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BBB Accredited Business since 12/21/2011

Riverview Animal Hospital

Phone: (423) 756-6011

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Customer Complaints Summary

1 complaint closed with BBB in last 3 years | 0 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Problems with Product / Service1
Advertising / Sales Issues0
Billing / Collection Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints1

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (1)
09/22/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details

Negligence of animal care and selling used antibiotic that shouldn't have been resold, which malpractice caused the painful death of my cat.
2-18-2014 Riverview Animal Hospital. Dr. ****** was the vet who seen ***** and gave her a Convenia Injection 80 mg/ml, L-Lysine. Diagnosis appeared to be allergies and possible feline herpes. I was to give ***** L-Lysin, ¼ chlortab.
On 4-4-14 I took her to Doctor Dr. ***** ***** was much worse, showing signs of lethargy and weight loss. She'd developed huge red rash on side of face under ears, above eyes with swelling, persistent nose sore with clear drainage. They said it wasn't anything to be worried about, allergies. I felt it was much more, run blood work, urinalysis and a full senior panel. The vet said wasn't necessary but would do it. I said do it, because I was concerned it was more. When I'd searched the internet symptoms, it was showing clear signs of diabetes. She said she didn't feel it was anything . The results not provided to my doctor but was refused. They did tell me her glucose was 1000 but the machines were off, so that couldn't be correct. Other concerns on lab were there, but she explained it away as machines malfunction.
On 6-24-14 ***** had lost muscle mass and noticed her sides were caved in. They claimed it was with normal aging but this loss was noticed over 3 days. They checked her glucose in the urine and said the high reading was incorrect, there's no way her glucose could be that high. I explained *****'s cough night before. The doctors notes have some false statements cat was weak not running around. This is when they gave me a box of Clavamox that was used and out of effectiveness, see supporting documents and pictures where they had given med's to another client (****** ************** cat named *****) prior to selling it to me.
I picked bottle Clavamox from Riverview on 6-24-2014 they gave ***** dose. Usually, When tech handed me bottle it was already very cold (refrigeration cold). I never imagined clinic would do this, so I disregarded feeling until I found another owner & pet name on the label.
The next day (6-25-14) *****'s breath smelled fruity and now her urine put off a fruity smell.
On 6-28-2014, ***** was getting much worse and I noticed the bottle was not going to last for the full prescribed 7 days. It hit me at this point, they either mixed bottle with too little water or they had sold me a bottle used. Looking for expiration date, I looked closely at the label and noticed a faded X on label & my label was over another label, so I knew this bottle was partially used and in fact it was! Underneath label was clearly seen made out to ****** ******** *****/Feline date of 5-20-2014.
6-28-14 I call Riverview spoke to **** ********** explaining my concern about used bottle & she said bring med's & ***** in right away. They insisted on keeping box due to liability issues & wouldn't give it back, then tried to rush me out with new bottle, refusing to treat *****. After 30 min, they said I would be considered a walk-in, so I'd have to wait another hour. I tho't the new bottle would help her, so I went home. I asked clerk to have office manager call me Monday but she never did. From then on, they wouldn't call me back.
On 6-29-2014, Sunday ***** was not getting better according to their predictions with the new bottle of Clavamox. I left messages, calls were not returned.
On 7-1-2014, "new medicine" wasn't helping, I took ***** in to see Dr. ******* at ****** ****** ****** ******** and they were desperately trying to get labs, doctor's notes frm Riverview. Riverview sent them (after waiting over 3 hours on them to fax something in) only 1 set of labs out of the 3 labs that were performed. All other records according to ****** ****** were being refused by the staff and vets at Riverview. At least 5 times over 3 hrs, the staff ******* ****** said they refused. ***** was hospitalized the following week 7-7-14 and passed **** 7-11-14 because of the neglect of paying attention to labs and selling me meds that had no effect. Had they paid attention & treated her properly, she would be alive.

Desired Settlement
Requested Outcome:
1. Letter of reprimand be added to all veterinarians who handled *****'s case at Riverview.
2. Malpractice added to all veterinarian files permanently, highlighting the wrongful sale of med's.
3. The clinic and or veterinarians reimburse me the $1500.00 I am out because of their malpractice and lack of attention, caused the death of my cat and ***** suffering the last month of her life.
4. A full refund of the 3 charges from Riverview on my ******** card that I have disputed for ***** in the amounts of $140.49, $187.45, and $94.17 totaling $422.11. This is due to the medical dangers and implications of pharmaceutical malpractice of selling medications that should have never been pre-mixed and distributed for a month and 8 days prior and knowingly distributing medications that were of no-potency and could have been very harmful to the pancreas.

Business Response
Riverview Animal Hospital disagrees with and opposes the allegations made in the complaint filed by ***** *****. Ms. ***** is claiming that our veterinary hospital was negligent in its care of her cat, *****, and that we sold her a used antibiotic. There is no basis for these false allegations. Riverview Animal Hospital provided appropriate treatment for ***** that met or exceeded the requisite standard of care. Accordingly, we ask that the complaint be dismissed.
In addition to the foregoing, and in support of our position, we submit the following statement to further address the complaints cited by Ms. ***** and then briefly outline her recent actions toward us to show that she has not acted in good faith:
Ms. ***** asserts that Riverview Animal Hospital dispensed a "used" antibiotic to ***** on June 24, 2014. This allegation is absolutely false and is made without any reasonable basis for support. The antibiotic in question, ********* comes to us in powder form from the manufacturer in a sealed container that is packaged inside a sealed box. When a prescription for ******** is written, we print a label for the prescription and affix it to the box. The box remains unopened at our facility until the patient arrives. At that point, we open the sealed box and the sealed container inside, mix the powder with water to form a liquid medication, and then give the medication to the client.
There are times when a prescription is written for a medication that is contained in a sealed box or container and it is not actually given to the client. We have a protocol at Riverview Animal Hospital concerning the return to inventory of unused medication that is contained in sealed boxes or containers after prescription labels have been applied. After a label has been applied, if the doctor decides to change the prescription, or the client decides not to receive the prescription, the label is marked with an "X" and if the medication has not left the hospital it is returned to inventory. The label has to be marked in some way so we know that the medication in inventory has not, in fact, already been dispensed and returned to inventory mistakenly. The reason the label is marked rather than removed is that removing the label usually results in the tearing of the cardboard box. Rather than having to dispense damaged boxes, we prefer to mark the labels. In the nearly 20 years we have been open, this has never been a problem.
The box of ******** at issue with Ms. ***** had been previously prescribed to the pet of another client (the BBB has asked that we not name clients in this report). This client spoke to one of our doctors by telephone and was going to come by and pick up the medication. Pursuant to our regular protocol, we printed and affixed a label to the box and held the unopened/sealed box at our office until the client arrived. As is our policy, the medication was not reconstituted (ie water was not added) until the client was ready to pick it up. After waiting several days without the client retrieving the medication, we called the client and were informed that the patient was doing much better and that she did not feel that the medication was necessary after all. As is our protocol, the label was marked and the box returned to inventory, still in powder form and still sealed and unopened. We have several notations in that client's record confirming these events.
When the ******** was prescribed for *****, we used the medication that had been returned to inventory pursuant to our protocol. When the prescription label was attached to the box, it was placed over the label that was marked with an "X." At that point, the medication remained sealed inside a container in a sealed, unopened box. When Ms. ***** brought ***** in on June 24, 2014, the ******** was removed from the box, and we then opened the sealed container to add water in order to reconstitute the powder into a liquid form for dispensing to the patient. We used cold tap water. The coldness Ms. ***** felt was from the cold tap water mixing with the antibiotic. Our associate veterinarian, Dr. ***** feels very certain that she was the one that mixed the medication fresh for *****. Before the medication was provided to Ms. *****, it had never been removed from its sealed container inside the sealed box. The medication was new and dispensed to ***** well before its expiration date.
Several days after the ******** was given to Ms. *****, she appeared at our office, unannounced, on a busy Saturday and reported that she was very concerned about the medication having been previously mixed and stored inappropriately. Neither I nor Dr. **** were present that day. Ms. ***** spoke with another veterinarian, Dr. *********** In an effort to address Ms *****'s concerns, Dr. ********** authorized a new bottle of ******** be dispensed. She inspected the ******** package and confirmed it was the appropriate medication. A veterinary assistant then mixed the bottle of ******** in the client's presence.
Ms ***** did not have the cat with her on that Saturday, but she was told that she could come back with ***** and be seen on a walk-in basis. An hour wait on a fully booked Saturday is very reasonable. That is protocol for any non-emergency patient that comes in without an appointment. Ms. ***** did not bring ***** in to our hospital that Saturday. Though Ms ***** could have brought her pet back to our hospital or taken her pet to any hospital in town to be seen, she waited three days before taking ***** to another animal hospital.
Concerning the records not being faxed in a timely manner to ****** ****** ****** ********* the records were faxed twice in two hours. We had no intention of withholding records. The problem was that the veterinarian at ****** ****** was communicating with his receptionist who was communicating with our receptionist who was doing exactly what she was supposed to do: make a copy of the records and fax them as soon as possible. My receptionist approached me after perhaps the third time ****** ****** called. I immediately called that hospital to see what the problem was. I was asked for the "handwritten records." I told ****** ****** that we do not have any handwritten records as all of our notes are computerized. I asked the receptionist to let me speak to the doctor on the case. She placed me on hold and came back the phone and said, "We need the blood work." I then realized what the problem was. The blood work was a .pdf attachment to the record that didn't print out when the hospital notes printed out. I immediately printed and faxed the blood work. At that point, which could not have been more than a few hours after the original request had been made, ****** ****** had all the results that we had. I do not know what records Ms. ***** is referring to that have never been turned over. I have no idea if the delay of one or two hours had any bearing on the outcome of the case, as I have had no communication with ****** ********* doctors. But ***** was not hospitalized for several more days which would lead me to believe that her condition was not critical at that time.
This all appears to me to be a big misunderstanding based on Ms *****'s attribution of malice to every action we have taken and her mistaken belief that we had it in our power to save ***** and elected not to. We attempted to help ***** return to health and are very sorry that she was suffering from a terminal illness. But Ms. ***** has thwarted my efforts to speak to her, telling my office manager that she would only speak to me if I agreed to pay her bill at ****** ******* She is attempting to damage the reputation and career of doctors who had nothing to do with *****'s case and is using the Better Business Bureau complaint as leverage to force me to pay her medical bills at ****** ******* She has threatened to file a lawsuit against us.
We have been in the community for almost 20 years and have occasionally had disagreements with clients before. In every case we have been able to reach an agreement or at least a mutual understanding. I have never encountered a client so willing to believe the absolute worst of me, the hospital, our doctors and our staff and to act so quickly to damage the reputation we hold so dear.

Dr. *** ********,****

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
There are several false statements, flat out lies that I'll address in order of the actual response from *** ********.
1. The original medications were NOT mixed in my viewing, thus they can't prove without a doubt that they mixed it right then. That is only based on their recollection, not actual proof. When the technician came in the room to administer the ********* he handed me the medication after giving a dose to ***** and it was refrigerant cold, not tap water cold. The second time they mixed the bottle in front of me at my request, it was tap water cold; no where near as cold as the first time. The first time it was pre-mixed, the technician acted very suspicious, trying to hurry and give the cat the meds before the vet came in the room.
2. I called 20 minutes prior to showing up that Saturday, the call was made to them at 10:13 a.m and I spoke for 8 minutes, 51 seconds, according to my ******* records. I told the girl who answered the phone, about the pre-mixed meds, that they were going to be short a few days because there wasn't enough meds in the bottle and how weak ***** was. I let her know about the X found and how cold the bottle was when I got the bottle a few days prior. The girl that answered said to come on over, they weren't busy at all, they only had 1 customer there. It took me 12 minutes to get there and 2 minutes to load ***** up, so I was there at 10:27. At 12:50 according to my ******* records, I dialed my un-forward call *73, so this was the time I had got back home. I was there 2 hours, plus the 15 min drive back home. As for them saying I just showed up without any warning, my ******* records prove differently. When I got to their clinic, there was two cars in the customer parking and 1 lady in the waiting room. I didn't see who was in the back rooms, but since there were only two cars in the parking lot, they couldn't have been that busy, according to their "claims" previously submitted and according to the receptionist when I got there. She said, "ohhh good, you brought ***** and we haven't got busy yet!"
3. *** ******** claims I didn't have the cat with me, THIS IS FALSE. When I called, they said go ahead and bring her and so I was doing what the front desk clerk said to do. I DID HAVE THE CAT WITH ME ON SATURDAY and if they have camera's in their waiting room, I'd love to view the data, proving I had the cat. Why would I wait to see the vet for 2 hours if I didn't have the cat with me. *** ******** was not there and I can prove I took her as my neighbor knew I was taking her that morning. I purposely took the cat so they could see how sick the cat was, because I figured they'd claim the meds were perfectly fine, however, my cat was getting worse the entire time she was under their care. It was negligence from day one and was negligence all they way up to me taking my cat to another clinic.
4. They said in their rebuttal to this complaint that I waited 3 days to take her to another vet and this was true that I waited, but I was waiting for their "new" meds to actually help my cat. AS WELL, this "3" days was over a weekend as the day I got the new or "good" meds was clearly a Saturday, we all agree on that. The 3rd day is when she was getting weaker and I realized they had let her get too far and the meds weren't helping her at this point, because of their neglect and poor care or lack of care. I waited till July 1st in hopes of the meds helping her, but I needed to make sure I was doing all I could, since they didn't care about her well-being. As a matter of fact, I did care and do all I could, obviously by spending over $1500 just from February till she passed away. That is not neglect, the care I gave her was doing everything I could. Can Riverview say they cared that much? NO!!!
5. As for the "terminal illness" that they claim ***** died from; it was not terminal by her own fault or her body just falling apart as they make it sound, but due to the neglect of actually looking at the labs and researching those numbers that were out of whack. They kept saying their machines were messed up, so not to pay mind to those numbers... it was said 3 or 4 times. Well, if your machines are giving off false reports, get a new machine, don't use faulty equipment.
6. If they will look on their bills which I got a copy of 2-18-14, 4-14-14 & 6-24-14, it clearly states LAB Service, it shows Senior panel, Urinalysis, Glucose Surum... They clearly have done labs from all three dates of service but why won't they release or why didn't they fax but one set of labs to ****** ******* Why won't they send me a copy of all the paper work and labs or doctors notes? It's because they know they will have to justify what they have done and because the labs show there's something that could have been researched more.
7. They claim they sent the faxes over to ****** ****** in "just an hour or two" it "couldn't have been long at all" however, it clearly states that ****** ****** requested the labs on RIVERVIEWS documentation at 1:53pm, however on their fax that was sent in to ****** ******* clearly shows at the bottom that faxed it at 5:21pm. That's way more than an hour or two, this was a false statement!
8. It wasn't about miscommunication but not wanting to admit they did anything wrong or not recognizing their faulty way of doing business and lying to save their own "reputation" or the reputation of the business, but what are they covering up? They keep saying they are sorry... they have said it to BBB in their rebuttal, they have called my veterinarian, Dr. ******* at ****** ****** & have told him they are sorry, but at NO POINT have they ever called me and relayed that apology to me or tried to console me for my loss! At no point have they tried to make this right, TO ME... they are sorry they got caught, they are NOT sorry it happened nor have they proved that this won't happen to someone else.
9. Nothing has even been addressed by Riverview about their faulty lab work or their reading the labs, it's just dismissed as ***** was, no concern, no remorse, no apology at all.
10. When *** ******** said I refused to speak to him, that's not the case! When the Office manager said to me, "would you like to come in and talk to him, so he can explain what happened and go over everything with you?" My words were, "if he is not willing to rectify the situation by making this right, why would I need him to explain what happened, I know what happened. It's not about re-hashing everything, but about doing what's right here!" To which she replied, "I'll pass the information along to the owner and see what he wants to do." It made me a little upset because I heard in her voice that they were not willing to even consider or admit fault in what they had done. Their only plan of action is to justify everything away and not sit down and consider the consequences of MEDICALLY DIGGING FOR A RESOLUTION THAT WOULD HAVE HELP THE CAT! If she had an inflamed Pancreas, then there is medication that they could have given her back in February BEFORE it got to the point of death. If it was secondary diabetes, then they should have looked at those glucose levels and the elevated blood sugar tests and started her on insulin. AT NO POINT did they think it was any more than just an upper respiratory problem, to which all three vets said... "well, her lungs are clear, but her symptoms sounds LIKE..." and then left it at that! Has anyone ever heard of RESEARCH OR DIGGING A LITTLE DEEPER? Why are her labs off all three times? Had they even shown a little interest in getting to the bottom of her case and had a little compassion, this wouldn't have resolved in a claim or case. Their "actions" brought on this claim, not my determination to see their downfall!

My determination with this case or my actions toward Riverview is a REACTION to their negligence, medical malpractice, by their lack of empathy, lack of compassion and their lack of clear communication. They have ignored my calls, emails and requests for documentation or at the very least an explanation and they feel I am unjustified by this claim? They have even took me out of their data base, so I couldn't access her records online. It wasn't till I submitted a claim that they decided to communicate with me, so I really have no desire to just drop a case simply because they feel I am wrong. There were at least 3 or 4 outright lies in *** ********'s response, that proves to me they are just trying to get out of trouble. They were more concerned of the outcome to this legitimate claim than they were to rectifying or offering a solution. That tells me their heart is in the wrong place and consideration for their actions really needs to be properly examined! I am willing to listen to an offer, but none has EVER been offered! Their response is not acceptable and I have all the necessary documents that I have emailed to BBB to justify a full investigation should they want to take this further.

Final Business Response
I will respond to ***** allegations in the order that she uses. My numbers will correspond to the numbers of her paragraphs.
We never mix medications in front of the owners. We only did with Ms. * to address her misperceptions about the first bottle. There was no skullduggery involved in the mixing of the first bottle, but in the interest of client relations we attempted to assuage her misgivings by mixing the second (free) bottle in her presence.
Ms. **** perception of how busy the doctors were that Saturday morning based on the number of cars in the parking lot is misinformed. The reason we schedule appointments is so our clients do not have to wait longer than necessary. Our doctors' schedule was completely booked until 1:30 PM on Saturday, June 28. In addition, the doctors had several drop offs and two other walk-ins to contend with. Ms. * was invited to be seen as a walk-in and she declined.
In fact, Ms. * did have her cat with her that morning. I was mistaken about that. However, this makes her decision not to be seen as a walk-in even more perplexing. Her pet was already in the hospital and Ms. * would only have had to wait a while longer. She goes to great lengths to demonstrate that she called but she failed to do the one thing that might have allowed us to help her pet; bring it in and let one of the doctors treat it.
Three days passed between her visit to us and her taking ***** to another veterinarian. Her rational is she was waiting for the "new or 'good' meds" to work. Since the first meds were actually not old or bad, her waiting allowed *****'s condition to progress. I do not know if the delay would have made any difference in the outcome and I am not blaming *****'s passing on Ms. * nor am I saying that we could have saved her if we had gotten her back sooner. I am simply stating that her actions are inconsistent with her stated intent to "do all she could." Ms. * continues to believe that we had it in our power to save ***** and chose not to. This could not be further from the truth.
Ms. **** claim that *****'s condition was not terminal is not supported by any of the facts that I am aware of. ***** did, in fact, pass away as a result of her medical condition despite the best efforts of the fine doctors and staff of ****** ****** ****** ******** who, by Ms. **** own admission, are among the best and most compassionate. Those same doctors have told Ms. * that we did nothing wrong and that *****'s passing was not our fault but that has fallen on deaf ears.
At no point was our lab equipment faulty nor the results not analyzed. I think that Ms. * probably heard Dr. * say that one of the abnormal values was an "artifact." To a doctor, an artifact is a lab value that is incorrect due to some external source. In this case, *****'s excitement could have caused her blood sugar values to be elevated to an abnormally high level. Maybe Dr. * did not "trust" the glucose because she knew it was artifactually elevated. The lab machines we have are among the most modern and advanced available to general practitioners and were not in any way faulty.
I remain perplexed by Ms. **** contention that we have not given the lab results we obtained to ****** ******* As far as I know, they received all the lab work we had. Ms. * is certainly entitled to a copy of her medical records from Riverview Animal Hospital if she would like them. She has merely to ask for them.
As stated before, the delay in faxing the lab work to ****** ****** was unintentional and rectified as soon as I was able to figure out what the problem was (a .pdf attachment was not included the first two times the record was faxed). My front desk faxed what they believed to be the complete medical records much sooner than 5:21. The delay, brief as it was, had absolutely no impact on the ultimate outcome of the case.
The way this whole incident unfolded is entirely the result of the way Ms. * behaved. I did not know that ***** had passed until after we received notice that she had reversed the credit card charges. She has blasted us on social media, made complaints to the BBB, the ********* ******** of ******** ******** claims to have made a complaint to the ********* ***** of ********** ******* ********* and claims to be going to file a lawsuit. We feel sorry for Ms. * and her loss of her pet, *****, but do not accept that our actions were in any way responsible for *****'s passing. No communication is possible in the hostile atmosphere created by Ms. **
The lab work done at Riverview was not faulty. It was interpreted by Dr. * in light of the history given by Ms. * and the clinical signs presented by ***** in the most logical, scientific way possible. There was no negligence or malpractice in the lab work.
Ms. * was given the opportunity to come to Riverview and speak to me. Her condition was that I agree to not dispute the reversal of the credit card charges and that I agree to pay her $1,500.00 to cover her medical bills at ****** ******* Obviously we did not and do not feel it would be appropriate for us to agree to this.

We at Riverview Animal Hospital do feel compassion toward Ms. * and understand her grief and frustration at the loss of *****. However, her attacks toward our practice, our doctors, our intelligence and our integrity have left us no choice but to rebut her publicly. She continues to insist that we reach a monetary settlement as if our attempts to help ***** caused her disease and her ultimate demise.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to call me.

*** ********, DVM
Riverview Animal Hospital

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