Category Archives: General

Evidence Update: Music and Anxiety in Dogs

It has become quite popular to recommend music as a method of reducing the stress and anxiety of dogs in environments likely to be stressful for them, such as veterinary hospitals and shelters. I’ve reviewed the evidence concerning the effects … Continue reading

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Canine Influenza Update

In 2015, I wrote about the first canine influenza (CI) outbreak in the United States, in the Chicago area. At the time, I emphasized a few key facts about this disease, which I will review here: CI is a highly … Continue reading

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Evidence Update- PBDE Flame Retardants and Hyperthyroidism in Cats

A couple of years ago, I wrote about the proposed connection between a collection of once-common flame retardant chemicals (PBDEs) and hyperthyroidism in cats. While the notion of “toxins” as the cause of disease is often a vague and ill-founded … Continue reading

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Latest Integrative Nonsense from the Integrative Veterinary Care Journal- Spring 2017

Introduction Alternative medicine practitioners have had a lot of success marketing their methods to the mainstream veterinary profession by obscuring or downplaying the most egregiously unscientific and ridiculous of their beliefs and practices when speaking outside of their own groups. … Continue reading

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Music Therapy for Dogs: Does Your Dog Really Prefer Reggae to Pop?

Playing music has become a popular method for reducing stress in animals who are hospitalized or kenneled. A couple of years ago, I reported on a review of the literature investigating this practice. The conclusion of that review was this: … Continue reading

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New Review Reminds us Doctors are Lousy at Predicting Benefits and Harms of their Tests and Treatments

One of the major focuses of my criticism of both science-based and alternative medicine is the failure of doctors to recognize their own limitations. There are innumerable cognitive biases and other sources of error that interfere with accurate and effective … Continue reading

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Does Challenging or Ridiculing Crazy Ideas Change Anyone’s Mind?

It has long been a sad and frustrating but generally accepted notion among skeptics that facts don’t matter to people who believe in pseudoscience, conspiracy theories, and other dubious ideas or claims. The so-called “backfire effect” appears to mean that … Continue reading

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Glacier Peak Holistics Pet Wellness Life Scan Stress Test or How Much BS Can Fit on One Web Page?

Allergies are a common and frustrating problem for many pet dogs. While the details are incredibly complicated and not completely understood, allergies are the result of inappropriate inflammation and other immune system responses to triggers in the environment. These triggers … Continue reading

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Are Our Dogs Dying Younger Than They Used To?

One of the most popular ways to promote unconventional ideas, including alternative therapies, is through fear. Claiming that health, longevity, and other measures of well-being have declined from some time in the past opens the door to claims that science-based … Continue reading

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The “Natural” Nonsense that is Applied Zoopharmacognosy

Introduction A few years ago, I wrote about an interesting phenomenon called zoopharmacognosy. The idea is that animals might select specific plants or other substances to eat that would have therapeutic effects. An example might be an herbivore with a … Continue reading

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