Dog Flu: Fear, Uncertainty and Marketing

sleeping dog, looking sick

When Hyperbole Rules, Your Animals Lose “Deadly Canine Flu Sweeping the Midwest” reads the headline. “Highly contagious,” says the article. “Thousands” of dogs sickened in the Midwest, experts say. “Brand new dog flu strain,” never seen before in the U.S., say researchers. The canine influenza outbreak is all over the news and social media, and the hype about it is quite remarkable. And there’s news: it’s a new strain, called H3N2, originating from Asia, specifically China and South Korea. If you have been on the planet for more than 30 years, and have a good sense of marketing and media hype, this is all pretty suspect. Unless you’re a vaccine manufacturer or a veterinarian who stands to profit from fear mongering increasing your sales of vaccines. Let’s dig deeper to quell the fear the marketers would have you feel. As you know, if you’ve been reading along here for the … [Read more...]

Feeding the Kidney Patient: The Low Protein Diet Myth

leopard hunting

Low Protein Diets? Really? The Skinny On Kidney Disease Kidney disease. This one way street eventually leads to death. We see it in our cats most often, much less in dogs, and I suspect far, far less in horses. People die of this regularly. Unlike the liver, with its massive capacity for regeneration, the kidney simply doesn’t allow for renewal. Once kidney failure (or, more politely, CKD chronic kidney disease) is diagnosed in your animal, it means 75% or more of the kidneys’ capacity to filter wastes is now lost. Failure is the operant word, though. These two small organs are in failure and won’t pull out of it. Luckily, homeopathy offers quite effective palliation. Palliation means, in any treatment modality, that as long as treatment continues, the disease symptoms are minimized and the animal feels and acts pretty well. While we’d rather cure, in which the disease is, in … [Read more...]