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Carol's Trilogy

Experiences with Alternative Vets - OR - Why You Need a Refferal
  From the below three incidents I have learned a very important lesson
 which I feel compelled to pass on to you.  When your animal is ill, take
 it to the vet for an opinion.  When you get that opinion, run home as fast
 as you can and turn on your computer.  Post about your animal's illness on
 every available animal health board and ask people who have experienced
 this problem with their own pets to contact you.  Gather all the
 information sent to you and get back on the internet and Research,
 Research, Research and then Research some more.  Your animal has only YOU
 to rely on to keep him alive.  Do the best possible job you can!

#1 Swing That Bottle - and Doe-si-doe
 I have always owned lots of animals; all types of animals.  It was a
 feather-picking, self-mutilating Moluccan cockatoo that led me to my first
 experience with an alternative veterinarian.  Traditional veterinarians
 and avian specialists had let me down.  I had even had a consult with the
 prestigious animal hospital in Boston, but the bird continued with the
 mutilation.  My concern was due to the fact that  he had infection after
 infection because he actually bit his legs so deeply that the bone showed.
 Time and again, we placed a collar on him made from x-ray film, but as
 soon as his legs were healed and the collar came off, he was back picking
 at himself and bleeding.  After nearly a year of this cycle, I was
 desperate enough to finally take a friend's advice and make an appointment
 with an alternative vet.  I figured I had nothing to lose but the price of
 the visit.
 We arrived at the appointment which was in the man's house.  The vet was a
 kindly looking sort wearing a sports jacket, shirt and tie.  He beamed as
 he welcomed me at the door and ushered me past the hallway waiting room
 and into his living room/office.  There were no other clients waiting to
 see him - - an omen to be sure, but I was too naive to catch the clue.
 I settled into the easy chair while he moved around the big wooden desk
 and sat down.  The shelves were lined with books, the windows were hung
 with pretty, cream colored curtains but there wasn't an examination table,
 stethoscope, microscope, or any other veterinary tool in sight.  I
 wondered how he practiced medicine without these necessities.
 He had me recount the saga of the cockatoo.  When I finished, he asked me
 to take the bird out of the cage.  I figured he was going to examine it.
 Instead, he reached into the top drawer of his desk and brought out four,
 small, square glass bottles with gold colored, screw-on caps.  There was a
 piece of white string tied around the neck of each bottle.  One after the
 other, he held the bottles suspended over the bird's head by the end of
 the string.  With a straight face he told me that if the bottles moved in
 a circle, it meant that the contents inside the bottle would cure the
 I looked up and started to smile thinking he was joking, but his stern
 look never wavered.
 HELLO !   That's CRAZY !
 Two of the three bottles moved in a circle over the bird's head.  He
 explained what was in each bottle and what these things would do to cure
 my bird.  I really wasn't listening.  All I wanted to do was get the Hell
 out of there.  This guy was a certifiable NUT CASE !
 I stuffed the bird back into the cage, slammed the door shut, grabbed the
 bottle he held out for me to take home, shoved his fee into his hand and
 got out of there as fast as I could speed-walk down the hall carrying my
 cockatoo cage.
 I drove home still thinking that somehow I had missed the joke.  Don't
 they tell you when you're on Candid Camera???  Do they make you pay??

#2 The Universal Cancer Cure
 My cat was diagnosed with cancer.  She even had a tumor on the inside her
 mouth.  I had rescued her at the pound about a year earlier and loved her
 beyond words.  She was Siamese and liked to "talk".  I couldn't walk by
 the door of a room where she was snoozing without her meowing as soon as
 she saw me.  I didn't want to lose her without a fight.
 I've never been a cat person, but I LOVED Isha as much as any dog I've
 ever owned.
 I asked my vet about the possibility of doing chemotherapy but she told me
 the cancer was quite advanced and not a type that responded well to chemo.
 She did tell me that a vet who used to work in her practice and who had
 branched out into alternative veterinary medicine had been treating some
 cancer animals with a new protocol from Canada.  I told her that I had had
 a bad experience with an alternative vet and asked if this guy really knew
 what he was doing.  She assured me that he was very good.
 You know the old expression, "once bitten, twice shy"?  I decided not to
 lay out any money on an alternative vet who might be crazy, so I decided
 to interview him first.  The cockatoo experience was fresh in my mind
 though it had happened three years earlier.
 I telephoned the alternative vet's office and asked if he had any time for
 me to just stop by and talk with him prior to making a formal appointment.
 I gave the name of my traditional vet as my introduction and told him
 truthfully that she had recommended him highly as someone who might be
 able to help my cat beat cancer.  He told me to stop by the next
 The funny thing was, that when I reached his office, it looked VERY
 familiar.  He had purchased the practice from the bottle-swinging wacko
 and had his office in the very same living room.  I relied heavily on the
 fact that my own vet was very good and good vets don't usually associate
 with bad ones.  Plus, I wasn't paying for this consultation.
 We sat in his comfortable office, and I told him about Isha and asked
 about the Canadian cancer protocol my vet had mentioned.  I knew very
 little about cancer treatments at that time.  All I really knew was that
 different types of cancers required different types of treatments and that
 if you were lucky, you could get a remission but not a cure.
 I asked what type of cancers the protocol was able to help, and he smiled
 and said it could CURE all types of cancer.
 A red flag went up.  I asked what the side effects of the drug were.  He
 said there were none.
 Excuse Me????
 I asked him if the drug worked on cats as well as dogs, and he told me it
 did.  I asked to see studies that would show how many animals had been
 tested with this protocol.  He told me he had none, that this was a human
 cancer drug and had only recently started to be used on animals.  That it
 had only been tested on 5 dogs.
 Alarm bells were clanging and lights were going off in my head.  Now I had
 this guy pegged.  He was an idiot!
 "Can I see the human cancer studies since you don't have anything on the
 animals?" I asked.
 "I don't have those either," he admitted, then added as if talking to
 himself, "Guess I really don't know too much about this".
 Then he smiled, recovered his composure and grabbed a thick, hard bound
 book off his desk.  "This book tells everything about the drug," he
 assured me.  "You can buy a copy for $30."
 I asked who wrote it, and was told the guy selling the drug.
 Hummmm.  Wonder what that should have told this vet?
 I told him I'd pass on the book and asked how much the drug cost.  He told
 me it went by the weight of the animal so I picked a number at random and
 told him the cat weighed about 6 lbs.  He did some calculations and told
 me it would cost $300 per month to treat my cat.   Geez.  I hate to think
 what it would cost for a 60 pound dog!!!
 I didn't bother to ask how long it would take for my cat to be cured,
 because it was crystal clear to me that the stuff was crap, but I just had
 to ask the next question though I had a sick feeling I knew the answer
 I asked if any cancer animals in his practice were already on the drug,
 and he said, "Yes".
 "And, has their cancer been cured?" I inquired. 
 "Well, one dog had just started on the drug last week, and the other
 hasn't started it yet." he said.
 He asked if I wanted him to place an order with the drug company in Canada
 for my cat.  I told him I'd think about it and left.
 The next day I went to the library, typed the name of the Canadian drug
 into the Search Block on the computer and hit "Search".  Up popped an
 article detailing the drug and the "discoverer".  The guy was not an M.D.
 or a vet or even a technician.  He had no credentials whatsoever unless
 you consider it to his credit that he had been thrown out of a foreign
 country for peddling other false "cancer cures" that were debunked as
 money making scams.
 At the end of the article there was a statement made by the Canadian
 government urging everyone NOT to purchase the "cancer drug" which was in
 fact analyzed and found to contain a combination of sterile water, witch
 hazel and two other common household items that I can't recall.  The
 American Cancer Society also warned that while they could not stop people
 from purchasing this product through the mail, it had no medical value
 whatsoever and did, in fact, burn the skin of the person using it.
 My heart went out to the dog already on this stuff because I knew he was
 suffering not only with the cancer but with the junk his owner was
 injecting into his body.
 I printed out the article and drove to the alternative vet's office.  He
 was with a patient when I got there, so I wrote a note across the bottom
 of the printout which read:  "Hope you can get your clients' money back",
 and left the paper with his receptionist.
 To this day, I cannot understand how man trained in veterinarian medicine
 could be so easily duped or why he didn't just do what I did, look into
 the drug before putting dogs and cats at risk.  "Buyer beware" has a whole
 new meaning for me as a result of this experience.

#3 The Beginner
 Years passed and as you might imagine, I stayed as far away from
 alternative vets as possible.  Last year I decided to give it one last
 try.  I consulted the internet for a listing of accredited alternative
 vets in my area.  My cat had PKD and cancer.  I knew how to treat both,
 but there was a lot of talk on the internet animal boards about how
 natural things could do even more to relieve the stress on a sick animal's
 I made an appointment with a traditional vet in a multiple vet practice
 who was also trained in alternative treatments.
 There were a number of vets in the practice, and it was the typical
 traditional setting with metal examination tables, microscopes, syringes
 and stethoscopes.  I felt at home.
 By this time I knew a little about holistic treatments, enough to know
 that there were some things that actually did work to improve a sick
 animal's condition.  The trick was to find a vet who knew what he was
 I have a bad habit of "testing" new vets with questions they should be
 able to answer if they "have a clue".  So, I asked this guy about feeding
 onions to my animal.  He told me raw onions caused red blood cells to
 burst but cooked onions were fine - - WRONG!!!  I told him I had an older
 dog with spinal degeneration and asked if there was anything he could do
 to help him.  He told me there was no treatment for this condition - -
 WRONG AGAIN!!!  By the end of the visit it was clear that this guy was a
 novice in the ways of alternative medicines.  I had been hoping to find a
 I've always had a problem allowing vets to remain ignorant of cures I know
 about, so before I left, I set him straight on the onions and even
 provided him with a printout of an article detailing the facts that I had
 taken off the internet.  I also filled him in on Dr Belfield's cure for
 spinal degeneration dogs.
 As he totaled up the bill, he told me that I knew more than he did about
 alternative therapies.  Actually that was true but pathetic since my
 knowledge is minimal, and his was most definitely less than that.  Despite
 his admission, he still managed to charge me $78 for the visit.  Maybe I
 could have gotten away with a bill of $55 if I hadn't taken up his time
 teaching him how to cure spinal degeneration dogs.