I've used VSG and AEC twice now over the years. Yes, they are pricey, but that goes with being the best in the country. I can't recommend the vets and the team highly enough (barring the one abrupt receptionist, but hey, everyone has bad days.) Seriously, my cat wouldn't be alive and happy today if it wasn't for these guys. I don't normally write reviews, but that one star from an annoyed client made me see red, so here's my take.
I felt taken advantage of in my situation. $5000+ spent and nothing gained. Did they know what they were doing or were they just wanting my money? I got second opinions after going there and the other vets were shocked. Very unsympathetic and rude lady on the desk, too. Terrible experience overall. Just all too heartbreaking in my vulnerable situation.