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Banfield Pet Hospital / poor clinical judegment!

1 265 Shenstone LnGarner, NC, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: (919) 771-2344

We purchased a puppy on 12-21-07 and within 24 hours we noticed that she was having some problems with diorama. I went on line, performed a fair amount of research and discovered that this is fairly common problem with puppies. Potential common causes were stress due to leaving mom or littermates, changes in food or drinking water and eating random things off the ground, which this puppy was prone to do. We decided to monitor her, continue feeding her and giving her bottled water (which we drink ourselves).

After about 24 hours the problem had not resolved itself. I researched on line and discovered that several reliable web sites recommended that ½ teaspoon of Pepto-Bismol be given for ever 10 pounds and as she was only 2 pounds we gave her 2 to 3 drops out of a dropper every 6 hours for 24 hours. They said if she wasn’t better to take her to the vet.

We took her to Banfield Pet Hospital at White Oak in Garner NC, which is located in the Pet Smart at the White Oak Shopping Center in Garner on Christmas Eve.

I took the puppy in, requested an appointment and described to the receptionist her symptoms (diarrhea, not eating and difficulty drinking). The receptionist told me to hold my pet on my lap, not to let her down on the floor or touch the walls because the symptoms I describes were associated with Parvo which was highly contagious. She could hardly answer our questions or provide any level of service because she kept calling other customers on the phone to remind them of them of wellness appointments…like literally kept calling and talking to them right in the middle of talking to me. This didn’t make me think they were very concerned about my puppy or very customer oriented.

In any event I had to sell an expensive piece of personal property for practically nothing to raise the money to take her to the vet so when the nurse came back with a long list of testing to get me to sign up for I very politely explained to her that I had managed to scrape together $200.00 and wanted us to work together to prioritize testing and treatment options to try to help my pet as much as possible with my limited resources. I must admit that she was NOT very supportive of my plight, stated that “people come in here all the time wanting us to help them with their pets and have no money” and she was not helpful in terms of helping me prioritize testing and treatment on a limited budget.

We ended up testing the puppy for Parvo and for parasites. The office visit and testing ate up over half my $200.00 budget. The puppy was negative for the Parvo and positive for a large number of parasites. The nurse explained that for her to have that number of parasites she might have contracted worms in vitro from the mother. She was only 8 weeks old, weighed a little less than 2 pounds and had been de-wormed on 12-18-07.

The nurse came back with a long list of further testing, blood work, IV Therapy, Medications, Vitamin Supplements and Special Pet Food the cost of which was total beyond my reach. I once again explained that I had worked hart to come up with money I did bring and that I could not afford all the things they were recommending. I asked for help deciding how to prioritize. She was pretty stubborn and I eventually decided on the two medicines, a subcutaneous IV to get some extra fluids into her, the vitamins and the special puppy food.

I told the nurse that I used to work in an emergency room and that when people came in with similar problems the usual course of treatment was to give them something to treat whatever was causing the diarrhea (in this case the two kinds of medications), give them an IV to temporarily get some fluids into them (I opted for the subcutaneous IV) and then give them something like Donagel to combat the diarrhea itself (which was not given as an option). The nurse tried to convince me for a second time to leave my puppy there and pay several hundreds of dollars, which she knew I didn’t have for pet IVs to treat the diarrhea. I asked if there was anything like Donagel for puppies. At that point she refused to talk to me further, brought my puppy back to me and asked the vet to come in and talk to me.

The vet was very agitated, seemed upset and I very politely explained to her that I was not trying to be difficult but was just wondering if there was anything like Donagel for puppies. She stated, “you have to be very careful with the medication you are talking about because she is a small puppy... that medication is out of date and it is illegal to dispense out of date medication…we are not allowed to do that”. The vet again tried to talk me into leaving my puppy there and paying for over a thousand dollars of IVs and other testing. She told me she could not help me prioritize care because she might get sued if something went wrong. She further stated that if there was a bad outcome here they could not be held responsible because they had “offered” me additional testing and IV therapy, which I had refused (simple math equation: limited $ = limited medical care). It felt like there was little hope for my pet so they made up a long list of testing/treatment recommendations totaling over a thousand dollars (which few people I know could afford to pay in cold hard cash up front) specifically so that if anything happened they could blame it on the fact that the pet owner “declined” some of these services.

Let me just say that in people land if a doctor or hospital does not have the medication to save your life they are required by law to obtain it from another pharmacy or hospital. Banfield is a national chain with multiple locations in my local area and in retrospect they could have referred me to pick it up at another location. If I had gone to another location they would have charged me another office visit (I called another Banfield about 30 minutes from my home). Also in people land doctors and nurses are caring compassionate individuals who are actually interested in saving your life. This is apparently not so for the staff at Banfield who appeared to be more interested in monetary issues and avoiding being sued that whether or not my puppy lived. They seemed actually angry that I would not come off some credit cards and just charge up thousands of dollars in care for my pet. They did not even send me home with a pamphlet on purchasing pet insurance or their infamous wellness plan. In retrospect I realize this is because they did not expect my puppy to survive. Putting her down was an option I never got.

To be quite honest if I had that kind of money or charging capabilities I would have spent it to save my pets life because I loved my pet more than my money. I spent every single cent I had to my name that day at Banfield, they refused to let me pay them 3 days after when I got paid, I was treated very disrespectfully for merely asking for an anti-diarrhea medication and my puppy died the a day and half later.

I believe in their over zealousness to avoid doing things that might get them sued they failed to provide the minimum quality of care necessary to keep my pet alive. I believe that they should have made the medication I requested to combat the diarrhea available for me to purchase even if they had to contact another Banfield rather than suggesting I pay money I didn't have to keep her IVs for days on end or purchase vitamin supplements and special food when I had already told them she was refusing food. All she did was puke that all up anyway. Something to combat the diarrhea would have at least given us a fighting chance. If we could have controlled the diarrhea she may have began eating again. Also their attitude was really out of line. I have worked with nurses and doctors all my life and never have seen or heard of anything like this. Why in the world the nurse just stopped talking to me I will never know. In human land we have the right and responsibility to ask questions about our medical care but apparently at Banfield this is grounds for the medical staff to get antagonistic and refuse to continue talking to you. Also when the nurse stopped talking to me and sent the vet in I could actually overhear the nurse angrily talking to another staff about me. Can't tell you how unprofessional that is! I was actually nice and respectful when talking to their staff and unfortunately can't say the same about them. Who has the responsibility to be professional and courteous the customer or the healthcare professional? They actually seemed insulted that I walked in the door with limited amount of resources. I told them point blank that I was not expecting miracles but just some help prioritizing care because of limited resources. The impression I got was that they were actually insulted that they were being asked to provide medical care for only $200.00. I guess the sky should always be the limit because once you set that standard everyone understands that once you have a sick pet the money in your wallets and bank accounts will grow wings.

The kicker is that my sick puppy was seen on Christmas Eve in a store located in a Pet Smart and the lines were long. When I was given the medications the vet gave me a little card and told me to “give it to them up front and they will get the food for you”. I went up front, waited in a long line, gave the cashier the card and she looked at me like I had two heads. She sent me back to Banfield and the receptionist there showed me where the medication was. I then drug my sick puppy back up front, stood in the same long line all over again and was finely able to check out the food she never ate.

Sorry for the ridiculously long e-mail but this whole experience was ridiculously long, tedious and the really difficult part was watching my pet die a slow painful death on Christmas when she probably should have been put down. She was 8 weeks old, weighed less than 2 pounds, had an excessive number of two types of parasites and received de-worming medication again prior to the recommended time frame. What do you think her chances of survival were? Would you have at least given me the option of having her put down? She whined off and on all of Christmas day, we spent all day holding and cleaning her. It was pretty pitiful. Almost as sad as seeing the big pile of Christmas presents we bought her... the ones she never even had a chance to play with. The message I got from Banfield is that only wealthy people willing to spend hundreds or even thousands on their animals should be pet owners.

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Comments

  • Sp
      28th of Dec, 2007
    0 Votes

    You bought a sick dog that you could not afford to take care of. Then you let it die in agony. What the hell did you think you were going to do if and when the dog grew up and got sick or injured?

    In "people land" as you call it, even people die because they cannot afford the doctor's visits or hospital stays. We do not have socialized medicine in this country. If you manage to get free medications or free emergency room visits because you are poor that is because people like me pay their doctors alot of money for our care so they can treat you for free. So, you want the doctors to volunteer their time to take of you and a sick puppy you bought from a puppy-mill dealer. I may be subsidizing your health care but I'm not going to subsidize your pet's too.

    You are an ignorant and irresponsible person. I hope no other animal has to be adopted by you and then left to die by what could have been treated. Yes, if you cannot afford to take care of a pet, don't get one. Get yourself a pet rock or something that doesn't get sick or injured. Get a plant.

  • So
      4th of Jan, 2008
    0 Votes

    First I must reply to Spiralsands, because his/its comment was extremely rude.

    Sounds like you are mad about paying your medical bills. There are people in this world that can pay, and there are people that cannot. Neither is better than the other. It doesnt make someone a bad person because they are poor. You are talking like "Oh, I pay your medical bills because you cant" But if no one paid, there would be really lousy medical care. Why is it sooo hard to give a little extra to someone who is less fortunate than you. You sound EXTREMELY selfish, and self-centered. If its soooo great and easy, then give all your money away, all your possisions, go on welfare, and get everything for free. Yeah, sounds like a really great life huh? It's obvious you have never wanted for anything, grew up in a privileged home, with everything handed to you on a silver platter. BTW I doubt they knew the puppy was sick when they bought it, so dont make it sound like they already knew. If you used that expensive education your father bought you, you would have noticed that they only realized that it was sick in about a day. And he didnt LET the dog die. He made a hard decision. That expensive education must not have taught you much reading. Quote: "So, you want the doctors to volunteer their time" HE NEVER ASK THE VET FOR CHARITY! If you had read, and made use of that critical thinking course (you did get that with your expensive education right?) you would have noticed he was trying to make a deal, or setup a payment plan. If you have EVER been to a vet, you would know that it is EXTREMELY COMMON to setup payment plans with vet. In fact every vet bill I have EVER had over $200 I have put on some type of payment plan, so I dont know where you get this charity crap. Furthermore, you dont know where the dog came from, it could have been a pet store, not a puppy mill. Actually YOU Spiralsands are an ignorant person. Ignorant to the fellings of others. Ignorant to others plight or delima. Ignorant to the facts of life. And most obviously ignorant to the fact that plants DO get sick and injured.

    I dont think I have EVER seen a post on ANY site that was so rude without being provoked. You had NO reason to bash this guy. You are insensitive, rude, naive, and uninformed. Oh yeah, and ignorant. I would add some really strong expletives here, but they would just get removed.

    Didnt mean to make such a long post but he really irrated me. Anyway, I am really sorry about your dog. I have read close to several hundred posts on differnt websites about Banfield. I guess its too late to say dont take your animals there. But if it makes you feel any better I learned of their unscrupulous behavior from posts exactly like yours. When I did some investigating, under the mole hill there was a mountain. Look around the net you will see. But know that the word IS getting out. And your, and others posts, will help someone, so in a way the dog didnt die in complete vain.

    I dont know who wormed the dog on 12/18, but something you should know is that most wormers you pickup at walmart, or the grocery store, usually only do roundworms. There are a good few types of worms. And there are VERY few wormers that will kill all types. One my friend uses, he calls Ivory max. I never could find it online, and later he told me that was just its nickname, told me the real name, and I cant remember what its called, sorry. Said it killed every type. Almost every dog is born with worms. And ask any vet, EVERY dog is presumed to have worms when born. Thats why puppies are always wormed. No one even checks, they just do it.

    Anyway, unless you buy from a reputable petstore, and have been assured by them that the pet has had all shots etc, then be prepared to do all the things needed for a puppy vaccinations/worming/grooming etc.

    Once again really sorry about your dog. My heart goes out to you.

    S

  • Vt
      29th of Mar, 2008
    0 Votes

    I JUST WANT TO COMMENT ABOUT THE PROBLEM HERE. I AM A VET TECHNCIAN AND A VET STUDENT. AND THE PROBLEM HERE IS THAT THE PEOPLE DONT SEE THE HARD WORK THE VET TEAM HAS TO DO TO GET PAY, IN VET MED WE DONT GER REIMBURSEMENTS FOR MEDICAL ATTENTION AS IN HUMAN MEDICINE. EVERY HOSPITAL TREAT YOU AS A HUMAN BUT THEN THEY CHARGED YOU BUT IN VET MEDICINE NOT TO MANY PEOPLE TAKE IT AS A REALITY. THEY PEOPLE COME TO THE CLINIC CRYING BECAUSE THE DOG IS SICK AND THEY DON HAVE THE MONEY. WHAT I SAW IN THIS EMAIL IS THAT YOU PUPPY WAS A CLINICAL CASE OF PARVOVIRUS. PARVOVIRUS IS ONE OF THE LETHAL KILLERS IN PUPPIE NOT VACCINATED AND ONCE THEY START WITH VOMITING AND DIAREHA THERE IS NOTHING A VET OA TECHNICIAN CAN DO. THEY CAN OLLY GIVE SUPPORTIVE THERAPY TO HELP THE PPUPPY FIGHT THE VIRUS BUT IT IS THE PUPPY 'S INNMUNE SYSTEM WHO FIGHT THE VIRUS. I HAVE NOT SEEN A PARVO CASE SURVIVING WITHOUT PROPER TREAMENT. THEY COULD NOT GIVE YOU THE MEDICINE YOU WERE ASKING BECAUSE THAT MEDICINE IS APPROVED AND IS ILLEGAL IN VET MED TO USE. ALDO A MEDICINE FOR DIARREHA WILL NOT HELP A LOT SINCE THE VIRUS ATTACKES THE INSTINES. SO, THEY GAVE YOU THE PROPER TREAMENT BUT WHAT THEY DID WRONG WAS NOT TO EXPLAIN THE ENTIRE COURSE OF THE DISEASE TO YOU. ALSO THEY NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT THE PARVO AND IF THE PARVO TEST WAS NEGATIVE IT WAS PROBABLY BECAUSE THE VIRUS WAS STARTING AND IT NOT REFLECTED, THERE IS A PERIOD WHERE YOU HAVE TO MAKE THE TEST BUT IF THE TEST IS NEGATIVE AND YOU HAVE THE CLINICAL SIGNS OF THE DISEASE THEY PROPER TREATMENT IS TO HOSPITALIZED THE DOG AT LEAST FOR 3 DAYS WITH IV FLUIDS AND EVETHING HAS TO GO BY VEIN. PLEASE SEARCH THE INTERNET ABOUT PARVOVIRUS. THE PERSON YOU SHOULD COMPLAIN WAS THE PERSON WHO SOLD THE PUPPY. I HOPE THIS IS HELFUL FOR YOU.

  • Da
      20th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    My sister's dog had parvo (which is honestly what it sounds like this little puppy had). I work for Petsmart so we took him to Banfield to have a parvo test run on him and sure enough he was positive for it. I had a co-worker that had a little poodle puppy that had parvo and had to be put down because of it so I knew what the results would be without treatment. My sister ended up spending over $600 on her dog for 2 days worth of treatment from Banfield. I would like to say that in some cases Banfield can be expensive but in this case, they worked with my sister the best they could and instead of her being charged $1000 a day to have him treated she was given a much better deal. Luckily, we had caught the parvo earlier and FOLLOWED THE VETS ADVICE. I would like to also say that at the time my sister was 4 months pregnant and soon to be a single parent with very little money to spare but she still did what was best for her dog. If you can't afford an animal...don't buy one! Animals get sick and that is something that you have to take into consideration when taking on the responsibility of an animal. You shouldn't expect a vet to perform services that cost over a thousand dollars for only the $200 that you could come up with. In the end, it is your own fault. Lack of money and ignorance is not an excuse for lack of care for a poor animal.

  • Di
      1st of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    "We purchased a puppy on 12-21-07 and within 24 hours we noticed that she was having some problems with /diorama/."

    What? I know you aren't talking about diarrhea when you say "diorama." You just said diarrhea in the next paragraph. Wth do you mean?

    A diorama is a model accompanied by a painted background, like a museum exibit. Are you talking about excessive peeing or vomiting? If so use another word. Thanks and sorry for you loss.

  • Ri
      3rd of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    That is all true but if the vet honestly wanted to save the puppy he/she could have and took what ever money they could it should not be about the money but about saveing the life of the pupy also this is why you should not buy pupies from petstores becase they come from pupy mills not only that but there are a million healthy dogs and puppys in shelters all around the world
    why buy a dog for 300-1200 dollers that might end up sick than a healthy shelter dog that would be put down anyway becase it had no home . in my opinion the vet did not care enough to help the puppy she was to angry and upset with the owner of the puppy not being able to pay for there pet but if she had any compassion at all she would have did what she could for it
    they make enough money it wouldent have killed her to help the puppy for free or a lower cost
    this is like the time i spent 70 dollers on my bird wich i paid 12 dollers for not that that matters i loved her regardless but still the vet ran all these expensive tests gave her medicine and still couldent tell me what was wrong with her she died 3 weeks later

  • Pt
      1st of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    It is not a right to have a pet, it is a privilege. It's a shame that you spent all that money purchasing a dog, when there are so many homeless pets that need a family. When you take your sick pet to the veterinarian, it is their job to be the advocate for the pet and recommend the best treatment possible to make your pet better, faster. It is your responsibility to make the decision of what level of care you can/are willing to provide for that pet. You kept wanting them to tell you what to do... that's your decision. All of those treatments were important, but YOU are the one that has to decide because YOU are the one that has to live with and be comfortable for that decision. That is all part of accepting responsibility for the pet. You cannot expect someone to make those decisions for you.

    Also, when you purchased this dog, where did you get it from? A puppy store (puppy mill) or a reputable breeder? Did you get a health certificate signed by a veterinarian stating that the puppy was healthy? Obviously, your puppy did need those fluids and "expensive medications". And to the person that said the vet should have just done whatever because the puppy was sick... unfortunately, vet offices have to pay the bills too. They have to pay for that medication, supplies, rent for the buildings they operate out of, the electric bill.. etc. Giving away services and medications to people who have purchased a pet that they cannot afford is not realistic.

  • Kb
      8th of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    i don't want to be rude, but i have worked at a few banfield hospitals, and we do not take well to owners coming in with dogs they cannot afford to take care of. and on offering animal insurance, it takes a year for it to go through, and they would not have let you use it on a pet that is already sick, it's not our insurance. and we have rules, just like every other company, and if we do not follow them, we will lose our job. we care more for animals then you could ever imagine, why else would we work there? and on everyone saying the pet had parvo? didn't she just say the pet tested negative for parvo? but my main point, DO NOT GET A DOG IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO PAY FOR IT'S HEATHCARE. two hundred dollars is NOT enough for our health care, what makes you think it will be enough for your pets?

  • Ch
      25th of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    fu, we could afford to take care of our animals if we didn't give you a-holes all of our money for nothing. after going to your hospital you need to follow up with a "real" vet to fix the original problem and then correct or undo everything banfield did. y'all can't see straight cuz you rich off of animal lovers and you return nothing but more problems.

    read on idiot. you'll see anyone who has come there is dissatisfied, and 90% of the ppl don't or won't say anything.


    he he he soon you wont have a job, . better start looking and please not in a vets office

  • Fo
      7th of Sep, 2010
    0 Votes

    Melinda, I am A Licensed Vet Tech whom also works at Banfields...I disagree with you. I feel you where upset and took it out on them. First what the heck is "diorama" ? You are so confused. You purchased a puppy probably from a puppy mill...you get what you pay for, which you probably paid $200.00 or more for the puppy. There are many puppies at your local shelter. You played doctor researching on-line..because you just spent hundreds of dollars on the puppy and did not have the resources to pay for professional care for him. Then you DON'T get A PET!! Why did you wait 3 days to go to Banfields? Why did you not go to a private - owner Veterinarian ? The symptoms you describe are "Parvo" symptoms and until tested and proven negative it is assume he is positive. Parvo is deadly and very contagious. About the receptionist making reminder calls and speaking with you at the same time, seems to be more to the story that you are not saying or that you do not remember due to being upset. To sell something to raise money for vet care is ridiculous!! Again, dont own a pet. Then you state "wanted us to work together to prioritize testing and treatment options to try to help my pet as much as possible with my limited resources. How can licensed professional only give partial treatment? You also stated "she was not helpful in terms of helping me prioritize testing and treatment on a limited budget". Would you consider that for yourself or heaven sake or your child? A office visit today in WNY is $45.95. I am not sure on the price of parvo & "other worm" testing so lets guess $50.00. Yea, thats $100.00 so...Lets just go by the book and acute diarrhea is one of the most commonly seen types of diarrhea in a small animal clinic. Yes, frequently the cause can be change of diet, drug therapy or any stressful situation that may result in disruption of the normal bacterial flora with in the bowel. Acute diarrhea is easily managed with supportive care & symptomatic treatment but, you have a 8 week old puppy showing signs of "parvo" that has been sick for 3 days and you playing online doctor just made things worse. You need to do a role out diagnosis of the causes of the diarrhea which is what they were doing by running the fecal testing(for parasites), blood analysis and a hematocrit to monitor the dehydration. So the first thing to do is replace fluids & electrolytes ASAP- IV is best. NPO for 24 to 48 hrs. A intestinal absorbent can be given @ 1 ml kg /8 hrs. & Loperamide / 6hrs. and probably a broad spectum antibiotic ...JUST TO START !
    So here I go...there is pet "emergency" credit, (credit card for emergency treatment) pay it off in 6, 12, or 24 months and its interest free!!! Also maybe if you listened and not such a [censor] you would have actually heard what they were trying to say to you. No doctor will provide only 1/2 care so then they can be sued and the patient dies!!! Who are you kidding. Almost no Vet will offer euthanasia for a pet whom has a good rate for survival, and your puppy did. You killed your puppy by being ignorant to how this really works. So as you are bashing the hospital and they tell you to go up front to cash out... if you were paying attention you would have gone to Banfields front desk not Petsmarts! So do not blame Banfields for your ignorance (and I do understand you were upset) but if you weren't so concerned about money yourself your puppy would still be alive today. You let this poor helpless puppy who needed you to care for it to suffer in pain and die a slow and terribly sad preventable death. I am not totally abolishing Banfields from any questionable customer service but if you had to deal with some like yourself you can only do your best. We are all human so with that note. You should be ashamed of yourself and actions and you owe this Banfields a apology. AND NEVER OWN ANOTHER PET!

  • Sw
      1st of Oct, 2013
    0 Votes

    Interesting that you "purchased" the puppy and bought it a " big pile of Christmas presents" yet you have no money to take proper care of it. Sad...

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