What The “Cool Vets” Believed

Fads and Fiction in Veterinary Medicine

Sensational claims regarding products, medications, procedures and infectious diseases have sold a lot of services, products, medicines and food throughout the years.

We just KNEW: Rottweilers and dobermans are poor at developing immunity to parvovirus. This was known as a published fact in the 90s. Now, it is “known” to be not true. Never even was true. Which is confusing because those of us who were in practice at the time saw that the majority of dogs with Parvo coming to our office were in fact Rottweilers.

We KNEW: For the past 40 years, feeding the lots of protein into dogs with kidney impairment was worsening their condition. Now, we know that that University-Sworn-well-researched FACT was just a myth. 

You can feed a kidney failure dog all the protein it wants and there’s no problem. Do you know who said that? Doctors Foster and Smith, citing a piece of research from 1990 which was almost 30 years ago.

Shite We Endorsed, or, Worried Excessively  About:

    • Anipryl selegeline
    • Potassium bromide
    • Keppra
    • Bird flu
    • Mad cow disease
    • Equine encephalitis
    • Ketoconazole
    • Canine influenza

Apoquel  The manufacturer sent patients running to the vet for this new miracle drug and the veterinarians responded by selling as much as they could possibly get. And then one by one they started to realize they were selling a cancer-causing drug. But they had initially bought into the hype the company built around this product.

More Shite We Bought Into:

  • Epilepsy from nextgard and flea control
  • Dog deaths from Trifexis
  • Gastropexy for large breed dogs
  • Thermometers that take the temperature in an ear
  • Feline Infectious Peritonitis vaccine
  • Dental disease vaccine
  • Giardia vaccine
  • Feline heartworm disease
  • Digital flexor tenotomy.
  • Laparoscopic spay going in the side, problem with assessing bleeding and or correction if you drop a pedicle, access to stop the bleeding.

There are ways of doing things that were replaced by legitimately better ways of doing things, for example anterior cruciate ligament surgeries that were done with fishing string because we didn’t have anything better, now they do a completely different sort of surgery.

What I am talking about is the way “everyone is doing it” all of a sudden as a fad that may last summer or two, and then: The profession going back to the tried-and-true old way.

  • Canine influenza, with especially SCANT prevalence and variants appearing fairly quickly.
  • Apoquel the cancer skin medicine.
  • Super glue on the de-claws which caused foreign body reactions and complications with healing. There was nothing wrong with the way we did it, and then new and improved ways were invented, but the superglue fad lasted almost 5 years
  • Every three-year immunizations based on research from 1990 and 1995 and adopted by any veterinarians who are “in the know”. The fact of the matter is most of the veterinarians tooting this horn the loudest are celebrity veterinarians who need something sensational to say to draw attention to their new dog food.

And of course the people jumping on the bandwagon with every three-year immunizations are comfortable with their decision ……until they are going someplace like turkey or Afghanistan where Parvo is extremely common and THEN watch what they do: they don’t put their money where their mouth is, they booster the immunizations contrary to everything they are asserting on Facebook. Their argument would be “just to be on the safe side“ and isn’t that all vaccinations are?

Three-year immunization cycles, leaving animals vulnerable to, and suffering with a resurgence in canine viral parainfluenza for the last 3 to 5 years. 

You know what it boils down to for me? I cannot stand to clean up diarrhea and vomit. While all those guys in lab coats and “celebrity-vet-slash-petfood-salesmen” are fighting about this, I am going to immunize my pet the way I have always immunized my pet, because I have never had to clean up vomiting and diarrhea from any preventable diseases except once in a puppy I got that already had parvo.

Author: Dr. Erik Johnson
Dr. Erik Johnson is the author of several texts on companion animal and fish health. Johnson Veterinary Services has been operating in Marietta, GA since 1996. Dr Johnson graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991. Dr Johnson has lived in Marietta Georgia since 1976.