Science

In my world of veterinary medicine science is very important. It decides what works and what does not. I feel a bit like Don Quixote tilting at windmills with all of the pseudoscience in the veterinary field. There are days I think just grinding up some dandelions and calling them a supplement and selling it for a profit of 50 bucks a bottle would be easier than fighting it.

I recently had an emergency call about a cut on an ear that was bleeding persistently. After we talked through things she could do at home she asked if she should give the dog a well-known calming remedy that is essentially water. It is a homeopathic solution which in realist terms is something to treat the owner not the dog. Part of the “don’t just stand there, do something” technique.

Homeopathic remedies are based on a discredited theory that like cures like. So they are herbs or substances that cause the symptom that is being treated. As in a substance that causes vomiting to help the body stop vomiting. The key in homeopathic remedies is that they are diluted over and over and over and over (times 30) enough that there is NO ingredient other than water in the remedy. Not. Even. Kidding. Why anyone would think that would help is clearly not versed either in what they are giving or in science or both.

The most aggravating part of this is that pharmacies carry homeopathic remedies right next to real products. And some veterinarians dispense (and charge for!) these products too. It is a huge for-profit scam. As a consumer I ask you to eschew such lunacy and maybe even mention it to the pharmacy or veterinarian that the solution is water or the tablets are just sugar and that it is inappropriate for them to sell them to an uneducated public.

I feel it is vital to be educated about your pet’s care (and your own) and not spend money on quack remedies. Caveat emptor.

Good places to educate yourself are www.sciencebasedmedicine.org and www.skeptvet.com.

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