San Diego, California
Not resolved

I have a 12 year old terrier mix, female, non spayed and have always taken her to another local veterinary clinic which I am very happy with. I saw that Banfield Pet Hospitals were offering new customers a free first time office visit and I had a couple of concerns that I wanted to address with my dog so thought I would take advantage of this offer and take her to Banfield, El Cajon. There were two concerns I wanted to address; the first was a small pea size lump I had felt under her arm pit. The second and my biggest concern was one of her nipples had grown a lot larger than her other nipples. With my dog being an older female and one that was non spayed I initially thought the worst and was thinking mammary cancer! We were seen first by a veterinary nurse who took her temperature and then the veterinary doctor came in the room. She took a look at my dog and didn't even seem concerned about her health, all she cared about was the up sell. She suggested that we put my dog under general anesthetic and cut both the nipple off and the small pea size lump off to test them! (Isn't that what a Biopsy is for, something that doesn't require general anesthesia and a $1000 vet bill!). Not only that but she suggested that whilst my dog was under the general anesthesia it would be cheaper if I purchased the dental package and they could do everything at the same time! She also said that I should consider getting my dog spayed whilst they were operating and also to cut the skin around my dogs vulva to reduce yeast infections! I was just speechless, here I am concerned about my dogs nipple and all they want to do is try sell me all kinds of unnecessary things which are not going to help the health of my dog or address the issue! They were just in it for profit and should not even be practicing! The vet and the nurse then went behind the scenes to draw me up a quote and came back with a quote for $1100! To add insult to the injury the nurse acted so seedy, saying things like "oh, I have drawn up the quote for the anesthesia being for a 1-15 pound dog to make it cheaper for you even though my dog weighs 34 pounds, just don't tell anyone". And "make sure you hide that quote so nobody sees it". I felt like I was in some back street illegal clinic. I left the clinic feeling completely disgusted that this clinic does not care about the animal, the animals health or the customer, they are purely in it for the money. I went home and spent the entire night crying and totally and utterly distraught thinking the worst for my beloved dog.

The next morning I made an appointment at my regular trusted vets who I knew would give me an honest opinion and who wouldn't try to sell me unnecessary procedures for my dog. The moment the vet looked at the enlarged nipple he said instantly that it wasn't mammary cancer and that older dogs sometimes get enlarged nipples. He said if it was mammary cancer there would be a lump underneath the nipple in which there wasn't. He then felt the small pea size lump under my dog's armpit and took her to the back to perform a needle aspirate. He came back saying that it was just a Lipoma which is a small fatty benign lump, common in older dogs. $95 later I was out of there as a very happy relieved owner and a healthy dog!

Banfield Pet Hospitals should be BANNED from practicing! If I was naive or hadn't gone to my regular vet for a second opinion I may not have a dog anymore! To even suggest to me that my 12 year old dog should go under anesthesia and have these lumps cut off for testing is just ludicrous! Would you suggest to a human with a lump in her breast that her breast be cut off so they can test the lump without even doing a biopsy first!!!!! NEVER! And I don't need to be a vet to know that putting a 12 year old dog under general anesthesia is a risky procedure in itself, who knows if she would have woken up afterwards! My perfectly healthy dog with some years on her yet may not be here today if I had gone through with the advice from Banfield. Not to mention I would have been $1100 poorer!

My advice to pet owners: NEVER take your pets to Banfield, the vets there should not be practicing and do not know what they are talking about! I realize that people can make mistakes but this was no mistake, even if my dog did have breast cancer the first step should always be a Biopsy. These people are scam artists and only in it for the money and the up sell!

Product or Service Mentioned: Banfield Pet Hospital Pet Vaccination.

Do You Have Something To Say ?
Write a review


You will be automatically registered on our site. Username and password will be sent to you via email.
Post Comment

If you care about your pets then stay AWAY from Banfield.


I assure you that the Banfield's in North Carolina are just as money hungry...I had to transfer my cat from an emergency vet clinic to Banfield and before they would even talk to us they were hitting us up with forms and talking about money before they wouldn't even look at my cat. I've used their services plenty of times and its always the same issue...they do NOT care about the pets here in North Carolina so stay away from Banfield as much as you can. They are a money hungry corporation that doesn't deserve to be called a veterinary clinic.


You cant assume all banfields are like this one... yes the prices may be the same but not every vet is money hungry.

I had an amazing visit with a banfield in NC and i havnt left there! They continue to be amazing as well


Clearly you've never been to a decent vet before, I've been a pet owner all my life and so has everyone in my family, I've bred and raised cats and dogs so maybe you're the one that needs to shut up.


I agree, I took my 10 year old brittany in for a rabies shot, I did not like the fact that they whisked her off to another room to administer the shot. Normally a vet will let you present.

Then she had some lumps that needed to be checked by just looking, the again, took her away from me to check on the fatty tumors. I just do not trust these people.

They gave me her heartworm meds for a small dog, I had to go back and CORRECT their mistake, my dog weights 35 pounds and they gave me meds for a 10-20 pound dog. :roll

Banfield Pet Hospital

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.


Agreed! Totally! Hence why they are not credible vets at this place.


Why would a credible vet suggest you spay a 12 year old dog? that just seems I dont know risky...


No one is missing the basis of your complaint, we're just answering you truthfully. There is a standard of care in veterinary medicine that should be followed. In this instance the doctor examined your pet and recommended the following procedures:

#1. Remove and biopsy the lump/nipple that you were so concerned about.

#2. Spay your dog to prevent any further health issues.

#3. Remove the small lipoma you were also concerned about, since she would already be under anesthesia.

#4. Clean your dogs teeth since she was going to be under anesthesia. If she had any significant tartar accumulation this would be the best time to do it.

Yes, anesthesia is a serious matter, but that's why most veterinarians do presurgical bloodwork to make sure your pet is healthy enough to handle it.

I'm not quite sure what you wanted the vet to say to you. Seems to me that after their assessment of your pet they recommended the best possible care for her. YOU decided to not follow their recommendations however they all seemed valid to me.

In addition, the complaints for Banfield should only be addressed on a case by case basis. It is a corporation, however individual vets are the ones examining the pets. Their recommendations are their own and not the companies as a whole.

BTW, as a responsible pet owner, you should have had your pet spayed.


Why are people completely missing the point of my complaint here! This complaint has nothing to do with whether my dog is spayed or not, that information is completely irrelevant to the complaint in hand.

Unless I had got my dog spayed before her second heat her chances of getting mammary cancer is no less than if I had got her spayed at her tenth heat! The point of my complaint is the way Banfield has no regard to your pet, they just care about the upsell! Here I was going in about an enlarged nipple and all they wanted to sell me was dental packages and vulva skin removal to name but a few! If you had read my complaint correctly you will see that I stated my dog had an enlarged nipple and not a lump around her breast.

This is NOT breast cancer! Secondly, the small lump under her arm pit was a Lipoma which any vet could have tested if they had acted correctly and performed a needle aspirate. They did not need to remove the lump nor the nipple to find this information out. And you are also missing the point of them wanting to put my dog under general anesthesia, this is a very dangerous procedure in itself for an older dog!

So please, lets deal the matter and the complaint in hand here, Banfield are just out to make as much money as they can from the customer with no regard to the pet! Read the complaints from former Banfield employees who will tell you just that.


next time you go into the vet hospital, wherever it is, make sure you ask for the super saver package.

couple thoughts:

1. regardless of where you are from and where your dog lives(inside or out), it should have been spayed. cancer is the big deal, pregnancy in your pets case is less likely.

2. cancer in the mammary chain is most common in dogs that are not spayed, so the doctor at banfield was only being cautious when they said the nipple should be removed. Your dog is 13 years old and not spayed. They were only being cautious.

3. are you sure that your second opinion was correct or are you just happy that the second opinion was a cheaper resolution to your dogs problems?

To be honest, I don't work for Banfield, I never have never will. In their defense, the vet seems to have been recommending the best care for your pet. You, on the other hand decided it was not feasible monetarily and are now complaining about their services.

Hopefully in 6 months you won't be complaining about Banfield or your other vet not diagnosing your pet with cancer.

Best of luck.


PS. Indoor pets should still be spayed/neutered.

Better for health, behavior, etc. People make me laugh..


@ Anon Former Employee - Sorry you were terminated but its probably for the best! You dont want to be working for such a big corporate place where they dont care about animals.

As far as your comment about the second vet, there was never a tumor on my dog in the first place, she just had an enlarged nipple.

Also, you state that I should get my dog spayed, my dog is from the UK and not only is it highly expensive to spay your dog over there but there was no need for me to do it as she is an indoor dog and is not around male dogs! Dont judge before you know the facts!


I was actually just terminated from Banfield today for complete BS reasons and yet I still will say that all of you people are completely naive and have no idea what you're talking about. I am a Licensed Veterinary Technician and every clinic I have ever worked at would never do a biopsy because it would cost money to do local anesthetic and then you would pay more if it had to be removed.

Not to mention most dogs wouldn't sit still while you cut a piece of them off and sutured them back up. Biopsies are just simply not done in veterinary medicine for the most part. Now regarding the Dental cleaning it does relate directly to the health of your animal and by getting on the wellness plan it would have saved you a lot of money because it covers the blood work and the anesthesia and gives you a 15% discount. And another thing if the vet you saw afterwards thinks that they can tell the difference between a benign and malignant tumor just by looking at it once then they shouldn't be trusted.

Now I know there are some vets that don't care but most are very intelligent and compassionate and would not just suggest unnecessary procedures for no reason.

My suggestion is do some research before ya start badmouthing people who are trying to do the best for your pet. And also SPAY AND NEUTER YOUR PETS BEFORE THEY GET CANCER AND/OR OTHER PROBLEMS YOU IDIOTS.


@ Sickwithworry - If you havent already got this treatment for your dog you need to take your dog to another vets. One that is trustworty and not part of a big corporation.

Ask for a needle aspirate to test the lump, like my dog is probably just a fatty lump common in older dogs. Also @Catstillalive - I cant beleive they did this to you too!

I have filed an official complaint with the California Vetinary Medical Board and I suggest you do the same. They have them for every state, just google them.


I wish I have seen site before I took my cat to Banfield. I took my cat on a regular day because he had bloody diarrhea.

They told me he needed blood work. So I authorized it and paid them the $500.00. After the results they stated he needed an ultrasound which is $800.00. After the ultrasound i was told he needed surgery for another $1500.00 I told the doctor that I already used my Mortgage money and I don't have any money.

They asked me to apply for creditcare. I got declined. I was not able to come up with any more money so they stop talking to me and told me my cat is going to die in 24 hours and sent me home with no meds or further instructions.. I went home and all I could do is cry.

I called an old Vet in CA and faxed her all the lab works and results from the ultrasound. She fedexed me meds to give to my cat and told me to bring her to another vet and discussed about allergies.

Long story short my cat had asthma and just needed steroids and figure out what triggered the asthma which cause him to stop eating. By the way the second vet cost me $200.00 including all the meds.


OMG this same exact thing happened to me just YESTERDAY! I can't believe it.

Except the lump was found near my dogs anal gland. He is 9 years old and they are charging me 1,315!

I been in tears since because I will go into debt to get this money. Any advice?