The nightmare began on Sunday February 1, 2009.
My Dog had been throwing up a brownish liquid type vomit for a few days. I monitored his intake of food and thought it might pass. Then that Sunday, there was blood in his vomit which forced me to panic.Since it was Sunday, our regular Veterinarian was not available, so I took him to the closest Animal Hospital which to my mistake was the Crown Valley Animal Care Center.
I regret ever walking through those doors.
When I arrived, I was glad that there was a Vet on duty and he examined my Dog by feeling his abdomen and checking other vital signs.I was then told that they wanted to run some X-rays and to return in one hour.
When I returned, I was immediately charged $500 for the Office Call, X-rays and tests.The Dr. (Dr. Scott Ivers) told me that my Dog was Anemic and needed a Blood Transfusion and other tests and needed to spend the night for observation.His Assistant then went over a 24 line item Invoice totaling $1,550 for the work that my Dog apparently needed.
He spent the night and I was told the next day that his Red Blood Cell count was still low and needed another transfusion.I was then told over the phone that I had an outstanding Invoice for an additional $1,300 and that they could not proceed with the additional work without my authorization for payment for the Invoice.
I was then charged an additional $976.00 for additional miscellaneous work done to him without my consent.
He was given the Treatment and seemed to be doing better so we were relieved that he was finally able to come home with us. Not after another $588.00 for miscellaneous treatment.
He seemed to be doing well for a few days when he began vomiting again.We took him back and Dr. Ivers then said that our Dog should stay with him to avoid this Back and forth shuttling between our home and the Hospital so that they can observe him.He was admitted again on 2/19/09.
I checked in on a Friday night to see how he was doing and was wondering what the charges were for his visit so far. Another $246.00 was the answer.I spoke with Dr. Ivers the next day to check on the progress of our dog and was told that he was still weak and still needed to stay for observation. He then stated that he was not going to be in the office until Tuesday of the following week.
Knowing that Dr. Ivers wasn't available, I checked with a Technician the following Monday just to see how our Dog was doing. The Technician said that his Blood count was at 17 the day before on Sunday and that the normal levels should be 20 and above so he still had a way to go.
On Tuesday, Dr. Ivers called me to inform me that our Dog was not responding to any of the treatments to increase his Red Blood Count and that his Red Blood Count dropped dangerously low to 9 from 17 the previous Sunday.He said that he suspected that there was Internal Bleeding and that our dog required surgery.However, he said that he would first have to give him another blood transfusion to temporarily raise his Red Blood Cell count high enough to perform Surgery.I thought that he was to receive treatment for at least 2-4 days to get his body strong enough to have the surgery performed.
The next morning to my utter shock I received a call from the Receptionist stating that she once again needed my Credit Card number because our Dog was scheduled for surgery that morning. I refused to give her the number until I spoke with Dr. Ivers. He said that he was stable enough for surgery and that he was the first to be scheduled that morning.My Wife went to see our Dog before he went into surgery and was shocked to see that he was not even responsive and he could barely lift his head or keep his eyes open.She questioned one of the staff, Are you sure he's well enough for surgery. The Staff person played it off and said to our Dog, You're ok, huh?
My Wife stayed at the hospital during the surgery because we were told the day before that if he finds anything Unfriendly that he would have to euthanize our Dog on the operating table.You can only imagine what we were going through that morning.
After the surgery, he told my Wife that he was happy with the results and that there was an ulcer, BUT there was an outside chance that he could have Lymphoma.
He said that he would send a sample taken of the Ulcer and part of his Liver to the Pathologist for testing.
Again, we were on pins and needles awaiting the results. The surgery was on Wednesday and we were not clearly informed of the results until late Saturday afternoon.
We were relieved and assumed that our Dog was on his way to recovery.
The following Monday, Dr. Ivers told me that our Dog could be released the next day. That was very encouraging news to us because he had been in the hospital for almost 2 weeks.My Wife was very pleased with the news and went to visit our Dog that night.
To her shock, he was in no better condition than he was before the surgery. This being five days after the surgery. He was unresponsive with labored breathing.
Until then, I had full trust in Dr, Ivers.
The next day I Googled his name out of curiosity and the first site that came up was RIPOFF.COM.
There was a story posted from a Customer was almost identical to what we have been through.
I was floored.I then did more searching and Googled Crown Valley Animal Care Reviews.I was literally speechless when I read review after review on how other people were unnecessarily charged and unnecessary and negligent procedures were performed on their pets.
The following day, I went directly to see Dr. Ivers without calling and talked to him.I asked him why he said that our Dog was well enough to go home, yet when my Wife observed him, he was just as bad as he was before the surgery.He then responded that now it was his Potassium levels that were low causing the lethargy.
I already heard enough and I asked him point blank, I realize you're aware of what comes up when you Google your name right?He literally changed before my eyes from this confident Dr. to a person that was back pedaling and was obviously in shock that I knew about the complaints against him.Of course he denied having any knowledge of anything posted on the Internet about him and casually said, I'll have to look into it.
I told him that our number one objective was to have our Dog back. I only said this because I did not know what they would do to him if I displayed any negativity towards them.
I then returned that night after Dr. Ivers had gone home to see the condition of our Dog. I was expecting him to be lying on his side in pain with his eyes closed, but surprisingly, at least his eyes were open.I was again shocked when I asked the night staff if he had been eating much, and they replied, He really likes the chicken from Subway.What Vet gives an ailing Dog processed food meant for Human Consumption???
I just wanted to make sure that on his last night there, that they were not giving him anymore medication nor transfusions.
My Wife and I then went the following morning before Dr, Ivers arrived, and took our Dog out of that place.
I am positive that he would have been kept there longer because even though they did not find Lymphoma, he said that he wanted to talk to the Pathologist further because there might be something cellular that did not show up in the tests.I know exactly what would have happened next. He would have run more and more tests, administered more medication to our Dog, and would finally say, I'm sorry we did all we could for him after charging me more money.
We immediately took him to our regular Vet and he was shocked not only that we were charged over $10,600.00, but the condition or Dog was in.I took him over a half an hour to find a vein that wasn't punctured from the numerous transfusions, IV's and medication given to him.
He told us that the following 48 hrs would be critical.
Thank God he has made steady improvement everyday and is regaining his strength.
You would think that any normal Vet would immediately call the Client as to why they discharged the pet without their consent. Not with Dr. Ivers.Only when our regular Vet called their office to request that all Medical records be faxed to them, he called two days later to see How he was doing and what the other Vet reviewed. He did not question why we took our dog and did not even show concern.We again were relieved that all of this was behind us and that he is finally on the road to recovery.But we were again to be devastated.
Almost 3 weeks after his surgery and 2 weeks after we pulled him from the hospital, our Dog vomited for the first time since he's been home.My Wife noticed an object mixed in with his vomit and took it as a sample.
We immediately took him to our Vet and were shocked when he told us what it was.It was a plastic IV tube Holder that was apparently dropped or left in his abdomen when the surgery was performed!Unless they fed him this or it was mixed in with his food there is absolutely no other way this object could have ended up in his stomach.
I am so livid now that I cannot think straight.
How can someone play with people emotions and cause such pain and cruelty to animals all for money?
I hope this will prevent others from the hell my Wife and I have and most importantly or Dog has been through the past month.
Mark my words, I am not done with Dr. Ivers and Crown Valley Animal Care Center. PLEASE, PLEASE, if you really care about your pet which everyone that owns one obviously does, AVOID THIS PLACE AT ALL COSTS!!!!
I do not want to wish what we've gone through to anyone.
Laguna Beach, California