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.
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Rescue Me: What You Need to Know Before Adopting a Pet Abroad

Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica and even many southern US states are all warm destinations to escape the rainy, pre-spring blues. The Comox Valley is no stranger to the wonderful canines that are rescued while their newly acquired owners are on vacation. Those exotic places seem to be bursting with needy pups looking for a special home. Although it’s never a bad thing to rescue any dog, there are a few things that new owners should keep in mind when adopting a pet from an exotic location.

Southern climates can be home to many disease vectors that we just don’t see this far North West. The most common illness is tick-borne diseases such as Erlichia, Anaplasma, Babesia, Mycoplasma, and Lyme disease. These bacterial diseases are carried by the deer tick or brown dog tick. The tick transmits the bacteria through its saliva and after an incubation period (1- 3 weeks) the disease spreads from the bite site to the spleen, liver, and lymph nodes.

Symptoms to watch for are fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, swollen joints, nose bleeds, lethargy, and depression; and in severe cases, you may see vomiting, diarrhea or even seizures.  Often the poor pup has these symptoms at the time they are rescued, and new owners do not know the full extent of the disease until they come back home and have become extremely bonded to that pet.

To make an informed decision you should take your newly rescued pet to a veterinarian before leaving the country. If this is not possible, it is recommended to visit your family veterinarian shortly upon arrival. Early detection and treatment are often effective (such as a broad-spectrum antibiotic) and it is a fairly easy treatment. Another common and potentially deadly disease found in animals from our neighbours in warmer climates are Heartworm DiseaseThis can easily be detected through a blood test and treated quite successfully. However, other diseases which can result from a life of neglect and malnutrition, which is often the case with a rescue, can be much harder to diagnose and can take a significant amount of time to control.

Keep in mind; sick pets will need time to recover and rebuild strength. Owners must be vigilant with regular blood work to detect recurrences, and sometimes taking on a rescued dog or cat involves a life-long commitment for disease monitoring. Sometimes owners don’t get a chance to see their new pet’s true personality until they have fully recovered from their condition. This true personality can sometimes turn out to be a difficult one, which may require extensive training or work with a certified canine behaviourist. For the most part, rescued pets can often make the most loving, happy, loyal members of the family. It can be very gratifying to rescue an animal and give them a loving home to live out their days, but more importantly, the bond you create can be of mutual benefit for many wonderful years.

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: May 29, 2020

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.



If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.


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