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Final Thoughts 2014

In today’s post I am taking a temporary detour from my Preventative Pet Health Care Series in order to bring you my final thoughts of the year blog (and podcast) tradition.  This year has presented a lot of unique circumstances in the veterinary and pet industry that give me more of an urgency to post a year in review article than ever before.  Shortly after the New Year, I will return to, and complete my Preventative Pet Health Care Series.

2014 presented us with many interesting and new states of affairs in the veterinary and pet industries, some exciting and hopeful, others just different, with others disturbing and even hurtful.  I outline each of the pertinent topics that topped my list for 2014.

Alternative Veterinary Medicine Make Strong Headway into Mainstream Veterinary Medicine

Alternative veterinary medicine has been making big strides in the past several years into mainstream veterinary medicine with veterinary colleges taking the initiative to study many alternative treatment modalities and provide unequivocal clinical data supporting their efficacy.  For example, Colorado State University has made a strong push into veterinary rehabilitation both from a nutritional and treatment standpoint.  They have adopted a profound focus on high tech alternative therapy such as therapy laser and water treadmill, but also emphasize the regenerative benefits of nutritional supplementation.  Likewise, University of Florida has an entire clinic devoted to the practice of tradition Chinese veterinary medicine, which includes acupuncture and herbal medicine.

While I have bought into an integrative approach to the way I practice veterinary medicine combining the best aspects of both mainstream and alternative veterinary medicine for many years, it was not until 2014 that saw its integration at a significant scale.  It is now not as uncommon as it was only a couple of years ago to see practices that integrate these aforementioned alternative treatment methods.  While human medicine remains highly dug in with deep divides between alternative and mainstream medicine, veterinary medicine is poised to continue a strong push into integrative medicine, the practice of medicine that enables our patients to benefit from the very best that all types of medicine have to offer.

Trifexis Kills Dogs?

A woman with a geriatric dog who had been Trifexis (a combination heartworm and flea preventive) for 2 years, while also was under treatment for Cushings Disease and congestive heart failure, died within a few days of Trifexis administration.   She drew the conclusion that it must have been the Trifexis that killed her dog, despite this not being the conclusion her veterinarian drew, the fact that the dog had been on Trifexis for 2 years prior, and had 3 other possibilities that could have been the cause of death: old age, congestive heart failure, and Cushings Disease.   Given the pet owners concern that Trifexis had something to do with her dog’s death, the manufacturer of Trifexis, Elanco paid for a post mortem examination of the dog, which determined the cause of death to be congestive heart failure.

Undeterred by this, the pet owner started a Facebook page called “Trifexis Kills Dogs,” began to draw a following of other pet owners convinced that their dogs died from Trifexis administration.  Seeing an opportunity to exploit the controversy justifiably or


Dr. Roger Welton is the President of Maybeck Animal Hospital in West Melbourne, FL, Chief Editor of the Veterinary Advice and Information Website, Web-DVM, and founder/CEO of Dr. Roger’s Holistic Veterinary Care.

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