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Veterinary Specialty Hospital - 14 Reviews - 6405 Tryon Rd, Cary, NC - Veterinary Services Reviews - Phone (919) 233-4911

Veterinary Specialty Hospital

6405 Tryon Rd
Cary, NC 27511
(919) 233-4911
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So-- I feel for a lot of the people on here. I think when you read some of the reviews, I think people have a lot of heart ache. Yes, the hospital is expensive. I found the pri...


We brought our sick cat here. It's tough to adequately evaluate this place since they said that they were short on staff the afternoon we came in but I did want to share my exper...

Not so great 2/11/2012

We brought our sick cat here. It's tough to adequately evaluate this place since they said that they were short on staff the afternoon we came in but I did want to share my experience. First, the front staff were not exactly compassionate. They seemed indifferent, made almost no eye contact, and gave us very little information regarding our wait time. When I asked how much longer it would be, again - absolutely no eye contact was made, and their general demeanor was one of boredom and the desire to be left alone. We ended up waiting for 4 1/2 hours with very little information. Also, the place is absolutely freezing. Everyone in the large waiting area was commenting on the fact that the heat did either not seem to be working or that the staff would not turn up the temperature in order to save money (still don't know why but when you have to sit there for potentially hours and you are already upset because your animal is ill, having to deal with the cold is especially unpleasant). When we did see the doctor, she spoke very quickly about all of the procedures and potential outcomes (in her defense, she may have been in a rush because of low staff that night, and she did try to be pleasant and answered all our questions) and in the end, I think much to her surprise, convinced us to take our cat home instead of submitting him to procedures (some of them sounding rather long-lasting and painful, especially for an elderly cat) that might not result in anything more than "hmm... well he seems to have this but we have no idea why and might never know what the root cause is since these things are so hard to diagnose, so let's do more tests and then try to extend this potentially low-quality-of life existance that will cost you thousands and thousands of dollars". Of course, the doctor did not say this but we tried to read between the lines and this was our interpretation. In fact, our conclusion was that we should put our cat down, which we really grieved about since we have had him for so many years and he was such a part of our lives (I could go on and on about this cat and what he meant to us, but those of you who have animals can surely relate). We brought our furry beloved friend home and called our vet. After consulting with my husband about the feedback from the VSH doctor, she agreed that it was time. This is the deal: you are probably not going to get the compassion that you would get from your vet (our vet was absolutely wonderful and has known and beautifully cared for our cat for the past 10 years - he is 17) since these folks do not know you or your pet, and the people you speak with may be a bit tired since they have been dealing with some unfortunate cases all day and all night. Also, like so much of modern medicine, they are going to try to problem solve which often means doing everything they can to extend the life even if it means a potentially low quality of life for your elderly cat, and the fact that you will be paying thousands of dollars (and I don't mean just a few thousand) for the initial diagnostic procedures, follow ups, and meds. Unless your animal is truly in crisis mode, in pain, and has something that can be addressed (like if your pet was just in an accident, and is suffering from something that can be fixed, like a broken limb) , I suggest that you give yourself time (an hour, a day - whatever it takes) to think about what you want to do, what the quality of life would be like, and also understand that you might be embarking on a journey that will be incredibly expensive and result in pain and only a few extra weeks or months for your animal. more

Interested in money--prescribed the wrong meds 1/6/2012

I went to the North Raleigh facility--I realize that they serve a purpose, being open when your vet is closed OR being there for those who do not have a regular vet--and I do see the need for a slight increase in prices--NOTE I said slight--not outrageous. I also do not expect to be presented with an either or itemized bill even before I know what is wrong with my animal. Once I agree to a certain amount of care, I expect the proper care NOT mis prescribed meds that almost killed my cat. I will NEVER go there again, $500 for them and another $400 with my vet and 3 days intensive care to SAVE my cat!! more

Interested in money... not welfare of pets 9/17/2011

My cat requires fluids a couple of times a week due to kidney failure. After a horrible week, I realized I had forgotten to purchase a bag of fluids to get us through the weekend. I called all of the clinics in the area to see if they would sell me a bag of lactate solution for IV drip. (My cat is completely fine and normal as long as she gets this subcutaneously.) Veterinary Specialty Hospital of the Carolinas on Tryon Rd in Cary was going to charge me $150 for what normally costs around $20! Absolutely ridiculous! The vet at Animal Emergency Clinic in Cary was so nice and helpful, realizing that yes I had made a mistake, but didn't need to pay $150 for it. They charged me $36, which was very reasonable. Go to Animal Emergency Clinic instead. They were so nice and pleasant and really cared about the animals I saw there. more

Nice building, everything else is awful 7/14/2011

I took one of my dogs on a Friday night and they did not think mine was an emergency- it appeared as though she may have had an allergic reaction to Advantage Multi and they made me wait for almost 5 hours. All they wanted to do was speculate and run tests. While I was waiting and waiting ( and waiting some more) not once did anyone come upfront to inform or update me on my dog. The staff showed no compassion and was aloof and money hungry. One would assume that at least someone would call for a follow up to see how the dog is doing, but no such thing. This place was simply awful. more

Recommend NC State 11/6/2010

The reviews here, and elsewhere, helped me make a decision that I believe saved my cat's life. VSH performed a complicated and risky surgery to remove a non-cancerous mass from my cat's stomach. My cat survived, and I think the surgeon did a good job. It was the after-care that I find questionable. My cat ended up being hospitalized for 2 weeks after his surgery, and if you have ever had a pet hospitalized, you know how EXTREMELY expensive it is. Once you make the decision for surgery, though, there is no turning back, and we love our cat so much, it was imperative that we continue with his hospitalization. We went through our savings, being told each day that if he could just start moving food through his system, he would be able to come home. After 2 weeks of this, our doctor finally decided to do an ultrasound, and found a significant amount of inflammatory fluid. The pathologist found bacterial organisms, and our doctor told us that they would have to perform ANOTHER surgery to find the source of the inflammation. At this point, we decided we needed a second opinion, and took our cat to NC State. They ran their own tests, and did not believe surgery was necessary. In fact, they said his prognosis was very poor if he went through another surgery. NC State used a rigorous drug therapy, as well as a thorough and sensitive nutritional plan, to start my cat's recovery. He was there for a week, and is now home, where we continue his drug/nutrition regimen. His doctor was INCREDIBLE, one the most intelligent and compassionate people I have ever met. Our doctor at VSH said that NC State would tell us the same thing--that my cat needed surgery to save his life. They did not, and I don't believe my cat would have survived another surgery. I wish we had taken him to NC State sooner. I know people have had good experiences with VSH--that doesn't really surprise me, but this was my experience. more

Re: Very pleased with services 10/19/2010

So-- I feel for a lot of the people on here. I think when you read some of the reviews, I think people have a lot of heart ache. Yes, the hospital is expensive. I found the pricing on par with the Vet School. I can understand that people are upset that VSH will "let your pet die" if you cannot pay in full. However, as callous as this may sound to some, what do you expect them to do? Everyone would love to be able to save Fluffy or Bandit but unfortunately if you can't afford the surgery/treatments they are not obligated to save your critter. I think they may be a little more numb to this than say your local vet because their techs and vets see A LOT of trauma, day in and day out. As someone who has had a horse in surgery at the vet school I can also tell you that if you can't pay- they aren't going to do the surgeries. In fact back when she had surgery I asked if I had to pay all up front or could we do a payment plan-- bless them they kind of giggled at that. It is the pet owners responsibility to do research and to understand what they are putting their put through when opting to do a treatment. My cat was just hospitalized for 5 days due to diabetic ketoacidosis. The treatment was conclusive, compassionate, and diligent. The doctor spent a lot of time with me talking and answering my questions-- more so than my regular vet. In fact, I am moving my cat's diabetes care to this internist (doctor during the day) as she has lots more experience and knowledge than my previous vet did as a general practitioner. The vet was impressed I knew so much and how pointed my questions were. Wrong diagnosis etc. This is tragic and I myself had a scenario where my cat who was treated with asthma and a heart condition at VSH later died the same day of more than likely either FIP or heart failure. At first, I was angry at the ER vet until speaking to my regular vet-- both vets at the practice made mention that at the ER they are triaging based on NO information about the pet-- only what the owner may or may not recall. Somethings are just not easily identifiable and someone may go down another path. It is awful, but it happens and it is not even uncommon in human medicine (how many times has my neighbor kept going BACK to the doctor with her head pain, etc). The care is expensive-- that is undeniable and I thank my blessings that I was able to afford to pay and put aside on a low interest card the remainder of the bill for my cat. The truth of the matter what my cat had would not have been any cheaper at the vet school-- and no local veterinarian would have been able to provide the 24/7 care that was required in ICU. I feel horrible for the poor lab-- I think that the doctor that treated your dog definitely missed things and honestly--and there are probably a bunch of woulda coulda shouldas-- I know even recently with my cat, I requested an extra day in the hospital even before discharge JUST to make sure that he was truly ready to come home-- I had learned that lesson from other pets in the past. MY heart goes out to you. more

Their Goal Is to Empty Your Bank Account 7/25/2010

I signed up on Citysearch just to review this vet hospital. I'm sorry I ever took my pet there. While they appear to mean well, at least on the surface, the #1 factor that drives this practice is greed. They will literally allow an animal to die in front of them if an owner cannot pay in full right then and there. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I was able to pay, and pay I did, through the nose. My pet was diagnosed with cancer and the oncologist at VSH recommended chemotherapy. He was quite optimistic even though statistics (and one of their own surgeons) indicated a far more grim outcome. In hindsight, the oncologist was peddling expensive treatments that would benefit the practices' bottomline far more than my pet. His quoted price for each treatment was at least 35% lower than the actual total cost of each treatment, because he didn't take into account all the tests he would order and he didn't consider all the other miscellaneous charges that would be piled on top. His estimate was $400/treatment. The actual charge was $600+/treatment. The oncologist was always in a hurry and spent very little time with my pet or with me during followup appointments. After several rounds of chemotherapy (that didn't work), this oncologist's attitude changed and he became flippant and dismissive. While I'm sure it's hard to have most of your patients die, and one has to emotionally separate themselves to deal with hundreds of dying patients, each pet is precious to their owner and each one is important. Flippancy has no place here. This practice and the vets only know conventional medicine. They have no expertise in (or even an interest in) alternative therapies that could be a helpful compliment to traditional medicine. State-of-the-art vet hospitals are interested in exploring ALL modalities that could assist their patients. This one only knows surgery, radiation, and chemo. (cut, burn & poison). They maintain a head-in-the-sand stance about any other type of complimentary therapy. The final act (or rather, non-act) that showed VSH's true colors: after my pet died, they never bothered to acknowledge the passing. I literally gave this practice thousands of my hard earned income and they couldn't bother calling or sending a card of condolence. That really said it all to me. They got the $$$$ and that's what was important. Never again will I subject a pet or myself to this hospital, with their fake veneer of care & concern, but greed-above-all-else environment. I implore other pet owners to consider their options in exploring advanced medical treatment for their beloved pets. VSH is not the only game in town, but I guarantee you they are the most expensive and the greediest. They'll be really, really sweet as you write them check after check though. Pros: It's Local Cons: Greedy, Overpriced, Cold, Smug, Fake more

Do not go here if you pet is seriously ill. 6/20/2010

Do not go here if you pet is seriously ill. I could talk for an hour but I'll keep this review brief. In our experience, they do not explain the odds of survival, the options available to you, and their cost estimates are way off. VSH was recommended by our regular vet. If we knew how little the odds of a positive outcome, how much suffering our dog would endure due to surgery, and how way, way off their cost estimate was, we would have euthanized the poor girl the first day. We were told that the dog had a liver tumor and fluid in the abdomen with lots of white cells, but we were not told that the odds were very high that this was advanced liver cancer, and that liver surgery would require costly blood products. My dog suffered needlessly so their surgeon could get practice and they could bill me. Pros: none Cons: misleading, expensive more

VSH killed my black labrador, Bailey 6/2/2010

We took Bailey to VSH on March 28, 2010. After examination by the doctor, he told us Bailey had paralyzed vocal cords and would need surgery or have to be euthanized. We admitted Bailey and was required to pay $3,000.00 up front. Bailey had surgery on March 29, 2010. The surgeon came out and said he did fine. He told us that Bailey could go home on March 30th. We were in route to pick Bailey up on Tuesday morning, March 30, and received a phone call from nurse saying that Bailey had a bloody stool and a Flaming UTI. She told us she would be sending home more antibiotics than initially planned. I was concerned but she didn't retract discharge. When we arrived Bailey didn't look well, but we thought it was because all he'd been through. We paid an additional $228.00 and took Bailey home. He was barely able to walk to the car and was regurgitating green mucus, but the nurse saw this and said it was normal. When we arrived home Bailey was not ambulatory. We carried him in the house and he was still regurgitating green mucus. We got him to his bed and he was not doing well. We called VSH and spoke with the nurse. The mucus production was getting worse and Bailey was unresponsive and breathing shallow. She told us to get medication and nutrition in him asap. The situation continued to deteriorate and we called again and told the nurse Bailey was not doing well and we were not able to get medication or nutrition in him. I knew he was in trouble. She then told us to leave him alone and let him sleep, which contradicted her earlier instructions. We started to panic and I felt like Bailey was dying. We called again and told the nurse Bailey would have to get antibiotics and nutrition via IV because he was too sick at this point. She told us we could bring him back, but they would try and give him pills. We knew we couldn't take him back there and called the NC State Veterinary Hospital. We arrived around 3:00 pm and Bailey had to be carried in on a gurney. The doctor examined him and told us that Bailey had severe pneumonia, a temp. of 104.5, sepsis (deadly infection of the blood) mega-esophagus, a complication from the surgery and was dehydrated. She said the next 24 hours were crucial and didn't feel Bailey would survive. She said she needed to do further testing. We went to see Bailey and left. She called that evening at 8:00 pm and told us Bailey was too sick. The only thing they could do was put him on a ventilator, but gave a grave prognosis of only 5% chance of coming off. We went over and after speaking with her again, had to make the decision to euthanize Bailey. It about killed my whole family. Bottom line, Bailey was discharged from VSH and had to be euthanized the same day, hours after discharge. To date, they have never once shown any compassion. My attempts to meet with the hospital administrator/partner were declined. VSH does not care about the patients, they care about money. The NC State Veterinary Hospital was wonderful to us and they truly care about their patients. We have since discovered that VSH withheld medical records from us and from the vet school. They are about getting your money, and if things go wrong, covering up their mistakes. There is much more to this story, but I only have so many characters. Pros: None Cons: They are all about money! more

VSH Rocks! 6/1/2010

My husband and I first discovered VSH when our 9 year old shepherd mix was diagnosed with an enlarged splein. Our wonderful regular vet told us they recommended that we either take her to the NC State Vet School, or to VSH. We did call NC State but there was no way they could see us right away. We then called VSH and they saw us the next day. We took her, they kept her that day, they did the surgery the next morning, we picked her up the next night. Were they expensive? Yes. But I can tell you that I cannot put a price onto good health care, be it for my pet or my husband. If I did not have the money, that would be a different story ... but I did and they went above and beyond the call of duty. We have since used their services twice after that with another of our dogs and had just as wonderful an outcome. They were professional, on time, and had excellent "bedside manner". I cannot imagine any one I would trust more with my pets. It does make me sad that others had a bad experience for I know how that can be ... especially when a loved one is involved. My heart goes out to you. But I would highly recommend these folks -- and do all the time. Pros: Experts in their field Cons: I know of no cons more

$$$ 5/24/2010

If your pet needs surgery and you take them here be prepared to pay a college tuition bill and if you can't they will let you know they can't help you! more

Bunch of crooks 2/22/2010

I brought in my dog with acute diarrhea. He was rapidly fading and was admitted in ICU at VSH. $1500 later and meanwhile in a coma and dying, I was told my dog had an inoperable brain tumor and euthanasia was advised. The brain tumor was never assessed with the appropriate diagnostic scans. Since I did not believe them I took my rapidly declining dog to NCSU where he was instantly treated for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. He miraculously recovered, but was seriously debilitated due VSH's misdiagnosis. We spend quite a lot of money for this and follow-up treatments. I found out later that the VSH had altered the patient records. They lied about having provided the proper diagnosis and stated they had never told my dog had a brain tumor. They even attempted to blame the absence of proper treatment and pain management on me! The case of my dog was straightforward. The VSH misdiagnosed my dog's condition thus providing the wrong treatment. With the correct medications and diagnostic aids at NCSU my dog recovered. What is much worse to me is that VSH then tried to cover up for their mistake and negligence by lying. We -pet owners- are trusting veterinarians with our beloved pets. More so, we are willing to spend considerable expenses for our pets by going to a specialty clinic such as the VSH, THINKING that the best treatments will be offered by veterinarians with extra training. It is highly unethical if professionals abuse this trust!! more

Be Very Careful When You Are Referred To This Hospital! 9/17/2009

Our regular vet referred us to this hospital for an imaging test for our pet. The hospital vet insisted it was necessary to admit our pet for “monitoring,” and our pet declined rapidly from there. The hospital vets handling our case didn’t diagnose the correct condition quickly enough. Our pet was placed in the hospital’s ICU area, which is a highly stressful environment (too bright, too noisy, and too chaotic). The ICU at this particular hospital should not be a “holding area” for a sick animal whose medical condition will be greatly impacted by stress. We had to have our pet euthanized after two highly stressful days of invasive procedures, contradictory treatment protocols, and one insensitive hospital vet who kept minimizing our pet’s stress level. Also, the hospital staff was not keeping our regular vet informed of daily medical decisions (our regular vet wasn’t notified again by the hospital until three days after our pet was euthanized). Additional invasive and expensive diagnostic tests were recommended, but it was very clear to us that our pet was distressed and suddenly dying. We believe that our pet suffered needlessly during his short stay at this hospital. It is probably very effective as a trauma center, but use extreme caution if your pet is being admitted for conditions other than trauma/emergency triage. Pros: 24-hour availability; good for "trauma" cases Cons: Sub-par diagnostic skills; expensive services more

Deceptive and/or sloppy trade practices putting YOUR pet at risk 9/5/2008

This vet's deceptive, sloppy practice may have endangered MANY pets because the case concerned possible dogfood toxicity of dog food. When my dog died at 3am, brought him in to make sure; they pronounced while he was still in car. I asked about necropsy and told them the reasons it was possibly a toxicity case (like rodent bate, tylenol, melanine other dog po_son); they gave me the run-around until admitting they used NCSU Vet School---but still didn't inform me that I could bring him myself, for only $30 (this vet charged $66) and faster service. Basically, they took advantage of a bereaved person on zero sleep to make a few bucks. Still, that would've ok IF they had brought him when they said they were going to (630 am), but they DIDN'T. He sat there for hours (NCSU confirmed), probably not even in a cooler at all. If I had brought him to NCSU myself, he would have immediately been placed in a cooler, and the probably could have been able to determine more about toxicity (po_soning). Because of this vet's deceit and delays, the dog decomposed too much to be able to tell what he died of--meaning it was a complete waste of the first $66, and would require at least another $200 to try to find out through more complicated means. NCSU DOES think that a toxic substance is a strong possibility--which means this vet put YOUR pet at risk by not handling this properly. That wasn't the first time I had a problem with this vet. The last time they tried to tell me he needed a bunch of tests that he didn't need and wanted to charge to keep him while they did nothing but watch--said would not DO anything till morning. (so what's point of after hours???) Cons: deceptive, sloppy, don't do what say will, overly-expensive, unnecessary more
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