Don’t go to Crain Veterinary Clinic in Grain Valley, Missouri

No-to-CrainMy family and I travel home every year for the holidays. Every year we have to board our dogs for a few days. We have a Boxer and a Miniature Dachshund. Gunner and Cash, respectively. An odd combination, I admit. For the last 2 years, we have used Crain Veterinary Clinic in Grain Valley, Missouri to take care of our boys. This year, I have had enough. Below is what happened.

When we originally made the decision to use Crain, my sister-in-law warned us about them. She had taken a cat there once for something (the exact reason escapes me at the moment). They gave her an acceptable price and she left the cat. When she returned to pick her cat up, the price had jumped another $300.00. They told her it was because they had tested the cat for a bunch of things and gave it a series of shots. Ordinarily, this would be acceptable practice if the animal needed medical care, but they never called my sister-in-law to approve the charges.

We decided to still use them, but only because we had already made the appointment, and they were the only ones that would let us drop our dogs off on Sunday (I verified this TWICE over the phone prior to booking the stay). When I arrived at the clinic to drop the dogs off, they were closed. I was only stopping through after driving 1,100 miles and still had another 60 to go to meet my family for Christmas. I called the office number, but did not get an answer even though I saw a person inside. I knocked on the door, but they did not answer. I was a little irritated.

I got on my BlackBerry and started searching for another number. I stumbled upon the cell phone number of one of the doctors at the clinic (I love my BlackBerry). The doctor stated it was not their policy to accept animals on Sundays because they were closed and that they only came in on Sundays to care for the animals they already had. After about 15 minutes of arguing, he said that he was on his way to the office anyway and would accept my pets when he got there. When I returned a few days later to pick up my dogs, amazingly enough, the price had increased about $20.00. I was in a hurry, so I did not argue. It seemed to be a legitimate charge, as I recall, but I am not sure what it was. I paid the bill and left.

This year, I decided to use them again. I guess I am a glutton for punishment. Hindsight being 20/20, I should have gone elsewhere. I was quoted a price of $176.00 for boarding and vaccinations (Rabies, Bordetella, and distemper). My wife had told me before I had dropped them off that she had been quoted $156 over the phone. We were short on time, as is usual when traveling for the holidays, so I did not push the issue. Again, probably not a good decision, but it was only $20.00. I showed up with my boys to drop them off on Friday, December 18, 2009. I brought their food, their blankets, and two toys. They might be a little spoiled. I asked if they could share a larger kennel so they could be together. They explained that would not change the price, even though that was not my motivation. They are like our children, and however silly it might sound, I wanted them to at least be with one another while they were there. I said that was not a problem and turned them over.

I was asked if I wanted them bathed before I picked them up. I told them it was not necessary. Gunner gets excited in the car, and as anyone who knows anything about the Boxer breed will attest, this means slobber…and a lot of it. I have become accustomed to bathing them at the destination just for this reason. As I was walking out the door, the lady behind the counter said I needed to call them 30 minutes prior to picking them up so they could have them dry from the bath before they went out in the cold. I was a little taken aback by the comment as I had just told her that I did not want them bathed. I explained a second time that a bath was not necessary because I was just going to have to bathe them again anyway. After that, I left.

On Monday, December 21, 2009, I returned to pick up my boys; I was greeted with a $199 bill. Now I was mad. I made it clear that I had been quoted $176 and that my wife had been quoted $156. When I asked what the additional charge was for, they said for the bath. Ok, do I just not have a firm grasp on reality, or did I not say not once, but twice that I did not want them bathed? I refused the charge. They removed it from the bill leaving a $183 balance. Again I asked why it was not $176. They explained it was for trimming Cash’s nails. This was supposed to be included in the original quote, but they said it was not. I agreed to that charge and handed the lady my credit card. After loading up my boys and their stuff in the car, I went back into the clinic. She gave me my card and my receipt. I asked, “Is that everything?” She said that it was and I left.

On the drive back to my in-laws house, the stench of urine got worse and worse. I know I decided to forgo the bath, but now I am faced with the fact that my boys had been laying in their own urine. The smell was almost overwhelming. The more I drove, the worse it got. When I returned, I bathed the boys and grabbed their blankets to put in the wash.

When the blankets had been returned to me, they were in a trash bag with the toys. I assumed this was done to make it easier to carry. As I opened the bag, expecting another overwhelming urine scent, I discovered something quite to the contrary. The blankets did not smell of urine at all. Now I was even more outraged. Not only did my boys have to lie in their own waste, they were not even given the blankets and toys I had brought for them for a quasi-sense of home. I washed the blankets anyway and made the decision to never take them back to Crain Veterinary Clinic.

Later that night, I received a phone call from the clinic. The lady on the other end was asking for my credit card number claiming that it had never been charged. Naturally, I was a tad suspicious given the circumstances. I told her I would not give her the number over the phone and that I would return the next day to pay the bill in person. My bank is usually pretty good about posting authorizations within minutes, so I decided to wait a full day to see if in fact it was charged. I waited for an authorization to post. It never did, and I did not recall signing anything, so I returned to the clinic and paid the bill. I got all the print outs so in case I was charged twice, I would be able to prove what had happened.

I noticed that Cash had been developing a cough, but it seemed to subside. Then on Thursday, December 24, 2009, Gunner began to cough. It sounded like he had something caught in his throat and was trying to get it out. It got worse and worse to the point that almost every exhale was a cough or throat-clearing sound. After quite a bit of research, my wife and I came to the conclusion that he has Kennel Cough which continued through the night. The next day being Christmas Day, there were obviously no vets open, so getting him seen was not possible.

I took Gunner to Oak Grove Animal Clinic on Saturday, December 26, 2009, where I was told what he had was most likely Kennel Cough. Two injections, a bottle of pills later, and $100 later, we returned home.

This has been my experience. If you use Crain Veterinary Clinic Grain Valley and are happy there, more power to you. If you have never gone, I wouldn’t advise it. If you are looking for a replacement vet, I would recommend Oak Grove Animal Clinic. They were very nice and got me seen in one day.

If you know anyone in the Oak Grove, Grain Valley, Blue Springs area, please send this to them. If nothing more, it will warn them.

10 thoughts on “Don’t go to Crain Veterinary Clinic in Grain Valley, Missouri”

  1. I stumbled across this after taking my cat to Crain yesterday and being charged an obscene amount for a UTI. I was looking for reviews and have found many saying that they overcharge. I took my cat in fearing she had a UTI because she started peeing outside the litter box. Next thing I know, they are keeping her over night and charging me $400!!! I am starting to doubt if she even has a UTI and if it was really neccesary to keep her overnight to “flush out her bladder”. I dont have $400 but wanted my kitty well. I am pretty sure they are ripping me off. They are a fan of tests and xrays and when we took our dog for a limp it costs us $200! I will never take any of my animals back to this vet. They take advantage of you wanting your animals well. Just my two cents.

  2. I was overcharged too!! I found a dog at the lake and it was covered in ticks and it’s bones were showing and it had a broken leg! I was told he needed surgury and that the leg had healed. I don’t know why I didn’t tell them no because they charged me $300 for the surgery and told me that the leg had healed and they couldn’t do anything while in surgery!! ( really, that happened) Then they charged me $265 to give shots, bath, ear mite meds, and blood tests to make sure he was well. I feel used and ripped off. U have been warned!! I’ll never go back there—ever. They tell u how honest they r while they steal ur wallet.

  3. I know our wiener dog, dirk, got hit by a car and we rushed him to crain and they wouldn’t even look at him until we paid them and we didn’t even know what all he needed yet!!!!!!! If you continue to go don’t say everyone who posted didn’t warn you!!!!!!

  4. I totally agree with you all! I chose crain because it was close to my house. When I first got my dog which is a Australian Shephard mix I took him there for a checkup. They told me that he would have to go into surgery for his hips. It would be a surgery that would decrease his risk of getting arthritis in his hips when he is older. They acted like he was going to be an extremely large dog like a great dane or a saint bernard. I told them NO! it was a redikulous surgery since he was only going to be about 60 lbs when he was older and I could tell that he was trying to upsell the surgery. The doctor was talking to me like I was dumb about animal anatomy even after I had told him that I just graduated from college with a pre-med degree. I should have taken never gone back after this warning. I continued to use them for boarding and checkups and just swallowed the extra costs. Then recently I found that my dog had gotten into an unknown substance and was scared that it may be poisonous so i took him in to see the doc. It was definately an overreaction on my part since I know my dog does not injest anything but his food. I feel like a good vet should be able to tell when an owner is overreacting and should be honest and tell them. However, the doctor built up a whole story about him being lethargic since I told him my dog took a nap that morning, so he suggested blood tests and an x-ray. He called me a little later and said the x-ray showed some inflamation in his stomach which was a sign that he had been sick. I asked him what kind of sick, whether it had been from the stuff he had injested or if it was a sign of a bacteria. He stuttered a little as if lying and said that it was most likely due to a bacteria. He asked if my dog had been throwing up, and I said no. He continued to advise me to leave him there overnight with a catheter and an IV which would run me $450 dollars. I asked him how my dog was acting while he was there and he said “I guess he is acting alright”. I told him I would take him home and watch him overnight. Luckily I made that decision because when I got him home, he ate his usual amount of food and ran around in the back yard for an hour and a half happy and as energetically as he has ever been. Not only did I save my money, but I saved my dog a night of miserable torture.

  5. These complaints sound like ethical violations and may be illegal.

    If I were in your area, at a minimum, I would report them to the state licensing board. You may even be able to start legal action on your own. Heck, with the number of complaints here, it sounds like a class action matter, or even a district attorney referral for fraud (including any bait and switch actions available under federal law).

  6. I will NEVER go back to Crain. Dr, Napoleon is rude and repeatedly spoke down to me the whole time he was in the room, my male boxer PUPPY snarled at him and tried to bite him (which should of been my first clue there) I am a new puppy owner, not uneducated, but new. His staff told me one thing one week, then he tells me something totally different (which involved more shots, tests, money) you know the kinds of stuff a “caring” doctor will tell you for your “own good”. I wanted to order meds online for my puppy and cat, my order was refused by my “vet” so I phoned up there, the receptionist could not tell me why Dr Napoleon refused it. The phone is handed off to him, where he proceeds to tell me he does not “like” what I was ordering. WTF!! ! Whose money, whose pet, and whose house is this?!!?? I spent over five hours online…I did my research, I read every review from pet OWNERS and vets alike. Nepoleon tells me “it doesn’t work, he likes the two other brands vs. this ONE brand….he just “doesn’t like it”. Well obviously those 184 pet owners were effin stupid..This product that got rave reviews did not work because MY vet doesn’t like it. Eff off Crain vets, I will find someone else to see our family pets, someone who isn’t just after my hard earned cash, and who actually cares for my pets. Its really no wonder people don’t get the medical attention pets need, especially when they deal with vets who only care for your dollar bills.
    SIDE NOTE: OAK GROVE ANIMAL CLINIC will be getting our business from now on, they are not much farther and very friendly, very informative and not overbearing a$$es.

  7. I take my pets to Crain and love them. They have never ripped me off. I pay less there than I have at any other vet. All shots for my cat were $51 dollars. I had both my dogs get their shots for under $100. The only unneccisary thing they have ever suggested to me is that I have my dog and cats teeth cleaned. I have never had Dr. Napoleon. It looks as though he is no longer there. I have have always had Dr. Pellow and Dr. Hawkins. They are wonderful!

  8. I have used Crain Vet. clilnic in Grain Valle even before father and sons Dr’s Esys took over the business..I agree, Crains does overcharge and it seems like they try every imagineagle way to add more tests or procedures to a vistit to increase the bill. but I liked they way they treated my babies so I continued to use them. I began to be unimpressed when I had a newborn pup that wa not increasing in weight as her sibling and after trying to tube feed her myself and not getting anywhere I took her in to Crains. she was 5 days old. I was told that she was underweight but that they have the staff and constant care to make sure she takes nurishment every two hours. ” we do these little guys all the time ‘ I was told. if someone cannot be there in the night to feed them, than one of the doctors will take them home with them to make sure thay are fed every two hours. A Dr. Kyle Pellow said he would take her home, he had help there that would make sure she was fed. so I left the little girl there feeling confident that she would make it…
    when I returned the next morning when their doors opened. I was greeted by a receptionist, when I told her I was there to check on m little girl she turned to another girl and said” Has anyone checked on that little girl pup yet? and the other girl replied. ” I dont think so, I was back there but I didnt check on her. Dr. Pellow will be here soon and he will check on her when he comes in . I was stunned. evidentally Dr. Pellow did not take her home as promised. when he arrived some time later he checked and told me she did not make it….NO KIDDING” laying in a cage all night without mama or food… that will do things like that. that didnt stop them from charging me for an overnight and other services that amount to almost $200. but I knew she was not very strong so I chalked it up to “it was meant to be”
    a few months ago my 3 yr. old male acquired a big lump under his chin. I took him to Crains to be checked out. I asked if Dr. Espy was in and was told that he was but Dr. Pellow took my dogs and checked him out. I was in the room with him and was told he had a large absess under the skin that had to have surgery because they didnt know if it was an absessed tooth or just an under the skin absess. if it was a tooth they said it would be much more expensive..still feeling uncomfortable with the episode of the little girl I point blank asked Dr. Pellow if Dr. Espy would do the surgery. I dont want to insult you but I would feel better if Dr. Espy did it. Dr. Pellow said “Oh thats no problem. he stepped out of the room and Dr. Espy entered just barely through the door and pointed at Dr. Pellow and said to me ” You need to listen to him” and he left the room. I assumed my wish’s would be taken into account so I left my dog to have the surgery. when I returned in the afternoon I was met by Dr. Pellow who then began to tell me about the surgery and how to care for my dogs wound. all the time I was thinking…. You did it anyway… after my point blank in you face saying I wanted Dr. Espy to do the surgery they simply ignored my wish’s. I am still to this day upset when I think about it. also the surgery was around $500 which I have been told by other pet owners was high for what they did. it turned out NOT to be the tooth but just an absess so it was not the procedure they described to me that would be more expensive… cant imagine what that procedure would have cost. I wont be going back. I will find a veterinary who listens to my wishs and follows through with thier promised services.

  9. please continue to use OAK GROVE clinic or their sister clinic COLBERN ROAD clinic just outside of blue springs. Dr. Doug Neal is associated with both operations and i have alot of confidence in him. they have always treated me and my pets very well….and the fees are reasonable.

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