Does Your Pet Have Idiopathic Disease?

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Here’s how the conversation goes. “Doc, do you know what’s wrong with my dog? Do you know what’s causing his problem?” “Yes.” “Tell me doc, what’s my dog have? What’s wrong with him?” “Your dog has Idiopathic disease.” “He does? He has Idiopathic disease? That sounds serious. What does it mean?” “It means we don’t know what’s causing his problem.” “But doc, I thought you said you knew what was causing his problem?” “I do.” “Then tell me doc, what’s wrong with my dog?” “I told you, he has Idiopathic disease.”  “But you said that Idiopathic disease means you don’t know what the problem is.” “That’s right.” “But you also said that you knew what his problem is.” “I do.” “Then tell me, what’s his problem?” “I told you, he has Idiopathic disease.” And so it goes.

Doctors like to have answers. We like to put names on things. Idiopathic Epilepsy, Idiopathic Hypercalcemia, Idiopathic Stomatitis, Idiopathic Vestibular Syndrome, Idiopathic Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia … Believe me, the list goes on. And actually, there are many diseases for which we do not know the cause that are not labeled “Idiopathic.” Does anyone really know what causes such common problems as allergies and cancer? Just because you label it does not mean you understand it. There’s a reason that “Idiopathic” shares the same root as “Idiot.”

The practitioners of Western medicine have a lot to learn. So much of life, health, and disease are a medical mystery for all of us. Unfortunately, some veterinarians parade around and lecture pet caregivers as if they know everything. They belittle those seeking holistic care for their pets, even though they have absolutely no understanding of it.

Things that were considered quackery just a few years ago are now standard practice in veterinary medicine. Remember when the use of probiotics was weird? Using glucosamine and chondroitin for joint problems used to be considered bogus. These days, not only these supplements, but even therapeutic laser and acupuncture have become mainstream. Many of us holistic practitioners have been using these therapies for decades.

Holistic medicine is the cutting edge of pet medical care. It is the wave of the future. Those who can’t see this simple fact are Idiopathetic!

Have you had a run in with a vet over holistic care?

6 replies
  1. Teresa
    Teresa says:

    Yes, had a terrible run in. My Golden slippef & fell off the bed, landing on his Rt hip in the middle of the night. Went to work, he was fine but it was swollen the following night so took him to vet next morning. He KNEW it was an infection…I’m an RN but he didn’t believe it was an injury. Took him to surgery late in afternoon, opened him up, no infection but he’d torn a blood vessel that had tampanoded. He couldn’t locate the tear, so applied pressure bandage & put him in the cage to wake up. He woke up & bled out before the ARROGANT IDIOT vet could do anything to help my baby. Forgive…forget…NO.

  2. Jeri Howell
    Jeri Howell says:

    Yes, our older dog had an HGE episode and I got the “What are you doing feeding your dog raw food” lecture from a vet I didn’t know from thousands of miles away (my parents were keeping her while we visited in-laws). Even my regular vet, though, who was no fan of raw told me I had not caused this with raw. She continued to have very mild episodes of bloody explosive diarrhea until we took her off everything, fed her the horrible canned stuff while her gut healed, then weaned her slowly over 2 mos. onto a novel raw protein diet. No more problems from then on with those kinds of episodes. So much for conventional wisdom.

  3. Monica Zettler-Segal
    Monica Zettler-Segal says:

    My dog has CA and has fought it off for several years with the help of Chemo treatments at PVSEC. But she has begun to have pain in one leg: otherwise, she is quite normal. Is there anything you could do–acupuncture or laser, perhaps, to buy her a little time. Please let me know ASAP, as I shall make an appointment immediately! I don’t ask for guarantees, just a little hope!

    Thanks so much!

    • Dr. Doug
      Dr. Doug says:

      There is always hope that acupuncture and other approaches may help. I am amazed every day by some of the responses I see. My office number is 724-774-8047.


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