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URGENT: If You Believe in Homeopathic Therapies for Pets, PLEASE READ THIS

Updated:  A resolution was submitted to the AVMA House of Delegates (HOD) by the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association, proposing a policy opposing homeopathy. The CT VMA also submitted the white paper as supporting documentation for their resolution. The AVMA itself did NOT generate the resolution or the paper. The AVMA does not endorse the contents of the paper, and only accepted it as a supporting document provided by the organization that submitted the resolution. Any resolution submitted through the proper procedures to the the HOD must be considered – that’s how our governance structure works.
There were representatives from the AHVMA and AHV present at the meeting, and the president of AHVMA addressed the reference committee and shared a number of documents in support of homeopathy with all HOD members.
The vote took place on Saturday, January 5, so there is no need for an email, phone, fax or write-in campaign about the resolution. The House of Delegates voted to refer it to the Executive Board with a request that our Council on Veterinary Service review it. It is no longer a proposed policy or resolution, it’s now an item for consideration that will be given no more or less consideration than other items in the meeting agenda. For more information: http://atwork.avma.org/2013/01/05/proposed-resolution-3-homeopathy-update/

Thank you, Dr. Kimberly May

Story at-a-glance
  • It seems the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is on a fast track to kill off the practice of complementary/alternative/holistic veterinary medicine.
  • Fast on the heels of their recent anti-raw pet food position statement, they are now about to jam through a similar resolution discouraging the practice of homeopathy for pets.
  • The anti-homeopathy resolution is especially peculiar, since it arrived at the AVMA through a procedural back door and is based solely on an anonymously authored 32-page white paper that displays the stunning bias of the writer along with an abundance of misinformation.
  • If you would like not only veterinary homeopathy, but all alternative veterinary therapies to remain available for your pet, we encourage you to contact the AVMA immediately and voice your concerns about this latest resolution, and an overall trend we are seeing toward discouraging the practice of all types of holistic veterinary medicine.

Video: Dr. Becker Interview with Dr. Jean Wofve

By Dr. Becker

Today I have a very special guest, Dr. Jean Hofve. We’re speaking rather urgently via Skype about yet another misguided resolution the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is putting to a vote this Saturday (yes, tomorrow).

As some of you may recall, the AVMA recently passed a resolution discouraging raw diets for pets. This latest resolution is intended to discourage the use of homeopathy in veterinary medicine.

In case you’re not familiar with Dr. Jean, she’s a retired holistic veterinarian who co-authored The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care: An Illustrated Handbook, With Celeste Yarnell. She has also written hundreds of articles, lectured throughout the U.S., and appeared on TV and radio stations around the world. Dr. Jean’s website, Little Big Cat, has a wealth of information on feline health, nutrition and behavior. She currently lives in Denver with four kitties: Flynn, Puzzle, Sundance and Spencer.

Anti-Homeopathy Resolution Slipped in Through the Back Door

Dr. Jean has written a blog post on her website everyone needs to read concerning the proposed AVMA anti-homeopathy resolution.

The AVMA is basing its position solely on a 32-page white paper titled "The Case Against Homeopathy" that states homeopathy is ineffective and its use should be discouraged. According to Dr. Jean’s sources, the white paper was written by a vocal opponent of holistic medicine in all its forms, and was submitted to the AVMA under the sponsorship of the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association (VMA).

The anti-homeopathy resolution is shocking not only to veterinary homeopaths around the world, but also, hopefully, to every veterinarian in Connecticut, holistic or otherwise. Apparently, the veterinary community in that state was not asked for their input on the resolution!

According to Dr. Jean, the resolution came to the AVMA’s attention through a "weird little procedural back door." It’s Dr. Jean’s understanding that it will be voted on by the AVMA Executive Board on Saturday, and then go to the House of Delegates (HOD). The normal procedure for these resolutions is that they come up through the HOD or standing committees first, and are then referred to the Executive Board. At the annual conference in July, everyone gets an opportunity to talk about them, and they are voted on by the entire House of Delegates. There are over 100 delegates from 50 states and allied associations. They usually go along with the recommendation of the Executive Board.

This is concerning for the precedent it could set in getting AVMA resolutions passed without expert testimony (in this case, the testimony of veterinary homeopaths and other subject experts), and indeed, without the majority of AVMA’s voting membership made aware of proposed resolutions. (Proposed resolutions are published in JAVMA just prior to the conference. I suspect not many vets read them.)

Who, Exactly, is Behind the Resolution?

I asked Dr. Jean to elaborate if possible on just who is behind the anti-homeopathy white paper upon which the AVMA based its resolution. What are this person’s credentials regarding the practice of veterinary homeopathy?

Dr. Jean responded there is one primary driver behind this information, among a small group of "skeptics" who are dedicated to abolishing complementary and alternative veterinary medicine. This individual apparently pushed to bring it to the AVMA for a vote, but while Dr. Jean knows who the person is, she must respect his privacy because he published the white paper anonymously.

Dr. Jean then pointed out, and I certainly agree, that if a person isn’t proud enough of his work to put his name on it, that fact alone should raise red flags for anyone who is using that work as the sole basis for passing such an important resolution.

A white paper is intended to be an unbiased, "just the facts, ma’am" type of document. In this case, it is completely biased and comes only from the anonymous author’s point of view. He cherry-picked the data he used to the point it is essentially meaningless. And as far as Dr. Jean is concerned, the white paper is full of innuendos and attempts to slide around the truth … bending and twisting it every which-way.

What’s really frustrating is this supposedly unbiased white paper is full of biased information, is authored by a person who apparently didn’t feel comfortable putting his name to it, and who did not consult with a single veterinary homeopath or other expert in homeopathy for the purpose of presenting a balanced approach to the topic.

Why Didn’t the AVMA Solicit Input on the Resolution from Veterinary Homeopaths?

Dr. Jean further pointed out that when the AVMA was presented with the anti-homeopathy resolution and the anonymously authored white paper, it could not be bothered to get the other side of the story. Astonishingly, the AVMA didn’t contact either the AHVMA or the AVH (Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy) for input.

(Just so we’re clear, the AVMA is the professional association most DVMs in the U.S. are affiliated with, regardless of their practice philosophy – traditional/conventional, integrative, holistic, etc. Then there’s the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA), which is for DVMs who also or exclusively practice holistic veterinary medicine. Under the holistic umbrella are various associations for DVMs who practice specific alternative/complementary therapies like homeopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, etc.)

Fortunately, and for whatever good it may do, the AHVMA and the AVH were on high alert based on some other things that have gone on recently. So they got wind early of the AVMA anti-homeopathy resolution and were able to respond. (You can find the AHVMA’s response here.) According to Dr. Jean, this has been going on for a month or two behind the scenes, which is why she was able to dig into the white paper, study the so-called "science" behind it, and write her own excellent response, which you can find here.

A Dangerous Trend

The Connecticut VMA has already passed a resolution discouraging the use of homeopathy, and the resolution now sits with the AVMA. I asked Dr. Jean what we can expect if it passes, which we anticipate it will. Where will people seeking professional homeopathic guidance for their pets turn?

Dr. Jean responded that vets who are currently using homeopathy aren’t going to stop, and pet owners who seek it out will still be able to find it. But what the resolution, if passed, will do in a broader sense is give traditional vets an excuse to refuse to even consider homeopathy – because it has now been "proven" (via the AVMA resolution) to be ineffective, or worse. Practitioners who previously knew nothing about homeopathy will now know only false things about homeopathy.

I liken this to the recently passed AVMA resolution against raw pet food diets. For Dr. Jean and I, and all DVMs who understand species-appropriate nutrition, this is just absurd. It’s like banning wolves from hunting rabbits because they could become sick. Since that ill-advised resolution passed, and now this anti-homeopathy resolution seems destined to pass as well, we seem to be on a slippery slope.

Is the AVMA Being Co-opted?

As Dr. Jean sees it, the AVMA is being co-opted by a small group of "anti-everything" people in the veterinary community who want to kill alternative medicine completely. First, raw food diets. Now, homeopathy. Next could be acupuncture, and on and on.

Dr. Jean mentioned that at the last AVMA conference, all the complementary and alternative medicine lectures were turned over to people who do not believe in most or all complementary and alternative therapies, so it does seem as though the AVMA has been taken over. And that’s very concerning, because the AVMA has a lot of influence with veterinary practitioners in every community across the U.S.

So traditional veterinarians up and down Main Street USA who know nothing about alternative therapies are being given "permission" to make judgments against, in this example, raw feeding and homeopathy, based on the professional recommendations of their governing veterinary organizations.

This has the potential to deny veterinary clients and their pets access to therapies that could be preventive or curative. It also has the potential, in a "Big Brother" sort of way, to severely limit the ability of holistic and integrative vets to practice the kind of medicine they wish to practice — and have been trained and certified to practice.

It’s a scary, concerning and frustrating trend. And as Dr. Jean rightfully pointed out, these AVMA resolutions will discourage veterinarians who are interested in learning alternative modalities from pursuing the appropriate training and education. Ultimately, complementary and alternative veterinary medicine could fade away entirely, which is exactly what the "anti-everything" crowd is hoping for.

What You Can Do … TODAY

I asked Dr. Jean what she thinks pet owners who want alternative therapies to remain available should do in light of the recent AVMA resolutions.

She thinks people should contact the AVMA. Public outcry did do a little good in the anti-raw pet food battle, though a revised resolution ultimately passed. Dr. Jean thinks the AVMA would be very surprised to get an earful from pet owners on the proposed anti-homeopathy resolution as well. And she encourages pet owners to tell the AVMA their stories, if applicable, about the benefits their dog, cat or other companion animal has received from alternative therapies.

Contact information for the AVMA is below. Remember that the vote is tomorrow (Saturday, January 5), so if you want to weigh in, you should do it via email, phone or fax right away:

  • Email address: avmainfo@avma.org
  • Phone number: 800-248-2862
  • Fax number: 847-925-1329

Let the AVMA hear from you, their veterinary clients, that you will no longer do business with DVMs who refuse to consider or open their minds to alternative therapies. Let the AVMA know that with these latest resolutions, they are no longer serving clients who want the ability to seek out a variety of healing modalities for their pets. And let them know that ultimately, their members will lose income as pet owners turn to other types of practitioners for their holistic pet care needs.

I would add that it is also very important for those of you who believe in the benefits of alternative veterinary medicine to support your local holistic vet, if you have one in your area.

Dr. Jean also encourages any traditional DVMs who aren’t willing to close the door entirely on all complementary and alternative therapies to contact the AVMA personally and voice your concerns.

With a vote tomorrow, we have very little time to weigh in on the anti-homeopathy resolution, so please take a few minutes right now to email, call or fax a letter to the AVMA and voice your concerns about this latest resolution and what seems to be a dangerous trend toward killing off the practice of holistic veterinary medicine altogether.

My thanks to Dr. Jean Hofve for her time today and for all the work she has done toward trying to defeat both the anti-raw food and now the anti-homeopathy AVMA resolutions.

January 7, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Owner's Rights, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How to Create a First Aid Kit for Your Pet

Pet emergencies are critical health crises that need immediate medical intervention. Having a pet first aid kit handy is recommended for all people who own pets — it may very well buy your pet critical time until veterinary care can be sought. Many of the supplies you will be using to create your pet first aid kit will also be handy in case of human first aid needs.

What Should Your Emergency First Aid Kit Contain?
You can purchase pet first aid kits or make one yourself. A plastic tote is good for storing your kit. It is advised that you make not one but two kits: one that will be in your house and one you can keep in your car.

Your Kit Should Include:

  • Batteries
  • A Flashlight
  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Sterile gauze pads and bandages
  • First aid tape
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • A muzzle
  • A leash
  • A splint
  • Styptic powder to stop bleeding
  • Pepto bismol
  • Prescription medications (for you and your pets)
  • Sterile latex gloves
  • Eye wash
  • A book on human and pet first aid
  • Mineral oil
  • Buffered aspirin
  • Benadryl
  • Imodium for infants
  • StemPets® (and related products)
  • A blanket
  • A large bottle of water
  • Self-activating hot pack
  • Self-activating ice pack
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Copies of veterinary documents
  • Thermometer

Whenever possible, a cell phone with service that can reach 911 in case of emergencies with the phone number of the nearest emergency vet programmed is a great addition to your emergency first aid kit. Check your batteries periodically to make sure that they are ready to go when you need them in an emergency.

Giving First Aid to Pets
Now that you’ve created your kit, what will you do with these supplies in case of an emergency? Some pet hospitals offer courses in pet first aid, as do many branches of the Red Cross.

Courses are usually fairly inexpensive and are typically only one or two days long. Many courses will include a pet first aid book — if yours does, keep it with your first aid kit.

Just as your pet first aid kit will contain many items which are valuable in human medical emergencies, many of the topics covered in a pet first aid class will mirror those taught in a human first aid class, like performing CPR, helping an animal who is choking, recognizing and responding to signs of shock, cleaning and bandaging wounds, splinting, assessing vital signs, and insect and snake bites.

Prepared And Knowledgeable Saves Lives
The time and expense invested in creating a first aid kit and learning how to use it effectively in medical emergencies can very well save the life of a loved one, two or four-legged. You do not need to create separate first aid kits for the pets and people, although separate first aid training is advocated for human and pet first aid emergencies. Recertification is critical and recommended at least every two years. Get certified in pet first aid and create your emergency first aid kit today. Your family will thank you for it!

Related:

Is your pet prepared for disaster?

FEMA: Include Pets in Your Preparedness Plan

Make sure the pets are safe during storms

Hurricane Season’s Here: Six Steps to A Rescue Plan that Includes Pets

N.J. pets welcome at hurricane evacuation shelters

“The List” – What Can You Do to Prepare?

Personal Preparedness, The Leibowitz Society, Coming Collapse and how long things will last…

12 Months of Prepping, One Month at a Time

January 7, 2013 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments