WARNING: BANFIELD VETERINARIAN MISHAWAKA, IN
Dec. 2007... Our 2 year old Jack Russell started vomiting and showing very strange behavior and was not acting normal. Our regular Veterinarian (unnamed) was closed at the time, so we opted to take him to the local PetSmart where there is a Banfield Veterinarian “Animal Hospital”. We had no reason to doubt that they were not a reportable veterinarian clinic being that they were located inside a store that we have frequented for years, and had taken our first dog to puppy training classes there.
When I brought my dog into the Banfield, I ended up being there for over 3 hours and most of it was waiting (when in fact I was the only costumer there when I arrived (and to be the last walk-in) for the night. When they finally examined him, they were running a comb through his hair (searching for fleas) which clearly was not needed, asking me if he was micro-chipped (what does that have to do with the fact that my dog will not stop vomiting), anyways….after the nurse left the room to check on something( anal glands for possible infection) about 45 minutes later another woman came in (never introducing her as the doctor)just the start of the unproffessionalism I thought she was another nurse trying to figure out what was wrong, asking me the same questions all over again….We then talked about the possibility that he may have a blockage of some sort, since my dog is notorious on finding things to chew on and sneak under our bed with them….. The doctor told me she would write me up an estimate of what they need to do for him….I waited and waited…(my dog vomiting 3 more times in their room while she was gone), finally the first nurse came back in with an estimate of almost $600.00! The estimate included a ton of blood work, something that had to do with heartworm *** and then a series of x-rays…..I explained to her that we cannot afford all of that, can we just do the x-rays to see if in fact there is a blockage or not, and then go from there…So again, I waited for about another 25 minutes and the doctor came in with a new estimate of just the x- they , which then totaled around $150.00 The x-rays were performed and she told me that there was a possible blockage in his stomach. She then gave me the choice to induce vomiting to see if what ever it was would come out. After watching my dog suffer intense vomiting every 30 seconds for about 5 minutes…no luck. She explained to me that he would need surgery to get whatever it is out. I asked what kind of price are we looking at…She then wrote me up another estimate totaling around 500.00. I was very upset at this point about losing my dog and in fact (all the savings we desperately tried to save up through the year being that we have struggled for so long, we finally made a budget and had just enough to get us through this winter when my husband gets laid off due to construction work) without getting into details of that with veterinarian (as most wouldn’t) I simply pointed out that this is so much money and I don’t know what to do, but I love my dog like he is my baby, our finances and all we save all year will be gone, now I’m thinking ….what now…. The doctor then pulled out a pamphlet that explained a wellness plan, and wrote me up an estimate of how much I would save if I used it. I told her I couldn’t make any final decisions without talking to my husband first, however made sure I arranged for an appointment first thing in the morning for surgery if we had agreed on it.My husband and I agreed on the surgery, and 500.00 was a lot, but considering it would cost up to double at ER or (the other veterinarian) which we have used (or so they said) which turned out to be a lie on their behalf in the end…
When I tearfully dropped him off at 8:30 in the morning, I told the nurse “Please take care of him” the nurse took my dog and told me “that’s what we do”. “We will call you and inform you about what’s going on”. I left crying and nervous about the whole thing, hoping and praying he would be o.k.I got home, waited a few hours, and no call…..So I called to find out how the surgery was going and came to find out that they had not even started the surgery yet! (Mind you, my dog had been vomiting all day the day before, then all through the night, disoriented through the night and he would not sleep, then was vomiting on the way to vet for surgery and vomited again when we got there). They told me they were waiting to see if it would pass! ( if it hadn’t passed by now…what the *** makes them think it would now!) I was NEVER rude to them, and I just went along with what they said…I am not a vet, how do I know. Then I waited another couple hours (still after NO update call from them to let me know what was going on)…I called them again and they told me he would be going into surgery soon, and to give them just a couple hours and they would call me back. I waited, and waited, finally called them after about 3 hours and this time NO ONE ANSWERED THE PHONE! I called back 3 more times…NO ANSWER! So my husband and I rushed down there to see what was going on with our dog. We arrived around 5:30 (9 hours after drop off for surgery), and they told us he was just getting stitched up right now……We sat there for another good hour, then the doctor came out and told us surgery was completed and there was a blockage in the intestines (not stomach like she said night before) and said that she had to remove a foot of his intestines. She then told us that he would have died if they hadn’t had done surgery because when they did blood work (IN THE MORNING,) that it showed his liver was severely damaged and he was in renal failure! They NEVER called me to tell me this alarming news and never informed me when I called them, that this was an EMERGENCY! Then why DID THEY WAIT UNTIL 5:00 TO PUT MY DOG THROUGH SURGERY! Then she continued to give us a “gloom and doom” story about how he will never be the same again and he most likely will have to be on special meds, vitamin supplements and special food for the rest of his life (ALL THAT HAD TO BE BOUGHT AT BANFIELD). She told us how he would never be the same and how sick he will be, and she acted as though his quality of life was diminished. Then after some very unprofessional mannerism, she gave us a bill of (not the $500.00 estimate…..but $1,500!!!! They never phone called us to inform us of the extra costs that would be involved, and not to mention our dog suffering in their office for 9 hours, when he was supposed to have surgery early in the morning!!! We found out he was put on the back burner all day because “other emergencies” came in, and unknown to us…they are UNDERSTAFFED and only have 1 doctor!!!!Then to top it all off, they tell us they won’t be open the next day and he will have to go to the emergency animal clinic overnight and be monitored for the next 48 hours which were critical. So we take him there and pay around 200.00 more for his overnight stay, and then find out that the ER is not open during the day!??? Then the doctor told us that he had been sick for a very long time…which is bizarre to us because just two days ago he was playing, and doing tricks, rolling over, playing with our other dog , zipping through the house like jack russells do, showing no signs of illness. So when my husband mentioned that to her, she stood up, got in my husbands face pointing her finger at him and acting all irrational ,VERY UNPROFFESSIONAL, not to mention…unstable , throwing her words out to him like it was OUR fault that he had such a big surgery and that he had been sick for a very long time, and that he MIGHT die! After huffing and puffing at my husband, she storms off into the back room (mind you…she was yelling and acting like a fool inside of the waiting room. SO needless to say , we were frustrated with the whole situation and the treatment of our pet with banfield, and how unfproffessional the staff was for not updating us during the day (bloodwork, x-rays, or when surgery was to be performed, putting our dog on the backburner, when finding out after the fact that he was an EMERGENCY himself, then throwing a hefty bill in our face, we did not trust our dog in her care any longer,,,,,So after all of that treatment and her crazy out of nowhere outburst, we felt it to be in the best interest of our pet to take him to (our regular vet) close to our house that we have taken our other dog to, so he can be FULLY monitored for the next 48 hours as mentioned.
In the meantime…while our dog was at the other vets office…we researched the web on banfield veterinarian hospitals and came up with alarming news of unhappy customers… All of this news startled us and opened our eyes to every detail from there on…. www.pissedconsumers.com www.banfieldcomplaints.comAnd several others when just typing in banfield…..
While he was at the other vet…(unnamed), they removed the dressing, and found that his stitching was very odd to them and was not the way they would want there workmanship to be known for. The stitching was gaped in 3 different places. They also said it made them a little concerned about what kind of job was done inside of him. Nevertheless, they monitered him, took very good care of him (I was up there every 2-3 hours and spent an hour or more with him), they told me that he may be able to go home with me the next day, and wrote me up an estimate. Which was much more reasonable for just 1 day!!! Compared to Banfield (and Banfield kept bad-mouthing them “ohhh, they would be thousands more than what we charge if you take him there) trying to keep our business with them……
Anyways, the morning I was supposed to possibly take him home, they called me and told me that he vomited up a large amount of stuff overnight, and that was concerning. When I came in, his stitching looked terrible, and was not healing, looked infected. They decided to take some x-rays to see if they could see if anything abnormal would show up. They found suspicious looking area like something coming out (like leaking). I was shown the x-rays and we all agreed to go back into surgery (exploratory) just to be on the safe side and make sure nothing was wrong with what Banfield had done. When (unnamed vet ) went back in they said they would document everything for me…whether good, or bad, with photos. The nurse came out during surgery and informed me that the intestines that Banfield dissected and then stitched together was coming apart and intestinal fluids were leaking out. They also asked me if Banfield did any kind of surgery in his colon because they found a slice in it, that had some stitching in it. Banfield never told us they went into his colon…in fact Banfields doctors exact words were….”if it reaches his colon, I’m not going to touch it, you will have to take him to the emergency room because that’s a messy job” Banfield failed to send all the appropriate documents to the other vet( How convenient for them) (sneaky) and NEVER informed us of that incision….(unnamed vet) then had to add more stitching to that incision as well, being that it was not stitched well either, and they were worried about bacteria. When the second surgery was over they stitched him up BEAUTIFULLY, like it should have been done in the first place.
Our dog endured 2 major surgeries in two days, suffered from a lot of pain being put through two surgeries in two days time (which would have been unnecessary if Banfield would have done the job right the first time. The second one saved his life, thanks to OUR REGULAR Veterinarian. And guess what………He does not need special vitamins, He does not need special lifetime meds, nor does he require any special food…..He is now back to his old Jack Russell self, and lively as can be. Banfield is a lying, scheming, manipulative, unprofessional business that cost us a lot of heartache, pain, and suffering for a botched up *** surgery. They should be shut down, and Petsmart should not have such a low-grade veterinarian clinic in their store ripping a bunch of people off and stealing their money…not to mention almost costing our dog his life. We came to them to save him, not for them to a jacked-up job, and charge us up the *** for it…… and if we would have brought him back there in their care after the surgery…we believe he would have been dead today.
When we wanted x-rays from them while our dog was at our reg vet recovering, they would not release them to the other vet, unless we paid $40.00!!! Gave the nurse a hard time and went round and round with her about it.. Then for some unknown reason, they decided to drop the (cd) off with x-rays on it. But oh how convenient again…….could not open them….only one was accessible, and not the one we really wanted to view…. All 5 from the day before surgery would not come up…….And get this…….when confronted with it…they said someone must of erased them……interesting…hmmm, I wonder who……Then, they lied to our face and said someone from their office called us the day of his surgery……, brought some other adrenaline junkie into the room spewing a lie from *** and saying.. they would bring up proof…..how interesting their lies are becoming...., they made NOT ONE PHONE CALL TO ME, with any information. Then they claimed they did not push the wellness plan on me……and again through the midst of the whole ordeal, the woman literly acted like a crazy maniac, grabbing our proof of papers out of my husbands hands and verbally attacking him with anything possible she could come up with to make it look as though he was a terrible person and a bully for coming in and trying to get to the bottom of all of this, they (her husband…works at the front desk, and herself (the doctor) kept saying what do you want….my husband explained…well, if you are not going to work with us on this, then I guess we will have to get an attorney. They said fine, we got proof and documents and an attorney will just cost you more money……(your point?)Then as we walked away the doctor said “what goes around, comes around, don’t forget it” We looked at each other like (WHAT?!!!! What the *** was she talking about, shouldn’t we be saying that to her!
They do not care about the animals!!! So Please Beware …..We will forever be spreading the word of this place, and hope that others read this and think twice about taking their pets there……Not worth it…..
We have all the documents through (unnamed vet) and partial documents from banfield (they never gave us the surgery documents, nor did they give us the x-rays performed the day before surgery (5 were taken). We have confronted banfield in person a month after initial surgery with our complaint and to resolve the matter..they battled us with it, and my husband called to see if they wanted to resolve out of court just yesterday (april 10th), and they said their was nothing to resolve.
It is true what we have read on this site...this is a very unproffessional business...just consider yourself "lucky" if you have not yet had problems from them.... They will rip you off at some point, and they do not care about you or your animals.....
Product or Service Mentioned: Banfield Pet Hospital Pet Vaccination.
Monetary Loss: $1.