Monthly Archives: March 2015

Dr. EBM and “The Nature Article”

dog8

In a previous post I mentioned my encounter with a veterinarian (Dr. EBM) who argued with me all though a presentation on holistic medicine I gave at a veterinary conference. He loudly found fault with just about everything I said.

For instance, as a case example of the tendency of veterinarians to over-vaccinate our patients, I presented my own dog, “Katy.” Her last Distemper-Parvo vaccine was when she was 12 weeks old. I also gave her only ½ the dose since she was so small. Yearly titers have shown that she has had protective immunity for 11 years and counting.

Well, Dr. EBM was upset by my suggestion that small dogs do not need the same dose of vaccine as large dogs. He argued that it was not the ½ dose of vaccine that imparted 11 years of immunity to my dog. Apparently he thinks that the immunity from her mother has lasted that long. Talk about an unscientific assertion!

In my nutrition lecture, I compare the nutritional needs of dogs to those of wolves since they are so closely related and anatomically similar. To this Dr. EBM brought up the notorious Nature study.

In 2013, the journal Nature published a study done by a group of evolutionary geneticists that compared the DNA of dogs to that of wolves. They concluded that there are genetic mutations in dogs that appeared to indicate they had a better ability than wolves to digest and absorb carbohydrates. I have voiced my evaluation of this study here and here.

When Dr. EBM brought up this research, I was ready. I had carefully read and analyzed the study so spoke knowledgeably about it, which took Dr. EBM by surprise. My final argument to him was that even if dogs have the capacity to process carbs, that does not mean that starch is a healthy nutrient for them.

I pointed out that I can digest ethanol and sucrose but that does not mean I am likely to be healthy consuming a diet high in Twinkies and tequila. Believe it or not, I actually got Dr. EBM to say that an equivalent diet would be just fine for dogs. It is amazing to what extremes of ridiculousness people will go to defend their warped point of view.

Who wants to join me in self-experimentation with the Twinkies and Tequila (TnT) diet?

The True Spirit of Medicine

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There are many catch words that get bandied about regarding holistic medicine and I would like to make it clear why I first and foremost consider myself a holistic vet.

  • Yes, I use Natural treatments. This means that I work with the body’s natural abilities for self-healing. Unfortunately, the word “natural” has been so overused recently that it has become almost meaningless. Ultimately, everything comes from Mother Earth.
  • Yes, much of what I do is considered Alternative Medicine. This simply means that it is not widely accepted in the Western veterinary medical community. Unfortunately, it takes too long for conventional medicine to accept helpful treatments. The lack of research regarding alternative medicine is mostly due to the fact that you can’t patent truly natural remedies, such as herbs, so it’s a losing proposition to lay out hundreds of thousands of dollars for the needed studies. On the other hand, major drug companies and pet food manufacturers have plenty of cash to pay for research that promotes their products.
  • Yes, I am an Integrative vet. I have not abandoned Western medicine. Instead I use whatever combination of medicine, surgery, and holistic modality is best for each individual patient.
  • Mostly though, I’m a Holistic vet. Holistic medicine addresses the patient as a whole – body, mind, and SPIRIT. There is a level of reality beyond, and yet enmeshed in, the physical, material universe. If I did not have an appreciation of the spiritual aspects of my patients and their caregivers, they and I would become little more than robots.

Don’t settle for treatment by a robot.