Wednesday, June 02, 2010

AVMA Says Fear Your Pet and Go to the Vet

This nonsense video is from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and once again it is paid for by Fort Dodge Animal Health, a division of Wyeth, which is now owned by Pfizer.

The pitch here is that if you do not take your dog or cat to the vet at least twice a year, you might catch some horrible disease and get sick yourself.

Nice fear mongering!

Of course, it's complete and total bullshit.

I used to rat with my terriers, and my dogs still routinely slide into tick-filled dens, and face every dog-borne zoonotic disease there is, from rabies to Lyme disease, and from roundworm to hookworms. Guess what? I am not going to get sick from my dogs, and neither are you.

There has not been a known case of dog-transmitted rabies in this country in more than 40 years, and leptospirosis is almost unheard of even among people who chase rats with terriers every weekend (and yes I do know such people).

In fact, a Lepto vaccine is more likely to kill your dog from a bad reaction than it is to prevent an infection!


This country is crawling with them, but if you are going to catch Lyme disease, I assure you it will have nothing to do with your dog! Lyme is carried by deer ticks, and is so rare in dog ticks that it was only recenly discovered. As for Lyme, it is easily and cheaply treated with Doxycyline, which you can order without a prescription. Yes, you can dose your dog yourself without a vet visit at all.

Roundworms? They are all around you in the soil, carried there by fox and raccoon, but you are not likely to get them unless you eat dirt, or are very careless while handling raccoon and fox crap.

Do you handle a lot of raccoon and fox scat? More than I do?? I bet not!

The bottom line is that the AVMA and its pharmaceutical company sponsors will say anything to get more people to take their healthy, asymptomatic dogs to the vets twice a year.

They are not above fear-mongering, and they are not above lying.

Go to the vets twice a year if you want to. But be advised that this is an intelligence test, and if you are following the AVMA's advice on this matter, you have failed.

The AVMA is fanning the flames of economic predation.

They are appealing to fear -- trying to trigger a visceral reaction in people who are completely ignorant or who have some sort of mental disorder such as phobia, obsessive compulsive disorder, neurotosis, or hypochondria.

This is evil. And this is who is representing the veterinary trade in America today.


HTTrainer said...

Note on Ft Dodge, my late vet said that their meds were terrible and that the only one they made that was good was the final solution.

Viatecio said...

Just one thing: rounds can get into practically anything. I don't want to perpetuate the fear-machine since a majority of pet dogs are parasite-free, but there is the possibility that one could have a light enough load to not look "wormy" but still have some eggs (happened to one of my friends). And they can, rarely, infect humans. So I'd still worry more about wildlife poo than most pet poo, but the risk, albeit a small one, is still out there.

STILL not enough for me to drag my dog in 2x/year for an office charge, though.

And getting Lyme from my dog is the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

Bartimaeus said...

Hopefully most vets will do a better job educating their clients than this ad does. the biggest risks to young kids are probably uncovered sandboxes and raccoon latrines in areas they play. Kids can (and do fairly regularly, although still rare) get fatal Bayliascaris infections from playing near or in raccoon scat and then transferring eggs to their mouth. I usually give my puppy/kitten patients a dose of wormer (included with the visit) to be safe. In the arid west, we don't have many problems with parasites, few mosquitoes, and not many ticks in the mountains. The elk have them, but I have never found one on the dogs or me, and they don't carry lyme. The Drug company reps actually have asked how I stay in business without selling lots of product.

Seahorse said...

While you're not going to get Lyme's from your dog, you can get a tick on you that hitch-hikes in with your pet. It happens in our house via the cat all the time. Deer ticks are not the only variety that carry the Lyme's bug. Last I read there are several tick varieties that can carry Lyme's, though the deer tick seems to be the biggest culprit. On this property we have big ones and little ones, and this year we seem to be having a bumper crop. Oh, joy.


seeker said...

My male Jack Russell has seizures every time he had gotten shots. State law requires Rabies every three years, but the others are a no go. I'd rather my backyard, hiking companion be alive with a treatable disease than killed by the 'kindness' of torturing him with shots. In fact next year at the 3 year mark, I'm going to see if I can do the titer tests to to skip that one too.

Debi Cole
Converse TX

PBurns said...

Challenge rabies tests in France have proven that 3-year rabies shots are, in fact, good for five years. This information has been known for 18 years, but vaccine companies are not willing to do an FDA-approved study in the US to find similar results, as it would hurt vaccine sale. The dog clubs are collecting to pay for their own rabies vaccine challenge tests to be done as soon as enough money is collected. This is one of those few cases, in my opinion, where the U.S. Government ought to pay for the test as a consumer issue. We test tires and cars, after all, why not vaccines??


Bartimaeus said...

The other problem with Rabies vaccinations is that they are regulated on a local level (state, county or even city) and some of these regulations are very out of date and the local veterinarians are not advising health departments to update the regs. for financial reasons. Some places still require annual rabies vaccines, even though nearly all of the vaccines are labeled for 3 years, and probably last considerably longer. setting a federal science-based standard for rabies vaccination would be a good idea.