your call-in, after hours needs.

Our regular hours of operation remain the same:

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

Saturday & Sunday: 8:00 am - 4:30 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