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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What’s the Scoop with Giardia?

The NOT-SO-CUTE parasite called Giardia is a microscopic parasite that causes a very un-microscopic effect on both humans and pets. People and pets become infected by this parasite by ingesting it. It is found on surfaces, in soil, food or water that has been contaminated with feces (poop) from infected humans or animals. Giardia has somewhat of a hard, outer shell. This shell allows for it to survive outside a host for long periods. Unfortunately, making it quite resistant to common methods of disinfection. The most common mode of transmission for Giardia is ingestion through drinking contaminated water.

How do you know if this unwelcome visitor has infected your pet? The most common symptoms you may see are diarrhea, greasy looking poop, discomfort in the abdomen. The discomfort can be seen as hunching, lethargy or downward dog position, and vomiting. Your dog or cat might get infected by:

  • Being in contact with infected feces (poop) from another dog or cat
  • Rolling and playing in contaminated soil
  • Grooming after contact with a contaminated surface (for example, a dirty litter box or dog cage or crate)
  • Drinking water from a contaminated creek, pond, or other bodies of water

Young pets, like puppies and kittens, have a higher risk of illness than adult dogs and cats. If you suspect your pet has Giardia, please contact your veterinarian. A fecal flotation may be the next step in the diagnosis. Your vet may ask you to bring in a fecal sample which will be processed using special chemicals. It will then be put onto a slide and viewed under a microscope by a Registered Veterinary Technician. It takes a skilled eye to determine the presence of this pesky pest.

If Giardia is infecting your pet, the treatment may include antibiotics. Many factors can contribute to the appropriate treatment of giardia in your pet such as the condition of the immune system, environmental factors, medical history and nutritional status.

Giardia is also known more commonly in the human world as Beaver Fever. It categorizes the parasite as being zoological, meaning both humans and animals can contract it. Make sure that when handling a pet that may show symptoms of giardia, please wash your hands! The risk of contracting the parasite from your pet is small as humans usually contract a different strain of Giardia than pets do, but it is possible.

We hope that knowing more about Giardia will help you ward off this little pest. There is no “preventative” out there however, being aware of the signs and symptoms and knowing how giardia is contracted may help you to reduce the risk to your pets. While walking in the woods with your faithful fur-baby, maybe think twice about letting them take a dip in that sludgy, stagnant pond!

Happy Tummies!

Written 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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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