Jacksonville, North Carolina
Not resolved

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.

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I find this highly unlikely and, even in the off chance that something was, sincerely, missed an issue, I find it moderately disturbing that anyone is trying to adversely affect an individual's career. Dr.

Valashinas has served as our family's veterinarian for years and we have had only positive experiences. From our cat's juvenile cataracts and early onset diabetes to our beagle's early and recurrent gastric issues, Dr.

Valashinas has always been clear, concise and accurate with her diagnosis. To assume or infer that a veterinarian intentionally mislead her patient is a sad accusation.


I believe pedophiles should be shot... sadly the law doesn't work the way we want it... It works the way its written


Bottom line, if you read the legalese from the AVMA in many/most states information regarding a patient cannot be release without the consent of owner.

However, in my opionion if you are going to call out a person in a public forum such as this, it is only fair that all the info be presented.

Your rights to any privacy should be null and void if you are going to call out some one directly. It is only fair that all information be presented since you are affecting someones means of income.


I know right people sound dumb when they try to sound like legal expects... like I know this one person who brought up HIPPA (even though no one else did) talking about how it doesnt apply to animals which is true (probably why no one brought it up)... but vets too are held to a confidentiality clause in the law maybe people should look up the law before they open their mouths and sound dumb...


knjaysims, I really do feel bad for your dog and hope he gets better. To your comment about posting "opinions" - it is MY opinon that you should not have originaly published a persons name for basiclly killing your dog..convenientyly leaving out the fact you couldnt afford xrays she DID reccomend.

that's not an "opinion" -her kids will find this when she googles her name the rest of her life. Again- i hope your dog is ok...and i wish people would quit trying to sound like legal experts on this site because theyre mad.


ajay4: You stated that I lied? Please point out where I did this?

I submitted my review, which is based on my opinion to a review website.

This is not slander. As for if I'm wrong or not, you are not the veterinary board who will ultimately decide whether I am wrong or not.


Right...because i'm not on your side i must be a corporate conspiracy. My sister's a vet (not even for banfeild) and vets get blamed when anything happens.

Its BS that her name was put on here with false information - id be pissed if someone did that to me or someone in my family.And yes someone said HIPAA applys to vets when it doesn't...read all the comments. Plus your link doesnt prove your point.


Ajay 4 probably is a Banfield plant/employee. Gratz!


Wow you people are narrow minded. So this lady blames a banfield vet WITH HER NAME for basically killing her dog, while lying about what really happened to make her look like a victim.

So her kids will see her name come up in Google for killing a dog the rest of their lives...and your mad at banfield for defending her name? wow.

Oh, and "HIPPA," which you know nothing about (actually HIPAA) is for human medicine, not animals. At all. Animal care should be private?

REALLY? Will the dog be offended if her medical history is released? this lady brought up the details in the first place to make it look like the vet killed her dog. Banfield corrected it to save a person's reputation from being slandered (which is illegal - because it's fasle).

Your just mad cuz you hate the company - but you'r wrong.

Oh, and you're really one of thos people who says "pwned"? Ha.


It sounds like they did, in fact, recommend x-rays during your visit, which you could not afford at the time. So, it sounds like the medications and rest was their plan B.

How is it their fault if they recommended it and you chose not to for whatever reason? I am sorry that your pet was injured, but you do have some responsibility in this too.


I agree that it was my bad for waiting for X-rays. However, I ask you all one question.

As an average citizen with no veterinarian training, would you just up and decide to take your dog in for x-rays if you've been told by the vet to wait? Had she said to come back in 3 days I would have.

However, as a customer, I took her opinion to heart. If that's wrong, then that's wrong, but as a consumer when I ask an "expert" for their opinion, I tend to go with what they say.


The Doctor/Client/Patient Relationship is sacred. The place to defend yourself is the state board hearing, not the internet/forums like this.

"Written by REALLYBanfield, on 21-04-2011 12:12" just pwned you.

He is right, and Banfield is wrong. Good going gratz!


So what you're saying is you understand patient/doctor confidentiality but if it might make you look bad you don't care gottacha.

You've actually made yourself look worse right now I'm going to link this complaint to as many things as possible. If you give a bad company long enough they'll shoot themselves in the foot every time.

Whats funny is you may have given this women some actual ammo against you as well. Sure she was making complaints with review boards before but as we all know they wouldn't have gone anywhere because she declined the x-rays and didn't get them for another 9 days. But then you guys actually release private information about her. Thats great now she has something to really complain about. Maybe in the future try not to care so much about a website designed to allow people to vent about companies they don't like.

This has solidified it for me Banfield is one of the worst/ dumbest companies.

Banfield P

We also want to address the privacy concerns that a few have expressed in this forum. We understand, and certainly agree, that details regarding care provided at Banfield should be treated as confidential.

We do honor the privacy of clients and patients to a great length.

The few details that were given here were only provided with the purpose of clarifying a situation that, while heartbreaking for the Sims family, has the potential to be very damaging to Banfield and its associates, one of which was named in this public report. Please be assured that client feedback is very important to us in order to provide quality care and service.


Very sorry to hear about your pup. However I am a client with Banfield and anytime i've had any concerns i always get a worked up estimate in which the techs/dvm's let me go over in the room before i do anything with my pets.

Anything they feel is needed and is always recommended. If i decline it, thats on me. dr. valashinas has always proven to be in it with her heart.

She helped me with multiple strays around my house and always gets back to me with any concerns I have. She is not as bad as you believe.

If x-rays were not performed and you wanted to do them 3 days later you could have come back 3 days later. You took the meds and waited 2 weeks, your bad.


In my original post, I did post about the doctor suggesting X-rays. The problem was not that we couldn't afford to pay for them.

I told the vet that I could pay for them in 3 days (the time it takes me to move funds from back-up to primary accounts). At that point I was told that it was okay, we would try meds and rest for 3 weeks. My main problem is, that as a vet, had she been concerned about a possible fracture or other condition that caused nerve damage, I should have been told to bring him in for x-rays as soon as possible. The 12 days from when we left to when we took him to the second vet was the critical stage during this ordeal that led to the nerve damage and paralysis.

Had we done the X-rays the day of the first visit (or 3 days later which was my suggestion) we could have caught the problem before the damage got as bad as it did. As for what happening being an accident, it was an accident in the sense that the vet made a severe misdiagnosis.

Two other vets diagnosed my puppy with a spinal fracture on palpation. The first vet (at Banfield) said his exam was fine, and that his legs seemed painful to him.


"if someone is posting a complaint against a company it really is only fair if they can reply truthfully to what happened.:

Unfortunately, this philosophy holds no ground. For a veterinarian, there is NEVER a time where its ok to tell others details of the Doctor/Client relationship. This information is private. Even here. That is the time for the veterinarian to hold his/her lip. Those details will eventually come out in the state board hearing u can be assured, and only they will ultimately decide.

Its pretty obvious that you don't understand the true meaning of the Doctor/Client/Patient Confidentiality. Either that or you work for Banfield, LOL


If x rays were recommended and you were unable to afford them, you declined. I understand your pain, but it is not the hospitals responsibility to loan you the money for xrays. You have not been entirely honest in your post.

even if the hospital paid for the x rays and did diagnose the spinal fracture, would you have been able to come up with the several thousand dollars to pay for the surgery.

It is unfortunate that this occurred to your puppy, but it was an accident.


Yes, Veterinary medicine is supposed to follow HIPPA laws and whatever was discussed between owner and doctor should not be shared with all of us. However, if someone is posting a complaint against a company it really is only fair if they can reply truthfully to what happened.

In this case xrays were offered to the client but it seems they were unable to afford them at the time.

However, if you read the post it reads as though xrays were not even discussed by the initial attending vet. If the vet recommended them and they were declined due to cost this really changes the whole complaint.


Code of Silence -- Apparently it is common with Banfield because if you search other complaints against them they do the same thing with others.

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