VCA SouthPaws Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center

8500 Arlington Blvd
Fairfax, VA 22031703-752-9100
Checkbook's Top Rating (Checkbook's top rating)
Quality NO
Price NO**

General Info for VCA SouthPaws Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center

Animals practice treats
Sign-in or Subscribe

Prices for VCA SouthPaws Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center

Checkbook's price comparison score what is this?
?

Consumer Ratings for VCA SouthPaws Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center — 214 Ratings

Percent of customers who rated service "superior" for: | = average for all veterinarians
Register here and see full info on VCA SouthPaws Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center, FREE.
Overall care and advice what is this?
?
?%    
Listening to/communicating with you what is this?
?
?%    
Arranging to see you quickly what is this?
?
?%    
Giving helpful advice by phone what is this?
?
?%    
Keeping down office waiting time what is this?
?
?%    
Maintaining pleasant office and staff what is this?
?
?%    
Giving prevention/self-help advice what is this?
?
?%    
Helping keep pet's medical costs down what is this?
?
?%    
Spending enough time with you what is this?
?
?%    
Apparent competence/thoroughness what is this?
?
?%    

Consumer Comments for VCA SouthPaws Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center

Register here and see full info on VCA SouthPaws Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center, FREE.
Consumer from Springfield, VA
Sep 28, 2019
I write this with grave disappointment in the VCA Southpaws team. We have been there several times with many animals. We are current clients of Dr. Schaefer for one of our dogs who has lymphoma. We like her. The support staff is okay, but not invested in their commitments. However, on Sept. 24, 2019, I placed a call there because our other dog ate my husband's mult-vitamin. We knew there was a toxicity possibility with some vitamins for animals and we weren't sure what exactly to do first. This was the beginning of a horrible encounter with the ER at Southpaws. The receptionist who answered the call responded to our question about what we should do with, "I don't know." She sounded like we were inconveniencing her. After a few seconds of my silence, she added, "You have to call poison control." I responded that that was what we would do. She was about to offer the number but we had already obtained it in the time that we were on the call. We called two different numbers: one was not equipped for animals and referred us to ASPCA. We were on hold there for five minutes before deciding to call Southpaws back to come in. We didn't want to wait too long in case there was a problem. The same receptionist answered and I explained that we called two numbers and that we were holding with ASPCA. She replied, "Oh, that's the wrong number. Let me give the one we use." I told her we didn't want to wait any longer in case there was an issue and that we were coming there in about twenty minutes. She said she would have our chart ready. Upon arrival, she did not have anything prepared. I gave her our names and that we had called. She looked up our dog's name again and stated that we had to do paperwork because he hadn't been there in a couple of years. I reminded her that she said she'd have the chart ready. She put us in a room with the paperwork to complete. This made us feel like she was unconcerned with this ER visit. Did she have somewhere else to be? I brought the paperwork out to her at the front desk. The doctor was there chatting with her. Why wasn't she in the room with us regardless of whether paperwork was updated? Our dog was already in the system. This was an ER visit, not a general appointment. The doctor followed us into the room at that point. About 10 minutes had passed since our arrival to that point. She said she was given the incorrect weight of 30 lbs instead of 16 lbs. from the receptionist. She explained that she had calculated toxicity levels from the vitamin bottle we gave her based upon the incorrect weight. Note that no licensed veterinary technicians visited our dog and no one took a correct weight on him. The receptionist and the doctor were our only contacts at that point. After some discussion with the doctor, she didn't think their was reason for concern but stated it also depended upon whether our dog had digested the capsule already. Since we were already there, we asked if it was appropriate to induce vomiting to avoid complications. She agreed that it was appropriate. We had to ask her about what symptoms and effects to look for when we returned home after treatment. She did not offer this. She replied that sedation was the main side effect. She took our dog into the back treatment area to induce vomiting. Approximately, 10-15 minutes later, a staff member brought him back. He was ambulatory, but within 30 seconds of the staff member leaving, our dog collapsed sideways and could not get up, nor raise his head. We were shocked. I yelled, "What is wrong with him?" I tried to get him up and screamed, "What the F- is wrong with him?" My husband went out to the receptionist and told her that something was wrong and to get the doctor. He was crying. The receptionist casually walked into our room and stared at our dog. She is not qualified to make any decisions. We know she is not a licensed technician but an assistant. My husband and I told her to get the doctor now. Again, this incompetent staff person acted as if this was a burden for her and she had no idea of the correct response. The doctor came into the room and I was extremely angry at this point. I yelled, "What the Hell is wrong with my dog?" She was visibly nervous as she took vital of heart and eyes. She informed us that the medicine to induce vomiting is an opiate and that sedation is normal. I told her that this was not normal. I had to suggest, and ask, if it could be reversed. She affirmed that it could and she agreed to get the reversal injection ready and left the room. My husband and I were incredulous over the cavalier attitude of all involved staff, of the inability of anyone to problem-solve, let alone, pay any attention to our dog's condition or treatment response, to offer feedback or useful information without prompting and to act like one actually isn't inconvenienced because they want to leave. By this point I was irate and my husband was choking back tears. Two technicians entered the room to administer to reversal treatment. It was supposed to have noticeable effect within a few minutes. Ten minutes passed and his condition had not improved. No one came back to check on him during that time and no one stayed to watch for signs of improvement or otherwise after it was administered. I rushed out to the lobby where the receptionist still sat with other staff. I insisted loudly that she get the "f-ing doctor now!" I yelled, "What the F-- did you do to my dog?" One support staff member nodded her head negatively and stated, "If you talk to me like that I will call the authorities." My reaction was more than appropriate. I asked her if she wanted to talk about this there or in the room. This was the only way, apparently, to make someone respond to what they should have done prior to this. There was a uniformed police officer sitting in the lobby with his own dog. I should have openly invited him into the room so he could learn why he should not have his dog there. A practice manager and another tech entered the room and a practice manager stated the same thing about not engaging me and our dog (which they already failed to do anyway). The technician confirmed that the reversal should have occurred in a few minutes. I screamed at both of them about this. The practice manager insisted that sedation was normal. She stated that our dog had an abnormal reaction that sometimes occurs. If the staff knew this, they did not communicate this, nor provide supportive care like fluids to replace lost electrolytes from vomiting. Any explanation came at OUR prompting and questions. Answers, clear explanation of treatment, and appropriate supportive care were NOT provided. I was crying as I was held my dog, still limp, and told them both to leave. The practice manager returned ten minutes later with paperwork for us and for our regular vet. She made me sign a copy of the release paper. There was no charge that day. We are not certain if the doctor, who we are sure was a newly licensed one, made a dosing mistake with the opiate by getting the math incorrect or had no idea what appropriate protocol was to get help from a more experienced veterinarian. We won't know. I will add that my husband is a PhD in mathematics and he was nervous about this doctor's lack of confidence around her calculations for toxicity and dosages, based upon her statements to us that she had to keep rechecking her math on these. We left with our dog drunkenly walking out a few hours later from a traumatic experience that should not have happened at all. The worst part is that I informed the practice manager that we wanted to talk to Dr. Schaefer about this event. She never contacted us. No one has called to double check on our dog's well-being. We did everything that we were supposed to do for this situation as responsible pet owners. We went directly to our regular vet from there and she was shocked that our dog was not given supportive care after his response to treatment. We paid our regular vet. This is not the first negative encounter with support staff members at VCA Southpaws who, frankly, display attitude problems, don't listen and do not provide thoughtful care and solutions. When Southpaws was still privately owned, they were much more expensive, but the staff competence was impeccable across the board. It was clear that they all cared about the wellness of the animals that they saw and not about how long they had been there or the irate anger of clients who don't receive basic tenets of care. VCA is part of this problem now. They cut costs and it shows, and it does not excuse any indifference from lazy staff. We will not return there now. I recommend that no one else rely on their ER services. They are too inept to entrust with my animals' health.
Consumer from Washington, DC
Sep 12, 2019
Lots of money for a botched leg operation that required at least 25 visits, countless pills and more than six months until our dog mostly recovered. (She's never been the same.) They owned up to the error and waived some fees but didn't offer to set aside the major expenses or more aggressively help us manage the problem that caused so much pain and near immobility for more than a month.
Consumer from McLean, VA
Feb 06, 2019
Staff was extremely attentive to treating our dog's cancer. His oncologist sent us a sympathy card when our dog died. How sweet was that.

...and 65 more consumer comments for VCA SouthPaws Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center

Page 0 of 4