Anyone have a vet who DOESN'T rely on medication?? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-16-2005, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone have a vet who DOESN'T rely on medication??

First, I LOVE my job. Can't imagine working at a better vet's office with better people... and now that that's out of the way...

UGH! I hate that both of my vets rely so heavily on medications. Even if the problem is CLEARLY behavioral, they put them on meds anyway. My main reason for being so frustrated is that for the past week, Addison had been having some problems with his ears. Constantly shaking his head and scratching at them. I cleaned them once and he seemed fine for a day or so, then it came back. Cleaned them again and the next day he was back scratching.

I've looked at many, many ear smears since I've been there. Most of the time, if there's a problem with yeast or bacteria, you see many per viewing area. On his slide, there were MAYBE 3 yeast... and a small patch that may have been bacteria, but it was so small it was hard to tell. But of course... out comes the Otomax for a week "to see if it helps"

I'm not saying he didn't need the medication... but I really wanted some sort of explaination as to why it all of a sudden popped up. But no, just "try this and see if it works."

What's worse though is urinary problems. I'm sitting for a family who is in Africa for 25 days. They have a 9 year old cat who had been peeing all over the house. They have 4 cats (3 indoor/outdoor and 1 strictly indoor) all sharing one litterbox... in the laundry room that they have to jump a baby gate to get to (for the dog). Now... even though they told them that the problem was probably with her getting older, she didn't want to jump the baby gate anymore... and they added another box on the other side and have had no problems since, they STILL put her on Orbax for a possible UTI even though a urinalysis came up perfectly normal.

Another situation that really got me. A 2 year old, perfectly healthy (and beautiful!) golden retreiver. The couple has a two story house with a wooden staircase. They've admitted to the dog having some "really nasty spills" down the stairs and now wonder why he refuses to go up them anymore. They thought the extra fur around his feet was making it slippery, so they keep them trimmed up but he still won't go up. My suggestion? Try putting some carpeting or something to give him some traction? But the vet wouldn't even suggest it to them because they were thinking of selling their house soon, and the stairs were probably a major focal point. So, even thoug he poked and pulled and bent and stretched every joint he could and felt absolutely no sign of pain or arthritis, he put him on a glucosamine supplement!!

Now again, I love my vets. They both really do love animals and are very much in it to help, and not for money (we're constantly seeing patients with no money that other vets turn away, and working out all sorts of payment options) but I really wish we weren't so focused on medications for everything.

Does anyone have a vet who takes a much different approach? Medications as a last resort instead of a first and only?

Jessie

"There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast."
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-16-2005, 08:24 PM
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Just a thought...a lot of people don't feel really comfortable with medical care unless they come away with a pill or a cream or something that makes them feel like they're doing something. My brother-in-law goes to the doctor every time he gets a cold or flu, and he wants antibiotics, even though we keep telling him that they're not going to do a bit of good...he feels lousy, and taking a pill at least makes him feel like he's doing something about it. I'm sure a lot of people are the same way about their pets, and vets know it.

My vet is occasionally quick to jump the gun with meds, but not to the point where it makes me uncomfortable (plus, if I ask if there's a way we can treat more conservatively, she'll always give me her honest opinion as to whether it's a "we can wait a week or so and see" or "we really need to medicate NOW"). When she found all that redness deep in Assumpta's ear a few months ago (has it been that long?), she gave me tresaderm instead of a systemic antibiotic because she thought that it would be the best bet for any possible infection and the scabs/hair loss on her ears...she said that we could wait and see, but that she'd never seen such a presentation in a cat and she was concerned about it, so I agreed to give it a try. When a week of the tresaderm didn't clear it up, she did switch to a week of cefa-drops, and when it got worse over that week, she and I made a unanimous decision to run a chem panel and CBC instead of waiting or medicating any longer (and we all know what happened from there ).

But yeah...I think doctors and vets are often hasty with the prescription pad, and that sometimes a bit of restraint would serve everyone well. That said, I think it's only partly the fault of the medical profession, and partly the fault of clients with unrealistic expectations and demands of medical science. JMO, though.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-17-2005, 11:09 AM
 
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The always coming away with a pill or cream is the problem with the medical field today. This overuse of antibiotics is exactly the reason so many diseases and illnesses are becoming dangerous due to becoming antibiotic resistant. Not to mention the fact that drugs are poisons and do have a harmful effect on the body when used inappropriately or in excess...heck some can kill you even if you are taking them properly. I've yet to hear of someone dying from the use of herbs..deeming they know what they are doing and are using only edible herbs. Personally I refuse to use any sort of man-made drug. Go holistic..its been my experience that holistic vets (and human doctors) are very relucant to prescribe any sort of drug unless its absolutely necessary. Just my thoughts on the matter.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-17-2005, 12:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MurraysMomma
This overuse of antibiotics is exactly the reason so many diseases and illnesses are becoming dangerous due to becoming antibiotic resistant.
Actually the misuse of antibiotics are an even bigger culprit. People who don't finish a course of antibiotics. They will stop taking them as soon as they feel better. THAT's probably the biggest cause of the antibiotic resistance.

Anyways, back on topic.
I usually walk out of the vet with some sort of Rx when I take my animals in for something, but in my experience, they've been warrented.

Bear had a horrible ear infection. It started out just as goop, that I'd clean out every few days. Eventually I woke up one morning to find her standing with her head tilted pretty badly. Totally my fault for waiting too long for taking her in. What most likely started as a yeast infection ended up as a major pseudomonas infection that took about 2 months to totally clear up. As a side note to your story, they can start almost for any reason. Most likely with Bear, I took her hiking up in the mountains and she went swimming in some pretty slimey water. Pseudomonas (bacteria) is VERY oportunistic. It's EVERYWHERE, in dirt, in water, ect....most likely it starts out as a little yeast but if that isn't taken care of, the pseudomonas will literally take over. And these guys multiply logarithmically. 1 becomes 2, 2 become 4, 4 become 16, 16 become 256, ect.... pretty soon you've got millions! Now Bear has seasonal allergies. With her it manifests itself with icky ears. To prevent the big ear infections I have to give her allergy meds-OTC that my vet suggested, but only during the spring months when she has symptoms.
Bear also had OCD as a pup. She had the surgery, but has been on G/C ever since.

With Guinness, he gets lick granulomas. This could be behavioral. He's had them twice in the same spot. When those get going, the only way to clear them up is steroids and antibiotics. The second one luckily I caught right away so a few days of some spray Gentimycin was all it needed. The previous one I again waited too long until it was big. He needed a shot of cortisone plus oral and topical antibiotics. Even then it took over a month to go away.

Korbel, well her only times going to the vet other than annual have been tooth infections, diabetes diagnosis, a UTI, and a tail abcess. All of those need antibiotics or other meds (insulin).

In my case, if my vet ever sent me home in any of those situations without antibiotics, I'd be looking for a new vet.

The only other thing that I've had has been Korbel continued to chew the fur off of her tail for almost 2 years after the tail abcess. In that particular case, my vet didn't give any sort of meds. I guess that would be the behavioral type of thing you're looking for. BUT, she did send me home with some derm-caps (not medicine so much as a diet supplement). It did seem to work though. After 2 years the fur on her tail has FINALLY grown back.

One thing that vets do have to contend with is that while most people here would choose the hard path to help their pets. How many other people would? Work on the behavior, which could take a LONG time to see any results and have to put up with the behavior you don't like? Or just get rid of the pet? If a quick course of some drug that in actuality is just a band-aid for the bigger problem keeps these pets in their homes, then I don't see a problem with that solution.


Jennifer
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-17-2005, 03:16 PM
 
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My vet has the tendency to over medicate also and I think it's because he wants you to think he's helping the animal. I've had my vets (I had an abundance) misdiagnose, give me medicine and me never give it to the animal. Then I treat the animal for what I think it is and it is fine. The vet of course thinks he/she cured the animal. I once had a vet misdiagnose my 16 year old dog with Kennel Cough and another time misdiagnose him with Pancreatitis. Both times I figured out what it was and the animal never took the medicine they prescribed.

A lot of times I think they prescribe the medication to get the bill a little higher. I hate to say that, but they have to make their money to survive and some think this is the way to do it.

When I have a sick animal I bring it to the vet, listened to their diagnosis and then come home and research what they said. Sometimes I go back and tell them what I found. Sometimes they don't want to hear what I think! HA!
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-17-2005, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not saying medication is bad... just overused. I guess I have more of a problem using medication as a "what if" when problems are clearly behavioral, like putting a cat on antibiotics for a UTI even though he only started peeing in the house when the family added two new kittens and moved... you know?

Another reason is not trying to get to the MAIN underlying problem, just giving meds to clear up the problem for now. Like with Addison's ears. If the medication helps, that's great... but it doesn't solve the problem of where the infection (teeny tiny at that) came from or if it will come back.

I guess I'd really like to start doing more research on holistic medicine... but no vets around me are into it. if I could find one in my area I'd be thrilled.

Jessie

"There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast."
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 09:03 PM
 
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I'm lucky then, my vet doesn't prescribe meds for every problem. I've been to see her so often the last couple weeks - I'm very pleased with how she handles my furrkids. She's advised against meds in 2 instances, where we decided on a 'wait-and-see', and right now we're trying to tackle another problem, where I think another vet may prescribe anxiety meds already. She seems very updated on all the latest studies, and she does consider holistic healing, I believe.

So keep your hopes up, they're out there.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-26-2005, 11:03 PM
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My dog had ACL surgery a few weeks ago and I wanted some sedatives because he was making it impossible for his leg to heal (always rolling around, getting up, walking around in his crate, barking, etc.), but we never got them. My uncle is the vet who worked on Jake, and he said to ask the vet hospital people when we went to get Jake's leg checked up on, so we asked and they said they'd call my uncle to see about dosages, and he'd call us back. He never called us back . Part of me is glad that happened, since we've now sailed through 3 weeks of crate rest and the leg is still holding, yet part of me wishes we'd gotten it because his leg is going to scar since the flesh moved around when Jake wouldn't stop rolling. Of course, scarring isn't horrible, but imaging the stress that was put on the ACL *shudders*

Just one more week, and then he can start exercising and will hopefully calm down.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-27-2005, 02:31 PM
 
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There can be two approaches to any problem , either suppress it or try to find the cause and correct it . Holistic vets tend to be more willing to do the latter. Medications suppress the symptoms, they don't necessarily get to what the caused the illness or problem in the first place. . If one gets busy medicating and suppressing each and every symptom they may not realize that one illness may be causing them all.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-27-2005, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sierra
There can be two approaches to any problem , either suppress it or try to find the cause and correct it . Holistic vets tend to be more willing to do the latter. Medications suppress the symptoms, they don't necessarily get to what the caused the illness or problem in the first place. . If one gets busy medicating and suppressing each and every symptom they may not realize that one illness may be causing them all.
That's what I like about holistic medication. I've never liked treating the symptoms rather than treating the cause. I know the cause isn't always known... but I feel like many vets (and owners) are so quick to get rid of the symptoms that they don't spend too much time looking into why they are coming up.

Jessie

"There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast."
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