My problems with Gayton Animal Hospital, Richmond, Va.

I have used Gayton Animal Hospital for almost two years.  In that time I have been mostly happy with the care they have provided for my dog.  However, a recent incident has proven that there is a serious lack of professionalism in this business.

Recently, I made an appointment for my dog’s annual shots and checkup.  The night before the appointment, I received a call from Gayton Animal Hospital telling me there was no need for me to come in because they were no longer going to treat my dog.  When I enquired why, I was told, I guess because of his age.  I was certain that this must be a mistake.  I requested the Doctor who normally saw Keyser to call me so I could get a clear understanding of what was going on.  Over the course of four days and two more calls to the Vet, I never received a return call from anyone at Gayton Animal Hospital.  Following are copies of a letter I received from Gayton Animal Hospital and my reply.

I would recommend anyone who wants good communication with their Vet to steer clear of Gayton Animal Hospital.

Following is the letter I received from Gayton Animal Hospital and my reply.


Below is my reply to Gayton Animal Hospital.

Dr. Tisnado
Gayton Animal Hospital
9764 Gayton Road
Richmond, Va 23238

September 19, 2009

Dr. Tisnado

I am in receipt of your letter dated September 16, 2009.  I am in complete agreement that open communication is essential for an effective veterinary-client-patient relationship.

It is this exact issue that I have with Gayton Animal Hospital and Dr. Tisnado.

In the course of four business days, no one from Gayton Animal Hospital has been able to find a moment to call me and explain why Dr. Tisnado will no longer treat Keyser because of his age.

On August 12, 2009 Keyser and I visited Gayton Animal Hospital for his annual check-up and shots.  Keyser had also recently began having issues walking.  During that visit Dr. Tisnado discovered that Keyser most likely had a ruptured disc that was causing issues with his ability to control the back half of his body.  She decided to wait on his annual shots until after this issue had been addressed.  That day, I took Keyser to a surgeon recommended by Dr. Tisnado who agreed with her assessment.  The following day I took Keyser to northern Virginia for an MRI.  The next day Keyser underwent surgery for four ruptured discs.

Since then, Keyer has been recovering well and has recently even been able to walk up and down stairs.  On September, 15 2009 Keyser and I had a follow-up appointment with the surgeon who was very encouraged with Keyser’s progress.  I then decided it was time to return to Gayton Animal Hospital for his annual shots.

At 3:08PM on September 15, I called Gayton Animal Hospital to make this appointment.  The appointment was set for 9AM the next morning, Wednesday.  At 6:44PM Tuesday evening I received a call from a young lady at Gayton Animal Hospital and her message to me was effectively the following:  “There is no need for you to come in tomorrow, Dr. Tisnado will no longer see Keyser.”  To say I was shocked would be an understatement.  I was clearly upset.  I enquired as to why and was told “I guess because of his age”.  I was extremely shocked and upset at this point but, I hoped there was some miscommunication.  I did not want to believe that this was true.  I could not believe that Dr. Tisnado was no longer going to treat Keyser because of his age.  Especially since I had just been through so much with him.  I requested that Dr. Tisnado call me so that we could discuss this and hopefully clear it up.

After not hearing from Dr. Tisnado, I called Gayton Animal Hospital again on Wednesday September, 16 to again request some clarification on this issue.  I was polite describing the situation to the lady who answered the phone and she was very helpful.  She assured me that I would receive a return call from either Dr. Tisnado or the office manager later that day.

On Friday September, 18 having not heard from anyone at Gayton Animal Hospital, I called to once again gain clarification.  Again, I was polite in explaining the situation and asked to speak with Dr. Tisnado.  I was placed on hold and when she returned I was told that I would be receiving a letter explaining the situation.  I did inform her that I felt the level of communication from Gayton Animal Hospital was unacceptable.  Which it has been.

As it stands, I understand that Gayton Animal Hospital had already made the decision to no longer treat Keyser because of his advanced age.  No one from Gayton Animal Hospital has been able to find a moment during four business days to call and clear this up.

I would like Keyser’s records mailed to me and I will deliver them to his new veterinarian.  I find the actions of Gayton Animal Hospital and the lack of communication to be completely unacceptable and unprofessional.

I will be sure to share my experience with Gayton Animal Hospital with as many people as I can.

For any Veterinarian to refuse to treat a pet because of their advanced age is morally bankrupt.


Kevin Mahler

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