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 Banfield VS smaller local vets

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DanielleCortez
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PostSubject: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:34 pm

Does anyone have any experience with the Banfield Pet Hospital usually located inside of Petsmart? A few years back I an emergency on a Sunday with my cat, and they were the only vet that was open (she got into a fight with another cat and split her ear in half, she's fine now, just has a really cute scar).

I saw that they have a bunch of different insurance plans for puppies, dogs, kittens, cats, and senior aged pets.



http://www.banfield.com/Optimum-Wellness-Plans


We're getting our husky on Saturday (after 8 weeks and 4 day of patiently waiting, researching, and puppy proofing). We wanted to make sure we do everything right to the best of our abilities. My husband in concerned with "corporate vets that jack their rates and don't care for the animals as much". To me, it sounds like a great idea because no matter where we move in the country, there is going to be a Petsmart near and all of our dog's records will be readily available. And I don't see how anyone can go into Vet school because they don't care about the animals.....

Please be as opinionated as possible.
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Hayden_69
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PostSubject: Re: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:46 pm

A good friend of mine used Banfield and wasn't impressed with them at all. The insurance plan's sound great, but you have to read them very carefully, because they tend to catch you w/the fine print.

For example, my friend had an insurance plan with Banfield and it covered X-rays. She used it up and they said her dog needed a 2nd x-ray, but she was going to have to pay out of pocket, because they only covered one x-ray, not the second. So, read little things like that.

They then told her to upgrade her plan every time she went in and soon her $25/month plan became $75 and up.

I personally have never used Banfield and probably will never. I've heard too many bad stories about them. I'm with you're husband on this one.

If you move, you can always get copies of you're pets medical records and take them with you. I keep copies always for my own record just in case I have to take my pet to an emergency vet.
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jbealer
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PostSubject: Re: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:52 pm

i used them in the beginning of being a pet owner with Sierra, i was not impressed with their care and soon found a local vet that we love (too a few trys). i think you have more give and take with a local vet once you have formed a bond with them (think reduced cost, maybe payment plans) things like that. you can get pet ins. anywhere, we have a few threads on it in here if you do a search that will be better options then banfield.

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Heather!
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PostSubject: Re: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:59 pm

It is NOT an insurance plan. It's sort of a "prepaid" plan that covers certain services for cheaper, and the ONLY deal they have that is worth it is the puppy package with the spray or neuter (you do get 10-20% off "extra" services, but this does not even mark them down to normal cost at independent vets). But that is only worth it if you can find one that has independent vets.

I worked as a "pet nurse" PT at one. I would never recommend going there. They do hike up prices A TON (a urinalysis there is like $60... where as at your average vet it is 25-35) and they do have quotas to meet and thus push unnecessary services/meds/blah blah blah. The doctors they had their were some of the most uneducated I've ever come across- my mom takes her dogs to Banfield and they labeled an ABSCESS on one of our chi's butt as a tumor.... yeah, well, I popped it and it went away. I called to tell them and they wanted me to bring her in to get PAIN MEDS for her even though she was in no discomfort oddly enough. They push the absolute most with vaccines even with older dogs as that is more money. I have even seen dogs on the plans be given ALL possible vaccines when the client asked ONLY for rabies and DHPP. I brought one of the chi's in for a teeth cleaning at 8AM, and got a call at 4:30PM that they were too busy and didn't get it done and to pick her up.. when I had a scheduled appointment.. and they didn't even call to see if I'd prefer to pick her up and reschedule after a couple hours passed. I have a lot of horror stories, and not just with one vet or in one state. There ARE good doctors, but they ARE a corporate, and do have a greater power to report to. No matter how much you love animals, if you have a higher person to report to, you don't get to fully utilize that passion.

I'm too lazy to ramble more, haha.

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Hayden_69
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PostSubject: Re: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:08 pm

For spay/neuter cut down you can always hit up you're local animal shelter. You can purchase a spay/neuter voucher for a fraction of the cost of what you would pay at a normal vet. I'm not sure if all shelters do that, but it's worth checking out.
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Rocio_Caballero
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PostSubject: Re: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:11 pm

I personally would not use Banfield either. We used them ONCE a long time ago with our at-the-time cat who had a swollen paw, and we were not impressed at all either. They were also overpriced for the little bit of help they gave. I really like my local vet as well. Not only is it cheaper, but I always felt he had more knowledge and cared more about our animals.
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DanielleCortez
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PostSubject: Re: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:18 pm

ugh, thanks guys. that's why I love this forum. you guys are always so informed and always have your pet's best interest at heart.

will definitely take your advice and stay away. there are lots of local vets in our hippie-dippie town, i'm sure we'll have no trouble at all.

THANKS Y'ALL!
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PostSubject: Re: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:36 pm

Check in with the vet school there, Cornell has one of the best vet schools in the country.

http://www.vet.cornell.edu/
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arooroomom
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PostSubject: Re: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:36 pm

Quoted my mom $1000+ for a procedure my vet did for $250. Yeah- STAY AWAY!

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hollywoodhuskies
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PostSubject: Re: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:49 pm

It really depends on which one you go to. Most of them get terrible reviews, due to the vets employed.

We use the one near us because we love, love, love our vet. We live in a city of high vet prices and they have been reasonable and have worked with us to keep costs down. They also remember us on the phone, welcome us every time we come in and check in to see how Chili is doing. This is the Banfield in Culver City here in Los Angeles. I wouldn't go to the rest of the Banfields in the city. The level of care we receive from a vet is the most important thing and we've tried out a number of vets with our own dogs, plus the rescue dogs.

It's important to find a vet that you feel comfortable with, in addition to the high level of care they give your dog. As well, how the vet techs treat my dog is very important to me since I want my dogs comfortable for procedures or checkups. I have not gone back to vets where they flip my dogs on their side instead of just asking me to get him to sit (my dogs are trained with commands convenient for vet visits - down, gimme belly - shows their belly, stand, etc). I have also not gone back to vets that seem afraid of my dogs simply because of their size. Our current vet Dr Jarvis is awesome and so sweet to my dogs, plus fantastic at diagnostics.
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Shorty4lyfe89
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PostSubject: Re: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:01 pm

I also use Banfield here in NH. My family has had dogs since the day I was born and we went to a few local vets and have found they are more expensive and more impersonal than Banfield. I'm not sure why that's the case, but while I was in California my parents switched their Mini Dachshund from a small vet and to Banfield and really liked it. So I decided to try it with Luna.

We use the wellness plan, it's something like $300 a year or they can take out a monthly payment. It includes unlimited vet visits for any reason (we went in for her vomiting once and weren't charged a thing). It includes all recommended vaccines and tests determined by the dogs age. When we had Luna spayed, the whole surgery cost $65 (anesthetic, pain medication and cone). We went in today for a heart worm check and a fecal exam. I paid nothing but it said if I didn't have the wellness plan it would have cost $227.

So I would recommend research, it's really a hit or miss, when I lived in California we used a small local vet and loved it. Hopefully you find a good one!
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DanielleCortez
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PostSubject: Re: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:31 am

Here4thePics wrote:
Check in with the vet school there, Cornell has one of the best vet schools in the country.

http://www.vet.cornell.edu/

Yep, I know. That has always been an option for us, but I was a buy hesitant that there would be students that would primarily handling check ups and vaccinations. I'm a Cornell employee and know that they ARE a corporation. I'm definitely going to go in and ask questions and seek reviews from current customers.

I just want what's best for my pup.
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PostSubject: Re: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:40 am

I've been fortunate enough to use the services of 2 vet schooled at Cornell and I'd have to say they have both been the best vets I've dealt with. Students work under supervision and I'm sure the more serious the condition the more the teacher is hands on.
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MGoBlue
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PostSubject: Re: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:24 pm

I second the vet school suggestion. Michigan State also has a fantastic vet program and I know quite a few people that have used it and liked it. Also, in more serious situations, a vet school is likely to have resources that a standard vet would not.
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arooroomom
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PostSubject: Re: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:51 pm

My best friend used Cornell when she lived up there and her mom still currently does. Nothing but positive things to say.

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jbealer
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PostSubject: Re: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:01 pm

No matter wher you end up just make sure the vet knows huskies, we have had people come on here with bad stories from vets that just did not understand sibs.

If I lived closer to ft collins I would so use the vet school up there its really good.

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mbarnard0429
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PostSubject: Re: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:59 pm

I say have a couple options - I have a conventional vet, a holistic vet and I keep the E-vet saved in my phone. Cover all your bases. I have had a great experience with a holistic vet and my female. She has a slipped disk issue, and instead of giving her Deramaxx 3x a day for the rest of her life, my holistic vet prescribed multiple supplements and natural anti inflammatory meds and she has been doing great ever since...not to mention it won't kill her organs Smile I think there are good reason to have both!

Also, take a look at pet insurance. It's been a godsend for a few of us.
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shirl51
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PostSubject: Re: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:19 pm

Everything Heather says is true. I was with Banfield for awhile with my Samoyed. Somehow I just did not trust them when my contract was up I left. A friend of mine used them too and when their dog died they had to continue paying for 10 more months because of the contract they signed. I also remember one of the doctors saying that one dog had a condition that needed to be operated on but the owner did not believe them took his dog to another Vet found out it was something that could be treated by medicine and not what that doctor said. He went back and demanded to see the xrays when it was brought out it was a dog with a long tail his dog had no tail. Suffice to say he sued and won. It was all over the papers.
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Kavik_the_Havoc
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PostSubject: Re: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:15 pm

All of the dogs in my family went to banfield. In my experience they're good for maintenance - shots, general health check, and heartworm. The vets change out a lot so the staff is never consistent, but that never caused a problem. For any health issues that come up I would seek another vet, or at least a second opinion. I always took surgeries and special circumstances elsewhere.
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CaptainMorgan
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PostSubject: Re: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:30 pm

I plan to enroll Malfoy at Banfield with their puppy wellness plan mostly for the intent of the vaccines it includes. We have other 'animal hospitals' here but they are horridly expensive. There are a couple other places I would like to check out before Malfoy exits 'puppy' age so I know my next best option. There is a school here that has a vet tech school, those who have taken their dogs to vet schools, is there any sort of fee involved with that?
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PostSubject: Re: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:35 pm

I despise Banfield for ethical reasons that the general public usually doesn't know about. Complete horror stories. I'm sure some vets at some Banfield's are great, but most are not unfortunately. If you got a good one, consider yourself lucky and stick with that one dr.
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StephieK
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PostSubject: Re: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:46 pm

We had wellness plans for both our dogs the first year, but only because we had no idea what we were getting into with vet visits and such. We had been having great experiences with them the first few months. Then we started to question their need to push treatments and medicines. For Dante, a simple visit with questions ended up costing us $250 for additional testing and medicines that looking back, he probably didn't need. My final straw with them was when Isis needed meds for a UTI. I asked if I could look elsewhere because the price seemed high. I found her medicine, but Banfield charged me $15 to send the script somewhere else. Then they took forever to send the script, and when I called about it, they wanted to charge me again. I told them absolutely not, that I had already paid once and they had failed to send it. I let her plan expire and the day after, realized she needed a rabies booster. I called to find out what it would cost, and with an office visit plus the vacc., it was around $60. I called a local vet that my coworkers use, and it was $26. That's when my dogs records went to a local, and I haven't looked back since.
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hypers987
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PostSubject: Re: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:27 am

StephieK wrote:
We had wellness plans for both our dogs the first year, but only because we had no idea what we were getting into with vet visits and such. We had been having great experiences with them the first few months. Then we started to question their need to push treatments and medicines. For Dante, a simple visit with questions ended up costing us $250 for additional testing and medicines that looking back, he probably didn't need. My final straw with them was when Isis needed meds for a UTI. I asked if I could look elsewhere because the price seemed high. I found her medicine, but Banfield charged me $15 to send the script somewhere else. Then they took forever to send the script, and when I called about it, they wanted to charge me again. I told them absolutely not, that I had already paid once and they had failed to send it. I let her plan expire and the day after, realized she needed a rabies booster. I called to find out what it would cost, and with an office visit plus the vacc., it was around $60. I called a local vet that my coworkers use, and it was $26. That's when my dogs records went to a local, and I haven't looked back since.

Sounds about right. Those are the type of ethical issues I was talking about, unfortunately. It's a corporation, so the employees are pushed to squeeze as much money out of people they can, even when certain medications or treatments are not needed or won't help with a diagnosis. They prey on people's ignorance about medical practices. But like I said, some vets at Banfield are awesome, but there are a lot that aren't.
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mbarnard0429
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PostSubject: Re: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:19 am

I don't do rabies at a vet - I just go to clinics. $13 for rabies and $19 for HW. Delilah just got her first titer test and she and Cato will both get them Bi-annually the rest of their lives. Wish I could do that with Rabies....
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lilbritty23
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PostSubject: Re: Banfield VS smaller local vets   Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:07 am

<<<<<< Will never goto Banfield ever again. First off, I will never EVER let someone treat me or talk to me like im a teen ager. Im 25 and both Banfield locations I went to talked to me as if I've never had a pet in my life ( I have 2 other dogs on my account). Roxy kept getting worms, giardia 3 times, and intestinal inflammation. The first 2 times was costly but didn't kill me. 3 times a charm right? Same test as before, same meds, and it costed me 50.00 more. I took out the receipt from the last time, everything was the same..nothing extra, not one thing was different. The girl tells me "Yeah your right that's so weird, but yeah that's just what it is telling me so can you come back Friday for rabies vaccine?" ( I seriously wanted to jump over the counter). I ask if they would just charge me for the vaccine since they didn't want to do it at this visit and she said no that it will be an office visit and rabies charge. I did what I needed to do and walked out. When she has tape worm I called to get meds for her which they prescribed before AND i had saved a sample to show them and I was told that they would not give her any meds unless I came in for an office visit....I raised royal hell told them money is more important to them then caring for these animals and was going to put in a complaint and cont. to do it until something was done. An hour later the vet called me himself apologizing for how she refused to even ask him about it, told me tape worm is pretty obvious and had me pick up the meds.

Second incident and final one was when I brought my Jack Russell in as an emergency. I took him outside and he did his business (SORRY GRAPHIC ALERT) and blood and diarrhea was literally shooting out his rectum, called the vet (mom had to take him back out he kept bleeding after that but not as bad). The guy tells me bring him in now Ill get a room for him ready. So I get there in 10 minutes walk in....wait and wait and wait in a line behind 4 other people. The guy calls me up and tells me to sit on the bench with Jax because they need a room ready....ummmmmmmm. 30 minutes later we finally see the vet...for like a minute. They couldn't get a good fecal sample because he was soo swollen and inflamed.Prescribed him meds and went on our way. I was pissed. They were heartless....he was wrapped in a towel whining and still bleeding!


My local vet which I live closer to now has bent over backwards for me. My poodle, Missy, was deteriorating. Her organs were shutting down rapidly, things became visibly gruesome, and my family was out of town. The vet was closed so I called a friend of mine who works there, she caught him before he left, told him what was going on, and I brought her in. He took one look at here, examined her and she cried everytime he touched her, crushing disease, kidneys already failed, lungs were rough sounding, and rectal prolapse. I called my family, at his request, who was out of town and put on speaker. He explained that she's suffering and we have to make a decision. I was in the room as he started, he warned me the second injection I need to leave because it would be to upsetting for me. I loved on her and held while he started. After a bit he walked me out the room and I waited. Ive NEVER had a vet be soooo sympathetic in my life, after he walked out and I lost it. So I go to pay after some decision making and he tells me to home rest and call my mom and dad.

From my experience as I ramble on of course, local vets pay more attention, not overwhelmed or distracted like Banfield, most are not money hungry, or refuse care.


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