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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Pot Toxicity & Our Pets

Pot toxicity in cats and dogs is more common than you think and with the possibility of marijuana legalization on the horizon, it’s becoming more of a concern to pet owners and veterinary professionals. There are many ways to prevent marijuana toxicity in our cats and dogs if the substance is being used at home, such as ensuring it is out of reach of our pets. However, it is not always coming from in the home, sometimes it’s being ingested while out in the community. Maybe it’s coming from a pile of garbage sitting in the bushes behind the house? With the use of marijuana becoming more popular, we are seeing more incidents where dogs or cats are ingesting it. While most cases are fairly routine to treat, in some rare or more serious cases, it can be fatal. Here are some signs or symptoms that your pet may have ingested marijuana:

  • Dribbling urine (incontinence)
  • Acute lethargy
  • Difficulty or inability to walk
  • Pet may seem “stoned”
  • Hyperreactivity to stimuli (light, sound, movement)
  • Drooling
  • In some severe cases, you may see what looks like mini seizures

While very concerning, pot toxicity is treatable in most cases. It is diagnosed mostly based on signs and symptoms, although there is a urine test that can also be done. This urine test is designed for humans so it does not always provide accurate results, but symptoms are always a telltale sign. The treatment for pot toxicity varies from case to case but may include the following:

  • Inducing vomiting (only done if it is known that the dog ate marijuana and is caught early enough)
  • Administering activated charcoal which helps to stop the absorption of THC into the body.
  • IV fluids (to help flush the toxin out of the body)
  • IV Intralipids (help the animal excrete the drug without harming the body)

With a combination of any of the treatments listed above, many pets are feeling much better within 24-48 hours of treatment! Although pot toxicity is a very treatable poison, our biggest roadblock is the honesty of our clients. In some instances, people truly don’t know whether their dog or cat has gotten into marijuana or not. Often times, however, people are not honest about this because they are worried how we may react. Our only concern is the wellbeing of your pet! Therefore, our course of action is to help you and your pet. Not only is it going to help your pet to feel better much sooner, it will also save you a lot of money because if we know that marijuana is causing the problem, there is no need for any diagnostic testing in most cases. Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to marijuana toxicity in your pets!

Written by Megan Woelders, 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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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