Banfield Hospital / they hurt my dog
I will just share the letter I wrote corporate.
Date: April 28, 2014
8000 NE Tillamook
P. O. Box 13998
Portland, OR. [protected]
Dear Banfield Hospital:
My name is Sean and I am writing to inform you of my experience at your location in Braintree, Massachusetts. On Friday April 25, 2014 at 5:30pm I brought my ten month old Siberian husky to see the vet for his 9 month routine heartworm test. We entered the building and my dog was acting as he normally does. He was hyper and excited. After waiting about thirty minutes we were called into a room and waited another ten minutes. From there a tech came in and took his temperature with which he struggled a bit, as I expect any dog would. Marissa, the tech, then took my dog Peter to the back room to draw blood. When he returned he was being dragged by the thin orange lead and not guided back by his own collar and leash. He was panting very hard and would not walk to the center of the room. The vet then came in and performed his exam as much as he could. This was very unusual, as my dog has never shown disinterest in the vet. We left with deworming medicine and were on our way. At home Peter would not go out and became incontinent. He is fully housebroken and we figured he was just very stressed out from going to the vet. The following Saturday I was home all day and Peter spent the day lying on the couch. This was very unusual since my dog goes on five-mile runs three days a week and is a typical super crazy husky. I decided to leave him alone still thinking the vet was stressful. What became extraordinarily alarming was when I found out his neck was hurt. Sunday morning when Peter woke up and went down stairs to ring the bells by the door I reached for his collar to put the leash on. He winced and cried in pain and urinated himself right in front of me. He was in pain and would not let my girlfriend or I go near him. Once he calmed down and went to lie on the couch we closely inspected him and also saw he had glass in his front right paw. Thursday night I put mushers cream on his paws and they were fine. Peter spent the whole weekend after leaving the vet at home, inside. We called Banfield in Braintree immediately and explained to them that he was hurt Friday and we needed to speak to someone. This was at 10:58am on Sunday morning. The receptionist whose name I do not have, told us that it is impossible to reach a manager and that there was only an on call vet that day. She also said that no glass is at Banfield. We were later told that there is some glass and even later told that no glass spill has been reported. This is one example of varying stories, thus creating our hesitancy and inability to trust the professional providers caring for our pet. Our entire experience was like this. It seemed everyone had something different to say and when we questioned them, they become very defensive and stopped interacting with us. This made everything very frustrating for us. Our goal was to go and get reassurance that our dog was ok, for someone to say sorry and help us. To our dismay none of these goals were met.
The call ended and we called the VCA. The VCA confirmed that we were right and that our dog’s behavior following the vet was very abnormal. At 11: 14am we received a call back and was told that the surgeon could see Peter in 30 minutes. We arrived in 30 minutes and a tech named Courtney took him out back. When she returned she said I know exactly what you are talking about. The glass is between his second and third pad; correct? She then said the doctor was taking care of it and examining his neck. We were then called into a room and asked by the vet to remove his collar so he could examine his neck. We were shocked because we had just been told by the tech that the doctor examined his neck and that he was able to illicit pain on his left side. We then wondered why he would not have taken the collar off or if he had even examined him out back. We were unable to remove his collar because the pain caused him to be very defensive. The petsmart trainer was able to get the collar off without causing any bad behavior, unlike the vet. The vet then diagnosed Peter with neck issues and began telling us that it was an underlying issue that just happened to surface itself after his exam on Friday. The only possible underlying condition in the differential was IVDD, which is more common in older dogs and specific breeds and is not known to effect huskies. All the other differentials were related to trauma, ligament and muscle injury, which was the consensus of the VCA exam as well. The VCA believed IVDD was very unlikely.in addition to telling us we were crazy to think Peter was hurt at Banfield, he said no glass was found, and that it was a lesion that they sanded down and he would need antibiotics. The vet said this lesion had been there a while, however this was not noted on Peter’s exam on Friday. Also his temp was taken and told to us on Friday and was not documented. We were never offered antibiotics, told x-rays could not be done there and to our astonishment found that the vet documented us as refusing these options. Everyone there had no concern and could have cared less about helping us. This is insane. Especially since our dog showed signs of pain and behavior changes after being there on Friday.
The tech was then informed that the practice owner was on the phone. My girlfriend asked that she speak to him in the room. This was for good reason. More than once did staff have conflicting things to say to us and we were getting very uneasy with the differing stories. Also, all morning nobody wanted to talk to us, and we, at this point did not trust her to tell her boss the truth. It’s not hard to believe, seeing as we were told right off the bat that no sort of manager can be reached and that we could not be helped that day. The tech said no I don't have to do that for you and hurriedly walked out the door. This instance is documented by Banfield in an extraordinarily misleading way and depicts us as threatening and hostile. Yes we were frustrated. Our dog was brought to the vet and got hurt. We just wanted an apology and for some help and for our dog to be better. Mistakes happen. We have no clue what happens behind the doors of banfield, but we trusted them and it was very disappointing to be treated the way we were. What is true in the documentation is my girlfriend rushing out the door nearly in tears talking about calling animal control. As I am writing this I am thinking of whom I can contact, licensing committees, veterinary schools, animal protection organizations, and so forth. This is how upset we are.
My girlfriend then spoke on the phone with Dr. Massoff. She thought he was clear, empathetic, and willing to help us get through this situation effectively. However we were told he would call us the next day and we never received a phone call.
Once the phone call ended the manager came in to speak with us and was very rude. She never gave us her name and talked in an authoritative tone. She said I’m not here to go over anything and your prescriptions are being made and you need to go to the VCA. This is another instance where I am completely shocked as to how inaccurate it was documented.in her note she says she enters the room and the gentlemen swore at me. The note never says what would have made me curse and I sure hope that upper administration finds this strange. I did say this is # after she said she is not here to go over anything. As I said that I stood up and said I need to leave. As I was leaving she began to yell down the hall at me as if she was kicking me out and I turned and said I was leaving you should have nothing else to say to me. Her note fails to document everything in its entirety and is very misleading. At no time did she show any concern for my pet. My girlfriend was so upset that Banfield’s staff was saying our dog was a biter, but failed to mention this to us in any of our previous visits. She asked to see the notes. The manager started with our first visit, which showed he was perfectly friendly, but she needed to make a comment about how we chose to treat him. She has no license to give medical advice and should not have taken that time to criticize us. We spent just over a hundred dollars and our puppy got better in two days rather than their suggested nine hundred dollar treatment plan when we knew it was kennel cough. Finally, she got to his six-month visit and again there was no note of aggression or warning that our pet was dangerous. I am disgusted that more than one staff member had the audacity to treat us like # and tell us our dog is a monster when we were returning because he was hurt there. When my girlfriend asked for all the records to be printed out everyone who we had come in contact with us was out back and it took her 25 min. to print out the records. We were there for two and a half hours total and did not get to the VCA until 3pm. Poor dog couldn’t get any help until 3pm and his owners were treated very poorly after he was hurt there in the first place. It is possible that Peter getting hurt was a mistake, even though we saw how he was handled Friday, and we are normal considerate people that would have gladly taken an apology and prompt care and continued to be loyal costumers.
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