Dr. Andrew Jones: Selling “Secrets” and Lies finally has a price

I once referred briefly to Dr. Andrew Jones in a previous post as an example of one of the warning signs of quackery, the claim of secret knowledge that mainstream science and medicine doesn’t want you to have. Of course, his marketing activities include lots of other characteristic features of alternative medicine propaganda, including unfounded accusations about the harm done by conventional medicine and unproven or outright false claims about the safety and efficacy of alternative methods. In many ways, he is a fine example of many warning signs of quackery.

It turns out, the veterinary medical licensing authorities in Canada, where Dr. Jones lives, have more backbone than most of those in the U.S., and for years they have been warning Dr. Jones that unfairly denigrating his colleagues and making false claims is unprofessional and incompatible with the standards licensed veterinarians are expected to uphold. He repeatedly claimed he would abide by the marketing and advertising guidelines all other veterinarians are subject to in his jurisdiction, and repeated broke those commitments. Finally, the British Columbia Veterinary Medical Association (BCVMA)  imposed significant fines, and Dr. Jones has chosen to give up his license so he can market his veterinary self-help products without interference.

His supporters, of course, are trying to paint him as a victim, but the evidence is clear that he is yet another alternative guru with a messiah complex making money not only off peddling ineffective or unproven remedies but discouraging pet owners from seeking real medical care for their pets.

The details of the proceedings against Dr. Jones are included in the BCVMA reports available here:

BCVMA Investigating Committee Report

College of Veterinarians Council Final Decision

(note-these links are no longer working. For now, the ruling can be found here)

In 2003, 2004, and 2005, Dr. Jones was asked to stop using advertising language for his practice and products that implied he provided better care or was less concerned about money than other veterinarians. He advertised his own services as “affordable” and “superior” compared to other vets and said things like:

“You will find us honest, convenient, affordable, and above all caring”

“We use only the best materials and labs”

Some of this language was relatively innocuous, and his supporters have made a point of this to suggest that there is no real issue but competition and professional jealousy here. However, it should be obvious why advertising oneself as better than ones colleagues, especially with no evidence but that of one’s own ego to support such a claim, is both offensive and unprofessional. In any case, the only sanction imposed on Dr. Jones was to stop using such language, which he repeatedly agreed in writing to do. As we shall see, he not only broke these promises but engaged in far more egregiously inappropriate behavior.

Dr. Jones went on to form “Dr. Jones Inner Circle Forum,” a web-based service which charged pet owners a subscription fee to receive his “secret” knowledge and wisdom that he repeatedly claimed would make most visits to the veterinarian unnecessary. On this forum, he repeatedly accused conventional veterinarians of naked greed and a lack of interest in the well-being of their patients:

1) P.P.S My goal is to give you the most up to date, unbiased dog and cat health information to allow YOU to keep your pet in top health. I want you to be an empowered pet owner, and You will be one as part of my exclusive Dr. Andrew Jones’ Inner Circle. [I can’t help notice that hucksters and quacks have a great fondness for CAPITAL LETERS. I wonder why that is…]

2) At the end of the day it boils down to money. If the public are not lining vets pockets with unnecessary visits, purchasing processed foods from which vets also take a percentage, that’s quite a reduction in income.

3) I am “positive” that many ‘conventional” veterinarians think that Veterinary Secrets Revealed is a bunch of “hocus pocus” and should be shut down.

What does this mean?

It means that other veterinarians are upset about my website, ebook, and Complete Home Study Course.

After all, I’m showing people how to treat their own pets and save money on Vet bills [at least some of the money they save, of course, will go to Dr. Jones]

4) You should check out my Complete Home Study Multimedia Course. I guarantee that you will treat your pet’s illness and ailments confidently, competently and for less than it would cost if you relied exclusively on professional Veterinary services.

5) This issue: The 6th Secret – The 6th key to extending your pet’s life is knowing when to AVOID you Veterinarian.

In his posts on the Inner Circle forum, Dr. Jones repeatedly claimed alternative or “holistic” methods were safer and more effective than scientific medicine and that the only reason that conventional veterinarians object to them is that the “Secret Society of Veterinarians” was afraid they would lose money if people learned how to keep their pets healthy without professional medical care. When challenged for proof of his claims, Dr. Jones resorted to the time-worn and thoroughly meaningless arguments of longevity, popularity, and personal experience or anecdote:

‘There is no proof…’

But how do you think that most animals in the world are treated? It’s with natural medicine…

Most people in India or China can’t afford to even see a vet or buy medication.

They use herbs, acupressure, massage, supplements, homeopathic treatments.

The animals get better, because the treatments work.

I have seen thousands of pets recover with home remedies.

That is proof.

As if we are seriously expected to believe that the cats and dogs in the third world who do not have access to real veterinary care are healthier than the pets in the developed world. Just like the people who are too poor to have access to science-based medicine are healthier than those of us in the developed world, despite the minor problems of high infant mortality, low life-expectancy, and rampant infectious and parasitic diseases most of us have never seen, I suppose? Arrant nonsense.

The list of absurd, untrue, and unprofessional accusations and claims, all made in an effort to sell books, videos, and subscriptions to the “secrets” of his “Inner Circle,” is extensive. Here are just a few examples:

1) I firmly believe in holistic medicine for pets.

We are killing them with the most of the terrible dog foods on the market along with pesticides contained in flea and tick medications and also medicines the vets want you to purchase. [a letter supposedly from a reader that Dr. Jones reprinted  because it reflected his views]

2) “…you should be leery of any LARGE pet food manufacturer- they re[sic] in the business to profit first”

3) HERBAL THERAPY. A number of herbs are used in diabetes. These include Gymnema, Bitter Melon, Fenugreek, and Ginseng. These herbs can be found in specific diabetic herbal combinations. Ginseng is the most effective of these herbs. It has been shown to lower blood sugar in people, and is believed to do the same in animals. The dose is 30 mg per lb of body weight twice daily of the dried herb, or 1 drop per pound of body weight twice daily of the tincture.[implying people can treat their pet’s diabetes alone, with unproven herbal remedies, is especially egregious because it will undoubtedly lead to suffering and death for animals with this serious disease who are not properly treated]

4) Pay Close Attention – today, I’m going to show you why conventional veterinary medicine is harming your pet and step-by-step what you must do to prevent it.

“Regular” veterinary care has lost it’s [sic] effectiveness over the years, and in some cases is causing illness in our pets.

5) The entire Pet Health Industry has a vested interest in discrediting alternative medicines which can safely, naturally and effectively allow pet owners to care for thei pets at home. [a nice example of the conspiracy-theory aspect of quackery]

6) Most veterinarians just choose to ignore the research because either they still feel the benefits of vaccines outweigh the risks, or that they don’t want to lose income from giving booster shots to all those animals each year.

Apart from such false and unproven accusations and claims, Dr. Jones engaged in inappropriate hucksterism, offering “money-back guarantees” and “cures” when such claims can never be anything but lies in medicine.

Despite all of this, the licensing board did not intend to drive Dr. Jones out of practice. He was fined substantially, both for the numerous violations of ethics laws and, even more importantly, for acknowledging in writing that he understood and intended to abide by them and then reneging on these promises in order to continue to profit from unethical and deceitful advertising. However, when he offered to give up his license, the board specifically indicated it did not consider this an appropriate or necessary punishment for the violations. Dr. Jones decision to give up his license is entirely his own.

Unfortunately, it is likely he will continue to profit from spreading lies and misinformation about the veterinary profession, and from offering dangerous advice and unproven or false treatments. He will have to walk a fine line since without a license he cannot legally practice veterinary medicine, but of course the benefits of a free society are great enough that he must be allowed to spout his nonsense as long as he does not cross the line into liable, slander, or the practice of medicine. Sadly, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he ends up in the U.S. where regulatory authorities have proven far less willing to challenge such snake oil salesman taking advantage of pet owners and profiting from fear and ignorance.

This entry was posted in General, Law, Regulation, and Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

133 Responses to Dr. Andrew Jones: Selling “Secrets” and Lies finally has a price

  1. skeptvet says:

    Dr. Jones thrives on the sense people have that veterinary care is not only too expensive but unfairly expensive and in some sense a “racket.” Obviously, I don’t believe this is generally true, and certainly I don’t find greed to be a common motive among the veterinarians I know, though I don’t doubt there are exceptiosn.

    As for my own responses to Dr. Jones, you have missed the context. He makes his living primarily by arguing that the veterinary profession is laregly unecessary and mistaken about what is best for your pets. And when I point out that he has no evidence for that beyond his own opinion, he and his followers react with the kind of zeal one expects from followers of a cult leader. If that has, in turn, inspired some irritation on my part, it seems somewhat understandable. In any case, I see nothing wrong with those who seek out Dr. Jones’ advice being able to learn about the controversy surrounding his methods, and since he certainly isn’t going to give an honest account of them, at least people can find that information here and make up their own minds.

  2. Michelle says:

    I believe that regular & holistic veterinary practice have a place in this day & age & should combine & work with each other. Dr Jones has different ideas & methods. I don’t know him but I have read about him. I believe in a lot of what he says too bad he left the profession we could do with more of doctors like him. It is time the regular vets were challenged.

  3. skeptvet says:

    Well, you’re entitle to believe what you like and challenge anyone you please. But if, like Dr. Jones, you don’t have the evidence to back up the claims you make, you’re not likely to have much success.

  4. v.t. says:

    So, believing in something (without evidence), and reading about someone’s “ideas” (without evidence to back up those ideas), makes it true and makes it a condition to that conventional vets must be challenged? LOL.

    Michelle, please verse yourself in the methods of science. If someone makes an implausible, outlandish claim without evidence, the onus is upon he who makes the claim to provide the evidence, not the other way around.

    I suggest spending more time perusing skeptvet’s blog, that is, if you’re willing to learn something useful.

  5. Misha says:

    I personally like Dr. Jones – I have 2 healthy beautiful golden mixes and we feed them raw, only give them their needed vaccinations ( the ones they got their first year and then yearly rabies – they get tested yearly for heartworms, tapeworms, etc. and have been taking vet-approved preventatives). I also feed them the raw diet and use Dr. Jones’ pet supplement (which has increased their energy and playfulness so much, as well as keeping their coat shiny and soft and their eyes bright).

    We do take them to the vet ANY time we are the least bit concerned about anything (we do trust our vet, as well, though we do have our own thoughts on certain medicines and vaccines based on research and preference).

    I know everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and opinions and can always find research and stats to back whatever they want to (both for and against), but I stick with what feels right to me and also what the results are with my dogs (as they are our children) – so for me, a lot of what Dr. Jones says makes sense. But I do see your point as I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with everyone out there. 🙂

  6. Alex says:

    A lot of what is today being tested and found to be effective was once known as quackery. For example a lot of Indian Ayurvedic medicine which is more natural & was once shunned and pooh poohed by the west as quackery, is being sought after by the western researchers & universities. After trying many things out they ultimatley were awakened to the fact that substances like Turmeric, Ginger etc have curative properties. Just because they cannot be patented by big pharma and sold as drugs does not make them ineffective though now they are just trying to do that by patenting the process. Medicine does not exist merely to make money though all big businesses want to contest that in an indirect way & that is where the problem lies. On of the great German doctors Dr Johanna Budwig found out natural ways to treat cancer & a deal was sought to be struck with her to patent her methods. She refused, for a natural healthy diet is available for all and you just need to make people see that. Reason enough she never got due recognition outside even though she was advisor to the German govt on nutrition. Eastern research had never proved many things by the conventional standards perhaps & that is where the folly lies. This is not to say that quackery does not exist and we should believe everything that is being said blindly. A lot of stupidity does exist about whale fins and the like which is actually quackery however from a very reasonable stand point, I see absolutely nothing wrong in Dr Jones’s observations. Yes, he could finish the business of a lot of people and that is what most vested interests are worried about. Mark you, I am not a supporter of Dr Jones’ products so I have no axe to grind and nor do I use or promote his supplements in any way but he certainly is talking a lot of sense with some of his ideas. Also, I don’t think he anywhere has said that people should totally shun the conventional veterinary medicine & vets or that it is all bogus. What is wrong if we can prevent diseases like cancer in our companions from occuring by doing away with unnecessary chemicals ? and Why should people pay exhorbitantly to support these artifical rates ? Prevention is always better than cure. In any case a lot of those ideas will become a part of mainstream medicine in some years. Remember how washing hands was laughed at one point of time in history by the established surgeons. His folly is that he has ruffled the egos of many which is not the done thing in medicine.

  7. Zoe McGovern says:

    I am an independent thinker.

    I am not blindly and religiously following any ‘guru’ here. I am also coming from a very scientific background, and while conventional medicines and vaccines have helped my animals and family, alternative methods have also… to a huge degree actually. I don’t at all have it out for the veterinary profession, but do have a problem with closed-mindedness. Skepvet, after reading your replies comments and blog I find you to be very narrow-minded. Progression in any field is about constantly learning and researching. Though I have not seen Dr Jones in years, he always encouraged me to be an educated owner – that applies to any advice to take from anyone, do your own homework and use common sense. Look at all options – you owe it to your animals. Of course pay attention to the research studies and evidence; but remember those studies are funded by the pharmaceutical companies, and that many holistic options are not backed scientifically as that costs HUGE money. I believe our animals will benefit most from taking information and experience from all modalities and methods. Be an engaged owner and pay attention to how your animal reacts/behaves before, during, and after an illness. Vets are highly skilled and will never be replaced by anything/anyone else, in my opinion, but we would all be doing our pets a great disservice to not be involved and engaged in their care and medical attention.

  8. Jan Robbins says:

    Zoe McGovern says it all. I cannot say it any better. Educate yourselves to provide the best care for your beloved pets. Where do you think drugs originated from? Natural, if safe and appropriate is a good choice.

  9. v.t. says:

    As long as Zoe McGovern believes in big pharma conspiracy and believes “animals will benefit most from taking information and experience from all modalities and methods“, then I feel it’s fair to say it is Zoe McGovern who is closed-minded and narrow-minded such that she accuses skeptvet of being so. Holistic options not being backed because it just costs too much? Really?! On the contrary, Big Supplement, Big Herb, Big Alt and Big Snake Oil are lucrative business.

  10. Andy reporter says:

    VT;
    I have read and reread Zoe McGovern’s comment if August 27th, and cannot see the evil closed – mindedness you find. She looks, on this evidence, prepared to be surprised by the truth.

    Skeptvet states (Feb 24th) that people are entitled to believe what they like and challenge whom they please: how very decent. Is this one of the useful things you would wish Zoe M to learn?

    The point about money and “holistic options” could be settled by someone presenting some accountancy. Scientific validation costs a lot on money – let’s see actual figures about who spends what on whom.

    ANY claim should be subjected to proofs, no matter how credible. In this case, this means science. “Outlandishness” and “implausibility” are just personal judgments, as is the claim that something is “fair to say”; there are tests to see how likely the various outcomes of a procedure may be. Data; data; data: that’s the scientific method as I understand it.

    BUT…………………….

    Beyond this, human life – like it or not – is more than logic. One of the more disturbing aspects of the CAM – antiCAM “debate” is how vitriolic it becomes – though there are far worse exchanges than this one. Anyone would think we did not go to war some years ago against a regime which falsified science to laud its own bogus ancestry and justify racial “cleansing”.

  11. Pingback: Some Veterinarians Sell Unnecessary Online Memberships Via Throwing Colleagues Under the Bus - Get Vet Clients

  12. Pingback: Some Veterinarians Sell Unnecessary Online Memberships By Throwing Colleagues Under the Bus | Pet Care Blog Articles

  13. Pingback: Some Veterinarians Sell Unnecessary Online Memberships By Throwing Colleagues Under the Bus | Pet Care Articles

  14. Pingback: Some Veterinarians Sell Unnecessary Online Memberships By Throwing Colleagues Under the Bus | Pet Owners Care

  15. Pingback: Some Veterinarians Sell Unnecessary Online Memberships By Throwing Colleagues Under the Bus | Pet Care from the Web

  16. Pingback: Is ABC’s 20/20 Being Honest with Pet Owners? | Dr. Ernie Ward | America's Pet Advocate

  17. Kelly says:

    I’m not one to comment too frequently on things, but when such ignorant people start falsifying my occupation, I feel as though I need to defend it. I am a current student in veterinary school and all of you disgruntled naysayers who are calling this blog author “close-binded” and ignorant, then I would say to you that there are thousands of other professional veterinarians that would fit into that category. Veterinary medicine is based on science, evidence, and years of research. Everything we do has a reason and is done to help YOUR pet, not put money in OUR pocket. We are “close-minded” because we only follow science-we prescribe remedies based on factual evidence to work and alleviate illnesses. If we were in this for the money, we would have went to medical school or dental school-not veterinary school where we graduate with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt for a job earning about $45,000/yr. We do this to help your animals because we care about them just as much as you do. We are not trying to rip you off with over-priced medications because we are the pawns for pharmaceutical companies; we are trying to alleviate any pain and suffering for your animals and ensure that they are healthy. Everything we are taught in school is for the betterment of your animal. How dare you criticize us just because you have read something different on some idiot’s blog online. And in regards to Dr. Jones, if he was truly an ethical veterinarian, he wouldn’t be going on such a campaign to destroy our good name-because he would know how much hard work it takes to get to where we are. And the only thing that fuels us is our love for animals. If he was in for the same reason as the rest of us, he wouldn’t be doing some sort of online scam to make extra money and sell things that have not been proven to work; he would be back practicing in a fair and ethical clinic providing medicine that has been scientifically studied and proven to help treat animals. He is fueled off of people’s anger that vets are undeservingly overpriced and are trying to rip you off-do you know why we are so expensive? Because in the span of ten minutes, we are able to give a thorough physical exam on your pet, take necessary samples and go through dozens of diagnostic differentials of what is wrong with your pet and then prescribe the necessary treatment. We are medical doctors. If you go to a hospital for a similar ailment in a human, you would spend exponentially more. Yes we are a business, but we only charge what is necessary to keep running and to provide care. If you go to a “cheap” vet, they are doing something to cut corners and not provide a safe and healthy environment for your animal. Do not say we are being ignorant to this Dr. Jones and is outlandish claims – we are knowledgeable and we know why certain drugs are able to alleviate an illness while something may not. This is what we go to school for. So before you start pointing fingers and calling us the bad guy, realize that we are in this for your pets and because we love animals.

  18. Pingback: 20/20 expose on vet care!! - Page 3 - YorkieTalk.com Forums - Yorkshire Terrier Community

  19. Pingback: Old Farm Veterinary Hospital | 20/20 Might be a Little Myopic

  20. v.t. says:

    Kelly, kudos for speaking for the profession, very well said. Here’s wishing you much success in your career and future practice!

  21. Nancy says:

    Misha noted that she vaccinates her dogs for rabies every year. In fact, there are 3-year formulations—which are identical to the one-year, but you only have to give them every three years. Your vet may not tell you about this option. Science, in turn, shows that rabies immunity can last from 5 to 7 years, which your vet doesn’t tell you. Another thing your vet may not tell you is that the rabies vaccine can kill your dog. It’s very rare, but it happens. My dog got a rabies shot July 31 this year. He started developing myasthenia gravis, a horrible neurological disease, within a week. I ended his suffering on August 23. All three conventional vets on his case suspected the vaccine was the culprit, and one, a leading neurologist, said he’d write a waiver that Gaius should never have another rabies shot. If he survived.

  22. Pingback: Some Veterinarians Sell Unnecessary Online Memberships By Throwing Colleagues Under the Bus | Pet Health Articles Around the Web

  23. Carla says:

    Please sign and support this petition. This is sensationalist and irresponsible journalism. The segment might cause some pet owners to delay or neglect pet healthcare and the pet would suffer as a result of that.
    https://www.change.org/petitions/abc-20-20-producers-and-reporters-apologize-and-issue-a-correction-for-the-report-is-your-veterinarian-being-honest-with-you#share

  24. Pingback: Some Veterinarians Sell Unnecessary Online Memberships By Throwing Colleagues Under the Bus | Learn More about Pet Care

  25. Pingback: Some Veterinarians Sell Unnecessary Online Memberships By Throwing Colleagues Under the Bus | Glyco Flex 3 Blog Page

  26. Pingback: Some Veterinarians Sell Unnecessary Online Memberships By Throwing Colleagues Under the Bus | Blog for Discount Denosyl

  27. S Gray says:

    I have used Dr. Jones’ Dog Supplement for years with wonderful results, better than anything else I tried. I have used his advice on many occasions and avoided trips to the vet. I fully back his efforts and do not feel he has a “messiah complex” in any way. I trust him for pet advice more than anyone else at this point and always seek his opinion first. Holistic medicine and thinking for yourself – don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

  28. skeptvet says:

    don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

    Proving that you’ve missed the whole point. Science is useful because human judgment and perception are fallible and things often are not as they seemed. Try-it-and-see gave of thousands of years of bloodletting and magic rituals with no improvement in our health.

  29. aussiebushgirl says:

    I’m wondering how many vets are in the pay packet of Big Pharma? I know for a fact that vets study less than 0.5% of nutrition in college (let’s make that probably 1-3 hours tuition all-up provided by a pharmaceutical company rep), so what makes them rocket scientists when it comes to the nutritional needs of our pets? Big Pharma props them up and contributes heavily towards their veterinarian tuition, and the pay off is that they promise to stock, support and supply that particular pharmaceutical company’s products when they start their own practices! Listen to what the people want – and they don’t want unnecessary, high, extravagant pharmaceutical products with very little healthy benefit at the end of the day. What happened to the days when our dogs feasted on raw meaty bones and expensive (and traumatic) dental work was almost unheard of? A lot of their water needs came from these bones, so therefore less problems with kidney disease, not to mention higher calcium intake for better bones and teeth. Let’s not forget that these corporate giants have a vested interest to frighten away the competition and play God. When you think about it they’re motivated by greed and a need to control a multi-billion dollar industry for their own gains. A bit like oil and the cartels. When someone comes along and upsets the apple cart and starts to get into the heads of a population in denial or ignorance, then they sent out the big guns to sort them out! Where’s the democracy in that? It’s our democratic right to have a choice, and if we, the population, want to choose which way we feed or care for our pets, we should be given that right. And likewise if a vet chooses to practice in a pro-alternative way, that should be his given right too. Canada – and the world – wise up! And STOP letting companies rule our world. LISTEN TO THE NEEDS OF THE CHANGING WORLD – and evolve!

  30. aussiebushgirl says:

    In answer to Kelly above. It starts with NUTRITION. Go back to basics and maybe you’ll change your mind! If there’s an ingredient that’s unpronounceable on the back of the packet, then maybe it shouldn’t be there! I have a need to know what’s in the food I feed my pets, and how it will impact on their health, and to this end I strive for an all-natural and balanced diet (made freshly by me everyday) to meet their needs. And let me say that the only time my dogs see a vet is when they’ve been bitten by a paralysis tick that I didn’t see coming!

  31. skeptvet says:

    Really? You decide the health value of ingredients in a diet by whether or not you can pronounce their name? This is the kind of logic that supports nonsense like this. “Natural” is a meaningless word that doesn’t actually give any guidance as to what is healthy or unhealthy. So while you are correct that nutrition is a key element to health, this approach to deciding what kind of nutrition is healthy really doesn’t hold up.

  32. skeptvet says:

    Sorry, but you’re completely wrong. I’ve addressed the conspiracy theory nonsense and the crap about vets knowing nothing about nutrition before, but I understand the futility of trying to challenge blind faith and zealotry with facts and information, so I won’t repeat all of that here. What you have offered is not an argument or evidence, just a statement of your personal belief, which no one is obliged to take seriously without actual evidence.

  33. v.t. says:

    aussiebushgirl ,

    A bit of reading material for you.

    The pharma shill gambit:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/02/14/the-pharma-shill-gambit/

    In case you would like a recap of the above:
    http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/the-pharma-shill-gambit-and-other-nonsense/

    30 common fallacious arguments against SBM:
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/answering-our-critics-part-1-of-2/

  34. Nannette says:

    All the cats I have had have lived out their lives to at least 21+ years. Also, Our dogs lived their lives to a ripe old age. So I know that holistic medicine, and massage works. The herbs and our fresh food always prevailed, with keeping our animals healthy along with us. Everything has just become to convenient. Fast food restaurants, and processed foods have done this to us and our animals.

  35. skeptvet says:

    Right, and all those centenarians who have smoked and drunk all their lives got to be unusually old because of the smoking and drinking. When things are so obvious, one wonders why we bother with science at all.

  36. Lezlie Vanover says:

    I don’t care what anyone says Dr. Jones is very brave to have done what he did.. I have used many of the alternative remedies he gives in his ebooks with life saving effects.. I stand up & praise God for him.. his “evils” are the best thing that’s happened for my pets.. & saved me tons on vet bills.. anyone who says he’s just in it for money or notoriety is full of bull!

  37. Pingback: Dr. Andrew Jones, the Angry Saint of Alternative Veterinary Medicine | The SkeptVet

  38. Susie Q says:

    Why can’t both be used? I have a dog that vets almost killed. They said she had heart worms and gave her medicine and she had a stroke. I wouldn’t let them do anything else to her and I nursed her back to health after they kept her over night. They said well the heart worms are going to kill her. I went online found a recipe of herbs for heart worms. Followed it to a T for months. She was 4 years old. The vets at that office said it wouldn’t work. Well God willing she will be 16 in April. For her breed her life expectancy is 12 years. I often use homeopathic but I will use antibiotics too and when my cat got cancer I had the surgery performed and gave her the best possible treatment to beat it but she died 6 months later anyway. I will try what will help them. But if I can treat them at home with less stress and less financial hit to me so I can afford the big things if they should ever need in then why not?? Why can’t there be a happy medium? And btw dr jones does free videos. I have never paid him a dime. And I appreciate his advise. But if my dog breaks his leg or gets a hard mass I’m not stupid enough to try and treat that myself. I’m fine with a happy medium. Just a thought.

  39. skeptvet says:

    The notion of a “happy medium’ or “balance” implies that science-based medicine and homeopathy, for example, are equivalent in some way, The problem is that science-based medicine consists of plausible therapies consistent with established facts about biology that may or may not yet be proven. Alternative medicine consists of both plausible ideas and those inconsistent with well-established science, as well as ideas that are not only unproven but already disproven. Homeopathy is completely ineffective, so “balancing” using that with real medicine simply makes no sense. It would be like saying that because space rockets occasionally malfunction, we should try to get into space by balancing physics-based engineering and astronomy with levitation and astrology.

    Here’s an article which I think makes the point quite clearly that mixing alternative therapies and scientific medicine isn’t creating better medicine any more than mixing apple pie with cow pie creates a better dessert:

    Alternative Flight

  40. Pingback: Vet’s Response to ABC’s 20/20 Clip – Is Your Veterinarian Being Honest With You? | Life In Vet School & Tips On Getting In

  41. VeggieNut says:

    I have a 16 year old cat, Mandi, who has oral squamous cell carcinoma that was found in Oct. 2013. If I had been depending on my vet who uses conventional “proven” methods of treating this, I would have lost my kitty many months ago. Conventional medicine offers very little hope of surviving for even one year after discovery for this type of cancer. The vet treated my kitty from Oct. 2013 to April 2014, and when conventional methods didn’t seem to be very effective any more, I then took over her treatment using alternative methods that I found out about for free on the internet. I learned from doing my own research on how to use different protocals that would work together to fight this. When a sudden turn for the worse happens, I work all day and all night non-stop researching the internet until I can come up with new battle strategy. I do this in spite of how discouraged I feel. Oral cancer in cats is very aggressive and requires fast immediate action to control it. I’ve not as of yet cured my kitty, but I have slowed the progression of the cancer. It’s now late Feb. 2015, and against all odds, I still have my Mandi and I’m still striving for the cure!

  42. skeptvet says:

    The problem here is that you make all sorts of assumptions that simply aren’t facts, even though you believe they are. You expect a certain rate of progression based on your “research,” and when it doesn’t progress that fast you assume it’s because of the things you’ve done. Or you try something and when the disease progresses you assume it will continue to progress unless you do something else, so then you change treatments and when the progression slows you give those treatments the credit. But every individual is unique, and every cancer behaves differently. There are plenty of reports of cancers that everyone “knows” are 100% fatal that have regressed without treatment because the body is doing lots of things to fight them that we don’t see. Humans see what they want and expect to see, but the evidence is overwhelming that this is misleading. I know you will never believe that what you think you know might not be true, but here are some reasons why others shouldn’t trust your anecdote as evidence of how they should treat their own pets.

    Don’t Believe your Eyes (or Your Brain)

    Medical Miracles: Should We Believe?

    Testimonials Lie

    Alternative medicine and placebo effects in pets

    Placebo effects in epileptic dogs

    Medical Practices Once Widely Accepted that Proved Ineffective or Harmful when Studied Scientifically

  43. VeggieNut says:

    Mindless assumptions don’t produce results, action get results If I waited for indisputable proof that alternataive cancer treatments can help cancer victims before taking action, it would be too late to do any good as we’d all be dead of old age by then. It’s not my goal to “prove” anything. I’m not claiming that I came up with a “miracle cure” for cancer (my cat still has cancer), but I do believe that I saw enough consistant improvement that I can say that the alternative methods of treatment that I used slowed its progression. Bear in mind that I had already used conventional “proven” methods of treatment from the vet and was told that eventually it would become ineffective. When that time arrived, I found other options which fortunately produced positive results CONSISTENTLY over many months. No cancer treatment is 100 percent effective and even if I hadn’t seen any improvement it wouldn’t be conclusive that the alternative methods of treatment were no good. Conventional medicine does not always produce favorable results either and that does not mean that we can conclude that it’s no good so let’s just throw it all out. I mean, if it can’t be perfect, it must mean it’s all quackery. Right?
    There are many veterinarians who successfully use alternative methods in their practice and many of those use both traditional and holistic methods. Their websites are where I got a lot of my info about what to use and how to use it and the advice was free. My only desire is to make pet owners aware that there are other options of treatment that can help them and their beloved pets live longer and better lives. This is not a perfect, can’t fail plan for success, this is hope. Anybodycan point out what’s wrong with something, but it takes a wise man to know that he shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

  44. skeptvet says:

    If I waited for indisputable proof that alternataive cancer treatments can help cancer victims before taking action, it would be too late to do any good as we’d all be dead of old age by then.

    On the other hand, if we all believed we could tell which treatments help and which don’t by trial and error or anecdote, we’d still be practicing bloodletting and animal sacrifice to treat disease. It is dangerous to just dismiss the need for science this way. Sure, sometimes we have to act on imperfect information, but we can’t forget that when we do we are as or more likely to accomplish nothing or to make things worse rather than help.

    even if I hadn’t seen any improvement it wouldn’t be conclusive that the alternative methods of treatment were no good.

    So because things got better, you believe the treatments you used worked. But if they hadn’t it wouldn’t mean they didn’t work. It seems there is a bias here that works in favor of these therapies regardless of what actually happens.

    What I think is more appropriate to say is that when utilizing trial and error, the outcome says very little about whether or not the treatments work. It is possible the patient is better because they helped, but also possible the patient is better for some other reason and they did nothing at all. The same is true if things get worse. Again, this is why we need real science and not simply trial and error.

    There are many veterinarians who successfully use alternative methods

    The problem here is how we define “successfully.” If you mean that they do things and then give the credit to their treatments when things go well and the blame to something else when they don’t, this is true. But if you think these beliefs reliably indicate whether such therapies work or not, I think you are mistaken. Anecdote isn’t reliable no matter whose anecdote it is. The best and brightest minds in medicine throughout history have believed deeply in therapies that we now know do not work.

    this is hope.

    I think this is the key here. We try things without evidence because we want to have hope and we want to do something, even when there isn’t any real evidence that there is anything useful to do. There is nothing wrong with feeling this way, or with trying things when there is incomplete or imperfect evidence. But there is something wrong with selling treatments to desperate people, or inflicting these treatments on our animals, if there is good reason to believe they don’t work. Homeopathy, acupuncture, energy medicine, and many other “alternative” treatments are simply cheats, false hope that takes advantage of people’s emotions without really helping. Other such therapies are simply gambling. Many herbal therapies, for example, probably do help. Others probably do harm, and some probably do nothing. Until we have the evidence to distinguish these, we are rolling the dice. As long as we do so with eyes wide open, that’s fine, but usually we do so because we have been given false hope or exaggerated claims about what these things can o for us. There might be a baby, or there might just be bathwater, and we need science to help us decide, not just anecdotes.

  45. VeggieNut says:

    When I said that if I hadn’t seen any improvement that this would not be conclusive that holistic methods of treatment were no good was not biased. This just means that one of something is not proof one way or the other. Numbers matter. That’s not bias, that’s sound science. I would be more likely to trust the advice of a holistic veterinarian who has successfully (accomplishes desired result) treated a large number of animals before I would trust an opinion from someone who does not have the educational foundation or experience that a vet has who practices this type of medicine.
    At least I have a good educational foundation that has been beneficial to me and at one time I was a health care provider who worked with many human cancer patients. I can be very, very objective with what I do. I do not try and make something appear to be better than it is just because it will make me feel good. I am not trying to prove a court case and I do not run a cancer research lab, so no, I can’t prove anything but like I’ve said, I not trying to.
    Products used for holistic treatment can be researched for their toxicity levels and side effects as well as for other health concerns. I do this with every single herb/supplement that I use. I also research compatibility so I can decide what herbs to use together so that they shouldn’t conflict or better yet, so that they will work together synergistically. Doing some groundwork does help this be a bit better than being at the mercy of a roll of the dice. Consistently seeing positive results (not a cure) when using holistic methods of treatment done over a period of many months is an observation of positive results, not definite conclusive proof. I didn’t give my cat cancer just to get in a debate over alternative methods of treating feline oral squamous cell carcinoma. Standard treatment was no longer effective, so I had no other options for treatment other than holistic methods. I was not in a position to wait for science to study this enough so that it could help me decide what to do as this is a very aggressive cancer and cancer will wait for no one. Neither do a lot of other people have time to wait for proof and yes, I think it’s good for them to know that all hope is not gone when conventional medicine can do no more. Since I come from the world of conventional medicine, I didn’t expect things to g0 as well as they have for my kitty with cancer. If I hadn’t found myself at the point of having no where else to turn, I would not have learned that there just might be something to this holistic stuff after all. I don’t think that veterinarians who go to school for many gruelimg years of intense study would be likely to choose to include holistic medicine in their practice if they thought it had no merit. Holistic does not automatically equal snake oil pusher. Discretion is needed no matter what doctor or course of treatment that you decide to use. And don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater and yes, there is a baby in there if that’s what you were bathing.

  46. v.t. says:

    VeggiNut said: Products used for holistic treatment can be researched for their toxicity levels and side effects as well as for other health concerns.

    I’m sorry to tell you this, but not necessarily so in small animals. Holistic practitioners have a very nasty habit of extrapolating from human medicinal use to animals, which does not make it ethical or “successful” treatment. They also have an even nastier habit of choosing at will, or relying on their so-called literature decades old that never changes or they change what they want to change without regard to the unknown risks.

    It’s entirely possible your kitty has responded to prior conventional treatment. Prednisone (or prednisolone), for example, is many times the standard in hoping to shrink tumors – surgery and chemotherapy are also standard options that aren’t necessarily appealing, but carry far better known remission rates than holistic can ever claim with their hodgepodge of homeopathy and herbs (homeopathy is the biggest lie in medicine). Of course we can’t say that chemo cures (unless in exceptional cases), at most, we can hope to achieve remission, and at the very least, to help keep the patient comfortable and enjoying a comfortable life for as long as possible.

    I don’t think that veterinarians who go to school for many gruelimg years of intense study would be likely to choose to include holistic medicine in their practice if they thought it had no merit.

    Some of those vets are disillusioned, some are experimenting on innocent pets, some are quacks who know better. I suppose it’s possible some truly believe in what they are doing, but the scientific evidence does not show that the majority of holistic or alternative methods are equal to or better than conventional.

    In any case, it’s wonderful that your kitty is fairing well, despite her diagnosis, squamous cell is among the toughest to contend with.

  47. VeggieNut says:

    My kitty did initially respond to conventional treatment consisting of Prednisone and Clindamycin (antibiotic) which is what the Vet recommened. Prednisone, given by injection, lasts 4 to 6 weeks (according to my vet). She had her last injection on April 2, 2014 and when no change was seen by April 11, the Vet put her on Clindamycin. By April 22, things still didn’t look good so I looked into alternative methods of treatment. Like the Vet told me, there would come a time when nothing would work anymore. At her advanced age, he strongly recommended against Chemo or Radiation Therapy. I was in agreement on this. No other options were offered to me. We had come to the end as expected.
    This cat is not only my responsibility, she is also my family member. I wasn’t going to give up so easily just because other methods of treatment weren’t perfect or might not work and I certainly didn’t have the time to wait for science to prove anything. At this point, if holistic medicine didn’t work, I had nothing to lose but everything to gain. Conventional methods of treatment aren’t perfect and although it is possible that they may help or even cure, there is no guarantee that they will be beneficial in any way whatsoever. There is also the possibility that conventioanl methods of treatment may not only provide no benefits, but that they may also cause serious side effects. Sometimes these “proven” treatments may be worse than the disease itself as they can potentially rob you of your quality of life for what time you do have left.
    Yes, some holistic Vets are quacks who want to take advantage of desperate pet owners who will spend any amount of money to save their furbaby. Guess what? There are just as many, if not more, conventional Vets who value the almighty dollar a great deal more than they value you or your pet. There are also plenty of physicans who only care about how much money they can make off of you before you die and they are more than happy to use “proven” methods to do this with.
    I do not purchase anything that I use from holistic Vets or other people who market their own products many of which are often accompanied with rave reviews that read like they were all written by the same person. I do as much research as I possibly can on individual herbs and then plan my battle stragegy. I also belong to a cat cancer group where I can learn from others. I’ve had no problems in finding out the toxicity level or possible side effects of individual herbs for cats/dogs/people. The Center for Poison Control could be one source of information if all else fails. Many herbs/medicines can be used safely in people and animals, but not all and what is safe for a dog may not be safe for a cat. For example, penicillin is toxic to tortoises, but it’s safe for people and some other animals (I used to belong to the Georgia Herpetological Society). Although holistic medicne is different than what most of us are familiar with, does that mean it’s not even worth considering? When conventional treatment no longer works, should we accept that it’s better to just lay there and die because alternative methods aren’t conclusively proven by the system we have in this country? What we call alternative methods have been used for many years in other cultures.
    Although this may open up another can of worms, my cancer cat isn’t all that I’m treating myself. I’m also using alternative methods of treatment for spay incontinence in a large breed 10 year old dog, for severe arthritis in another large breed 11+ year old dog, and for hyperthyroidism in a 15 yr. old cat (the kitten of the cat with cancer). All but the hyperthyroid cat started off with treatment from the Vet. I’ve been treating both dogs for some time now and my arthritis dog is still walking and my spay incontinent dog is still dry (most of the time) and my cancer cat and hyperthyroid cat are hanging in there. I’m a long term self managed type 2 diabetic and I’m hanging in there with them. I believe that people can do more for themselves than they think they can if they are willing to educate themselves and then follow through by learning how to effectively apply what they learn. Knowlege is power and action gets results. As holistic medicine becomes more popular in this country, we may see more studies done to evaluate it’s effectiveness. Perhaps that would help curb snake oil peddlers from making claims that are designed to attract desperate people who are looking for hope anywhere they can find it.
    We can agree on one thing – that my cat’s oral squamous cell carcinoma is one tough cancer to deal with. It’s been a long hard ride.

  48. v.t. says:

    There is also the possibility that conventioanl methods of treatment may not only provide no benefits, but that they may also cause serious side effects. Sometimes these “proven” treatments may be worse than the disease itself as they can potentially rob you of your quality of life for what time you do have left.

    This is of course true. However, the client goes into the options with full disclosure of the risks vs benefits.

    How many stories have you read where human cancer patients dismissed chemo, only to actually be robbed of a quality of life by hucksters and off-the-wall-quack treatment centers – or spending every last dime they have on worthless treatments that require their every waking hour to administer? The difference is we have more knowledge of the risks vs benefits with proven standards of care as opposed to unknown alternatives. No alternative method has ever cured cancer.

    Although holistic medicine is different than what most of us are familiar with, does that mean it’s not even worth considering? When conventional treatment no longer works, should we accept that it’s better to just lay there and die because alternative methods aren’t conclusively proven by the system we have in this country? What we call alternative methods have been used for many years in other cultures.

    Holistic medicine is not much different than it was long ago. Perhaps more methods or a combination of methods are employed, but it’s still mainly unproven, and those who have attempted to “improve” it have either failed, or doctor their studies or inject their bias into their work. Sure, there are certain herbs that may turn out to be worthwhile in medicine, much the same as many of our medicines of today (which originated in nature, but carry less risk when useful compounds are isolated from toxic compounds and proper clinical trials are done to ensure safety and efficacy). Unfortunately, data for these uses in veterinary medicine is scarce.

    Just because something has been used for many years in other cultures does not mean it was ever efficacious – nor safe. Homeopathy has been around for over 200 years and it is still the same old nonsense as it was 200 years ago. Not one homeopath has ever proven homeopathy to work. Ever. Tons of herbs have been proven to be quite unsafe and even deadly. But it’s just fine and dandy to deceive others just as long as the ill-informed and gullible believes it works, right? (mind you, I am not calling you ill-informed and gullible)

    As holistic medicine becomes more popular in this country, we may see more studies done to evaluate it’s effectiveness. Perhaps that would help curb snake oil peddlers from making claims that are designed to attract desperate people who are looking for hope anywhere they can find it.

    So far, it’s not looking all too promising.

    Quacks have been around for hundreds of years, scientific discovery has never stopped them before from peddling garbage to the gullible, and just like quacks, there will always be the gullible willing to be suckered in.

    I understand your desire for hope and to try whatever it takes to help your kitty, that is a normal human desire and to be commended. Every single one of us here has wished for miracles, hoped for something better to be available, hoped for cures to be discovered. I’m just saying that your faith in the unknown and what you perceive hearing from others to be true may not be the entire truth. As long as whatever treatment you are using is considered to do NO HARM, then there may actually be no harm in trying. I simply see too many pet owners trying something without knowing the risks, and if those risks are otherwise unknown, then there IS POTENTIAL HARM to the pet, making that quality of life, not so grand.

    I will say again, I am happy to learn Mandi is fairing well, truly that is what everyone wants, a happy and as healthy as can be kitty who is not suffering pain or debilitation. Please just use caution in the treatments you choose and ensure they are doing no harm (your vet can help you determine that).

    Btw, I feel obligated to warn you that not treating feline hyperthyroidism appropriately is asking for big trouble – and certainly not fair to your kitty. There is NO alternative treatment for properly treating hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism can also mask other problems such as kidney disease etc, and left untreated, it can be deadly.

  49. terry says:

    It used to be Vets were trained to use their intuition……treat the symptoms when tests came back normal. Many times pets improved dramatically.

    I recently had an experience where my dog developed anal sac abscess….regular vet stated mass felt , was cancer, need to see oncologist, and do radiation, chemo, ultrasound, blood work and MRI for staging….(WITHOUT even doing any tests I was told it was cancer)

    I questioned their diagnosis as the hot packs when used caused swelling to go down and the area they called a tumor also went down…I questioned encapsulated abscess.
    After two rounds of conventional antibiotics and anti inflammatory , I took him to a holistic Vet and sent my records there. The mass regular Vet stated was there , this Holistic vet did not find as describe at the upper outer corner of Anal sac but did find and locate a small pea sized shape mass at lower anal gland area that at the time felt solid and not movable….( I also changed diet to see if diet was major cause of anal gland issues and appears to also have helped)

    Bottom line if it was cancer doing all of the traditional Vet mode of diagnostic , therapy and surgery at best might guarantee extension of life to one year. Why would I put my dog thru that?

    We decided to do homeopathic meds and herbs and continue with the hot packs… Within 3 days the pea sized area opened up …. it was an encapusalated abscess……We went from almost $10000 worth of tests and treatments and to what would have been very uncomfortable and painful surgery to an affordable $200 exam and homeopathic meds.

    Still improving and is healthy weight, normal appetite and energy level.

    I have used homeopathy on another dog in the past that had cushings disease..she was at a stage where I was either going to have to put her down or try alternative medicine. I decided to try alternative medicine and within 3 months she was a different dog. I had 2.5 more quality years with her before her kidneys and heart started to shut down. My regular vet was astounded at the progress she had made.

    What I have seen transpire over the years is that Veterinary care has been infiltrated by Drug companies and Insurance companies to be a completely profit sharing adventure at any cost to pets and their owners. There are some traditional Vets around who have not fallen into that trap as well as holistic Vets. (Same thing we have witnessed in human medicine -with tragic results both in life and financial arenas)

    There is room for both Traditional and Holistic care in both pets and humans. They should be complementing each other.

    It now costs about $700 to 900 dollars for pet teeth cleaning…….ludricrous, has to do with cost of anesthesia…….another drug out of control…….more pets are being dumped today as their owners cannot afford their care………forcing a pet owner to take out pet insurance when most cannot afford or barely afford their own health care is a travesty.

    Vets should be paid and should be able to make a living…. and pay off their school debt… I do not contest that…….I have always paid my vets but I used to be greeted with what is wrong with pet or you are here for annual exam to fast forward to today- show me your credit card and here is a full list of fees pick and choose what you want done today……..we recommend this and this and that………. annual exam costs with the recommendations you leave with a $300 to $400 bill….

    Human dentistry has also fallen into the trap of lets see what we can sell to the patient needed or not needed………

    It is a real sad state of affairs……. I do not ever recall my pets having the diseases seen today. Most lived to fairly old age. My siamese/persian cat lived until she was 20 yrs old.

    It is a combo of environment, chemicals, over vaccination, commercial food not regulated and produced under strict guidelines….Something has to change……..

  50. v.t. says:

    terry said: I recently had an experience where my dog developed anal sac abscess….regular vet stated mass felt , was cancer, need to see oncologist, and do radiation, chemo, ultrasound, blood work and MRI for staging….(WITHOUT even doing any tests I was told it was cancer)

    Perhaps you were actually told it could potentially be neoplasia, the majority of vets do not make such statements without advising the owner that removal/biopsy would be the standard diagnostic if the vet were uncertain.

    You also had the option of a second opinion.

    After two rounds of conventional antibiotics and anti inflammatory , I took him to a holistic Vet and sent my records there. The mass regular Vet stated was there , this Holistic vet did not find as describe at the upper outer corner of Anal sac but did find and locate a small pea sized shape mass at lower anal gland area that at the time felt solid and not movable….( I also changed diet to see if diet was major cause of anal gland issues and appears to also have helped)

    We decided to do homeopathic meds and herbs and continue with the hot packs… Within 3 days the pea sized area opened up …. it was an encapusalated abscess……We went from almost $10000 worth of tests and treatments and to what would have been very uncomfortable and painful surgery to an affordable $200 exam and homeopathic meds.

    So, the regular vet felt there was a potential for a cancerous mass, which of course cannot be specifically diagnosed without further exploration and/or biopsy (or a wait & see approach if suspect something less sinister). Yet, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory meds were given, and your holistic vet gets the kudos for what the regular vet treated. It was coincidence only that the timing of the abscess festered and the holistic vet got to “properly diagnose and treat” the problem.

    That’s so typical of holistic vets – take the credit for treatment and/or purported success after the conventional vet has already done the work.

    Sorry, but homeopathy did nothing, nada, zilch. So, you paid $200 for an exam and a concoction of herbs and you somehow think that’s a bargain?

    I have used homeopathy on another dog in the past that had cushings disease..she was at a stage where I was either going to have to put her down or try alternative medicine. I decided to try alternative medicine and within 3 months she was a different dog. I had 2.5 more quality years with her before her kidneys and heart started to shut down. My regular vet was astounded at the progress she had made.

    Again, homeopathy did not help your dog improve.

    It now costs about $700 to 900 dollars for pet teeth cleaning…….ludricrous, has to do with cost of anesthesia…….another drug out of control…….more pets are being dumped today as their owners cannot afford their care………forcing a pet owner to take out pet insurance when most cannot afford or barely afford their own health care is a travesty.

    There are several options for pet insurance, one only has to review the policy to determine if it is right for you. There are also credit options (i.e., CareCredit), which upon credit approval, allows the owner to make payments for a specific period of time. If people are “dumping pets” because of costs, they shouldn’t be owning pets. Sure, complicated issues, chronic disease etc can be costly, but that’s the price for keeping your pet healthy and happy. Pet food, toys, treats, etc are also expensive, but you buy them anyway, don’t you?

    It is a combo of environment, chemicals, over vaccination, commercial food not regulated and produced under strict guidelines….Something has to change……..

    Fear mongering. Pharma-shill gambit.

    Pets are living longer, and advances in science and medicine have allowed we as owners to give them quality care – If you don’t think pets decades ago suffered from the same diseases as today, you’re sorely mistaken. We didn’t have advanced diagnostics, improvement in medicine, quality control compared to today’s standards. Nothing is perfect, but it’s certainly improving.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.