Not really any different from human medicine. I think acupuncture has some pretty limited utility in analgesia, though some of that for humans may be placebo, which makes it hard to justify for animals. Beyond that, I think there’s no evidence for it and some against. Pet owners turn to alternative Tx for the same reason people turn to it for themselves, as this video states up front. When conventional medicine admits something it can’t fix, people find that answer unacceptable and go looking for an alternative. One is always available because the lower standards of evidence alternative practitioners accept means they almost never have to admit there is nothing more they can do.
I see lots of vets who will tell you they think acupuncture works for pain, and a few who think it works for other things as well. Wehn pressed as to why they think so, they give the usual anecdotal evidence or extrpolate from human studies, both of which are of questionable value in deciding what will help animals. Still, we don’t have anything like the budget for gold-standard multicenter double blind placebo controlled objective measures trials to justify therapies, so we’re often stuck with much lower standards of evidence than the MDs.
I was hoping to get your response to this mckenzie. Thanks. I’d never heard of such a thing. It sure seems really bizarre to me.
Clearly the woman in the video is doing this for herself and not in a way that has medial value for the cat. But I don’t want to be too hard on her because her cat seems very cared for and provided for. Very comfortable as far as I can tell. And, obviously, it makes the woman feel better in some delusional sort of way.
Yes, I spend a lot of time and energy trying to gently steer people (colleagues as well as clients) away from alternative medicine. In general, I don’t get too upset when someone seeks it out after I’ve told them conventional medicine has nothing else to offer, but I get really militant whe people deny their pets real treatment in favor of AM crap. I’ve had pets standing on three legs and howling in pain when I touched the one they couldn’t walk on, and yet their owners would say the acupuncture or herbal stuff was clearly helping and wouldn’t let me prescroibe real pain meds. Luckily for me (though not necessarily for the patients), the AM doctor who comes in a couple days a week to do this stuff at our practice has started telling her clients not to see me since I told one that I dind’t consider her Chinese Traditional Medicine diagnosis to be a “real” diagnosis and couldn’t offer her any treatment based on an excess of yang or black bile or whatever. I try to treat all of the folsk compassionatley, and I know their hearts, if not their brains, are in the right place, but it drives me crazy to see their pets suffering needlessly because of their ridiculous beliefs.
Not all alternative medicine is useless. I’ve suffered from cedar allergies for decades, and have been using nasal steroids in the winter. Three years ago a friend convinced me to try her chiropractor instead. After going through his treatments and following his recommendations (avoid beer during cedar season, and use a nasal rinse twice daily) I made it through the winter with no problems without inhaling steroids. The past two winters I’ve skipped the treatments and have used the nasal rinse with great success. I kinda figured the rinse was doing me more good than the hocus-pocus ritual treatments, and the money I save allows me to buy better tequila.
Well, as usual the question is does your personal experience represent true efficacy for the treatment, or is there another explanation. You believe the treatment was effective because you took it and improved. But I can point you to many examples where this happened and a cause/effect relationship later turned out not to be present. It’s a very personally compelling experience, but sadly not predictive of what will happen when the treatment is used for others. I’m sure some alternative treatments actually do work. The problem is that without proper evaluation, we have no idea which ones, or for that matter which ones are harmful. All I argue for is a reasonable standard of evidence, and when it is applied most alternative treatments that are tested fail.
I don’t know about the tequila, but many years ago after an excellent meal in a good restaurant in Mexico we were served a complementary small glass of liqueur. I was completely blown away because it was by far the best Creme de Cacao I had ever tasted. I asked the brand name, and was just a bit distressed when told it was Jesus y Maria. I still found and bought a liter of it and brought it home (a liter was allowed then). However, I always kept the label facing the rear of the cabinet. :grin: