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Update Summer 2014

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

I must admit I am not very good at updating our clinic web news…in fact I have to admit I am terrible at it!! It’s not that we have no news..we have lots of it. I just don’t get around to sharing it on line; and then when I do I can only recall the loudest things!! You are better to drop by..even if just for a tea or coffee..and get the goings on direct from the team at WBVC.

Dr. Coombe…who we all love dearly decided that clinical practice was not for her. She is a great clinician but worries so much about each case that she exhausts herself and that is not a sustainable place to be in. She left the practice to go on an extended tour of eastern Asian with a focus on Cambodia. Travelling on her own she partook of a prolonged stay at a meditation retreat. She said it was very difficult…twelve hours per day sitting on the floor…no talking, no humming, no sound at all, no looking around…food was offered three times a day which sounds OK until you learn that dinner was a small Asian candy with a glass of clear tea! She also found some time to follow her passion…rock face and boulder climbing which by all accounts sounded like a lot more fun:) She returns in a couple of weeks. She and our amazing receptionist Erin King then head up to Squamish to take in a music festival. That sounded like fun until I heard the festival allots about a 10 square foot space for four persons, their tents and belongings. Not too squishy for friends but think that each 10 square foot bit of of land has another 4 bodies and their paraphernalia. The meditation retreat is now sounding not so bad! After that it is back to the real world. Dr. Coombe will be changing her focus and applying her knowledge and energy towards obtaining a PhD in environmental epidemiology. We wish her the best of luck and hope she secures a placement in the Vancouver area.

As most of you know Erin King is a native of Australia. She was here on a working visa that expired the end of June. The clinic had sponsored her in obtaining another form of work visa that with time, and good fortune, will hopefully morph into a landed immigrant status. To make a long and worrisome story short and sweet her working visa paper work came through a mere three days before the original one expired. I, the rest of staff and our clients are thrilled, and relieved, that Erin can remain as an anchor member of our team!

Jill Brewer who so ably helped the veterinarians, receptionist and all the patients and day boarders alike has left to follow her passion…horses. She has not gone far away and is in Richmond working with a trainer I have known well for many years. Jill remains in touch and gets her small pet fix by occasionally caring for clients pets when they are out of town.

Stephanie DiPerna, a University Graduate in Marine Biology, ably took over Jill’s position. However her passion, and training, remains with the marine world. She is currently off on an extended leave in Honduras taking the Advanced PADI Dive Certification. She is loving both the environment and the course. While she is away a familiar face,Tasha Thom, one of our student employees who left us when she started university at UBC Okanagan campus, is back for the summer and she is doing a great job filling in for Stephanie.

Dr. Angie Bebel has recently joined our team. She is a fairly recent veterinary graduate but has been a registered Animal Health Technician for several years before taking on the Veterinary program at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon. She hit the ground running quickly demonstrating her love of veterinary dentistry and oral care. If you haven’t met her yet you may have to wait a wee bit as she finally got around to arranging her wedding…after a 14 year engagement! She is to be wed August 2nd and later in September will be away on her honeymoon. She really has a lot going on in her life:)

Dr. Rurak is off all week at an advanced rabbit and rodent course on Dentistry and Orofacial Surgery of Pet Rabbits and Rodents with Vittorio Capello DVM, Dip. ABVP-ECM, Dip. ECZH-SM and Margherita Gracis DVM, Dip. AVDC & EVDC….needless to say they are revered in the field. Sarah is one of only fifteen attendees from across North America and is the only attendee from the lower mainland region.

On the animal side of things:

We have been blessed by being able to have Kari’s Sigfried and Jess’s Mama Cita (aka Brown) back in the fold as we looked after them when Kari and Jess were off on distant vacations. It was so much fun having them back to bug Sarah’s Burrito and remind her she is not the only clinic dog.

Also we have somehow acquired a clinic rabbit…our beloved Alice. She was one the shelter bunnies from SARS. She came to be spayed at which time we realized she had both a head tilt and a huge abscess that required aggressive surgery to remedy. During her convalescence she acquired a name, a space in treatment and a permanent home:)

Dr. Potter along with her work at the clinic, has started a small apiary in her back yard…Equi Flora Honey Farms. It has been a sharp learning curve but somehow both she and the bees have survived:) There has been a bountiful honey harvest and once bottled and labelled this very local golden liquid will be available for purchase at the WBVC front desk. We hope you stop by to get a bottle for your table:)

For those of you that have been receiving reminders from EPetHealth we have recently changed our notification service provider to Demandforce. As with the previous provider this at no cost to clients however everyone will have to sign up but once you have done we believe this will be a simpler interface for both yourselves and Erin to work with. Please bear with us through this period of change.

That is all for now…thanks for reading and keeping touch.

A Lot of Catching Up to Do!!

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

We have been remiss in keeping you up to date…for that we apologize.

Both Dr. Potter and Dr. Rurak attended the Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas. It is a huge conference with many topics and speakers to choose from; in fact it can be somewhat overwhelming!  Keeping abreast of new information, and confirming that one is current and on track, are some of the benefits of attending a conference with so much expertise and scope. In addition there is the opportunity to attend lectures on emerging science so we know what to look towards in the future. The management stream of the conference helps us meet our goal of providing all our clients excellent service. Dr. Rurak attended a wide variety of clinical and academic lectures. Dr. Potter was able to attend a basic hands on chiropractic workshop. The dogs used during the workshop were all pitbull shelter dogs…all very well behaved. It was difficult leaving them behind:( The exhibit floor was a cornucopia of products and there never is enough time to see it all. Dr. Potter attended a series of rehabilitation lectures.The use of exercise balls designed specifically for dogs of different sizes and needs were demonstrated as was the application of Class 4 therapeutic laser therapy. Dr. Potter is currently evaluating various models of Class 4 lasers as we have so many animals in the practice that could benefit from their use.

Dr. Potter attended the Canadian Oriental Medicine Symposium here in Vancouver. It has a veterinary stream parallel to the human side. This years focus was an in depth workshop on athletic injuries…both treatment of acute injuries and management of chronic issues.


As many of you already know we have been very fortunate in having Dr Michelle Coombe join our practice. She is a great clinician, patient, compassionate and caring…all the attributes we look for in a veterinarian…not to mention a very dedicated and hard worker. If you have not yet met her please give her a warm welcome when you do!

After a few starts and stops we now have a receptionist that is a great fit in the practice. Erin King is from Australia…you will recognize her by her accent.  She has worked in a veterinary hospital down under for some years and has brought her skills with her to Vancouver. The down side is she is visiting our part of the world while on a working visa. We would love to make her a permanent fixture at WBVC!

Kari Sugihara, our AHT of many years, got married, visited the Galapagos and relocated her life to Surrey. Hence she has left WBVC after so many years. We all miss her. However Amanda Adolf, also a certified AHT, has now joined WBVC and she appears to be a seamless fit.

Dr. Rurak…Sarah to most… was married to Ben Keen at a quiet ceremony at their home April 1, 2013. It was a lovely intimate time on a glorious spring evening. She was back to work the next day! However she has just returned from a two week vacation with Ben in Florida, Key West and short time New Brunswick.


As many of you have been aware our beloved clinic cat Phyllis had been battling congenital renal failure for many months now. This condition was first diagnosed in August 2012. After a blood transfusion (Quincy was her donor), daily fluids and medications and countless blood and urine tests her heart began to fail in May 2013. The internists and cardiologist at Canada West Veterinary Specialists and the veterinarians and staff at WBVC did all possible for her care yet her heart simply could not manage. There was no choice but to say good bye. So on Friday evening May 24, 2013 Sarah, Janne and Farrah said there goodbyes. It has been a difficult few weeks for all.


Is your dog or cat becoming less agile…

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

As pets age, or after trauma, they frequently experience joint inflammation and subsequent deterioration. Being aware of this is imperative to their health and comfort. Modifying their life style helps but, in addition to this, there are several products available to help reduce discomfort and  maximize mobility. Not all products are equal so we advise consulting with one of WBVC ‘s veterinarians before purchasing a product.

Hill’s Prescription Diets, exclusive to veterinarians, currently has a promotion for J/D. This food incorporates supplements that minimize joint inflammation and discomfort. Rather than feeding a supplement in addition to your pet’s food  Hill’s J/D has the required supplement built in…and it is backed by food trial research! Other veterinary only prescription diet foods provide similar benefits. However this month Hills is promoting J/D and has put forward an excellent offer.

Firstly your veterinarian must recommend J/D as an optimal diet for your pet.

First time users of J/D receive a FREE BAG of J/D

You, and your veterinarian, must fill in the “Before” section of  the mobility score card

After feeding J/D as the primary diet for 21 days the “After” section of the score card is filled in

Bring the completed score card to your veterinarian and apply the Coupon top your next bag of J/D. The Coupons have a $25 value:)

Great savings for you…great value for your pet.

Both Dr Potter and Dr Rurak feed their dogs a mobility enhancing diet on a daily basis. Be proactive with middle aged pets… incorporate a veterinary recommended mobility enhancing diet into your pets’ nutritional plan!!


For those who have missed Mandy…

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

As most know Mandy became a Mom last August. Freddie is now a year old and ambulating on two feet! She horrified Dr Rurak by tottering over to Burrito, clutched onto her muzzle and kissed her on the nose! Burrito , who is normally terrified by kids, was so shocked that she simply stood there stunned. Perhaps we have a next generation veterinarian in our midst:)

With her time commitments as a Mom she is unable return full time..the compromise: Mandy is going to give working Saturdays a whirl. We all hope it works out well and that Freddie copes with staying behind with her Dad once a week…a great opportunity for Father Daughter bonding.

So starting mid September if you want to see Mandy drop by on a Saturday.

Please upload photos!

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

As all should know by now WBVC has a Facebook page …and we would love it if you would send in candid photos and/or videos of your pets (and family). Some folks have uploaded photos to our Facebook page and we really appreciate it.

Please keep the photos and videos coming in. Thanks:)

August 2012

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Dr Potter was away in Central Oregon at the end of July. The clinic and all the critters were looked after by Dr Rurak in her absence. Dr Robertson helped to ease the case load and for that Drs Rurak, the staff and our clients are very grateful. Sad news being that our clinic bird of 20 years passed away the night before Dr Potter left on vacation. Red, an African Grey, who was normally very vocal and opinionated suddenly lost his voice a few weeks prior. He had been staying under the care of Dr Anne McDonald at the Night Owl Bird Hospital and all felt he was doing quite well. It surprised everyone when he suddenly collapsed and passed away. It turns out he did not succumb to his initial problem…he died of a complication of cardiac atherosclerosis. We miss him terribly..even his shrieking imitation of a cat fight. Happy news is that Vicki our receptionist has extended her family with Milton…an aged ginger kitty that really needed a sunset home. Hopefully he does not cause her the emotional ups and downs that she experiences trying to keep her Betta fish happy and alive!

OK….we are into the end of week one of Milton and Vicki. We did an examination and a routine blood screen on Milton and find this elderly gentleman is hyperthyroid! He is now on the list for treatment with radioactive I131. Vicki is coping well with this news as he is sooo loveable:)

Lots to Catch Up On

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

We simply do not know where the time goes! So much is happening at WBVC!

  1. Kari, our AHT, is now a dog owner. “Siegfried” has entered her life. Kari is thrilled and her kitties are tolerant. To learn about “Sieg” follow his link to WBVC’s Blog. At the moment Kari is in Japan visiting family. She is travelling with her partner, Paul, and veterinarian Megan Atwood. Many of you will recall Megan, and her dog “Coffee”, as she worked at WBVC for a couple of years. Although members of the WBVC team disseminate to various locales they remain good friends and frequently gravitate back to the fold!
  2. Dr. Sarah Rurak,  is also travelling…Sarah, and Ben, have gone off to explore Costa Rica. They were drawn by the opportunities for great birding and nature photography, not to forget sandy beaches and sunshine….something we have had too little of here in Vancouver. She is very excited to be able to spend a few days at a sloth sanctuary…no high speed photography required for that! She has already sent us some great photos. These can be viewed on our Facebook page, our Blog and our Pinterest page.
  3. With Sarah and Kari away on adventures, those at the clinic are a bit like ducks in the water…paddling frantically under water and gliding along on the surface! It really hasn’t been all that hectic as Dr. Jess Robertson returned to help out while Sarah is away.
  4. By now you have noticed the words FacebookBlog and Pinterest!  Dr Janne Potter, our single digit keyboarder, is attempting to introduce WBVC to world of social media. This should be an interesting journey to follow:) WBVC hopes you will get involved and make our efforts worthwhile. WBVC can be “Liked”, on Facebook…we encourage you to post comments and upload photos of your furry family members. Pinterest is worth checking out. Once familiar with how it works you will pick up lots of ideas from the images, many of which link back to the source page. WBVC has a Pinterest page and we encourage you to sign up, and “Follow”, our Boards. The WBVC Blog is a work in progress…just feeling our away along…. but eventually we plan to make it a spot for people as well as pets. Leave “Comments” to give us an idea of what you think. WBVC has a Twitter feed that you can . If you want to get short clips about what is going on, Twitter is the media source for you! WBVC has a You Tube Channel. There isn’t much there yet ….so if you have a great a clip, email it to us and we will share it on our channel!
  5. WBVC encourages you to post reviews on line. Apparently having reviews (preferably favourable ones) on line helps with “search engine optimization” for finding WBVC on line, and, feedback helps us serve you better! Sites such as Yelp and Vet Ratingz are suggested sites but we expect there are many others out there as well.
  6. WBVC now provides a Pet Portal and we are very excited about this! What is a Pet Portal and why should you be interested? A Pet Portal gives you 24/7  access to your pet’s medical information. In addition it provides volumes of educational material pertaining to animals and their medical issues. It will allow you to request appointments and medication refills at your convenience, not just when WBVC is open for business. Scheduled reminders can now be sent by email as well as surface mail. Appointment reminders can be delivered by email or text message. To learn more about, and to sign up for, this great feature navigate to the Pet Portal Page or our website. Go to  http://, click on the Entry Point tab and follow the Your Pet Portal link…or go directly to the Pet Portal page. This service is FREE to clients of WBVC.

To learn what is happening and be part of the TEAM….connect and interact with us online!


“LIKE” us…….on Facebook

“FOLLOW” us……on our Blog, Pinterest and Twitter

“REVIEW” us………….on Yelp and Vet Ratingz






Western Veterinary Conference

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Drs Potter, Rurak and Kutney are back from the WVC which was held at the Mandalay Bay Conference Center in Las Vegas Nevada. It is a huge conference with over 6,500 attendees from all over the world. Scientific sessions include most species and areas of diagnostics, medicine, surgery, nutrition and behaviour. This year many of the management sessions incorporated the use of social media. The exhibit hall is the size of a football field! So many topics, so many choices to be made…it is a candy store for veterinarians, technicians and business managers. If you couldn’t fit everything in during the live sessions many were videoed and shown on internal hotel TV channels to be viewed at your convenience. Although we don’t normally do reptiles at WBVC there were a great series of videoed lectures on various reptilian issues that kept us glued to the TV into the wee hours.

The social media sessions prompted us to give it a whirl. Soon we will be visible on FaceBook, Twitter, Google+ , Pinterest and You Tube. Once visible we will have to figure out how to drive these accounts! Any and all guidance and advice would be appreciated as we begin to navigate these new waters.

Hopefully clients will contribute and send us photos and videos of their furry family members.

We also came away with goodies from the exhibit hall. A new 1.5 mm endoscope will help with small pet intubation for surgery and allow us to look into tiny spaces. New management software will allow us to send out email reminders and text reminders for those who choose to do so. In addition clients will now be able to access the core of their pets’ medical history and reminders on line. Not only will this be interesting for some clients it will potentially directly benefit our patients. If you are out of town with your pet, or have need of out of hours emergency care while home, through your access the emergency veterinarian will be able to review your pets’ history and taylor treatment accordingly. We will need to have your email addresses and cell phone numbers on file to access these management features. Please contact us to ensure we have these numbers.

An extra benefit of the new software is access to a huge on line veterinary educational resource that will be available to clients.  Appropriate education information will automatically be attached to your pets’ on line files.

We are very excited about this and hope you will be too!

In Memory of those we haved loved

Friday, December 30th, 2011

In our hearts forever:)         Get a tissue… then click the mouse over  to play!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from our family to yours!

Friday, December 30th, 2011

WBVC thanks all of our generous clients, colleagues and suppliers for the wonderful goodies and cards brought to the clinic over the season. They warm our hearts and fill our tummies:)  Jill has assured us that no calories are associated with these goodies until after the New Year…then, and only then, will we have to pace ourselves and curb our indulgences. It would be great to have recipes for all the goodies so we could compile a “clinic cookbook”… feel free to submit them.  January will be declared “fruit and veggie month” as we try to shed the extra pounds.

WBVC made it through the holidays with having to manage only one case of chocolate toxicity. Thanks to chocolates with generous fillings this incidence was an upset not a disaster:)  Let it be a reminder that chocolate is toxic and can cause serious illness. Please remember to keep it away from hounds of discerning taste.

WBVC thanks all of our clients for entrusting us with the care of your pets in 2011.

We wish all of our pets, their family and friends a Wonderful, Happy and Healthy New Year

5383 West Boulevard,
Vancouver, B.C.
Canada, V6M 3W4

Phone: 604-266-7421
Fax: 604-263-6740

Our Hours


Animals may be dropped off or picked up and non prescription items may be purchased whenever the hospital is open. Doctors hours may vary and appointments are based on availability. Please call in advance to book an appointment time.