We brought our cat to Banfield and it was a huge mistake.
She was having some bowel issues and it seemed like she was in pain, so we made an appt at the Banfield/Petsmart near our house. The first person who saw Kitty clearly had no idea about animals. He tried to take Kitty's temp with the ear thermometer but didn't know how it worked. When he pulled out the rectal thermometer we explained why it might not be a great idea. He went and fetched a different ear thermometer and couldn't figure out how to work that one either. Either this guy was poorly trained or else all of the thermometers at the hospital don't work. Finally, and at the cat's great discomfort, we took her temp rectally.
After about half an hour, we finally saw the vet. She hardly listened to our description of the cat's symptoms, and immediately ordered an expensive round of blood and urine tests. She also told us to buy several medicines which would "help" our cat, regardless of what illness she had. When the vet said that she wanted to "run some blood work," we imagined that she would draw blood there on the examining table. We had no idea what would be involved, or that it would shortly lead to the end of our kitty's life.
In retrospect, any good vet – any decent person, really – would have recommended that we take our old cat home and try the meds. Maybe in a couple days she'd feel better, and if not then we would know that something major was wrong and we could make our choice from there. The vet could have said that "the test will be more stressful than letting the illness run its course – let's wait a few days." Instead, she ordered the testing and we felt compelled to go along with it.
She put our cat in a cage in a room with other animals in cages and left us to wait. About 20 minutes later, we looked through the window of another room and saw a horrible sight. Our cat was lying ON THE FLOOR, muzzled and surrounded by four or five employees, who were holding her down. Feeling somewhat upset by the sight, we waited anxiously for the vet to return. When she finally did, she said that they were unable to get a urine sample, and that the cat was a bit stressed out. They left her in that cage for another half hour to "de-stress."
It turns out that the reason they couldn't get a urine sample was because they scared the cat so badly that she peed on herself. I can only guess how she ended up on the floor, or why it took four people to hold one declawed, old cat still. We had originally explained that the cat is 14 and she has pretty bad arthritis. A jump/fall from the operating table would have been quite rough on her. Sure enough, when we got her home she couldn't put any weight on one leg. She can't crouch to eat, and she flops over instead of lying down normally. These are completely new symptoms, and when we called the vet to ask about them, she said it was probably a blood vessel that ruptured. I'm fairly certain that is a lie.
Since her traumatic visit to Banfield, our cat has hardly gotten up to eat or use the litter box. We are planning to have her put to sleep tomorrow, but certainly not at Banfield. The people who work there are poorly trained and have no respect for the fact that people care about their pets a lot. Banfield just wants your money – they don't care about your animals.
Product or Service Mentioned: Banfield Pet Hospital Pet Medical Service.