Banfield Pet Hospital — angry and feeling ripped off!
I need to give you a little history first if you don't mind and I'm sorry, but it's a tad long. My 6 year old cat Dusty was losing hair, not eating or interacting with me and just seemed lethargic. I noticed that she had sores on her stomach mostly, but all throughout her body. I saw fleas and attributed it to the fleas. I bought an over the counter medicine (Seargents) and put it on her as well as my other 2 cats and 3 dogs. After 2 weeks, her sores were getting worse, and she just slept all the time. I took her into the PetSmart Banfield clinic on 10/20/07. This was the one in Glen Burnie, MD. After waiting more than an hour to be seen, they weighed Dusty (still in her cage) and the tech took us to a room. After taking the temp (normal) and asking why I was there, the tech started playing some video thing on their computer about allergic reactions.... I thought to myself, strange, they haven't even seen her, and already they diagnose allergic reaction. At any rate, the doctor came in and started typing on the computer, hadn't even looked at Dusty at all. Then he proceeds to look at her rash glances quickly at her mouth and says he must do 4 tests. I asked why, he said he wanted to find out what it was by doing scrapings of the scabs on her skin. I told him that I thought it was fleas and told him of the history with the flea medication. He seemed to change his mind all of a sudden and said he was going to do only 2 tests. He said he was doing a scraping for fungal infection and bloodwork. He said to wait in the waiting room while they drew up an estimate. The estimate they gave me was $190.00. That was a little rough and figured, ok, so we eat a little leaner this week. So I signed the paper. They took Dusty in the back. I heard terrible cries from Dusty coming from the back. I asked what was going on. They said they were just doing the scrapings and that they had given her a shot of an anti-inflammatory. When they brought Dusty back out, she was terrified. They then hand me a bill for $296.00!! I nearly had a heart attack! I asked them why it was so much when they said it was only going to be $190.00. The tech proceeded to tell me that they don't add the medications or any extra tests they have to do on there till after they do the initial tests. I argued with them saying I can't afford this. Had I known it was going to be this much, I would never had signed anything. At any rate, they proceeded to give me 2 bottles of anti-biotics and some kind of shampoo after telling me she had a fungal infection. Ok, red flags going up everywhere, I asked them why Dusty needed the anti-biotic when they had just told me she had a fungal infection. At first they tried to tell me it was for the fungal infection, then when they realized I knew a little more than what they were telling me, they switched to "she has a secondary bacterial infection." So they tell me I have to bring her back in 2 weeks. Within a day Dusty is doing better (even before I give her the anti-biotics). So I'm wondering if she really needed the anti-biotics, but give it to her anyway, just to be sure. So I bring her in today, 11/3/07. After being put in a room, they take Dusty's temp, 104.5 (high), which seemed strange since she just got off anti-biotics, but they start the video again, this time it was about fleas. Hmmm... so they think it's fleas now? After the video goes off, I see in the list of things for her, the vet had put that he did a dental exam. I couldn't believe it, he barely glanced in her mouth. Beside the dental exam, it had that she had tartar build-up and that I refused treatment! What??!! Now I'm really starting to get ticked. The Vet comes in carrying a small petri dish with what looks like black mold everywhere (hard to tell, he flashed it before me before tossing it in the trash). He tells me she has a fungal infection and that she needs more medicine. So I'm wondering, why they played the flea videa instead of something about fungal infections. He says that with the high temp, he has to give her more anti-biotics, so he proceeds to give her a shot. Then says I have to put her on flea prevention from their office, because the over the counter stuff doesn't work... huh? He also tells me he's putting her on a fungal medication. A lotion that I need to apply to her stomach twice a day. With all this that is going on, I never got an estimate, they just assumed I was going to pay for it all. So after all is said and done, I end up with flea medication, (that frankly looks just like the over the counter stuff, just costs more), a bottle of what looks like eye drops saying "apply a drop twice daily" (huh?? 1 drop does not equal a lotion I'm supposed to apply all over her stomach) and smells like rubbing alcohol and a still very sick cat. Oh, let's not forget the $194.00 bill and NO receipt of what I was paying for because their printer was broken!! And another appointment in a week??!! I don't think so. I feel like I've been ripped off. I will be going for a second opinion, because I don't believe it. I think she had an allergic reaction to the fleas, and that the steroid was all she needed. The temp being high could have also been caused by the inflammation from the fleas. Plus, I want to know why after all the anti-biotics and shampoo I so desperately had to buy to "cure" her, she is still sick. I also was approached about the "wonderful health care plan." But decided to wait on it, and I'm glad I did. I will never go back here again. I can't wait to see what the other vet says, because if I am right and I was scammed, I will be filing suit.
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