Portland, Oregon
5K views
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10 comments

Update by user Feb 18, 2013

Thank you jstcurious. I thought it was unprofessional and inappropriate to bring into question my not having "grown up" ; ) really.

I don't have a lot of disposable income, but as a pet owner and lover, I would find a way to pay for something catastrophic, should it ever occur to my pet. I have money for daily care, maintenance, regular vet costs, and have completely kept my pet up to date on all care. What I don't have money for are the altogether unexpected consequences of a supposedly and vet-endorsed and administered flea treatment.

That's where I have the problem. Thanks for responding!

Original review posted by user Sep 28, 2012

I have a 3.6 lb chihuahua named Taquita. In July, I stopped in to a Banfield hospital inside a PetSmart in Wilsonville, OR. The cashier at the front of the store had suggested I go to the hospital for a single dose of the flea medication. My vet had recommended Frontline Plus, so that's what I asked for. The Banfield clerk said they had "their version", which was First Shield Trio. I said "sure", and paid the $15.95 for the dose. I took it home and treated her per the directions. She had no noticeable side effects.

I missed the August treatment due to lack of finances, but Taquita was itching and scratching recently, so I scraped together money for another dose, and this time asked the tech to apply it with me, as it's much easier for two to part short hair and apply the medicine than for one to go it alone. She said, sure, but opened the tube and did it herself, starting from Taquita's neck, and ending three spots later near her tail. Later I read that for pets under 20lbs, just the neck area is to be used. The tech just dabbed it on on top of her fur, and she ended up looking like an oily polar bear. I said thanks and left. An hour later, Taquita began exhibiting completely foreign to her signs of distress. She kept shaking like she had just come out of a bath, her rear end came around like a beaten dog's will, her limbs were jerking and she barked at me when she never would have before. Just looked at me and barked once, and then a few minutes later again. She never does that. She sleeps with me, and last night, she was so twitchy, I began to clue in that she may be having some kind of neuro response to the flea medication. This morning, she has not been herself. She will eat and drink only out of my hand, she is lethargic and moody. She won't follow me when I walk like she usually does, she tries, then goes back slowly to her bed. I googled First Shield reactions, and was horrified by what I have been reading. One lady had to put her dog to sleep due to poisoning from the treatment. I immediately bathed Taquita with Dawn, and she has calmed down a bit from itching, but that's all she is now, "calm", actually lethargic and doleful. I called Banfield and Cindy, the woman who answered, said, "bring her back in, that's not normal" I said ok, and drove right down. Cindy was not in sight, and I never did see her. I did, however, get checked into an appointment I had not requested, and had no funds to pay for. The two people who helped me paid more attention to their computer screen than to us, and I was under the impression that I had been asked to come down because this was a quasi emergency. The nurse who saw us in the room checked extremely cursorily for fleas, and made sure to ask me, "Did she have fleas before the treatment yesterday? Yes? Well she doesn't have them now." The doctor says your estimate is 30 something for the visit, 40 something for a neuro check....and that's when I went off.

Okay, well, for one, you checked a tiny part of her rear, so you have no clue about the rest of her, and two, we are not here because of fleas, it's your treatment that's the issue. And someone named Cindy told us to come right down so she could be "checked out". This is not her vet, I don't have money for any office visit, even if we were at her vet. She told me that the prices were the standard clinic rate. I said, I understand you have standard rates for things, I'm telling you I don't have the money for this, but came down because Cindy said that Taquita's reaction to this medication (which now feels like poison. Poison I can't even afford. ) was not normal. The lady asked me what I wanted to do, and I said, I am leaving. Please tell Cindy not to have people race down here, thinking the worst about their pet, if all that's going to happen is they get checked into a costly appointment, and get scammed into paying for a neuro check and meds simply because Banfield insists on carrying this toxic pet killer for what ungodly reason, I don't know. My dog was treated down her whole back with it, and now won't leave my lap, and I'm concerned that she's fighting a poison off all on her own because I don't have the money for a real vet check. I called her vet and left a message for a return call. The tech who answered asked what kind of medication, and I didn't name it, because I wanted the doctor to call me personally to discuss her views on it, and Taquita's reaction to it. Please wish us luck! I think I will bathe her in Dawn again while we wait for the vet to call.

Product or Service Mentioned: Banfield Pet Hospital Pet Vaccination.

Monetary Loss: $15.

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Anonymous
#611263

I don't understand why you think you are entitled to a free exam simply because your pet had a rare and unexpected reaction to this medication. I have applied it thousands of times to thousands of different animals, and our hospital has only seen one adverse reaction (which was an allergic reaction).

Often, allergic reactions don't happen on the first exposure because the body has to build up antibodies against the substance it recognizes as foreign. Why should they have to pay for your visit because your pet had a rare reaction? That's like saying I'm going to make the candy industry pay for my medical bills after I eat a snicker's bar if I'm allergic to peanuts. Adverse reactions can't be predicted, and they aren't necessarily the medication's fault.

Often it's a pet's own idiosynchratic physiology that triggers adverse reactions. Yes, Cindy said "come check it out" because how can she evaluate an animal over the phone? A neuro exam involves seeing the animal in person, looking at its reflexes, and performing certain physical manipulations to assess for neural abnormalities.

I don't understand why you claim you were "checked into an appointment you did not ask for." You wanted your dog to be examined...thus you must pay for it.

That's the way it works. Doctors spent years and hundreds of thousands of dollars financing their education, why should they not be reimbursed for their time and expertise? I understand if they did something negligent, but they didn't. Your pet had a rare side effect to the medication - no one's fault.

You also claim in your update that you have money for daily care and regular costs. This is obviously not the case as you said yourself that you skipped a month of flea prevention because you did not have the finances. To have to "scrape together" $15 means you are in no business owning an animal. Owners should be financially responsible for their pets, and that includes monthly flee treatments AS WELL AS unexpected medical expenses.

You really have no one to be mad at except yourself. It shouldn't be the vet's responsibility to pay for your animal if you cannot.

Anonymous
#1163942
@Lila

From what I'm seeing online it is not rare at all! My dog didn't have fleas and we switched from nexgard to first shield because it was a little cheaper and my dog has not stopped acting in pain all week!

We took him to the vet and couldn't figure out what was wrong but it didn't take long to add things together to realize that his problems started when I applied the topical solution. Now he has fleas as well so not only does it not prevent or kill fleas it also has put my dog in pain. He's walking funny and making whining noises we've never heard before. So i think she should have had a free check because of the money she wasted on the product that caused her dog to have to be taken to the vet to begin with!

It's called customer satisfaction. It's not like she was trying to get everything free, she said she knew it would be the normal rate for a visit but not the added neuro check.

Plus if you're going to have to pay that much you should at least have people act like they care when you come up and are worried about your pup! Not just a "hello please sign in" from behind a screen.

Anonymous
#1337836
@Anonymous

I just went through 2 dogs having a reaction and the reviews in the product and hospital are not good!

I also seen the right it took to get them to stop using it in cats class action lawsuits and.

Petitions. They're going to continue to deny it because they Market that brand

Melanii
#1338012
@Anonymous

I agree. The literature on the product was horrifying to read, especially after the fact.

Now I use something called organic dog flea and tick concentrate.

It just has olive oil and organic essential oils. No neuro effects and no fleas!!

Melanii
#1338010
@Anonymous

Thank you, I appreciate your comments!!

Melanii
#1338011
@Melanii

I'm sorry about what you and your pet had to endure.

Anonymous
#570777

Personal attacks will be deleted.

Anonymous
#570618

Why have a pet if you cant afford care. If your child had an allergic reaction would you yell at their doctor about being poor? Grow up.

Anonymous
#611026
@vetmeddvm

:sigh not a very nice comment for a vet - everyone who has a pet is not rich

Banfield Pet Hospital
#550504

Hi Melanii – We are sorry to hear of your experience with the flea medication. I understand that you and Taquita found this situation to be stressful, and our Client Advocate Team would like to assist you personally. If you have additional concerns or would like to discuss your experience in further detail, please contact our Client Advocate Team at 877-500-2288 or at cat(at)banfield(dot)com.

Sincerely,

Lisa

Banfield Online Community Manager