“I Was Politely Ignored by My Vet”

Hey, wait! I know this is real!

Hey, wait! I know this is real!

When you see something causing illness in your animal, and you’ve seen it happen before, you know in your heart of hearts that it would be best to avoid this thing next time, right?

You don’t want to do anything to make your animal ill. That’s just basic, isn’t it? This animal is in your care, day in and day out. Who is better than you to know when something causes your animal harm?

The Power of Careful Observation

You, of all people, have the best bead on what “normal” looks like, because you live close to this animal, feed her, groom her, walk her, play with her, maybe even sleep with her. You also know, without blood tests or radiographs or ultrasounds when something is wrong, when abnormal appears. It’s obvious. After living long with normal, abnormal is easy to observe.

If something preceded abnormal, you’d also be aware of that.

“Last night, when that thunderstorm was approaching, my Hermione really got nervous.”

“Whenever I give her the monthly heartworm pills, she goes off her food for a couple of meals and sleeps more.”

“We had way too much fun in the lake yesterday, and today, Sophie’s really acting sore.”

When that something that preceded abnormal came at the hands of your veterinarian, who would be the first person you’d want to know about this, so it’s never done again?

Your vet, of course! And if Dr. WhiteCoat shines you on?

Here’s a sad tale from a reader that came to my inbox just this week:

“I adopted an English Setter, she has terrible allergies.  My vet referred her to dematologist and she has been on shots for 1 1/2 years, doing okay.  Yearly shots, allergies went crazy. When I tried to bring up shots as possible reason, they politely ignored me.  Just gave Heartguard, major upset stomach.  She had tapeworms and when I gave her the treatment from vet, she was very sick for days, they said it was not the tapeworm treatment

My question, can she just have a problem with chemicals being introduced into her body.  I have spent thousands of dollars and feel hopeless.  I am afraid not to do as my vet says but I feel I am harming her.

My other 3 dogs do not have these reactions.  

Are there natural alternatives for her?

So worried. Linda”

My heart went out to this poor woman in equal measure to my heart rate rising, as I read this. Politely ignored? Denied what you’ve repeatedly seen, with your own eyes in your own animal? That’s amazing hubris on the part of the vets.

What’s a Responsible Animal Owner to Do?

You’ve got two choices, as I see it:

  1. Ask your veterinarian to look deeper. Reconsider. Research further.
  2. Fire your veterinarian and seek another who listens to you, respects your observations, and is willing to work with you.

[Hint: you may want to try a homeopathic vet, who often takes an hour or more for an initial intake, and takes notes of your observations! I advised Linda that yes, “sensitive to medicines” is a very real symptom and would help a homeopathic vet cure her animal.]

This week coincidentally, I also saw an email on our homeopathic vet list from a colleague:

“I was at a (hospital) management group meeting a number of months ago. The speaker was a new grad and he was talking about how to make more $. He kept emphasizing vaccines. I bit my tongue cause I felt sorry for this really nice young gentleman who was testing his talk on our group. Finally, when the discussion was opened to the room of my colleagues, I couldn’t take it anymore. I mentioned “allergies” as a sequelae to vaccination. Everyone agreed they had never seen this happen. I asked them if they were LOOKING FOR THE CONNECTION!

They all agreed they weren’t.”

When To Jump Ship

Do you have an allegiance to your vet because you’ve always gone to him? Do you feel the need to maintain that relationship even at the expense of your animal’s well being? Are you paying to have your valuable input in your animal’s health care ignored?

What’s wrong with this picture?

This may simply be codependence. Like staying in that abusive relationship, waiting for the guy’s heart of gold to shine forth. You know it’s in there, you saw a glimmer way back when.

But, what ever this is at the heart of staying on in a relationship that’s making your animal ill and you broke and hopeless and worried, the most obvious (though perhaps not the easiest) solution is to:

Kick the bum out!

I’d hope none of you would continue to pay someone to make your animal ill. You’d do well to seek veterinary care elsewhere, and the sooner the better.

We know from the immunologists that repeated vaccinating your animal throughout life flat out don’t work

And, we know from those who care to look for the relationship, like Linda saw for herself, those same vaccinations make animals ill.  Allergies are one of the commonest aftermaths of vaccination.

So, repeatedly paying for something that A. doesn’t work and B. causes illness sounds pretty crazy, doesn’t it?

Heartworm drugs are pesticides, and can make your animals ill, even kill them with autoimmune disease. And topical flea tubes all come with warnings to not get their pesticides on you. Or your children. Or your clothing. And conventional vets recommend and sell these by the boat load.

Why more animals don’t react like Linda’s dog is a real puzzle.

Looking for Connections

As my colleague observed above, unless you’re looking for it, you could miss some really valuable correlations. Illness after vaccinations, especially itchy skin or inflamed ears from allergies, often occur about a month after vaccination. Weeks after the event. If you weren’t considering that a possibility, how would you ever see it?

But Linda saw it. More than once. And homeopathic vets in practice, looking back carefully at the histories of their allergic patients, also see it, time and again. If your vet doesn’t, why doesn’t he?

Dr. WhiteCoat needs to start looking or you need to start looking for a new vet. Simple as that. Denial of what you see and denial of what other professionals know, like immunologists, let alone holistic vets, is grounds for divorce.

Have you been in a relationship that wasn’t serving your animals’ health? Tell us in the comments.



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  1. Shae on October 16, 2016 at 1:05 am

    I haven’t had any bad experiences with vaccines or anything (that I know of), but I have had an absolutely heartbreaking experience of my repeated observations being ignored by a vet…
    So, here is the story of my poor darling blue-point siamese, Brr (his nickname). He was an absolute angel, one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever known.
    Our vet was always very considerate of our financial situation. When we bought Brr in with a cough he said he was almost certain it was asthma because asthma is common in siamese, and xraying would just be a waste of money. So we didn’t get an xray.
    To me, actually hearing the cough at home because Brr spent a lot of time around me, the cough sounded like a wet cough, as if there were fluid in it. But the vet, who never actually heard the cough said as it was asthma it was a dry cough.
    The vet gave us a choice between little green pills which were the cheapest, a liquid of some sort, and regular injections which were the most expensive. We chose the pills, figuring they could be mixed in with his food.
    The first injection didn’t appear to have any affect, but we put that down to having just vacuumed. The second did seem to cut down the coughing.
    The next month or two were spent painstakingly trying to get those pills into him. Brr was a very smart cat you see, whenever I figured out something new it would work once, by the second time he would have started to grow wise to it. I tried putting the pills powdered into his food, wrapping them in cheese, chicken, cream cheese, making a paste of cream cheese and powdered pill, pill pockets actually worked but most of the time he would spit them out as he was missing some teeth and found even small balls of pill pocket stuff hard to swallow. We even tried the age-old wrapping him up in a towel and forcing the pill into his mouth… that was a spectacular failure. In all our years and 20+ cats we’ve never had one that was so difficult to pill. By this time we were realizing that he was getting suspicious of his food, losing weight, and giving him the pills just wasn’t working.
    So we gave in and decided to go with the injections. I didn’t want to even try the liquid as I knew it would have the same results as the pills. I’m pretty sure those pills had some sort of strong distinctive flavour/smell which is why he always knew when one had been in his food. Anyway, I also mentioned his weight loss when I got his injection. And his lethargy, he’d been spending a lot of time literally just sitting in front of the heater and doing nothing else all day. This was unusual. Vet put it down to it being winter…
    As the months went by he lost more and more weight and began looking very frail. We were going for monthly injections at the vet, shorter than that actually because I was getting concerned since I’d never heard of asthma causing dramatic weight loss. Every time I would mention his weight loss and lethargy. The weight loss was dismissed as just being natural for his breed… Prior to all this he had been a lovely round, cuddly cat. The vets own records of his weight showed this. The lethargy again, because it was winter.
    Several times my thoughts circled back to that lack of an xray, wondering if something might have been missed. I was even told that the vet didn’t want to see me until another month was up when my cats next asthma injection was due. That’s how they treated my concerns. It made me feel like I wasn’t allowed to come in earlier even if I had a concern that I thought was justified. At one point I even started looking up the things that the xray checked for to see if there was anything I could possibly do to confirm, rule out or even treat it if there was something else. Alas, I don’t think I went through the full list of what the xray is supposed to check for…
    One night he started coughing really bad. White foam at his mouth, long strands of drool just dripping from his mouth. He did these types of coughs on three different occasions during the night but managed to make it through to morning so we could take him to the vet. I did try ringing an emergency number for our vet at 4am because I was so concerned, but they just told us to go to an emergency center. That center was too far away to get to by taxi at the time.
    When we got him to the vet finally, finally he noticed how frail and thin Brr was, how much weight he’d lost. Finally he PAID ATTENTION to the signs my cat was actually showing. It looks bad he said. We should do an xray. He mentioned something about his chest not being able to be compressed as a cats normally would. We had to leave him there to get the xray done. I was hoping like mad that it wasn’t cancer as he’d mentioned the worst case scenario was that.
    When we got home I started looking up cancer and all the things that could be done and treatments for it. I knew my vet never treated cats for cancer, they considered it better to just put them to sleep. But I would go to a different vet if I had to. I would do SOMETHING, it didn’t matter how much it cost. I would do anything.
    They did the xray and rang with the results. It showed that he was riddled with cancer, all through. The vet thought it probably didn’t start in the lungs and was likely there when Brr was first diagnosed with asthma 6 months ago.
    He never had asthma. It was the cancer all along.
    All this time we’d been treating him, for nothing. All the pain and frustration trying to get pills into him, trying to convince him to just eat, that I wasn’t hiding nasty pills in his food anymore… All for nothing. My darling had been dying in pain for the last 6 months and I had known nothing about it. Had thought I’d been helping him. Had thought he had asthma, which cats can apparently still live a long life with.
    They wanted to put him to sleep right there, I insisted we wanted to take him home to say goodbye to all of us first. I made sure I vacuumed everything first to minimize his chances of coughing when he returned. He was extremely frail and thin, every breath was labored and visible with his lack of weight. When he coughed he craned his head back and forth. He couldn’t eat, I could only get him to eat soaked cat biscuits by putting them in front of him one at a time. He was so weak that he just lay down after coughing.
    I wanted to take him home and spoil him with everything he loved and make his last days as happy as possible. When I tried to give him a treat he started coughing. I couldn’t give him any nice food to experience before he went. All I could do was turn the heater on full and leave it on for him until he passed or we reached the day we’d be returning to the vet to get him put to sleep. The warmth seemed to help him cough less. He was only 7 years old. He was the most sweet and lovely cat.
    His brother would miss him terribly and had been incredibly confused by everything.
    I moved all my bedding to the floor with Brr because he didn’t have the strength to jump on and off the bed. He couldn’t sleep, just stared into space while taking each breath. I couldn’t get anymore food into him, he couldn’t drink. He lost control of his bladder, hardly had the strength to even get up and walk anywhere. But he spent that night if not sleeping at least resting in my arms, with his brother on the other side and the heater on full in front of us. None of us slept (this was my second night without sleep after the previous one where he’d been coughing), I just tried to keep comforting him and be there with him.
    At some point during the night I realized just how much he must be suffering, unable to eat, sleep, drink, barely able to even breathe… I remembered that my brother once had a cat where they’d had a vet come to them to put him to sleep. I didn’t want Brr to suffer through another night like the one we’d just had. I didn’t want him to die in a painful and terrifying coughing fit where he couldn’t catch his next breath. I decided that in the morning we would ring the vet and see if they could come and put him to sleep at our place. I didn’t want to take him there, he wouldn’t have survived the car journey anyway, he was so weak. I wanted him to pass away with his brother and people he loved in a place he felt safe.
    During those early morning hours I kept telling him that it was okay, we weren’t frustrated or upset at him not eating or anything anymore, we finally understood now. We understood that he was hurting and he hadn’t been fussy at all after all. I told him he was such a good cat, that he could rest now. Rest and dream about playing with his brother, chasing the toys he loved and napping in the sun, cuddling up in bed caves with me. I told him he could sleep now. And a couple of times he did sleep. His little head fell limp on my hand, though I suspect it may have been more out of sheer exhaustion and perhaps a temporary lack of consciousness than actual sleep, and he’d twitch as though dreaming. And I’d hoped, desperately and with my heart torn to pieces that he would just pass away then and there. But he didn’t, each time he woke up again. I don’t think he wanted to leave us, even so close to the end.
    He made it through the night. We rang the vet once they were open, they said they’d be able to come in 2 and a half hours. That news was both incredibly sad and wonderful at the same time.
    I stayed by his side, and, miraculously actually managed to get a treat into him. I was ecstatic, in that utterly despairing way, because I could at least make sure he passed away with something in his stomach and a pleasant taste in his mouth. I gave him 6 treats (normally they only get 2), he ate every one. Then I waited a bit because I didn’t want him to be sick. He’d been eating virtually nothing prior to that afterall. Half an hour before the vets came He had two more treats. I’d manage to spoil him with the treats he loved.
    When the vets came (a different one to the one who misdiagnosed him, thankfully) the moment he saw them in the doorway to my room he was terrified. He tried to run, but there was nowhere to go. My poor baby didn’t want to die, he didn’t want to see the people who smelled like vets and who’d stuck nasty needles into him. They explained what they’d do and gave him something to stop him moving, I held my hand under his head as it dropped to the floor. Then we moved him back onto the blanket. They shaved his beautiful fur off one paw and, as I wasn’t sure how they were going to do it, I regret he passed away with his head near the vets leg and me stroking him. I had thought he’d be given the injection and then they’d let me hold him, but they never gave me that opportunity. My only consolation is that I did everything I could to make him comfortable and happy before he passed away.
    According to the vet he’d been very near the end anyway. We made sure his brother saw, let his brother sniff him, so he’d know what had happened. It wasn’t until a couple days later thst I started thinking about things and getting angry. That I started to realized what had happened. We had one night and one morning to say goodbye to our darling boy. Even if the cancer had been incurable, we at least would have known for the past 6 months if that vet hadn’t arrogantly thought that he didn’t need to do an xray to confirm his diagnosis, hadn’t assumed he was right because of the breed. We could have been able to give Brr something for the pain, we could have utterly spoiled him. I decided that I wouldn’t let this sort of thing happen to my pets again.
    I contacted a friend who lives nearby and asked about the vet she uses. We switched to that vet and they’ve seemed good so far. They listen to me when I tell them something and suggest things it could be and ways we could rule other things out. And I’ve learned my lesson, though I wish dearly that I hadn’t had to learn it in such a fatal way. I won’t blindly trust professionals anymore, be they vets, doctors or whatever. I’m looking up vet degrees and finding the textbooks they use to learn with. I’m going to get them and learn this stuff myself. Because if I’m informed, then I can better look after my pets, and I can make better decisions about what to do regarding their health.
    And that is the story of my dear Brr, who was truly one of the most important and precious parts of my life. I have over 4,000 photos and 60 videos of him and his brother, but I find that now that Brr is gone… it’s still not enough. It does help though, a little, to be able to see him walking around and meowing and playing when he was healthy and happy.

    • nancy brown on October 18, 2016 at 10:04 pm

      What a sad, heartbreaking story Shae! I have never had a cat but I could so feel your pain. It’s good that you recognize the negligence of your former vet and have found another one. I agree that we need to be informed and educated about our own health care and that of our pets. Many of us trust health professionals as if they could do no wrong, but unfortunately that is often not the case.

  2. Chris Braemer on September 13, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    I don’t have access to a homeopathic vet; I live in a small Midwestern city. Pretty sure our last Sheltie died prematurely from all the vaccines & poisons he was subjected too over the years by following standard vet protocols. We didn’t know better at the time & shouldn’t you be able to trust your vet? We have a new puppy who’s already had 2 doses of distemper/parvovirus combo at 6 & 9 weeks! We’re being pressured to come in for that next dose. Ugh. But My main question is this: how do I avoid rabies vaccines when the municipality where we live makes it mandatory in order to license our dogs? Our 6 year old no longer receives the other boosters (had her titered & her numbers were high plus she has cerebeller hypoplasia (sp) so doesn’t need anything else working against her) & we’re done with those for her since losing our 10 year old, but can’t figure out what to do about rabies. I get so tired of feeling like I have to advocate for proper care with our vet when it would be so comforting to be on the same page for once! I don’t have all the right answers, only know that my gut says don’t listen to much that’s advised by today’s conventional medicine vets. It can make you feel very alone & confused about what you should & shouldn’t do for the welfare of your dogs. Then I have to defend my decisions with the ‘professional’ I’m paying to care for my animals who thinks I’m crazy to not follow their advice. Frustrating. Suggestions welcome!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on September 14, 2013 at 3:46 pm

      Hi Chris, and welcome. An already rabies vaccinated dog, if he was vaccinated over the age of 16 weeks, is immune, with very high likelihood, for life.
      A number of my clients are in the same boat: they know they’ve fulfilled the intent of the law, their animals will neither get nor pass rabies on to another being. Done deal. So, they choose to no longer license, as licensing demands further unnecessary and potentially damaging rabies vaccinations.
      Will your vet go along with not further vaccinating? You’ll only know if you have a reasoned chat about it. In the end, if he won’t, it may be time to search for another vet. Many will just default to, “It’s the law. We have to do this.” But they are not law enforcement, they are vets. You can say no.
      Now, if you’re asking about your youngster, who’s never had a rabies vaccine, unless this dog lives in a high rise and never gets out, I usually suggest one rabies vaccination, again, over the 16 weeks old mark, as that’s likely to set about lifetime immunity. You can titer a month later to see if you’ve accomplished this.
      A rabies unvaccinated dog is risky: a low chance that he could get rabies, but its there. More concerning is this: if he were to ever bite anyone, for any reason, justified or not, he can be immediately euthanized and his brain tested for rabies. Not true in someone with proof of rabies vaccination, even if “out of date.”
      To read more of my thoughts on rabies or vaccinations, just put the word in the search box at the bottom of most pages on Vital Animal, and it’ll bring up every mention of it.
      Best of luck in all this. I’m not saying it’s a piece of cake, but I am saying it can be done. We’re rooting for you to find a way to make it work for you and those in your care.

  3. Steph on September 6, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I recently had a very very bad experience with a flea and heartworm preventative drug given to me for my 3 dogs. I have since switched to all natural alternatives. My husky x border collie awoke the next morning with severe ataxia of all legs and head! She could hardly walk, was wobbling around taking exaggerated steps and just looked drunk.. I immediately KNEW the only change at all was giving her that drug. I called my vet and asked if this could be a reaction, and what I should do and when I could bring her in. They left the phone for a minute, came back and assured me it wouldn’t have anything to do with the drug. They said to bring her in asap. 20 minutes later I’m at the clinic, and being told again it wouldn’t have anything to do with the drug. She was a completely normal and healthy dog for SEVEN years up until I gave this to her. And she reacted the very next morning? Still… no no no not the drug. They gave her a shot of steroids and told me to come back in the morning. I did research online, came up with some facts (in fact, ataxia is apparently a known side effect to ivermectin in dogs with the MDR1 or something gene???) My vet called the company when I brought this fact up to her. Nope, they all agreed it was too low a dose to effect her like that. Hmm. I went to see another vet. This one was upset that they gave her steroids, which was apparently decreasing swelling in brain and masking whatever was wrong and could also harm her if used long term. Still, this vet also said it couldn’t possibly be the drug. I explained over and over that it was the ONLY change. I keep a very close eye on all my dogs, there is no way she had gotten into anything. I was booked into the specialist neurologist about an hour away for a consult. Over the weeks up to this point my dog had the effects come and go, sometimes it was very obvious and scary and other times it was just a constant wobbling or rocking. By the time I got the specialist, she had been improving for the past 4 or so days. He also dismissed the idea of it being caused by the drug. At this point I’m getting really annoyed because no one is considering my opinion at all, and seems to think my dog either has a slowly developing disease of some sort (that came on with such sudden side effects right after she took this drug?) or that I’m not a good dog owner and she must have gotten into something poisonous or something. He gave me a quote for MORE blood tests (they did a general one already that apparently came back normal) and some very invasive procedures and an MRI. The total was about 7 grand. I told him I had to save some funds before I could do any of these random tests, since I was already scrambling for rent because of all the vet bills that had already stacked up. He actually told me to wait for a couple weeks since she was eating/drinking and going potty all normally and seemed healthy otherwise. So, over two weeks she improved and there has been NO ATAXIA again since that month was over. My conclusion was that the drug only lasts a month, and it finally wore off! But who knows. It was the WORST experience I’ve ever had with my vets, whom I used to trust and value the opinions of. Needless to say I no longer respond to those vaccine reminders. My dogs are going natural, like they should have been all along. I’ve opened my eyes.
    I’ve ditched men in my life for my dogs, no problem ditching a vet.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on September 7, 2013 at 5:00 am

      Thanks for this, Steph. It sure sounds like the “old boy” network (including your female Dr. WhiteCoat) really banded together on this one, unfortunately, to the detriment of your dog.
      I can tell you with surety that, in my previous conventional practice life, when ever I used ivermectin, even with extreme caution (rubber gloves, thorough wash up after paste worming a horse), I’d inevitably get dizzy on the way to the next farm. If I’d taken more in (must have literally had a few molecules, as careful as I was), ataxia would have followed!
      Welcome to the Natural Path. Vaccine reminders can make good dart board targets.

  4. Barb McKee on August 26, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Hi Will:) Once again a joy to read your recent news.Keep up the good work,it looks good on you:))
    Behaven Shelties
    Raw Fed/Vaccine Free X 29+ Years

  5. Elle on August 25, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    About 9 years ago, we adopted a feral mother’s pup. This little lab mix had worms and fleas and mange. At the time we were supposedly seeing a natural vet, but that vet was giving her all sorts of harsh meds. All but the mange seemed to go away. To get rid of the mange, they would dip my sweet puppy into some kind of vat of lighter – fluid type of chemical and of course it would kill the bugs but a couple months later they would return and the vet would do another dipping. I was beginning to realize that something was wrong here. They weren’t looking for the cause, but putting a toxic bandaid on the disorder.
    When I complained about the recurring problem to a chiropractor friend, she told me about Dr Falconer. She knew of several people’s dogs that had been cured of mange by him.
    Dr Falconer proposed that by enhancing her immune system, we could cure the mange and that’s exactly what happened.
    I wish he would start his own school and teach new vets. I feel sorry for dogs and their owners who trust conventional vets. These guys are doing just the opposite of what their patients want.

    • Esther on August 26, 2013 at 12:13 pm

      Oh Yes! This subject also hits home. Politely Ignore! Sometimes, maybe being rude ignoring!!
      I have also seen several veterinarians thru the years. Some conventional, several holistic and the one holistic homeopathic veterinarian.
      Let me start with a dog I owned several years ago. I have noticed he had some symptoms after teeth cleaning with anesthesia. I found out it was Ketaset or Ketamine hydrochloride. He vocalized afterward sounds and noises that appeared he was in pain. Also noticed some vomiting. Years later after cleaning teeth again, same symptoms but now there was a bloody tarry vomit. Took him to the emergency. I explained to the doctor there what I had observed with this dog. NO POLITELY Ignoring!! rather RUDE IGNORING here, throwing my paper towel where I had carefully collected his vomit in the garbage!! And dismissing my observations completely. Suggested to do a laparoscopy procedure, which I refused and told her she was not going to put my under anesthesia again for that.
      Most recent events, my little girl had vomiting, regurgitation I had observed after Frontline, this was the trip to the homeopathic veterinarian here in a quite large clinic in Maryland. I said I thought Frontline was causing this symptom, Politely Ignore again!! this time by a holistic veterinarian who took an X-ray and found nothing wrong, told me to come back and she will see after doing another Barium X-ray. If nothing was wrong then she was going to look in the material medica for a homeopathic remedy for regurgitation!! I have paid holistic fees to a homeopathic doctor who never prescribed a single homeopathic remedy to my dogs, except for Lyssin after a rabies vaccine!!. Left this clinic for good decide to go a conventional doctor known in her clinic for her holistic beliefs compare to the other in same clinic. I told her the same story, POLITELY IGNORE again. Not unless she has licked Frontline. She run some tests they all came back negative. Waste of money, I decided to see by trial. Stop Frontline, symptom will disappeared, use Frontline once more, symptom reappeared. Vomiting is gone we have stopped all poisons for good. Needless to say I feel guilty I should have known better, and the guilt still remains after so many years with the dog and the anesthesia, he died of cancer 3 years after that episode with the emergency room, but NO CONNECTIONS were made there.

      • Cindy on August 26, 2013 at 1:25 pm

        I have the same bad experiences with holistic vets here. It doesn’t matter if they are members of AHVMA or anything else. I am close to giving up on holistic vets.

        • Esther on August 26, 2013 at 2:53 pm

          Cindy: The holistic veterinarians here in Maryland that I described above they are all members of AHVMA. I had another one that always said she would do whatever it works!! I think Dr. Falconer mentioned this in another blog.
          At the time I had three dogs, when the time came that I was left with only one of the oldies, she was doing acupuncture every 4 weeks; I decided to get a puppy, and wanted to make an appointment with her with the pup. The secretary informed me she was not going to take puppies, she did not have time. Her passion was to treat sick dogs with acupuncture and Chinese herbs. And you have to follow your passion. I was stunned. They suggested I could have the appointment with Dr. Whitecoat next to her where she was renting her space. Very good idea, the best I have heard ever treat sick dogs after doctor Whitecoat have made them sick. Because they were all referrals. How about starting young puppies in the right way, so people could choose the right road to follow.

  6. Tricia on August 25, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    This topic really hits a nerve for me. I’ve worked with several vets over the years.
    One time I remember vividly was after my female great dane was diagnosed with cancer at 2yrs old. I consented to surgery to have the tumors removed but when I said NO to chemo and radiation on 2 separate occasions, I was told they could no longer “in good conscience” be my vet. Mind you.. this is the same vet that had pushed all the vaccines that eventually lead to her cancer in the first place.
    After a bit of wising up and yet another move and a second great dane added to the mix, we were given the boot by a second vet. During the first visit for both dogs, she gave the heartworm, flea, worm speech and I politely declined the $20 off coupon for Trifexis. She then called me at home twice with more coupon offers and guilt trips on how she didn’t want to see my lovely animals die due to my past bad experience and stubbornness. I was a bit shocked honestly, but kept it together and politely declined for the third time. I was then told that unless my dogs were on some kind of Rx for heartworm, fleas & ticks they would not be allowed back into the vets office. Sounds like a Win- Win to me.
    So don’t be afraid to fire your vet or even be told to leave as in my case. If they don’t get it – you don’t want them as your vet anyway. Did I make the right choice? Well – My “dying” cancer dog is still with us 4yrs later and neither dogs are on any meds for heartworm, fleas or ticks and are doing wonderfully. So yeah, I’m positive my animals are better off because I said NO to Dr. $$Whitecoat.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 27, 2013 at 9:51 pm

      Wow, Tricia, I didn’t know how much you went through before I met you and your Danes. Kicked out because you wouldn’t poison your dogs in the name of parasite control? You were one lucky gal, though I suspect it didn’t feel that way immediately.

      • Tricia on September 2, 2013 at 12:42 pm

        Oh Yes – we constantly have these types of issues. Its an adventure is all I can say.
        Regularly when we visit a dog park or just walk the neighborhood or farmers market, the general public and even local Dr. Whitecoats rush to pet the dogs and comment on how extraordinarily healthy both dogs are – good muscle tone, shiny coats, great teeth, bright eyes etc.. Usually the first question is – how much do eat? – which leads to the “fed raw” discussion. Then as I explain what fed raw means and that we use homeopathy for any issues and no flea/heartworm (even while living in TX) – all of sudden they are potentially contagious. They literally stop petting my dogs. It makes no sense.
        Nevermind that a local group of Danes that visit the dog park and vaccinated for bordetella ALL came down with a horrible cough 2 weeks ago and some are still coughing today. My 2 dogs are perfectly fine while the other owners are pumping their dogs full of antibiotics and complaining how much it costs!!! Who has the healthier animal? and wallet?
        I feel so grateful to have Dr. Falconer that educates in a non-threatening way, understands what we owners are trying to accomplish and the world we are trying to co-exist with. Keep the information coming.

        • Will Falconer, DVM on September 3, 2013 at 5:02 am

          Unbelievable! It’s people not even trusting their senses: seeing how healthy your dogs are, feeling their coats, etc. and their minds get in the way when they learn HOW THEY GOT THIS WAY!
          You keep setting a great example, Tricia. Not only are you raising healthy examples of what’s possible in Vital Animals, you are raising awareness from everyone who comes in their contact (whether they get it or not!)
          The mind is a powerful thing. Changing a few on this natural path is a worthy goal.

    • Helen on September 8, 2013 at 5:43 pm

      My Airedale grew a tennis-sized tumor on her right knee due to Dr. Whitecoat’s injections and their mandate of Science Diet. They were to operate because it was growing so much there would not be enough skin to cover it…I lost her anyway and in the interim read up on organics for pets and went organic (not raw – didn’t know to do that yet) kibble and canned and never went to the vet again for the dogs or the cats except to spay/neuter. Only at those times did they demand to give rabies shots, which I capitulated. Have switched to Wysong and my current Beagle’s underarm tumor is reducing…your story makes me so mad to remember my plight and to be mad for you as well…vaccin. only pay their rent…

  7. Kbar on August 25, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    In the 80’s, my elderly Gshep had severe hip dysplasia, and was losing weight. I was very concerned about the weight loss, but the vet assured me “she’s old, old dogs lose weight”. A month later, the old girl passed away, but as her organs were shutting down, hundreds of tapes exited her poor, worn out body. It was HORRIBLE, and to this day I’m still mad at myself for not insisting that vet do his job and do a simple fecal test.

    • Debbie Tucker-Smith on August 26, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      Fecal tests often do not detect tapeworms! Very seldom, actually, so that may not have helped. However, deworming for the 4 most common worms is something I do every 12-18 months. Others will do it more frequently depending on the ‘lifestyle’ and exposure of their dogs. Sorry you have this guilt – there were most likely other problems, not just tapeworms.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 27, 2013 at 9:48 pm

      Dear Kbar,
      I’m so sorry you lost your beloved old girl, but I suspect the tapeworms were only there because she was unwell. That’s how parasites operate. I doubt very much if they caused her death. Nor would deworming likely have significantly improved her state of health that allowed them to grow.

  8. Salli James on August 25, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Ah yes, Relationships with Vets… One must be their own advocate for their parents, and ALWAYS for their pets.
    My story is often told, sadly missed by most. Struck a nerve when you mentioned the “New Grad” on vaccines, and your response… “Have you looked into the CONNECTION?”
    I have gone to the same Vet Clinic for 35 plus years. The original Vet was wonderful, I could write a book on our visits. He listened to what you said, examined your pet, and asked more questions… He always said “You have to know and understand the owner” and what they can/will do for their pet. He is enjoying his retirement now, and I miss him.
    One thing I miss about him, was he respected my opinion and my observations. He once asked me to please wait until my dog had all the symptoms so he could look smart once in awhile… I recently wrote him a letter and told him what happened to me and my darling at his clinic.
    May, 2012 I received a call wishing to placed a newly retired Havanese, she was spayed in April at age 4. I jumped at the chance as I knew this line. I took her to the vet for wellness exam and brought her records. Complete blood panel came back normal but for slight elevated ALT. He said her teeth needed cleaning. I wanted to wait as she just was spayed and I didn’t want to upset her healing. July, teeth were cleaned. The dreaded Rabies was due, and I wanted to wait two months and only give her ONE and that would be the end of it. Two months later I gave her the Rabies vaccine. She did fine, but I was unhappy. He gave me the heartworm speech and under protest, I said I would try ONE. I waited another two months and gave her heartworm preventive Trifexis. Well, $4,000 and four months later… My dog is at last normal. She ended up with an enlarged liver, followed by pancreatitis, and I was tube feeding her. She was detoxed with IV’s, etc, and I almost lost her on two occasions.
    In looking back I can say my fault. At least 1/3 my fault. I should have said NO to all of the above but for the tests. I didn’t get the box and read the ingredients, if I had, I would have looked the ingredients up before giving her a dose of poison.
    Her diet is home cooked, (Dr Harvey’s veg to bowl) and I found a great homeopathic tonic from India SBL’s Liv-T Not one symptoms after this. Liver is repairing itself, and she has a perfect appetite. Will test again but for now… Staying away from the white coats. Naturally, no vet has ever heard of a toxin induced reaction to vaccines nor Trifexis. HA! All their information comes from the SALES people from ——- fill in the blank. They will say no one is talking about it on VIN… Yet I know how many I have seen with reactions/death from the same.
    I would love to know more about your ebook, and first aid kit. Might be a great fundraiser idea for Havanese Club members who get duped by their vets. My vet was supposed to be a homeopathic vet by the way. Guessing he gave it up when IDEXX started giving points for tests… Etc. Thank you for your wisdom, I enjoy your weekly blog so much.

    • Elaine on May 7, 2016 at 6:13 pm

      Can you tell me how much Liv T you gave your dog? Charlie weighs 14 pounds. He’s a rescue and we don’t have much history on him but his liver values are and have been high. Biopsies, ultrasound, CAT scans show nothing, but his liver is smaller than normal. I’m hoping that this tonic will help! Thanks for any help you can provide.