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The ultimate charlatan

In my January 24th article, “Careful pet owners, charlatans now target your pets!”, I touched on this miracle canine medication creator whose credentials do not go beyond being a dog owner and self proclaimed independent researcher. As part of that article, I used him as a charlatan example with his peddling of a cure he developed for Cushings Disease that utilizes ingredients found at a local supermarket. In his sales pitch, he accused veterinarians of suppressing this knowledge because of our alignment with pharmaceutical companies that keep our loyalty with “great kickbacks, such as a free vacation for the family or a “convention meeting” (as they call it) that some how finds it’s way in the good Dr’s mail box.”

Using the same advertising theme, “4 Facts Your Stupid Vet Failed To Tell You About [name your disease du jour],” Michael Dole now has a household supermarket item cure for the deadly canine viral disease, parvo. In his marketing of this product, Michael Dole suggests that veterinarians do not offer the best available treatments for parvo, indicating that the treatments we offer regularly fail because they consist merely of:

“Treatment A: No treatment at all (there’s nothing we can do). In this case they will simply send your dog home to die.

or…

Treatment B: An IV and an overnight stay (maybe 3 nights). BUT don’t be fooled by the complicated Dr talk. What you are basically paying for is an IV drip full of water and electrolytes meant to rehydrate your dog.”

He goes on to say that veterinarians do not understand that the key cause of death from parvo is merely, “a simple matter of dehydration.”

Please allow me to clarify the truth about parvo from a veterinarian’s perspective. While dehydration is a significant factor in clinical disease and can lead to death by hypovolemic shock, the consequences of parvo are far more complex than just dehydration. Parvo attacks rapidly dividing cells of the GI tract or the bone marrow. In the GI tract, the result is sloughing of the lining of the GI tract, causing malabsorption and bleeding (hence the bloody diarrhea associated with the disease). In the bone marrow, the virus inhibits the patent’s ability to make red blood cells and white blood cells. Red blood cells are the solid component of the blood stream responsible for oxygenating tissues, white blood cells are the first line of defense of against infection. Death can result from all this due to anemia, hypoxia (tissue oxygen depletion), and sepsis (systemic blood born infection).

According to Michael Dole, all we do to treat all this is offer an IV drip. Realistically, an IV drip to replace lost hydration and electrolytes, is but one component of a multifaceted treatment protocol. We also treat with antibiotics to fight secondary bacterial infection in the immune compromised patient. We treat with GI protectants to reduce GI hemorrhage and sloughing of the gut lining. In cases of severe anemia, we administer blood transfusions.

So Mr. Dole, since you have zero animal health care training, obvious both in your own listed credentials, as well as your twisted perceptions of veterinary care, please allow me to enlighten you. To call veterinarians stupid, insults the sacrifice, discipline, and hard work we poured into our education and training, as well as our ongoing dedication to the profession. To misrepresent how we implement treatment is appalling whether the result of ignorance or intentional deception. Not having purchased your product and not knowing what your supermarket parvo cocktail consists of, I will concede that there may be some benefit to parvo patients, perhaps even a decent alternative for pet owners who just unequivocally cannot afford veterinary care. But to try selling people on the notion that they should forgo veterinary medicine when parvo is suspected, in favor of your cocktail that you tout as a parvo treatment superior to the best treatment protocols veterinary medicine has to offer, is ridiculous, irresponsible, and puts pet’s lives in danger.

I e-mailed this blog post to Mr. Dole. I challenge him to respond.

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