In 2003, took my dog to VCAWLA because he had a small lump. They sent in a student, (it is a teaching hospital) who took a biopsy, and they sent it to the lab, Antech, which VCA owns. The vet called me to tell me that the biopsy was malignant, and that my dog had 6 months to live. They recommended radiation under sedation for 4 weeks, 5 times a week, then surgery. The radiation alone would have cost nearly $6000, besides the fact, I have a bulldog who never would have lived through that trauma. I told them to just do the surgery, and after ultrasound, ct scans, an other tests, they removed the tumor, and a good portion of my dogs left side, leaving a 14" scar and my dog howling.
4 days later they called me to tell me that the tumor was just a small lump of fat! I was livid. Clearly he never had cancer in the first place. I obtained copies of the initial biopsy, and it turns out, it was performed by another student with no oversight from an experienced pathologist. I complained to VCA and was told to just go away. The lab had an experienced pathologist redo the biopsy, and it was inconclusive for cancer, and my dog should never have received the surgery.
When I wrote to David Bruyette, he was a real piece of work. I was very professional and understanding in my correspondence with him, and he couldn't have been more rude. I told him how upset I was about the situation, and something should be done, my dog had been BUTCHERED for no reason, just their negligence. He wrote me and told me that since I felt that way, I should "seek further veterinary care at another facility" and they would "gladly forward his chart to that clinic". What a d*ck! They wouldn't refund my money either. I had spent nearly $3000.00. Thank God I didn't do the radiation. I took this up with their corporate offices, and still I was told to go away.
This was almost 5 years ago when my dog was 7. Today is his 12th birthday and he is doing great. We haven't been back to VCA since.
los angeles, California