Silver Spring, Maryland

Having seen so many horrible reviews on here about Banfield, I felt compelled to give a good (or at least mixed) one, given how happy I've (generally) been with their service.

When I first brought my shelter dog home about a year ago, I was informed that it was possible that she could have, or develop, kennel cough. Thus, when she started hacking a few days later, I was sure that was the cause and immediately scheduled an appointment at my nearest Banfield, in Rockville, MD. The vet confirmed my suspicions, prescribed her medication, and that was that. Despite this, her cough didn't go away, and after two weeks on medication to no avail, I scheduled another appointment with the same vet. Again, she concluded that it was still kennel cough and prescribed stronger medication.

On the new medication her cough actually got significantly worse, and she began bringing up significant amounts of phlegm (or some other substance...) with it. With a blizzard expected to land within hours, I began panicking and tried to schedule an appointment with the vet. No luck-- they were booked up. I tried calling several other Banfields and they too were full. Finally, I called the Banfield in Columbia, MD. After explaining my situation, they agreed to squeeze us in for an appointment later that day. We met with Dr. Sharma, who was so sweet, gentle, and patient with my dog. She explained clearly how much all the tests would cost before she performed them, and even discouraged me from having certain (unnecessary) tests done because of the expense. After performing chest x-rays, she diagnosed my dog with pneumonia, which the vet at the Rockville Banfield had clearly missed. Within a week on new medication, she was back to her old self again.

Since then, I've continued to take my dog to Dr. Sharma at the Columbia Banfield location. I can honestly say that I've never had an unpleasant experience there-- they've always been transparent about the costs of the tests and procedures performed, and everyone from the front desk staff to the vet techs to Dr. Sharma herself (can't say anything about the other vets there, as I've only seen Dr. Sharma) have been a pleasure to work with.

I guess my point is this: I've had both wonderful and awful experiences with Banfield. I find it frustrating to see so many reviews that bemoan one Banfield or one vet in particular, and then proclaim that all Banfields are equally terrible. Banfield is a corporation with 800+ locations and thousands of employees. That they should all be held accountable for your one horrific experience is ludicrous. (Not to mention the fact that oftentimes the real issue isn't with the vet, but with the pet owner's lack of funds, or due to the owner neglecting to provide their pet with preventative care.)

The Banfield in Rockville misdiagnosed my dog, but the Banfield in Columbia saved her. Like all practices, Banfields vary from location to location and from vet to vet, and one shouldn't be held accountable for the failings of another. I've been very pleased with my experiences with Dr. Sharma and the entire staff at the Columbia, MD location, and anticipate taking my dog there for the foreseeable future.

(And for the record, NO, I don't work for Banfield!)

Product or Service Mentioned: Banfield Pet Hospital Pet Medical Service.

Reason of review: Wonderful staff at the Columbia, MD location..

Banfield Pet Hospital Pros: Some of the staff and one doctor, Personal attention.

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