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Discussion Starter #1
So this Friday I have my 9 month old's first comprehensive check and they told me to drop him off at the vet between 7-10 AM and pick him up in the afternoon. Is this normal for a comprehensive? We go to Banfield because it was the more affordable option (we got our pup not even 2 months after my husband and I got married).
This is what the comprehensive consists of:
Ear exam
Eye exam, including eye pressure
Rectal exam
Dental exam
Neurologic evaluation
Cardiovascular evaluation
Weight & nutrition counseling
Coat & skin evaluation
Abdominal palpation
Urogenital evaluation
Musculoskeletal evaluation
Pulmonary/lung evaluation

Any information about your vet's comprehensive checks vs Banfields "Early Care Puppy" one would be great! I'll be going to school to be a vet assistant in the up coming year hopefully and when I get through my externship I hope to get my puppy in to the vet office I do it at if I like it :)
 

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I wouldn't leave my dog unattended like that with strangers for anything but surgery to be honest. I also don't trust Banfield vet practices as a whole. Nothing but bad experiences there that resulted in a vet aggressive dog who prior had been perfectly fine at the vets office.

That all seems pretty extensive too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's what I though. I'm really uncomfortable taking him there and leaving him. My husband just is like "My mom's dog goes there and is fine." I mean getting that stuff check out I guess isn't a bad thing, but the one thing I'm worried about they don't check out. They don't x-ray for hip dysplasia :confused:

They made us redo his bordetella vaccine because they "forgot" to tell us his booster was needed a week after our first visit after we got the pup. Not to mention the only way I could afford their ridiculous pricing is with their stupid wellness package. I really just wanted a brief check up and a lyme vaccine so we can go camping :(

Thanks KZoppa.
 

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Our Banfield offers an in office consult. We just ask for an appointment rather than the drop off. Call your local Banfield and ask. I really love the Banfield program as it includes twice yearly comp. checks. I think that the drop off option sort of assumes that it is more convenient for people but our local office is glad to accommodate us as I'm not keen on leaving my dog for the day.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks blehmannwa. The Puyallup, WA Banfield's customer service is rubbish :/ I'll talk to the front desk tomorrow.
 

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Hi :)
As someone who worked at a Banfield for a year, I can tell you your customer service and professionalism experience will vary by location.
The drop off option is if you'd like. I actually have an appt with my Banfiled in 3 hours, where I will be there with my dog :)
They WILL check for hip dysplasia. They diagnose it ALL the time. In fact, when my dog was 9 months old he got his foot stuck in the kennel and had some nerve damage, but since we were doing x-rays already, I had them look at his hips (all clear ^_^).

Anywho, the comp exam normally takes under 15-20 minutes so long as everything is normal. They check everything extremely quickly because they do several of them per day. Also, the first year of the wellness plan is great. Any year after that is a waste of money, unless maybe you want the teeth cleaning package.

Oh, and I am confused about why your dog would need a bordetella booster right away?? They give it intranasally, then it is good for 6 months. Unless they have another way to do it now, but Bender (my almost 4 month old shepherd) just got his intranasally 4 weeks ago and he's good for 5 more months.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
there was some issue where the humane society gave it to him at one point and he needed a booster at a certain time and the vet didn't tell us and we missed it so we had to restart. I'm not bashing on all Banfields, my sister goes to one for her cats and its great for her. I'm just a little frustrated with them at the moment and how they basically pushed us into the plan. They spent at least 10-15 minutes trying to sell us on the the plan every visit. We had to do it because they sprang a whole bunch of vaccines on us without telling me they needed to do it before the visit and it was going to be out of our budget and that was only our second visit to them so it kinda gave a bad representation of how they do business. It felt more like I wasn't being told the whole truth when it came down to costs and what needed to be done.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Either way as long as my dog is cared for correctly that's all it really comes down to. I was just nervous about my pup getting stressed out from being dropped off at the vets. I rescheduled and I'll be going with him on Monday :) plus 30 minutes seems a lot better than having to stay out waiting for a phone call. I don't get cell service at home haha. Granted I forgot to tell them I also needed a lyme vaccine haha -.-' that would be my fault entirely. Thanks for all the feedback everyone :)
 

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Oh and it wasn't his bordetella I just rechecked his record. It was his distemper parvo DAPP which makes more sense. His bordetella was given intranasally at the humane society. :) It'll be nice when I get into schooling to be a VA and can understand all this without having to google everything haha x.x'
 

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Bordetella isn't necessary unless you're boarding or taking to a day care...its extremely optional and is a great way for many vets to make money. Mine charges $20 for the shot and $30 for the appointment. So in 5 minutes he makes $50.

Most of the stuff isn't necessary in my opinion. Your dog is 9 months old and should've been checked over for a lot of that stuff at the humane society. And many of their tests...you'd notice if there were issues. Like coat/skin...if your dog is itching there's a problem, but if its nice and shiny, why do you need a vet to tell you its good? Same with eyes and ears...they're just going to visually see if anything is up...not like you can ask the dog to read a chart or play noises and see what they hear.

Muskoskeletal evaluation? Just feel him over and make sure his bones/muscles are alright? And they're going to charge you for that? They'll end up just feeling his hips...and tell you if they think there's an issue. The truth is, a feel test will only tell you if something is wrong if its REALLY REALLY wrong. Mild HD can only be diagnosed with an x-ray. An x-ray takes time, usually anesthesia, and runs anywhere from 200-300 dollars depending on the vet. Some can do it without anesthetic, but at your dog's age all you'll get is a preliminary. You have to wait until 2 for a true evaluation.

Tell you the truth...that whole list looks like the 50 point inspection a car dealership offers "free" with any oil change. It can most likely be done in 30 minutes with you standing right there. For most of those things...if there was an issue...you'd know about it or be worried about it by now.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah it is only going to take 30 minutes and its part of their plan so it comes free twice a year. I check him over every week and his ear more often than that because his favorite thing is to get them rubbed. I guess it wouldn't hurt though to get him checked out *shrugs* I'm going to be cancelling my pet wellness plan after this first year and probably am going to look at a smaller vet office. The veterinarian I do see though is really nice it's more or less so the front desk I've ever had issues with. They forgot to mail me a receipt because their printer was down, they never sent me his fecal exam results or even called about it and they were supposed to send me a reminder for his check up three weeks ago but never did.

Either way they were willing to accommodate me and said I can watch and all my questions have been answered and I'd rather not keep complaining about customer service and whether or not banfield is a rip off or not. It works for right now but I personally am looking someone else when I'm done paying my monthly dues. Thanks everyone for the input :) and sorry if I complained haha I'm just concerned and don't trust other people especially when it comes to my pets.
 

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Yeah it is only going to take 30 minutes and its part of their plan so it comes free twice a year.
What do you mean free? Is that part of an adoption contract or are you paying some sort of monthly fee and then everything is covered afterwards? I just have a hard time believing something is free free.

Remember if you have to pay them a monthly subscription...nothing they do for you is free.

Just as a comparison, I pay $150 for the yearly checkup and shots for my dog, and that includes a heartworm test and the regular boosters along with lepto and lyme.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I will be paying 346.80 this year split up into monthly dues (28.95). His office fees, vaccines, waste disposals, and physical check up they do when he comes in have already cost more than the 346.80 that I'll have to pay this year, so in a way it's kinda free even if I am paying a monthly fee. Here is his receipt from his last visit:

Medical Waste Disposal Fee $3.40
Intestinal Parasite Fecal Exam $29.05
Physical Exam: Wellness Plan $0.00
Fecal Sample Collection $9.20
Office Visit $40.95
Vaccine - Distemper Parvo DAPP $30.95

Total: $113.55

And I didn't pay for any of it because it was all covered by my plan.

And that was one of the cheaper visits! It only one shot in it.

May seem silly to pay a monthly fee but it was nice not having to dish out 113.95 to 150 a visit. And he's gone 4 times now I think for basic puppy shots that include the physical exam, 1 flea treatment, and 1 heartguard treatment.

We were really hesitant to get the wellness plan until we got the first vet bill that was upward towards 200 just for shots and since I was paying for it and I did the math it would be cheaper. They also gave us a discount on the plan which was nice. :)
 

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I've posted before that the twice yearly comp exam caught Felony's lymphoma in the very earliest stages and gave us 14 months with her. Left to my own devices I would blow off semi annual exams but the fact that they are included in the Banfield plan makes it very easy to go. It truly is preventive care. I do try to stay with the same vets. Our primary vet has been at Banfield for at least twelve years, the other lady that we like has been there for at least five.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yeah I like the vet I see there, like I said it's just the CS i've ever had issues with. He only goes to one specific doctor there.
 

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You go in for a flea treatment? Does you dog have fleas or is the vet putting a preventative on him? Same for the heartgard...why are you going in for that stuff?

Sorry, it seems like you're a first time owner and a lot of times vets take advantage of us (I am a first time owner). My vet sent me the bordetella reminder at 6 months and I stupidly went. Then I did my research and realized what it was and that I didn't need it unless I was going to be boarding. So we haven't gotten it in 2 years. I tried to explain this to a friend of mine but she didn't listen and just follows the vet's advice like a sheep.

I've noticed that although a lot of people will question a doctor and their recommended treatment for things, for some reason we don't do that with vets. They recommend medicine and many times people don't even ask what it does. I went in once and told my vet that my dog had the runs 2 days ago, we gave him pumpkin and it cleared right up, the guy still tried to prescribe an anti-diarrheatic, and he's a good vet but he's probably so used to people just agreeing to the invoice that he kept it on there.

Just don't be afraid to question what they're asking you to do. Since you adopted your dog so late in life and it was at the humane society, I'm surprised you've gone to the vet so often. I go once a year, order my heartgard and frontline off the internet. When he was a pup we went 3 times in the first 3 months for all the puppy shots...and the vet had a package set up for that.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I wouldn't schedule an appointment for a flea treatment haha it was just a free thing in the package and a preventative. ;) The heartguard was also free and a preventative. They didn't try to sell me on those points, it was more of the office visits and shots being covered. He had a fecal exam to check for tapeworm and all that good stuff but it was all covered in the plan at no cost to me. It was mostly the office fees and shots that were killer in price. He's not getting a heartguard or flea treatment when he goes back in though.

We adopted Gunther at 4 months (or estimated at 4 months) but he was only at the humane society as a lost dog for a week and then put up for adoption after the owners didn't want him. We got him the day he became available and it was also the day after a his neutering so we had to go to the vet to get that checked out to make sure it was healing correctly. He only was able to have 2 shots at the humane society so the vet had to do lepto and boosters. My vet didn't want to do all the shots at one time to keep down the possibility of an allergic reaction, and if he did have one they would be able to pin point the vaccine he was allergic to. So from not doing all his shots at once it took more visits.
 

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Lol again...its not free...you're paying for it but it makes you feel better that its in the package. I'm not trying to suggest you find another vet...but in never hurts to shop around and realize how much its going to cost you to get those things separately.

You're probably going to end up spending more money monthly than it would cost for a yearly visit, and purchasing the heartgard/frontline separate. $360 is a lot in a year for vet care, and a lot of it is unnecessary. Save money and buy your dog some better food/treats/toys.

And I'm not trying to pick on you, but maybe someone who reads this in the future will see that package deals, or monthly subscriptions are rarely worth it...my vet offered a puppy package for the first 3 months of booster shots and rabies, but it pretty much just discounted 2 of the 3 office visits. Anytime you're paying monthly, for something you're not going to use monthly (or hopefully at all except for once a year), somehow the company is going to win.

I love and respect my vet, but I always like to remember that he's in the business of making money, which doesn't always mean what's in my wallets best interest, even though it sounds like its in my dog's best interest.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I agree with that and I will be definitely looking at other vets :) . I'll be going to school for a VA degree so hopefully that will give me some input on where the best place is for him in my town. Vetting is very important and I agree he goes a lot, but as you said I've spent a lot of money this year so he's going to the comprehensive and I won't be reupping his plan for the up coming year and probably switching to a smaller practice.

Gunther is on Canidae, but i'm thinking of switching to Taste of the Wild and they are very close in price. Raw is too expensive but would be a dream for me to able to do for him. I even priced everything out at the butchers and it was like 2 times more than his kibble a month and we cannot afford that. He has kong toys and freeze dried salmon treats. My husband calls me a food nazi because I dont let him have "human food" except for sugar snap peas, lettuce and the safe dog veggies. He's allergic to chicken and duck (worst gas you will ever smell) and found that out with Evo's wet dog food (the one that's like all meat).

And I agree that hopefully this helps someone in finding a vet and not doing this monthly due thing. It was just the only option at the time that made it so we could pay the vet. I mean we did get him less than two months after we got married so funds were a little tight. Definitely not the most responsible and not how we are going about it in the future for the next dog. :D
 
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