Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Directive people really bug me...

Here's another quick post because I need to vent.

This morning, I was reading posts in a Facebook group I'm in for dogs with mast cell cancer.  A woman was very upset because she's been giving her dog Rimadyl for back pain.  She'd heard that Rimadyl is "toxic" for dogs and freaked out because her dog had been taking it according to her vet's advice.

A few people had bad things to say about Rimadyl.  I do understand that, like any drug, it's caused issues for some animals.  However, I have given it to several dogs and have never had any problems with it.  Because the woman was fretting, I added this comment.

Some twit decided to interject...  "Just everybody take heed and don't use Rimadyl"...  

Okay...  so why the hell even use a veterinarian if you're going to assume that you know better than they do?  I will agree that when it comes to your pets' veterinary needs, you should be an informed consumer.  However, vets aren't stupid.  They go to school for a long time and take care of sick and injured animals for a living.  Moreover, many, many dogs have taken Rimadyl and not gotten sick or died from the experience.  No drug is 100% safe all the time, and it is true that some dogs have suffered very bad side effects from Rimadyl.  But most dogs do just fine with it.  

I gave Rimadyl to my dog, MacGregor, for a couple of years.  He eventually died of an aggressive spinal tumor, which had nothing to do with Rimadyl.  He tolerated the drug just fine.  I've also given it to Zane and Arran and they've been fine on it, too.  Knowing now what I do about Rimadyl and the risks of using it long term, I'm not sure I would use it the way I did with MacGregor.  There are links to Rimadyl use and liver and kidney damage, among other things.  However, that would be a decision I would make with a qualified vet, not some yahoo on Facebook who tells me to "take heed".  

I don't know why this comment set me off the way it did.  I think it might be because that poor woman was so worried about harming her dog and needed reassurance more than she needed some twit to tell her to "take heed".  Seems to me that if you have concerns about drug safety, that's something to talk about with a person who knows what they're doing.  A qualified veterinarian knows what they're doing.

I generally like the mast cell cancer group because there is good information in it.  However, there are also a lot of self-proclaimed experts, some of whom are pretty deep into "woo".  Some of the people swear by the power of golden paste, essential oils, and herbal remedies.  I've got nothing against those things as adjuncts to regular veterinary care.  However, there's more than one way to deal with cancer and medical science isn't "bunk", despite all of the conspiracy theories out there.  

The fact is, people do the best they can.  Drug side effects can be bad news, but so can chronic pain.  Plenty of people have safely used Rimadyl for their dogs.  I think this vet has good advice on the matter, although this article is a bit old.  Bottom line-- it's up to pet owners to work with their qualified vets when they make decisions about veterinary care and weigh the pros and cons.  I don't have to listen to some obnoxious, but probably well-meaning, stranger's advice.

It's people like the person above and those who lecture me about leaving my dog alone in the car for five minutes in February who really get on my nerves.  It's probably a good thing I don't have kids.  

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