San Francisco, CA
I'm honestly blown away by the negative reviews here! My 3 1/2 year old Chihuahua, Lucy, was diagnosed by our primary vet with a mild outer-ear infection in late October 2011. About a week later, after treating our Lucy at home, we noticed her ear was smelling real bad and she had started to wobble to the right. We took her to the Emergency Veterinary Clinic late on a Sunday night and the doctor spent about 45 minutes with us. My own vet never spent 45 minutes with us! The doctor gave her a complete exam, got on the floor with her, explained the extent of her infection to me and even let me look in her ear with his tools! He was caring and professional... so much so, that I asked if he had a day practice! We got Lucy on heavier anti-biotics and continued to fight a serious ear infection. The doctor even recommended a neurologist in Sarasota in case there was an under-laying cause or brain trauma. Due to the cost of the neurologist and the reassurance by our primary vet that this was nothing more than a bad infection, we declined the trip to Sarasota.
After a couple of seizures and so much heat-tilt/wobbling that she could barely walk, we took Lucy back to our primary vet. Again, we were told that this was simply an ear infection and that she would be fine "in a week or two". Sadly, a week later, we came home to find her drooling and unresponsive. We took her to our vet immediately and were told surprisingly that she has a brain tumor, won't recover and "we had to put it down". Yes, my primary vet who has taken my money for 3 1/2 years refered to my Lucy as "it". We went to Emergency Veterinary Clinic for a second opinion. Sadly, the second opinion was the same. Under the ear infection was a tumor. At that point, we had no option to innitiate end of life care. We lost our beloved Lucy on December 16th. The vet and the girl working in the office were amazingly empathetic. They already knew they were getting our money... but they still displayed care and compassion towards not just my wife and I, but Lucy as well. They let my wife and I take as much time as we needed to say our goodbyes, they made a mold of her paw for us (at no extra charge!) and they spoke softly and caringly as if this little chihuahua was one of their own. I had to leave the room (I couldn't stand to be in there when she passed!), but my wife got to hold her (with her favorite toy) while they put her to sleep. Caring, empathetic and sincere.
We could not have asked for a better end-of-life situation. They even followed up with a sweet card in the mail and a phone call. Special thanks to the team, who made our terrible night as comforting as could be.