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Consumer Complaints

BBB Accredited Business since 07/11/2012

Flint River Animal Hospital

Phone: (256) 852-3300Fax: (256) 852-0330

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Customer Complaints Summary

5 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 1 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Problems with Product / Service5
Advertising / Sales Issues0
Billing / Collection Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints5

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (5)
04/26/2016Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Dr. said my dog had acute colitis and would be better in a few days. She died a few hours later.
I took my lab in as an emergency because she began pooping blood, puddles of blood. I took a picture of it to show him. My husband I thought she was dying and thought we'd have to put her down. After an xray and exam ***** said he suspected colitis, gave us some meds and said if it weren't better in a few days or if she got worse to let him know. He said to expect her to bleed a few more times until the meds kicked in. Before we left the office she pooped a pool of blood in the lobby. The nurse got him and he said "oh" we said that's what we mean. He said that's normal for colitis. We took our furry baby home. She was very tired and just laid around. She bled again and then laid down and died. I know vets can make mistakes, but this was a bad one. He know suspects she had a tumor and bleed to death. As a loving dog owner I would not have allowed her to do that I would have chosen to put her down, but he convened us she would be ok. We lost a special dog. The very least he could do would be refund our money, but according to him there was nothing he could do. I understand mistakes, but at least admit it and try to do what is right.

Desired Settlement
I want a complete refund. I would have much prefer ed to have put my dog down than for her to bleed to death. I'm not even a ski g damages just a refund.

Final Consumer Response
I am pleased to say the situation has been resolved. The vet called my husband and after a lot of thought apologized and admitted he didn't handle the situation well. He said he should have realized our dog was in more danger than he acknowledged. This was really what we needed to hear just that he made a mistake. He has also refunded our money.

03/30/2015Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Unordered and unwarranted test.
On 3/23/2015, dog "*****" was returned to Flint River Animal Hospital (FRAH) for a follow-up test following referral to and commencement of treatment by R.I.V.E.R. R.I.V.E.R. veterinarian stated both in orders to FRAH and to me both in patient paperwork before and verbally after service rendered by FRAH on the date that a simple PCV (Packed Cell Volume) test needed to be performed - that is all. FRAH took it upon themselves to perform an unordered full blood panel, which when they stated that was what they were going to do, I fervently told them it was not called for in the R.I.V.E.R. vets' orders, but they did it anyway. After seeing the bill with the unordered test, I attempted to reach compromise by allowing them to just refund the difference between medicines already received but unpaid for ($105.56) and the cost of the unordered test ($147.00). They declined, stating they had done the test per what THEY had viewed on prior bloodwork from R.I.V.E.R. and because THEY were dispensing Predisone, despite the fact that R.I.V.E.R. vet only ordered PCV to be performed. First of all, the FRAH vet stated they had not even received all of the bloodwork from R.I.V.E.R. they were basing their decision to perform the unordered test on. Secondly, it was not disclosed to me before proceeding that performance of the unordered test was a prerequisite for dispensing Predisone, because had they done so, I would have told them to do only the PCV as ordered, and because R.I.V.E.R. vet had already related to me that I could have the Predisone filled at the pharmacy of my choosing.
I have been very understanding, even as unhappy, of the hundreds of dollars given them prior to this for no real diagnosis only errantly treating *****'s condition as a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) prior to referral to R.I.V.E.R.. However, I have no understanding nor tolerance for tests performed without order or my consent.

Desired Settlement
FRAH can simply refund an amount of $31.44, which represents the difference of the unordered test of $147.00 and medicines received but unpaid for of $105.56, which will leave a zero balance left owing of either party.

Business Response
After 3 years of knowing *****'s medical history and condition it is unfortunate that that there was a misunderstanding between client and Vet as to appropriate test procedures before dispensing medications. Considering the circumstances Flint River Animal Hospital will honor client's request for a refund of $31.44 and for closing account. A check was mailed to client's address of record on 3/25/2015.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
Thank you for your consideration.

As now former clients we will extend recommendations, based on our experience, for servicing your remaining and new clients.

Staff that assessed ***** needs continuing education for recognition, testing, diagnosing and treating the condition ***** was ultimately diagnosed and treated for.

Grooming department needs to pay more attention to detail of clients orders, especially where it concerns health. **** had her eyelid cut and our dogs developed ear infections on a regular basis following grooming visits at FRAH, because not enough care was taken in servicing them and drying the ear canal. So, of course, this led to more unwarranted expense to us the client, whereby FRAH profited by their own oversight.

We hope that you can continue to grow as a practice by investing more in and requiring more of yourselves to better serve your clients veterinary needs. But for now, your ability to perform at the highest level of knowledgeable veterinary prowess and client confidence is somewhat lacking.

05/27/2015Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
I have some serious concerns about the ethics and practices of Flint River Animal Hospital.On April 15th, 2015 I had an appointment to get my two cats groomed, one of them was totally botched and when trying to discuss with Ms Roth, the manager, I got one huge dose of her defensiveness. I asked for reduction in charges and she scoffed, and only wanted to argue the point with me. I never got an apology. I paid full price for a scalping.Seven minuets later when I go home I put my cat down and he howled and I saw his rear leg was protruding at an unnatural angle. Clearly, when under anesthesia, his botched grooming led to a dislocation of his hip. I immediately called the clinic but the manager would not talk to me. The young woman on the phone conferred with someone and then told me to bring him right back and there would be an exam room ready and that I would not be charged for them to see him. The new veterinarian did x-ray and commented how she examined him prior to anesthesia and he was fine, which I knew, and then confirming his condition suggested surgery. I knew I wouldn't do it at that place. I asked for pain meds and we agreed to meet at the front desk. I soon realized she had told the staff to not give the meds until I had paid ($191) and I told them what the person said on the phone. The vet was standing behind the door listening so I opened the door and asked how she could be so heartless in not giving the meds and she said for all she knew the cat got hurt on the 7 minute drive home. This was totally unprofessional and unethical. My cat got hurt in the clinic and I got treated as the guilty party. I have never been so insulted! I sent the owner a certified letter, which he received but I also received the bill for this outrageous service.

Desired Settlement
I do not intend to pay this bill. They should zero out my account and not worry about ever seeing me again.By the way, when I was waiting to get my meds (which never came) the woman in front of me was having a terrible argument with this young boy at the desk; she was very unhappy about her charges and said she was never coming back. I documented this in the certified letter as well.I also have before and after photos of my poor cat. This is outrageous!

Business Response
Cat grooms are performed by a groomer in the treatment area since most cats have to be sedated by a DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) and continually monitored while sedated. Ms R. (Client) presented her cats for grooming, one of which was Beans. The Client said her cat was very matted under the chin and that she wanted a lion cut. (At the time of check in, the groomer speaks directly with each client. The groomers always try to honor the client's grooming requests, but if the animal is very matted they may have to cut the hair shorter. This is explained clearly to any client at time of drop off.) The Client's cat, Beans was very matted and more fur than usual was needed to be shaved to remove matting. During the grooming in the treatment area 2 DVMs, 4 technicians and the practice manager observed the very matted condition of Beans. The grooming was performed with sedation, so there was no struggle by Beans during the groom to cause any injury. After grooming, Beans was observed walking normally by multiple medical staff with no signs of hip injury or distress.

At the time of pick up Client put her cats loose in her car, not in carriers, for twenty minutes while she came back in to the office and complained about Bean's groom and that she did not want to pay for services. It was explained to Client that Beans was very matted and the groomer spent a long time on her cats, and that it is Flint River Animal Hospital (FRAH) policy that payment must be made at time of service. Payment for grooming was reluctantly made and Client left.

After Client got home Client called FRAH and said her cat Beans had a dislocated hip. Client was told to bring Beans back to be examined. X-rays were performed and it was found that Beans did have a dislocated hip and severe arthritis. The medical staff thought it was odd that Client had self diagnosed a dislocated hip in the short time between leaving and returning to FRAH. According to DVM opinion the only way a cat could have a dislocated its hip is from severe trauma, usually a fall, or by someone aggressively pulling a cat by its leg to dislodge it from under something like furniture or a car seat.

While in the Exam room the attending DVM told Client that she would receive medications for Beans at check out when she paid the bill. Client was not charged for Exam Fee but bill included costs of 2 X-ray views, an anti-inflammatory pain injection, and medications totaling $191.

At the time of check out Client refused to pay her bill and caused a disruptive scene in the lobby, having an extremely rude and confrontational attitude to our front desk staff and in front of other customers who were waiting for service in our lobby. Ignoring FRAH regulations for Employee Only Areas, Client entered Pharmacy area to aggressively confront attending DVM and demanded medications for her cat. DVM explained that medications are given to clients at the time of check out after bill is paid. Client left FRAH in a huff without paying bill or receiving medications.

Because of her belligerent and rude attitude toward staff, Client will no longer be offered services at FRAH. Client's outstanding bill for 2 X-rays and injection is $140.91. Client has been sent an invoice. If bill is not paid by May 30, 2015 Client's account will be turned over to a collection agency.


10/13/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Requesting reimbursement for the misdiagnosis and initial wrong course of treatment of our dog while boarded 18-27 July 2014.
Our dog was dropped off for boarding 18 July 2014, in normal health. On July 24, Flint River Bed N Biscuit calls and states that our dog cannot use its rear legs. After hip radiographs were taken, Dr. ***** **** treated our dog for an enlarged bladder with SMZ/TMP. We never received another call and returned from our vacation July 27.

At boarding pickup July 27, our dog had no use of his rear legs and had to be towel walked out. Boarding provided no explanation as to whether his condition had improved or worsened. We demanded Dr. **** call first thing Monday morning, July 28.

At home, we immediately researched what could cause such sudden ataxia. Tick-borne infection was the top result. After we (the patients) suggested to Dr. **** that a neurological infection must be causing the ataxia, he prescribed Minocycline July 28 and sent the July 24 blood off for additional tests (which Dr. **** even excluded the eventual neurological infection from this test order). Not until we visited with an AVSS Orthopedic specialist and a regionally renowned veterinarian, did we finally get the correct blood tests ordered to find out (August 4) that our dog during boarding was infected with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF). Both second opinion Vets stated that the enlarged bladder would have been a secondary effect to the neurological infection and that the enlarged bladder (or urinary tract infection) would never cause sudden ataxia. Veterinary and human research also support their findings.

Furthermore, the CDC states that SMZ/TMP may worsen the RMSF infection. Our dog (while under the care of a medical professional - Dr. ****) had to endure a minimum of 5 days with RMSF without the proper antibiotic and possibly causing long term neurological effects that we won't know for several more months. We sent a letter to Dr. **** August 5 requesting reimbursement. No response was received, so we sent a second certified letter August 29. Dr. **** called September 2 and felt that his actions did not warrant any reimbursement.

Desired Settlement
We are requesting $296.84 be reimbursed for the misdiagnosis and initial wrong course of treatment of our dog while under the care of Flint River Animal Hospital. We feel this request is very reasonable and excludes the second opinion and additional laboratory costs. The amount is itemized below. Long term effects from the misdiagnosis and wrong course of treatment are still unknown at this time. We will continue to consult with medical experts to determine long term effects. Corrective treatment of such long term effects deemed directly related to the misdiagnosis and wrong course of treatment may result in additional reimbursement.

$296.84 is calculated from the following expenses:

18-27 July boarding services from Invoice #XXXXX, totaling $229.50
SMZ/TMP Tablets from Invoice #XXXXX, totaling $20.75
Antech Accuplex lab test that excluded RMSF from Invoice #XXXXX, totaling $28.00
SMZ/TMP Tablets from Invoice #XXXXX, totaling $18.59.

Business Response
Amos is a 4.5 yr old 99 lb neutered German Shepherd and has been a patient and border at Flint River Animal Hospital (FRAH) since October 2011.

Medical History includes leg sprain, overweight and hip dysplasia - an abnormal formation of the hip socket that, in its more severe form, can eventually cause crippling lameness and painful arthritis of the joints.

Pet Owner presented Amos on Friday July 18 for 9 days of boarding while on vacation. Owner signed the Admission Forms and initialed the statement:

" If any medical condition arises during your pet's stay at FRAH Bed 'n Biscuit, attempts to reach you to discuss the condition and required treatments will be made. *** If no contact can be made, I Owner authorize FRAH to treat my pet as needed and will assume costs of provided care." Further statement above signature line stated " I Owner agree to the above discussed terms and allow FRAH to care for my pet as needed". (Signed Admission forms are available upon request.)

The kennel staff alerted Dr. **** after observation that Amos appeared to be having difficulty walking and urinating. On Thursday July 24th radiographs were performed by to rule out any potential orthopedic abnormalities as a cause of Amos not being able to walk, given his medical history. A large urinary bladder was noted on the radiographs. A full CBC, CHEM 17, and Urinalysis was collected and sent to ANTECH diagnostics at the time of the radiographs. The urinalysis was run "in-house" which revealed bacterial urinary tract infection. The urine sediment was read by a licensed veterinary technician as well as Dr. **** to confirm the microscopic results of an active urinary tract infection. The results of the CBC / CHEM would not be returned from the ANTECH Lab for 24 hours. Owner was called and the findings of the radiographs and in-house urinalysis and treatment were discussed at length with Owner with the recommendation to start antibiotics to treat an active urinary tract infection. Owner agreed with all recommendations. Amos was prescribed the proper first line antibiotic SMZ/TMP.

The CBC / CHEM 17 results received from ANTECH diagnostics on July 25th revealed an elevated white blood cell count with neutrophila as well as low platelets (platelet clumping noted within the sample). The blood globulins were elevated as which indicates chronic inflammation which is most commonly due to infection.

Multiple attempts to contact Owner Friday July 25th were unsuccessful due to calls being redirected to his voicemail. Dr. **** and 2 veterinary technicians recall attempting to reach Owner. Owner could not be contacted, so treatment with SMZ/TMP antibiotics for an active urinary tract infection was continued throughout the weekend. Owner picked up Amos Sunday, July 27th.

The ANTECH laboratory results were reviewed with Owner Monday, July 28th. Since Amos's ataxia (impaired voluntary muscle control; condition relating to a sensory dysfunction that produces loss of coordination of the limbs) was not responding to the treatment of the active urinary tract infection it was recommended by Dr. **** that Amos be tested for tick borne illnesses due to the CBC pattern of low platelets and elevated monocytes. Dr. **** recommended beginning minocycline antibiotic therapy as an empirical treatment for tick borne illnesses based upon non-response of ataxia for treatment of active urinary tract infection alone, CBC result pattern, and ongoing ataxia.

Prior to veterinary school Dr. **** was employed by Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine's Parasitology Lab supporting flea and tick research. Dr. **** has been practicing veterinary medicine for over 12 years and treats approximately 100 cases of tick borne illnesses per year. Dr. **** is very well versed in recognizing the symptoms and successful treatment of illness caused tick borne diseases.

(Dr. ****) Owner's enthusiasm for home research and self education for understanding knowledgeable dialog are commendable but this is no replacement for formal veterinary education, credentialing and experience in correct procedures for observation, diagnostics and treatment of illnesses. Dr. **** recommended diagnostic testing for tick borne illness and to begin immediately minocycline antibiotic therapy based on significant experience treating tick borne illnesses. Owner's claim to have first suggested this to Dr. **** based on home research is absurdly false.

A blood sample for actual diagnostic testing for tick diseases could not be sent off prior to speaking with Owner due to the costs of additional diagnostics being pre-agreed upon by the owner. Upon agreement and go ahead an ANTECH "Accuplex" tick panel was submitted to ANTECH diagnostics. This test is a "quick" tick born disease test where results may be obtained in 24 hours or less. RMSF is a tick born disease that requires specialized testing to document and this test is not included on the ACCUPLEX tick panel. FRAH works with clients to explain procedures and costs and the steps of a systematic information/cost tradeoff diagnostic approach. Owner being cost conscious made the decision to not include the more expensive RMSF test, pending results of the ACUPLEX panel.

The results of the ACCUPLEX tick born disease panel was negative but Dr. **** recommended continuing treatment with minocycline antibiotic based on experience, prevalent clinical symptoms and CBC results. It was explained that most human and animal tick born diseases are treated based on clinical history and symptoms even though laboratory testing may return as "negative". Owner agreed with this recommendation and treatment with minocycline was continued.

Dr. ******** is an ACVS specialist who frequently performs complex surgeries at FRAH. While at FRAH Dr **** requested Dr. ******** to review all the medical evidence and provide a second opinion regarding Amos' condition since Owner demonstrated apparent frustration in the length of time it was taking Amos to respond to treatment. It had been explained to Owner by Dr. **** that minocycline antibiotic was the proper treatment and that that animal's and human's response times to treatment for tick borne illnesses is highly variable and can range from days to months.

Dr. ******** provided a consultation to Owner on Thursday July 31st. Dr. ******** reviewed the radiographs and previous lab work and recommended the continued treatment with the minocycline antibiotic for tick born disease. Dr. ******** also recommended and prescribed the SMZ/TMP antibiotic for 4 additional days to continue treatment for urinary tract infection. Dr. ******** also recommend repeating the previous CBC / CHEM analysis to compare results to the previous lab results, and recommend specifically testing for RMSF since the ACCUPLEX tick panel did not test for this disease and to possibly "put a name on the disease" that Amos was properly being treated for. Owner agreed at this time to perform the test for RMSF that he had opted out of previously. The convalescent lab results demonstrated increased platelet counts that is consistent with a positive response to treatment for tick borne illness. The specialized testing for RMSF (IFA test -vs- ELISA test on ACCUPLEX) as recommended by Dr. ******** demonstrated the presence of antibodies against RMSF in Amos's serum.

Note: The treatment protocol as originally established by Dr. **** was UNCHANGED by Dr. ******** based on the confirmation of RMSF antibodies. Thus, second opinion confirmed original treatment protocol by Dr. ****.

During the month of August Owner submitted requests to FRAH for reimbursement for boarding, diagnostic testing, and medications claiming misdiagnosis and treatment. Dr. **** denied Owner's requests. Boarding for 9 days is in no way related to Amos's illness and is not refundable. The diagnostic testing and prescribed medications were the proper treatment protocol for both a urinary tract infection and RMSF even prior to diagnostic identification. Proper treatment was confirmed by second opinion by Dr Plunkett. Owner signed Admission Forms authorizing treatment and payment in the event of illness of Amos while on vacation. Costs of proper treatment are not refundable. Owner has no basis for his request.

Upon receipt of this complaint through the BBB Dr. **** called Owner to check up on Amos. Owner reported that Amos has responded to treatment and is doing well and has resumed his pre-illness daily activities. The conversation then turned to the BBB complaint. Dr. **** reiterated that there was no basis for the complaint and that there would be no reimbursements. At that point Owner became belligerent and taunting to Dr. **** and the conversation ended.

Since that conversation Owner has posted his negative and false complaint on multiple social media blogs rather than follow BBB formal review process.


Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Admission Forms do not apply when a patient is misdiagnosed and prescribed the wrong course of treatment, such that the provided care falls below the standard of conduct for veterinarians. Two local veterinarians both diagnosed that an enlarged bladder would be a secondary effect to an ataxia-causing infection and both stated an enlarged bladder by itself is highly improbable of causing sudden acute ataxia. In our private consultation July 31, Dr. ******** never confirmed that Dr. ****'s original July 24 treatment of SMZ/TMP was the correct protocol for the corresponding symptoms.

"In-house" urinalysis results were not provided with the lab results requested by the Pet Owner July 31. Diagnosis and treatment were not discussed at length on July 24, as stated by Dr. ****. The conversation lasted two minutes per AT&T usage history. Same AT&T usage history indicates no calls received from or placed to Flint River Animal Hospital July 25. Also, no voicemails from Flint River Animal Hospital were recorded July 25-27. A veterinarian performing at or above the standard of conduct would have left a voicemail. The following dates and local times are the only Flint River Animal Hospital calls received and placed during this complaint period: 7/24 at 1635, 7/24 at 1849, 7/28 at 0805, 7/28 at 1056, 7/29 at 1141, 7/29 at 1616, 7/30 at 0820, 7/30 at 1035, 8/4 at 1333, 8/4 at 1643, and 9/2 at 0811.

During the 10 minute conversation the morning of July 28, the Pet Owner explained his ataxia research and how tick-borne illnesses were the top result. The Pet Owner asked if the blood drawn July 24 was still available for additional testing. Dr. **** agreed with the research and stated a tick panel would be ordered if blood was still available. Dr. **** never explained that RMSF would be excluded from the tick panel, nor did the Pet Owner ever opt out of RMSF testing.

Dr. **** never explained the cost tradeoff diagnostic approach in the July 28 conversation, nor does the Pet Owner understand why his infected canine needed to endure additional stress and discomfort by travelling back to Flint River Animal Hospital July 28 when his pet had been under the same veterinarian care July 24-27. An experienced and well versed veterinarian in tick-borne illnesses would have properly diagnosed and treated a canine in the four days under his/her medical care. If the tick-borne symptoms were properly diagnosed and treated July 24-27, an orthopedic specialist consultation July 31 and second opinion August 1 would never have been needed.

Acute ataxia suddenly displayed July 24 indicate a high likelihood that Amos became ill while boarded, justifying the reimbursement amount. Last conversation with Dr. **** was 9/2 at 0811 for four minutes, when Dr. **** refused to settle the dispute privately. Dr. **** has not contacted the Pet Owner since the BBB complaint was filed 9/3. Amos has not resumed his pre-illness daily activities and still undergoes evaluation for long-term effects. Local company reviews were posted prior to filing the BBB complaint and only summarize the facts provided in the public BBB complaint. An official medical complaint has also been filed with the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners on 9/18.


Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
No proposed resolution was provided in business' 26SEP2014 response. Consumer's desired resolution still applies.

Final Business Response
Resolution:

Complainant's claim is focused on medical issues of diagnosis (Dx) and treatment (Tx). The boarding of their dog Amos is a separate issue unrelated to the health condition of Amos. Thus, the resolution will address these issues separately.

Boarding: Complainant boarded their dog Amos for 9 days while on vacation. All standard boarding services were provided Amos during this time which included feeding, watering, outdoor play and time to pee/poop, cleaning kennel, laundry, dish washing, etc, all to provide a safe, secure and clean environment. These standard services are provided regardless of the health condition of boarders. The fact that Amos became ill during his stay is not relevant to the boarding services provided. Admission forms were signed by complainant stating boarding rates and agreement to medical treatment/payment if pet becomes ill during boarding.
Thus, there will be no reimbursement for boarding services provided ($229.50)

Medical Diagnosis and Treatment: It is unfortunate that Amos became ill during his boarding. However, proper medical protocols of diagnosis and treatment with consultation with complainant when possible were followed upon observation of illness. Details of Dx and Tx were provided in original response. A urinary tract infection (UTI) was definitely present and properly diagnosed via microscopic and chemical/fluid analysis. This was not a misdiagnosis as complainant insists. Proper treatment with antibiotic SMZ/TMP was prescribed and agreed upon by complainant.

When Amos's ataxia condition appeared to not be responding to treatment of UTI Dr. ****, based on experience, recommended testing for tick borne disease and immediately began empirical treatment with Minocycline antibiotic therapy. The initial test panel came back negative. A subsequent specialized test panel confirmed a tick borne illness. This sequential diagnostic testing process of ruling out most probable cause through process of elimination with increasing focus and sophistication of testing procedure is proper protocol in diagnosing a complex illness. Regardless of the timing of diagnosis that finally put a label on the tick borne illness, the empirical treatment (begun before exact diagnosis) with Minocycline was the proper antibiotic treatment.

At Dr. ****'s request Dr. ******** provided an independent second opinion on the Dx and Tx of Amos. Her diagnosis confirmed both a UTI and tick borne illness, with recommended refills to complete 2 weeks of SMZ/TMP and 30 days of Minocycline.

With all due respect to complainant's ability to research and self educate on the medical issues that manifested in Amos while on vacation, complainant is not a veterinarian. Complainant's claim of misdiagnosis and treatment is a false opinion. Sequential Dx and Tx were correct protocols with appropriate antibiotic therapy. Admission forms were signed by complainant stating agreement to medical treatment if pet becomes ill during boarding. Thus, there will be no reimbursement for test panels and antibiotics. ($67.34)

Boarding is a non issue and irrelevant to medical claim. Correct medical Dx and Tx were independently confirmed by two experienced veterinarians. If complainant wishes to pursue medical issue then vetting it through the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners is correct procedure.

Flint River Animal Hospital will respond to ASBVME inquiries as appropriate. No further direct response to complainant will be made.

07/10/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
looking for answers instead got the bill and was told nothing was physically wrong.
My cat was very sick when I brought him in he was not eating or drinking.vet did exray and said she examined him real quick while he was in exray I did not see her do this they said he was constipated gave him an enema charged me over two hundred dollars sent him home said he would be fine. two days later he was still sick I took him back in the vet came in gave him a quick look over and said that nothing was physically wrong with him I said that I know there is something wrong he wont eat or drink.they treated me like they thought I was crazy. I took him home after being charged another 200 and two days later he still hasn't eaten or drank anything so I go back down there they sell me some special food and tell me to force feed him he is just feeling bad cause he was constipated. two days later he is still sick and not eating I take him to a different vet they listen to his lungs and do a exray and they tell me that he is drowning in his own fluids his internal organs have been pushed out in his chest cavity. I had to put him to sleep.they said that it was not because he was constipated like flint river animal hospital said.they are incompitant something needs to be done about them and the so called vet that treated my cat before they kill someones pet.

Desired Settlement
I expect to have my payment refunded and the vet dischared

Business Response
Complainant (Owner) became a client of Flint River Animal Hospital (FRAH) on January 20, 2011 when she presented a 3 year old male domestic shorthair for neuter and a 3 year old female domestic shorthair for spay under the Maddies Fund Feline Neuter/Spay Program. At that time FVRCP and Rabies vaccinations were administered to her pets but owner declined blood work, and Feline Leukemia/FIV/Heartworm preventative treatments.

On May 21, 2014 owner presented "Fearless" a five year old domestic shorthair neutered male to a Flint River Animal Hospital DVM (Dr.) for an examination. Owner reported Fearless had not been feeling well since the previous day. The owner did not complain of or indicate any signs of vomiting or diarrhea, or any respiratory problems of coughing, sneezing or labored breathing. Owner stated Fearless was still drinking water normally, however, he was not interest in eating. The Owner stated Fearless was hiding in a box and believed Fearless was lethargic and not acting normal.

A physical exam was conducted. On physical exam Fearless was observed to be quiet and calm. Fearless was also observed having pink moisten mucous membranes, moderate dental calculus on all teeth and mild dehydration approximately three percent. There was no pain noted on abdominal palpation, however, fecal material could be felt. The Owner was presented an estimate for senior blood work and typical 2 view diagnostic radiographs. The Owner declined the 2 view diagnostic radiographs and opted for a single view radiograph. The Owner approved and signed the single view estimate. Based on the intestinal/digestive symptoms stated by Owner an abdominal radiograph was taken. The radiograph revealed an empty stomach; small intestines were within normal limits, and distal colon contained fecal material and an empty urinary bladder. The blood work was submitted to Antech Diagnostics for analysis. The Owner was made aware that the blood work would not be able available until the next day. The Owner and Dr. discussed the radiographic findings and agreed to treat the incidental constipation. Fearless was given a pet enema and LRS 150 mL subcutaneous.

The Owner contacted FRAH the next morning, May 22, 2014 to discuss blood work and the health status of Fearless. The Owner reported Fearless was still lethargic and sitting in his litter box. The Owner stated Fearless was observed having multiple bowel movements yesterday after the enema was administered. The Owner was concerned and wanted to know when Fearless would feel better. The Owner was made aware of the Antech blood work result; the complete blood count and super chemistry were within normal limits. Based on radiographic findings and blood work the Owner was told Fearless should return to normal within twenty-four to forty eight hours. The Owner was instructed to change the diet of Fearless to mature adult wet food to provide an increase in water intake and decrease the chance of again becoming constipated. The Owner was instructed to offer wet food and/or force feed if the patient would not eat.

The Owner returned Fearless to FRAH on May 23, 2014 for a medial progress exam and addressed her concerns about Fearless not eating and remaining lethargic. The owner was presented with an estimate for further diagnostics and treatment. The owner ranted about cost estimate and complained about his status not improving. The Owner was made aware that further diagnostics were required to identify the underline cause of lethargy. The Owner declined to have additional diagnostics performed and choose to treat with home supportive care. The owner was hopeful that supportive care would improve Fearless status but understood there was a possibility it would not improve his condition.

FRAH called the Owner May 28, 2014 to check on Fearless. The Owner was still concerned that Fearless was still not eating, and had not had a BM since the day of the enema, but is urinating in the litter box. Owner was making sure Fearless was drinking water and stated she would pick up some a/d and baby food and try to force feed at home.

On May 31, 2014 Fearless was presented to ****** *** - ********** *** **** for a 2nd opinion. The examination report from ****** *** was sent to FRAH and is available on request. ****** *** examination revealed a full bladder and patient walking stiffly in hind. Owner not sure of last urination and has observed no straining to urinate. No heart murmur was heard but a slight wheeze was heard with auscultation (stethoscope) of lungs. Owner agreed to diagnostic costs and left Fearless for urinary analysis (UA) and radiographs. UA revealed strong smelling urine but no urinary tract infection. Radiographs revealed significant fluid in the lungs but Dr. unable to clearly delineate diaphragm and rule out either hernia or pleural effusion (build up of fluids in chest cavity). Owner was called to discuss the requirement for further diagnostics - ultrasound, thoracocentesis (needle extraction of fluid) and cytoloty (analysis) of fluid. If a hernia was diagnosed then it would need surgical repair.

The Owner elected humane euthanasia rather than further diagnostics and restorative treatment. Euthanasia was performed by trusty *** with the Owner present.

In mid June the Owner returned to FRAH to rant about the care Fearless received. FRAH Practice Manager requested Owner go to exam room where her concerns could be discussed in private. Owner refused and made a scene in lobby with loud rant on purpose to make sure other clients knew of her anger. When Owner appeared out of control in her rant FRAH Practice Manager ordered Owner to leave the premises.

Owner filed BBB complaint on June 24, 2014.

RESOLUTION: Most veterinary practices hire competent DVMs skilled in diagnostics and treatment of their patients. Most veterinary practices will work with their clients when costs are an issue, making the client part of the alternative diagnostic and treatment decision process. FRAH does both of these.

Regarding Fearless, the Owner declined normal 2 view radiographs based on cost thereby limiting FRAH radiograph diagnostics to single view with exam and blood work. The Owner was made aware at the May 23 follow up progress visit that further diagnostics were required to identify underline cause of lethargy. The Owner ranted about the cost estimate and declined further diagnostics in lieu of supportive care.

Rather than pay for additional diagnostics with FRAH, the Owner instead chose to pay the cost of diagnostics at ****** *** for a 2nd opinion. When ****** *** diagnostics were inconclusive based on exam, UA and radiographs, the Owner chose to decline further diagnostics (ultrasound, thoracocentesis, fluid cytology) and opt for euthanasia. Thus, Owner authorized Fearless to be euthanized without knowing true cause of lethargy/illness - possibly a repairable hernia or treatable pleural effusion as per Trusty Vet.

The Owner has a history of declining prescribed diagnostics and treatments and preventative care based on cost. The cause of Fearless death was euthanasia authorized by the Owner.

The Owner's complaint is unfounded. There will be no refund for diagnostics and treatment performed at FRAH. The Owner signed the FRAH estimate of Treatment Plan agreeing to pay charges.


Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Flint River Animal hospital flat out lied about this!! I agreed to have them do all the test that they gave me an estimate for!! They never offered to do the bloodwork test that they are saying I refused!! On Fearless's second visit they never said more test were needed! They said that nothing was physical wrong with him and he wasn't feeling well because he was constipated!! And as for throwing me out of their office this never happened my daughter was their with me. She knows what happened. I was more calm than I should have been given the situation . And no I did not refuse to have Fearless treated and just put him to sleep because I did not want to pay. I was advised by the other clinic that he probley would not make it threw the tests and it would cause him more suffering. I loved my boy dearly and I did all I could do for him!!! Flint River Animal hospital has lied about their treatment of him. Anyone who cares about their pets please don't take them to this clinic!!

This is what Flint River gave me a invoice for fearless on 5-21-14. 1 exam 42.50 1 radiograph study 1 view 65.62 1sa710,CBC,t4,ua &heartworm antigen# 82.10. 1 enema 30.00. 1 fluid admin 0. I agreed to all of this they never mentioned anything else. Of course they are lieing. On the 23rd when I brought him back in no further tests were suggested on this day 1 med progress exam 24.50. 1 pain/antiinflamitory inj 25.41. 1 fluid add 37.80 antibiotic injection 53.82. And yes on this day I did complain about the cost because they kept telling me nothing was physically wrong with Fearless and they were taking my money and he wasn't getting any better and no answers!! Whether you believe me or not they are lieing I have all the paperwork to prove it!!

If they had of suggested more exrays I would have done them there. Why would I take him somewhere else and have them done. Which is what I ended up doing. This doesn't add up. The bottom line is they did not do their job and of course they are going to lie about it to not appear guilty. My boy is gone and I know they could not have saved him but they could have saved him and me a week of suffering by doing the right thing to begin with. And yes I believe anyone who loves their pet as much as I did would "rant" as they called it if this had happened to them!

Oh and one more thing the two cats they said I brought in on 1-21-11 were six months old not three years like they stated I am looking at their records right now. They were healthy and just in to be fixed why would I pay them to have unnecessary tests run. Also on Fearless's invoice they said it was great meeting you and fearless today. Fearless is a very sweet dog and easy to work with. Please he was a cat. That should tell you something about this clinic.

Looking at my records for the two cats I brought to FRAC in 2011 it shows that I refused to have the tests run that were suggested. So if this is recorded on their records if they suggested that I have tests run on Fearless and refused would this not be on his records also? I am telling the truth and I have the records to prove it also my husband was there and he also stated that they never suggested any more test other than the ones we agreed to. Of course I'm sure that Flint River can falsify there records so they look like they are telling the truth. But I cannot and would not falsify mine.

Industry Comparison| Chart

Veterinarians, Laboratories - Veterinary, Pet Supplies & Foods - Retail, Dog Daycare, Pet Day Care, Pet Boarding, Pet Grooming, Pet Boarding - Dogs, Pet Boarding & Kennels, Animal Hospitals

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