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. Open 7 days a week
Is a Rabies Vaccine Necessary on Vancouver Island?
February 23, 2017
As a veterinarian, I’m often asked why we recommend vaccinating for rabies when it “doesn’t exist” on Vancouver Island. When recommending vaccines in general, there are a few key factors we take into consideration including:
When it comes to rabies, there are particular reasons why we recommend vaccinating, even for pet’s who only live out their days in the Comox Valley.
Rabies is a viral disease that exists worldwide and is transmitted by bite wounds or saliva. It affects the nervous system of mammals, including humans. Humans can contract the rabies virus from a dog or cat. Once symptoms start to show, death is certain. Although the prevalence is low, rabies is present in the bat population on Vancouver Island (<1%) and in the rest of BC. We thankfully don’t have rabies in racoons, skunks or foxes like the rest of Canada. However, there is still a risk, as illustrated in 2003 when a BC resident died of rabies from contact with a rabid (infected) bat. It’s a serious and deadly disease that can affect both pets and people, which is one of the reasons we often bring it to your attention.
Another serious reason for discussing rabies vaccination is that should your animal ever bite someone, you could be asked to provide proof of rabies vaccination. Many bite wounds in people are not the result of an aggressive animal, but typically an animal that feels cornered or suffers from anxiety and whose warnings to ‘stay away’ have been ignored. In fact, most bite wounds involve children who are too young to understand a dog or cat’s body language telling them to stop. In these scenarios, if your pet is not up to date on its rabies vaccination, you may be asked to quarantine your pet. This can be a stressful time for both the pet and pet owner which could have been avoided had your pet been vaccinated against rabies.
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.
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.
1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
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.
2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE
Continue our "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain outside the hospital and use your cell phone to call us. We will take a history of your pet's health and discuss any concerns. A staff member will then meet you outside to bring your pet into the hospital for an examination. The Veterinarian will call you to discuss the recommended treatment plan. After your appointment, a staff member will return your pet to you outside, and take care of any needed medications and payment.
Continue the use of credit cards as the preferred payment method.
Continue with curbside pickup of food and medication (unless you have used our online store and are having your order delivered directly to your home). To place an order through our online store, visit our website and click on "Online Store".
3. ONLINE CONSULTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE
If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.
4. OPERATING HOURS
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
We are continuing to expand our hours to better serve our clients and social distance our team with 1 vet and 1 tech here until 11:00 pm, 7 days a week.
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