Tampa, Florida
Not resolved

Boomer was outside running around like normal. When I called him to come inside, he was on our back deck, which is about 5 inches off of the ground. As he stepped down, he yelped and hopped a few steps. Right away, I noticed something was not right with him. He normally runs into the house, but he was walking very gingerly, like his back hurt. He was tucking his hips under and holding his tail down. Also he refused to walk up the stairs into the house. I carried him inside and checked him over, looking for anything on his legs or feet that may be hurting, but I didn’t find anything. But he had started to pant and whimper. His lower abdomen got very hard. He was also clearly uncomfortable and kept getting up and lying down. I called my husband and when he got home from work, we took Boomer to the Banfield on Dale Mabry. We got there at about 6:20, and they closed at 7pm. They took us back into a room and I explained to the vet (Dr. Certa) and tech what happened, and said I was worried it had to do with his back since he was a dachshund mix. The vet started moving his arms and legs and feeling him over, looking for a problem. He said he didn’t see anything and said we should do an x-ray to look at his back, and maybe blood work to check for pancreatitis. We did the x-ray ($ 209 dollars) but declined the blood work. When the results came back, Dr. Certa said that he didn’t see anything wrong with Boomer’s discs or back, and he thought maybe he just pulled something. He didn’t really give us a definite answer. He gave us pain killers and muscle relaxers and said to bring him back Sunday if Boomer wasn’t doing better. This visit cost us almost $400. We felt rushed in and out, like they wanted to hurry up and close.

September 25, 2013

The next morning, Boomer was worse. He was even more uncomfortable and in pain. The pills didn’t seem to be doing anything. By the afternoon, I noticed he also seemed to be having trouble walking, and eventually his back legs stopped working all together. He started shaking. He would try to walk and would drag his legs behind him. I tried to stand him up and he would walk on the tops of his back feet. I called Banfield around 3:30 and told them about it. They told me that they must have given him too high a dose and to just cut the pills in half and he should be fine. About an hour later I called again because Boomer was worse. The vet on the phone told me that since he was not the one who treated Boomer, what did I expect him to do. Extremely rude. He said it was probably just a side effect of the pills and that if it didn’t wear off by morning to call again. At this point we had had it with Banfield. Boomer was continuously crying and rocking back and forth. He was panting heavily and drooling. His eyes were very wide and glassy. At about 9 pm, we called Blue Pearl emergency vet and told them what was going on, and they told us to get him there immediately, a big difference from Banfield. We rushed him there and he was taken back. We talked to Dr. Eckhart and explained everything that had happened and how Banfield had treated us. When we told her about getting the x-rays for his discs, she said that you couldn’t even see the discs on x-ray! That the only way was to have an MRI done! After she examined Boomer, she told us that she was 99% sure it was his discs and that his lower half had become paralyzed. I asked if the pain killers had done anything, and she said no, that he was in excruciating pain and had been all day. We were devastated that he had been suffering. Dr. Eckhart explained our options. She said we could have him put to sleep, or have surgery. She explained that the surgery would be about $5000 and would include that MRI and the actual procedure. But she said that since he had no feeling in his legs, chances are he would never walk again. We were completely in shock and devastated. Had we gotten him there earlier, his chances for surgery would have been much better and he could be here right now! But because we trusted the vets at Banfield, it was too late!! Sadly, we had to put Boomer to sleep. He would have been absolutely miserable with that life. My husband and I were prepared to pay for the surgery and help him recover, but Banfield stole that choice and our dog from us. Boomer was only 5 years old, and otherwise perfectly healthy.

September 26, 2013

I called Banfield’s corporate office and lodged a complaint. I explained everything to them, including how we were brushed off by not one, but THREE Banfield vets. A few hours later, Dr. Certa called us. He apologized about Boomer, but said since Boomer wasn’t that bad when he saw him, it wasn’t their fault! When I asked about why he said Boomer’s discs were fine, but how the ER vet said you needed an MRI, he disagreed and didn’t really have much to say about it. He said we would be getting a refund and that he would get back to us. He went on to say that the surgery would have been very expensive and we would have had to work on rehabbing Boomer for a long time. I told him that if there was a chance that Boomer would come out of the surgery ok, we would have paid anything and worked with him as long as he needed; but because Banfield didn’t do their job, we didn’t even get to make this decision. Dr. Certa also said that the other vets should in fact have told us to come in right away. I told him that was great, but that it didn’t do us any good now. He continued to talk in circles about how it wasn’t Banfields fault and that he would be getting back to us about our refund. He “assured” us he would sit down and talk to the other vets as well. Like I believe that.

If Banfield couldn’t find what out was wrong, they should have recommended us to go somewhere else that Tuesday night, because if we did, Boomer would be here right now. They are at fault for his death, at least in part. Looking online for a number to call their corporate office, we came upon hundreds and hundreds of pages of complaints about Banfield clinics all over the country that were very similar to ours: they were rude, misdiagnosed pets, didn’t act like they cared, out for as much money as they could get, etc. And all too often, these complaints ended like ours did, with the pets being either seriously injured or euthanized. We are placing several complaints with Banfield, and also with Florida Veterinarian Association.

Product or Service Mentioned: Banfield Pet Hospital Pet Vaccination.

Monetary Loss: $800.

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I believe you. The vet hurried you out the door, and the others dismissed your concerns.

Some people here are heartless or work for that soulless company. I hope you adopted another dog, and if not, do so. So many need homes.

One day, your Boomer will be waiting for you on the other side. Happy, healthy and in no more pain.


thank you so much. We did adopt another wonderful little dachshund. Thanks for being kind and not thinking we are just after money.


Yea... you went to bluepearl and was given the option of an expensive surgery " that he might not make it through" or euthanasia.....hhmmm sounds like some other stories i have heard about ppl going to blue pearl...

I DO work at banfield, and i feel sorry for you that you had a bad experience at banfield.. if you knew that something was seriously wrong with your boomer EVEN AFTER taking him to that location and not getting the answers you needed then it is up to YOU to find help elsewhere, maybe trying a different location and getting another opinion, or going to the ER sooner, blue pearl is 24 hour.

Like you said it doesnt matter now, as it is too late, however instead of placing all of the blame on the Banfield do the research and realize that you did have other options. Im not sticking up for that banfield by the way, just think you need to look at it from a different side, if you would have done whatever you could for boomer youcould have gotten better pain meds and been referred to a specialist...just my opionion


The people on here who think that this is made up are either ignorant or work for Banfield. Why would she make up this story?


I had a similar experience with Banfield. My dog had a couple of lumps removed in Sept. '12. One tested positive as a mast cell tumor.

I was told that there were clean edges and NOTHING else needed to be done. At the beginning of Oct. she developed a cough. X-rays were taken and she was diagnosed with a lung infection.

She was given numerous medications that didn't help. A week later we took her back to Banfield and said she wasn't improving. We wanted to make sure that this had nothing to do with the Mast Cell tumor that was removed at the beginning of Sept. They assured us that it didn't and gave us more medication.

No improvements. My dog lost her appetite and started to lose weight. So a week after the previous appointment we returned to Banfield. This time we were told that she had indigestion and to give her a special diet.

That was on a Saturday. That week she continued to get worse. We had enough with Banfield and their incompetent vets so we went to another vet on Thursday. We had to carry her into the vet because she stopped walking on this day.

This vet did a couple of tests and took some x-rays and told us she had cancer. We went from a indigestion diagnosis on Saturday from Banfield to a cancer diagnosis on Thursday from a competent vet. The vet explained that there was little that could be done to help her at this point. The following morning we went to another vet to get a second opinion.

This vet said the same thing. Our sweet girl died that night. Had Banfield known what they were doing, our dog could have been treated with steroids as soon as the tumor was found.

And no this is not a made up story. I have better things to do with my time!


finally! someone backs me up!

i never put this story up here to get judged, nor did i saw all banfields all bad. In fact the nurse at the one we went to was great.

I can't believe how harsh and cruel people are on here. Thank you very much!


Hmm...your story is inconsistent. You said he was "in pain" but then wasn't a good candidate for surgery because he "had no feeling in his legs." There's no reason why an otherwise healthy dog wouldn't "make it through" a hemilaminectomy surgery.

Your "facts" are just wrong. I'm not trying to say that Banfield didn't miss the diagnosis - obviously they did. What I AM saying is that they didn't "kill your dog." A one day delay in hemilaminectomy surgery will not alter the odds of recovery.

The spinal cord was compressed from the ruptured intervertebral disc, but surgery could have alleviated that pressure by removing the fluid pressing on the spinal cord. Everyone out there - don't believe this reviewer when she says that the dog "would not have made it through surgery" or "wouldn't have recovered." I know this because I am a medical professional who has seen a lot of these cases.


he had no deep pain, which meant he had no feeling in his legs. However, he could feel all of the pain in his spine. my story is not inconsistant, i just dont have all the medical words.


^^ Well Said "suspicious." There is no reason why the dog should not have come out of surgery. A one day delay in a hemilaminectomy doesn't really alter the odds of recovery.


each case is different. His was severe therefore i day did make a big difference.


yeah, no. Still doesn't make sense. Sorry.


Bottom line - you knew you didn't have a diagnosis when you left Banfield and state that you felt they were in a hurry. That was the time to drive straight to another vet.

That twnty-four hours that you delayed treatment was YOUR fault. Banfield didn't "Kill" your dog.

I think you are really trying to convince yourself. Next time, don't wait so long.


You're disgusting. We trusted what he told us and because he assured us that his discs looked fine.

I don't need to convince myself of anything. The facts are the facts.


I can see by your reaction what sort of attitude you have. And I can see that you didn't want to spend or didn't have 5000 dollars.

Be a grown-up and quit blaming Banfield. The only reason you think they "kill" pets is because of all of the other people who can't deal with their losses that said the same thing -it's an internet meme. You just jumped on the wagon. Facts are facts - you might have saved your dog with surgery - you declined.

You made the call. You.

You. How can you mot see that?


we had the money to spend. the vet didnt think he had a chance of even waking up from surgery and his quality of life afterwards would have been 0.

I didnt jump on any wagon, in fact i had no problem with them before this happened. The reviews online about this place, and from other people who work at the same banfield are disgusting.

There is a real problem with this company and we only posted our story so it was out there. Take it or leave it, but your personal opinion matters very little to me.


"ann" it doesn't have to make since to you. i just posted what happened.


if all this was in single day increments, i dont understand how banfield took the choice of getting surgery for boomer away. in one day he was already not a candidate for surgery?

you wouldve paid for they surgery and done anything to get him better, but you declined blood work, which would have needed to be done anyway if you planned to do any kind of surgery. and a slipped disc can be seen by both xray and mri


banfield dismissed it as a pulled muscle or stomach problem. If we had been told to take him to the er on that night, he could have had the surgery and had great results.

but because we believed the vet and waited another day it was already too late. Banfield told us the bloodwork was to check for pancreatitis, nothing about his back. IF the er vet had asked to do bloodwork, we would have done it. She said if we would have done it, it wouldn't have shown anything to do with what was wrong.

And banfield even said the bloodwork wouldn't have done any good when i talked to them after the fact.

And an mri was the only way to see what was wrong with his back, and banfield did not suggest it. Anything else?


How would blood work detect a slipped disc? The second vet was female. Please don't be sexist.


it wouldn't show anything, both vets confirmed that. Banfield was just throwing things at us.

How am I being sexist?

Banfield dismissed us and tried to get us out of there as quick as possible. Blue pearl was completly up front and helpful/


You initially declined blood work that may have diagnosed the illness. You declined surgery with the second doctor.

The dog needed surgery either way, whether from Banfield or the second vet. It is sad - I love my dogs too - but you can't blame the vet if you didn't allow them to do what they needed to properly diagnose.

How do you even know that the second vet was right? Just because you liked him?