My cat got sick one night, so I brought him in first thing in the morning, to this vet. When I explained what was wrong, the vet said that a lot of times, cats will swallow strings, and you just have to look under the tongue to see if it's caught. That was the first thing she checked, but when my cat squirmed a little too much, she simply moved on to the next possible problem. 5 minutes later, she said to leave him for observation and that they would do some bloood work ($600).
The next morning, a different doctor took a look at my cat, because something didn't seem right, and sure enough, found the string a few minutes later. She recommended emergency surgery. Had the first vet done her job correctly, I wouldn't be out $600 and wasting valuable time.
By the time my cat had the surgery, the string had been in his system so long, the procedure was much more expensive than expected. $4000! I asked the vet if we had found the string sooner, if it would have been less complicated/expensive, and the doctor replied with an assertive ""OH YES."" She then went on to say that if you catch these things soon enough, often you can just pull the string out of the cat, free of charge.
The vet I had (the quick on) was an older lady with dark hair.
To add some salt to the wound, a few days later they called me back and said that my cat's kidneys were going to fail (according to the bloood work), and without help, he would die in 3 months. With their help, he might live 6 to 9 months.
After receiving a similar pitch with the exact same cost and time frame (for something completely different), I decided to not spend the extra $1000, the two vets wanted for each treatment.
It has now been 18 months, and either I have a bionic cat, or these people play with people's emotions to generate business.
====THE GOOD NEWS=====
I've since been extremely happy with the Atlanta Humane Society, where money is not the motive for treatment. When I asked them for their typical price for removing a forign object, they quoted me a flat rate of $600.
Had I only gone to them first, I may have been out the door the same day with a healthy cat, not to mention save $4000.
Always remember, being a vet is a business. Buyer Beware.
Pros: The only pro is location, and they know that.
Cons: Overlooked obvious problem which led to costly surgery