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Old 06-23-2014, 11:39 AM   #1
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Here is the About Me for the Skeptvet blog. He's a veterinarian who posts his opinions on all different subject matter regarding varying topics from General Vet care to Holistic Vet treatment and vaccines. The guy just ROCKS!!!!

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About
As a practicing veterinarian, I am personally and professionally devoted to promoting real, beneficial medical therapies for companion animals, and to discouraging those approaches that have not proven to be safe or effective, or that may even be harmful. I strive for true open-mindedness, but I believe all medical practices must be open to critique and must be validated by reliable science, not merely tradition, intuition, opinion, or anecdote. In this blog I will be addressing the broad range of philosophical, ethical, economic, legal, political, and most of all scientific issues raised by complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), particularly as it is applied to veterinary medicine.


There are many different topics that I think as dog owners we would all have an interest in so I figured that I would start sharing his thought on different aspects of vet care. I hope that you find him as interesting and informative as I have and maybe we can all learn from his pretty straight forward approach.
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:45 AM   #2
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Always a hot topic on YT. Pet Nutrition:

Nutrition Resources for Pet Owners | The SkeptVet

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Nutrition Resources for Pet Owners
Posted on February 18, 2014 by skeptvet
There is, as we all know, a tremendous amount of misinformation on the internet concenring virtually any subject. Yet the internet is an unqeustionably powerful information resources, likely indispensible for anyone seeking to be an informed consumer. For pet owners, the quantity of information about pet nutrition is overwhelming. Yet the quality of most of this infomration is poor, with little in the way of scientific evidence backing claims made, and with advertising and other commercial messages often indistinguuishable for legitimate and useful information resources.

So I have put together a brief list of useful informational resources for pet owners concerning dog and cat nutrition. These resources are produced by board-certified veterinary nutritionists and academic institutions or consortia with solid credentials in veterinary nutrition. I may not necessarily agree with every single statement in these resources, but I consider the sources trustworthy and the information reliable.

The objection will inevitably be raised that many of these individuals or organizations have some connection with the commercial pet food industry. This industry does support the majority of the research and education in veterinary nutrition, which raises the legitimate question of potential bias. That said, the claims and statements made by academic veterinary nutritionists are most often backed by research evidence, and this evidence does not become magically irrelevant just because of potential funding bias.

While any industry-funded research must be scrutinized carefully to ensure appropriate methodological techniques are employed to reduce the risk of bias, and while in a perfect world all research would be sponsored by independant government agencies or through funding mechanisms that prohibited any connection between funder and researcher, this is not our current reality.

All individuals have their biases, whether ideological, financial, cognitive, or other, and the purpose of the techniques of science are to minimize the influence of such biases on our understanding. The opinions of individuals promoting and/or selling unconventional diets or disparaging commercial diets are not free of bias, but they are often free of real scientific evidence. It is not the individual nor their affiliations that is ultimately the most salient feature in evaluating the reliability of factual claims, it is the quality of the data.

I invite anyone who is legitimately concerned about the influence of industry on the veterinary profession’s understanding and approach to nutrition to do more than complain. Provide real evidence to support your own claims or those of others you believe have a better approach. Support the generation of better evidence with less risk of funding bias. Encourage the highest standards of research design and reporting to minimize the risk of bias.
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:59 AM   #3
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If you follow the link it will take you to the page. There he has a whole list of different links that you can follow to read. They are get this.....real

This is an excellent example of one of the links that he shared:

http://www.wsava.org/nutrition-toolkit
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Old 06-23-2014, 12:38 PM   #4
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Awesome, thanks so much for posting this!
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:35 AM   #5
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Nice! I saw him on that thread on H&D too....looks like a nice blog. Also, I see he is a fan of John Oliver and therefore, I am a fan of his !
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:56 PM   #6
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Though I’m a little late, I’m a forgiving sort, so I won’t be mad at myself for forgetting my blogiversary. June 4 marked five years of the SkeptVet Blog! The project has grown in so many ways. In the early days, I was excited to get fifty hits in a day, and in the last year it has been routine to get 800-1000 per day. Still small potatoes by Internet standards, but gratifying nonetheless. My goal has always been to provide a useful informational resource to pet owners and veterinarians, and to provide an alternative perspective on many therapies for which the only information on the internet is biased and unjustified marketing hype. The more people who know the blog is here, the more useful it is likely to be.

I have also expanded to discuss a much wider range of topics, even leaving the domain of alternative medicine more and more often. And in writing articles every week for five years, hopefully I have become a more effective communicator. I cringe when I look at the style and tone of some of my early posts, but I choose to view that as a good sign since it must mean I have grown and changed.

Writing this blog has provided me with opportunities to talk about evidence-based medicine more widely, to veterinarians and students and the general public, through my own lectures and presentations, writing opportunities, and interviews in the media. Hopefully, these activities will add an under-represented perspective, that of science and skepticism, to conversations within these communities about the best way to protect and restore health in our animal companions. I’ve never claimed to have all the answers, but I think I have some important and useful questions.

And writing this blog has certainly stimulated discussion and feedback. I have reviewed the negative comments before because I believe they are instructive in understanding the beliefs, values, and emotions that support pseudoscience and impede the effective use of science to improve veterinary medicine and animal health. But as an anniversary present to myself and those who find this project useful, I thought I’d review some of the positive feedback I’ve received. As well as being fun, this will help maintain the energy needed to keep going, which I fully intend to do. (All comments have been anonymized).

As a side note, another way to maintain this energy is going on vacation, which I will be doing starting this weekend. So activity, including responses to comments and emails, will be pretty light here for a few weeks. Never fear, I will keep up as best I can while I’m travelling, and I will dive back in with responses to your questions and comments and new articles with renewed vigor when I get back.

Finally, I offer a heartfelt “Thank you!” to all who have taken the time to provide supportive comments, questions or suggestions for topics to discuss, and thoughtful, substantive criticism. Your feedback does a great deal to neutralize the vacuous and angry responses a blog such as this inevitably draws and to maintain my faith in the possibility of civil, rational, fact-based discourse.

Happy 5th Blogiversary to Me!
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:44 PM   #7
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Just be careful - I believe he has very one- sided view on dog health. He seems to be somewhat against alternative and complimentary medicine ( very pro-western medicine view). Such view prevails among human medicine as well in US. Yes, there is not sufficient data to prove that alternative medicine has significant benefits but mainly because we don't have significant studies for that because no one would sponsor such studies as profit incentives are low. Same with the dog health.
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janeno View Post
Just be careful - I believe he has very one- sided view on dog health. He seems to be somewhat against alternative and complimentary medicine ( very pro-western medicine view). Such view prevails among human medicine as well in US. Yes, there is not sufficient data to prove that alternative medicine has significant benefits but mainly because we don't have significant studies for that because no one would sponsor such studies as profit incentives are low. Same with the dog health.
Actually, that's not true. It's that he's into evidence-based medicine instead of anecdotal reports. I personally think that the holistic people like to point out the "lack of studies" as a way to justify their alternative medicine approaches. If you look, though, you'll find some complementary and alternative approaches are indeed part of medicine. Examples, just to make a few, omega 3 fatty acids as used to slow certain renal disease, milk thistle and SAM-e to provide support to liver-impaired dogs, cranberry extract to help with e.coli based bladder infections, melatonin and flax lignans for atypical cushings. It has nothing to do with profit, unless you consider the profiteering of the holistic establishment to sell you various unproven and diluted substances with claims and promises of renewed vigor.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:26 AM   #9
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American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation gives $10,000 to University of Tennessee Veterinary School to Promote Alternative Medicine
Posted on March 18, 2013 by skeptvet

Last fall, I wrote about the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation (AHVMF), an offshoot of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA), which is devoted to raising money for the promotion of alternative therapies. The AHVMA is a vigorous advocate of unproven and outright bogus therapies, and I have frequently discussed their activities. From the annual “scientific” meeting that includes promotion of ridiculous pseudoscience on the dime of herb and dietary supplement companies to its vigorous defense of homeopathy, the AHVMA has demonstrated a commitment to the standard of no standards when it comes to veterinary therapies. Despite lip service paid to science and free use of the language of evidence-based medicine, the organization is clearly an advocate for any and all therapies under the broad, essentially ideological label of complementary and alternative veterinary medicine (CAVM).

So while the AHVMF also talks about supporting legitimate scientific research, I have some skepticism about such claims. The parent organization, and many of the individuals involved in the AHVMF, have clearly demonstrate that they are unwilling to reject CAVM therapies even when they are inconsistent with established scientific knowledge or the results of scientific research. My suspicion (and I would certainly be pleased to be wrong here), is that the AHVMF is purely a marketing effort, aimed at promoting what its members already believe rather than finding the truth, and an attempt to create the impression of scientific and institutional legitimacy for therapies that have not been able to achieve these on the strength of the evidence for their effectiveness. A recent article on the AHVMF blog appears to support this interpretation.

The Veterinary School at the University of Tennessee recently received a $10,000 grant from the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation to support “integrative medicine.” The faculty member who runs the Integrative Medicine Center at UT has written a blog post for the AHVMF which illustrates very clearly the goals of this effort.

These goals do not appear to be focused on supporting research to identify which CAVM therapies are actually effective. They appear to be more about pursuing a marketing strategy for bringing CAVM therapies into acceptance within the mainstream by making them more familiar, part of the veterinary curriculum, and something that everyone can see works “with their own eyes,” despite the absence of controlled research support or the existence of negative research data. This is pure proselytizing rather than research.
The article also illustrates how holistic medicine is so often promoted–not on the basis of evidence, of which there is usually little to none, but as a kinder and gentler and more hopeful approach than science-based medicine. Regardless of how one feels about acupuncture, chiropractic, Chinese Medicine, etc., I wonder how conventional veterinarians are expected to feel about this characterization of what holistic medicine is and what, presumably, conventional medicine is not:

I now realize is that what makes holistic and veterinarians different is not just our type of treatment, but how we approach our patient. In the integrative health movement we are constantly seeking therapies and approaches that are outside the box of conventional veterinary medicine. And for various reasons we need access to these therapies as many of our patients have failed to respond to standard approaches. They come to us with hope of finding help not available elsewhere.

…we approach with a lot of thoughtfulness, gentle treatment plans, and a lot of caring. We are vested in our patients. And once you become a vested, willing to travel a different path to investigate all the options, there is no turning back.

It’s nice to know that when we emotionally detached doctors who are stuck on the whole science thing have given up on our patients, at least they have someone caring to go to who is willing to try almost anything regardless of the absence of anything as pointless as evidence of safety or efficacy.

The infiltration of unproven, or disproven, alternative therapies into legitimate teaching and research hospitals, largely driven by the irresistible allure of funding for research and faculty contingent on a friendly approach to such therapies, has been dubbed “quackademic medicine,” and it represents a real threat to the well-being of patients.

The diversion of scarce resources to research on implausible or already disproven therapies when this research will never discourage advocates from using them regardless of the results impedes real progress in developing better treatments. The perception that such therapies must be legitimate and demonstrably safe and effective (otherwise, why would universities allow teaching and using them in academic hospitals?) creates a false impression of the evidence concerning these therapies and of their value. And despite claims to the contrary, inadequately tested CAVM therapies can directly harm patients. And the integration of unproven methods with science-based medicine can decrease quality of life and survival for patients with serious illnesses.

For all of these reasons, it is unfortunate that the strategy of promoting the integration of unproven or pseudoscientific therapies with legitimate science-based medicine at academic medical centers has reached the veterinary profession. The money this brings to the institutions involved will only harm the profession and our patients if, as seems likely, it is used to promote CAVM rather than conduct legitimate research that will separate the useful from the useless. Such funds would be better spent supporting independent research involving not only dedicated advocates of CAVM but neutral and skeptical researchers with a commitment to rigorous methodological quality and no pre-existing commitment to a particular outcome. Establishing centers to integrate CAVM therapies with conventional medicine when these therapies have not yet demonstrated they are safe and effective is premature and diminishes the integrity of veterinary medicine and is not in the best interests of our clients or our patients.
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