Reston, Virginia
Not resolved
17 comments

My dog Clancy has dry eye syndrome, or keraconjunctivitis sicca. To make a long story short, he had an appointment 8/19/09 and the vet who had been treating him wasn't there (she said she would be, which was why I scheduled it for that time), so another one saw him, and recommended an ointment to complement the one being used which, by her own admission, was working great.

When I went to check out, I asked the price of this ointment, which was packaged as a prescription in a Blistex size tube. I was told $26, so I asked to see it. Turns out it was 15% mineral oil and 85% petrolatum, which you know as Vaseline. No inert ingredients, nothing. When I voiced my displeasure to the clerk, she replied, correctly so, that she doesn't set the prices. So I asked to see the vet again, the clerk checked, and I was told she was busy. So of course I tossed the box on the counter, told her that the price was "unethical," and checked out.

So watch out for these kinds of ripoffs. This tube was about .25 oz, making their price $104/oz. I figure that this is about a 10,000% profit margin.

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Anonymous
#320999

In response to this comment: "...why would I pay for cyclosporin when OTC drops achieve the same result?"

There is a VERY good reason why you should continue to use cyclosporin in a dog with KCS instead of just artificial tears, and that is why a VET, with years of school and training, prescribed it. This is what happens when people play veterinarian. Cyclosporin helps your dog produce NATURAL tears, which are inherently better than artificial tears. They help with infection control, cell turnover, etc. Interrupting treatment with cyclosporin in a dog with KCS can permanently damage the lacrimal ducts, resulting in decreased natural tear production. Artificial tears will help lubricate the eye, but making natural tears is far better. Your dog may appear to be ok to you, but you are not qualified to make that assessment. If you stopped cyclosporin treatment, you may have permanently damaged your dogs lacrimal tear ducts (as well as make the eyes more prone to infection). A Schirmer Tear Test is really the only method of assessing a dog's natural tear production.

This is what happens when people claim that a vet is crooked. They think they know better than a vet with years of medical training and the pet ends up suffering. If you think you are being conned, get a second opinion, don't just assume YOU, the untrained pet owner, knows better.

Anonymous
#320212

Well, I have a sty in my eye; rare for me. Went to Walgreens for the cure. Guess what? Mineral oil and petrolatum, Blistex size tube, $8.

Haven't been to Banfield since they screwed me. And you know what? With their great concern for Clancy's health, they immediately ceased sending me vaccine and other reminders.

Clancy is now almost 18, and his vision is no worse, and I hardly use eye drops anymore.

Thanks Banfield!!!

Anonymous
#97110

Good grief.

1. I didn't say the ointment was identical to Vaseline. I said Vaseline is identical to petrolatum. And it is.

2. I never said I'm using Vaseline in his eyes, and I'm not. In fact, it is the vet who precribed 85% petrolatum to put in them; so what is this "see what happens" threat?

3. The vet said that Clancy would have to be on cyclosporin permanently, to keep it from getting worse, NOT to reverse it. The fact that it was to be permanent implicitly means that it wasn't going to reverse the problem. Otherwise Clancy wouldn't have to be on it permanently, would he? I used it as directed for 2 months, and he didn't get worse. And I'm using artificial tears for going on 3 months now, and he is no worse. Same result; so why would I pay for cyclosporin when OTC drops achieve the same result?

4. My dog's health, finally, is the same as the vet said it would have been under her protocol...no worse. So I have cost him nothing. And saved myself quite a bit. And if you don't think that there are vendors out there who will try to sell you something you don't need, or sell you a more expensive product than the one you need, then you're simply naive. I don't think Banfield is evil; I just take into account that they are in a business to make a profit.

Anonymous
#97092

Throcka, I'm only responding to your post because your post could potentially cause other owners to not properly treat their dogs eyes. Simply because something shares the primary ingredient with something else does not make it identical.

Eyes are sensitive organs and using ointments not especially made for the eyes can be harmful. If you are confident that they are the same, then go ahead and use Vaseline and see what happens.

Again, I said that I'm not surprised that your dog is no better/no worse by using the artificial tears. That helps treat the symptoms of the disease.

HOWEVER, the cyclosporine is to REVERSE the cause of the dry eye. Had you used it as directed, you could have potentially FIXED your dogs eyes so that you would no longer have to use artificial tears because he's be making his own once again. However, the disease needs to treated early on and NOT treating the disease makes the chances of recovery less and less. THAT is the part you seem to fail to grasp.

You have chosen to not FIX your dogs eyes because you seem to think that you have "outsmarted" the evil veterinarian. I don't think I'm better than you, I'm just saddened that you're refusal to listen to medical advice is costing your dog his health.

Anonymous
#93872

well, user 10/12/09:

1. I didn't write the headline. And I didn't write the "contents" on the tube. But it says 15% mineral oil and 85% petrolatum, as I indicated in my initial letter, which you evidently didn't read very carefully. Petrolatum IS Vaseline, so if that's absurd and inhumane to put in his eyes, you better take that up with the manufacturer, because it's the primary ingredient.

2. His eyes still get crusty, but no more so than before, using artificial tears, and are no worse after all this time. So I can still legitimately question the protocol proposed by the so-called licensed veterinarian.

3. Thanks for your implied insult. I'm sure you're a much better person than I.

Anonymous
#93722

This so called "vaseline" is nothing of the kind. It is specially designed eye lubricant to help rehydrate the eyes since the dog is no longer making tears.

Putting vaseline in the eyes would be absurd and inhumane. Regular human "eye drops" are not recommended either unless you are using artificial tears. If so, and you are using them often enough, I am not surprised the eyes look better. They are available over the counter and they do work.

However, the cyclosporine is not given to simply improve the appearance of the eyes but to actually TREAT the condition and potentially reverse the disease process.

It appears you'd rather save some money to continue the disease process in your animal's eyes than actually take the recommendation of a licensed veterinarian. You always can go elsewhere and have a second opinion.

Anonymous
#74111

5 other complaints in less than a month? No wonder Petnurse is so defensive.

Anonymous
#74107

Took my two cats for dental prophylaxis protocol in March, when I checked out they made me to buy the Oral Antibiotics for $30.50 (after the discount), I didn't understand why the vet prescribed two of them because they want your $$ MOMEY $$, my two cats could share one!

Anonymous
#74096

Well, first of all, gentle reader, I never said a word about "anger" or rudeness. Those were conclusions drawn by Petnurse, a Banfield employee it appears, and now you, which conclusions may or may not be accurate; YOU do not know. I said that I voiced displeasure, and tossed the box on the counter, from which you conclude I am angry and rude and was terrorizing the "poor receptionist."

And, "can't please everyone" your final conjecture is illogical as well as conclusion-jumping, traits you share with Petnurse. Clearly, neither of you are critical thinkers deserving of a listen, and neither of you have addressed the issues of usurious profit margin and questionable necessity of medication.

Furthermore, I did indeed contact Banfield corporate about this matter, and their response was to have the local office call me. Back to square one. So any assertion that my displeasure at the local office is misplaced is a straw man. Go look that up.

Finally, I will note that the cyclosporin (in corn oil solution, said the vet) originally prescribed was finished about a month ago. Since that time, I have used regular human eye drops on Clancy, and his condition has appeared to IMPROVE noticeably. I question both whether the cyclosporin was necessary, and whether there was indeed any cyclosporin in the solution.

Anonymous
#74077

I'm going to have to agree with PetNurse. I understand frustration with cost, but she is right.

I also believe it is very inappropriate you chose to take your anger out on the poor receptionist who has NO IDEA what went on in the room or what was discussed with the Dr? I'm sure if they hadn't sent any medication home at all you would have complained about the Dr who "refused" to give you medication.

Anonymous
#73677

Oh, yes, it was meant as a lubricant. That's one of the reasons the price is so outrageous.

Anonymous
#73665

Are you sure the vet wasn't giving you a lubricant vs a medicated eye ointment. They do have those you know.....

Anonymous
#72846

Thanks for replying. But your dog, to quote an expression, don't hunt.

Anonymous
#70681

You said that the clerk correctly stated that she doesn't set the prices, however you then tried to speak with the doctor about it. I'm sorry to inform you that unfortunately you would have just heard the same thing from her. The doctors don't set the prices either. We are a corporate chain of hospitals, and a number of factors affect our pricing, none of which anyone in your local clinic has any control over whatsoever.

Your complaint however is similar to walking in to a corporate-owned restaurant and claiming that their $16.00 burger is ridiculously priced and McDonalds sells the same ingredients in their burgers for only $1. While you are correct they don't make the prices for their products, it is dictated to them from the higher-ups.

I agree that the prescribed "vaseline" was expensive, but I do believe your anger was misplaced and rudely tossing the box on the counter because you disagreed on something out of their control was inappropriate.

Anonymous
#928060
@Petnurse

my dog has dry eye and went through every cyclosporin and tecrolimus percentage and realized they didn't do anything! it was all me with my drops and saline solution.

Above that, now I just use vaseline and make my own saline which last 100x longer and is 100x cheaper!! I could have saved thousands if I just realized earlier

Anonymous
#928062
@macy

i didnt mean to reply to petnurs btw, i meant for this to just be a post.

Anonymous
#928265
@macy

Atta girl.

Clancy has since passed, but he lived 18 years. when it came time to let him go, You can bet I didn't take him to Banfield.