In late 2011, I noticed my dog had a chronic dry cough. He is a 16 year old Pekinese, Toy Poodle, Chihuahua mix. I rescued him when he was 2 years old. We have spent a lot of time getting to know and loving each other.
My mother's coworker has a dog who has the same chronic dry cough. Her dog was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. I researched all other possibilities, and nothing else fit. I discovered that my dog would need to take a prescription called Lasix. Since my mother's coworker was successful in her diagnosis of CHF and retrieval of Lasix at PetSmart, I decided to give them a try.
I am a single 27 year old who works and is putting myself through school. I don't have disposable income. I explained to the receptionist that my dog is the ONLY dog in my house. He NEVER goes to a kennel or a dog park or has any exposure to ANY other animals EVER (not even when I take him to his normal vet. I show up 2.5 hours before the office is open so that my baby doesn't have exposure to other animals. He has dog aggression. He has cataracts, arthritis, and he is only 3 lbs. If he were to pick a fight with another animal, there is a serious chance he won't make it out alive.)
PetSmart treated me as if I were an idiot. I was informed that I would be charged a $50 unscheduled visit fee, a $75 new client fee, $200 for a chest x-ray, $150 for blood work, $150 for the meds... but they would have to order the medication (which would take 2 weeks to come in).
The next day, my dog and I drove the 30+ miles to his normal vet at 7am. He listened to my dog's cough and gave him the meds. The visit cost me $45, an "end of life" lecture and a "I'm doing surgeries until noon everyday" lecture by the vet, but I don't care.
I'm not spending hundreds of dollars to confirm what I already know. I know PetSmart may be stupid, but I am not. I KNOW my dog. Do not insult my intelligence.