In 2005, my cat had an eye ulcer which formed an area of dead tissue on his cornea called a sequestrum. I had to take him to a few different vets until I was finally referred to a veterinary ophthalmologist and the cat had surgery.
So, in April of this year when I noticed an ulcer forming on his other eye, I knew IMMEDIATELY that I needed a referral to the ophthalmologist. The one we'd seen before had retired, so I absolutely needed the referral in order to take him to the new ophthalmologist. Dr. Bolens told me, ""No, I don't think you need to take him there. I'm confident that this will heal up in a few days"" , despite my concerns that another sequestrum might form. He sent us home on Gentocin drops.
About a week later, the cat was scheduled for a dental exam and I asked for a repeat eye exam while he was under anesthesia. The ulcer was not improving, and I again asked for a referral to the ophthalmologist. Instead, we started another antibiotic; this time an ointment. I wanted to trust Dr. Bolens' judgment, but I called the ophthalmology practice and again I was told that I needed a referral. I called North Boros back and the woman answering the phone (Kate? I can't remember her name.) told me that Dr. Bolens would call me the next morning (Friday). I told her that I had been told that atropine drops would help to alleviate the discomfort. The receptionist said, ""Atropine doesn't do that; it just dilutes the eye."" Perhaps she meant that it ""DILATES"" the pupil, which of course I already knew. I didn't realize that an uneducated receptionist was qualified to practice veterinary medicine. They refused to prescribe anything at all for pain. The receptionist said, ""The doctor said that this medicine won't burn his eye."" Again, the receptionist is the middle man and she has no idea what she's doing... I'm thinking that maybe it's not just the medication and possibly the GIANT ULCER in his cornea is causing him discomfort? Of course it was, but they wouldn't give us anything to help him.
The weekend went by with no return call, so Monday I took him to the emergency vet, b/c I knew he'd get in with the ophthalmologist the next day. He went to surgery that afternoon, and now he needs a 2nd surgery to further repair the cornea. Dr. Bolens only called me back after the emergency vet had faxed him the report and the request for lab results that were done a week before the emergency room visit. His message? ""Hi, it's Dr. Bolens. I received the report and I see you took him to the ophthalmologist on your own. Just calling to touch base.""
Thanks for nothing. Oh, after the surgery, the ophthalmologist did prescribe both atropine drops and buprenorphine for pain. Finally, my cat had some relief after a MONTH of suffering.
I feel so foolish for trusting this veterinarian and not taking my cat to the emergency room sooner, or not trying harder to at least get him seen by the ophthalmologist. Hindsight is 20/20.
Maybe I should submit a second one-star review because of what happened there in the 90s: the burns my family's dog aquired all over her back from a heating pad at North Boros while undergoing a spenectomy, again under the care of Dr. Bollens.
For real, take good care of your pets and stay away from this place. They don't provide compassionate care, don't believe in pain management, and don't respect the pet owner. Your pet deserves much better than this!
For what it's worth, this review referrs to Dr. K Bollens Jr, NOT his son Dr. K Bollens III who also works at the practice.