We have an 8+ yr old mixed breed female dog with a congenital heart problem. After purchasing her from a Lakewood pet store, we took her to the NE Vet Hospital for a comprehensive exam and we were assured she was healthy, Jogging with her before she was 6 months old, she somehow cut her paw and we rushed her to emergency. At that time, after fixing her paw, the vet mentioned her "illness" and asked us if we are treating her for it. WHAT??? He encouraged us to take her to our vet to discuss her significant heart murmur -- which HE was able to detect while treating her for the cut paw! We took her back to NE Vet Hospital and, following an exam and testing by a heart specialist who was called in ($$BIG BUCKS$$), we received the bad news, that she was born with significant Aortic Stenosis, with a life expectancy of 3 - 5 years. We altered our habits (quit running with her), we've taken her on regular walks, watch her diet and basically, we happily treat her like a princess. We did not continue medicating her with Atenolol (to slow down her heartbeat) as prescribed, due to the "grogginess" that resulted. She rarely coughs and she still behaves like a healthy dog. Although we have been encouraged to have the specialist run the tests again, I don't know that we would want to cause her the stress of having another test done and she is clearly not uncomfortable.
I really don't know what to think, as far as the initial claim that she was healthy. Why was someone else able to detect this problem with just a stethoscope? Did it progress as she grew a few months?
I truly believe that the vets and staff at NE Vet Hospital care about the animals, and there are going to be unforeseen problems. It is a PRACTICE not a PERFECT. Had we opted for pet insurance when told she was healthy...well, it wouldn't change anything. We've enjoyed our girl for almost 9 years now, despite her prognosis. If you don't like the prices at NE Vet Hospital, go elsewhere... I wonder if the staff at the emergency place off Union also have other offices... They were GREAT.
I've had complaints about most places I've gone...they treat animals, not people. Find the best place for the best price. It's okay to shop around.