Veterinary Emergency Referral Center Reviews Page 23

Our 16 year-old Scottish terrier started exhibiting worrisome symptoms, including possible signs of pneumonia, on Saturday afternoon, so we took him to the Veterinary Emergency Referral Clinic on Davis Highway- the emergency vet clinic in town that I am aware of.

We were told the office visit would be $90, and, while it was certainly more than our usual vet, we thought understood the nature of the business. However, when we got there, the vet did a MINIMAL external assessment and presented us with a proposed treatment plan that requires a $2,100 deposit. This was totally out of our price range.

They whittled it down to $1,300 and then to $800 — which was only overnight care for one night and oxygen with no diagnostics or other treatment. The $90 did not even cover a basic xray or blood work. I

We were there for 2 hours and left paying about $150 — the cost of the visit plus some oxygen. The doctor basically told us she thought our dog would die. But we were completely unable to pay those fees. We took our dog home and took care of him as best we could. He made it to Monday morning, when we took him to our regular vet.

At our regular vet, they did an xray, gave him three shots and sent two medicines home with us– and it cost about $150, the same as the nothing we got from the emergency clinic. It’s now been several days, and we continue to care for our dog under the direction of our regular vet.

It seemed to me that the Veterinary Emergency Referral Clinic was trying deliberately taking advantage of our painful situation. Can the expense of running an emergency clinic really be twice or more than that of running a regular clinic? The words “bilk.” “exorbitant” and “hostage” come to mind.

It was very strange the way they “negotiated” the proposed treatment/PAYMENT plan. Instead of the vet talking it over with us herself, she sent in a tech with each revised “proposal.” It felt more like we were buying a used car than trying desperately to get the care our pet needed.

We are a family of modest means, but we can afford reasonable care for our animals. We wouldn’t have them if we couldn’t. This place, however, is not reasonable in the least. I can only imagine how many people go in with a hurt or sick animal and leave, just as we did, leave more hurt than we were when we went in.
–Stephanie V.

I can not agree with the other reviews on this facility in fact I would give it zero stars if there were such a thing.
My cat was having trouble breathing and this was the ONLY vet open at night in Pensacola, Florida. When I walked in they took my cat to the back room immediately out of my sight. A vet tech then took me to a room and said the vet was examining my cat. About five minutes later he came back in with a paper of all the charges that may be incurred for the procedures they may have to do. I would not sign until I saw a vet. She was nice and empathetic, BUT NOT A CRITICAL CARE VET. She was the night vet. She gave me a bleak prognosis but I wanted to give my cat the best opportunity to survive so I agreed to the night treatment and bill up to the between 0500 and 0600 cutoff where my cat should either be transferred to my own vet or remain at the facility with the critical care vet. Evidently she was the only night vet and the facility got slammed. Several other people bringing their beloved animals in hoping they would be fine.
They do not have a radiologist on duty and send the films out to get an immediate reading. I also saw blood being picked up so they must not have lab capabilities.
The vet told me my cat would have to stay overnight, but she would call me if anything changed. I live about 30 miles from the facility so I went home around 2300. She called in about an hour and said the x-ray was back and my cat had an enlarged heart and was not doing very well. I immediately went back to the facility and told them I wanted to see my cat. After about 15 minutes the vet came out and told me it was against policy but they would make and exception but other animals were being cared for and not to be upset by anything I may see. I then went to see my cat. At this time he was alert but struggling to breathe. She said he had some fluid in his lungs. They had given him a lasix shot to help expel the fluid. She said they would help but an IV would be better however it may stress him out and he may arrest (die) during the attempt. She did not explain that he would die anyway if they could not get the fluid off his lungs.
I stayed at the facility so if my cat needed a decision I was there. The vet came out and told me he was still struggling and they had given him a pill to help his heart, tried to get an IV in again but were unable because he stressed. I have never heard of a qualified vet that could not place an IV quickly.
Hours passed now another vet, Dr Eyles, came out to discuss my cat. He is the critical care vet. I am thinking my cat is still like he was when they let me see him. He says they are trying to get an IV into my cat while we are talking. He told me my cat is struggling. I tell him I want the IV so he has a chance. He is pressing to make a plan, for continued care or euthanasia. I think my cat is still alert. So the plan I want is to get him an IV and get him better. He is pushing euthanasia. I don’t understand why. I want to give my cat every opportunity to live. I tell him this and he says “If your cat could euthanize himself he would have hours ago.” I have been sitting in the waiting room of this facility for 5 hours thinking my cat is holding his own but not getting better yet.
Finally, Dr Eyles understands what I want for my cat and goes back into the treatment area. I am calling my husband for help when Dr Eyles comes back. I ask if they placed the IV, again they failed to get it placed. He wants me to come and see my cat.
I go back to see him and he is terrible. I am devastated. He is nothing like he was a few hours before. They got slammed and I think my cat was an afterthought. What veterinarian can not place an IV? My cat had filled up with fluids. He was swollen all over. He was cold to the touch, laying struggling and barely alive. It was horrible. He did not receive the care he deserved.
This facility is more concerned with its bottom line than it is with your pet. They charge a bio-hazard fee to dispose of the equipment used. The estimate for two days was over $2000. The estimate from 2300 until 0530 was $1500. The oxygen therapy is your pet in a Plexiglas box with a tube from an oxygen generator at $72.60 PER HOUR. Hospitalization charges $102. PER SHIFT.
To finish KILLING my cat $64 and change.
Charges for the low end of the estimate must be paid before your pet is treated.

They do not have the equipment or personnel necessary to give your pet timely and URGENT care. They work behind closed doors and your pet is isolated from you.

I will never take an animal to this facility again. I do not recommend anyone who loves their animal to trust it to these people. I will take my pet anywhere to avoid dealing with this overpriced, under equipped, under staffed “critical care facility.,”
I have seen a veterinary critical care facility look at Neel Veterinary Hospital at
Neel was my vet & my cat would be alive if they were here.
–Toni P.

Worst place ever ! I took my dog here and they wouldnt do anything for him unless we payed $1200, they didnt even look at him. Another lady walked in with her dog and they took her right back no questions asked. We even offered to pay 500 hundred up front and bring the remainder the next day because it was 2:00am. They sent us home and we end up going back because Kash (my dog) pain seemed to get worse. Once again they gave us the boot because we couldnt give them 1200 dollars. Kash died Hours after being rejected and he suffered a horrible death beacause he was denied help. Kash was a beautiful 8 year old dog whom everyone loved ! MORAL OF THE STORY… THIS PLACE IS ALL ABOUT MONEY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
–Jamie B.

Let me just say. Heaven forbid you have to take your pet here. The front desk and vet technicians are really nice. However the doctors, specifically the female with the long dark hair is AWFUL!!!! RUDE as can be. You would think when you are dealing with distraught pet owners worried sick about there pet you would be informative and understanding. Nope..not this b****. We took our cat in because it couldn’t walk and was found in our yard not moving. We suspected he was hit by a car. We arrived and waited 2 hours to be seen, the doctor asked a slew of question which included “Do you have your cat on any flea/tick preventative?” I responded no not at the time and that he had his flea collar. She then made this rude face and said “yeah I noticed.” She then told me the price for the xrays $210 and suggested we wait until the next day to see a vet. We ended up taking out credit so we could get the proper pain meds and antibiotics. I asked her if his leg will need stitches and she said “that isn’t really important right now is it?” EXCUSE ME?? I know his possible broken pelvis is crucial but I think I have the right to know the OVERALL health of my cat. I saw the doctor a total of about 15 minutes the whole time we were there. We left about 4 hours after getting there. This place is a joke and the vets don’t seem to give a hoot about your pet. Its all about the $$$. We ended up taking him to Banfield and got X RAYS done and found out his pelvis was shattered and broken in half. The doctor was super sweet, understanding, and knew that we wanted the best for our cat. The doctor said the damage was beyond repair. We ended up letting him rest. Now the Banfield staff??? AWESOME!!!!!!!
–Rachael B.

Adding insult to injury, good and competent medical care, unacceptable communication and customer service, this is what a monopoly looks like. third time having to use this animal hospital, this experience was in line with past experiences however it has gotten worse. We arrived at 7pm on Saturday, I am thankful for their hours. They grabbed my dog and took him back, he had eye injury. We waited about 30 minutes for an update, I went to the counter to ask for an Update, I asked if they were working on him or what was going on, for eye injuries time can be important. Without checking the front desk lady told me they are working on him and lots of other stuff. Fast forward about 30 more minutes, we go back to a room, we wait again and a tech comes in to tell us the doctor has “completed the exam” he will need surgery and the doctor will come in and talk to us. This was 815 or so, one more hour, doctor comes in to explain what will be done, another 45 minutes to get an itemized list of charges, high and low end. They required $1500 down and the bill range was $1300 to $1900 plus an additional fee for basic life saving if needed. We asked to see the dog, they brought him in after nearly three hours and had done Nothing but put him in a cone of shame no pain killers, not treatment, no wetting of the eye, the swelling was worse than when we arrived. So we signed and went to pay, next I was told at 1020PM or so that we could only call between 5 and 6am to check in, we live an hour from the place, so it was a short night, called at 545am, was told about his other eye being blind and they were worried, keep in mind we told them three times he was blind in both eyes. So he was cleared to come home, but they only do discharges between 630am and 730am , so we rush in only to wait another 45 minutes, and never got to see the doctor who did the surgery. One bright spot they did come in underbudget so it was only $1100.00 so there is that. Bottom line medical care is okay, communicating not good, and customer service and compassion for the owners seems very limited.
–Shannon G.

Read the reviews. If these reviews were about a restaurant, would you eat there?
Bosco B.

Every time I here, we wait a ridiculous amount of time… especially for an emergency center.
The service from the front desk is always terrible. Sucks this is the only place in town that’s 24/7. Also sucks they charge so much for such terrible service. Extra star just because they take care of pets.
–Cristina G.

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