Chicago, Illinois
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10 comments

Ah yes, Banfield offering a FREE initial examination for your pet. Such a deal, or so you think. Well, its one way to get you and your pet into a Banfield clinic for the first time and hopefully get you signed up for the wellness plan while your there so you and your pet will continue to be a clients of a Banfield clinic close to you.

Trust me, nothing is free especially the cost of the VERY LIMITED medical coverage the Wellness plan actually offers you and your pet considering the Wellness plan will cost you a minimum of $400.00 if not more depending on where you live and what a particular Banfield Clinic is charging for the plan.

So while you pet is being examined if not prior to the actual exam you'll be told all about the wonderful benefits and financial savings you'll enjoy by signing up for the Wellness plan. I strongly suggest that you first READ and fully understand the legal contract and limited Wellness plan services your about to sign up for prior to signing on the dotted line, as what you may be told verbally and what you may assume will most likely be a bit different once you actually READ the black and white print including the fine print in Wellness plan contract.

Product or Service Mentioned: Banfield Pet Hospital Wellness Plan.

Reason of review: Pricing issue.

  • Banfield Wellness Plan
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Anonymous
#1151668

So true... My dog, Penny, had terrible skin allergies.

I got the plan and it helped with some of the costs; however, Banfield dropped us when we reached an amount that equaled the cost of the plan. What a rip off!!!

Anonymous
#1133859

Re: Hart worm meds.

My point is, ones pet can still contract hart worm even when given a monthly dose of hart worm preventative. Considering the costs involved for the office visit, blood test and the hart worm medication.

One would think that after spending a couple of hundred dollars on preventative care, one would assume their pet is now protected from contracting hart worm.

However, the dosage (micrograms) of Ivermectin in the pill/chew tab is minimal considering the outrageous cost. Once again, the drug manufacture & vet clinic's both make a great deal of money for a medication that doesn't always work 100% And I still have a difficult time believing any drug manufacture would cover ALL the cost's involved for hart worm treatments when it comes to a vet verses a drug manufactures corporate attorney claiming failure of their manufactured product/medication.

Anonymous
#1134965
@Anonymous

No drug "works 100%" for each and every patient. There will always be side effects and there will always be individuals for whom the drug does not work properly.

The dosages in heartworm prevention have been evaluated by the FDA to be effective in the majority of patients.

I have seen (at my own practice) the manufacturers cover treatment when the product was purchased at vet clinic and proper yearly heartworm testing was performed. These manufacturers stand behind their products when they are used as directed.

Anonymous
#1122053

I have serious doubts that any manufacturer of a hart worm preventative would pay the costs of hart worm treatments in the event a dog/cat becomes infected with hart worms. The manufacture is going to say it was pet owners negligence in either failing to give the recommended dosage or failing to give the pet its monthly dosage as scheduled.

The manufacture is under no circumstances going to admit possible failure and assume liability of their hart worm medication failing or pay for treatments needed to get rid of the pets hart worm infestation. I believe hart guard only contains about 142 micrograms of Ivermection in one 50 - 100 Lb chewable tablet dose and most likely less micrograms of Ivermection for pets weighing less then 50 Lbs.

Anonymous
#1122523
@Anonymous

That's why you need a vet willing to go to bat for you. Over the years, I've worked with my clients and had 4 heartworm treatments (between $800-1500 depending on pet's size) paid for in its entirety by the medication manufacturer.

These clients saw me regularly, we were able to document that they were compliant with medication administration, etc.

In regards to ivermectin dosage in heartworm medication, this is the dosage shown to kill microfilaria. Not sure what your point was in the above comment.

Anonymous
#1128178
@Anonymous

Just shows how incorrect your assumptions are....I love when people think they know something when they really don't .

As the person above me stated, IF you purchase the prevention at your vet office, get heartworm tested yearly and can prove you religiously give the medication, YES the manufacturer WILL pay for treatment. Especially the proheart manufacterer as the proheart injection (lasts for 6mo) is given by the Veternarian every 6mo, so there's proof.The whole reason for yearly heartworm tests is to be sure the prevention is working.

If pets who's owners give the prevention religiously come up positive, the manufacterer is notified. If so many pets come up positive, they recall the prevention to find out the reason and reformulate it.

However, if you buy the prevention online, they will most likely NOT cover it as there's no way to prove that prevention came from the manufacturer. That is the problem with purchasing any medications from online. There have been alot of counterfeit products being shipped out to people.

But that's a risk people take when trying to save a couple bucks. Also, if you don't get a heartworm test yearly, they likely won't cover treatment because you aren't being compliant.

As for the vaccines. We've had a couple pets at my clinic have a reaction to a vaccine. Guess what?

The manufacterer PAID FOR TREATMENT.

WHY? Because they stand behind their product!

If you purchase the vaccines and do them yourself and your pet has a reaction, the manufacterer will NOT cover it.

They shouldn't either. No way to guarantee the vaccine was properly stored, no way to know if it was actually the vaccine causing a reaction, no way to know if the vaccine was given correctly etc.

Anonymous
#1116508

What most pet owners don't realize is that the mark up on vaccines, prescription medications, flea & tick products purchased thru a vet's office have about a 60% price mark up. The drug manufactures have already marked up the product, then the sales rep gets a commission on his sales of the product to the vet and then the vet marks up the product cost again.

So, you end up paying for the office visit and then for the medication, vaccination, etc. In most States its required by law that a licensed vet must administer your pets rabies vaccination and write a prescription for RX medications. RX medications for your pet can for the most part be filled at your local pharmacy or pet supply company i.e Foster/Smith or K.V. Pet supply for much less then what you'll pay at the vet's office.

If your pet is on hart worm preventive there really is no reason to have a yearly hart worm test done other then the vet telling you it should be done because the vet makes money on both the blood test and then selling you hart worm medication at a marked up price that can be purchased elsewhere for a lot less money depending on the preventive brand purchased.

Deworming and even Distemper vaccinations can be done by the pet owner for a fraction of the price a vet charges. So, in a much as any type of Wellness plan offered by a vet may sound like a money saving idea, in the long run it may actually end up costing you a lot more.

A wellness plan is not a pet medical insurance coverage plan. A Wellness plan is preventive care with limited covered medical care services.

Anonymous
#1117168
@Anonymous

Ok, can't look past this one. Again, I do not support Banfield Pet Hospital but can't allow the above person to spread inaccurate information.

DISCLAIMER: I AM A VETERINARIAN

DISCLAIMER: I AM LOOKING OUT FOR THE BEST INTEREST OF YOUR PET

1. Heartworm testing is recommended yearly because no medication offers 100% protection, even if you give it religiously every 30 days. Let's face it, most pet owners (me included) are off by at least a day or two. If you start missing 7 days or more between dosing then your pet is at risk of developing disease.

Add to that potential medication failure and your pet may test positive at the yearly heartworm test even though "you've been giving medication." I've seen pets who receive monthly prevention that test positive. Yes, this is rare but it happens because nothing is 100%. In these cases, if you do what your veterinarian recommends (give monthly prevention and test yearly) then the manufacturer of the product will cover treatment.

Heartworm prevention is also a prescription medication that requires a valid client-patient-veterinary relationship.

This happens with your yearly exam. I am happy to write my clients prescriptions if they can purchase cheaper medication from a reputable source....but you have to come and see me for me to put my license on the line.

2. Over the counter dewormers are at a lower strength then what you find at your friendly veterinary office.

Therefore, you can waste your money if you'd like to or you can visit your vet and have the issue diagnosed properly and (hopefully) taken care of in one visit. 3. Vaccines that are purchased at a feed store, etc are not recommended. Why?

These vaccines may not have been shipped or stored properly (i.e. they don't offer protection) and they may not be administered properly (no offense). Also, if your pet falls ill with one of the common diseases covered by a vaccine, the manufacturer will likely pay for treatment if it was administered by a veterinarian. If you did it yourself, you're most likely out of luck.

Our practice offers preventive care packages to people who wish to make monthly payments for comprehensive care. This works for some clientele and doesn't for others. As veterinarians, we want what is best for you and your pet.

Most of us will work with you to find the most cost effective means of doing so.

Anonymous
#1115028

I took my cat in for the free exam & was told about the Wellness plan by the person at the front desk. I said I'd like to think about it and I'd also like a copy of the coverage's to review when I get back home.

The young lady told me that the only way I could sign up for the plan was to do so at the time of the initial first visit in order to receive the plan discounts and other coverage's the plan offered. I again told I'd like to have time to read about the plan prior to signing up. Her attitude changed a bit at that time and I was told it could be up to a 45 minute wait until a vet could see my cat, yet there was no one else waiting in the waiting area.

I ended up telling her I didn't have 45 minutes to just sit around and wait. So I just ended up leaving with my cat.

Anonymous
#1160103
@Anonymous

Good for you for leaving. That is absolutely ridiculous.

I hope you filed a complaint with the manager.

I worked at banfield for 6yrs. I am no longer there.

I would NEVER treat a client that way. That's probably why I had multiple clients who would only come when I was there or only talk to me on the phone.

I truly cared about every patient AND client. I had alot of clients who became friends and one who's become like a second mom to me.

I hate that some of the banfields have receptionists who try to sign the pet up before a doctor has examined them.

That's not okay.

It's a wellness plan, so the point is for the pet to be healthy enough for the plan. The only way to know that is if a doctor examines the pet and determines they are healthy.

I truly hope you found a vet that you love.