Toledo Talk

SylvaniaVet slams Costco

Dr. Bob Esplin, of Sylvania Veterinary Hospital, in his July newsletter warns against using Costco for pet medication and Kirkland pet food. “Recently, Costco has been opening packages and putting pills in an amber bottle which is a violation of state and federal pharmacy laws,” he states. Furthermore, he adds, Costco's Kirkland brand of pet food has contamination problems. I thought Kirkland was a good brand, but I guess not. I would steer clear of Costco.

created by gemini on Jul 02, 2012 at 06:13:49 pm     Pets     Comments: 60

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Comments ... #

I will steer clear of Sylvania Vet. Thanks for the heads up.

posted by slowsol on Jul 02, 2012 at 06:15:10 pm     #   3 people liked this

There was a recall of kirkland dog food a few months ago due to salmonella.

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-recall/kirkland-dog-food-recall/

We feed our dog a pretty expensive food, Taste of the Wild, because she is gluten-intolerant and loses patches of hair otherwise (not a good look!) and even that brand was caught up in the same recall.

It's good to keep on top of the dates & batches that are affected... and the doggie is back on her normal diet with Taste of the Wild.

posted by toledolen_ on Jul 02, 2012 at 06:20:52 pm     #  

i'm with slowsol
sylvaniavet sounds like a nut job

posted by nits on Jul 02, 2012 at 06:52:24 pm     #  

Several dog foods were rescaled and I really doubt about the pill inserts.

posted by gunz1 on Jul 02, 2012 at 06:54:46 pm     #  

Sorry, recalled

posted by gunz1 on Jul 02, 2012 at 06:55:02 pm     #  

Man, I like Costco! I am wondering if Esplin said those things because he wants you to buy HIS pet medications, and HIS dog and cat food. Costco has deep pockets and will probably lawyer up and go after him if his allegations about Costco breaking the law are bogus. Can't find it anywhere on the net.

posted by bikerdude on Jul 02, 2012 at 07:06:55 pm     #   1 person liked this

toledolen_ posted at 06:20:52 PM on Jul 02, 2012:

There was a recall of kirkland dog food a few months ago due to salmonella.

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-recall/kirkland-dog-food-recall/

We feed our dog a pretty expensive food, Taste of the Wild, because she is gluten-intolerant and loses patches of hair otherwise (not a good look!) and even that brand was caught up in the same recall.

It's good to keep on top of the dates & batches that are affected... and the doggie is back on her normal diet with Taste of the Wild.

Taste of the Wild and Kirkland are manufactured by the same company - Diamond. That's why they were both part of the same recall.

BTW, my dogs are thriving on Kirkland food. Many sources list it as a good quality food, and certainly has one of the best quality-to-price ratios out there

It is always wise to watch out for pet food recalls no matter what brand you use, of course.

posted by mom2 on Jul 02, 2012 at 07:52:28 pm     #  

"Many sources list it as a good quality food..."

mom2, what sources make that claim? I've not heard of Kirkland before, and Diamond is notorious for recalls, etc. Esplin states in his newsletter:

"The Diamond brand food would have you believe they are just as good as all premium diets but this is not the case. In reality they are nothing more than a midlevel food manufacturer that not only makes their brand name product but many other companies lines of pet food as well. One doesn’t know if all the foods they make are the same or if compromises in the name of cost are made."

posted by gemini on Jul 02, 2012 at 08:23:46 pm     #  

Where does his intimate knowledge of a pet food manufacturer's process come from? He doesn't happen to have a dog in this fight does he? (excuse the pun)

posted by slowsol on Jul 02, 2012 at 08:48:25 pm     #  

His info about dog food also holds true for ketchup, ice cream, canned soup and a zillion other things. Almost all of the food plants run premium brands for some shifts, and store brands/generics at other times. This is not a suspicious business activity; rather, it's standard practice in the consumables industries.

Kirkland is the private label for Costco products (I'm pretty sure) -- I get Kirkland pistachios, Kirkland napkins, etc. at Costco. You won't find Kirkland products at Walmart and Kroger. Or the dollar stores. Now THOSE are some places to worry about! Let Dr. Sylvania write about that if he wants to scare people!

posted by viola on Jul 02, 2012 at 10:32:28 pm     #   1 person liked this

I feed my 9 year old w/ skin allergies Nutro Grain-Free. He breaks out in bumps if we feed him anything with rice/brown rice/brewers rice....which just about 90% of all dog foods use <sigh>. Kind of forced our hand to buy him only the "good" stuff. Funny how a few $300 vet bills to quell another allergic breakout will put a $50 bag of food in perspective.

Here's the story on the Diamond/Taste of the Wild recall from MSNBC.

Mom2: "Many sources list it [Kirkland] as a good quality food..."

Gemini: "mom2, what sources make that claim?"

Here's a fair analysis from consumersearch.com.

"...Kirkland Signature dog food, which is sold exclusively at Costco. The ingredients list of Kirkland Signature Lamb, Rice & Vegetable formula (*Est. $35 per 40 lb. bag), for example, falls short compared to the best choices, but the food doesn't cost nearly as much. "It isn't quite among the top tier foods, but if you were to put this on the shelves of most major pet stores and especially other 'big box' stores, it would be among the best foods available," says PetFoodRatings.net. Others agree, with DogFoodAdvisor.com commenting that it is an "above-average kibble" that is "value-priced." Meat content is good, and while grains are used, they are mostly higher quality.

One negative is that Kirkland brand dog foods have not been immune from recall issues -- and certain batches of Kirkland Signature Lamb, Rice & Vegetable dog food were voluntarily recalled in the spring of 2012 because of possible salmonella contamination. In fairness, however, the same could also be said of some of the best regarded foods -- and several of those were also caught up in the same recall. The bottom line: Regardless of which food they use, pet owners should keep an eye out in case safety issues arise. The FDA website is an excellent resource for that.

Kirkland isn't bad. Nobody is claiming it is top of the line...but it appears to be a "next step down" choice.

You want bad--stay away from Aldi dog foods. Low nutrition, high processed grains, etc. $10 for 50lbs of nuggets should be your first clue that maybe it's not the greatest thing to feed your best friend. And there's a long list of other dog "foods" that fill that category too.

posted by oldhometown on Jul 02, 2012 at 10:40:48 pm     #  

I don't have a pet of any sort but I eat plenty of Kirkland brand food myself. What research I have done show's most of it comes from reputable places for instance the bottle of 18 year old scotch sitting above my bar is labeled with the Alexander Murray signature and McCallan name. I think you would be hard pressed to find any brand that has never had a recall. As far as the pill accusation, if he did send this out in a news letter he sure is treading on thin ice.

posted by In_vin_veritas on Jul 02, 2012 at 10:52:25 pm     #   2 people liked this

Thanks for posting this Gemini and thanks jr- saved me a trip on the web to read this for myself.
What is really interesting is this little tidbit: "Our prices are very competitive with any prices you will find outside of SylvaniaVET. This does not include any rebates or free goods that accompany a purchase of these products from us and of course we are here 24/7 to answer your questions or concerns."
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.... So, was this a legit warning from Sylvania Vet or another chance to make a buck off some poor souls who scare easily? Someone better hope that the big box stores don't get wind of the accusations set forth in this vet's newsletter.

posted by golddustwoman on Jul 02, 2012 at 11:59:43 pm     #   1 person liked this

Would say check the BBB but as we have learned in the past they refuse to take complaints or rate vets. So much for looking out for the consumer.

posted by Linecrosser on Jul 03, 2012 at 01:43:08 am     #  

slowsol posted at 08:48:25 PM on Jul 02, 2012:

Where does his intimate knowledge of a pet food manufacturer's process come from? He doesn't happen to have a dog in this fight does he? (excuse the pun)

He's a DVM; ask him which college he got his degree from.

I don't know what your problem is Slowsol, but for my money you can shove your asinine comments where the sun don't shine.

posted by madjack on Jul 03, 2012 at 09:08:15 am     #   1 person liked this

So, was this a legit warning from Sylvania Vet or another chance to make a buck off some poor souls who scare easily?

A real conspiracy if I ever saw one.

Dr. Esplin produces the newsletter in service to his clients. If you don't like it, by all means don't read it and feel free to air you ignorant opinion to all and sundry. I note that, as usual, when you have no idea about something (such as veterinary medicine) you never hesitate to sound off.

posted by madjack on Jul 03, 2012 at 09:15:33 am     #  

Whoa, looks like someone hit a sore spot. ^^

Not to defend slowsol's attacking of the vet's knowledge but we've switched vets more than once because they were pushing their higher priced food or medication and gave us a hard time for trying to shop around for a better price. Regardless of whether or not he's simply providing a service to his clients, the reality is that he's making more money if they buy these items from him.

We recently went through a patch where our dog was experiencing stomach issues with his usual dog food. We tried the Costco brand (among many others) because, as oldhometown posted, most of the reviews online are that it's above average.

posted by idinspired on Jul 03, 2012 at 09:25:42 am     #   1 person liked this

Earlier in the year the Plain Dealer had an article on big box stores getting into the pet med business; Sylvania VET is not alone in expressing concern about the unauthorized distribution of meds by places like Target, Walgreens and Costco.

posted by bam2 on Jul 03, 2012 at 09:34:24 am     #  

Just my opinion, (and we all know about opinions) but I'd guess that the Dr. is worried that Costco might cut into his business. With a big fancy place like Sylvania Vet. the overhead must be high.

posted by JeepMaker on Jul 03, 2012 at 10:19:11 am     #   1 person liked this

OK, I found this story online: http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2012/01/vets_scramble_as_retailers_jum.html

What I do not understand is how can people by meds online or at the big box stores without a prescription? The story states that vets do not have to provide pet owners with written prescriptions? At least Sylvania Vet is offering to write a prescription, I'll give them that.
I am also not real happy that the drugs are coming from ??????...... The drug companies should make them available to traditional pharmacies, only to be filled with valid prescriptions.
It seems the main issue though is that vets are losing a quarter of their income because the drugs are available at various sources now. So, do I believe what the vets allege that the drugs are inherently suspicious if I do not choose to pay higher prices at their clinic? I just do not know.......... It is the same issue I have when vets use drugs off label- not tested on the animals. I had a male sheltie 6 years ago who developed a horrible cough over nite. I took him to my vet and unfortunately he had congestive heart failure. To make a long story short, $170 and 5 hours later, my dog (who was 13 at the time) went into cardiac arrest in my arms.
Now, this was not the vet's fault that he passed, my little guy was old. The issue I have is that the drugs- a water pill and heart med.- cost me 3 times as much than it did for my step dad who had congestive heart failure for several years! Yes, my sheltie was given the EXACT SAME meds my step dad was on- of course, at a dose based on his weight- but the same med just the same.
It is a complex issue that each of us have to think about when giving meds to our pets. I am not calling anything a "conspiracy," but I have a huge issue with a vet (or a doctor for that matter) putting out information, not explaining or linking materials that show where the info came from, and then pushing their own drugs in the same sentence. It would have been nice if Sylvania Vet would have disseminated the info and warnings without the personal "buy your meds here" ad.

posted by golddustwoman on Jul 03, 2012 at 10:46:06 am     #  

madjack posted at 09:08:15 AM on Jul 03, 2012:
slowsol posted at 08:48:25 PM on Jul 02, 2012:

Where does his intimate knowledge of a pet food manufacturer's process come from? He doesn't happen to have a dog in this fight does he? (excuse the pun)

He's a DVM; ask him which college he got his degree from.

I don't know what your problem is Slowsol, but for my money you can shove your asinine comments where the sun don't shine.

I liked your comment because I appreciate your response. I see you're a little touchy.

As you may not know, or care, Kirkland brand pet food is considered a good quality, mid grade pet food. Sylvania Vet (as with most vets) sell a food brand in their office. Most people with common sense would question this vet's accusations considering he is directly competing with Costco's pet food sales.

I find it in very poor taste to openly condemn Costco's pet food when many brands of pet food have had recalls. Especially when you are trying to hock your own premium pet food. This is a scare tactic. Just because he has DVM after his name, doesn't make him the end all/be all on pet food or nutritional quality of food. Our personal vet recommended Costco for our dogs.

posted by slowsol on Jul 03, 2012 at 10:57:54 am     #   3 people liked this

Golddust,

Our vet actually recommended that we go get our puppy's regular shots from Andersons. She said the only one they really need to give is the rabies and such, but all other's can be gotten at Andersons. It also helps that my wife was a vet tech for many years before she changed careers, so she knows what's shes doing.

posted by lfrost2125 on Jul 03, 2012 at 11:16:41 am     #  

I've taken my little guy to Sylvania Vet for many years and have nothing but high praise for everyone there.

They've provided outstanding care for him. I gladly pay for them to administer all of his flea/tick/heartworm meds, vaccinations, nail clips, regular checkups, etc. Aside from it being my way of "rewarding" their practice, his complete history is with them so there is no chance of me forgetting to mention something done elsewhere - especially in the event of an emergency.

Proper care of pets is expensive. It's a budgeted item like everything else in our household.

posted by Foodie on Jul 03, 2012 at 12:14:37 pm     #   1 person liked this

That Plain Dealer article is filled with bullshit:

It may also be hurting the pets, who can suffer when their medications are not closely supervised.

So.....millions of human beings get their prescriptions filled from those dreaded "big box" retailers every day, but somehow doing the same for your dog or cat is "unsupervised" and unsafe? WTF??? Last time I looked, I still needed a prescription from an MD or DVM to get the stuff behind the pharmacist's counter, so I have no idea what this means.

Vets also warn that retailers may be purchasing medicine from unverified sources.

Right. Because "big box" retailers would just fucking love a big fat lawsuit over poor suppliers peddling drugs that kill dogs...or people. One of my great mentors in radio...Dennis Staples (of "Kelly & Staples" WRQN fame) died after he received tainted heparin at his medically supervised dialysis facility. I'm sure that heparin was from a "verified supplier", yet....he was killed. So spare me the whole "we control the supply chain" crap.

Once again, most of the medicine at Target/WalMart/Kroger is for human consumption...so why can't a dog get the same (dosage appropriate) medicine? No reason, IMO.

Unverified sources my ass. The veterinarian has more "unverified sources" than any big box store.

And as drug sales go away, vets are raising professional fees, possibly putting their services out of the reach of some pet owners. "When we can't charge for our pharmaceutical products, everything else goes up," said Pam Pohlman, owner of the Bay Village Animal Clinic.

Well...too freakin' bad, toots. Learn how to run your clinic more efficiently. Get a better business adviser. But you'd better plan for the day when people no longer tolerate the hideous markup some vets have pulled on animal lovers for years. This Internet thing is pretty good at providing people lots of information...and guess what??? Those 30 prednisone tablets you tried to sell to me for $27 are $4 at Target or WalMart. Eat it. Maybe if your price was $10, I'd get it at your office just to save the hassle of going another place. $27? Just how far should I have to bend over???? Jeezus....

Denise Tumblin, a Columbus-based consultant who specializes in vet practices, said the shift to giant retailers and online pharmacies means that pet owners may lose out on the information and the knowledge that the veterinarian supplies. "They're asking lay people about what is best for their dog," said Tumblin, owner and president of Wutchiett Tumblin and Associates.

I don't know who the fuck she is talking about, but anyone who asks a Target clerk about their dog's/cat's health is a moron who shouldn't own animals in the first place. Pet owners are going to big box prescription (need a doctor's note) pharmacies because they are tired of getting absolutely jackhammered by outrageous medicine fees for freakin' common medicine. My dog goes on Cephallexin for allergic reactions--500mg, same dose as a human being. That medicine is $4 at Target for a 21 day supply. I had a vet that wanted to charge me $35.

I will say this: my vet at least matches the lowest price I can get for Frontline. Sure--I'll buy it from you with that deal. But the generic pill prices make me see blood red when I know damn good and well they are giving me the same medicine I can get elsewhere much cheaper.

I want the best for my pet. I have pet insurance. I get him top of the line food. I'm not opposed to spending money. But I will be damned if I will bend over and just take it because someone has a "DVM" after their name. That person isn't necessarily a saint just because they take care of sick animals.

And if any of the vets I had over the years refused to give me a prescription, that would be the last time I would go to that practice. I paid for the diagnosis. I paid for your recommendation for medicine. Refuse to understand my economic needs (I can't afford your prices for medicine)? Screw you. If that's what you depend upon for your profit margin, too effing bad.

posted by oldhometown on Jul 03, 2012 at 12:27:32 pm     #   8 people liked this

We just had our girl in last week for places she was licking. They put her on an antibiotic, but suggested we get the Rx filled at Kroger so that it would be free. Even so, it was a $350 trip. And our MAIN reason for going was her annual shots/visit, which she didn't get because of the other things they gave her.

We typically get our heartworm/flea meds online. The company we buy through contacts our vet to get permission/prescription. They don't just dispense willy-nilly.

Today our little guy goes to the vet for HIS annual shots/checkup. Let's hope this one goes better. sigh

posted by gamegrrl on Jul 03, 2012 at 12:38:52 pm     #  

Good luck gamegrrl! Thanks for the major laugh oldhometown, I needed that and I agree with you 100 percent. My dog was put on prednisone as well and it was $27 at the vet. I am going to ask for a prescription and go elsewhere. If vets would lower their prices period- on visits, etc, maybe we would go there more often.

posted by golddustwoman on Jul 03, 2012 at 12:58:24 pm     #  

I switched to Kirkland/costco a few months ago after it being recommended and doing a lot of research online. I'm glad that isn't my vet. I would lose a lot of respect for him.

posted by tlm0000 on Jul 03, 2012 at 05:31:13 pm     #  

We switched our three dogs and two cats to Kirkland some years back with very positive results. We would not feed anything else. Its not the money. Its the quality. Coats improved and allergies disappeared.

Our vet, Dr. Brent Coutz at Spring Meadows Animal Hospital in Holland, dispenses medications at very reasonable prices or gives us a scrip so we can get it wherever we can find it cheapest. He has no problem with Kirkland brand pet foods.

Esplin's screaming because he doesn't like the competition. Its rumored that he's quite a price gouger. His accusations about the recall seem to be overblown, probably unfounded about the drug dispensing, and demonstrate a lack of integrity. A vet to stay away from.

While we are on the subject of pets I have a 6 mo old male cat, neutered, all shots, tatooed and microchipped that desperately needs a home. He came to us as a stray. He's living outside which I just hate. I can't get him in the house with our bunch. Our 17-3/4 lb tom cat just wants to kill him. We didnt ask for this cat and we are trying to do our best for him. He's litter trained. We kept him locked up in the garage for 48 hrs post neutering surgery and he was fastidious in using the litter pan. He's extremely affectionate, 7 lbs., grey tiger with white patches, big Siamese ears and orange eyes. Name's Edgar. Would most likely adjust to dogs as he's not bothered by ours. Indoor home only. No money, just a $50 donation to a pet charity of your choice.

I apologise for the hijack, but I'm desperate.

posted by holland on Jul 03, 2012 at 07:46:39 pm     #  

"I find it in very poor taste to openly condemn Costco's pet food when many brands of pet food have had recalls. Especially when you are trying to hock your own premium pet food. This is a scare tactic."

Bingo! That pretty much sums it up for me, slowsol. Also, when Esplin alleges Costco is breaking the law, has he reported the company to authorities? I doubt it. It's all part of the "scare tactic."

"Proper care of pets is expensive. It's a budgeted item like everything else in our household."

So the more expensive something is, foodie, the higher the quality? I don't think anyone begrudges their pet good veterinary care and quality food. Both are available without breaking the bank. Pet owners are becoming more sophisticated in the care of their pets. They see through the bs of some vets, i.e., Esplin, who promote their costly meds when they can be purchased more cheaply somewhere else. I also have bought meds for my pets at drug stores. I remember buying a common sedative from a drug store for a dog years ago for thunderstorms. My vet had no problem writing me a prescription for it so I could buy it for less.

posted by bikerdude on Jul 03, 2012 at 07:50:30 pm     #   1 person liked this

"So the more expensive something is, foodie, the higher the quality?"

Do you see that statement in my post?

We choose to have Sylvania Vet provide all of our dog's needs because they've proven to us they're up to the task and know what the hell they're doing. That's a choice we make and we budget accordingly. Simple as that.

No need for you to get your bloomers in a wad over it bd.

posted by Foodie on Jul 04, 2012 at 05:22:52 am     #  

"Proper care of pets is expensive."

I think every pet owner knows that. Bob Esplin needs more clients like you so he doesn't have to slander big box stores like Costco for allegedly breaking the laws just to get people's business.

"Esplin's screaming because he doesn't like the competition. Its rumored that he's quite a price gouger. His accusations about the recall seem to be overblown, probably unfounded about the drug dispensing, and demonstrate a lack of integrity. A vet to stay away from."

I couldn't have said it better, Holland.

posted by bikerdude on Jul 04, 2012 at 06:36:55 pm     #  

Foodie posted at 12:14:37 PM on Jul 03, 2012:

I've taken my little guy to Sylvania Vet for many years and have nothing but high praise for everyone there.

They've provided outstanding care for him. I gladly pay for them to administer all of his flea/tick/heartworm meds, vaccinations, nail clips, regular checkups, etc. Aside from it being my way of "rewarding" their practice, his complete history is with them so there is no chance of me forgetting to mention something done elsewhere - especially in the event of an emergency.

Proper care of pets is expensive. It's a budgeted item like everything else in our household.

I don't have anything against Sylvania Vet. We used to use them, and were satisfied with the quality of care.

(We changed to another vet because my dog got spooked in the waiting area...it's weird, but he reacts oddly in places with high ceilings. There must be something with echos or sound that spooks him. He reacted the same way in PetSmart once.)

Again, I didn't specifically change vets because I was upset with quality or price...it was strictly to test out a place with different acoustics.

But, once we changed, it was a huge eye opener to see the price difference for the same quality vet care!

I know you probably didn't mean it to sound that way, but it came across as a little insulting towards anyone who might question the pricing at Sylvania Vet. My dogs get great care - we just don't pay as much for it anymore.

(Not that I mind paying a fair price, of course! It's just difficult to determine what a fair price is unless you comparison shop a little.) :)

posted by mom2 on Jul 04, 2012 at 09:17:03 pm     #   2 people liked this

The Costco magazine says that they will soon start selling tailored men's clothing, such as suits. Look for the Men's Warehouse spokesguy to issue a statement disparaging Costco's fabric safety and quality ... I guarantee it!

posted by viola on Jul 04, 2012 at 11:15:47 pm     #   2 people liked this

Didn't intend for it to sound insulting to anyone for any reason. We go to Sylvania Vet for the reasons I listed. No different than anyone here choosing a specific doctor for their health care needs. If you are satisfied with the care, you'll keep going even if you thought it may be less expensive elsewhere.

We tried several other vets including one that is very close to home. We were not comfortable with the level of care or expertise (lack thereof IMHO).

As I stated previously, it's a choice. I work with people who refuse to shop at Costco but choose Sam's Club instead because, in their opinion, Costco is too expensive and "snooty" - their words, not mine. I find that odd but I certainly don't take offense to their choice.

posted by Foodie on Jul 05, 2012 at 08:42:47 am     #  

If we hadn't had a specfic reason for trying to test out a new vet, I probably would have stayed at Sylvania Vet too. I don't tend to switch medical providers of any sort unless there is a problem.

(I bet most of you have never heard of someone having to use acoustics as part of their criteria in choosing a vet. LOL. But, changing to a vet that has standard sized ceilings in the whole building seems to have cured the issue...and we avoid taking him to PetSmart, pole barns, and any other place that might cause the same anxiety. Makes me wonder what happened to him before he was rescued...he also fears thunder and fireworks, of course.)

posted by mom2 on Jul 05, 2012 at 10:08:45 am     #  

That is an odd affliction mom2. Makes you wonder why. Our little guy never used to be bothered by fireworks or thunderstorms. Then, all of a sudden a couple of years ago, he became terrified of both. About the same time, he also began reacting the same way to anything that "beeps" - including beeps he hears on TV. He immediately heads for your lap.

Yet, he thinks he's a Rottweiler and will defend his territory as though he is.

posted by Foodie on Jul 05, 2012 at 10:49:11 am     #  

From the Plain Dealer article:

"Research shows that veterinary visits for cats and dogs have been on the decline for at least a decade. While a soft economy could be the main reason, vets also point to retail and online medicine sales."

Great for the pet owner, who has more options now. I expect things to get worse for vets who slam stores that sell prescription drugs more cheaply. Just keep increasing your costs and you'll price yourself right out of business.

posted by bikerdude on Jul 06, 2012 at 01:35:12 am     #  

After reading some of the comments here why would anyone want to take their animal to this Sylvania vet...I wouldn't take my animals there no way....Has there ever been an investigation done on the care there???

posted by italiajojo05 on Jul 06, 2012 at 08:48:46 am     #  

I don't really know about this Sylvania vet, other than what I've been reading here. If anyone has had any actual bad care for your pet, could you please specify? Could help someone make a decision as to go there or not.

I had my former vet for 17 yrs. Yes, there were a few things I wasn't happy with, but I stayed. As his business grew, I started to notice a lack of courtesy and compassion. Made me wonder if the quality of care had also changed. Sadly, all it took for me to finally leave was a rude attitude from one of the assistants. If they treat the customer that way, how are they treating the pets.

lynn

posted by lynn on Jul 06, 2012 at 10:40:16 am     #  

italiajojo05: I haven't seen any posts regarding improper care here - just opinions mainly regarding Dr. Esplin's "slamming of Costco."

lynn: I can only speak for myself. Our dog has received tremendous care from everyone at Sylvania Vet - from the techs who trim his nails to the vets who examine and treat him - including, on a couple of occassions Dr. Bob Esplin.

A few years back, our little guy had a couple of neurological issues that scared the heck out of us. Sylvania Vet examined him, gave temporary treatment and immediately referred us to a specialist in Michigan who was able to treat and reverse the issue.

We had another possible cancer scare with him about a year later (thankfully, it turned out to be negative) and, again, Sylvania Vet ran the tests they could and referred us to another specialist in Michigan.

Both times, our primary vet at SV stayed in touch with us (evenings and weekends) to see how our dog was doing, went in to the office after hours (on more than one occassion) to transmit another set of x-rays to the specialist in MI and retrieve other pertinent info for them.

After treatment when follow up x-rays were necessary and requested by the specialists, SV shot the x-rays and electronically transmitted them to save us the long trip(s) - at no charge I might add.

That's my $0.02 about just a part of our total experience with SV. Are they pricey? I have no idea since I haven't shopped around. Could I buy his flea/tick/heartworm meds elsewhere or online? Absolutely. Am I guaranteed it's the exact same product I get from SV? Absolutely not.

After all the tremendous, hands on care we've received from SV, do we really care if their prices may be higher? Again, absolutely not.

posted by Foodie on Jul 06, 2012 at 11:44:27 am     #   1 person liked this

Esplin's screaming because he doesn't like the competition. Its rumored that he's quite a price gouger. His accusations about the recall seem to be overblown, probably unfounded about the drug dispensing, and demonstrate a lack of integrity. A vet to stay away from.

And you would know this because you've done a thorough economic study of the Sylvania Vet office and conducted several hundred personal interviews with their clients. Tell me all knowing one, how many animals have been lost at Sylvania Vet?

The key words in your vindictive diatribe: Esplin's screaming because he doesn't like the competition.
Dr. Bob Esplin is hardly screaming, and whether or not he enjoys or even thinks about the competition does not affect the validity of the statements in his newsletter.

Its rumored that he's quite a price gouger.
Key word: rumored. This is no more than cheap talk that you heard from someone, somewhere. Not fact; rumor and nothing more.

His accusations about the recall seem to be overblown, probably unfounded about the drug dispensing, and demonstrate a lack of integrity.
Again, seem to be overblown, probably unfounded. Just how would you know? I see nothing overblown here, and the only unfounded accusation I see is yours: ...and demonstrate a lack of integrity.

Bob Esplin demonstrates more integrity by accident than you do on purpose.

A vet to stay away from.

I think he's a vet you should stay away from. I don't think Esplin or his staff would get along well with you.

Dr. Esplin and his staff have always provided excellent care, and I recommend the Sylvania Vet office to anyone who needs a vet. Anyone except Holland, that is.

posted by madjack on Jul 06, 2012 at 11:48:49 am     #   1 person liked this

italiajojo05 posted at 08:48:46 AM on Jul 06, 2012:

After reading some of the comments here why would anyone want to take their animal to this Sylvania vet...I wouldn't take my animals there no way....Has there ever been an investigation done on the care there???

Yes, in fact an investigation has been done. Well, two so far. My own investigation is ongoing, but in ten years time I've found nothing but excellent service at Sylvania Vet. Foodie did the other one, and it looks like the results are similar.

posted by madjack on Jul 06, 2012 at 11:52:57 am     #   1 person liked this

I never had a problem with the vet care we received.

(Yes, I'm a former customer, but as mentioned above my reason for changing practices was not due to the quality of care.)

posted by mom2 on Jul 06, 2012 at 12:24:24 pm     #  

Not sure why Dr Bob elicits such a strong response. Are some actually suggesting SylvaniaVet not advise their clients of recent dog food recalls?

Diamond, one of largest dog food makers, has expanded the recall 8 times in recent months to cover >22,000,000 tons of dog food; should SylvaniaVet simply ignore the recall since it does not involve a product they sell? Given that many SylvaniaVet clients don't know who makes their dog food, is it really bad form to list the 9+ brands (one of which is Kirkland) involved in the recall? If I had a pet, I'd have no issues with a Vet advising of pet food recalls in a newsletter, seems like common sense.

posted by bam2 on Jul 06, 2012 at 12:47:57 pm     #  

Not sure why Dr Bob elicits such a strong response. Are some actually suggesting SylvaniaVet not advise their clients of recent dog food recalls?

Diamond, one of largest dog food makers, has expanded the recall 8 times in recent months to cover >22,000,000 tons of dog food; should SylvaniaVet simply ignore the recall since it does not involve a product they sell? Given that many SylvaniaVet clients don't know who makes their dog food, is it really bad form to list the 9+ brands (one of which is Kirkland) involved in the recall? If I had a pet, I'd have no issues with a Vet advising of pet food recalls in a newsletter, seems like common sense.

posted by bam2 on Jul 06, 2012 at 12:47:57 pm     #  

Sorry for the double post and pardon the exaggerated claim, I meant to type >22,000 tons in the recall...

posted by bam2 on Jul 06, 2012 at 12:56:20 pm     #  

Are some actually suggesting SylvaniaVet not advise their clients of recent dog food recalls?

...should SylvaniaVet simply ignore the recall since it does not involve a product they sell?

Ummm...no and no. But that doesn't appear to be what happened here. Advising clients of pet food recall is completely within a vet's ethical parameters.

IMO, this is pretty-strong "smack-talking" more than advising ( http://www.sylvaniavet.com/blog/fyi-news/july-2012-for-pets-sake-fyi#recall ):

For years Diamond has been what we call a wannabe pet food company. (name calling...nice.) That is they wannabe a premium manufacturer but they don’t do the necessary research or quality control to be considered in that category. (says who? source?) The Diamond brand food would have you believe they are just as good as all premium diets but this is not the case. (why?) In reality they are nothing more than a midlevel food manufacturer that not only makes their brand name product but many other companies lines of pet food as well. (midlevel seems better than "crap" and who cares if they make more than one brand of food?) One doesn’t know if all the foods they make are the same or if compromises in the name of cost are made. (proof of compromises?)

...And then a little further down...

On the other hand you have companies like Diamond that just make foods and claims about their diets. (so what...and nutrition/ingredients are on the bags) Another question you should ask is what do famous people like Paul Newman, Rachael Ray or Dick VanPatton know about feeding pets? Who makes the food for them? What research can they show to prove that their products are as good as they claim? (a nutrition analysis...located on the side of the bag?)

----------

This is simply informing and advising??? I don't think so:

Advising: "Pet owners be aware that a recall has been issued for bags of ____________ Dog Food (variety, variety, variety, variety, batch #'s __________, ________, _________). You can directly link to the manufacturer's site HERE to find out more and request a refund. We at _________ recommend only high quality foods for your best friend...ask us anytime for our recommendations specific for your pets needs."

Smack-talking: "These foods all suck. We will ramble on and on about "wannabe" dog foods (without citing any outside sources), then recommend only 4 brands...which we conveniently happen to sell. We will imply that to feed your pet anything else is tantamount to killing your pet with substandard nutrition. And don't even get us started on receiving a prescription for a common medicine and taking it to a big box store--that's also bad because the pharmacist who fills the prescription doesn't know dog physiology--although he/she is only carrying out medication orders from me (who does know dog pet physiology)...and that's bad...for some reason."

See the difference?

posted by oldhometown on Jul 06, 2012 at 01:20:54 pm     #   5 people liked this

oldhometown.. You are killing me here... Stop! My ribs can't take it anymore.
I agree with you wholeheartedly- a warning is a warning... It is NOT infused with "but buy your stuff (food, drugs) here and only here.
Lynn: If you want to know more about Dr. Bob Esplin, do a thorough search on the internet. There are quite a few stories concerning his practice.
I, personally, would not take my dead dog there because of internet research and the information I have gleamed here about the costs of vet care there. Just my opinion.

posted by golddustwoman on Jul 06, 2012 at 08:40:01 pm     #   1 person liked this

"I don't really know about this Sylvania vet, other than what I've been reading here. If anyone has had any actual bad care for your pet, could you please specify?"

"If you want to know more about Dr. Bob Esplin, do a thorough search on the internet. There are quite a few stories concerning his practice."

Yelp, a user review online service, provides comments on vets. You may want to look at that and other reviews. Just don't go to the Better Business Bureau, since it refuses to accept negative reviews of veterinarians. Therefore, every time you check a vet's record on the BBB, you'll only see positive reviews. Totally unfair, but we've already talked about that on a previous thread. Wonder if the BBB's president, Dick Eppstein, ever fixed that, as he had promised Golddustwoman in that thread that he would, haha. I doubt it.

"Are some actually suggesting SylvaniaVet not advise their clients of recent dog food recalls?"

No. But I think he really stepped over the line when he said Costco is allegedly breaking the law. I have a feeling he has statistics on how much of the dog and cat food, as well as meds, Costco has been getting, and coming out of his pocket.

"Smack-talking: These foods all suck. We will ramble on and on about "wannabe" dog foods (without citing any outside sources), then recommend only 4 brands...which we conveniently happen to sell."

Good point, oldhometown. I don't think it's wise for vets to be so arrogant as to think we don't have minds of our own and can think for ourselves when it comes to dog and cat foods. We're not stupid.

"Not sure why Dr Bob elicits such a strong response."

I guess he's just one of those people you either love or hate. No inbetween. Personally, I know of too many people who were unhappy with him or Sylvania Vet and never went back. Based on that, I wouldn't go there.

posted by bikerdude on Jul 06, 2012 at 10:10:47 pm     #  

I find Dr. Bob to be very much like Claudia from Claudia's Market, or whatever name she is using these days. They are quick to slam anything that doesn't fit their view of the world or line their own pockets. They also tend to be very pushy.

posted by MoreThanRhetoric on Jul 06, 2012 at 10:42:15 pm     #   1 person liked this

^^ excellent comparison. They probably both have an enthusiastic fan base, and the rest of us just get creeped out by their tactics.

posted by viola on Jul 06, 2012 at 11:37:37 pm     #  

this is starting to sound like politics.

posted by Linecrosser on Jul 07, 2012 at 12:21:13 am     #  

All very good responses, thanks.

Lynn

posted by lynn on Jul 07, 2012 at 08:19:14 am     #  

Sylvania Vet gave a friends dog 2 wrong vaccinations in the same spot. Dog was so sick the next day he wouldn't even walk. Do you think Dr Bob even called to apologize or ask about the dog? No he did not. When called with the dogs condition said he was aware of the mistake but never apologized. This was a 5lb puppy. IMO that is unacceptable.

posted by trixanne on Jul 07, 2012 at 10:33:09 am     #  

This thread has been timely for me. Our dog has been having intestinal issues on and off for months and in the last two days we've been to the vet 3 times. It's looking like he has Addison's disease (thankfully not as bad as it could have been) and now we're going to have to give him Prednisone every day, like golddustwoman.

Thankfully we do NOT go to Sylvania Vet, for all of the reasons listed here. Looks like our Prednisone is going to be $10.50 a month, which isn't bad. Can anyone recommend another place to go locally for pet meds that might be cheaper? Or is 1800Petmeds the way to go?

posted by idinspired on Jul 07, 2012 at 10:46:32 am     #  

Not sure it's the same prednisone but I got my script filled at Meijers for about 3 bucks.

posted by lfrost2125 on Jul 07, 2012 at 10:57:22 am     #  

Also not sure if your vet gave you a script like a actual doctor would but ours does if we ask. She always gives us the option of having it filled at the vet or at a pharmacy if possible.

posted by lfrost2125 on Jul 07, 2012 at 10:58:40 am     #  

"Can anyone recommend another place to go locally for pet meds that might be cheaper?"

Kroger lists prednisone as $4 per month on its website http://www.kroger.com/pharmacy/Pages/pet_meds.aspx.

Sorry, idinspired, for your dog's illness. Good luck and I hope your dog feels a lot better soon.

posted by bikerdude on Jul 09, 2012 at 01:07:02 am     #  

Most Rx's charged about the same price for most meds. Prednisone is a very cheap drug. Where it gets dicey is with cardiac drugs and antipsychotics. There was one drug that we gave our dog the last few months that he was alive that is very similar to Exelon wich is a dementia drug. We had to buy it thru the Vet and it was 80 bucks a month and did NOT work..I have no idea what the mark up on meds is that are dispensed thru the office. Don't let anyone twist your arm into some of these high priced drugs. I really believe that some Vets prey on the emotions of owners when they are most vulnerable.

posted by RockChick on Jul 09, 2012 at 10:31:58 pm     #