After taking our dog, Toby, into Animal Emergency & Referral Center for acute vomiting, we were shuffled into a waiting room, alone, with no information about where our pet was, what tests were being run on him, or what his condition was. After an hour, we saw through the small window in the door a technician leading our dog, muzzled, to a cage. I will never forget the look on my clearly traumatized pets face as he looked to us for help as the technician roughly shoved his sick and aching body into a cage. We demanded he be returned to wait with us in the waiting room while the test were being completed, and the technician rudely and flatly stated that he was put there "in case he needed to remain overnight". We advised her as calmly as we could that we should, and would, be the deciding factor on where our pet will stay, and would she please return Toby to wait with us? She, again very rudely, said that she would ask the vet if that were acceptable. Are you kidding? Under what circumstances would that NOT be acceptable?? She returned several minutes later, tossed Toby’s lead into our hands without so much as a word, and stormed off.
We have had Toby in several vets in his seven years, for both regular checkups and emergencies, and I have never seen our dog in such distress as he was in when he was returned to us: Panting heavily, ears pinned back, eyes glazed and panicked, and cowering in the corner. This was far, far, above and beyond the normal stress of a vet visit for our pet, and I dread to think the treatment he was subjected to out of our sight that put him in such a state.
Several expensive and totally unauthorized tests were run on him, the explanations for which were long-winded, superfluous, and heavy with techno-jargon. Having some understanding of chemistry and anatomy, it was clear to me that the explanation was being given less to clarify what was wrong with our dog and more to justify having the tests run-- and charged to us.
In the end, only a vague prognosis of 'possible pancreatitis' was made, while the prognosis written on our insurance claim form was 'gastroenteritis', a much less serious condition, and very probably one for which the $681 bill will not be covered. Our overall perception of our experience was that of being utterly and completely ripped off. I will never take our pet there in an emergency again, and I would advise anyone against taking his or her pet to Animal Emergency & Referral Center.