Thursday, May 29, 2014

Who is the Expert?

Toffee & Beignet, Yin and Yang
written by Carol A. Smock, Founder

Something happened in my family recently that had me asking, "so who is the expert anyway?"  I was diagnosed with Valley Fever and worried that if I had contracted it, my dogs may also have been exposed and could be dealing with this horrible disease.  So, off to the Veterinarian we go...

I love my Clinic.  Dr. Tenney SAVED my Toffee Nut's life last year by amputating one of his toes that had a spindle cell carcinoma attached.  They suggested radiation afterward to be sure we got it all, but after careful consideration, I opted *not* to put him through it.  I met a new doctor on Saturday who would draw their blood - she's lovely too.  Well educated. Well spoken.  Kind and compassionate.

We talked at great length about the fact that I refuse to give Heartguard, Frontline or Vaccinations.  I explained that I've lost two already to cancer and I want to try this Holistic approach to see if it makes a difference.  I explained that while I don't pump their bodies full of poisons and toxins anymore, I still have them tested for Heartworms and other diseases on a regular basis, often performing a full panel of bloodwork annually.  I give essential oil supplements and feed the highest quality food I can buy.  I also explained how I've read extensively about this chosen lifestyle and I've consulted many who could be deemed experts in arriving at my decision.

She was respectful, although I could see she was cautious.  And, I DO respect that.  My dogs' bloodwork came back...  the 10 1/2 year old who just had a battle with cancer last  year - PERFECT!  And, while he showed exposure to Valley Fever, he does not have active infection.  The 4 year old was negative for Valley Fever.

So, this begs the question, just who is the expert when it comes to our pets?  While I would never suggest that Veterinarians are not the most educated and knowledgeable, sometimes, there are experts out there who didn't go to school for their degree.  Sometimes, an expert can be someone whose lifetime has been spent learning by doing (as John Lloyd Wright suggested is the best method of learning), taking chances and risks and studying the results.

I trust my doctors.  I really do.  But, they believe in Western Medicine and I'm learning that I believe in an Integrated Approach.  I'm thankful that they respect me enough as a pet owner to "learn by doing".  They are there to warn me of possible impending doom and to make sure we are testing my pets along the way to insure their safety.

I want to call your attention to a Special Newsprint Section that published in the Washington Post yesterday. It was titled Pet Wellness and the website is  I encourage you to take a look at what this special section has to offer - good information about nutrition, behavior and general health & wellness.  There are also some great articles on Rescue and Adoption.  A word of warning, it's not all written by veterinarians...  but there is great information in it for you to digest and discuss with your doctor.

Brown Dog Foundation LOVES pets.  We respect the doctors who study for years to save them.  But we also know that often times, "experts" walk among us.  And sometimes, the expert may be us.  After all, who knows your pets' behavior and patterns better than you?

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