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June 3, 2020
We have a new team member!
Please welcome Denyse to the team. Undoubtedly, you will get to know her well in the coming months, as she will be the face at the front desk and the voice on the phone. We are delighted to have her expertise on our side as we navigate these turbulent times!
May 14th, 2020
We Are Hiring a Receptionist:
We're looking for an experienced receptionist to join the team, effective immediately! An affinity for animals necesary! But if you'd like to work hard with an amazing team, read on!
Client education and communication
Management of medical records
Answering multiple phone lines
Triaging patients on the phone and in person
Greeting clients (and their pets) with a smile and enthusiasm.
The successful candidate will be an empathetic hard worker skilled in client communication. Must be able to work well with a team and ask questions if unsure.
Extended health and dental benefits
Contact with resume AND cover letter to email@example.com
(Please note; the above email does not reach Sooke Vet directly. Emails sent there are for hiring purposes only and will not be seen by front staff! Clients trying to reach us are recommended to use 250-642-4413)
May 12th, 2020
So far, so good! Everyone is still healthy and working hard!
Although BC is looking at opening up a bit in small groups, we are planning to continue curbside veterinary medicine for now. You might only meet us, but we see up to sixty people a day (well above the 6 suggested groups!) This also keeps us healthy and working for you! We're also still short because of a lack of childcare, so until there are viable care options for our staff (or we get some new faces) we will be continuing the limited hours.
Thank you for everyone's patience! We hope to get back to more routine things as soon as we can!
May 5th, 2020
Unfortunately, our staffing has been adjusted again, so we have to shorten our hours slightly more and will be closed Wednesdays for the next three weeks at noon. If you have appointments already booked, don't panic; we have rescheduled those needing rescheduling. We will confirm with you the day before.
Please remember the online forms for food and medication orders, which we hope will free up the phone lines slightly.
We have enough staff to support one veterinarian per day and are thus limiting appointments to urgent or essential care for alleviating suffering and treating illnesses. We are not performing routine annual exams, vaccinations except those at high risk (such as kittens or puppies in their initial courses), or sterilizations such as spays or neuters.
We are still scheduling surgeries when needed.
Thank you to all our clientele and patients as we weather the storm. We are eagerly awaiting the government's directives as the restrictions ease in the coming months.
April 28th, 2020
Dealing with COVID
We're still here! Although COVID has reduced our staffing (thankfully, no one is ill!), we are maintaining reduced hours of 8am to 3pm weekdays and trying to fit in as many urgent care patients as we can. Because of 'curbside' we are finding the phone lines are regularly being overwhelmed, and so have launched an online form for basic food orders and medication refill requests.
We were in the process of moving to an online store option as well, but that has been put on hold due to COVID-19. We will re-visit it in the fall. Until then, check out the forms here:
MEDICATION REFILL FORM
PRESCRIPTION FOOD FORM
Thank you to all our patient clients working with us through this trying time and a HUGE THANK YOU to all front-line workers keeping the country going!
April 14th, 2020
Because so many places are closed, and vets have been advised to stick to essentials only, we are limiting the 'extras' we often do. This includes nail trims unless necessary for the animal's health.
But if you and your pet is home, perhaps now is a good time to learn how to do it at home. Check out Youtube or the below link for Dr. Sophia Yin's training guide to getting a dog to enjoy nail trims. Bare in mind, most dogs cannot be trained to this in the fiftene minutes in the video! Each step takes time, often days, sometimes weeks, but the same principles can be applies to ear cleaning, teeth brushing and more!
Click here: DR. SOPHIA YIN's VIDEO
April 6th, 2020,
Can my pet get COVID-19?
By now, many people have heard of the tiger in New York City tested positive, the first North American confirmed animal case. Further, it was sick with signs of upper respiratory infection. But this is not the first case of an animal testing positive. There have been four reported: two dogs in China, one cat in Belgium, and now one tiger. Also, a study was done in China looking for cat exposure. That's four cases in the world reported. The risks are very, very low still.
- In ALL cases, the animals were exposed to a person who had the virus.
- The human gave it to the pet.
- The dogs were not sick.
- The cats (tiger included) did show symptoms. None have died. The one in Belgium was never examined by a vet, but rather samples collected by the Covid-19 positive person were used. Cross contamination is possible. The cat has recovered.
- The Chinese shelter cats were found to have antibodies to the virus, implying their immune system had to deal with it. NONE had virus present.
- We think ferrets may also be able to 'get' Covid, but at the same level as a cat.
- We have NO cases of an animal passing the virus to a human, only the other way around.
Check out Worms and Germs blog for great coverage of the animal cases. It is a great resource for many animal-related diseases in general!
Overall (taken from the Worms and Germs Blog), the advice he gives is sound:
- If you’re sick, stay away from animals.
- Keep your animals away from other people or animals. Social distancing applies to the whole household, not just the human members.
- Your own pet poses virtually no risk to you. If my cat is infected, he got it from me (in which case I’m already infected) or my family (who pose a much greater risk of transmission to me than the cat). If we keep pets with us but socially distanced from others, we don’t need to worry about them as sources of infection outside of the household.
Here is what the BC CDC has to say about it. I disagree slightly with one point; There is some evidence our animals can get sick with this virus, but it is exceedingly rare and has been non-life threatening in all cases.
Lastly, it is worth pointing out that there have been many coronaviruses within the animal kingdom for a long time. Cats have their own coronavirus (which humans cannot get), as do cattle and swine. These are not the same as COVID-19. Corona is a large family of viruses and, even one COVID-19 threat is gone, these will remain, causing transient upper respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms for years to come.
March 31st, 2020
We have been deemed an 'essential service', which means we are highly unlikely to be shut down by the government, so long as we adhere to prevention measures to protect our staff and our clients from illness.
Thank you to everyone for their patients as we figure out 'curbside' medicine! After the first week, we appear to have hit our stride and are able to accommodate a few more patients daily for their urgent care appointments. Watch the website and facebook for updates!
March 23rd, 2020
COVID update 2
We are sorry to report as of immediately, we are CLOSED SATURDAYS. This is to allow us to maintain adequate staffing during the week and continue essential, 'curbside' services. We have had no known COVID-19 cases, but staff families include immunocompromised and children requiring care, limiting the number employees available.
We are maintaining 8am to 3pm weekdays at this time. We are asking all clients call ahead for medications and food and make payments over the phone. On picking up, please remain outside and contact us via phone again and we will deliver the items to you outside. With these measures, we hope to minimize risks to our staff and keep us available for pets in need.
We will still see our clients for urgent care appointments to the best of our ability, depending on staffing. However, we have cancelled (and will reschedule) annual examinations and other non-urgent appointments. PLEASE CALL AHEAD so we can direct you and walk you through current protocols.
We expect these measures to last at least two weeks but are re-evaluating the situation daily.
And THANK YOU to all our clients for your patience. In minimizing contact, we hope to keep the public safe as well.
The Team at Sooke Vet.
March 18th, 2020 UPDATE COVID
We are changing our protocols for handling ongoing patient care.
For food or medication pick up.
1. Please call ahead to order.
2. Payment should be made over the phone if possible
3. When picking up, please call when you arrive in parking lot.
4. Staff will take the item to a drop spot for pick up outside.
1. We are ONLY booking sick patients or necessary procedures.
2. Pets needing annual check ups for ongoing prescriptions will instead be contacted by the veterinarian to check if prescription can be extended without consultation temporarily.
3. We are making a list of cancelled non-essential appointments and will call people to reschedule when this is over.
For appointments coming in
1. We are asking all clients to wait in the car/outside and call us from a cell phone where possible. We will confirm your number.
2. The technician will bring the pet in.
3. Veterinarian will call the owner back on an outgoing line (to avoid tying up our main line) for history and then again for plans/diagnostics/results etc.
4. Once done, tech will take payment over the phone, then return pet to owner.
Stay safe out there! We're working to maintain a level of service to the animals, while protecting clients and staff during these uncertain times.
March 17th, 2020
Our supplier (AVP) has informed us that, due to unusually high orders, delivery times are being delayed by 1-3 days. They report NO shortages from their suppliers: this is a logistic issue resulting in the need to move more materials. We will still have access to prescription foods and medications, but it may take extra time.
For pick ups; we are limiting people to their usual order size to avoid running out of food or medications. We also encourage people to call ahead and order from us in advance.
For orders: PLEASE CALL AHEAD as early as you can. Ideally 7 days, if possible. This will give us time to have the orders in for you, receive it, and put it aside for you specifically. We will then call you to arrange pick up.
We are also being affected by our staff taking due caution, limiting our numbers. We will be providing urgent and emergency care, but will be calling routine, elective appointments to reschedule and to, as recommended, minimize unnecessary traffic. We have measures in place to minimize risk at the clinic itself and will be working via phone more.
BUT WE ARE HERE for our patients who need us.
Stay safe. Reach out if we can help you or your pet. But please, work to minimize the viral spread.
March 15th, 2020
As talk turns to the current spread of COVID-19 and the risks to certain members of our society, here are some measures we at Sooke Vet are implementing to keep our clients and staff safe. We intend to keep 'business as usual', although factors outside our control may affect that. Check back here for updates.
Please do not bring your animal to the clinic if you are sick, are exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19, or have recently travelled out of the country. Please have a friend or family member bring your pet in. We would be happy to accommodate you into the appointment via phone if needed.
We have hand sanitizer dispensers in reception (for now...) and encourage people using them when they arrive.
Clients wishing to minimize contacts are welcome to wait in their car after check-in/before appointments or while waiting for lab tests or check-out. We also can perform examinations outside (within limitations) if requested.
For picking up food or medications, we can process payments over the phone to allow rapid pick up either in the clinic or outside (brought to your vehicle).
We have directed staff to stay home if feeling unwell or have recently travelled internationally.
We are routinely disinfecting common areas and surfaces such as door handles and countertops above and beyond our usual protocols.
For more information, see the AVMA website for details for pets/hospitals, and our local BC Centre for Disease control.
As of this time, animals do not appear to be affected by the virus. It has been hypothesized that an affected human may infect a dog, who may then be able to carry the virus or spread it, but the pets themselves are not at risk. We still encourage regular hygiene and washing of hands after handling pets!
Feb 18th, 2020
Who wants cake?
The staff of Sooke Vet have organized a cupcake day in support of the Victoria Pet Adoption Society. We will be providing a scrumptious selection of goodies throughout the day February 24th, with all proceeds going straight to the charity. Stop in for yummy human treats, including gluten free, dairy free, and vegan options!
January 14th 2020
Due to the weather warning in the Sooke Area, we have opted to operate limited hours tomorrow, January 15th. We will be open at 8am for medication refills, questions, and urgent care, but will be closed before noon. We hope everyone stays safe and warm during the snow weather! Please contact us early on the 15th if you require assistance!
Thank you for your understanding.
It's that time again for us: year-end inventory! Due to our traditional end of year falling on a Saturday, we will be closed for sales and appointments DECEMBER 2nd this year for inventory in the morning.
June 19th, 2019
WE ARE HIRING
We are seeking an experienced veterinary assistant or registered Veterinary technician to join our team for 30hrs per week, including Saturday shift. Unfortunately, we are unable to take someone without experience as we are focussed on our current trainees. Duties include a mix of reception and ‘back’ duties including patient care, anesthesia, cleaning, dentistry and client communication. Everything you could want in a job; the potential to learn without end, the ability to improve the lives of animals and people, as well as the opportunity to make friends and work in a supportive environment. We offer competitive wages, staff discounts, health and dental benefits, CE opportunities, uniform allowance, and a cohesive team. No on call or late shifts. The successful candidate will have passion and energy, be self-motivated but a team player.
Contact infosookevet (at) gmail.com with cover letter and resume if you are interested!
June 1st, 2019
We received notice that WAVES (the new Emergency clinic in Langford) has expanded their hours over the weekend to 24 hours. Thus, new hours are Friday through Monday, 24 hours a day, then 8am to midnight Tuesday through Thursday.
remember that Central Victoria Veterinary Hospital is also available 24/7. See our Contact page (left sidebar) for their contact information or click on their names for their websites.
April 14th, 2019
Due to difficulties with staffing, we have made the difficult decision to close Sundays. We will be expanding hours Saturdays to 8 am to 3 pm to compensate. This will take effect June 1st, 2019.
We are optimistic that a new emergency clinic opening in Langford (West Coast Animal Veterinary Emergency Specialty Hospital aka WAVES) will soon be able to provide another option for emergency care when we are unavailable. This would be in addition to the usual support of Central Victoria Veterinary Hospital. WAVES has announced they will be open until midnight for emergencies start April 17th, 2019. CVVH is open 24/7 still.
We will be expanding our hours Saturday to compensate for some of the lost hours, going to 8 am (was 9am) to 3pm (was 2pm). Our other hours will remain unchanged.
While we prided ourselves on being available 7 days a week, we are unable to maintain this with the current staffing situation. Shortening our week will allow us to move staff onto weekdays to provide to high-level care our clients have come to expect.
April 14th, 2019
Parking lot expansion is complete, providing lots of room for all our clients now! We have a bit more work to do on the wheelchair ramp at the front, but hope to see that done by the end of the month. Thank you for your patience as we expanded!
March 30th, 2019
After too long, we have finally made plans to expand the parking lot! There will be a bit of initial hassle April 3rd through 8th, but by the end, we should double our capacity.
For the construction period, we will have staff parking (on the right of the building as you face it) available for clients. Please park on an angle to the hedge (diagonally) to allow maximum space. Better yet, call ahead and pick up medications and food items in advance of the construction!
November 8, 2018
LEPTOSPIROSIS POSITIVE IN SOOKE
A dog known to only frequent Sooke has become ill with Leptospirosis as of November 4th, 2018. It was confirmed via PCR test November 7th, 2018. This marks the first known, confirmed Leptospirosis case to originate in Sooke to our knowledge.
Leptospirosis is caused by a bacteria that has been slowly spreading down through the Greater Victoria region. It largely survives in stagnant water which has been contaminated with an infected animal's urine. Once exposed, an animal (often dogs) become ill, although the disease itself can manifest in many ways. Sometimes acute death occurs. In other cases, symptoms include vomiting, dehydration, fever, bleeding disorders, a lack of appetite, or diarrhea. More subtle signs can include inflammation almost anywhere in the body (nose, eye, lungs) and liver damage. Not all exposures cause significant disease, but we cannot predict which will.
Blood work and urine samples can detect the dangerous renal (kidney) or hepatic (liver) failure that may occur, but specialized testing is required to identify leptospirosis as the cause. While early in-house tests can show exposure, a laboratory test is required to confirm it. Caught early, the bacteria is killed easily. The damage done, however, can cause permanent injury to organs or even be fatal.
This disease is transmissible to people through urine of infected animals, although human cases are very rare in Canada.
Vaccination is available for dogs to protect against four types of this bacteria, the ones most likely to cause disease. This requires a vaccination, followed by a booster at 3-4 weeks, then annual boosters. It is one of the more irritating vaccines, sometimes causing transient pain, swelling or other reactions, but only in 1.5% of cases. Discuss with your veterinarian if your pet should be vaccinated.
In anticipation, we are setting up a Leptospirosis clinic on Thursday, November 15th, 2018. We will book in clients needing only the Leptospirosis vaccination (we will not be able to discuss other health concerns at these shortened appointments), adding additional days if needed. The clinic will be repeated in 1 month for boosters if we find it helpful.
Sept 22nd, 2018
'Happy' needs a home.
This beautiful 13 year old female (spayed) orange tabby is in need of a new home. Circumstances at home meant she was under a lot of stress and it made her sick. Since coming into a calmer home, she has had no litterbox issues!
'Happy' is a real love bug once you get to know her, but she'll pick her people. Like many cats, she is the queen of her castle and prefers to come to you. Once she warms up, you can hear her purr across the room! We are currently feeding her a hypoallergenic diet to help settle her stomach and she is on medications (which she takes easily). She is on arthritis medications and some supplements but had clear blood work recently done. She doesn't like dogs (part of her stress!) and would do best in a quiet home as the only cat.
Please contact the clinic at 250-642-4413 if you, or someone you know, would like to giving this old girl a permanent retirement home!
We will be closed Good Friday, March 30th, open Saturday March 31st as usual, but then closed April 1st for Easter Sunday. We will be back to usual hours as of Monday April 2nd, 2018.
March 17th, 2018
ONE MORE TIME
We have had one more case of parvovirus in a litter confirmed, although it has been contained and should pose no risk to the population at large. Please still check out our 'Puppy Socialization' page under the FAQ section for information about keeping their new additions safe.
Feb 29th, 2018
UPDATE ON INFECTIOUS DISEASES
We are relieved to report no new Parvovirus cases in a month now. We are still being vigilant and recommend people check out our 'Puppy Socialization' page under the FAQ section for information about keeping their new additions safe.
We also have to now report that Leptospirosis is being regularly found in the Greater Victoria Area. We still have never had a case confirmed from Sooke, but 2 from Metchosin and 1 from Goldstream area makes it clear the bacteria is moving closer. For those animals going into infected areas, talk to your veterinarian about vaccination. We are discussing risks with all patients in for their annual check ups as well.
To learn more about Leptospirosis, check out this link to Veterinary Partners Pet Health Library
Jan 13th, 2018
UPDATE ON PARVO
While we are still dealing with several sick puppies, we have not have any new cases of Parvovirus in the last 4 days. However, despite our best efforts, we had a healthy but contaminated animal run through our back area off leash. Thus, we advise that no unvaccinated or partially vaccinated animals go into the Legacy Garden until further notice. We have still not seen any adult cases of this virus.
Although we are not using that space, have decontaminated and continue to use an isolation ward for suspect animals, we do still emphasize vaccinations for any out of date animals, especially any who are expecting to come in for procedures with us. Please talk to your vets about your pet's vaccination status!
PARVO in Sooke
Dec 27th, 2017
We've now had several confirmed cases of Parvovirus from Sooke and all the way up the coast to Port Renfrew. This disease mostly targets puppies, usually in a window of vulnerability when they are weaned from mommy's protective milk (assuming the mother has been vaccinated) but have not yet been fully vaccinated. Puppies can be vaccinated as early as 6 weeks of age, and should be vaccinated no later than 8 weeks. Full immunity is not developed until 1 week after their SECOND shot (which is done 3-4 weeks after the first).
During this window of vulnerability, we recommend keeping puppies away from high-traffic areas like dog parks and kennels, and, while socialization is vital, to mix only with older dogs who are up to date on their shots!
This disease is not treatable, but supportive care can get milder cases through. It is often deadly in young puppies, and often without much warning. The symptoms are profuse vomiting and diarrhea in the early stages.
Dr. Di Ponio's growing belly (and family!)
Our lovely Dr. Lauren Di Ponio is expanding her family and is due with her second child in the New Year. As such, she will be on maternity leave from January 2nd, 2018 until July 16th, 2018. We all wish her the best with the new arrival, and look forwards to seeing her again in the summer!
You should experience no change in care during this time, as we have secured locums (ie substitute vets) to cover the shifts. We will have fewer openings only Thursday afternoons as Dr. Ute Mannhardt and Dr. Anik Bay fill the gaps on the other days. Dr. Levesque and Dr. Lambert will be available for their normal shifts.
We will be closed at 12pm on December 10th, 2017 for a staff function.
We will be open only until noon on December 24th, 2017 AND December 31st, 2017 to allow our staff to enjoy the holidays.
We will be closed December 25th and 26th, but will be back in the office on the 27th for regular hours. We will be closed again January 1st, 2018.
During these closed hours, if your pet requires emergency care, please call the Central Victoria Veterinary Hospital at 250-475-2495.