My 5-month-old GSD was on the Banfield "plan." Took him in 3/23/11 for a limp (after he had escaped and was missing for 12 hours) and he was diagnosed as having "pano" without X-rays or bloodwork. We were told by Susan Valashinas that it was unrelated to being out, if anything the overexertion caused the inflammation. We were also told by Valashinas (owner/vet) to rest him on Rimadyl and Tramadol for 2 weeks and come back for x-rays if he was unimproved.
We were told that on the plan our discount would put us at $479-$559 for sedation and x-rays. This turned out to be MORE than what we spent (a total of $456) at the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine Emergency Room in Raleigh for EMERGENCY care with an exam, x-rays with sedation, blood, neuro consult, and a week's worth of meds for home. This was also more than ANY OTHER VETERINARIAN in a 20 mile radius, including our local emergency clinic.
After taking our puppy to another local vet, we were told that his case was severe and it was unbelievable that Valashinas diagnosed him without a workup. The second vet told us to rush to the Emergency Room at the Teaching Hospital over TWO hours away because it was that severe. Our beautiful baby was diagnosed with a L4-L5 compression fracture, which due to the 2-week delay, caused irreversible nerve damage and rear end paralysis. We now have to put him down, yet still continue to pay for our "plan" at Banfield. We are in the process of working with the Client Advocate Team at Banfield Headquarters to fix this. They are launching an immediate investigation into this veterinarian and we are also filing a complaint with the NCBVM (state board). Susan Valashinas also has multiple complaints against her that have been filed since she has been in practice.
Two different vets (the local vet that we took him to when he worsened and the vet at the hospital) diagnosed the fracture on palpation. It was confirmed via X-ray, yet Valashinas *missed* all of this during her physical. Due to her incompetence, we are losing a member of our family. DO NOT TAKE YOUR PETS HERE!
Product or Service Mentioned: Banfield Pet Hospital Pet Medical Service.