Recognizing Signs of Kidney Disease In Your Pet

A common question we get asked here at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital when it comes to an ageing pet is: When do we need to be concerned about kidney disease?

The early stages of kidney disease can be difficult to detect and the age in which this can occur varies pet to pet, breed to breed and species to species. Typically, by the time symptoms are noted, the disease has often progressed beyond the early stages. Other than watching for signs and symptoms, one of the best ways to monitor kidney function is through a blood screen. As your pet enters the senior years, your veterinarian will usually recommend a senior blood panel for this very reason. Here are some symptoms you should be aware of and can watch for at home.

  1. Increased drinking and more frequent urination (PU/PD)
  2. Loss of appetite
  3. Vomiting
  4. Weight loss
  5. Lethargy (sluggish)
  6. Reoccurrence of urinary tract infection

Things you can do…

It is critical that your senior pet drinks well and has access to fresh water. This may require adding canned food to your pet’s diet rather than the only kibble to increase their water intake. It’s important to note that loss of smell can play a significant role in your older pet’s appetite. This is especially true in cats. If they cannot smell their food, they will not eat it. To encourage your senior pet’s appetite, try warming their canned food to release more flavor. You may also need to switch diets (flavors) more often to keep your pet interested in their food.

If you notice any change in your pet’s drinking and urinating patterns, talk to your veterinarian. This is when your veterinarian may recommend checking your pet’s blood and urine for kidney disease or diabetes. If your pet bed wets, this could also be caused by a decrease in hormones or due to an infection. There are medications that will help with these conditions. Another recommendation from your veterinarian may be to switch your pet over to a special, veterinary diet as nutrition plays a large role in your senior pet’s kidney health. Switching your pet to a proper, senior diet can be beneficial during the early stages of renal disease, before they start showing any signs or symptoms.

Regular annual exams are also recommended to monitor and assess your pet during those golden years. If you’ve noted any behavior changes, make a list of those changes and bring them to your pet’s annual exam. A thorough history and picking up on changes in your pet’s behavior is key to early detection of kidney disease as well as other senior related illnesses.

Submitted by Van Isle Veterinary Hospital


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: July 5, 2021

Dear Clients,

At this time, we will be maintaining our current health and safety policies as the province entered the next stage of on July 1, 2021.

Note: We will not be making changes to our health and safety policy until our staff have had the opportunity to receive their second vaccine.


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 than we were pre-COVID.


As of July 7, 2021, we are excited to invite our clients back into the exam rooms! 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

We are all looking forward to this next stage in our Province’s reopening and the future is looking bright! Thank you for helping us make this transition as safe as possible, so our team can be at its best and continue to look after your pet!

- Your dedicated team at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital