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.