College Park Animal Hospital
9717 Baltimore Ave, College Park, MD 20740
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10/08/2010Provided by Citysearch -
One of their vets received a letter of censure from the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners for his ""failure to identify"" my cat Smokey's heart condition. This vet took courses at the regional levels to improve his ability ""to read radiographs and ultrasounds,"" according the the letter I received dated October 29th 2009. When my pet's heart condition was missed, causing suffering and mostly likely an untimely death, I confronted the owner of the hospital, Thomas McMichael about the substandard care. Instead of owning up to the mistakes of his staff member, McMichael gave evasive and untruthful explanations and eventually became nasty. In addition, this business owner has contacted several review sites to have my and my family members' reviews removed. He consistently removes our reviews from Insiderpages. That's quite a solution to the the problem of medical errors!
We have been taking our pets to College Park Animal Hospital for over 15 years. They have been absolutely wonderful! They are extremely knowledgeable as well as compassionate to the pets. I have been completely satisfied and will continue to strongly recommend this animal hospital to anyone who loves their pets and wants the best possible care!
11/14/2009Provided by Citysearch -
Our experience with this place has not been very good. At first things were going OK, they treated our dogs and cats, with no problems. We also had a lot of contact with them because we volunteered with PAW, which is the rescue that has its sick dogs boarded and treated there. My parents, myself and my girlfriend all walked these dogs during the day, and we were doing a lot of work with them because my parents work from home, and we were both students at the time. Sometimes, we would bring dogs from the shelter to the hospital or from the hospital to the boarding kennel. When a staff vet at the hospital missed our cat's heart disease on an X-ray, the owner, Dr. McMichael was confronted for an explanation. The failure to see the heart problem was obvious because more than one other vet saw it on this X-ray after Smokey had died. Dr. McMichael, however, chose to provide a strange explanation that an X-ray can not detect the type of heart disease Smokey had. When a more plausible explanation was sought, Dr. McMichael cut off access to the hospital premisses for walking the sick PAW dogs to all of four of us. The walking we did with them was the only exercise provided to them at the time. The hospital has cages only, no outside space for them. I didn't even know about this and showed up with a leash and collar to walk a dog, only to be thrown out by Dr. McMichael, who was saying my ""mother wants to sue"" him. My parents never sued him and so far as I know had no plans to sue him. They filed a complaint with the Vet Board because Dr. McMichael refused to be truthful about the missed heart disease of our pet, who ended up suffering because of this. He also refused to take responsibility for the mistake of his staff vet. If he acted honestly and took responsiblity, my parents might not have filed the complaint. Now, the failure to see Smokey's heart failure on an X-ray resulted in a Vet Board's formal letter of censure to the vet who missed the heart failure, which is on public record. It could have been different. This was a very bad experience: the way Smokey's care was handled and we were treated, as well as those homeless dogs that depended on our walks. A very unfortunate experience.
11/13/2009Provided by Citysearch -
Update: The veterinarian who treated our cat, Smokey, at College Park Animal Hospital received a formal letter of censure concerning his ""failure to recognize cardiomegaly and increased pulmonary interstitial pattern on the thoracic radiographs taken of Smokey on January 8, 2008."" This excerpt is from an October 29, 2009 letter from the Maryland State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, addressed to my wife. The letter goes on to state that prior to accepting censure, this veterinarian ""participated in classes offered at a regional conference as a means of improving his ability to read readiographs and ultrasounds."" The letter from the State Board also stated that a letter of censure is a matter of public record.
Clients of this hospital are still urged to to BE EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS, especially with elderly pets, who may be exhibiting signs of a heart disease. Even though one of the veterinarians at College Park Animal Hospital received this additional training, there is no evidence of any such training completed by the others, particularly the owner and the head vet of the hospital, Thomas McMichael, DVM, who apparently believes that congestive heart failure cannot be seen on an X-ray, as per his statement to my wife when she questioned Smokey's treatment. The fact that the primary diagnostic tool for Congestive Heart Failure is an X-ray is a very basic medical fact, and any veterinarian who does not know this basic fact cannot adequately ensure the safety of a pet at risk for heart disease.
College Park Animal Hospital (CPAH) is an old institution in College Park. Many people have brought their pets there and have been satisfied with the service received. I have also been a satisfied client for over two years. However in early 2008 my old cat, Smokey, became very ill. I took him to CPAH three times and twice to the ER. CPAH missed a serious and potentially life threatening heart condition in Smokey, even though it was obvious on the X-ray taken by one of its vets (recognized immediately on the same X-ray by the emergency vet and later by a Tufts vet). As a result, Smokey deteriorated quickly without any medication for over two weeks. Alarmed by Smokey's symptoms, I began doing reading on the Internet, which led me to believe that Smokey might have a serious heart disease and should be treated urgently. I called CPAH, and one of the vets there agreed to put Smokey on rescue medication and refer him to a cardiologist. The medication started helping Smokey right away. The question is: why was I the one who had to determine that Smokey needed this medication, and not the vet? The heart condition could have been probably treated more successfully if given when it was first obvious on the X-ray. Smokey died on January 29th at the ER after a sedative was administered to him.
One of the veterinarians treating Smokey at CPAH admitted missing the condition, but the other one and the owner of the hospital refuse to acknowledge that mistakes were made. To add insult to injury, Dr. McMichael, the owner and head vet at CPAH, became defensive and vindictive against me and my family. He stated that Smokey's heart diseases, congestive heart failure (CHF), was not detected on the X-ray taken at CPAH because CHF cannot be seen on an X-ray. This is incorrect: X-ray is one of the main tools in diagnosing CHF, and any basic medical and veterinary text will say so. When I confronted Dr. McMichael, he began stonewalling. He refused to release Smokey's records and X-rays to me when I showed up to pick them up on a date agreed upon between me and his staff. He also stopped allowing me and my whole family (including my son's girlfriend) to come onto the premises in order to volunteer with rescued dogs cared for at CPAH, leaving these dogs without the walks and socialization that the four of us had been providing to them prior to the incident.
This is a very sad experience because we trusted the veterinarians at CPAH to keep our pet safe. We also trusted them to have the best interest of homeless animals at heart, as they claim to be "rescue friendly." We trusted them to have the personal and professional integrity to own up to their mistakes, should they happen. Our trust has been irrevocably betrayed.