Veterinary Emergency + Referral Center of Hawaii Honolulu, Hawaii

303 reviews

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Reviews: Veterinary Emergency + Referral Center of Hawaii (Honolulu)

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Richard Morris

2 years ago

The staff is very efficient and professional. They are currently doing curb side drop off due to Covid but you can park across from the doors and wait. That being said discharge took over 2 hours from the time I was told they were going to discharge my pet to the time they brought her out. Also it was very expensive.... I'd expected as much, this being Hawaii and so many factors pushing the cost of living up and what have you.

Kai Littlefield

2 years ago

I see a lot of other comments complaining about costs. Treatments can be expensive, but that's why they are the pros and we just take our animal companions in. It's their professionalism. Complaining about the cost is like throwing dirt at their professionalism. I took my cat Nobu in, and everyone that we spoke wptonwere so kind and caring. The numerous follow ups to just the genuine care about my cat made me grateful that they were there open on New Years when we took Nobu in. From Dr. C, Dr. S, and everyone involved thank you for taking care of or little feline family. Truly appreciate everyone there!

Trish La Chica

2 years ago

The ER doc (Dr Ortiz)couldn’t diagnose her. Basically said that an MRI was the only way to tell but that it was so expensive it probably wasn’t worth it. Our dog was seen by a neurologist but it was the ER doc communicating with us. She suspected it was cancer and that an MRI was the only way to tell but they doubt they could treat it so she advised us to just think of how to “make her comfortable.” We explained that our dog only fell ill the last two weeks and that apart from losing control over her legs she is happy and eating so we were not prepared to hear that our only option was to put her down. The doc was short with us, eager to get off the phone. We asked her to include whatever findings she could in her write up as we had Nationwide insurance to file and she said “I already explained this to you, I can’t diagnose so I have nothing to write.” So of course our $700+ claim got denied and needs to be resubmitted for lack of information. You’d think that docs could be more gracious especially dealing with this during the holidays. Instead we were treated like our dog was a burden and because they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her, that it was a waste to try.

Douala Mitchell

2 years ago

They know what's wrong with your dog already, but they recommend stuff they know you don't need to rack up charges. Once they get your money the VET or the Kennel assistants won't get back on the phone. I don't expect them to really care, I expect better treatment for what I'm paying though.

Lesyl Panoncillo

2 years ago

I'm disgusted to see how they treat people coming in to get care for the pets. Stay away.

Madeline Jochner

2 years ago

After taking my puppy in with concerns for PARVO I was told that if the test was negative I didn’t have to follow up with a physical exam. I asked not to but the tech said that I had “already paid for it with the test.” So even though I knew my dog didn’t need a physical exam, they gave him one anyways and charged me an additional $150. The doctor also recommended many treatments for possible but not probable issues with my puppy which may seem thorough to some, but to me just seemed like a convenient way to rack up my bill. I agree with other reviews, this place capitalizes on being a monopoly to just get money!

Bruce Danforth

2 years ago

VERC is a terrible place to bring an animal. They have a culture of disdain for customers and do not care about animals. With an emergency, you are better off waiting and taking your pet to a veterinarian with a heart. They are disorganized with poor communication between reception, vet techs and vets.

KDogg Montalbo

3 years ago

Wouldn’t take a look at my dogs eye n tried to send me far beyond my drive

Judy Miller

3 years ago

We needed an ER vet ASAP and all the ERs had 4-6 hour long waits! Veterinary Emergency + Referral Center welcomed us in right away. I was so relieved. They were kind, caring, and knowledgeable. Harley and Casey and the doctor were so sweet. Thank you for taking care of Lucas today ????

Robert M. Armstrong

3 years ago

I've used them two or three times for my Shiba but since Covid-19, you can't trust their service. Went to them this past Sunday because my dog had an ear infection and they wouldn't see her (or help) because they had "too many emergencies" earlier. Tell that to my dog who was up all night...

LW Almanza

3 years ago

I was very grateful for the friendly and calm response to my frantic call about our dog coming into contact with a Bufo frog tonight. Seeing her foaming at the mouth shook me, and I was very very grateful for the staff at VERC who helped me with driving directions to the clinic and took Mochi right in for analysis. The doctor called as we waited and was wonderful in explaining how our dog was doing and other possible symptoms to watch for in the future.

Jill L-A

3 years ago

If you require specialty care, especially an internist, this is where to go. Always open, very thorough, up-front regarding your loved ones condition, treatment options & so much more! The doctor is VERY thorough in explaining EVERYTHING to you, making sure you understand EVERYTHING that is/could be or starting to occur with your baby. What your options are, expected outcomes of treatment & a PLAN for treatment. One that grows with the progress of your fur baby. Not just something 'for the moment' - but a PLAN of ACTION for treatment, welfare & life of your baby for the best possible life they can have. If you've EVER taken your little one to a 'general veterinary' facility (I'll go ahead & name one - VCA) & weren't really given what you might have thought to be quite the right explanation/diagnosis, yet went along with their suggestion of 'we're going to start with these medications...' only to find 2 or 3 months later they suggest a higher dose or different medication, guessing, basically - follow your instincts - LEAVE THEM IMMEDIATELY! Go to PetVet (open to all) or VERC (they're by referral only) but GET ONE! It could mean the difference between a happy, healthy life - or unnecessary pain & suffering from misdiagnosis & mistreatment by the other vet. I live in Waianae & I will ALWAYS drive to Ala Moana for VERC and Salt Lake for PetVet over the docs at VCA any day! I've suffered the all too early loss of three of my children to the misdiagnosis, mistreatment, and 'quick fix, bandaid solution' approach of those guys - & they aren't cheap for the 'service' either! I SWEAR to this day, they killed my 3 kids through neglect, misdiagnosis, mistreatment & an apparent 'desire' to just 'send us on our way'. I tried to get my babies medical records (I had planned on filing a malpractice case) & when I inquired to get copies of their records, they claimed they had 'no record of any such pet or record in those names'. They had 'never been seen' & basically didn't exist. I firmly believe they 'destroyed' - or to be more polite -'misplaced/lost' the records. Yet they remain adamant they'd never seen any of my kids. At that time, they were the only vet I knew, came well recommended, & the doctor who founded VCA was still involved with the business. Him I liked. Yet they remain adamant - no records, never treated. I regret I had to make a last ditch, urgent emergency trip that led me back to them in Kapolei! They basically gave my baby a shot of calcium & sent her home with HOSPITAL-TYPE care instructions! I was treating her! They didn't even perform the requisite procedure for her given condition (I researched it b4 going in - the doc just ho-hummed & walked off when I addressed it). We were in & out in less than 1-1/2 hours, paid over $500 for substandard care!! If anything like that happens again, and I can keep my babies alive and well long enough to get to someplace other than VCA, that's where I'll go. Feather and Fur is also a 24 hour facility and is a promising place to go. So is the Waianae Vet but hours are limited. But back to the point: if in doubt about the treatment you're offered - FOLLOW YOUR GUT! You know your babies better than the docs (especially you-know-who docs). Don't get me wrong. Years ago they were great, now, not so. The front staff & technicians are on point, but the docs just seem to be preoccupied with something better to do/somewhere else to be. PetVet & VERC are exceptional. You'll know how good the docs are based on just how much time they spend & how many questions they ask. The thoroughness of the exam, the detailed, personal follow-up phone calls with results & findings & any other recommendations. If they're REALLY worth their salt, when they come across something just outside their realm of expertise/treatment, or even SUSPECT something else might be going on they can't tackle, they'll refer you to a SPECIALIST. QUALITY of service is what you want, not QUANTITY of trips. Take care of your babies. They love you & depend on you.

Franny K

3 years ago

My dog passed over night. I'm grateful the VERC is 24hr as I was there at 6am. There was responsive and took in my dog for cremation ($111). Mahalo.

Chaes Kufis

3 years ago

I brought my cat in for an emergency visit, and she was suspected to just have a hair build up that was causing irritation in her GI tract and causing her to throw up. So they gave her anti nausea medication and fluids and sent her back home with me for it to pass on it’s own, telling me to monitor her for VOMITING and if she continues to bring her back the next day. A day later they call me to tell me the radiologist looked at her x ray and suspected that there was actually an obstruction in her intestines, and that more diagnostics would be needed and she should come in the following morning. BUT they were going to recharge me the emergency exam fee because it had been over 24 hours since they’ve seen her, which was due to the delayed communication on their end about the radiologists findings, and miscommunication of the symptoms that I needed to be watching out for (she wasn’t vomiting but was refusing food and water, but who eats when they’re not feeling well?). Because of this, I took her to a different hospital where I felt like she would receive better care. They identified the obstruction and that she needed emergency surgery to remove it. HOWEVER, the anti-nausea meds that they gave my cat actually caused a build up of fluids in her stomach too, since nothing could pass in her GI tract and it stoped her from being able to throw up. SO, these guys initially misdiagnosed my cats condition, provided treatment that caused other health complications, and were going to overcharge me for procedures that were unnecessary. I took my cat to the VCA in pearl city and they saw and treated my cat more quickly and with a higher quality than this hospital did.

Adria Turner

3 years ago

TRUST THE BAD REVIEWS. Do NOT go here. One star is partly because I have to but also for the awesome, super friendly vet tech. Zero stars for the oncologist. Unfortunately I didn’t heed the warnings of the other poor reviews. Hopefully this will help someone else’s baby. Take your dog somewhere else if you need cancer treatment PLEASE. We just moved here from Utah and had our first appointment at this office and I’m extremely disappointed with the oncologist at VERC. They did not follow the treatment plan provided by my previous primary oncologist and decided to go their own route. My dog was kept for 4 hours and I was told after the fact about everything that was done. I’ve never had such a horrible experience and we’ve been going through these types of appointments for months now. I did not authorize anything extra, this was not an emergency situation where they could do whatever was necessary. They could have AT LEAST let me know what they needed to do, that wasn’t included in our original plan. I had an appointment and treatment plan, which should have been followed and wasn’t. They also decided to change a bunch of things about her treatment plan. It didn't feel like they cared about my dog, I felt like this office cares more about the money and they can do whatever they want because the only oncologist in Hawaii is at this office. I didn’t even get any of her results or testing info or discharge instructions. Just a very expensive bill with no answers. The money isn’t what mattered to me, it was the unprofessionalism. The nice receptionist and great vet tech do NOT make up for the poor service. I had to call and email just to get the info I should’ve gotten when I left, if not shortly after. Unfortunately, options for chemo are scarce here but I will be searching for another place to go. If you care about the well being of your animal PLEASE find a different oncologist. Update: visited another animal hospital ONE DAY later for a UTI, which had gotten to the point there was blood in her urine. Wondering how this wasn’t caught during our visit to VERC. I can’t stress enough, please go somewhere else. After doing some research there are many different options for chemo management, despite what they tell you. Please try VCA family and Veterinary or Feather and Fur Animal hospital to see if they are able to help you before you waste valuable time and money at VERC. Update: while visiting a new vet, we discovered that there wasn’t even any urinalysis results included in the record. Multiple calls to VERC went unanswered. I was also told by our new vet that you CAN have blood work done at your primary vet 24/48 hours prior to seeing your oncologist, and have the results sent to them. (Which I had been doing already in our previous state of residence) I was told by the oncologist at VERC that you “can’t do that” because the primary vets “wouldn’t be comfortable” with that. Yet, here I am being told by the primary vet that that is okay and they do it often. It just further proves that VERC cares more about the money than the well being of your pet. Please PLEASE go somewhere else. I really hope this helps at least one other baby get the help that they need.

Bill Payne

4 years ago

At check in, I was told to call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline to share details of my cat's illness. They charged $75, asked many questions, to which gave detailed information. ASPCA's call center person reviewed my info, and I asked her if she is making the diagnosis, or whether VERC doctors would do so. She said her over the phone diagnosis would be a part of the process. After a 2+ hour wait, my cat was taken from me. I was brought in to an exam room 30 minutes later. Dr Robert Brooks, who wore a shirt showing "San Diego Veterinary Hospital" walked in to the room, and simply quoted verbatim from the ASPCA call center person's statement on the phone to me. Dr Brooks had done none of his own thinking, just regurgitating exactly what was told to me by ASPCA. Asked what his "plan" was, he said he would work on a plan. I asked if he had provided liquids and food to my cat, who had not eaten or had fluids for more than 24 hours. He had not started those processes. He left the room, saying he'd return shortly - AND NEVER RETURNED. I went to the front desk, where Christine and her colleague were very helpful to the extent they could influence the process. After careful consideration I asked for euthanasia, and signed the paperwork. I returned to the room where we had been waiting - the doctor never showed up. My personal vet recommended the VERC with elaborate praise for them. If Doctor Robert Brooks is an indication of their abilities, I would recommend going to another veterinary facility. He brings a very "I'm very busy and have little time for you" attitude. Also found it odd that he wore a shirt from a San Diego vet hospital - he claims to have moved here to Hawaii in the recent past.

Asia Fujikake

4 years ago

We’ve had only good experiences here. I’m actually shocked at how many bad reviews there are. Maybe one of the doctors aren’t that great? Luckily we’ve seen people who we felt had our dog, Hapa’s, best interest at heart. They talked us through which tests they were going to perform and why they wanted to do them, and asked our permission before charging us. Above all, I’m just so grateful to have a place to turn to during our regular vets off hours. It’s worth the price to get veterinary services at any time of the day or night when your pet isn’t doing well. Thank god this place exists!

Craig Thebert

4 years ago

My review will be an extremely positive one. Our Chocolate Lab Coco had a very large mass on her left chest area, after researching our options we chose to come here. Dr. Watkins did an exam then sat down with us to talk. We were set at ease after our consultation and decided to have the procedure done here. A week and a half later our Coco was in for her surgery, we were kept informed throughout the morning as to the start and then Dr. Watkins called with the wonderful news that she was able to get the mass out (it was very big). Our Coco is home with is now after a night of care and she is doing wonderful. I can't thank Dr. Watkins and her team that worked on Coco enough.

Damien Soares

4 years ago

Took Rylee our baby rotweiller in from a second referral that was missed from our primary vet. Off the top yes the prices are steep and I had to sit down for the estimate! With that being said and done with the care, the service and the humanity of me and my Rylee priceless! The diagnosis found was not in my favor and hard to take in mentally, physically and emotionally especially when my Rylee walked in! As a pet owner we can honestly say we treat them like family and I lost it emotionally and broke down crying holding my Rylee. The team closed the doors after handing me tissue and there hands on my shoulder and let us be alone. I was able to gather myself enough to be honored later that day to meet Dr Nishimura and understood our problem. Dr Nishimura and her team kept Rylee overnight, Dr Nishimura called me personally at 830 at night and gave me updates and hope. I was able to pick up my Rylee the next day with hope and a chance of life in her and was educated about her problem. We are not out of the woods yet but I will never forget the level of professionalism but ultimately the compassion which was given that money can't buy it's given only from heart and it doesn't cost anything!

Doan Nguyen

4 years ago

I took my 5 months old Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix to this hospital at 5am because I discovered my puppy was acting like he was choking, making this snorking noise having difficulty in breathing. The woman at front desk just looked at him and said he is having reverse sneezes and there's nothing they or me could do for him because it will be cleared by itself. She told me to Google reverse sneezes. Told me to go home .I took him home. He was a bit better throughout the day but still had episodes of snorking and watering eyes and he was lethargic, unlike his usual playful self. By 10pm he was not doing better but seemed worse so I took him back . A different woman at front desk told me the same thing and the woman from this morning ( I wish I got her name) didn't bother to look at me, said "oh yeah, it's reverse sneezing" dismissively. They wanted me to take my puppy home and wait it out, even said reverse sneezing takes weeks to clear. I said "why don't you have him examined? How do you know it's not something else? It's been 18 hrs and he looks exhausted". If you looked up "reverse sneezes" online it says it lasts 2-5 secs and the dogs usually go back to normal. It was 18 hrs and my dog was not back to normal. Why wouldn't this place offer to have doctor look at my dog instead of insisting it's reverse sneezing and just wanted us to leave? Finally, the front desk said "well, if you want we could have the doctor to look at him" Doc saw him, flushed his nostrils, took X-ray found red swellings in his throat, gave him something. He went home and stopped hacking for breath. I don't mind paying so that my dog can get better but the attitude of the front desk woman and the woman who refused to let my dog get checked up because she thinks it's just reverse sneezes and I who is a new pet owner should just listen to her and sit and wait while he suffers, is unacceptable. Why do I need to almost raise my voice so that my dog can be looked at and treated? It costs money to use your service, why can you be nicer to your patients?

Earl Yonehara

4 years ago

Our pet dog Brownie recently suffered from a second incident of spontaneous bulla, a condition in which her lung sac burst and nearly suffocated her. The VERC staff was quick to respond as soon as we arrived. Throughout her 7-day stay at the hospital, we were kept regularly informed of her condition. A special mahalo goes out to DR. COURTNEY WATKINS who went beyond the call in keeping us updated following her late night rounds after 8:30 pm. Her explanation of surgical options and her decision to delay surgery because a surgical stapler that she personally preferred was not available demonstrates the compassion with which she carries out her responsibilities as chief surgeon. She also made sure that the extra day and services were not charged to us due to the unavailability of the equipment she needed. The thoroughness of her diagnosis and surgical treatment left us with little doubt that our Brownie was in the best possible care. Brownie has since fully recovered.

Henry Katsuda

4 years ago

Took my distressed dog in Sunday night. Happy for the 24/7 service. The vet on duty, Dr. Ortiz, did a great job running & analyzing pertinent tests and communicating her findings and recommendations. Much appreciated!

Tazzy Fund

4 years ago

We work with many animal medical facilities throughout the US. I was pleased with the attentiveness, communication and responsiveness of all the front desk staff from beginning to end. Our appointment was with Dr. North from the internal medicine department. I was very satisfied with how she handled the situation for our sponsored cat Nana. I would say this is one of the best experiences we have had with a specialty hospital. I'm not sure why there so many negative reviews, but I can't say enough good things about this place. Thanks VREC

Janina Seitz

4 years ago

First ....Do NOT go there if you have options ! I went there one week with one of my dogs for seizure emergency and spend over a $1000 dollars. One week later I came in with my other dog also as emergency case and the Doctor would NOT let me let her stay overnite unless I pay $500 up front ! He would have my sick dog rather die !!! ( I asked him that questions and the answer was YES because he can not help me without paying $500 upfront !) Doctors were unfriendly (especially female one ) but to top it off .... the worst are the nurses . One rolled her eyes at me and gave me snippy answers when I asked something . Remind you that I was there with a dying dog ... and even after paying again over $1000 I still had no idea what was wrong with her . The only nice people are the receptionists. I spend an average of about $5000 a year for my 4 dogs . Never would spend another dime there ! When the staff is already so unfriendly and bothered by us humans ... how will they treat our beloved sick pets behind closed doors !

Kayoko Suzuki

4 years ago

I took my dog having a seizure at 11:30pm and they took care of my dog immediately. I was so grateful that they are available late at night. I had to make a decision to euthanize her because she was suffering too much. Dr. Brooks was very professional and thoughtful. He explained all the procedures and gave me enough time to say goodbye to my dog. All staff were nice, cared about my feelings, and treated my dog just like their family. Thank you very much for your exceptional service.

Nova Rizzo

4 years ago

I brought my dog Bruno in last night due to vomiting and diarrhea, I had an appointment with my regular vet today but his symptoms seemed to be getting worse throughout the night. The staff at this place was beyond friendly, professional and kind! My dog was seen by vet, Kaylee McMahan. She was wonderful and suggested we treat his symptoms and did not push for me to do expensive tests or X-rays. She suggested I'd monitor his progress with the meds and follow up the next day. I left feeling at ease that my little pup received proper care. Thank you!

Pam C

4 years ago

Our two-year-old "puppy" has a medical condition that causes her to have multiple seizures from time to time. She has stayed overnight at VERC on many occasions. She always gets first-class medical attention from VERC's caring and knowledgable staff. We would not trust our precious "granddogger" with anyone else!

Taeao RTKC

4 years ago

We were told that the kitten we found (Snow) was completely healthy, just had some minor diarrhea and needed food and water to recover. They answered all our questions pertaining to that only, how to feed it, at what intervals, etc. They took a glucose test which they said came back okay. Snow was free to go. I stayed up the whole night feeding her and caring for her and the rest of the next day too. However, I could see she was getting weaker and she stopped eating around noon. I tried coaxing her with tuna and salmon, which she ate a bit of but then she vomited around 2pm. I called around, first to the Humane Society who said there was a high chance of her being euthanized. Then I called Kalihi Pet Clinic who agreed to see her. As soon as I came in, the nurse saw Snow and immediately took her to the back for treatment. The nurse came out and said that Snow was very sick, possibly infested with worms and viruses. I told her that we saw the 24 hour vet on Kapiolani who had given her a clean bill of health. She called them to get the records for Snow. Then the vet came out and explained to me that they'd have to keep Snow overnight for treatment and to monitor her condition but he wasn't going to guarantee that she live. The next morning, the vet emailed me that Snow had survived the night but would need another overnight stay. I was overjoyed that she lived. However, not 2 hours later, he called me with the heart breaking news of her passing. I cannot say how much this hurt me and my sister, since we came to this 24 hour clinic right after we found her to have her checked. If Snow was so sick, why didn't they notice? Why didn't they tell us instead of lying and saying she was fine? Even their receptionist, the only decent one, thought she looked sick and rushed her to the back when we came in! Dr. Brooks and his aid (I forgot her name) said she was perfectly fine. We operated under the impression that she would live, so we bought her food and a bed, a litter box and everything. I cry now every time I see them set up in her room. These guys did a great disservice to us for which I will never forgive them for.

Joy Tanno

5 years ago

Dr. Jay and Dr. Levins and staff were great taking care of my Noodles. She is well after recovering from her liver surgery. Thank you

COCO LULU

5 years ago

Awful! Stay away! Poor customer service! Scammers!!!! This ‘hospital’ only cares about making money, the vets do not care for you or your pet. They intentionally ordered unnecessary tests that were not related to my dog’s issues, they charged me for a medication and put the bottle in a bag and handed it to me. I got home and saw the medication was wrong, I drove back and explained that they gave me the wrong medication and I wanted to return it for the correct one. I was told that they could not return it because I had left with it and that I should have checked the bottle before leaving. What?! This was their mistake! They put the wrong medication in the bag! Total scammers ? Stay away!!!

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Veterinary Emergency + Referral Center of Hawaii, Hawaii, Honolulu

345 N Nimitz Hwy

Business Hours

Monday

Open 24 hours

Tuesday

Open 24 hours

Wednesday

Open 24 hours

Thursday

Open 24 hours

Friday

Open 24 hours

Saturday

Open 24 hours

Sunday

Open 24 hours

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