Friday, October 1, 2010

Carnegy Animal Hospital Lost a Long Time Customer Today

Charlie is in pain. I have been trying all different kinds of glucosamine formulations thingees trying to help him - but he keeps reacting to some ingredients in whichever ones I try - so I've decided to just stop trying those and go with metacam - which is an analgesic pain reliever, but it's hard on the dog's liver, and after a little while the animal starts to not want to eat so much - and then they start to go downhill.

I really hate to admit to myself that I can see Charlie fading. He's starting to get a head tilt, he's really loping around - 12 years in dog years I've found out for a dog his size is actually 94 in human years - so really, he's doing pretty well - and he's also getting lumpy. After having his anal tumour a couple years ago, and almost losing him with that - all the lumps I feel - it scares me.

So with great trepidation I went to Carnegy Animal Hospital today to pick up a bottle of Metacam - I've always seeme to have some in the house - everytime I go to the vet, or the emergency vet - I get a big bottle of it - so there's always some around - and yesterday I finally ran out - so today I went to buy a new bottle.

I've been going to Carnegy's for 13 years. Charlie's been going there since he was 3 months old. And the girl behind the counter was unbelieveable rude and snobby - and refused to give me any. I told her my story, told her how long I've been going there, told her that Charlie is in pain - and then I said - okay - I'll bring him in for an appointment.

"There's no openings until next Wednesday".

"So you mean my dog has to stay in pain until next Wednesday?"

"Sorry, there's nothing I can do".

Well - there's something I can do. And that is to find a new vet. Which is what I'm going to do - and I'm also going to tell as many people as I can that Carnegy Animal Hospital obviously does not care when one of their client's dogs are in pain - a client that has given them literally thousands of dollars and been a fabulous customer.

But really - if they can't fit me in until next Wednesday - they aren't hurting for business, so I guess they shouldn't be worried too much about a little bad publicity, eh?

Here's the letter I just sent to them:

Hi there - I was in at your clinic today.

I have been a client of Carnegy Animal Hospital since 1988 when I brought my first dog George to Dr. Carnegy. I brought her to Dr. Carnegy because he was the vet who treated the dogs at the Dartmouth SPCA shelter - and George was adopted from there - and so I thought I would just continue on with her treatment at your clinic - because that was where she received her free spay.

George died in 1989 under tragic circumstances, and I got another dog - and continued on with my patronage at your clinic.

I've had a variety of dogs since that time - foster dogs as well as permanent dogs - and almost all of them have come to the Carnegy Animal Hospital - they mostly seen Dr. Carnegy, and a couple of them have seen Dr. Lindsay. I can pretty easily surmise that I have spent well over $12,000 - and probably closer to $15,000 at your clinic in the last almost 13 years.

I was there today because my 12 year old dog Charlie is in pain. He has been coming to your clinic since he was 3 months old. His whole life. He hasn't gone to any other vet. You have been his only medical caregiver - other than when he's gone to the Emergency Clinic over in Dartmouth - and I'd assume that when he's gone there his files have been faxed over so that they're in his permanent file at your clinic.

Looking back through my files I see that he hasn't been to the vet since he had an anal tumour removed - but Charlie has had a lifelong problem with arthritis, and years ago Dr. Carnegy recommended that he was going to have to stay on Metacam for pretty much the rest of his life - so I just assumed that anytime I needed some - I could go in and pick some up.

I've never had a problem before - and I always seemed to have enough in the house because of my other dogs going to the vet and being prescribed it - my dog Buttercup was to the vet in May, 2010 - and was prescribed some - and I just ran out of that yesterday - but when I went to your clinic today - I was very rudely told otherwise.

One of your receptionists - Robin - said that because Charlie hasn't been to the vet in 2 years - she could not give me any metacam - even though Charlie is actively in pain - and she can not fit me in to see a vet to get a prescription - until NEXT WEDNESDAY.

So Charlie has to continue to be in pain - until next Wednesday.

To me - that is unacceptable - she should have given me a bottle of metacam regardless - so that my dog did not have to be in pain.

I have been going to your clinic, I know my dog, he has had metacam before, and it is not her call.

I have to tell you that you have lost a long time, loyal customer.

I will not be returning to your clinic - I will be finding a new veterinarian to take my dogs to - and one that I will not have to wait until next Wednesday to see.

When I find that veterinarian - I will be getting them to have my records transferred to them.

Thanks very much.

Joan Sinden and her dogs Charlie, Buttercup and Daisy.


  1. Hi Joan,

    I too used Carnegy for years until I was treated rudely when one of mine was in pain, she had swallowed an object and I feared obstruction. Same story, your dog will stay in pain until we have free time. Instead of accepting that I kicked up a stink stating that I'd been a loyal customer for years and had dumped thousands of dollars into their clinic. This got me in to see them but I've never bothered to go back.

    Westwood Hills has been my vet since Jenny had her TPLO done there. They have treated me and my girls wonderfully and are worth the drive to see them!

  2. Interesting, Marc - Westwood Hills was where I took Jackie - because they have an ophthalmologist there - and that was where he had gone previous to me owning him - I think I'll give them a call.

  3. I use Full Circle over in downtown Dartmouth. I like them because they consider all forms of treatment, not just "take these pills". Because of that attitude I am feeding my boy raw food instead of him having surgery or pills for his bowel issues. He's healthy as a horse. Strong as one too.

    Hope Charlie pulls out of this and you can find someone to help.

  4. I am so sorry you had this experience. No one should ever be told to suck it up when their beloved friend is in pain. I hope you are able to find better help as soon as possible.

    I will remember this about Carnegy for my own animals in the future. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. My cat, Static, was diagnosed with UTI by the emergency clinic in Dartmouth. I was in Boston for work. My husband took him to Carnegy when he wasn't getting better. They did surgery on him, kept him for a day, and sent him home ($1300 later). 24 hours later Mark came home from work to find Static passed out in his water dish. He called me and I told him to take him to Fairview Animal Hospital (our regular vet at the time). They had his chart faxed over and were floored when they saw his kidney levels. They said he should have never been sent home and he in fact was having kidney failure, not UTI. We subsequently had to put him to sleep. He was misdiagnosed by emergency and then Carney did an unnecessary and unhelpful surgery on him all the while sugar coating his status to Mark - and then sent him home still sick. I never will go to Carnegy again and have advised several friends to not go there.

  6. I've got an appointment tomorrow morning at 10am at Westwood Hills for Charlie - so we'll see how that goes - hopefully he'll be a little more comfortable by tomorrow afternoon.

  7. That is totally unacceptable, Joan. If my vet's office, here in Charlottetown, treated me that way....they would definately get an earful before I left.
    I have been going to my vet for 8 years now & have spent a king's ransom & I am treated like my animals are the only ones they care for, lol!

    All their patients get the same treatement. Many times, I don't stop to call for an appt., if I see one of my dogs isn't acting right - I just go - never been turned away yet. Nor would I be upset if I had to wait (and I have) while another animal is brought in, in distress, a head of me.

    I hope your appt. goes well tomorrow, be looking to see a full report.

    ((hugs)0 your friends
    Oskar, Schatzi & Xena

  8. Hi,I'm writing from British Columbia and there is little chance I will ever use that terrible clinic. However, I am wondering if you have tried Recovery SA for your dog's arthritis. It's a glucosomine preparation that seems to work well for every dog I've ever heard that's tried it. It was even recommended by a doggie chiropractor hear in B.C. Yes, I know, but it's lalla-land B.C. and of course we have doggie chiropractors here.

    We first tried recovery when the dad of our three dogs, Shadow, started having trouble getting up the stairs in our house. He was 13 at the time and his back hips were stiffening up. Recovery was recommended to us in chewable tablets his mobility started getting better in about two weeks, he seemed his old self in two months.

    Since then we've recommended it to all sorts of folks with elderly dogs and cats with mobility difficulties. It's always done the job, though it can take up to two months to start noticing an improvement. I got some for my sister, whose cat Jumbo (age 17) was getting quite stiff. She lives in Brampton, Ont. and couldn't find it at her vets or local pet stores. I sent her some, and Jumbo was scampering around the house and up the stairs in no time. She got more through the web and now all her cats are on it.

    It was developed in Duncan on Vancouver Island and orginally formulated for horses. Now they make a version (Recovery SA) for companion animals and another version for arthritic humans. Anyway, if you can't find it locally I'm sure you can get some from their web-site.

    I hope things go better for your beloved pooch. Yours Catherine

  9. JEEZ-US, we the public need to have better 'service' from an 'industry' that is self regulating and allows it's members to be GODS instead of being for DOGS etc. I am so tired of feeling like I am being BILKED and snowed by having to have vac's that are being proven to be ineffective at best or determintal and deadly to our pets .. I am not saying all Vets are bad - but at least 'front-line/desk clerks'or Tech's should have more compassion and YES bendover when a valued client of 13 years and who is NOT ignorant on protocols and medications is SITTING UP AND BEGGING for NOT a 'crack' FIX but a pain med for a dog - and cut some slack and even be given ONE DOSE until an appt is made (oh wait sheesh stupid me - the VETS can't see you for another 5 days!) like they can't take a 4-5 minute call to ascertain that you at least need to give Charlie some relief until they can fit you in? My Vet did NOT want my elder dogs to be vac'ed... and ergo in dear Charlie's case as in Oreo's there would BE NO REASON to have her to the Vets unless there was an accident or serious trauma ... dear dog - it also seems pet owners MUST be advocates when dealing with those that say they are 'practising' for the benefit of our beloved pets (a term that I find scarey and wonder if it started by the pay us and we will pay you - pharmaceutical companies).
    hugs to you and Charlie
    ps the Recovery SA (which I have never tried) is

  10. Love the name...and he looks like a very cool dog. I grew up with St's but now have a rottie. Congrats on being chosen as Mod Dog of the Month.
    dog leashes

  11. Some vets are so..uncaring and terrible. One year ago when I was raising a litter orphaned kittens and one fell ill the vets at CLAYTON PARK ANIMAL HOSPITAL who do, as advertised take emergency visits- refused to do anything. They literally tested her blood sugar levels(A highly inaccurate test on newborn kittens)and refused to give her fluids, tube feed her, etc. He literally told me she would be dead by the end of the day, she probably had feline leukemia, I should euthanize the whole litter. When I was shocked over my baby dying and apparently nothing left to do I wanted to wait for my dad to make the decision to put her down. He told me to hurry up, he had a surgery to get to and he didn't want to wait for a dying kitten and emotional girl. We LEFT took her to the good people of Fairview animal hospital who saved her life that day and they and metro emergency treated all six until they were grown and weaned. Full disclosure- That kitten died a week later. The whole litter was very, very sick with an intestinal parasite from being in thrown in the garbage..But vets everywhere(but especially HRM) need to have more compassion and better ethics.

  12. When you finally do get in to see Dr. Carnegy he genuinely is a pleasure......but that front desk staff is the worst I have ever dealt with. Do they not know how much we spend on our pets that they can't treat us with a little respect? We have been going there for about ten years and have also thought of leaving because of the rude staff at that front desk and not because of Dr. Carnegy himself, although it has become increasingly difficult to see him.

  13. When I used to work in a vet clinic, we only had to see the dog every year, and not even an appointment - just physically see it- to make sure it was still alive. We would understand that the patient had a chronic disease, and needs lifetime meds, but this too had to be approved by the dr. They even had waivers that you could sign, stating that you went against their advise of having a check up, but still wanted pain medication. Sounds like the receptionist there needs the boot, right up her rear end!

  14. Anonymous3:45 AM

    Surprised by this. I bring in both the cat and dog to the clinic. The dog loves going because they all treat him with such affection.

    He's 13 next week. He has spinal arthritis. He's taking predisone for it which can be pretty tough to take but he seems to be doing fine on it. He's on a low dose and takes it every second day. Dr. C recommended taking glucosamine supplements and a b-complex for nerve regeneration. He gave the green light for fish oil for additional anti-inflammation. Dr. C also recommened physiotherapy. As for the prescription of predisone, if I run out, I call and have it filled. Never had an issue. If Dr. C isn't around, another vet fills it.

    So, I've been quite happy with his care. And Dr. C doesn't just push prescription drugs but makes sure there that alternative therapies are also included.

    With the cat, I had the Atlantic Cat Hospital try and milk me for about $1000 for a teeth cleaning. Cat has impaired kidney function. One of her blood levels came back different than the previous blood work which worried them... even though it was improved creatine levels. They wanted to do additional blood work before the cleaning. After the $500 in blood work, everything was fine and wanted to proceed with the teeth cleaning for another $500. I took the cat to Carnegy instead. Dr. C looked at her... picked off some plaque... and said her teeth were fine. He wouldn't put a cat under with kidney disease. He didn't charge for the visit either.

    I don't want to "argue" but just stating my experience. Dr. C and the whole team have been great. I had an issue one night where the dog started bleeding from his urethra. Scared the hell out of me. I called and they told me to keep an eye on him... if something worsened to bring him the the EMC... and they fit me in the next morning. Luckily, turned out to be nothing.

    I would have asked for a small prescription of something that would have lasted until that Wednesday. Buffered aspirin is also safe for dogs and often given for arthritis. But after two years, I can understand why they wouldn't want to hand out a prescription without an additional consultation.