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My dog was at home chewing a rawhide when we noticed that she started to choke on it. We opened her mouth and could see the rawhide but when we tried to get out we couldn't because it was lodged so tightly in.

Our dog was having a hard time breathing. My wife put her in the car and was rushing her to the vet who is only a few minutes away and is the closest animal hospital to us. I stayed behind with a very shaken up 7 year old and called the vet and explained what was happening and that they would be there soon. I thought that way they could be ready.

I was told by the evening manager Sarah that they wouldn't see my dog because they didn't have any appointments left for the day. I told her that it was an emergency, my dog was having problems breathing and she told me again they wouldn't see her. She then tried to refer me to another VCA hospital 30 minutes away. I again told her that my dog was choking and was having a hard time breathing...thinking she must not understand this was an emergency.

That my dog wouldn't make it the other other VCA hospital that it was too far away. She told me she understood this but they still wouldn't see my dog. I was so upset I hung up the phone. I told this woman no less than 6 times my dog was choking and having a hard time breathing and she kept telling me they wouldn't see her.

My wife decided to go there anyway and demand that they treat our dog. Luckily as she was getting her out of the car she coughed it up.

Aside from the obvious what concerns me is: How does someone who works at a vet turn away an animal in an obvious crisis? And yes this hospital is large with multiple vets and able to handle situations like this.

Another concern is they told me to take her to another VCA hospital 30 minutes away when about 15 minutes from there was a pet emergency hospital. They know about this hospital because the vet used to be one of a few in our area that took turns working there at night before he sold out to VCA.

When we called back to speak with the vet we were told we couldn't speak with him. Sarah also told us that it was their protacall to send clients to the other VCA even in an emergency situation like ours.

Not to send them to a non VCA emergency hospital. How is this right. We were also told had we just showed up they would have assessed our dog. Even though on the phone we were told they wouldn't treat her.

So our response was so we shouldn't call you to give you a heads up we should just come in. The woman just laughed.

I thank god that our dog was able to cough it up on her own because in the confusion created by Sarah at VCA our innocent dog could have died all because VCA is greedy and there staff obviously doesn't put animals lives first.

Review about: Vca Animal Hospital Pet Medical Service.

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Anonymous
#1086427

I hate the fact that doctor simmons sold out to the VCA. We took our dog there for a routine physical, and he had a leg exray to check his hips.

This is routine as he is a large dog and getting older. They put him under as usual. When we bought him home hewasstill out of it and could not stand or walk. We called Simmons all they said was he may need to come back.

We helpedhim out sideandstayed with him for hours until he was ok. This never happened until Simmons sold out to the v a. We are currently looking for a new vet, all of the old vets have left, and the place is,t the same.

I hate corporate vets, this is the same reason we don,t take our dogs to the vets at pet smart. When they go corporate they just become money mills.

Anonymous
#274813

Vet Techs and Bre should be ashamed of herself.

Anonymous
#257843

I also work for VCA and I can tell you for a fact we have a Come In Now Policy. That means if we have a doctor on premises, you need us, we are there for you.

The only time I can send someone away is if I get a doctor to tell me we can't handle that situation (I don't work at a big 24 Hour Hospital, we don't have an MRI or Oncology ward or anything big like that). Or, if I don't have a doctor on premises I need to make that known and recommend the 2 24-hour/specialties near by. (BTW one is a VCA and one isn't) We will prioritize patients though, so sometimes there is a wait and if you show up 15 minutes before we close there is an ER-fee. But, we have to justify staying open and paying 1 doctor, usually 2 tech's, and one receptionist to stay for you, so in a pinch it is still less expensive than most ER/Specialty visits.

Sometimes we will refer people out to the 24-hr/specialties because we know they will need to go their in any event, like with critical care patients. There is no one overnight where I work, so we don't like to leave out patients unattended if they are not stable. If the owner knows the risks and can't afford to transfer or even go to the Er-facilities we do all we can from staying late off the clock to showing early for work to check on our patients. I don't know what the reasoning was for this instance, but I don't think the error was in the proper protocol, because VCA makes it clear to their employees that Your Pet Is Our Top Priority and Excellent Service is Our Goal.

I am sorry that it wasn't accomplished in this situation. Maybe she hadn't been there long enough to have the protocol down. I have been with VCA for 3 years, and for me on or off the clock I am a servant to owners and pets. It's my duty to protect, nurture, and help in any way I can, where they are concerned.

I apologize for your experience, and I'm glad your dog is okay.

I am sure I don't work at this hospital, but I am affiliated because I am part of the VCA Family. But, we really do try our hardest to please...

Anonymous
Hollis Center, Maine, United States #247011

Go to a real vets office they hire these people to work on comission. If you need to see your a doctor would you go to a walk in clinic or your own doctors office?

Anonymous
#226077

They only pay the vets on commission 20% o each bill.

Anonymous
#171296

Have you ever called your general practice physician in an emergency situation? Or have you just gone to an ER?

It is the same with pets.

Maybe your regular non-emergency vet didn't have an oxygen cage which if your pet was choking may have been needed! People expect veterinarians to go above and beyond what a regular medical doctor would do when in some situations it is just not possible for doctors to grow extra sets of hands!!

Anonymous
#114159

What happend to you was awful.They should not have told you that they wouldn't treat your pet.That person should be fired. If they could not see your pet they should have briefly explained why.

I was in a similar situation where we had to turn a critical patient away, but it was only because our only two doctors working at the time were already dealing with critical care patients and I quickly explained that to the client. If I would have told them it was ok to come in they would have sat in the lobby with a dieing pet, and we would have been sued. I'm hoping that was the situation in your case,I hate to think of someone in the medical field doing that.I'm glad your pet was ok.From my experience the people that work for a vet clinic are a very special group of people, trust me they dont make very good money. They,we, ARE there for the animals.Dont judge all VCA's based on one bad receptionist, or any vet clinic for that matter.

Next time your at a vet office ask one of the technicians what they make...I bet you get an eye roll!

If you lived in my state I would let you hang out with us one day and see for your self what these people do, Its not just the doctors that save lives...VCA may not be the cheapest in town, but they are the best. Come see for your self, ask for a tour of the hospital, no warning call needed!

Anonymous
to VCA girl Cold Spring, New York, United States #780533

you are right! VCA is the best at emptying the pockets of their patrons!

also very good at misdiagnosis and murder! :x

Anonymous
#107697

maybe before you throw someones name around you should get the facts straight. You are lying and are being so disrespectful it's an abomination.

Anonymous
#84309

I am so sick of these vet techs coming on here defending vca and challenging pet owners that are complaining. You drank the Kool Aid and you want everyone else to as well.

Stop telling people that black is white. You guys are just shills and I wish you would go away.

Anonymous
#63405

VCA in Victorville is the worst ever!!!! Ever since VCA bought it it has gone down hill.

The staff are rude the quality of care sucks and they over charge. Dr. Ron would never have turned an animal away.

He should have never sold to VCA. If you love your pets take them some place else

Anonymous
#63353

did you ever possibly think: maybe there isnt a doctor there to do anything? what if this place isnt a 24 hour clinic?

business is business honey & obviously there was a REASON why they couldnt see you pet. im pretty sure they didnt behave in that manner because "they felt like it" :grin

Anonymous
#33036

I understand that you were obviously freaking out about your dog choking, afraid it was gonna die, I would be too, but you shouldn't judge the whole staff on the actions of one. Especially since she was the only one you stated that you talked to through the whole process. As for laughing at your comment, Sarah was probably just trying to keep the mood light while explaining why they gave you the treatment they did. Or maybe it was a simple misunderstanding of the tone you were trying to take. Trying to keep on good terms with a customer after a not so pleasant experience is a huge part of any job involving the public.

As for sending you to the other VCA animal hospital instead of the closer emergency hospital, that's just something all businesses run by corporations do. They have to follow protocol or someone gets in trouble. If you know better that you really need to go to an emergency clinic simply because it’s closer, just hang up and go.

Also understand that assessing and treating are 2 different things, so yeah, they may have assessed your dog to see what, if anything could have been done short of knocking the dog out under anesthesia to get the rawhide out, but they still might have had to wait if the dog wasn't on it's deathbed, because even though all you were concerned about was your dog (understandably), a vet hospital is also responsible for many people's pets all at the same time, some who are on their deathbed and the treatment staff and vets are doing their best to help them all if they can. Some pets may have been in surgery with the vets and treatment staff and can't just be left sliced open on the surgery table unattended to immediately assist everything the second it comes through the door. I know that the thought of losing your dog must have caused you anxiety and fear, but maybe you shouldn't be so judgmental of the entire staff, especially since you say you didn’t talk to a vet about the situation.

Maybe you're thinking that I have no heart, or that I'm just an inconsiderate person who doesn’t care about animals, but I can assure you I'm not. Just trying to perhaps point out some logic in all the emotion.

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