I had a 7 year old beagle that we recently had to put down due to the ignorance of the Banfield Vets.
Our Abbie began throwing up back in August of 2007. We had her on the Banfield Wellness plan and took her in for treatment. After convincing us to up her plan to the next level we did so blood test could be done and be covered. The first diagnosis was she had slightly elevated pancreas enzymes and we were told to treat her with 1 pepcid ac a day.We did this for several weeks and she appeared to get better. In October we returned to Banfield because Abbie was slowly losing weight and although still eating the pounds just seemed to be melting away. The vet instructed my husband to again use the pepcid ac and to keep an eye on her weight. She did look malnutritioned , but he said her weight lose was not that much to be concerned about. Now this was a healthy beagle that would eat anything, and I mean anything , but yet had lost over 10 pounds in two weeks. A month later she started throwing up again and we returned to Banfield. This time she was put on a medication for
nausea( basically dramimeme for dogs) We gave her the first pill on Monday night. By Tuesday morning the dog could not move. She laid in one position and we had to carry her outside to relieve herself. I called Banfield again and got an on call vet. She told me the dog needed further blood test, but they had been done once and that was all our plan allowed. The cost would be $150-200. Then she stated that the blood test probably wouldn't show anything more and that a sonagram was the next step. A cost of $250-500 again not covered by our plan. I took the dog home to discuss matters with my husband. By Wed. morning Abbie was much worse. She would not move and we could not get her to eat anything. I again called Banfield and asked the vet could this medication be making her so lethargic. I was told no, do the test and we can tell you what is wrong. I was even told that a responsible pet owner would come up with the money and treat their pet. Now I have 3 dogs on the plans with Banfield and have had a cat( now deceased and another beagle now deceased all on their plans. I spend thousands a year on my pets and was so upset that someone would say I didn't care about my pets. The next day Thurs. I took Abbie out about 6:00 am. she crawled up under my husbands workshop and for 4 hours would not move. Finally my son had to crawl under and drag her out. Again I called Banfield and told them I thought my dog was dying.The assistant called us back and told us we could bring her in to be put down. I again inquired about the medicine as the dog was getting better until they put her on this stuff. We did end up taking Abbie back to Banfield and they of course had a room ready to put my dog down. I told them I did not think it was time for that, but I had recently lost my job and my son was just diagnosised with JRA and we were having to do hospital treatments twice a month. We just couldn't afford all the test right now. Could they work with us, offer a payment plan, something? We were told by the head vet that in his opinion that if we could not come up with the funds to pay for all the test, then the best choice was to put our dog down as she was suffering. Not wanting my dog to suffer anymore I did what they suggested. Never again!Do not trust these people, they are only in it for the $. Since putting Abbie down less than a week ago, I have learned some terrible things about Banfield. I called to cancel our plan on Abbie and explained the situation to the Banfield rep and how upset I was at their lack of concern, and that they would put down a dog due to inability to pay. The rep informed me that Banfield has what they call a charity fund that the vets can use just for these type of things. It is designed to help cut cost for loyal customers facing a drastic illness. They can waive fees, work out payment plans, or cut the cost of some test. We were offered none of this, even after asking. Who could be more loyal a customer. 4 dogs and a cat, and 16 years with them.
My heart is so broken. I also did extensive research on the medication given and all the things going on with my dog were word for word what side effects are to be expected. I asked the vet about this several times that day, including 1 minute before that final shot was given. Each time I was told no, the medication has no side effects and this is the best for your dog if you can't pay.
Nothing can bring my Abbie back and I will forever regret what I have done. My baby was only 7 and probably had many more great years ahead. Maybe time will heal my pain, right now it doesn't feel that way. Please if you have your pets with this company I urge you to switch. They care only about the $ and yes they will put an animal down that otherwise could be saved. I have researched new vets, and am taking my dogs elsewhere as soon as I can cancel my plan. One ends next month the other not until July which I have been told if I leave I will have to pay out the remainder of my contract. That is fine, I will not give them the chance to murder another one of my dogs. They put on a big front to get you in and in the long run,they are like most big corporations. all about the $.
The new vet we found has actually told us she is pretty sure she knows what our dog had and it was treatable. She even gave us a list of organizations that will help cover cost when you cannot pay. Although we have been assured that our ability to pay will never be the deciding factor on whether or not to put a dog down.
Learn from my mistakes,I don't want anyone to feel the pain I now suffer. I miss her everyday, and would do anything to have that day back.
Product or Service Mentioned: Banfield Pet Hospital Pet Medical Service.