Stand Up to Pressure and Ignorance
Ryan and Megan were in a really tough spot in Dr. WhiteCoat’s clinic. Their healthy pup Idaho had just done brilliantly with homeopathy for what I surmised was tick-borne disease, and they’d brought her in for a blood test to confirm her diagnosis.
When the results came in, her titer was positive for two tick-borne diseases, Anaplasmosis and Lyme.
You may recall, a titer is a measure of the amount of antibodies in the blood. I warned earlier about over interpreting these results when they pertain to vaccinations.
Four days earlier, Ida had had a relapse after being well for nearly a month. She became lethargic, lost her appetite (even for treats!) and slept tightly curled up, showing no interest in her usual toys. That’s odd for her, as she’s not quite a year old at this point and normally loves to tear it up.
Even though I was out of the country, Ryan and Megan knew what to do. I’d left them with a plan to repeat the remedy that had brought Ida remarkable health, and they gave a few doses of gelsemium 1M.
Ryan tells me of her response:
We did 3 doses, 2 hours apart. By the time she was receiving her second dose, she was perking up. After her 3rd dose, she was up moving around and eating. In the days that followed her energy has been through the roof! She has shown no symptoms since her dose of September 28.”
Ignoring the Blatant Obvious
Ida and her doting owners were in Dr. WhiteCoat’s office on September 30. She was back to being her full-on vital puppy self for the past two days after her homeopathic remedy, as Ryan pointed out.
When the test results were told them, Ryan and Megan were faced with a wall of allopathic pressure to give drugs.
To say the vet was unimpressed with how we were treating her is an understatement. We were STRONGLY, and I mean STRONGLY recommended to take his prescription of Doxycycline and Carprofen for 60 days. He would not hear one bit about our homeopathic approach and stated that he has seen so much in his practice that it “can’t” work (Never mind the bundle of healthy, energetic puppy he was examining as he told us homeopathic remedies “don’t work”).”
There’s a lot remarkable about this interchange between Dr. WhiteCoat and my clients, but perhaps nothing so blatant as this:
The dog in front of the vet is healthy. Very healthy, full of energy and brightness.
In the face of this obvious evidence, Dr. WhiteCoat is determined that this dog needs antibiotics. And anti-inflammatory drugs. For SIX MONTHS.
The blood work is positive for tick disease antibodies. Two titers showed up as high, meaning Ida had responded with an immune response to these tick-borne diseases.
His entire prescription was based on a piece of paper with numbers on it.
And, what’s more, he assured these animal guardians that “homeopathy doesn’t work.” In full view of this bright, healthy young dog, whose history had been shared with him:
- two months earlier, Ida couldn’t open her mouth. That meant eating and drinking were almost impossible.
- she screamed in pain if touched about her head or neck.
- she couldn’t walk well, or get up easily.
He also heard how homeopathic medicine and nothing else was used to get her to this bright, healthy state.
What’s wrong with this picture?
Asking Good Questions
To their great credit, Ryan and Megan didn’t yield to Dr. WhiteCoat’s pressure and instead, asked some good questions.
The vet confirmed that titers only meant antibodies were present in Ida’s blood. Those antibodies could be present from earlier exposure or an active infection. It was impossible to know which.
And, looking at Ida in his clinic, it sure was hard to make a case for a sick dog. Wag, wag.
Here’s Ryan again:
However, he still pushed his antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medications. We did not understand why we should give these to her since,
1.) we don’t know if the bacteria are still present and
2.) she has no symptoms.
He wasn’t able to answer this question for us (emphasis mine). Just kept telling us, that he has seen enough to know the “naturopathic route” doesn’t work when it comes to tick diseases. And if we don’t ‘knock’ the Lymes bacteria down to a level her immune system can handle, it will get into her kidneys causing them to shut down. Something he ‘can do nothing about.’
We by no means meant to be argumentative with him and we are more than willing to do what ever (is) necessary for our dogs. We just don’t understand the benefits of a 60 day course of antibiotics at this point and he got frustrated at our questions.”
Get Out of The Way!
There’s a saying my friend and colleague Dr. Steve Blake is fond of saying:
Those who say it can’t be done need to get out of the way of those who are doing it.”
We live in an age of scientism, loosely defined as “excessive belief in the power of scientific knowledge and techniques.” There are many voices proclaiming that homeopathy can’t possibly work. That it’s ludicrous to consider it, and those who “believe in it” are merely self-deluded fools.
And yet, we see it working on a regular basis to heal animals. Animals. Those sentient beings like us but without the complicated minds that can make things up. “I think I should be getting better, because the doctor gave me that treatment, and you know? I think I am!”
That’s called the placebo effect. The expectation of getting better can actually make a human feel better. As you might guess, animals don’t possess this placebo response or any other belief about treatment outcomes. They are ultimately simple and honest in their responses: if the medicine is a curative one, they go on to become cured. If it’s not, their symptoms remain unchanged.
Animals are the perfect proof that homeopathy is nothing short of a miraculous healing tool. Human babies and infants are as well. In the same way as animals, they either get better after treatment or they don’t, devoid of any mental or emotional judgment or belief.
Use Your Words, Sweetheart
So, what do you say to someone like Dr. WhiteCoat who is convinced that the miraculous healing you’ve seen in your animal is not real? That only drugs and more drugs are the appropriate course of treatment?
Ryan and Megan asked what could be expected from using his recommended drugs.
He said, best case scenario, his antibiotics would never rid Ida of the Lymes bacteria. It is a corkscrew shape that drills into the joints, where antibiotics can’t reach.”
My clients have provided you with an excellent example of how to stand up to your veterinarian’s bad advice:
You can ask questions.
“What is the best case scenario if we opt for your treatment?”
“What side effects are possible with these drugs?”
Two side effects are noteworthy with antibiotics and NSAIDs:
- immune system damage via the gut flora being indiscriminately killed, and
- liver toxicity from carprofen (aka Rimadyl). Pfizer settled a lawsuit over dog deaths from Rimadyl.
And, here’s my favorite statement, that you can and should use when pressure tactics are being used that don’t sound right to you, and your animal is clearly not on death’s doorstep:
“I’ll get back to you if I opt for this treatment. I don’t want it right now. Thanks for your help.”
Have any similar experiences of being told by Dr. WhiteCoat what absolutely has to be done? Only to find out the risks of treatment are significant? And the outcome is questionable at best?
Or, better yet, have you opted for natural means to effect cure in seemingly impossible situations?
Share them with the rest of us in the comments. That light has been under a bushel long enough!
P.S. Update on Idaho, Poster Child for Homeopathy
This happy youngster got a two month reprieve from her pain after the late September remedy doses described earlier in this post. On Thanksgiving, Ida started to relapse in familiar ways, and was treated two days in a row with her curative remedy, gelsemium 1M. She predictably bounced back to normal vital puppy status, but started to relapse once more December 23rd.
I told Ryan and Megan that I’d be looking for a deeper acting remedy, one more likely to be constitutional, i.e. addressing all of her illness, inherited and acquired. In sending my chosen remedy (Ida lives in No. Minnesota, I’m in Austin, Texas), I also advised them to go ahead and repeat the gelsemium remedy if she was getting clearly sick before my new prescription arrived.
Miracle of miracles: Idaho got better ON HER OWN, with the remedy mixed and sitting on the counter, but not yet given! Within 12 hours, all of her symptoms of swollen glands and lethargy had left her, and she was back to the rocking youngster we all knew and loved.
Now that’s what I love to hear: disease starts showing itself (symptoms rearing their ugly heads) and my patient is vital enough to thwart it entirely on her own! Whoo hoo!
We are in “watch and wait” mode now, no remedy to be given until she clearly says, “I can’t do this on my own. Please help.” Or, more likely, when her symptoms are quiet, she’s finished her heat, and is ready to take on some more healing. C’mere, Ida, we’ve got a special treat for you.