As a practicing veterinarian, I am personally and professionally devoted to promoting real, beneficial medical therapies for companion animals, and to discouraging those approaches that have not proven to be safe or effective, or that may even be harmful. I strive for true open-mindedness, but I believe all medical practices must be open to critique and must be validated by reliable science, not merely tradition, intuition, opinion, or anecdote. In this blog I will be addressing the broad range of philosophical, ethical, economic, legal, political, and most of all scientific issues raised by complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), particularly as it is applied to veterinary medicine.


64 Responses to About

  1. skeptvet says:

    I’m glad the blog is useful for you!

  2. Mike Lehrer says:

    I just acquired a 7 week old black lab from a breeder in Minnesota. He guaranteed
    his dogs for progressive retinal atrophy, hip and elbow dysplasia for 25 months.
    He also recommended using NuVet Plus tablets as a supplement, but not as a condition
    for his guarantee.
    After reading your article, I’m not sure if using NuVet would be wise. I would appreciate your guidance.
    Mike L.

  3. skeptvet says:

    Well, as I say in the article, there is virtually no information to support claims of safety or effectiveness, and I don’t generally recommend supplements that haven’t been scientifically tested in any real way. Whether they will cause any problems is just as unclear as whether they might have some benefits, but it is certainly not necessary to provide such supplements to have a healthy dog.

  4. Sue Jaske says:

    I have a Schnazer that is 10, she has CHF and a enlarged heart, would Protandim help her?

  5. skeptvet says:

    There is no research evidence at all to suggest Protandim would be helpful for your dog. If you have not already done so, I would suggest consulting a veterinary cardiologist.

  6. Sue Jaske says:

    My dog already takes up to 6 Lasix a day and a heart pill am and pm and she does this coughing sound like she is choking, Vet says it’s because of her CHF, what do you thing? Would the Protandim help her?

  7. skeptvet says:

    Sorry, but as I discuss in my article about Protandim there is no good reason to believe it is helpful for any condition in dogs.

  8. Matt says:

    I just watched Pet Fooled. It is very convincing. Here’s my problem: Becker basically starts the whole thing by saying no one really knows because there isn’t enough research.

    To me, that causes every single argument that follows – for or against whatever – to fall apart, instantly. How can you advise anyone anything if you don’t have research to back it?

    When I first arrived at this website I thought it was a classic debunking site, which are often just as convincing. Then I started reading the articles. I am not any closer to knowing what I should feed my dog, but this site looks like it has some useful information and some actual science.

    Thanks for this site.

  9. skeptvet says:

    While there are, of course, gaps in our knowledge about pet nutrition, and no on can determine the optimal diet for any individual pet, Dr. Becker is wildly wrong about almost everything else. We actually have decades of nutritional research that veterinary nutritionists use to formulate pet diets, and Dr. Becker ignores almost all of it. Instead, she substitutes her intuition and personal beliefs about what is “natural” and “toxic” and so on, beliefs based on evidence that is poor quality, misinterpreted, or non-existent. Pet Fooled represents a narrow, ideologically driven bit of propaganda that ignores almost all the extensive scientific information about nutrition in favor of conspiracy theories about the pet food industry and unreliable, anecdotal beliefs about nutrition.

    If you want reliable, science-based discussion of issues in pet nutrition, the book Dog Food Logic is a much better resource. Or you could find a veterinary nutritionist, a highly trained specialist in pet nutrition who knows a lot more than I or Dr. Becker do about the subject.

  10. Bobbie says:

    I have been reading about CBD (cannabidiol) as a possible treatment for seizures in dogs. There does not appear to be a whole lot of research/information as to how well it treats dogs with epileptic seizures. Can you provide any insight on this subject. There appears to be a number of sites sell dog biscuits lace with CBD.

  11. skeptvet says:

    Here is what I’ve written about marijuana and cannabis-based products for pets. There is essentially no clinical research in dogs, so every use of these products is a guess based on human research or anecdote. And, unfortunately, there is no regulation or quality control for cannabis products aimed at veterinary patients, so you really do roll the dice with each one. I hope the growing interest and decreasing stigma spur the research we need to find out what these compounds will ultimately be good for, but right now everybody seems to want to sell them, but we have little real evidence to go on.

  12. Kelsey says:

    I am so glad I found this site. Keep it up! Many more clients asking about ‘Veterinary naturopaths’ these days.

    – a concerned DVM student

  13. stephanie piazzese says:

    I have been giving my 12 yr old dog Nzymes for about two months. The reason i looked for alternative treatment for him is because his VET treated him for his chronic scratching and itching skin with Aquapel, which she raved about. Told me how she gives it to her own dog, it’s SO SAFE, it is so good. At $70 per refill, i thought she would allow him to continue. nothing else worked this well. He had relief for the first time his whole life. Then, suddenly, she will not refill for him. She says “well you know, he has that yeast problem….” yes, i know, and it is never over. so, now we are done with her, as she let me down so hard. The antibiotics treated the yeast..then, the itching returns. i am going to continue the Nzymes till i know for myself. I do not trust the Vets now.

  14. skeptvet says:

    It’s always unfortunate when a vet doesn’t communicate well or makes decisions or recommendations that don’t seem to make sense. That said, giving up on veterinary medicine and trusting a random company on the internet selling something with no real scientific evidence behind it isn’t a better choice. I would encourage you to look for another vet you feel you can work better with. Ideally, if your pet has skin problems, I would look for a veterinary dermatologist near you.

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