On March 6th, 2013 I purchased a chinchilla from the store located at 1275 N Military Hwy, Norfolk, VA 23502.
On March 11th, 2013 I observed him have five seizures late in the day. On March 12th
2013 I returned him to Petsmart early in the day in order to have him looked at
by the vets at Banfield. Before I returned him I called and asked if the vets
there were used to looking at chinchillas. I was told yes, they do examine chinchillas.
At 6:30 that evening I called to see if I could pick him up. I was told that the vet
had not examined him yet and would call me back in 25 minutes. I did not
receive a call so I called back at 7:30 and I was told that the vet was not
finished with him but would be finished by 9:00 when the store closed.
I went to pick him up and the store manager working that evening told me that she owns
chinchillas and that the vet at Banfield did not know what was causing his seizures.
I was told I could return him but I didnt want to and took him home. He did not get any
better and in fact got worse so on March 22nd I took him to another vet who examined him.
She told me that he was severely underweight and this is what caused his seizures. He had
actually gained weight while in my care at this point. She ran some tests and
determined he also had coccidia. She told me that he had been very ill for a
while because of the condition that he was in.
Later that same day (March 22nd) I called the Petsmart that I purchased him from and
explained the situation and was told that I would be reimbursed for the cost of the vet bill.
On March 23rd I went to Petsmart and was told by a different manager that I was not likely to be reimbursed for the vet bill and I could have just brought him back to be examined by the Banfield vet again or returned him to the store. I told her that when I had him examined five days after I bought him I was told that the vet was unaware of
what could be causing his seizures, which was my motivation for taking him to another vet. I told her that the vet had told me he was severely underweight and that was what had caused them.
I asked her what tests were run on him while he was being seen by Banfield and was told
that no tests were performed and he was just observed. I was told that because
he wasnt observed having any seizures at that time, no tests were run. I asked
her if he was weighed. She assured me that he was weighed. I asked her how the
vet could weigh him but not identify that he was severely underweight. She said she didnt know.
I asked if there was any paperwork documenting his vet visit and she told me that she
could show me the paperwork. Then she told me that they did not have the
paperwork and when she asked Banfield if they had the record of it they said
that their computers were down so they could not access the information. The
manager told me the name of the vet who saw him that day.
I was very confused as to why she would know which vet saw him, that he was weighed, and
that no tests were performed without having any access to the paperwork. I am
also very confused as to why my chinchilla could have been so severely
underweight without that being identified by any of the Petsmart staff or
Banfield staff. He weighed 264 grams at the time of the vet examination on the
22nd. I also told her that he had been housed with one of their other
chinchillas at the time who was still in the store, and since he had coccidia
they might want to examine that chinchilla as well as the two new chinchillas
who were there in the same cage with that one on the 23rd.
If I had known that he could have been so sick and was not examined thoroughly when I
brought him back to the vet at Banfield on the 12th I would have simply taken
him to another vet immediately. This was why I asked on the phone before I even
brought him in if those vets were familiar with chinchillas. Im very
disappointed that he was so ill when I purchased him, that he was not examined
thoroughly when I returned him on the 12th, and that I was not able to access
any of his paperwork on the 23rd to see exactly what was actually done for him
while he was in the care of the veterinarian other than simply being observed.