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Banfield Pet Hospital / my dog's dental cleaning

1 Plantation, FL, United States Review updated:

A long story, but definitely worth reading for a few minutes if you are considering a professional dental cleaning procedure for your pet.

I adopted my poodle-mix winston who was a stray at a miami animal shelter. Winston was estimated to be anywhere from 10 years old + in aug. 2010. His teeth had a lot of plaque on them, there was clearly green and brown decay in his mouth. However, he was healthy otherwise. Over the past 3 months he has continued to eat hard food, like beneful, and his energy was going up more and more every week (The first few weeks he was very timid in the house, and would sleep almost all day), and by middle october he would run on walks and play around the house with our mini dachshund. He has been groomed 2x since I got him at petsmart in south fl, where they also brushed his teeth. When I took him 2 weeks ago to banfield pet hospital located in a petsmart near my house, they recommended that though he was healthy in all other aspects he should get dental cleaning. They said it would cost $189, plus the anesthesia fee of $40. I wasn't even concerned about the cost, but rather if it would benefit winston in the short and long term to go under such a procedure, and I was extremely concerned about the physical pain and mental he may endure. I told them his appetite had been great, he maintained a healthy weight for his size (20lb) and he seemed really happy. They insisted that I do the dental cleaning, so as winston being the first dog I am solely responsible for, I decided to go ahead and do the dental the middle of the procedure the vet called me (While he was under anesthetic) and told me he had 4 teeth that must be extracted, but they said it would cost $37 per tooth. I told them to go ahead and extract, (I trusted the doctor's judgment that the extractions would be in winston's best interest) and I wasn't even concerned about the extra cost.
Now, after it has been done, I completely regret my decision for a number of reasons that are worth reading about. First, and least importantly, the cost ended up being over $400, which included the original dental cleaning, anesthetic, extractions, pain killers, and antibiotics. Secondly, winston had constipation for days, he didn't want to eat even soft food, and barely drank water. I felt so sorry for him seeing his trying to go the bathroom for minutes and clearly in pain as he was unable to. After a sleepless night because for winston and me, the night after the dental cleaning, I called banfield and told them how much pain he was in, as he was whimpering and pacing all night. I brought him in, and the vet casually walked in to examine winston after we waited over 1 hour, even though there was only one person ahead of us. She said that his pain was gastrointestinal and said it was normal, and she gave him a shot to ease the pain, as well as medicated to give him 2x a day to help his stomach pain, and improve his digestive system. Additionally, when I took him to banfield that next day after his cleaning, he was shaking terribly as we approached the building. The pain relief only lasted a few hours, and winston was again up all night trying again and again to go the bathroom. I asked the vet at banfield if this was normal after, and she said not to worry, and he would be fine, he is just uncomfortable. If I would have known that winston wouldn't be able to eat or drink normally for days, and be in constant pain so that he couldn't even sleep for 48 hours even with pain killers, I would not have done the dental cleaning. The vets at this banfield completely ripped me off, and misled me 100% in terms of the pain winston would have. As more and more studies show dogs can have psychological issues like depression, I firmly believe that the mental trauma winston has gone through to address a health problem that wasn't even present was a terrible experience. I blame the doctors and staff at banfield in plantation, for causing winston so much pain, and not warning me about the possibility. One of our other maltese-mix female that was found on the street as a stray and tooth in 8 years ago had one loose tooth, and our vet in sarasota said he could extract it, but at her age (Which was unknown but assumed in 2010 to also be over 10) it may cause her some pain that is not worth the results. I wish I would have not taken winston to banfield. Another point, is that if winston's teeth were that bad, then how come his energy level was great and improving, and his appetite was continually healthy day in and day out. I also had his teeth brushed when he got groomed, and gave him oral care at home with dental spray. Also, I had a panel of blood work done after the first week I got winston to ensure that winston did not have any worms, cancer, or any other type of disease that could harm his health. His blood work results showed he was healthy. If his teeth were to the point that he couldn't eat, or if other health problems showed a connection to his teeth, then of course I would understand that the pain of the dental cleaning was an overall positive decision for winston's health. But because he is an older dog, that clearly had been through a rough life, and given his drastically improved condition from when I got him a few months before, I advise a more hands off approach. I strongly suggest that anyone who is considering getting an older dog dental cleaning be warned of all the potential pain the dog may be in. I personally think that if a dog has to go through as much physical and mental pain as winston did, then the professional dental cleaning is not worth it, and any vet that tries to tell a pet owner otherwise is not advising is the pet or pet owner's best interest.

Ps: I do not suggest going to the banfield pet hospital in plantation, fl, as they showed no individual interest in winston, they had slow service, and I misguided me in how to care for winston. I do not know how other banfield pet hospitals are, I only hope they are much better.

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  • Ba
      7th of Dec, 2010

    We strive to provide our clients and their Pets with high quality medicine and exceptional client experiences on every visit. We apologize that your visit to one of our hospitals was unsatisfactory. To address your specific concern, and to help us improve our overall service, we would appreciate it if you would call us at 1-877-500-2288 to discuss what happened.

    -1 Votes
  • Ev
      3rd of Jan, 2017

    @Banfield Pet Hospital I'm in Hollywood Fl. I read so much bad on here. I may cancel her dental appt tomorrow. I see a lot of neglegence !

    0 Votes
  • Nc
      20th of Dec, 2010

    OH trust me I used to work for Banfield and they DID a LOT of things that WERE NOT NEEDED just to make a buck!! It mad me SICK ... I am so sorry to hear of poor Winston's pain!!!

    +3 Votes
  • Er
      13th of Jan, 2011

    I worked for an animal hospital hospital (not a Banfields) for many years and HATE Banfields for a variety of reasons I wont go into now but from what I've read they did the right thing. Let me explain why I feel this way.
    Firstly I understand your concern because of the dogs age but chances are the teeth would have gotten worse and even abcessed at an even older age and cause many more problems then just discomfort. Secondly if the dog had never received a professional dental cleaning in the past of course he's going to be timid going back to the vet and of course he's going to experience discomfort after the procedure, who wouldn't? As for the constipation have you ever had surgery? Certain anesthesia and pain meds can cause constipation plain and simple.
    I had experience with clients that refused dental cleanings and/or extractions because an animal was older and we always obliged by their wishes and in many of those cases a year or two went by and the animal would be brought back with horribly abcessed gums and teeth and had very difficult recoveries not to mention a few even went as far as to have sepsis of the blood. Its a hard call to make I know but NOT tending to your animals dental needs is never the right answer.

    +2 Votes
  • Al
      5th of Oct, 2012

    I have had the same thing. I have Banfield insurance and get a "free" dental cleaning once a year. It is not free, never has been free. Every cleaning the vet said more teeth needed to be pulled. This time is is $440 for three teeth. I don't have it but too guilty to say no. I said yes and then talked to people here at work about it. They said if the dog had not been showing any pain and had been eating all right, there was no reason to pull the teeth. They convinced me to call back and tell the vet not to pull the teeth. Within 20 minutes I called back and those teeth were already pulled. So I'm paying $440 for 20 minutes of work? I feel so taken advantage of. I'm cancelling the insurance and never taking my dog there again. I would not recommend Banfield to anyone!

    0 Votes
  • Ba
      1st of May, 2013

    I had a little Scottie. She was playful and running around the day before her dental cleaning at Banfield. After her teeth were cleaned she couldn't walk, or stand. I took her back to Banfield and the Vet said she was "playing" us & had arthritis. For one year our little Scottie lost weight and shuffled when she walked, and fall over. She never barked again. I know without a doubt that something happened to my dog during the procedure. Sadly, she became so sick that we had to put her to sleep. My heart is broken. I feel Banfield was negligent and cause the death of my dog.

    +1 Votes
  • Sm
      26th of Oct, 2013

    I will never bring my pet to Banfield again. I brought my dog to them back in 05 and they determined he had struvite crystals and placed him on Urinary SO. They make everything sound so critical and that certain procedures must be done for accurate readings. For example, for his urinalysis, they needed a sterile sample - which required them sticking a needle in his bladder to get the sample. He had this done twice, the latter was done after he was placed on the new food, in which they determined the crystals had dissolved. I was also told my pet had to be on this food for the rest of his life. They gave me a medical "card" which I had to show each time I purchased the food. The card is only good for a year, after which you have to keep visiting the vet, which makes no sense whatsoever when I've been told he has to be on this expensive food. I ended up finding a few other vets that sell me the food for him. Trust me, NO ONE is trying to spend almost $30 for 6.6 lbs of food and that's the cheapest bag!

    A friend of mine had a Boxer that cut himself on glass and when he brought his pet there, they wouldn't even look at his dog because he didn't have $300+ for treatment.

    I'm really surprised they still exist...

    -1 Votes
  • An
      13th of Jan, 2014

    I recently brought my 3 year old beautiful Chihuahua to Bansfield for a "Dental Cleaning" that also turned out to be well over 400 dollars, and due to this I was forced to sign up for the plan. He went in for a dental cleaning, and came home w/7 teeth missing (6 of them in the front). They contacted me after the x-rays and advised me that that they would need to extract 3 teeth, I was very hesitant to allow them but they convinced me by telling me he would become very sick if I did not. When I showed up to pick him up he had 7 teeth missing. They said 4 "fell out" during the cleaning. My dog is only 3!!! How is this possible? We take excellent care of him. I really believe they did this so it was unaffordable and I would need to sign up for the plan. This only seems to happen to people that are not on the wellness plan. Bansfield purposely runs the bill up in hopes that the customer will have to sign up for the plan. They kept pushing the plan on us and we kept saying No. The funny thing is my other Chi went for a cleaning a few weeks ago and they did not even offer us the xrays, she also did not have any issues. She is ON THE PLAN!

    +1 Votes
  • 50
      28th of Jan, 2016

    I agree totally, they extracted 7 of my dogs teeth for $411. He had a cleaning there less than a year ago as well as exams. Why did this go without mention if it is true at all. It's a money making proposition. There is always an up charge!

    I will Not renew membership

    0 Votes
  • Ev
      3rd of Jan, 2017

    I am skeptical to bring my dog in for teeth clean tomorrow. Glad I read this. I want to see my dogs teeth X-ray before they start saying they need to remove teeth.? Why do our dogs have to be at the vet for 12 hours just for cleaning? They do 5 dogs a day.
    Also ask if the vet has a breathing machine for oxygen if needed.
    Some vets don't !!

    -1 Votes
  • Do
      20th of Feb, 2018

    Priscilla my 9 year old Yorkie died during a routine dental cleaning on 2/2/18, Banfield of Apex NC, we are destroyed as a family

    0 Votes
  • De
      11th of Aug, 2018

    @Dogstar21 I heard about this and my heart goes out to you and your family. So heart-breaking! Such a beautiful girl!

    0 Votes

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