Do vets know what they are talking about? That can be a hard question to answer. Of course, vets know what they are talking about. However, there are new discoveries being made every day in veterinary medicine. These new discoveries can contradict what they have been taught their entire careers. Also, vets have an obligation to the drug companies, the very companies that help heal your pets. Unfortunately, they are in the business of making money. If the risks to certain medications, such as Rimadyl, do not occur enough times, they do not take it off the market.
Interestingly enough, Rimadyl has been taken off the market, but only for human use. It is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that is prescribed for arthritis and can cause liver damage in both humans and animals, but there has not been enough incidents with the drug in animal use for it to be pulled.
Drug companies that manufacture pet vaccinations put on the label that they should be administered yearly, however, there is a chance that it will cause IMHA, also known as Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia, in dogs.
IMHA is a disease that causes antibodies to destroy red blood cells in dogs bodies. However, the numbers of this occurrence have not been high enough to create a statistic for it, but it does happen. Basically, if there isn’t enough evidence that it happens, it isn’t worth warning people about it and risking the chance of losing money. Even though studies show that the vaccinations can be done every three years, and in the case of the parvovirus vaccine, which will protect for life, and the distemper vaccine that will protect for up to seven years, even longer, the drug companies still will not change the labels.
Veterinarians are taught to handle medicine a very specific way. The same way that human doctors are taught medicine is the way vets learn it, but for animals. It is called “conventional” medicine. It isn’t necessarily wrong, however, things aren’t always as black and white as medical schools teach them to be. This has left vets even asking, do vets know what they are talking about? Conventional medicine is not wrong, but there are always other options.
Some see them as “easy options” and do not offer them. Alternative medicine is taking a rise in veterinary care. Using herbs and acupressure to help heal pets ailments are starting to be looked at as acceptable alternatives to “conventional” medicine.
Some vets use acupressure points on the bottoms of dogs’ paws to help ease arthritis pain and find that it really works. They also offer an herb called Devil’s Claw that has been used in African medicine for centuries as a medicinal herbal remedy for arthritis pain. These vets have taken on the calling of “Homeopathic Veterinary Medicine”. They prove that things are not always so black and white. If recognizing that there are alternatives to medicines who’s side effects are not really worth the healing properties is what it takes to saving all the lives they can, then the question will no longer be, “Do vets know what they are talking about?”, but instead will be, “Why didn’t we see this doctor first?”