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Tags veterinary , homeopathy

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Old 22nd January 2007, 11:53 PM   #1
John Bentley
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Veterinary Homeopathy strikes again!

I have just had a terrible day with one of my old patients. She is a very sweet, 12 year old beagle. I diagnosed her with a neurofibrosarcoma on her wrist joint about a year ago. This is a particularly nasty tumor that is resistant to chemo and radiation therapy. The only real hope for a cure is to amputate the affected limb, because the tumor grows from the neural tissue of the area, thus making local excision impossible.

The client took my diagnosis and treatment option one year ago and went to see the local quack acupuncture/homeopathy vets in my town. For the last year, she has been getting homeopathic treatment for the tumor, and acupuncture for the pain. The client brought the dog back to me because the tumor is now the size of a softball, has ulcerated, and is leaking blood and goo all over her house.

Of course, she can't say enough good things about the homeopathic therapy! I have radiographed (x-rayed) the dog's chest, and discovered that tumors are now present in her lungs, and the dog no longer has any hope for a cure. The client now wants me to amputate the limb to give her (the client) some relief from the weeping ulcers on the tumor.

She also gushed about how the acupuncture has helped her dog's pain. THE DOG HAS A FREAKING FENTANYL PATCH ON! I'm sure it feels great! These quacks are charging her for acupuncture treatment for "pain" and then slap a fentanyl patch on the dog. For you non-medical types, fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine.

I amputated the dog's limb, muttering under my breath that "it's not the dog's fault", and "I can't punish the dog for the stupidity of my client", and other such efforts at self-control.

With tumors in the chest, it is unlikely that the dog will live longer than 6 months. I could have cured it a year ago!
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Old 22nd January 2007, 11:57 PM   #2
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This story saddens me. Our pets depend upon our care.
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Old 23rd January 2007, 01:47 AM   #3
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May I quote this in an article? I think it's gloves off time. It's bad enough when the sCAM brigade is simply stupid, but frankly they are dishonest. For example I am just reviewing a draft report on homeopathy, prepared by a certain medical organisation with global presence, which totally ignores any consideration of study quality when evaluating the evidence. No reputable journal would accept such a treatment of the data.
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Old 23rd January 2007, 05:22 AM   #4
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Angry

Oh, that's just so sick, sick, sick ...

In any case, well done, John ... you've done your best.
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Old 23rd January 2007, 09:38 AM   #5
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This is one in the eye for the apologists who say "Well, if homeopathy doesn't do any good, it doesn't do any harm either."

This poor dog has suffered because "allopathic" remedies were eschewed in favour of homeopathy.
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Old 23rd January 2007, 09:41 AM   #6
John Bentley
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Originally Posted by Asolepius View Post
May I quote this in an article? I think it's gloves off time. It's bad enough when the sCAM brigade is simply stupid, but frankly they are dishonest. For example I am just reviewing a draft report on homeopathy, prepared by a certain medical organisation with global presence, which totally ignores any consideration of study quality when evaluating the evidence. No reputable journal would accept such a treatment of the data.
Yes, you may.
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Old 23rd January 2007, 10:11 AM   #7
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More here, if anyone hasn't already seen them.
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Old 24th January 2007, 09:58 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by John Bentley View Post
I have just had a terrible day with one of my old patients.
I have nothing to offer but condolences.

Did you explain to the owner that the pain relief comes from the patch? A patch you could have sold her, and spared her dog being poked with needles?

After all, she might not understand the importance of keeping the patch on.
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Old 24th January 2007, 01:06 PM   #9
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There are times when I regret not living in an age with easy access to restless mobs and small portable gallows.
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Old 24th January 2007, 07:50 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by John Bentley View Post
For the last year, she has been getting homeopathic treatment for the tumor, and acupuncture for the pain. The client brought the dog back to me because the tumor is now the size of a softball, has ulcerated, and is leaking blood and goo all over her house.

Of course, she can't say enough good things about the homeopathic therapy!
I so much want to break rule 8.
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Old 24th January 2007, 08:41 PM   #11
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is it against some ethical standard to tell her that the quack treatments did nothing to slow the tumor growth or slow the pain?
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Old 25th January 2007, 02:44 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by nails3jesus0 View Post
is it against some ethical standard to tell her that the quack treatments did nothing to slow the tumor growth or slow the pain?
I can't remember what country John is in. In the UK, Criticism of another vet might fall foul of part 1F of the RCVS's Guide to Professional Conduct, which states:
Quote:
Veterinary surgeons must not:

a. speak or write disparagingly about another veterinary surgeon
I think this is the section under which, a year or so ago, a complaint was made about something on the website of a forum member who happens to be a vet. In that case, no mention was made of any particular vet, and the words complained of were the title of an article that the site linked to concerning homoeopaths in general. Although the RCVS decided that this did not amount to serious professional misconduct, they did request that the offending words be removed from the site.

Does pointing out that a vet uses treatments that are totally useless count as "disparaging"?
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Old 25th January 2007, 05:48 PM   #13
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You know people talk about having an open mind to these poor excuses for medicine. Does that owner have an open mind? Absolutely not! They are 100% convinced that crap works and even their pet dying will not sway them from that belief.
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Old 25th January 2007, 06:34 PM   #14
John Jackson
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
I can't remember what country John is in. In the UK, Criticism of another vet might fall foul of part 1F of the RCVS's Guide to Professional Conduct, which states:
Quote:
Veterinary surgeons must not:

a. speak or write disparagingly about another veterinary surgeon
What about non-veterinarians posting on, say, a Skeptics', but non-veterinarian, UK website?

Or is this an issue that can only be successfully addressed by veterinarians from the inside (apparently)?
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Old 25th January 2007, 09:58 PM   #15
skeptifem
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^does that quack actually qualify as a vetrinarian?
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Old 26th January 2007, 01:47 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by John Jackson View Post
What about non-veterinarians posting on, say, a Skeptics', but non-veterinarian, UK website?
The RCVS code of conduct only applies to vets. Non-vets can say what they want (within reason and the libel laws).
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Old 26th January 2007, 01:50 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by nails3jesus0 View Post
^does that quack actually qualify as a vetrinarian?
If the quack is treating animals in the UK and is not registered as a vet with the RCVS, they are breaking the law. Again, I don't know what country John Bentley is in, so this might not apply.
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Old 26th January 2007, 02:33 AM   #18
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John should take steps to have this woman's dog taken away from her and put out of it's misery and any other pets she might have also taken away from her. It must be legally possible somehow.
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Old 26th January 2007, 07:01 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
If the quack is treating animals in the UK and is not registered as a vet with the RCVS, they are breaking the law. Again, I don't know what country John Bentley is in, so this might not apply.
Wait, does this mean homeopaths who treat animals are counted as vets in Britain? What about chiropracters?
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Old 26th January 2007, 07:32 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Wait, does this mean homeopaths who treat animals are counted as vets in Britain? What about chiropracters?
No, it means that in order for an animal to be treaded with homeopathy in the UK, a real vet ahs to do it. That is someone who ahs spend god knows how many years training in real science and real medicine at a real university, only to then decide to throw all reason out of the window and start torturing animals by denying them effective treatment, and then start lying to the pets owners about how the animal getting worse is actually proof that the homeopathy is working.
I am not aware of any chiropractic vets in the UK (or anywhere) but if they are treating animals in the UK, then they need to have a degree in veterinary medicine (or similar), and to be registered with the RCVS.
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Old 26th January 2007, 08:02 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by brodski View Post
I am not aware of any chiropractic vets in the UK (or anywhere) but if they are treating animals in the UK, then they need to have a degree in veterinary medicine (or similar), and to be registered with the RCVS.
There are no chiropractic vets in the UK, but the UK College of Chiropractors does have an Animal Faculty:

http://www.colchiro.org.uk/default.a...tle=Animal%20-

According to the RCVS, animals can be treated by manual therapists under the direction of vets:
Quote:
Physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors

15. The Veterinary Surgery (Exemptions) Order 1962 allows for the treatment of animals by physiotherapy, provided that the animal has first been seen by a veterinary surgeon who has diagnosed the condition and decided that it should be treated by physiotherapy under his/her direction.

16. 'Physiotherapy' is interpreted as including all kinds of manipulative therapy. It therefore includes osteopathy and chiropractic but would not, for example, include acupuncture or aromatherapy (see Part 1I, paragraph 2, Your responsibilities in relation to the treatment of animals by non-veterinary surgeons).

http://www.rcvs.org.uk/Templates/Int...D=92572#physio
Part 1I, paragraph 2:
Quote:
Treatment by acupuncture, aromatherapy, homoeopathy or other complementary therapy may only be administered by a veterinary surgeon who should have undergone training in these procedures. At present, it is illegal for them to be given by practitioners who are not veterinary surgeons.

http://www.rcvs.org.uk/Templates/Pre...ntNodeID=89642
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Old 7th February 2007, 01:23 PM   #22
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The poor dog! Someone should slap that owner. I wonder if she developed cancer if she would just go with homeopathy and acupuncture? I bet she wouldn't, she'd probably get real medical treatment but that just wasn't good enough for her dog.

I'm sorely tempted to send your post to a dog email list that I'm a member of. I don't think any of the members would avoid veterinary care but a good number of them give their dogs Rescue Remedy, acupuncture, and chiropractic. Oh and a good number of them also believe in pet psychics.
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Old 7th February 2007, 01:25 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by brodski View Post
I am not aware of any chiropractic vets in the UK (or anywhere) but if they are treating animals in the UK, then they need to have a degree in veterinary medicine (or similar), and to be registered with the RCVS.
There's one here in the US not far from me. My friend takes her Corgi to him and swears up and down how wonderful he is. She justifies it by pointing out that he does have a veterinary degree in addition to being a pet chiropractor.
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Old 7th February 2007, 07:17 PM   #24
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That's just... awful.

There are none so blind....
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