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I'm hearing more stories of holistic veterinarians being pressured to step away from alternative medicine that has been practiced for thousands of years and, instead, to focus on traditional options that include commercial pet food with questionable ingredients and sourcing, drugs with harmful side effects and unnecessary surgery. The more I hear these stores, the more empathy I have for Rodrigo and Sydney's first vet. The vet who said that Rodrigo would live a short life. The vet who said Rodrigo would have to have a leg amputated. The vet who believed that all dogs were disposable – lose one, just go get another.
Holistic Medicine Saved My Dogs
If it weren't for holistic medicine, I have no doubt that Rodrigo would have crossed the Rainbow Bridge years ago. I often wonder how many dogs are put down because veterinarians tell pet parents that there are no other options; ignoring the many holistic and natural options that pet parents have to track down for themselves.
Rodrigo had a laundry list of health issues…
- Digestive issues, chronic diarrhea, loose stool, gas, and anal gland issues
- Joint issues so bad that he couldn't walk on one leg
- Skin issues that included gnarly rashes and yeasty/sticky skin on his tummy area
- Chronic ear infections that returned regularly despite medication
- Itchy paws that he'd like for so long that he created sores
- Behavioral issues because he was living in a state of inflammation and always in pain and uncomfortable
Raw feeding cleared up most of his health issues in less than two weeks. Learn more about feeding fresh foods, whole food supplements, and the importance of gut health helped my dogs make it to their senior years. Rodrigo and Sydney thriving and next year they'll be nine years old. Not bad for a dog that was predicted to live a short life as a three-legged mutt.
If it were up to their first veterinarian, my dogs would be dead. Today, I work with a holistic veterinarian clinic that respects my health plan for all of my dogs. They understand animal nutrition and support my passion for raw feeding. And I'm thankful that I have that support.
But what if they were pressured to only promote kibble, vaccinations, and harmful prescription medication? What if they were told that they weren't allowed to promote fresh food for pets and alternative medicine? Where would I be then?
“My intention here is to provide you with insight into a system that is deeply flawed and, in my opinion, threatens the ethical principles of medicine and the safety and health of our beloved pets.”
Dr. Peter Dobias Walks Away from Veterinary Medicine
This morning, I received an email from Dr. Peter Dobias (I'm on the newsletter list) and I'm sharing a portion of the letter below. His email is powerful and serves as a warning to those of us who have chosen a natural path to raise our pets. Our way of life is under attack. It started with how we feed our pets and now they're going after our first line of defense, our veterinarians.
I wanted to share an excerpt from Dr. Dobias' email here on my blog, however, I didn't receive permission, therefore, I'll try and summarize what he wrote. You can read about Dr. Dobias' experience on Facebook.
Two years ago, Dr. Dobias wrote an article about the Vancouver SPCA. This organization forced a foster puppy to be neutered because the puppy was displaying neurological tremors; I gather that no steps were taken to explore why the tremors were occurring. As a result of the article, the CEO of the Vancouver SPCA filed a complaint against Dr. Dobias. This was the beginning of what appeared, to me, to be systematic harassment of Dr. Dobias by the College of Veterinarians of British Columbia, as they sent him letters making demands on how he runs his business and including his line of supplements, sharing testimonials from the people he helps. They even wanted him to suggest traditional paths first, keeping holistic methods as an alternative if the traditional methods fail to work. Do they realize that he's a holistic vet?
The final straw was an anonymous email sent to the College of Veterinarians of British Columbia that referred to Dr. Dobias as a “snake oil salesman” – that's professional – and shared their confidence that he'd be taken care of by the College. This wasn't an official complaint, however, the College felt the need to give Dr. Dobias an ultimatum. Either stop what he was doing (helping pets holistically through his company) or surrender his license.
What Are They Afraid Of?
I often give traditional veterinarians an excuse for why they frown on holistic medicine and feeding fresh food. If the only pets they see (that are fed a raw diet) are sick, then I can't blame them for having a negative opinion about feeding fresh food. However, I'm starting to step away from that excuse. It rings of naivete. As I see the fresh food movement growing, as I see more pet parents seeking alternatives to treating their dogs and cats, and as I see raw feeding becoming the norm instead of a fad – I also see veterinarians and pet food brands fighting hard to keep the status quo.
But it won't work because traditional medicine and commercial pet food have failed many of us and we're seeing the lives of the pets we love saved by natural treatments and fresh food.
It's a disappointment that ego and profits are keeping people from keeping an open mind. If science remained stagnant, we wouldn't be where we are today.
Dr. Cathy Alinovi
Often when people read these types of posts, they believe that this is just one instance and this isn't proof that there may be an issue. That may be true, however, having worked in the pet industry for more than 5 years, I've witnessed, experienced, and have been told so many things that I'm a bit more doubtful.
Dr. Cathy Alinovi is the veterinarian who was kind enough to help me transition my dogs to a DIY raw diet right as I was going to give up and switch back to kibble. I met Dr. Alinovi shortly after starting Keep the Tail Wagging and she was kind enough to help me with many health posts and when I began researching raw feeding, she helped me understand the different models.
Despite her experience, she's still working hard to be the voice of smaller pet brands, our pets, and pet parents.