Expanded Veterinary Reviews (See new Schulman Comments)

I used many vet review sources but did not post any unless there were at least 5 reviews except for the two worst, Mission Animal and Value Vet Canoga Park. There will be redundancies where there are two different review sites, as for Ken Jones, Rattan, Value Vet. I have marked each practice if they appear exceptional, either good or bad.

There were not enough reviews to post for Porter, Noreda, Northridge Pet Hospital, Chatsworth Pet, Adlers, etc. Two vets below were listed as top rated by rating services. Winnetka got 8 reviews, all five stars so I rated him best in the West Valley. I find it strange that I can find only a few, very different ratings for Adlers compared with significantly smaller vet practices. The scattered Adler reviews I did see were very inconsistent.

Special mention for Alan Schulman and Dr. Michael Broome. Schulman is a gifted surgeon, a top vet but with a crude and almost abusive communications style. He did wonderful work on two of my cats, but it was very hard to talk to him on the phone. You had to make an appointment to see him to get to talk to him and his arrogance knows no bounds. Some of the reviews, especially from former employees, are brutal. In addition, a few comments about him were recently added. They are even more brutal. Of course I cannot attest to their truthfulness. This is all information publically available on the Internet from numerous sources.

Dr. Broome, whose main office is in Tustin, is simply the best veterinarian—in my opinion—that I have ever met in terms of communications and clinical competence. Unfortunately, his main office is in Tustin and he doesn't do general vet work at the West LA office.

This is NOT the Vet review website I was talking about starting. We are still discussing the scope of that site, format, etc.


Ken Jones, Santa Monica



Pet Medical in
Santa Monica:



Mar Vista Animal Medical Center (average rating)


Sepulveda Animal Hospital** (Top rated)



Cedars-Sinai Center (Average to poor rating) www.centersinaianimalhospital.com (Their Website)


Dr. Jason Rattan** (Fairfax Area-Top rated)




Animal Medical Center (Alan Schulman^, Michael Broome**)

(Schulman among worst rated; Broome highly rated)





For Dr. Broome:

(website: http://www.avmi.net/)


Brentwood Pet (Olympic Blvd. Drs. Martin, Olds, Thorrens)


Value Vet West Los Angeles





VCA West Los Angeles:




Animal Medical (Van Nuys)


Beverly Oaks Animal Hospital^^ (Sherman Oaks) Worst Rated Ever!!)







Mid Valley Veterinary Hospital** Top rating West Valley




Mission Animal Hospital^ (Worst Rated)


Moon Jay (Sherman Oaks)* Highly rated, considered affordable (818) 907-0929



Dr. Jason Rattan** (Fairfax Area-Top rated)



Value Vet Canoga Park^ (Worst Rated)


Winnetka Animal Hospital (Dr. Smollin)** (Top rated WestValley)



Anonymous said...

Interesting to see the wide swings in Schulman's reviews. I've never met him, but I've been in Animal Med several times. Staff seems okay, some are smart, some not so much.

I brought a dog in the other day and they had a relief doctor there and she seemed quite good, even with a dog who can be nippy, and she seemed sensitive to cost issues.

Dr. Davidson at West L.A. Value Vet is good with surgery but not with diagnosis. He's the one who did a couple of spay/neuters for me, and removed my dog's eye -- al of which turned out fine.

But as I mentioned in a comment a while back, he either didn't catch or didn't refer out properly for my cat's cancer.

Individual doctors at VCA West L.A. can be good, but the overriding corporate directive of "order every possible test you can" in the end is prohibitively off-putting.

I mostly go to Brentwood now, and have had good luck so far with Dr. Britto and Dr. Carvalho.

Also Dr. Restrepo at Animal Dermatology seems very smart, and sensitive about cost. Only problem is both she and Dr. Britto are so young I have to fight the urge to give them a time out...


Ed Muzika said...

May I ask for a little more deatil?

This is great stuff, but separate entries and more detail for each vet would help.

Such as, reasonably priced? Specific unusual situations, such as the dog's eye surgery as a separate post, including cost and treatment given.

Ditto the cat's cancer and what wa sinvolved there.

It really helps to get more detail on separate visits over a period of time.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Schulman,

I have a friend that used to work for Dr. Schulman.

She told me that a vet tech asked him to reconnect an IV catheter because the dog pulled it out. This was the dog he just operated and was still bleeding from the surgery. He walked up to the dog and beat him up. The vet tech asked why he did that to the poor dog, and he said he had to punish the dog for causing him extra work.

He’s nice to big-boobed blondes and people with money or power, and those people are enabling his conducts by giving him “awards” and more business.

One of the trainers we work with had another experience. He urged her to put the dog go under a surgery. He first quoted $3,000. At the next visit, he said $3,500, saying she must have misunderstood. At the third visit, the quote was up to $4,500. When she told me this, I sent her to Dr. Olds. Dr. Olds said no on surgery because he diagnosed that the dog did not have a spinal problem but a cancer tumor that was pushing the nerve system. The dog died in two weeks of the cancer.

Shulman is a skilled enough vet to know the dog had cancer, yet, in order to milk the trainer, he lied and pushed for a surgery.

There are many vets that I hate because of their greed and ineptness. But this guy is the ONLY one I call “evil.”

Anonymous said...

Please let this comment serve as a warning regarding Dr. Schulman, a veterinarian who violated California Code 1834.5 and slaughtered a dog illegally.

About a year and a half ago, our group took a German Shepherd, Lucy under our wing when she was one of the leftovers to go back to the pound to be destroyed after a super-adoption event organized by LAPD in Venice, CA. We boarded her at a kennel for a while, and one of our volunteers was fostering her for months.

Then she got adopted to a lady, who loved her dearly. We thought that was the happy end — until we found out that she was slaughtered a few days ago. Alan Schulman killed this young and healthy dog unjustifiably.

Lucy's guardian has developed a mental disorder from severe depression. Her parents put her in the asylum and Lucy was boarded at Schulman's. We found this out last fall through Lucy's trainer who also helps us by training our rescued dogs.

We contacted Schulman because we wanted to send our volunteers to walk her while she's boarded, then the vet said that since Lucy's "owner" was not paying the boarding fees, nobody would take her outside their facility (they could have held our driver's license while we walk Lucy if they cared about the animal's well-being). Furthermore, they informed us that they were considering sending Lucy to the pound if no payment was made.

Legally, at this point, we could have taken Lucy from the adopter, but Lucy's trainer asked us not to take her away from the lady because Lucy is all she got and the lady was expected to be released in a couple of months. As we understood that taking Lucy away could harm her guardian's mental health, we agreed.

At this time, we were closely in touch with the Schulman's office, and the office manager told us that the doctor was writing to Lucy's owner letting her know that if no payment arrangements were made, Lucy would be surrendered to the him and the he will then hold Lucy's ownership, and that he can get rid of Lucy.

He also said that by law they had to wait for a certain number of days before they can assume ownership, and he would get back to us about the outcome.

He did not call us as promised, so we called him at a later time, and he said that Schulman did obtain ownership, however, since Lucy's owner's father had contacted them and may pay the bills, the doctor was planning to return Lucy to the owner upon payment. The office manager said that if the parents flake out and things do not go as planned, they would then have to send Lucy to the pound.

I spoke to him myself, and our volunteer, who fostered Lucy until she got adopted, spoke to him on separate occasions, and he promised to both of us that he would contact us when such becomes an issue, so that we can take Lucy back, and he guaranteed Lucy's safety as long as she's boarded there.

Last Sunday, however, Lucy's trainer got a call from the lady in the asylum. She told the trainer that per her conversation with her mother, she was concerned about Lucy's safety. She begged the trainer to save her life. Since it was Sunday and the hospital was closed, I called a woman, who has a close relationship with this vet, to get through quicker and prevent him from killing her.

He did not call her back on Sunday, but she found out on Monday that he already killed Lucy, probably on Saturday.

He's known for his greed and many people have said that he has lied about diagnoses to inflate bills while the poor animals suffer. So I thought he would be interested in saving money on the injection and dead body pickup. I was wrong. He went out of his way to make sure that Lucy's guardian would not get her back without paying him. To this veterinarian, Lucy was no different from an impounded car.

Since then, I was contacted by someone who used to work with him, who happened to be a friend of my personal friend that I shared this horrible story with, and she told me that this vet loses temper if an animal doesn't behave the way he wants. He chokes the dog until the dog turns blue. This vet even beat up a dog who just had a surgery and was still bleeding because the dog made the IV tube fall out.

So he must have been also angry with Lucy because he could not make money on her.

This vet was trying to convince his lady friend, thanks to whom we found out he killed Lucy, that she was "vicious" and he had to kill her. Firstly, she was far-fetched from vicious, and secondly even "if" she was vicious, we, a 501(c)(3) group was begging him to let us take her! Even the city shelter has asked us to take a dog with negative history to eschew killing the dog! So there is nothing to justify his action in slaughtering Lucy.

Theoretically, the Adoption Agreement was breached, but since the signer of the Agreement is in the asylum, the responsibility was automatically transferred to her legal guardian; i.e., her parents who may not have even known that we were here to take Lucy back. So this vet himself did not breach a contract, but he did violated the law copied above.

I'm sending this story only with the hope that it could help people not blindly trust their veterinarians, and if this reaches a vet, please do not to lose your original intention when became a veterinarian. Haven't you taken an oath to better the lives of animals?

Anonymous said...

Although this is not highly relevant to his skills as a vet, I saw Schulman with his son one day in a pet store that sold live animals.

His son looked about 12 at the time--this was ten years ago. The son picked up one of the rabbits in a pen on the floor and asked his father if he would by it to feed to his snake.

Schulman, knowing one of his customers was there, said something to the effect, "No, we will let this one alone."

Well, to me, someone who let's a 12 year old have a snake to which they feed small mammals is not someone I'd want taking care of my small animal.

Anonymous said...

I am disgusted by Lucy's story with Schulman! How tragic. The man should be in prison. How is he upholding his veterinary oath?? Thank you so much for your investigation of veterinarians Ed. It is so important.

Anonymous said...

A few years ago my dog went in to get bladder stones removed. Surgery went fine, but a day or so afterwards, the hair on my dog's back started to fall off, in chunks. At first a little, then a lot. Worse, we noticed his back, underneath the coat of hair, was black, like tar. We took him back to AMCOSC and they had no idea what was wrong (or so they claimed). They said it was a spider bite. Well, before we knew it, his entire back hair was gone, and we discovered Choco had a huge burn that yes, covered his entire back. Third degree burn that went down to his muscle in one spot. If you saw pictures, you would not be able to eat for a week. The story is much more painful than you'd care to read, but the bottom line is, Dr. Schulman ended up having to cut off approximately 8x12 inches of skin off my dog's back, then pulling the remainder of his skin together and stiching him back up -to this day, Choco still has a scar that runs the length of his back, a scar that will never heal. Now, in the doctor's defense (if there is one), he performed the reconstructive surgery at now cost (a surgery Choco would not have needed if it weren't for Dr. Schulman's carelessness) and saw him just about every day for three months at no cost to clean up the burn so that it wouldn't get infected (I'd also like to point out that I myself had to wash the burn twice a day as well, you can't begin to imagnie the extent of the ordeal). I was also reimbursed $500. Mind you, the bladder stone surgery was a lot more than $500, and that surgery I was not reimbursed for. You do the math.

Now, at the time this happened, we thought long and hard about suing, but we decided not to for a few reasons. First off, we are not lawsuit-friendly people. Secondly, we believe that accidents in surgery (and life) can happen sometimes without there being someone to blame. (Btw, let me make it clear in case you haven't caught on, but the third degree burn that went down to the muscle was absolutely a direct result of the bladder stone surgery, this according to every expert I've talked to). Also, as I've been told, similar accidents happen in human surgeries as well (even if rare), so it's definitely something that occurs - something doctors are (or should be) aware of and try to avoid. But most importantly, we did not sue because we just wanted to put the nightmare behind us.

Looking back on it, I wish we had sued. Not to cash in, but to put Dr. Schulman out of business. He does not belong in any sort of medical practice.

Back then, then thing that bothered most was that he never once took responsibility. Never. He always blamed a "spider bite" (how much of a face-slap insult is that?). When he wrote me a check for $500, there was no admission of guilt. He even wanted me to sign a document stating I would not take legal action. I refused. I am not that kind of person, but I gave him my word that I would not, assuming Choco was fully recovered and didn't need further medical attention. So I have not taken legal action (we've learned to look past the scar, even if it's the first thing strangers ask about). I'm sure a lack of admission of guilt had something to do with his insurance, and not wanting to lose his business, so I was even able to understand that and let it go.

But what bothers me the most today is that I know this was not an isolated incident. I know he is a terrible doctor, I know he is careless, I know he does not care about his patients. I hear about it from strangers all the time at the dog park. They come up to me and ask about Choco's scar, they ask what happened to him, and when I give them a brief rundown (more brief than this one), I've had people automatically know who the doctor at fault was - without me ever mentioning Dr. Schulman's name, or even the Animal Medical Center Of Southern California. That is terrifying.

Here's another way I know he is a careless doctor... Two weeks ago I rescued another dog. He had a tiny cut on his ear that the previous owners told me there was nothing the vet could do about it, that it'd heal on its own. The first day I had Bu, I walked out of the shower to find his face covered in blood - his cut had opened. I took him to the VCA hospital and was told the reason he was getting at his ear is he had an ear infection. Thanks to the VCA (located a convenient couple of blocks from Dr. Schulman), Bu is on his way to recovery.

The vet's name who was so inept as to miss the diagnosis of a simple ear infection... Dr. Schulman, of the Animal Medical Center of Southern California.

I have plenty of evidence to support all my claims and would be happy to provide it. My statue of limitations has passed (or so I've been told), but lets put this guy out of business. Would you trust your children with a doctor who doesn't give them the kind of medical attention they deserve/nee

Anonymous said...

It would take 10 pages to explain my experiences here from beginning to end. But, I can tell you that because of the gross negligence of Dr. Schulman my pet died. Ive talked to other vets as well as a couple lawyers and they all said I could easily sue and win. I decided not to though, it wouldnt really make a difference in the end and would mean having to re-live the horrible experience many times over. Im glad for this forum because maybe I can save someone the pain that I went through. The hospital itself has been growing exponentially for years, as has Dr. Schulmans ego and recklessness. He is not the nice guy he pretends to be in the examining room. He speaks in a demeaning way to his staff and insults clients when behind closed doors. I know people that have worked there in the past and I've heard him myself. Schulman is a highly respected surgeon and a lot of other vets send animals to him for surgeries. His surgeries for the most part work out (although I've read some horror stories on here tonight). Schulman as a vet though beware. If you speak to the animal rescue groups around the Westside they will tell you the same thing. Ask around at the dog parks. Hes developing a reputation. He will usually push for the surgery route. Illustrating this in its extreme, he pushes amputation far to often as the first approach. Hes wanted to amputate 2 of my pets tails and pushed to amputate my friends cats p*nis once. Not kidding. My friend took the cat to another vet, got antibiotics, and everything was fine. On a side note Dr. Schiff, Dr. Sandhu, and almost all the other staff are super nice and compassionate people. But the place is just too big with too many animals to function properly or safely, and Schulman is a loose cannon. He is neither honest, nor a good person. Stay away from this hospital if you love your pet.

Anonymous said...

Re: Dr. Smollin at Winnetka--

I have never had personal dealings with the doctor, but my 87-year old Japanese friend used Smollin's services for her three cats.

Smollin diagnosed one of the with cancer and kept the cat for two weeks in a cage until the cat died. The cat wasn't eating or drinking, and ripped off my 87-year old friend for "boarding" her sick and dying cat for two weeks without companionship.

Because my friend is from the "old school" and Japanese, she thinks doctors are like Gods--you don't question their actions or motives. You certainly do not ask a vet questions because "they know what they are doing," and you don't want to disrespect them.

My elderly friend said that doctor Smollin never used to be so money hungry until his wife started to take over his business dealings.

The vet's office was practically around the corner from her home--this was before she moved and had to move in with her family because she could no longer care for herself and her cats.

Dr. Smollin let that poor cat die without human companionship and let him rot in that cage; then took aprox. $2000 from my elderly friend for doing nothing for that because there was nothing to be done except to let him die alone and in a cage.

My poor ignorant friend allowed the vet to die in that cage alone and allowed that man to take her money.

Before my friend's cat died, my friend would ask me what doctors I take my cats to because she seems to think that vet charges a lot of money for not doing much work.

She used to tell me that everytime she goes into Smollin's office, he would have dollar signs in his eyes and wife would rub her fingers together, knowing my friend was coming.

I recommended my friend see my vets in order to have second opinions and see the difference in price and in the care her cats were receiving. Only then is she able to make an informed decision, if she didn't like the treatment her cats were getting.

Whatever the case, if you don't like the vet and his treatment, I suggested she find another vet. It doesn't have to be any of mine, because I didn't care for them either. Some are good at some things, while others have their specialty. Some vets just want your money and they can see you coming a mile away if you let them.

My friend allowed her cat to rot in the cage and allowed herself to be ripped off, in spite of her friends and family advising her to take the cat home and either allow him to die at home, or have him put to sleep--but don't have him rot to death in a cage, lonely and alone; throw your money to whoever is willing to take it from you. People know when you are grieveing and will know when best to come in to make a killing at your expense. Funeral homes work that way; too bad some vets have to be such business hogs.