There's a 24 hour vet clinic near where I live, and they have had some mixed reviews about them. One thing that all reviews seem to agree is that they tend to "rip you off" and scam you out of your money.
They try and do whatever they can to make your dogs take tests and you must place at least a $500 deposit. They also tell you that if you do not do this or any of their suggested treatment, your dog will "die". They have a common theme of using a dog's "fatal" situation to tie into the emotions of the dog owners. I have had TWO bad experiences with them, and each seemed to sound EXACTLY the same.
The first situation was that they had misdiagnosed my dog with coccidia. I went to 2 vets and they claimed that my dog had no signs of it (they had done tests as well), nor does it seem that it was possible he ever had it. The clinic had the indecency to call me FOUR DAYS LATER to tell me they had misdiagnosed, which they suggested that we bring the dog back for more tests and begin a new set of treatment. What my dog had was just an upset stomach, which another vet had cured within 2 days by using dog food and medicine. I was really upset at their attitude. Also, when I had brought my dog home that night after cashing about $300-$400, my dog looked so much worse. I had called them for some help or suggestions, and they insisted I come over to have him "hospitalize overnight", otherwise they are not sure "if he can make it through the night, since it's a fatal situation". They said that it would cost $700, but I told them I don't have that kind of money and was in despair. So they suggested me to feed him chicken and rice, but if anything happens, to really consider the clinic and EVEN TOLD ME I COULD OPEN UP A CREDIT CARD WITH THEM.
Zooming on to this weekend. My dog was involved in a bicycle accident, which the bicyclists was stupid enough to not see my dog. I must add to this that I was at an OFF LEASH TRAIL and there were OTHER dogs near mine, so I do not understand what his intentions were to NOT SLOW DOWN and take CAUTION. But anyway, the clinic AGAIN seemed to toy with my emotions and that day, told me that my dog did not "look so well" and opted me to do their "optimal treatment", causing us around $1,000+. I started bawling, because I did not have that money, which they again insisted I try their "credit cards" which I can open with them. My boyfriend cut in and said that's not going to happen, and if there was another option we could do. They gave us the "least treatment" which charged $500+. We decided to go for that, and later on when we came home that night, they had called saying he only had a bruised lung and sort of beat around the bush, indicating that it seems he would be "okay". I was happy to hear it.
When I came to pick up this morning, another vet who worked there (they're 24 hours so they switch shifts) said that my dog was not looking well around 4am. I asked them what the problem was, and they said that his heartbeat was unusually low and it was irregular. I told them I was already aware of his irregular heartbeat, because it was a trait he was born with. My other dog has heart murmur, but he's as fit as a bull. Then the lady seemed flabbergastered at my comment and said that it was "unusual for even an irregular heartbeat", which she seemed to stammer. I also asked them why they did not contact me at 4am to keep me updated on his status, which they had promised. She seemed to beat around the bush there as well and from what it sounded like, it was some bs about "we didn't want to wake you up" or something. I was just a bit irritated, because there was a written document that we signed stating if anything different happens, we are to be contacted immediately. Also, they charged me for more BS, stating that he "needed it at the time", but I was just annoyed that it was also in the signature form as well. They can't do anything unless it's with my consent, but they said "it was presumed I would consent to it anyway because it was just that bad"
So it took my boyfriend and I an hour to get our dog. They left us in the waiting room, which was ridiculous because NO ONE WAS THERE AT freaking 8am! They would keep coming back giving us a guilt trip stating "you know, we really don't want to make him go home, because we are worried about him and he might not make it and blah blah blah blah". We took him home anyway, because we didn't want any of their BS. They tried another scare tactic making us sign that "we are aware of what was told to us" and it even said in the paper "we are aware that the dog might die". Um, okay. I think taking him home was the best decision, because it's already been more than 12 hours and our dog has not shown any signs that he will go into "cardiac arrest", which the vet said would HIGHLY happen because we do not have all the medications and things needed to help him survive.
I also know I was not the only person whose been mistreated by their services. They have used the "credit card" suggestions on most people who go in there. They have scammed people out of their money by stating if so-and-so doesn't pay this much amount of money, the dog will die. They toy at our emotions and make us cry at night. I was also talking to a family who decided to "open up a credit card account" with that clinic, only to have them charge $3,000 of "TESTS" that the dog didn't need. They are heartbroken and now, the dog has been euthanized because of their improper care and the suffering they made the dog have. It's like, they cure the dog to a point where the dog is "okay" enough to live, but are suffering immensely, so they can squeeze as much money out of people as possible.
I don't know if anyone's ever been in this situation, but it's not a hard concept to understand that most vets out there are in it for the money, just like most doctors. They have an easier way to scam people, because most people don't really sue vets since dogs are considered property. If the dog dies, it "could be anything" and it's easier for them to blame the neglect on the owner. The vet community have always been praised for their "help", but what happens when you encounter a BUSINESS rather than a vet? My boyfriend and I plan on complaining to the business bureau, as well as the state's vet association. We're trying to band others who have been mistreated, but we are wondering how we should go about this? We really want this company investigated on their tactics in scamming people's money through extortion (on owner's feelings, claiming their dog will "die" if they don't).
I really appreciate your patience reading this, and I really REALLY appreciate about any advice you can give. I just don't want any more pet owners or pets hurt in the process. I don't want to hear another dog getting euthanized because of their wreckless behavior.