VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital
1900 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
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05/19/2011Provided by Citysearch -
I had a cat with cancer & we saw mainly a specialist at this clinic but also several general practice vets & technicians over the course of several months. What struck me most was their profound indifference towards my pet's care & towards my goals & abilities to deal with the problem. At times the treatment was aggressive and at others, utterly careless. Only once out of numerous visits did they provide a written fee estimate for the treatment plan. All other estimates were verbal & consistently 25-50% below the final bill. A few times when I questioned the bill the specialist admitted I was overcharged & agreed to credit my account, for which I was grateful, but to repeatedly overcharge clients is sloppy & arrogant. I was always aware that for them this was strictly a financial transaction & that I needed to question everything including the treatments. Several drugs were prescribed with little disclosure about side affects some of which actually hurt my pet & one that was ""way off label"" that the manufacturer published a warning that it could be deadly if used on cats.
Since I felt they were untrustworthy I relied on another vet to check their clinical advice at each step in the process. I tried to find another specialist to take over the case altogether, I asked for a referral from local vets as well as out of town vets that were directly involved with my cat's case, but none were identified. What I learned was you must find another vet outside of this clinic, one who respects appropriate pet care as well as the goals & abilities of the client, to stay closely involved to provide a necessary 2nd opinion. This increased my costs but was necessary to help me sort out inappropriate treatment due to aggressiveness and/or indifference versus appropriate care. It seemed clear that their conflict of interest, that is whether to provide appropriate care versus meeting their projected billings for the month, put me at a tremendous disadvantage so I needed outside help.
I would never use this clinic again for any reason whatsoever. From a clinical perspective what started out as a very strong treatment plan turned into an abysmal level of care, one that at times actually hurt my cat due to carelessness. The indifference towards my financial & physical abilities to deal with my pet's problem was astounding. I found dealing with this clinic brought with it a high degree of risk & stress for both my pet & me. Buyer be very wary of this clinic.
04/28/2011Provided by Citysearch -
AVOID THIS PLACE AT ALL COSTS! My wife took in a stray cat that showed up at our house that we were feeding. The cat was losing its hair and scratching terribly. They took blood and urine and gave the cat a cortisone shot and then charged her FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS. At no time did they inform her of what the charges were up front. And then on top of that I got a bill for $197 dollars for lab tests a week later. So that's SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS for a checkup and shot for a stray cat. I don't even spend that kind of money on myself for medical care. When I called the billing office to question the bill, the billing lady very curtly informed that it was my wife's responsibility to ask what the charges were beforehand. Really? Is that how you operate an ethical business? Never before, in all my years as an animal owner would we have dreamed that any vet would charge these kinds of outrageous fees. This place is an unscrupulous, cash factory for its owners. Most of the time you're seen by young vets fresh out of school and they charge as much as the experienced guys who own this clip joint. Do yourself a huge favor and find a more ethical place.
06/07/2010Provided by Citysearch -
I usually take my little one to a local vet clinic but my work schedule makes it difficult to get there during their business hours. I decided to take him to the VCA on Sepulveda since it is a 24 hour care facility. Yes, it's a little pricey, but I would rather have his primary care there just in case something emergent were to happen to him. Setting an appointment was easy and my little one was seen by Dr. McGrath. As I was waiting to be called (which didn't take long at all) I saw an A-list celebrity there to leave a thank you gift for Dr. McGrath! I was excited to know that my little one would be seen by him too! My little one tends to be unfriendly and Dr. McGrath was so patient and won his trust! That alone made me so ecstatic to find out my dog is capable of being nice around strangers. Dr. McGrath knows how to handle animals and you can just see a genuine care for animals given by the entire staff! I wish I could name everyone we encountered but a thanks to the entire staff for their patience, care and professionalism.
05/26/2010Provided by Citysearch -
Take your pet directly to VCA WLA at the first signs of trouble. My beloved Radar got to Dave Bruyette and VCA WLA too late - had I taken him in at the first signs something was wrong (over-appetite and going outside box) we would have had a much better shot at beating Radar's IBD. Instead I waited a week or two too long, went to Value Vet after having dumped Westside Hospital for Cats and VCA Wilshire, and then went to Dave for ultrasound and a consult. Worked with him for a few weeks trying to get Radar to respond to the protocol which was totally correct and had no needless procedures or extraordinary measures, drugs or costs, in fact, I needed to push for more aggressive care. It was very easy to communicate by e-mail. Ten years ago, VCA West LA helped me manage my FeLV cat Chloe for happy years more than she would have had. Sadly, Radar passed away today, in my arms, with the compassionate care of VCA WLA. The front of the office and the pharmacy can be chaotic, and you need to check dosages and such, but if you even suspect a whiff that your cat is sick, go here. Now.
05/18/2010Provided by Citysearch -
I had to take my dogs to see Dr. Tsugawa (veterinary cardiologist) and Dr. Chang (veterinary ophthalmologist) on different occasions at VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital.
My min pin has hemangiosarcoma along with diabetes and also some serious cardiac issues. Dr. Lynette Tsugawa was so amazing and was great with my 17 year old min pin. And my min pin is now managing well.
Dr. Michael Chang performed a debridement and keratotomy on my dog Felix's corneal ulcer. With Dr. Chang's caring guidance and extensive experience, we came up with this treatment plan for Felix. Now Felix is well on his way to a healed eye!
I am very grateful to both these veterinary specialist for their professionalism and compassionate approach to treating my dogs (and me!)
I would recommend these vets to anyone whose pets are in need of a cardiologist or ophthalmologist.
01/22/2010Provided by Citysearch -
I have never commented on a review of my service before. I do not typically make comments on these sites. However I found this post to be so slanderous that I could help but post my side of this situation regarding the comments of sweets3711.
First off it is my policy that all pets having surgery have a pre-surgical consult. This visit allows your pet to be checked for any problems that may complicate the procedure as well as giving the client a chance to meet the doctor as well as ask any questions about the surgery itself.
The day of surgery the patient is dropped off in the morning. Once the patient has recovered from anesthesia the owners are called to let them know that the procedure if finished, how everything went, and when they can pick up. Depending on how involved the surgery is the patient may or may not spend the night in the hospital. In those cases I will call again the following day to give another update as well as review the go home instructions.
Patients are next seen for the suture removal typically 10-14 days following surgery. This usually takes less than five minutes but I personally examine to be sure the incision has healed completely before removing the sutures. Although it only takes a minute I recommend to my clients that they make an appointment to be sure I will be available.
This is where a problem arose with this woman. When she had arrived I was tending to a critical patient on the 2nd level of the hospital. I was informed the she had decided to come in without appointment and wanted her pet seen by me immediately. The patient I was with was far to critical to be left alone. When I received that page I sent the vet tech who works with me to go down stairs in order to bring her kitten upstairs so I could check the incision and remove the sutures. The tech was then told ""tell Dr. McGrath not to send his ######"" and went on to verbally abuse her. The tech returned in tears. The woman then left with her cat sutures still intact.
The claim that I called and screamed at her is a bold face lie (some calls are recorded at our hospital so my boss has more information than she thinks when deciding to ask her to never return to our hospital). I simply tried to explain that it is concern for the animals that led me to be unavailable at that minute. Would she want me to walk away from her kitten in the middle of surgery just because someone else showed up and demanded I drop what I'm doing?
It was in fact her abusive nature with the entire staff that led to her being asked to not return to the hospital. That is not something they take lightly. She responded with lies slandering my name on the internet. I became a vet because I want to help animals. Nobody becomes a vet because they want to get rich. It is a profession that involves alot of very expensive schooling and associated debt with salaries that are small fractions of other professions (MD Dentist etc). We do it because we love animals and we love what we do.
06/23/2009Provided by Citysearch -
1. Doctors and staff: A+. Compassionate staff and doctors are conscientious, professional, highly skilled – this is a teaching hospital --the UCLA (or maybe LA County Hospital) of vet hospitals. My golden retriever needed major emergency surgery --he had inhaled a foxtail which formed an abscess between his lungs that attached to the lining of his heart. He was in pain, had fluid in his lungs -- the abscess had to be removed. Dr. Tina Owen performed the surgery -- she is a Diplomate, Board Certified DVM --I couldn't have asked for a better surgeon anywhere -- she was skilled, professional, compassionate, an A+. Dr. Owen's assistant, Tina Martinez is also an A+ --she was extremely knowledgeable, professional and warm. Dr. Cabrerra -also excellent -- - professional and compassionate – she provided some of the post-op care. Further, the front office staff was always extremely courteous, as were the surgery techs that were taking care of the hospitalized animals.
Be aware, however that the night staff for hospitalized pets are veterinary interns (have finished vet school, but are still in training) and vet techs -- there is a supervising DVM on call but not on the premises. While they all seemed quite competent, however, my mind was not completely at ease after hours in the post-surgical area.
2. The Facility: This is the downside, and why I gave VCA WLA three stars instead of 5. This facility is in desperate need of remodeling - old and run down -- the front waiting area is kept very clean -- however, the hallways upstairs and the back elevators (used to visit the hospitalized pets) didn't feel clean -- white power in elevator and in hallways from construction to create an office for a veterinary cardiologist. Post surgical area is small and cramped, Small cages for large animals: my golden had just enough room to stand up, lie down (without stretching out). There is no place close by to take the sickest animals to relieve themselves. The techs walk them up and down the hallways --my golden is not used to relieving himself in the house so on some days he held his urine and bowel movement -- was leaking urine into his cage. Very depressing.
3. The cost -- This facility is expensive -- my total charge was $13,000 for major surgery + 5 1/2 days of hospitalization -- However – they do have a plan which allows you to pay the bill in one year without interest. I don’t know what other hospitals charge, and at the end of the day: THEY SAVED MY DOG! This experience is a great argument for pet insurance -- which I will surely investigate in the next few weeks.
*** Highly recommend that if your pet is hospitalized at this (or any!) facility for any length of time, that you have your regular veterinarian stay in close touch with the supervising DVMs. I was in constant communication with my wonderful vet, Dr. Phil Caldwell, from Szanto Vet Center in Sherman Oaks -- Dr. Caldwell spoke several times with the surgeons, and even went to visit my golden one evening to check medications and his condition....I do feel (they may dispute this, but it is my strong instinct ) that an intervention from a qualified professional (DVM) will only enhance the quality of care you receive for your pet.
06/16/2008Provided by Citysearch -
This is by far the most expensive vet in town!!! , I went there to treat my dog and they took him from my hands while a was filling out the billing information, the took him and I didn't see him for two hours. When the doctor finally called me (I didn't even was introduced to my dog's doctor before), she told me that they gave him some medication and also they made a bl. test and x-ray for him, she also told me that I should leave him overnight, that I didn't have to but that it would be the right thing to do!.
After that I had to wait for lab results and the doctor's answer was: "" i don't have a straight answer of what's going on with him"" and charged me $1200. They are way over priced and never have their story straight. BEWARE OF THIS PLACE!!!! They love your money, not that much your pet.
They were supposed to call me for my dog's results in 9 hours and they called 2 days after, I tried to reach them and I couldn't ever talk to the doctor, when the doctor finally called me said that my dog had a intestinal infection and we should treat him right away, but she didn't call in two days....
If you wanna get your dog murdered, go to VCA
11/12/2007Provided by Citysearch -
I took my pet to VCA West L.A. for surgery, and we were both treated horribly. The vet, Dr. McGrath, refused to see my pet before or after the surgery, and never returned a phone call regarding post-surgical complications, resulting in a return to the emergency facility in the middle of the night. The unlicensed assistant told me that she is the only person who will be seeing my kitten for her suture removal and post-surgical care, and that NONE of the vets ever does post-surgical care or suture removal.
When Dr. McGrath did finally return my phone call he began by screaming inappropriate and unrelated insults. He has a vile temper and is extremely unprofessional, dishonest and shows a total disregard for the animals in his care and an angry disdain for their people families.
When I wrote to VCA regarding their use of unlicensed assistants to perform procedures on animals at their facility, and the strange and unprofessional raging of Dr. McGrath, they responded that I should never return to their facility.
I was grateful that I did not lose my pet to their negligence. I am very sorry if you have. One of my relatives did lose a puppy to their negligence.
The worst part is that you will not know how incompetent and uncaring they are until your pet is at risk.
The facility looks very nice on the surface, but profound disregard for animals and people makes this an unsafe place for your pet.
06/27/2002Provided by Citysearch -
This office is open 24 hours--which is something that I require in a vet, not only because making an appointment after work is usually not as difficult at 24-hour clinics, but also because I have accident-prone pets who tend to fall off the bed/eat half a sock/poke themselves in the eye/etc. at midnight. This VCA also offers low-cost vaccination clinics in the evening during the week (1/2 off!) which is great.