Mountain View, CA
I'd seen Dr. Mary Cameron and the other vets at Cameron Vet Hospital for a number of years. Most recently, I prepared two cats (that I'd been watching for friends who'd moved back to the UK) and needed to prepare these cats for flight and immigration into the UK to join their previous owners.
Dr. Cameron's staff accommodated my appointment to do paperwork on short notice. Beyond this, Dr. Cameron devoted part of a Saturday morning to personally review both cat's previous paperwork (vaccination records, blood titre measurements, etc.) which were all done elsewhere to ensure the cats were ready to travel. To her credit she found one problem with one of the cats' rabies documents (which avoided a wasted airport trip for that cat).
I have seen other vets at various times, for instance to during holiday breaks to get various vaccinations when Dr. Cameron's office didn't have openings. I've always been disappointed by comparison. Dr. Cameron's office is a bit far from my Mountain View home, but it is worth the trip. The reception staff truly care about you, the pet owner and do their best to minimize your wait. It is not the cheapest treatment, but in this case I really really believe you get what you pay for. Their equipment works, they don't patronize you, rather fully explaining procedures and medications. Their facilities are clean, their doctors are courteous, thorough, and provide a real sense of caring for the pet and the pet's family (owners).
I'm used to seeing Dr. Cameron in Sunnyvale whose clinic I highly recommend and will continue using...
...however I wanted to get a rabies vaccination for my cat during the holiday (it's a long story but basically she needs to be travel worthy and there is a 6month wait period after she gets the vaccine.)
Anyways, after seeing the InsiderPages score for Alta-View and noticing that their location is close to my house I decided to give them a try.
1) after check-in there was a 30minute wait in the front room before going to an exam room. The reception staff were courteous, but the wait seemed to be unjustified.
2) While waiting in an exam room, a few staff members poked their faces in the door without apologizing or even acknowledging they had made a mistake. I asked the technician who weighed the cat if "you are always this backed up..." He shrugged and smilingly said "yes."
3) finally after an additional 15minutes the doctor showed up. He administered both shots (FELV and Rabies) within a few seconds. Then, he asked to "borrow the cat" so he can take her temperature in the back room out of site. My instincts told me that this is dodgy. Every other vet I've been to has examined the cat in my full view. Taking a rectal temperature reading is not hard to do! They seem to have some protocol which states "we must take the pet in the back for about 10minutes for unknown procedures before returning them." I asked the tech about this procedure and all he could say was "I don't know...we have people in the back to do this." I'll let you decide for yourself.
4) I requested that the vet scan the cat's chip as a part of the cat's required travel documentation. After a few minutes, the tech emerged from the back room explaining that "our battery is not working and we can't scan it..." I find this level of ineptitude unacceptable.
The charges are reasonable, I must admit. However, given the dodgy environment, the very slow staff, the unexplainable "take the pet to the back room for 10minutes to do God-knows-what", and the lack of working equipment (microchip reader) I have to say I will not be recommending Alta-View Animal Hospital to friends.