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Veterinary Chiropractic

People are sometimes surprised to learn that all the heavy hitters of alternative medicine, such as acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, etc., are inflicted on animals as well as humans. I’ve written about veterinary homeopathy, and the associated manufactroversyin a previous post, and today I thought I’d take a look at veterinary chiropractic.

The Players

In most states, chiropractic is defined in terms of treatment of humans and chiropractors are thereby licensed only to treat humans. However, there are a variety of ways around this for people who want to subject their animals to this therapy. Some chiropractors will simply treat animals and ignore the fact that it isn’t technically legal for them to do so. And some veterinarians will take one of the many training courses available in animal chiropractic and then employ it as part of their practice of veterinary medicine. A previous SBM article has discussed the lack of consistency or legitimate scientific content in most of these courses.

State veterinary practice acts will also sometimes create legal space for animal chiropractic, often under another name, which avoids the jurisdictional problem of calling it chiropractic when that term is usually legally defined specifically with reference to humans. In California, for example, the practice of “musculoskeletal manipulation” on animals must meet certain requirements specific in the state veterinary practice act:

  1. A veterinarian must examine the animal, determine that musculoskeletal manipulation (MSM) is appropriate and safe, and take official responsibility for supervising the treatment.
  2. Then the owner is supposed to sign a form: “The veterinarian shall obtain as part of the patient’s permanent record, a signed acknowledgment from the owner of the patient or his or her authorized representative that MSM is considered to be an alternative (nonstandard) veterinary therapy.”
  3. Then a licensed chiropractor can examine the pet, determine that MSM is appropriate, and then consult with the supervising vet before performing treatment.

I know of many chiropractors treating animals in the state, with and without veterinary supervision. I have never seen anyone follow these rules.

The perceived legitimacy of veterinary chiropractic is bolstered by the activities of professional veterinary chiropractic organizations, such as the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA). This group offers a certification program which allows either chiropractors or veterinarians to claim to be board-certified in animal chiropractic, despite the technicality that the American Board of Veterinary Specialties, which credentials specialty boards, does not recognize this certification and thus it is essentially a fake board certification.

The International Veterinary Chiropractic Association (IVCA), based in Europe, is largely indistinguishable from the AVCA in terms of the content and general approach to promoting animal chiropractic and certifying chiropractors, including the lack of recognition of their specialty certification by the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation (EBVS).

These groups are not to be confused with the International Association of Veterinary Chiropractitioners (IAVC), a group of veterinarians, chiropractors, and apparently any other kind of “health care provider” who cares to join, who fix subluxations with methods difficult to distinguish from chiropractic but who claim to be practicing an entirely original form of therapy called Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation (VOM) and who prefer to be referred to by the proprietary term “chiropractitioner.” They do share, however, the lack of any formal recognition as a legitimate specialty that characterizes the work of the AVCA and the IVCA.

And then, of course, there are all the individual chiropractors and veterinarians practicing some form of manual therapy based on chiropractic, often with their own idiosyncratic theories and techniques. For example, Dr. Hall recently drew my attention to a book called “Like Chiropractic for Elephants” by Norman “Rod” Block D.C. Dr. Block claims to have “an uncanny touch sensory perception that allows him to connect with the person or animal he comes in contact with…It is then that the animal senses his intention of wanting to help and releases inhibitions that allow discovery of where the root cause of the pain, stress or pressure may exist…The doctor uses his uncanny ability to tune into the root cause of animal states of disease without the use of drugs or surgery.”

I confess I have not been able to stomach paying to read Dr. Block’s book, but thanks to his press release and a few reviews, I have at least a small sense of what it offers. Apparently Dr. Block supplements his understanding of the vertebral subluxation and his “uncanny” sensory abilities with the practice of “Quantum Shamanetics.” In this method, “The quantum shamanist learns to trust and be guided by universal wisdom that exists beyond our genetic blueprint. By being part to, and observing, movement, one becomes more sensitive to subtle changes in energy. By following these dynamic changes, the shamanist develops a more expansive relationship with the flow of life and health.”

Sadly, this is not a unique case of a chiropractor leaving the at least marginally plausible terrain of treating musculoskeletal disease in animals and venturing further afield. Last year, I had the opportunity to evaluate the recommendations of Dr. Steven Eisen, a chiropractor who calls himself a “Holistic Dog Cancer Expert” and has a book and series of web videos explaining how to thwart the mischief of incompetent veterinarians and treat canine cancer with his dietary advice and a dedicated avoidance of vaccines and parasite control products. And perhaps not surprisingly, Dr. Eisen did not exhibit the scientific spirit of respect for open inquiry and debate when challenged for his claims. Instead, he threatened to sue me.

What Is Animal Chiropractic?

For the most part, the principles and practices of animal chiropractic are extrapolated and adapted from those applied to humans, despite the obvious biomechanical and anatomic differences between bipedal hominids and quadrupedal veterinary patients. As in human chiropractic, the core concept behind chiropractic for animals is the subluxation, or the vertebral subluxation complex (VSC). The AVCA criteria for certification includes familiarity with, “the anatomical, biomechanical and physiological consequences of the Vertebral Subluxation Complex,” and the organization suggests that in addition to pain and musculoskeletal disorders, treatment of the VSC can be beneficial for “bowel, bladder, and internal medicine disorders…glands and body functions.”

Veterinary journal articles about chiropractic often emphasize that the subluxation “is at the core of chiropractic theory, and it’s detection and correction are central to chiropractic practice.”(1) They then include lengthy, very impressive and sciency descriptions of how subluxations arise, cause disease, and can be treated. These are usually marred only by the small problem that no one has actually been able to show a subluxation exists in any species despite over a century of trying.(2)

Chiropractors working on humans cannot reliably agree on the location of a supposed subluxation despite extensive and involved theoretical and practical training supposedly intended to help them do so.(3-4) You can’t see it on x-rays, it doesn’t pinch nerves, and as the evidence for subluxations as physical abnormalities has failed to materialize, true believers in chiropractic have gone through amazing intellectual contortions to redefine it in ways that can make it sound real while still being undetectable. A dragon in the garage if there ever was one.

What’s the Evidence?

There is at least some reasonable evidence that spinal manipulations such as practiced by chiropractors may benefit humans with back pain, though Cochrane reviews of spinal manipulation and general chiropractic therapy for even this indication find small effects and research with a high risk of bias. There is no good reason to believe chiropractic is useful for any other complaint in humans.

Reviewing the literature on the effects of veterinary chiropractic care is quite easy since there is almost none. A search of the PubMed and VetMed Resource databases identified no controlled clinical trials of chiropractic therapy in any veterinary species.

Apart from a few case reports, there are several studies evaluating the putative effect of spinal manipulations on sensitivity to painful stimulus and on spine and limb movement in horses.(5-7) These papers suffer from significant limitations and risk of bias. They generally show a lack of adequate randomization and blinding, objective outcome measures and control groups. They frequently measure numerous variables of questionable clinical significance and then ignore the majority that show no change while identifying the few that do show statistically significant differences as somehow indicative of a meaningful treatment effect. While they represent a reasonable attempt to identify criteria for evaluating the effects of spinal manipulation on horses, they do not constitute evidence of efficacy for chiropractic therapy for any disease.

Of course, there is the usual mountain of testimonials and anecdotes which suggest miraculous curative results with chiropractic therapy in animals. These are both unreliable, for all the usual reasons, and unfortunately the most compelling kind of evidence for animal owners

What’s the Harm?

The risks of chiropractic care in humans fall into the usual categories for harm from alternative therapies; direct harm from the treatment and indirect harm associated with irrational belief systems and avoidance of truly effective care. Of the adverse effects documented in humans, the most significant is that of strokes associated with cervical manipulation.(8) There is no research evaluating the direct risks of veterinary chiropractic, so we can only speculate on the safety of spinal manipulation for animal patients.

The indirect risks of chiropractic therapy come from being exposed to irrational fear of science-based medicine and the use of other unproven or clearly ineffective alternative treatments. Chiropractors treating humans, for example, are often inclined to recommend against vaccination, and it is not uncommon for them to employ therapies far less plausible than chiropractic, such as colon cleansing, homeopathy, and many others.

Chiropractors practicing on animals have also been known to stir up irrational fear of vaccination, claim toxins in pet food are common causes of cancer, and otherwise express disdain for science-based veterinary medicine. And a look at the sponsors for the ACVA annual conference illustrates the frequently close relationship between animal chiropractors and practitioners of other alternative therapies such as Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, Standard Process Supplements, Reiki and homeopathy, and others. Such synergy between chiropractic and other alternative therapies has the potential to harm veterinary patients even if direct spinal manipulation does not.

Since anecdotes are so commonly employed in defense of veterinary chiropractic, I feel justified in sharing one illustrating its risks. I was once asked to examine a rabbit that had come to my hospital to be treated by a chiropractor, at the advice of another veterinarian. The rabbit had been anesthetized for treatment of dental disease earlier in the day and upon waking was paralyzed in its hind legs. Even a cursory familiarity with rabbit medicine would immediately lead one to consider a fracture or dislocation of a lumbar vertebrae since these can happen when rabbits kick their powerful hind legs uncontrollably, and rabbits are susceptible to disorientation and panic when emerging from anesthesia.

The chiropractor had already examined the rabbit and concluded it had a subluxation in its cervical spine. He recommended giving a chiropractic adjustment to the neck and sending the pet home, with additional adjustments likely necessary in the following days or weeks. When I asked how he reconciled his diagnosis with the symptoms, which fit the classic pattern associated with a spinal cord injury in the lower back, the chiropractor informed me that he was familiar with “allopathic” neurology textbooks but had chosen to ignore them because they were not consistent with his daily experience in practice.

The client permitted me to take an x-ray which confirmed a traumatic lumbar vertebral fracture and severe spinal cord trauma. The patient was humanely euthanized in light of the severe symptoms and poor prognosis. Though this was sad, I consider it a better outcome for the animal than having its neck twisted and being sent home paralyzed and with a fractured spine but without any pain control, as the chiropractor had recommended. Granted, such a story cannot prove anything about the safety or efficacy of animal chiropractic therapy, but it is at least illustrative of some of the risks of substituting a pseudoscientific belief system for science-based medicine.

Bottom Line

Though there is no reliable data, the popularity of chiropractic for treatment of humans appears to translate, to at least some extent, to the treatment of animals. The fundamental theories and practices of animal chiropractic are copied or extrapolated from those employed in treating humans, however there is virtually no reliable scientific evidence to show any benefit from veterinary chiropractic treatment. There is also no controlled evidence identifying the risks of chiropractic therapy of animals, so we can only speculate about the safety of this intervention. It is clear, however, that chiropractic therapy for animals is often associated with opposition to conventional medical care and with other unproven or clearly ineffective alternative therapies, and this presents some risks to patients seeking care from so-called animal chiropractors.

References

  1. Maler, MM. Overview of veterinary chiropractic and its use in pediatric exotic patients. Vet Clin Exot Anim. 2012;15:299-310
  2. Miritz TA. Morgan L. Wyatt LH. Greene L. An epidemiological examination of the subluxation construct using Hill’s criteria of causation. Chiropr Osteopat 2009;2:17-13.
  3. French SD, Green S, Forbes A. Reliability of chiropractic methods commonly used to detect manipulable lesions in patients with chronic low-back pain. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2000 May;23(4):231-8.
  4. Hestbaek L, Leboeuf-Yde C. Are chiropractic tests for the lumbo-pelvic spine reliable and valid? A systematic critical literature review. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2000 May;23(4):258-75.
  5. Haussler, KK. Martin, CE. Hill, AE. Efficacy of spinal manipulation and mobilisation on trunk flexibility and stiffness in horses: a randomised clinical trial. Equine Veterinary Journal. 2010; 48 (Supp. 38):695-702.
  6. Gomez Alvarez, CB. L’Ami, JJ. Moffatt, D. van Weeren, PR. Effect of chiropractic manipulations on the kinematics of back and limbs in horses with clinically diagnosed back problems. Equine Veterinary Journal. 2008;40(2):153-159.
  7. Sullivan, KA. Hill, AE. Haussler, KK. The effect of chiropractic, massage and phenylbutazone on spinal mechanical nociceptive thresholds in horses without clinical signs. Equine Veterinary Journal. 2008;40(1):14-20.
  8. Ernst, E. Adverse effects of spinal manipulation: a systematic review. J R Soc Med July 2007 vol. 100 no. 7 330-338

Posted in: Chiropractic

Leave a Comment (32) ↓

32 thoughts on “Veterinary Chiropractic

  1. goodnightirene says:

    It’s good to see you here again! I hope you will update us on the outcome of the legal issues with the cancer “vet”.

    I had friends in my artsy-fartsy town who were very into pet woo, but I have one good anecdote about that. My neighbor’s dog had a bad case of arthritis and after following standard treatment for a while, she started doing woo instead (being heavily into it herself). The poor dog began to noticeably suffer and she fairly quickly returned to standard treatment–apologizing to the woo community, sadly, for her “lapse”.

    Many of the children in the community were not so fortunate and the vax rate there is very low, to say nothing of kids being stuffed full of herbs, supplements, and stuck with needles to get their little qi’s working again. Ugh. The worst thing is that most of the woo in this town is being “practiced” by MD’s and actual vets (which makes it even harder to criticize). There’s a Waldorf school there as well that adds to the mix of woo–even though most of the parents can’t even pronounce “Anthroposophic”.

    Obviously, I was shunned.

  2. Great article as always. The organization and sectioning was excellent and I’d love to see breakdowns like this for all woo. Next step is to shorten them into wallet card fact sheets to pass out to true believers, thus avoiding the nasty confrontations and pointless arguments ;) I’m currently in long-term discussion with a friend who is a fantastic dog breeder and trainer, very bright lady, but she has “seen” doggy acupuncture work so is looking to hire someone for their kennel … ::sigh::

    I am also in awe of your persistence and fortitude – I think I can literally feel pieces of my brain shutting down and minor vessels exploding as I start reading the descriptions of things like “Quantum Shamanetics.”

    And “Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine?” That’s a new one on me, but it’s like news about child abuse and genocide – in the category of things I wish I could unsee so they didn’t have to be part of my understanding of the world we live in and the people around us.

  3. Badly Shaved Monkey says:

    Thanks, Brennen. Good article. I’m away from Monkey Mansions at the moment, but when I get home next week, I’ll send you some recent correspondence I have had with the RCVS on this topic.

    It does perhaps bear emphasising that there are risks associated with chiropractic in our patients that should concern us deeply. Acutely prolapsed intervertebral discs are a frequent and significant cause of back pain in dogs, especially small breeds. I am very worried that these animals could have their backs whacked by a chiro with no understanding at all of the specific underlying pathology. I have had one patient who had slight back pain on whom a chiro (a member of the owner’s family) practised his art. The dog then presented to me again with significant neurological deficits. The chiro had broken the law in several ways, but unfortunately the owners were not inclined to co-operate so I could not pursue the matter. The most frustrating thing was that they flat-out refused to see that anything wrong had been done.

  4. @goodnightirene

    When Dr. Eisen sent my ISP a DMCA takedown notice, I removed the quotes from his web site and videos and consulted a lawyer. It seemed pretty clear that my use was protected under copyright law, so after the required waiting period (in which no suit was filed), I put them back. He can still sue any time in the next couple of years, but it seems unlikely.

  5. @BSM

    I think it’s quite likely chiro is directly harmful for some patients, particularly those with intervertebral disk prolapse, advanced spinal arthritis, tumors, etc. I haven’t found any actual research data on the subject, just the sort of anecdotes you and I have presented, but the assumption of complete safety is certainly not legitimate. And, of course, we can’t forget about the broader problem of people being lured into a world of raw diets, vaccine-avoidance, and other risky behaviors by those who employ chiropractic as just one aspect of a “holistic” approach.

  6. Mark Crislip says:

    He was aware of reality (allopathic anatomy) but chose to ignore it since it did not fit with his experience.

    Sums it up.

  7. Jacob V says:

    My wife had to take one of our horses into the vet last weekend for an infection in his jaw. The vet was a nice young woman who happened to be on call that day and was not the regular vet my wife uses. After getting home my wife looked up the vet on the clinic web site and cringingly read me her bio:
    ” Dr. ****** is a Pacific Northwest native from *******, who graduated from Cornell University and then completed a one year equine medicine and surgery internship at ******* Veterinary Hospital in ******* ** prior to joining the ******* team. She is interested in providing integrative care to her patients, including acupuncture, chiropractic, herbal and food therapy…. Her special interests include Traditional Chinese Veterinary medicine, back and spinal care, rehabilitation, neonatology and animal disaster response. “

    It appears that Cornell University’s science curriculum needs attention. And as my wife says, “the notion that a 120 pound woman can manipulate the spine of a full size horse in a more meaningful manner than the horse does when having a good roll is a laugh.” And my wife will not be using that vet again because she missed a cyst that my wife had to lance herself the next day. Perhaps it was a subluxation trying to escape!

  8. Harriet Hall says:

    I’m still trying to visualize a chiropractor manipulating an elephant’s spine. I don’t suppose there’s a video anywhere.

  9. @ Jacob V

    Sadly, so-called “integrative medicine” (thanks to Dr. Crislip, I always see cow pies when I hear that term) is spreading into veterinary schools. The American Holistic Veterinary Medicine Association has raised a good deal of money to establish and support centers for teaching and promoting alternative therapies in veterinary schools, and I fear it won’t be long before most new veterinarians will see them as indistinguishable from science-based medicine: http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2013/04/whats-wrong-with-integrative-veterinary-medicine/

  10. Jann Bellamy says:

    I pass by a veterinary clinic regularly that has “acupuncture” listed as one of its services. It makes me sad to think of all the poor animals who must be stuck with needles for no good reason. I hope they all bite the acupuncturist.

  11. ConspicuousCarl says:

    But so long as the dog is licensed it can’t be bad, right?

  12. goodnightirene says:

    Thanks for the reply. Good news!

    I want to add, for those who are unaware, that you can find lots more excellent writing, and expose (how do you get a l’accent acute on a Mac?) on Dr. McKenzie’s blog at skepvet.com.

    This all got me thinking that if the anti-vax crowd stops vaxing their dogs (or substitute homeopathic versions), especially for rabies– there could be some serious consequences. Yikes!
    ———–
    To All:
    I have discovered three tiny feral kittens in my garage (haven’t seen mama yet). What is the most ethical course of action? I have put a little food and water nearby–hope that’s not wrong.

  13. pharmavixen says:

    If I tried to perform acupuncture on my cats, they’d try and perform acupuncture on me.

    I have discovered three tiny feral kittens in my garage (haven’t seen mama yet). What is the most ethical course of action? I have put a little food and water nearby–hope that’s not wrong.

    How tiny are the kittens? Are they ready for solid food? If there’s a cat rescue society in your area, I suggest you let them know. Feral cats lead a life that is nasty, brutish and short – the mum should be captured and spayed and the kittens adopted. FWIW, I adopted two feral kittens in ’09, and they have been my favourite kitties in a lifetime of cat ownership. I confess to polluting the internet with their antics.

  14. pharmavixen says:

    This all got me thinking that if the anti-vax crowd stops vaxing their dogs (or substitute homeopathic versions), especially for rabies– there could be some serious consequences. Yikes!

    How long before they claim that rabies is actually a manifestation of animal autism brought on by vaccination?

  15. goodnightirene says:

    @pharmavixen

    I’m totally aware of the problems of, and with, feral cats. I have already caught and spayed some. These kittens are now about two weeks old and I’ve never seen Mama. I think I discovered them just about the day they were born–all three are totally black. They are actually in my granddaughter’s garage (didn’t want to get into long explanation) and it’s a small town with no real animal facilities–hence the problem with feral cats. I told her I will help her pay to have them neutered, but neither of us has any idea how to catch Mama Cat. I have one of those little cages, which I guess would work, but I don’t think I should do it until the kittens are weaned.

    I guess my real question is this: Is it better to spay and release them or just take them to a shelter–most of which are overwhelmed already? This seems to be controversial, so I was looking for a vet’s opinion. Guess I could give my own a call, duh.

  16. mousethatroared says:

    It seems it would be easy for an pet owner to mistakenly think a non-effective treatment has worked. Pet can be so stoic and even when you do see the limping, wobbling you see with arthritis or back problem, the symptoms wax and wane. My little IG had good day and bad days for quite awhile before her spinal problems became so bad that we had to have her put to sleep. And often you couldn’t tell if she was in pain or not, she just moved around less. It’s pretty horrifying to think of someone who obviously doesn’t know what they are doing attempting to manipulate her delicate little spine.

    @goodnightirene – I’m not a vet. I can’t say the best course of action for weaning, etc. One suggestion that I heard from a local rescue organization for feral kittens was that handling them and getting them used to people helped with placement. I’m not sure how mom kitty will react to that, though, maybe something to ask the your vet if you call.

    Petfinder.com can be a good place to find nearby rescue organizations, but you do have to be careful you are dealing with a real rescue organization, not just a hoarder who will take home any animal. Best of Luck.

  17. kathy says:

    The though of woo of any sort being practiced on, say, a horse with laminitis, makes me go ape. Like @mouse says, animals are amazingly stoical, but if you’ve seen a horse with laminitis, this is beyond stoicism, it is pure agony. I’d like to moer people who allow an animal to suffer it for a single day longer than is really necessary, without any pang of conscience. They can’t not realise how it is suffering, and goes on suffering, if they have eyes in their heads.

    Mind you, horse owners are (imho) among the most silly of intelligent people. I recently heard of a friend sending her racehorse filly to a farm for colonic irrigation … hope the horse kicked someone’s block off.

  18. pharmavixen says:

    I’m totally aware of the problems of, and with, feral cats. I have already caught and spayed some.

    Well done! But it’s a difficult problem. I live in the downtown core of Canada’s largest city and there’s thousands of feral cats. There are some cat rescue organizations, and many of us feed the cats and sometimes try and catch the sick ones, taking them to the vet at our own expense. The ideal is the catch and spay all feral cats, but we all live in the real world, where feral cats are numerous and vet bills are expensive.

    I recently heard of a friend sending her racehorse filly to a farm for colonic irrigation … hope the horse kicked someone’s block off.

    You could say, in all innocence, “But I didn’t think horses needed colonics because horses are vegan.”

  19. As several of you have mentioned, one of the biggest challenges in evaluating veterinary therapies, and in challenging the anecdotes of CAM proponents, is that it is easy for vets and owners to see a response to therapy where there is none. A recent study specifically examined this “caregiver placebo effect” in trials of arthritis therapies for dogs, and it appeared that nearly half of vets and owners perceive a clinical improvement when the patient is receiving a placebo therapy. This emphasizes how unreliable our uncontrolled observations are in evaluating efficacy despite how convincing we may find them:

    http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2012/11/caregiver-placebo-effects-new-study-shows-that-owners-and-vets-often-believe-an-ineffective-therapy-is-working-when-it-isnt/

  20. norrisL says:

    Bennen, I am an Australian vet. You might be interested in this insane website from a “vet” in Geelong

    pawstoheal.com.au

    I have complained to the AVA several times about this person. Nothing happens!

    I warn you that you will need a large bucket if you barely even scrape the surface of this crazy person’s website.

    Last year the Australian government banned a number of alternatives from being allowed to claim against the patient’s
    private health insurance. Very oddly, this did not apply to acupuncture or chiropractic treatment

    The AVA did finally allow that they would allow quack lectures at AVA conferences, but that the attendees to these courses would not be allowed to have continuing education points

    As a last point, I have always wondered how anyone could perform chiro on a horse. And now I see that someone feels that chiro on an elephant is possible. Ah, the wonderful world of woo, just when you thought you had seen everything

  21. nmPT says:

    I suppose these mighty Chiros see themselves as Hercules vs. lion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nemean_lion).

  22. Davdoodles says:

    I’d like to specialise in veterinary chiropractic of invertebrates.

    Turn my hobby of massaging jellyfish (which, at 96% water, are practically homeopathic) into a big-time money-maker…
    .

  23. Davdoodles says:

    You can’t say “quantum shamanetics” without “sham”…

  24. DevoutCatalyst says:

    > I’d like to specialise in veterinary chiropractic of invertebrates.

    Me too, I’ll hang a sign, Practice Limited to Clams. Because a cracked clam is a tasty clam.

  25. goodnightirene says:

    @pharmavixen

    We’ve been advised not to feed the feral cats, but we have made an exception for this Mama with the kittens, but she seems to prefer hunting as she is never there (or perhaps hiding) when we check on the kittens.

    @Mouse

    Thanks for the mention of handling the kittens to get them used to people. I hadn’t thought of that. I am going to definitely call the Humane Society today and get some official advice on all this!

    ——-
    Great humor here today! But it barely takes the edge off of the cruelty of pet woo. Even pet food has fallen into “structure function” marketing. I can hardly stand to go into the PetCo places anymore. You will get an earful of woo if you dare ask one of the staff anything at all about feeding your pet. A dog is a wolf, don’t you know?

  26. @norrisL

    Yes, vet CAM is a global phenomenon. You do have a strong, active skeptical community in Oz, though, which is a plus. And I was very pleased by the AVA statement on ineffective therapies and homeopathy/homotoxicology.

    We didn’t get very far when we tried to pass something similar here. (http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/age-of-endarkenment/)

    The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association not only beat it back but managed to get themselves a seat in the AVMA House of Delegates. So I’ll stack up our veterinary community’s spineless capitulation to pseudoscience against anything you have down under! :-)

  27. RobRN says:

    I asked about the wisdom of vaccinating pets for rabies on an anti-vax website a while back and, sure enough, those wackos responded that they didn’t vaccinate their pets either. After a few exchanges back and forth, I also learned that spaying and neutering isn’t popular with that demographic either! Sad.

  28. Alia says:

    As a matter of fact, I do not vaccinate my cat for rabies and FeLV. And before you start getting upset – I live in a flat, my cat does not go out and does not meet any other pets (she’s quite feral and generally dislikes other animals). And, in contrast to vaccine-autism link, vaccine-related tumours are a real risk following rabies and FeLV vaccines. But I do vaccinate her for other feline diseases, like panleucopenia, chlamydia or calici, because those vaccines are safer and it’s easier to catch those diseases even without contact with other pets.

  29. @ Harriet Hall

    Well, it’s not a video, but here are a couple of photos of an elephant adjustment by Dr. Block, along with a ludicrously uncritical advertisement for chiropractic masquerading as news (thanks to BlueWode for the link):

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/animal-chiropractors-say-their-drugless-nonsurgical-adjustments-are-cheaper-than-vet-care/2013/04/16/84680144-a6ca-11e2-9e1c-bb0fb0c2edd9_story.html

  30. DevoutCatalyst says:

    Giggleman?

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