Imagine that you could start a pharmaceutical business selling nothing but pure water. OK, sometimes maybe you have to put one or two parts per billion of some substance in it, but how much could that cost? You can sell your medicine under just about any name that you want for several dollars for just a few ounces and claim that it “supports the treatment of” any given condition. Since your product has no real active ingredients, you can honestly claim that it is 100% safe and won’t interact with other medications. Now what if you aim it at a market where those using it couldn’t verbalize whether it was working or not? Welcome to the world of veterinary homeopathy.
For those unfamiliar with the regular old human form of homeopathy, you might want to read this first. While researching this piece I came upon the writings of Gloria Dodd, DVM and her Everglo-Natural website. Nothing I’m saying here is meant to be taken as an ad hominem attack. I’m sure she is a nice lady who loves animals. But, wow, I’m bowled over by the sheer volume of woo in one place. There are homeopathic medications; there is Kirlian photography for diagnosis, there are acupressure charts, quartz crystals, quack medical devices and magnets. Did I mention the anti-radiation devices and detoxing agents? She’s got those too.
And then there is the woo-speak. She can speak woo with the best of them. Here is an example describing Kirlian photographs on her site:
Kirlian Photographs of energy field of acupuncture meridians on the toes (footprints) of dogs and cats. Normal healthy animals as compared to the various sick animals before and after wearing the Healing
Halter™. Please note the breaks in the aura and the low amplitude of energy of the sick animals’ footprints before wearing the halter, and how the halter increased the amplitude (The width or thickness of the EMF halo) and filled in the breaks of the auric fields in the kirlian photos. This proves the energyzing affect of the halter on the body’s electromagnetic field, normalizing the energy flow, which has been found to stimulate the body’s healing mechanisms.
Wow. You just can’t make stuff like that up. And it’s not just one lone nut out there, there is an entire American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association with members in every US state and Canada. They advocate such practices as acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, Chinese herbs, Bach flowers, ozone therapy and many others. A quick google search will unearth numerous holistic healthcare sites for animals.
OK, you might be saying. Where it the harm in all of this other than a few (thousand) gullible people being separated from their money? I would argue that it is the animals who are paying the real price when they are not being treated with real medicine. I am an animal lover and I’d never give my beloved dogs a BS homeopathic “preventative” for heartworms, just as one example. In my humble opinion, and I’m sure you’ll let me know if you feel differently, this kind of nonsense is tantamount to animal abuse.
Animals, of course, don’t have to ability to chose their own treatments or to say, “hey that crap isn’t working, give me some real medicine”. For that matter, either do small children or incapacitated people. As responsible adults and animal owners, we owe it to them to do the right thing and eschew the woo. Let’s treat real ailments with real medicine.
Shirley’s Wellness Cafe – Holistic Healthcare for People and Animals
Everglo-Natural Veterinary Services, Inc.– Holistic Petcare
Casewatch – FDA Warning Letter to Dr. Gloria Dodd, DVM