The Conflict of Interest Dogging Veterinarians

Guest Post by Alphamutt[1]

Our recent experience with Canada West Veterinary Hospital was overall a rousing success. Piper came through her soft palate resection like a superstar, and we were very pleased with the care she received from Dr. Mark Smith and the fantastic support team (who do most of the work with little of the “glory”).

The one huge issue I have with Dr. Smith, and many, if not most vets, is the fact that they are in a clear conflict of interest when it comes to one of the most important issues of pet health: nutrition.

Our family vet, Dr. Sarah Ralph from Eastridge Animal Hospital, let Can-West know, in her referral, that Piper is raw fed. Dr. Ralph is not on board with raw feeding, but she is no longer trying to dissuade us, so we have reached a truce, of sorts. Dr. Smith took note of Piper’s status of a raw-fed dog, and felt the need to share his opinion of the practice, and sternly tell us that she would require a cooked diet for one month post-op.

I tuned out his unscientific, fatally flawed logic, as I always do now when I here “Salmonella yada, yada, yada” and other untrue and archaic comments from those who think that kibble, even the “highest quality” kibble (now there’s an oxymoron if ever I heard one) is a healthy substitute for a natural raw diet for canines.

While my attention was diverted from the vet’s soliloquy about King Kibble, my eyes came to rest on a book close to his elbow. It was a reference book about canine anatomy. Guess who published this book, probably used daily, if not hourly, by all the vets at Can West?

Hills Science Diet.

Yes, that Hills Science Diet. Maker of the notoriously low-quality, high-priced *prescription*  “food” for dogs and cats.

It’s common knowledge that veterinarians receive precious little education about animal nutrition while earning their degrees. Most of that “education” is subsidized by companies that make, market and sell pet foods. Kibble and canned crap that causes many of the illnesses and diseases treated by veterinarians around the world.

Therein lies a huge conflict of interest. Vets and their clinics are hand-in-glove with pet food manufacturers who are creating patients for those vets. Vet clinics sell the products, actually push the stuff on their clients, and then treat the dogs and cats that suffer all kinds of health problems, many life-threatening or life-ending, that a kibble and/or canned diet causes.

Pet guardians need to be smarter. They need to educate themselves about the diets they are feeding their animals. Accepting one source of information as gospel, be it a veterinarian, the internet, word-of-mouth, published reports or whatever, is irresponsible and potentially disastrous.

We will continue to feed our dogs a bones and raw food diet. Aside from age-related illnesses, breed-related issues and conditions that are a direct result of abuse and/or neglect sustained before we adopted them, our dogs are in terrific physical and mental condition. They have sparkling white teeth, tons of energy, bright eyes, lovely plush coats and, in varying degrees, great intelligence.

We will also continue to enact lively debate with anyone who thinks kibble is an appropriate diet for dogs, especially veterinarians, who should make it their job to know better.

 


[1] Otherwise known as Deb.

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Published in: on September 3, 2011 at 12:47 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. We will have to take a more detailed look at this. Good call on “rote” feedback to customers.


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