All the staff are very nice and do seem to care for your companion; however, the positive starts and ends there. The DVMs are constantly trying to upsell you when their costs are already out the roof.
Our family's oldest, (9 years) Australian Shepherd developed what another vet believed to be Cushing's, gave him Addison's via chemo and it turned out they were wrong. We moved across town, so no love lost in getting a new vet. VCA was AAHA certified so we decided on them. We liked the vet we met and formed a rapport, but she may have been a little green.
Our Aussie then developed facial paralysis, and other nervous system symptoms, which everyone believed to be a pituitary tumor -- especially given the Cushing's misdiagnosis. An MRI was recommended, so off to Pullman we go. The Neurologist revered by all at Wazzu came out shrugging his shoulders. Next shoe to drop was blindness, then deafness, all at 10 years old.
Back at the VCA and multiple specialists later, we buy in to the expensive "wellness" package, which included multiple blood tests and standard x-rays. We saw the medical director at the clinic that day because our normal vet was not there. He proceeds to show me a chest film with a shade of white and grey that washes over the entire lung field with significant white star-like dots everywhere. He tells me that it is "mineralization", which is "normal for older dogs".
At 10? It was very sad to see this sweet, sweet dog who used to fetch sticks in the water, go to dog parks, hike, snowshoe, catch a mean frisbee reduced to a blind, deaf, confused and somewhat frustrated dog. He still showed happy emotions and loved while being loved. He went on for 3 more years and started having joint and hip problems and started having breathing issues.
This is what makes me pissed off #1 (yep, there is a #2). Then the breathing issues get worse and the same medical director tells us it is edema in the throat. Asks us to consider surgery. We decide to think about it.
The next night our little old man starts experiencing severe respiratory distress. We rush to the 24 hour emergency vet. After sedation and O2 therapy, they take an x-ray. The dr calls me in to look at the film.
In horror I see the shades of white I saw 2 years ago and it is a complete white-out, no gray, no black where the lungs are supposed to be, and the stars, they are 30 times in number and size like looking at the milky way through a high powered telescope. Our boy had lung cancer all this time from when we got that "wellness" package and due to misdiagnosis, we were never given the chance to try chemotherapy.
We put him down with morphine that early morning. VCAs 2nd infraction against one of our family's dogs in another I'm pissed!
Monetary Loss: $5000.