As you may already know, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in the UK has been infiltrated by members of ‘The Good Thinking Society’ who are in a tizzy about complementary therapies, and homeopathy in particular. After attacking the homeopathic veterinary fraternity for years, they’ve now persuaded the RCVS to issue a position statement which essentially says that complementary and alternative therapies are unscientific and unproven. They’ve issued an edict which holistic vets are extremely concerned about, essentially that unless a vet goes first to the drugs, vaccines and chemicals before any alternatives are offered, then they’re likely to find themselves in trouble. Some say it’s an effective ban on Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM) in the veterinary field in the UK, and at least one vet has thrown in the towel and stopped practising.
I am writing as a pet owner who, without the complementary and alternative therapies, couldn’t bear to be a pet owner any more. Were my dogs condemned to the conventional veterinary paradigm, I just wouldn’t have the courage to share my life with dogs. It would be too painful to watch them suffer, as I and my dogs did before my eyes were opened to the wonderful alternatives, and the knowledge of building health from within.
It seems to me that the RCVS – which has no independent ombudsman to keep it in line – is attacking fully qualified vets who have studied longer and harder than their conventional colleagues in order to offer (in my view) something better for animals than drugs with their life-threatening side-effects. How strange it is that, at this point in history, the world is so tormented by black and white, either-or, thinking.
In my view, the RCVS has overstepped the bounds of its power. Now, many of us naturally assume that our government and its agents are there to protect us from corrupt practices in the medical field. The Veterinary Medicines Directorate, for example, is the UK’s veterinary medicines regulator. The VMD claims that it ensures the safety and efficacy of veterinary medicines, but the opposite seems (to me at least) to be the case. If I’m correct in my conclusions, arrived at during the 25 years in which I’ve attempted to bring an end to the over-vaccination of companion animals, the VMD is there to help Big Pharma get its drugs, chemicals and biologics to market. It seems to ignore and obscure the deathly consequences of these offerings as much as possible. This leaves us and our animals totally unprotected against unscrupulous business practices which, in the case of medicines, threatens lives.
Natural canine healthcare is not the easy option
There is a huge movement in the dog world where people are taking responsibility for their own dogs. This is a big deal because saying no to drugs and chemicals can make life much harder and more complicated. Try dealing with fleas if you choose to avoid the chemicals that might kill your dogs. When the vet found a flea on George, she tried to persuade us to use the dangerous chemicals, especially as Georgie has a flea bite allergy. He was beside himself with itching. But we would never forgive ourselves if we went for the easy option and he suffered as a result, or even died.
We had to go through a long process and do a lot of vacuuming and spraying with essential oils before we beat the little suckers. But it would have been so much easier if we could have given George a tablet or a spot-on. And I don’t think the vet is going to congratulate us for doing it the hard way. I think she’s going to close her ears to what we achieved and turn away.
It’s also ‘easier’ to vaccinate and not have to worry about protecting our dogs another way. The worry is the hardest to bear, because we’ve been sold a lie. Dog owners have been told for decades that a trip to the vet every year, and an injection, removes any possibility that our dogs will die. That feeling of safety is wonderful. Except none of this is true. Few or no scientific studies have demonstrated that dogs or cats even need to be revaccinated, let alone every year or three years – and that’s according to the world expert, Dr Ronald D Schultz of Wisconsin University and a leading light on the World Small Animal Veterinary Association vaccine guidelines group. Yet this doesn’t stop vets pushing annual and three-yearly shots.
Nosodes are a little more complicated than a trip to the vet and a one-off annual needle. You don’t have to worry about building a strong immune system if you accept the chemicals and drugs, and feed kibble, because you’re comfortably oblivious to the fact that the conventional way deconstructs health. You don’t have to make brave, courageous, decisions. You don’t have to be responsible.
And as your dog ages, if you abdicate responsibility and close your eyes and ears to the side-effects, then NSAIDs, steroids and antibiotics offer splendid options … until your dog’s liver or kidneys fail, or he dies of heart failure, or responds with brain damage or leaky gut and all the immune-mediated implications leaky gut entails.
The RCVS and Strange Thinking Processes
It’s difficult to understand how one group of vets can think that their peers, who have passed the same exams as them and who are therefore also vets – but vets who have chosen to go further and study homeopathy or acupuncture or nutrition or herbs – must be thick or stupid if they think that these modalities work.
It’s difficult to understand how a small group of vets, who have managed to get themselves onto the RCVS committee, could imagine that they absolutely know that the alternatives don’t work when they haven’t themselves put the work in to understand those therapies or try them out. All they’ve done is cherry pick third party research and puffed themselves up by putting people who think differently down. I admit it: I cannot stand those people whose only means of having self-respect lies in denigrating other human beings. And as for issuing edicts about what other people can and can’t do … well it seems to me that it would be better to look at one’s own faults before seeking to fix the perceived faults of others.
Lessons from history have shown us, over and over again, that when those who have power over others seek to limit the personal choices of others, great evil follows. In Communist Russia and China, for example, nearly 200 million people were murdered by their newly-formed communist states because they didn’t think the same as the ruling elite! Even to complain that they weren’t happy with the way things were had them executed or marched off to the gulags. This is precisely where the RCVS is going wrong: it’s trying to change others and legislate against others whilst doing absolutely nothing (and apparently not even recognising) the huge gaping holes in its own system of thinking and being.
The conventional fraternity within the RCVS may think, though, that homeopathic vets are causing harm to animals by withholding the conventional drugs. If the RCVS is right, then the logical conclusion is that homeopathic vets must be psychopaths who don’t care if they’re causing harm. They must be carrying on being homeopaths or herbalists or nutritionists despite the fact that nothing is working!
It’s all very strange, because many of us have miraculous stories to share about our dogs who were helped by holistic vets, and even knowledgeable non-vets, when conventional medicine either harmed them or had nothing left to offer them. So many of us are using holistic and homeopathic vets and are exceedingly glad that we found them. And I don’t think we’re all stupid or gullible, either!
Those huge gaping holes within the conventional medical model – and why we are turning away from it
It seems to me that if ‘the science’ doesn’t support homeopathy, and if ‘rigorous research’ doesn’t support homeopathy, then there’s something wrong with the science, and something wrong with the scientific model. Maybe it’s because ‘the science’ is still working from the old Newtonian paradigm, whereas the science to support the homeopathic model more likely lies in the realm of quantum physics! Quantum physics takes us above the material realm and into the realms of energy or frequency, which is essentially closer to the causal level. This isn’t weird New Age woo – it’s the cutting edge of science, and it’s leaving the drugs and chemicals and vaccines behind. Way behind.
Maybe the vets and alleged scientists who oppose energy medicines are too darned lazy to re-train and get with the program. Or maybe they’re secret agents, working for Big Pharma to keep the profits rolling in. The problem is that we don’t know, because even if there were laws forcing these people to fess up if someone or some corporation is bankrolling them (which there aren’t), there are plenty of ways to hide the truth if you want to.
I for one know that my dogs were dying at unacceptably young ages, and suffering from debilitating illnesses, when I was hooked into the conventional veterinary model. Since I learnt about homeopathy, herbs and nutrition – and ditched the drugs, vaccines and chemicals – my dogs have been much healthier, and have lived long and healthy lives. Hordes of us have the same story to tell.
The RCVS clearly fails to understand why we are turning away from conventional medicine in droves, and why so many of us would rather see a homeopathic vet than submit our dogs to the unwanted consequences of conventional offerings. But it seems they haven’t even bothered to ask us why.
A BBC study back in 2000 put the complementary and alternative market in the UK at £1.6 billion – and it’s been growing rapidly. The US CAM market is currently thought to be around $3 billion. Would these figures explain why the conventional medical gravy train – and Big Pharma and the scientists that make billions out of it – are seeking to silence the opposition? For if we can use frequencies to heal illnesses (which is what all energy medicine is essentially about), then there will be no need for the drugs and their side effects.
Could this be why so many holistic doctors – who are onto something – have been apparently murdered in the United States? The figure is currently around 90 dead holistic doctors, and growing. You have to ask why the media is silent on this.
It’s apparent to me that homeopathic vets spend most of their time trying to fix the suffering caused by the conventional medical model.
I drafted a letter to the RCVS to explain why we pet owners are turning to the alternatives but didn’t have the heart to send it. Having campaigned for the last 25 years to end the over-vaccination of our beloved dogs, I have to admit to being disheartened by those who have authority over us, and the potential corruption, or overt pig-headedness, of those who have the power to effect change. They just don’t listen. In its statement, the RCVS asserted:
“… we expect that treatments offered by veterinary surgeons are underpinned by a recognised evidence base or sound scientific principles. Veterinary surgeons should not make unproven claims about any treatments, including prophylactic treatments.”
With respect, since I first started Canine Health Concern to research the causes of illnesses in modern dogs, and through campaigning to end the over-vaccination of our dogs, I have come to the conclusion that the current scientific model and its ‘recognised evidence base’ is not only faulty, but dangerous.
The current evidence base for conventional veterinary treatments makes it clear that all drugs and biologics come with unwanted side-effects. This is the process in the UK, but it’s the same process followed by ‘proper science’ around the world:
- The developer/manufacturer conducts its own safety and efficacy tests and presents its own data to the regulator, the VMD. The VMD appears to accept the manufacturer’s evidence at face value, notes the adverse effects, and then awards a license.
- A datasheet is prepared, listing the copious warnings, contraindications, and adverse effects. The regulator actively accepts the carnage, and even calls unsafe products safe by the mere act of approving them, whilst proclaiming itself to be ensuring the safety of these products.
- Then, once it goes into the field, further adverse effects are noted. At this point the manufacturer invariably denies claims until eventually forced, by the weight of evidence some years later, and after many have suffered.
- In notorious instances, dirty tricks are used by Big Pharma to prevent knowledge of serious side-effects from leaking out and reducing sales, and in known cases exerts pressure on the regulator to keep the product on the market.
- When our dogs suffer adverse reactions, a small proportion of them are reported to the VMD. Because these adverse effects are vastly under-reported, we get a skewed view of the carnage. Where is the rigour in that?
- A subset of Defra, the Veterinary Products Committee (VPC) sits as a committee and decides whether it was a drug/vaccine reaction or not. Unfortunately, many of the people on the VPC are in receipt of funding from the very companies whose products are in question. The fox has its cubs guarding the hen house, but we’re expected to trust them at face value.
- Eventually, when enough adverse reactions are reported against a drug, chemical or biologic, the regulator has the product withdrawn. Except this seems not to happen very often.
- Often our elected representatives, our MPs, act as paid consultants to the manufacturer and use their position to prevent the product from being withdrawn.
- Scientists and academics also get on the payroll and are paid to conduct skewed research or are even paid to get on the circuit to lecture about the wonders of such and such a product, despite its poor safety profile.
- If you, your children, or your animals are harmed by one of these ‘rigorously tested’ products … tough. You and they are now numbers and statistics, and you’re unlikely to be compensated. Besides, what use is compensation if you’re dead?
Why we’re wary of their drugs
NSAIDs – non-steroidal anti-inflammatories
During 2017, warnings were issued in the BMJ about a common NSAID for humans, namely Ibuprofen, due to the risk of cardiac arrest. Ibuprofen has been on the market for decades. How many people has it killed in the meantime, do you think? And do you think there are no safer alternatives? Well, there are … except the regulators seem to be in the business of suppressing their sales, or knowledge of them, by bullying the doctors and vets who might choose to use them.
NSAIDs (COX2 inhibitors) are a favoured drug of choice for the conventional veterinary community. They’re in the same class as the infamous Vioxx for humans which caused thousands of human deaths and some pretty spectacular compensation figures, hefty fines were placed upon its manufacturer which actively hid the damage this drug was causing. Allegedly ‘rigorous science’, supplied to regulators by the same companies that manufacture and benefit financially from the products, informs us that NSAIDs can cause gastrointestinal, liver and kidney problems in dogs. Do vets warn their clients before prescribing them?
After the NSAID Rimadyl was introduced in America, significant reports of sudden animal deaths surfaced. The FDA received more than 6,000 adverse reaction reports about the drug (manufactured by Pfizer). As a result, the FDA requested that Pfizer advise consumers in their advertising that death is a possible consequence. Pfizer initially refused; however, they now include death as a possible side effect on the drug label in America. Where is this information in UK datasheets? Where is the informed consent?
Several million dogs received Rimadyl before its warning label was updated in America to add mention of death. The number two pain reliever Deramaxx was marketed for a year before its label was also changed. Metacam is also flagged in American datasheets as potentially causing death. Beware all NSAIDs, and actively look for alternatives if you don’t want to be complicit in your dog’s death.
We have evidence from Dr Victoria Hampshire in America, and the senator who helped her, that she was removed from her position at the FDA because she took seriously the large body of adverse reactions reported by clients about ProHeart6, the heartworm preventative. Its manufacturer engaged the services of a PR firm and private investigators to try to discredit her and have the drug returned to the market. We only know about this because Dr Hampshire and Senator Grassley made this public. How does this sort of thing play itself out in the UK, in the face of powerful international corporations? And how does corporate lobbying affect our governments?
There are also Facebook groups asking whether parasite control chemicals such as Bravecto, Nexgard, Comfortis, Simparica, Trifexis and others kill dogs. These groups were started after dog owners thought they did, and I know that some of the companies behind these products have issued threatening letters to the people who have asked these questions. Is it fair that corporations should seek to stop people even asking the questions? Is that an appropriate balance of power?
As of February this year, there have been thousands of adverse event reports logged by the European Medicines Control Agency. Bravecto has caused 7,098 serious (reported) side-effects and 1,696 deaths. Nexgard has given rise to 11,275 acknowledged serious side-effects and 698 deaths. Simparica is acknowledged by the MCA to have caused 834 reported side-effects of a serious nature, and 118 deaths. But does your vet tell you that your dog might suffer serious harm and even die if you use these products? Do you think you should be told?
Rigorous science also informs us that many of the flea control chemicals can have deathly consequences for humans, and pose a serious threat to the environment. But who acts on this deathly information on our behalf? Why does it take campaigning groups to bang their heads against ‘scientific’ brick walls to try to effect change, and why does the scientific system have its fingers in its ears and its hands over its eyes?
It seems to me that homeopathic vets first came under fire from the conventional fraternity in the UK when I started asking questions about over-vaccination and vaccine damage back in the 90s, and several homeopathic vets supported me and Canine Health Concern, which I formed to research the causes of ill health in dogs.
We now know, beyond doubt, that there’s no need to vaccinate our dogs against the core diseases of distemper, parvo and hepatitis every year. We know that protection will potentially remain for life, from one successful shot (usually after a puppy reaches the age of 14 to 16 weeks). Even three-yearly vaccination is questionable.
We also know, through CHC branch VacciCheck clinics, that most puppies, and possibly all, who are raw-fed and free from chemicals will naturally develop antibodies to these diseases without dying, and without risking the vaccine needle.
But does this stop the veterinary profession from pushing annual shots for these diseases? Absolutely not – and their professional bodies, which might be expected to guide the profession in terms of ethics, does absolutely nothing to stop them.
We know that leptospirosis is a rare bacterial disease in the UK, and those of us who are old enough, remember the times when lepto was known to be rare. We didn’t used to vaccinate against it every year because it wasn’t something our vets worried about particularly. Many of us know vets who have told us in the past that they hadn’t seen a case of lepto for at least ten years. However, now that many of us know we don’t need to vaccinate against the viral diseases annually, suddenly the lepto threat is being magnified and scaremongering is the norm.
We also know – because pet owners have done the research the veterinary profession should have done – that kennel cough vaccines are a public health hazard! We know that the vaccine causes kennel cough in dogs, and that recently-vaccinated dogs can cause outbreaks in kennels. We know that this vaccine prevents long-term immunity, whereas natural infection confers natural immunity. And we know that the up-the-nose kennel cough vaccine can cause a whooping-cough-like illness in humans, as well as other serious health conditions. We also know that there is a steady and growing stream of research to show that vaccines cause brain damage, autoimmune diseases, cancer and allergies – which I consider to be the REAL epidemic in the modern dog. Do vets seek out this research, or even listen to those of us who seek to share it for the sake of our dogs? It seems not.
Where is the informed consent?
Veterinarians take it upon themselves to refrain from informing clients of the unwanted potentials. Where are the datasheets to accompany many of the drugs and vaccines prescribed for our pets? Are they given to clients? I think not. This is short-termism, because when our animals are killed by such products, we lose trust in the veterinary model, start asking questions, seriously want our veterinarians to offer us INFORMED CONSENT, and start to move away from the dangers.
You see, arrogant ‘scientists’ at the RCVS believe they have the allegedly rigorous science on their side, but it works only if we – the consumers – accept the concept of sacrifice. That is, to use conventional drugs, chemicals and vaccines, we have to accept (often in retrospect) that our dogs might die as a result of using them. Our animals are family. They are not numbers to be dismissed when they suffer the unwanted consequences of products the veterinary profession prescribes. And certainly not if there is a safer natural product that will do the job without potentially killing our pets. The RCVS’s Danny Chambers thinks that there’s no evidence to support the use of alternatives – but those of us who use them and do the research know he’s talking out of his bias.
Practising homeopathic vets also know that there is an air of witch-hunting where complementary and alternative therapies are concerned. Young, newly qualified, vets know that if they get involved with a holistic practice, then their chances of employment in a conventional practice in the future is seriously compromised. Being interested in another way is, it seems, professional suicide. That’s not science – it’s a mindset that censors the open pursuit of knowledge. If the RCVS were to open its eyes, it would be vastly enriched. There is no way veterinary surgeons can honour the oath to first do no harm when it has only toxic products and very little else to offer.
I thank God for the holistic vets who offered me a different way – for if I had to do it the conventional way again, I couldn’t possibly bear the pain of dog ownership. Dr Peter Gotzsche is a director of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen. Cochrane’s work is recognised as representing an international gold standard for high quality, trusted information. In a Youtube interview, Dr Gotzsche said:
“Two years ago I found that our prescription drugs are the third leading cause of death, after heart disease and cancer. Our drugs kill around 200,000 people in America every year, and half of these people die while they do what their doctors told them. So they die because of the side-effects; the other half die because of errors. And it’s often the doctors who make the errors, because any drug comes with maybe 20, 30 or 40 warnings, contraindications, precautions and so on. No doctor in the world knows about all this.
“ … The other thing I found out was that much of what the drug industry does fulfils the criteria of organised crime in US law. And they behave in many ways like the Mafia does. They corrupt everyone they can corrupt. They have bought every type of person, even including ministers of health in some countries. There is a huge amount of corruption.
“ … Drugs are not that helpful. They kill very many of us. What we need to do in the coming years is to take far fewer drugs than we do currently. If we did that and were careful, then we could live longer and better lives.
“ … it’s not popular to tell the truth in healthcare. You will get a lot of enemies, because a lot of people make money on false premises, doctors and industry alike. And our drug regulators and our politicians, they are on board on this wagon. Very few people are independent of money in healthcare.
“The crimes have increased, because when crime pays you have more crime. That’s how capitalism works.”
In the face of this, who has the right to prevent us from seeking a safer way? And let’s face it: animals are unlikely to benefit from the placebo effect. If a homeopathic pill works for a dog (which I have seen many times), then the rigorous science which denies such an effect must surely be barking up the wrong tree.
Catherine O’Driscoll has just released two new books, namely The Tip of the Needle which looks into the politics and economics behind the vaccine industry, and The REAL Epidemic which explores the causes of the epidemic of allergies, autoimmunity, brain damage and cancer in this modern world, and offers natural solutions to both prevent and treat such conditions.