Animal Wellness Center of Marin - 49 Reviews - Veterinarians - 506 4th St, San Rafael, CA

Animal Wellness Center of Marin - 49 Reviews - Veterinarians - 506 4th St, San Rafael, CA

Synopsis: Dr. Siek is genuinely compassionate and an amazing doctor.Dets.: I've had some "interesting" experiences at this office, but we decided to use them to put our ailing and elderly dog to sleep due to their proximity to our home. From the minute we walked in, we were treated with the utmost respect and compassion. For instance, we were able to bypass the front desk as soon as we walked in and were immediately taken back to the exam room. Dr. Siek took her time and examined Paco. She asked if he could have treats and tenderly fed him.She determined that he was at the end of his life and agreed to perform the procedure. We planned to bury him in the yard and requested that she administer the injections in our van. She agreed, and we proceeded to the vehicle. To another reviewer's point of not being allowed to pay later, Dr. Siek kindly said we would be billed for the procedure since we were understandably devastated and far from thinking about paying after the life slipped from our pup.If you are ever faced with having to put your animal to sleep, I would wholeheartedly recommend Dr. Siek. She is a true animal lover and made an indescribably difficult day easier due to her compassionate "bedside" manner. Thank you, Dr. Siek.

2/13/2016 Updated review

Dr. Goldfarb and Dr. Cosgrove and the girls at the front desk are all wonderful!   Some vets give prescriptions for all kinds of medications, expensive texts and surgery.  The Dr.s at Animal Wellness Center are thorough, very careful and conservative with drugs and surgeries.  I love the flower remedies and the kindness and consideration for not only my little girls but me too! I completely trust Dr. F and Dr. C.   I highly recommend the Animal Wellness Center.

8/9/2014 Previous review I was completely at a loss after over one year of watching my dog suffer from ear and butt itch.… I was completely at a loss after over one year of watching my dog suffer from ear and butt itch.  The poor thing was keeping me up a night!   Other vets did expensive tests and prescribed medications but Dr. Goldfarb  examined everything from behavior to food and snack ingredients. We came up with a solution and I'm so happy that my little girl is not going to have to be on antibiotics for the rest of her life!  Dr. Goldfarb took his time and discussed my dog's behavior and demeanor as well as her eating habits and moods.   He gave us some homeopathic flower remedies and I can already see a change in BOTH my dogs.  Thank goodness there is someone like Dr. Goldfarb who has the integrity to get to the cause of the symptoms instead of just treating the symptoms with expensive meds.  He is so knowledgeable about holistic remedies.  He even helped me with some suggestions for myself.  (most of the homeopathic flower remedies work on people as well as animals)  I thank my friend for suggesting Dr. Goldfarb.   The girls at the front desk are wonderful too! Read more 3/19/2016

My 16-year-old domestic short-hair female cat went in recently for a dental cleaning.  She has been diagnosed with tooth resorption, a condition whereby the teeth are reabsorbed by the body for reasons not yet clear, and she needed to have her teeth cleaned.  The pre-procedure exam recommendation includes a "senior" blood panel and physical examination to ensure that the animal is fit for the procedure, which includes full anaesthetization.  This was very thorough, including a "senior" animal blood panel and x-ray, which determined that my elderly pet has some arthritis of the spine.  Vet Terry Cosgrove went over all of this with me before the procedure, which I had done two weeks later.  On the day of the procedure it turned out my cat was not tolerating the type of anaesthesia that was used so the full procedure, which included three planned extractions, was halted so that my pet would not risk dying on the operating table.  They were able to clean her teeth and do a root planing on the molar that had been abscessed, then the very bright young veterinary dental tech packed it with an antibiotic specific to mouth bacteria.  When I came to pick up my "retired ratter" in the afternoon later that day, she was alert and responsive and ready to come home.  The dental specialist went over everything with me when I came in for pick up, including what was done, home care routine and itemized charges, which upon inspection appeared to be reasonable.  Nearly a week later my cat is not "meow-meowing" quite as much as before and the frequent spitting up of her food (5 times a week!) has really slowed down and appears it may have stopped altogether since her dental cleaning.  It was also recommended that my elderly she-cat be put on a "straight protein" diet, which I did after the initial exam-- cat and I are both very happy customers of Trader Joe's delicious canned wild salmon and I'm feeling like a million bucks on the stuff now!!  Thank you, Terry Cosgrove and staff!


If you do not believe wholeheartedly in all kinds of woo, this is not the place for you.  I'm open to some alternative medicine, but I want to see scientific studies and independent testing to confirm supplement contents.  The doctor was very pushy about selling treatments, multiple supplements, and homeopathic drops (all on one visit).  He was ungracious when I turned them down.  The research doesn't really support the supplement recommendations that he made.  I considered taking my dog back for treatments, but on reflection, I really do not feel he had my pet's best interests at heart.


My kitty had the sneezes and I called and got an appointment right away with Dr. Siek. The ladies/assistants at the front are super nice and helpful. Dr. Siek came up with a diagnosis and didn't go into a huge invasive treatment. She recommended we start off with something mild and take it from there. I appreciate that as I don't want to give my pet medications she doesn't need. I feel extremely comfortable coming to Animal Wellness Center of Marin. This is definitely my kitties new doc. Thanks everyone for the warm welcome!!!

Zora being very relaxed on the exam table Zora being very relaxed on the exam table 5/12/2015

Don't bother.  They are more interested in their immediate payment than the suffering of animals. I have brought my dog here for more than 10 years... spent thousands of dollars on cancer surgeries, immunizations, pet check ups etc.  I have always paid my bills on time and in full.  As a small business owner I am awaiting payment from my own client and have a cash flow issue which will be resolved in 2 days.  However, my pet is suffering and as a long time client I asked if I could pay on Friday (it's Wednesday) to get treatment for my dog who is suffering with a urinary tract infection and is very uncomfortable. I was met with an emphatic NO. Really?  This is how you treat your long time customers? You can't take payment in 2 days?  Take your business to Michelle Rose up in Terra Linda.  She has a heart and can wait 2 days for payment.

Comment from Laura C. of Animal Wellness Center of Marin Business Manager 5/14/2015 Rose,We definitely empathize with your situation.  As a pet owner myself I know how stressful it is… Rose,We definitely empathize with your situation.  As a pet owner myself I know how stressful it is to have a sick pet.  My apologies for any stress you are under and any part we played, but as a fellow business owner I hope you can understand it is our policy that payment is due at the time services are rendered.  Nothing is more important to us then our patients and our clients, to allow our business to serve each one of our clients equally we are not in the position to offer credit or billing.  As an option for clients who are unable to pay at the time of service we offer Care Credit.  Care Credit offers many payment offers including 12 months same as cash and it has proved to be helpful to many clients in similar situations.   Thank you,Laura D. Chandler, RVT Practice Manager Read more 8/2/2015

The Animal Wellness Center of Marin is a professional practice that I trust with my dog's health. The staff is helpful, thorough and friendly. Be sure to consider this option when in need of animal care.CF


I printed out two coupons for rabies shots from Living Social. same price as the Humane Society but they included a toe clipping and exam with the shots.Called a couple of days later and asked to bring both of my dogs to the Center for the shots, they said yes - so far, so good. arrived early at the Center and brought my two dogs inside,Waited in the back room until the vet walked in. spoke with  Dr Siek, they took dog #1 back then dog #2. again so far, so good. as i walked out, the receptionist was printing out the forms needed for their license renewal and said there would be a $56.00 fee. i questioned that saying it was supposed to be free beyond the initial $50.00 for the two coupons. she said small print. couldn't argue, no computer to look it up so i paid and left. got home and researched and could not find anything about additional charges. called Living Social up, they looked and also could not find anything - they called the Center and asked them about the charges.  the Center agreed after researching their ad and reimbursed me the $56.00a receptionist who tells a customer small print when there is no small print leaves much to be desired in an employeeleft a bad taste - would thnk twice about bringing my two dogs there ever again


AWC is very clean, the staff are always friendly, and Dr. Siek is wonderful. Our kitty had two surgeries recently, within a month of each other. When we realized we needed the second one and our kitty was in much more pain this time, Dr. Siek got a surgeon lined up for Wallace within days and provided her same level of excellent care throughout. She is obviously an animal lover, which I think is a very important quality in a vet. Thank you Dr. Siek and we will refer anyone who asks for a good vet to you!!

11/30/2014 Updated review

While we have been happy with the care our dogs have received here, it seems like every visit now includes recommendations for hundreds of dollars worth of tests for generally healthy pets.  We've switched to another area vet as a result.

8/3/2012 Previous review Fantastic!  The team at Animal Wellness Center of Marin prepared very complicated export paperwork… Fantastic!  The team at Animal Wellness Center of Marin prepared very complicated export paperwork when we moved with our dogs to Singapore. They were totally helpful, knowledgable and professional. I can't recommend them enough! Read more 4/9/2015

Superb!  Recently, our German Shepherd developed a scary looking and painful condition on her back.  Panicked, my wife called AWC and Dr Cosgrove got her an appointment 12 hours later.  She is on the mend now (she still barks at squirrels outside the window, though).  We've had to call on Dr Cosgrove many times (we have 2 dogs) and he has provided excellent care for us every time.  Highly recommended.


I had a really poor experience with the Animal Wellness Center. I brought my dog in with a sore on his nose, and was told, "This looks like cancer, we have to move fast on this," etc. The doctor said that my dog needed a both biopsy and a chest X-Ray immediately. Of course, this is very upsetting to hear, and I agreed to whatever they recommended. I was also told, quite patronizingly, that, no,  I could not wait in the waiting room with my 14 year old, highly anxious dog, so he sat in a cage for about 6 hours until they they had time to work on him.Thankfully, the sore on my dog's nose turned out to be a bee sting. However, the experience cost nearly $650, and a lot of unnecessary anxiety for both my dog and me. In retrospect, there's no reason why they needed to do a chest X-Ray once they looked at the skin cells and could see that they were not cancerous. Both of the doctors I dealt with there seemed distracted, forgetful, and even a little callous. The only bright spots in the experience were the  front desk receptionists, who were friendly and caring. Overall, though, I would definitely not recommend this place to anyone.

10/23/2014 Updated review

Dr Goldfarb is a wonderful vet. Yes, this place is quite pricey but after trying out quite a few vets in SF  as it is a trek for me, I have decided that you get what you pay for and have returned with my new puppy. How can I justify comparison pricing when its my beloved pet we are talking about ? I especially appreciated Stan's emphasis on using non invasive, holistic methods first before jumping into traditional meds.

3/22/2009 Previous review The best vet I have ever met. Caring, such a gentle manner. Totally up to date on all types of… The best vet I have ever met. Caring, such a gentle manner. Totally up to date on all types of veterinarian medicine from homeopathic to nuts and bolts medicine. Absolutely worth the drive from SF to San Rafael - he is that good.Nice, efficient staff. Read more 6/13/2014

I've been seeing Dr. Goldfarb here for several years, he is excellent! He is a holistic vet, and is great with my dogs. One of my dogs was always shaking her head, and other vets said nothing was wrong. Dr. Goldfarb immediately had us come in to see the chiropractor, and after 2 visits she stopped doing that. Dr. Goldfarb is the only vet I've ever had that will check his voicemails after hours and call back, even on holidays-even when it's not urgent and I tell him he doesn't need to call back until Monday, he still calls to make sure my dog is okay. I highly recommend Dr. Goldfarb, he makes my pets feel at ease and I trust him with the care of my pups.


Dr. Terry is by far the best, most intuitive, knowledgable, and compassionate vet i have ever had the pleasure to work with.  i have always had A LOT of critters, sort of a small unofficial rescue, and i cannot explain to you how he can seemingly perfom magic just by hearing a couple of random, spartan symptoms, and then completes the list of symptoms, asks you some odd questions, and then viola, abbacadabra; poof; he knows precisely what the problem is, how serious or not, and whether or not you need ot bring them in for his personal/professional care!!! He is a true magician!  Though i moved away from Marin years ago, i still call him to confer from time to time with odd and worrisome things and still miss him and his wonderfulness immensely!  He remains the unrivaled champrion of critter care!!!


I bring my 2 year old lab here for aqua therapy with Dr. Michelle Rose.  This is great treatment for any dog who needs just a little help with rehabilitation.  My dog had surgery on her right knee for a luxating patella and the therapy has been fantastic.  Dr. Rose is very patient and caring with my shy dog.  In addition to aqua therapy, Dr. Rose sets up an obstacle course in the back parking lot to strenghthen several lazy leg muscles.  I would recommend this place and the physical therapy to any owner who would like to give their pet an opportunity to get stronger in a fun way.


I have a Portuguese Water Dog who had a very bad experience with a vet that had her be very anxious about being with any vet.  Stanley was so understanding, gentle and patient with her.  That was just the start.  He is very knowledgeable about alternative methods of treatment as well as more traditional modes. We live several hours away from Marin and he made himself available to us after hours in case there was any kind of emergency with our dog.  We now consider him our regular vet and it is well worth the travel to get his expert and kind and knowledgeable treatment.  Thank you Stanley!!


Dr. Siek is excellent; she really cares about your pet. We are so happy we took our senior cat here.  Tech staff is friendly and attentive. thanks AWCJake


Brought my dog Mr T. here for routine checkup, shots, etc. Was really impressed with Dr. Dr. Goldfarb's demeanor and his way of using homeopothy calming water on Mr T. to calm his nervousness from being in a strange place.They said my dog needed to get his canines pulled because they were infected and the infection was in his sinuses and would spread. OK. They have a "special surgeon" come in once a week to do these kinds of things. I'll cut to the chase here - this surgeon is not a dental specialist and should not be doing these surgeries! After the initial surgery we went back three times  to try to get the gaping holes in his mouth to close. They did not charge us for the 3rd surgery. But my poor dog had to get knocked out each time. Finally we brought Mr T. to a different vet. When I asked this specialist what her rate of success was she looked at me oddly and responded "I have never had this surgery fail". Animal Wellness Center told me after the first surgery "Oh yeah, sometimes it takes 2 to 4 surgeries to get the gums to stay stitched up". This was not stated when they gave me an estimate! (our bills came to 3x what the initial estimate was.)  The second vets stitches looked nothing like AWC and he healed up perfectly. We waited a few months to see if he totally healed and then we called AWC about getting a refund for the surgeries. After a few months and several phone calls they gave us a substantial refund (surgeries minus the cost of the first visit and toothe extractions). It was very unprofessional that  they did not refer us to a dental specialist outside of their practice. We will not be going back for any treatment with them.


My wife and I and the dog were on a road-trip and far from  home.  The dog had developed a phlegmy cough two days prior so we brought him in to have him looked at.  Dr. Cosgrove quickly got us in and checked him out.  He started feeling around his belly, asked us if he'd eaten anything odd.  It was possible, we said, so he recommended we get X-rays.   The X-rays were developed quickly and he showed them to us and pointed to something that he said looked suspicious (it looked like kibble working its way through to me--the dog's breakfast).  He said that the dog may have eaten something, scratching his throat on the way down and that might be what was causing the cough.  The dog would probably pass it soon and Dr. Cosgrove gave us two prescriptions:  one anti-biotic in case it was an infection and a cough suppressant.The total was $495.The dog never passed anything.  His stool looked normal for a week (we looked to make sure).  The cough finally quit a few days later, probably thanks to the anti-biotic. This is what I thought the problem was all along, although I'm no vet.What I suspect happened here is that the vet knew we would never be back so he gouged us where he could.  I can't prove that so I will leave it to you to decide.

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