Our mission is to offer care and clinical outcomes in a warm and caring family practice setting.
This is why we were on of the few in the province to offer Minimally Invasive Surgery, why we have a general practice internship in BC, providing post-graduate training to veterinarians dedicated to growing their skills and knowledge, and why Dr. Burstyn and his team are often sent difficult cases by colleagues who know we get good results and take compassionate care of patients, and the people who love them.
We also welcome second-opinion consults on difficult-to-resolve cases. If you have been struggling with a chronic health issue with your pet and would like a second opinion, we are here for you.
Every visit to our animal clinic begins with a thorough physical examination of your pet by a staff doctor. We operate on a drop-off system to allow our doctors to have 40-60 minutes per patient instead of 15-20 like other clinics! We always take the time to address your questions and concerns and to help you be an active partner in your pet’s wellness.
As per the American Veterinary Association
we recommend regular pet wellness exams for the same reason your physician and dentist recommend them – if you can detect a problem in its early stages, it's more likely to be treated and resolved with less expense, less difficulty, and better success.
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Annual Wellenes Exam
We recommend bi-annual checkups for your older animals. As your companions age they have a greater risk of developing certain diseases and conditions. Early detection and treatment for senior companions enable our doctors to improve their quality of life while saving you money by avoiding emergency visits and the need for specialist referrals.
We offer in-house pressure checks, which are critical for diagnosing hypertension and a range of cardiovascular diseases.
Senior Wellness Exam
Every success story starts with the correct diagnosis. From blood and urine testing to radiology and on-site ultrasound, ECG, and fiber-optic cameras for rhinoscopy and otoscopy, and minimally invasive biopsies, we have the tools and skills to diagnose your pet's problems rapidly and accurately. CT and MRI are available by referral. We do not waste your time and resources on guesswork and instead provide certainty and a clear course of action
Our clients have access to rapid in-house referrals including ultrasounds, minimally invasive surgery, hospitalization for intensive care, advanced diagnostics for skin and eye problems, chemotherapy for cancer management and more! This saves you thousands of dollars on referrals and saves pets' lives by getting advanced care weeks faster than other clinics. Dr. Burstyn and his intern's advanced training allows us to offer care to our clients that's normally only available at specialty referral hospitals.
In-house referral service
Dr. Burstyn is recognized worldwide as an expert on minimizing stress for cats and dogs during veterinary visits. Our entire workflow is designed around minimizing stress through gentle handling, client education, pre-visit anti-anxiety treatments, and adapting how we work based on the needs of each individual patient. Our drop-off system and extended exam times allow our team to work with your pet without the time constraints of strict appointment times. We incorporate and improve on AAFP and AAHA guidelines for fear-free handling to effectively care for our patient's emotional as well as physical needs.
Stress Free Handling
We can do same-day ultrasound with an initial diagnostic that can be reviewed by a radiologist. We also do in-house ultrasounds for urine collection, emergency assessments, treatment and diagnosis of effusions (fluid in chest or abdomen), evaluating of muscle and tendon problems, lymph node sampling, retina assessments, and many other uses! We believe that ultrasound is an indispensable tool for modern medicine and you and your pet should have access to it at every visit. This can be done as a primary diagnostic, or help with the management of other problems, like cancer, foreign object ingestion, pancreatitis, and bladder or kidney stones.
During business hours we see urgent care cases on a priority basis. Urgent care will be triaged immediately upon arrival, and treated appropriately. If possible, please call ahead so we can prepare to receive your patient.
If you have a scheduled appointment that is delayed by an urgent case, we appreciate your patience and understanding.
Hot spots, itching, and ear infections are all common signs of dog allergies, while cats typically show signs of sneezing, hair loss, rashes and scabs. We have had excellent success in getting pets comfortable using food exclusion trials, allergy treatments, and immunotherapy. Our pet health team use VARL immunotherapy to attune the immune system to ignore allergens from the environment, which is a natural way of treating allergies and helps avoid long-term medication.
Regular vomiting and diarrhea are never "normal". Do not ignore them. Vomiting can be caused by foreign bodies, food allergies, IBD or gastric ulcers and diarrhea has too many causes to list! Our medical team will work with you to create a treatment plan, unique to your pet's individual needs. This could include but is not limited to nutritional, nutraceutical, and prescription medication options. Our team is dedicated to helping your pet feel comfortable and have the best quality of life possible.
Chronic GI Issues
Pain management is a part of everything we do, from surgical care to keeping your pet active and comfortable in their old age. Most pets will develop arthritis in their joints as they get older, and identifying chronic pain can be a challenge. While arthritis is a normal part of aging, the pain associated with it can be managed. Our doctors are trained to combine nutrition, anti-inflammatory treatments, physiotherapy, medicines, and acupuncture to ensure that the pets in our care live comfortable and pain-free lives. Your pet deserves to be pain-free in their golden years.
Acupuncture has been shown to be an effective adjunct treatment for some orthopedic and neurologic problems. We take an evidence-based approach to offer acupuncture which is known to be beneficial as an adjunct to an integrated health program.
The laparoscopic spay procedure is a specialized type of surgery using fibre optic cameras and specialized instruments to perform surgery through incisions that create only a 0.3-1.5 cm hole in the body wall. The risk of infection and complications is much lower with this technique than with traditional surgery. More importantly, pain and healing time is reduced, with most patients experiencing little to no discomfort the next day and total incision healing reduced to only seven days, versus the usual 14 days for a traditional spay. On top of a speedy recovery, the risk for surgical and post-surgical complications is reduced significantly. We want to offer our patients the most pain-free options whenever we can. There is a good reason why 95% of abdominal surgeries on humans are done this way!
With a traditional spay, an incision is made into the abdomen in order for the surgeon to be able to access the uterus and ovaries. This incision needs to be large enough for the surgeon to visualize organs at the back of the abdominal cavity and reach their hand in to retrieve them. The ovaries are then loosened from their attachments to the body wall, their vessels ligated, and removed. The incision in the abdomen is closed with several layers of suture. Because there has been a large incision through the abdominal musculature, there is often some degree of swelling and discomfort associated with the procedure. Exercise is restricted for several weeks.
Dr. Burstyn is certified at extracapsular repairs, the treatment of choice for dogs under 20 kg, as well as cats and rabbits with cruciate ligament rupture! We Perform the surgery, use epidurals to reduce pain, and give our clients a physiotherapy program to follow. This procedure can even be a good option for some bigger dogs whose owners cannot afford the much more expensive TPLO surgery.
We provide a full range of dental services for pets, including cleanings, prophylaxis, X-rays, and extractions, to help prevent the onset of dental disease.
We also offer molar trims for small animals that have open-rooted teeth. We have extensive experience managing rabbit and pocket pet dental problems. Our team routinely and safely does molar trims under anesthetic for rabbits and incisor trims for rats, chinchillas, and guinea pigs.
We can remove bladder stones through minimally invasive surgery in patients as small as 2 kg! This is hands down a superior option to open surgery since it results in a small incision, less pain, shorter recovery time and 30% higher stone recovery, meaning the chance of your pet needing a second surgery within 6 months is dramatically reduced. This is one of the best applications for minimally invasive surgery that we’ve been able to find.
Arbutus West Animal Clinic is the only facility in the Lower Mainland that can perform Laparoscopic Surgery for your pets, and we also accept referrals from other veterinary hospitals. The following Minimally Invasive Surgeries can be performed with virtually no pain, and minimal patient recovery time:
Multiple organ biopsy
Tumor biopsy and excision
Bladder stone removal
Our team can assist with infected wounds, dog bites, surgical complications, defects left by large tumor removal. We offer evidence-based wound care using advanced bandaging and suturing materials as well as closed suction drains. If needed, we can mobilize complex skin flaps, skin grafts and other advanced reconstructive techniques. We can help you resolve wounds that look impossible to manage at first glance. Our team will work diligently to help your pet get back to feeling like their regular selves.
A gastropexy can save your dog's life and save you thousands in emergency fees if you have a dog breed predisposed to Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV). We offer minimally invasive gastropexies that can be performed independently or same time as a laparoscopic spay. This is a revolutionary advance that means you no longer need to choose between the trauma of an invasive prophylactic procedure an the risk of a life-threatening emergency. See MIS surgery section (link) for more info.
Getting an early and accurate diagnosis is key to managing your pet's cancer. Many beloved pets die while waiting for a referral for an ultrasound, biopsy, and treatment or when treated by a veterinarian without expertise in cancer care. Our clients have access to ultrasounds, minimally invasive biopsies, chemotherapy, curative-intent cancer removal surgery, and advanced wound reconstruction, often within a week of you detecting a problem. This means the pets suffer less and live longer than if they had to wait!
We offer both surgical and medical (chemotherapy) treatment for pets with cancer. Caring for a pet with cancer is never easy, but we offer compassionate, affordable, and effective management for people who would like to go on this journey with a compassionate family practice instead of having to go to a large specialty center. Our cancer care is always focused on maximizing the quality of care for your pet and we will include you in all the decision-making and offer referral to outside specialists if that is that is what’s needed to get you and your pet the best outcome possible.
Need a liver or intestinal biopsy? We can get full-thickness biopsies using minimally invasive surgery! You no longer have to decide between the trauma of open abdomen surgery and the value of full-thickness biopsies (which are always preferred to limited endoscopic biopsies). Get the biopsy, get the right diagnosis, and get your pet home the same day with minimal discomfort.