Veterinary Emergency Referral Center Reviews Page 59

Not sure what to think. Did not seem very compassionate and appeared to be in a hurry while waiting for us to make tough decisions. I’m sure they see this everyday, but each patient is very special. Our dog was perfectly fine then became lethargic all of a sudden . Was referred here. Passed away while we were there. All they could tell us was it was a toxin. Told us it would run about $1500 to test and would not be conclusive. So we really do not know what caused his sudden death.They wouldn’t even let us go back and be with him because of other patients. –Sandy J

Please consider another option before stepping into this place. They charge a $95 upfront fee so be prepared. Our dog had blood in his stool and we were very worried. Luckily we decided against the doctors $2000+ healthcare plan and bought some $9 acid reducer at Walmart for our puppy and fed him some ID digestive health wet food and made sure he drank it water. Our puppy is back to normal and just needed to pass some dirt! Unless your dog is on the verge of dying I would wait out until a normal vet opens even on the weekend. Besides the sketchy business practices the vet and vet techs were really nice. I hope you never have to come here. –Jourden

Front desk staff rude…doc and techs were great –Nikki

Before giving this review, I attempted to reach out to the practice manager to discuss my concern in a private way to professionally express my concern/ My call was never returned, so I am sharing my experience so others may be aware of their options for seeking emergency care for their pets. My cat got in to a toxin at about 5:30am. I made the decision to drive him 40 minutes away to VERC instead of waiting for my primary veterinary office to open at 7:00am. I wanted my cat to be treated ASAP to prevent any permanent damage to his organs or death. I arrived and the staff immediately took him to the back to triage while I completed paperwork and created a case ID with the ASPCA poison for consulting purposes. Around 6:30am the veterinarian on staff came in to the exam room and discussed his need for continuous hospitalization for 48 hours. I asked that he be started on treatment ASAP and I would transfer later so he could go ahead and have treatment started- instead of delaying any treatment due to commute and triage times that would have further delayed it if I were to transfer. At this time the treatments completed were the triage exam and medications administered to induce vomiting- I was informed he did NOT vomit. I called at 8:00am to get an update and ask that they go ahead and send records to my primary vet as I was going to transfer him before noon. I was informed that they did NOT have anything to send as NOTHING HAD BEEN STARTED. They did not get baseline bloodwork OR start on IV fluids- these treatments were stressed to me by the veterinarian on staff and ASPCA poison control veterinarian as critical to start his treatment. The toxin he got in to was guaranteed to cause death or permanent organ damage if not treated in a timely manner. At this time I made the decision to go pick him up to transfer him to him his primary vet in Navarre so that treatment would be administered accordingly to save his life. At about 10:00am (check out time, commute time, and triage at primary vet) is when these life saving treatments were finally started on my cat in Navarre. His baseline bloodwork was already showing signs of acute organ injury from the toxin. It is sad to reflect and realize my cat would have been treated in a quicker fashion if I had waited for my primary to vet open at 7:00am (as compared to me acting as I should have and seek medical treatment ASAP). I am out $200.00 for an emergency exam and medications that 1. was not really an emergency as the staff did not act in an “emergency” manner and 2. medications given did not induce vomiting (only altered his behavior which made it difficult for my primary vet to access his mentation- important for evaluating if the toxins were already affecting him). When asked why treatment had not been started I was informed that another emergency had come in and they decided to treat that patient first. I understand my cat was stable at that time- however in about 2 more hours he was not going to be stable anymore if treatment continued to be delayed. You cannot have a veterinary clinic open for 24 hours and call it an emergency animal hospital if you are not going to staff it accordingly to your intake needs or treat animals in emergency situations. I did a give 2 star review (as compared to 1) because the staff were friendly, knowledgeable, and the facility was clean. –Nikki B

I gave 2 stars because the ER doc during normal appointment hours has been great. However, the after-hours emergency personnel are HORRIBLE. They put my dog through unnecessary pain and suffering before even talking to us and even when they realized they did, they nonchalantly said this wasn’t what they expected after reading her chart further. If they had spent even a few minutes with us and her, they would have quickly realized we are medical professionals who understood what was going on with her, what treatment options she was undergoing and what ones to consider, and that everything was about her quality of life and comfort. At least they were kind enough to give her a strong pain killer injection so we could take her home for one last night but i will NEVER use their after-hour services again. –Andrea M

Two stars just because my dog didn’t die in their care, but otherwise I was immensely surprised by their staff’s lack of respect, knowledge, and compassion. They seemed way too busy, stressed, and possibly understaffed to manage all of their patients properly.

My dog, Nike, was sent home after her first-ever seizure. (So keep in mind that they do nothing after a dog’s first seizure – $95.) Nike was brought back in after her second seizure a few hours later, and they kept her overnight for roughly 24 hours. Nike had her third seizure in their care, and at some point during that 24 hrs(?) they began her on a heavy sedative without our knowledge. We did not know what drug she was on or how much. We were not contacted when her blood test results returned. The blood test or what it determined was not discussed with us at any point. They did not return phone calls when I called to check on Nike. We initially did not know why or how long they wanted to keep Nike in their care. When we picked her up at our own discretion, she was extremely distressed and anxious, and surprisingly drugged-up.

When we picked Nike up, the vet (new shift from when Nike was taken in) spoke quickly and was all over the place. She did not know Nike’s age or gender or what had or had not been discussed with us already. It seems like the vets did not communicate well about patients when switching shifts, and she did not have a comprehensive chart to look at(?). I guess I missed something that the vet had already said and so I asked a repetitive question, at which point she just looks at me dead-pan and just says “WOW” like I was a total idiot for not catching it the first time while she was running on about all sorts of stuff. Then she proceeded to talk super slow like I was completely retarded, when actually I was just trying to figure out why my dog is so messed up (since we didn’t know she was heavily medicated.)

Between the vet’s attitude, my dog’s distress, and no apparent reason for her to be in their care anyway, I decided to take Nike home immediately. We were given medicine and a care sheet. The medicine dosage, while it did prevent another seizure, also totally prevented Nike from standing up on her own. She was completely disabled until we adjusted her dosage.

All in all, it was a completely distressing situation. I think the staff could have bothered to return phone calls or speak to us a little more about test results, the administration of drugs, etc. The vet on duty also needs to find a way to improve her communication and not assume that pet owners are one thing or another and then be so blatantly disrespectful when they are trying to learn what’s going on. It seemed like she hated her job, and that’s just not somewhere where I would want my dog. –Cheyanne Q

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