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CVCA Animal Hospital in Benbrook, Texas is guilty of very unfair mark-ups on pet meds and price gouging for simple services. They also will perform services and run tests without warning you that you are going to be charged outrageous fees whan you go to check out.

We took our three year old female Pug in for an exam on her anus because she was scratching and biting at it. The exam was supposed to be free because we had a coupon for one free exam because they had just moved into thier new facilities.

Normally we just have her Glands expressed by a Tech there and we pay $15.00 or $20.00 for the service. She had also been shaking her head so we asked the Vet to look in her ears. She looked into here ears with a scope and then removed a small bit of dirt from each ear with a Q-Tip.

When the Vet came back into the exam room she said there was nothing wrong with my dog's ears, and that It might just be allergies. This is where the fun starts. Then the Tech came back with an plastic 8oz. bottle of Doggy shampoo and a 1½ oz. bottle of Dog ear drops. So I get to the check out counter and try to find out how much I owe them for squeezing my Dog's Butt and looking in here ears.

The girl behind the counter doesn't seem to know what she's doing so she has the Tech come back out and try to run up a total. Long story short: The Tech says $157.80! I immediatly feel the RAGE building in my body but it's held back by utter disbelief....WHAT? Since the Vet exam was free I was expecting $16.00 for the Butt squeeze & maybe $20.00 for the shampoo and ear drops together! All total no more than $30 or $40 dollars tops...

So I ask for an itemized bill...finally get the printout and it shows that they are charging me $54.45 for a "Cytology Ear with stain" (which I DID NOT Authorize to be done and knew NOTHING about! Then I see where they are trying to charge me $25.80 for "Anal Glands Expressed" It has always been from $12.00 to $16.00 with the other Tech. When I asked this Tech about the price increase she says "She wasn't charging you enough"

Then I see the shampoo cost is $40.73 for an 8oz bottle of ResiCORT that sells for $17.00 on Ebay and $31.57 for Zymox OT W/1%HC (eardrops) which go for $12.95 on Ebay. Then on top of everything else they have the GALL to charge me $5.25 for "Bio Hazard Waste Mgmt" Had I not brought the "Free EXAM" coupon with me the bill would have been a staggering $213.00 for a 4 minute dog exam that was supposed to be almost completely FREE.

Product or Service Mentioned: Vca Animal Hospital Pet Medical Service.

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First, let me say that the Doctor or Technician working on your pet should let you know what they are doing and why. They should tell you what tests they want to run and why, and they should explain all findings.

For instance what you saw as "a little dirt" was actually abnormal discharge from the ear, they made a stained slide from it and looked for causes of ear discomfort (bacteria, yeast over growth, etc..), that was the Cytology ear with stain that you note. That test allowed them to choose appropriate medication. What they found was that your dog had a case of allergic otitis and provided a prescription steroid ear drop to calm inflammation and discomfort, and to prevent secondary infection.The tech who commented on the gland charge was trying to tell you that the other tech had not been applying the correct charge. If you quoted correctly she worded it badly.

But the message was that you had been receiving a discount due to another tech's error up to that point.As a pet owner you should also be asking questions during the exam. Same as you would if you went to the Dr's office, or if you brought a child to the Pediatrician. It doesn't sound like you did that.You state the bill was $213 yet the charges you note add up to about $113. Quite a difference.

These charges were not for the exam, as noted in VCA's reply. They were for services, tests, medications. As for the medical waste disposal fee, you get charged that at your Dr's, Dentists, etc. too.

It is either itemized or rolled into the cost of a service, procedure, or product.Further, your coupon was for a free exam, not free everything.You should not be buying prescription medications on Ebay (or Amazon etc. for that matter). You are buying bootleg or diverted and compromised products that do not have an intact manufacturer guarantee of efficacy. The prices you quoted are less than the hospital purchase price direct from the manufacturer or authorized distributor for those products.

That should tell you something. As should the fact that you are able to purchase those products without a written prescription from your licensed Veterinarian. Would you purchase medications for your children on Ebay rather than going to the pharmacy at the HMO or a neighborhood pharmacy etc.?When a Veterinarian or Certified Veterinary Technician expresses your dog's anal glands they are not simply popping a pimple. They are examining the gland for abnormal thickenings in the wall, and masses.

They are also examining to determine if the gland has internally ruptured as well as for causes of impaction. Your groomer is not qualified to do this, and can cause a great deal of painful and costly damage to those glands. Your groomer is your dog's hair dresser, not a trained medical professional.Skilled veterinary care is bargain priced compared to the same human service even at the most expensive veterinary clinic.I am no big fan of VCA, however I am less of a fan of those who place the cost of their pets care over the quality of that care and the expertise of the people providing it. If you do not see a value in the services, and skills of licensed veterinarians, and certified veterinary technicians may I suggest you seek care for your pet at Tractor Supply.

They don't claim to examine your pet, and you will pay for nothing more than over priced vaccines administered.

And they will talk you into as many as possible. You can use your local Veterinary Emergency Hospital for any sick care that your groomer is not willing to provide, or has made necessary.


VCA in Philadelphia charged me $26.10 to excrete my dogs anal glands. My neighbor had it done by the groomer and they charged her $5.00! :(

to Guinnysmom2010 #1505694

When a dog has inflamed or impacted anal glands and they are internally expressed (fingers inserted into the anus), the gland can rupture. Further when your veterinarian or a skilled technician expresses your dog's anal glands, they are also performing a medical exam.

Checking for masses, thickening of the gland wall, etc.. Your groomer should not be internally expressing your dog's glands.



Thy gave baytrin to my dog as well and charged me $95 for that. They refused to see my dog unless I paid the visit AGAIN for the same infection that their antibiotic did not heal.



VCA is horrible every where. They only care about money.

Read my report, I have the same problem, I paid , did not help my dog and they want more money for a visit to re-exam my dog, for the same problem.

I am taking my dogs to another clinic. :(


I took my dog to VCA in LA (I live in NYC). My little guy had an ear infection.

The Vet came in and came back with a quote of $850.. I kid you not.. Anyhow I didn't ok about three things on the list and manage to whittle it down to $250 (which I was made to feel guilty about no less). Still ridiculous.

The medicine they gave me was baytril in which they charged me a whopping 200% more than what I would pay online.

Well I have learned my lesson. I will NEVER take my pet there again and also warn everyone else I can about these people.


just trying to keep this rip off facility in business It's hard to keep drawing in new customers day after day

P.S. Ryan I only paid $4.00 for biohazard fee why the discrepancy? Less trash on my day?

VCA Animal Hospital

Hi RevMuddy,

We appreciate you taking the time to write about your recent experience and would like to provide some more details regarding our Free First Exam offer in relation to your most recent visit. With our first free exam, the exam fee is waived, but if a pet requires additional testing, medication or other services, it is not covered under the free exam coupon. In this case, expressing the anal glands is a separate fee as it is a separate service. For the ears, if testing was needed, this explains the additional fee as well. If you have any additional questions about prices, your bill and/or would like to speak with a member of our team directly about your visit, we are more than happy to connect you with a member of our staff.


Ryan on behalf of VCA

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