Same Snake Oil, Different Day

Knowing that I have an interest in investigating the evidence behind claims for veterinary healthcare products, clients and colleagues sometimes pass along materials concerning veterinary supplements, herbal remedies, and other similar products and ask my opinion. Since there are hundreds, if not thousands of products marketed to pet owners to preserve or restore their pets’ health, I can only look into a few. However, the more of these I investigate, the more clearly I see the patterns of disregard for science and manipulation of the consumer that they have in common.

The latest in this category is a collection of products from a company called The website and pamphlet for this company exhibits nearly all of the warning signs of quackery. The company systematically tries to frighten the consumer by suggesting that pets cannot be healthy without their product and that the food and healthcare they are currently getting is inadequate.

Give Your Pet a Fighting Chance

If you are feeding your pet one of today’s popular processed pet foods, then chances are, your pet’s body is depleted of the primary enzyme precursors nature provides abundantly in all living foods.

The fact that we continue to feed our pets such enzyme-less food over an entire lifetime may contribute to the growing list of animal health problems we witness today including; osteoarthritis, inflammation, joint pain, hip dysplasia, pano, OCD, HOD, shedding, hair loss, dry skin, itchy skin, digestive disorders, gastritis, pet food allergies, epilepsy, fatigue, hot spots, and many other stress related symptoms contributed to by a weakened immune system.

The whole “living enzyme” argument is complete nonsense, and there is no evidence for the suggestion that commercial diets are nutritionally deficient or responsible for this long, redundant list of random symptoms and disorders. Some of these problems may be related to nutrition, but that has nothing to do with the claim made here, which is baseless.

But the pseudoscientific nonsense doesn’t stop there. The web site also blames pet food, vaccines, and medications for a variety of ailments, again without paying any attention to the real, and complicated, risks and benefits of these interventions. Classic quack nonsense like claims about the Pottenger cat “study,” about boosting the immune system, about mysterious “toxins” as a cause of unrelated diseases,  and about Candida yeast infections as a common cause of many health problems are all over the company web site.

So, what are they selling with all this fear? Apparently, miraculous panaceas with uncounted benefits and absolutely no risks! Since they aren’t allowed to claim they can actually prevent or treat any disease without having evidence to support it (though they effectively do, despite the Quack Miranda Warning here and there), they promise to “support”

Healthy Joint function, Healthy Muscle Function, Healthy Skin and Coat, Healthy Nervous System, Healthy Immune System, Healthy Circulatory System, Healthy Endocrine System, Healthy Lymphatic System, Healthy Digestive System, Healthy Urinary Function, Healthy reproductive Function, Healthy respiratory System, Healthy organ Function, General Overall Wellbeing

I like how they throw in “Healthy Organ Function” and “General Overall Wellbeing” just to cover any possible body part they might not have thought of. So if you’re afraid the imaginary causes of illness they mention have caused your pets’ problem, or might cause something bad someday, you can take comfort from knowing they this product can treat or prevent absolutely everything (except when it can’t, in which case it’s because of the food, the water, the medications, or anything else except the lack of benefit of their product). 

What, exactly, are the miracle elixirs offered by

Ox-E drops
This consists of 5% sodium chlorite, a chemical related to bleach. Properly diluted, this chemical is a safe disinfectant, killing infectious organisms through oxidation. With a pH of 13, if not diluted the chemical can cause burns, especially to the eyes and mucous membranes. Accidental overdose can be fatal.

The company advertises this as helping in “the removal of potentially dangerous free radicals and toxins,” and claims that is boosts the immune system, supports digestion, and enhances “performance.”  Impressive claims for a potentially toxic disinfectant that is actually an oxidant rather than an anti-oxidant.

As the accompanying quack Miranda warning attests, and a simple literature search confirms, there is absolutely no evidence for any of these claims. Plenty of testimonials are offered, of course, which is always the evidence of choice for products that are based on pseudoscience and have never been tested in any reliable way.

Antioxidant Treats
The antioxidant hype is a common marketing ploy for supplements because it’s vague, and there is enough suggestive preclinical research to suggest the general idea is plausible. Unfortunately, there are few clinical trials which show significant real benefits from particular anti-oxidants in particular conditions, and the evidence is growing that some such agents, such as Vitamin E, can actually increase the risk of disease.

The specific ingredients include Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and a proprietary freeze-dried sprouted soybean meal claimed to contain:

The amount of the vitamins in the supplement are far in excess of what is recommended to prevent deficiency.

Vitamin A- 1000IU (recommended daily dose 50IU/kg, safe upper limit 2,099IU)
Vitamin C- 30mg (recommended daily dose 0, dogs and cats make their own)
Vitamin E- 5IU (recommended daily dose 1mg/kg)

These amounts are probably not high enough to cause harm, but given that most pets are fed diets already supplemented with more than enough of each, the amounts in this product are unnecessary as nutrients. The use of excess amounts of these vitamins as medicines to prevent or treat disease, is not proven, and has often turned out to do more harm than good when tried in humans.

As for the sprouted soybean meal, there is no scientific evidence to suggest health benefits from this either. The company sites a variety of epidemiological studies in humans indicating an association between eating tofu or other soybean food products and lower cholesterol levels, rates of some cancers, and a few other health problems. (They do not, of course, refer to any of the research in humans showing lack of benefit or potential risks from soy supplement products). All of this, unfortunately, is entirely irrelevant to whether or not this particular soy-based product has any benefits for dogs and cats.

The amino acids, vitamins, and minerals listed are all provided in adequate amounts in good quality commercial pet foods. The enzymes are of no benefit, particularly when taken orally since they themselves are destroyed by normal digestion. And none of the phytochemicals have yet been demonstrated to have any health benefits in dogs and cats. So while it is unlikely to be harmful, to is an expensive way to get a few nutrients your pet probably already has enough of and some chemicals that may or may not have any health effects, positive or negative. 

Black Leaf Tincture
This is an herbal product containing black walnut extract, olive leaf extract, and cayenne in 75% alcohol(!). The usual vague and unscientific claims are offered about supporting the immune system, the circulatory system, the digestive system, and so on.

Black Walnut- There is insufficient evidence to support any of the claimed health benefits despite traditional use for a wide range of unrelated problems. There is some concern about possible toxicity, from the walnut itself and from possible fungal contaminates.

Olive Leaf- The evidence in humans suggests some possible beneficial effects on blood pressure and cholesterol levels, but it is weak and not conclusive. There is no eveidence on the possible effects in dogs and cats.

Cayenne- There is a fairly large amount of preclinical research suggesting possible benefits in humans, but little in the way of clinical trial evidence, and nothing in dogs and cats. 

I’ve written extensively about probiotics, and this is an area in which I think some real benefits are possible. Unfortunately, we have yet to develop an adequate understanding of the normal gut ecology to be able to influence it in significant ways, and the evidence for real clinical benefits from specific products varies from weak to non-existent. does nothing to change this. Their product contains a variety of typical probiotic bugs, and there have been no clinical trials to show that the specific combination has any value. The product was tested, however, in a study looking at quality and label accuracy for veterinary probiotics. It was found to contain only 2.7% of the number of bacteria claimed on the label, suggesting even the ingredient claims made for this product may be questionable, much less the claims of health benefits. 

“A Veterinary Study”
The company does claim to have one rather large veterinary clinical study from 1989 showing that dogs with musculoskeletal pain benefit from its sprouted soybean product. The study was never apparently published, and the information provided on the web site does not make it possible to evaluate it extensively. Six unnamed veterinarians apparently diagnosed dogs with “musculoskeletal inflammation” based on their own exams and the opinions of owners. They gave the supplement to 387 dogs, and 340 of them were reported as improved in one of more of these measures: energy, alertness, stamina, appetite, and accelerated healing. Most cases improved within the first week.

This is almost a cartoon caricature of what a scientific study shouldn’t be. No randomization, no placebo control group, no standardized diagnostic evaluation, no objective diagnostic evaluation (all subjective), no clearly defined diagnosis, no blinding, no record of other conditions or treatments used, and no predetermined or even halfway consistent criteria for response. Any high school science class ought to be able to put together a better “study.” If this is the best the company has been able to do in over 20 years, there is absolutely no reason to believe they have any interest in the scientific validity of their marketing claims. 

Bottom Line
These products are being marketed with an impressive number of the myths and warning signs of snake oil and pseudoscience. The theories offered for why these remedies should help your pet range from complete nonsense to vague unproven hypotheses. There is no scientific evidence to indicate any specific benefit from any of these products for any particular condition in dogs and cats. All the testimonials in the world can’t prove any of the company’s claims to be true, nor can they guarantee that the products cannot hurt your pets. Just as there is little evidence regarding the claimed benefits of these products, there is little to demonstrate that they are safe.


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247 Responses to Same Snake Oil, Different Day

  1. Spero B says:

    Dear ” Vet ”
    Im not going to get into any heated debates on what your claims are towards this product. My GSD is 100 % better post using the Nzyme Products. Thousand + dollars spent here in Ontario to get Zeus Better by conventional medications…well NONE worked, except the Nzyme Treatments! A Miricle?? I think NOT. I think you should start doing more research than making all these claims against this company! Do you have anything better to offer? Funny thing is ALOT of people state it works, including my Vet here in town…” cant believe the difference that stuff has made ” in respect to Zeus. You spend alot of time on this website trying to debunk all the claims that this product tells. Time to think outside the box ” Doctor of Vet Medicine “. Regards, Spero, Registared Nurse, ICU, Peds, Crital Care Paramedic last 15 +

  2. skeptvet says:

    Sorry, but the “I don’t care what the evidence says, I’ve seen it and I know it’s true” is the same thing people say to validate astrology, alien abduction stories, and all manner of nonsense, and it’s the same thing that kept us bloodletting and practicing all sorts of ineffective and harmful therapies for centuries. Either everything is true, or personal experience just isn’t good enough by itself to determine what’s true. If I should accept Nzymes works because you say it has for your pet, than you’d better be prepared to accept anything and everything, no matter how crazy, that someone else says base don their own experience. Personally, I think this is a lousy way to decide what’s true or false, and I think the pretty clear evidence of history is that science works better. Perhaps you could try thinking outside your own “box” of your personal experience and consider that all of us are fallible and that there is a reason science works better than trial-and-error in figuring out the truth about the world.

    I’m not sure why you felt the need to indicate your credentials. I’m either right or wrong regardless of mine, and the same is true for you. If credentials did matter in deciding who is right, I think a pretty good argument could be made that being a vet is more relevant to deciding on the truth of a veterinary medical therapy than being a paramedic or an RN, so that would kind of work against your claims anyway, but as I said such claims should stand or fall on their evidence, not the CV of the person making them. In this case, your only evidence appears to be your own experience, and it surprises me that as a medical professional you don’t have a clearer understanding of why such anecdotal evidence isn’t very reliable.

  3. DianeM says:

    I have such a love/hate relationship with this blog. On the one hand, I appreciate the articles as much for the exceptional quality of the writing, which is amazingly articulate on such complex subject matter, as for the concepts about scientific thinking, not to mention the actual content. And I learn as much or more from skeptvet’s further discussion in the comments. On the other hand, I find most of the reader comments, especially if I read too many in one sitting, depressing as hell. And terrifying, really.

  4. Nick Martin says:

    Well, here is my story about Nzymes. We adopted a dog that developed some major allergy symptoms. He had horrible itching, sores, hair loss, gunk in the ears and a terrible yeasty smell. Our vet diagnosed him with yeast infections and put him on antibiotics, steroids and a special shampoo. He cleared up a little bit but once the antibiotic and steroid course were over, it came back even worse. subsequent courses became less and less effective and the yeast infection grew worse. We then tried an allergist and a dermatologist and nothing worked. I found the Nzymes website and since I am very skeptical I tried only the food and shampoo recommendations at first and there was some improvement but no complete reversal. This went on for over 6 months with no change. I finally decided to try the heathy skin kit since it had a 180 day money back guaranty. Within on month of starting the kit we had a total reversal! Their own literature says that their products won’t work with out their recommended diet changes so for me it worked where conventional treatments failed.

  5. Martine Chirayath says:

    I think you are doing great harm to animals by putting down Yes, we should investigate quackery, but I question your motives and your zeal in pulling down this good company. I had a long chat with Dan, owner of this company, based out of Las Vegas. I could tell he was knowledgeable about his products, since I have done extensive reading, and experimentation with natural supplements on myself, my cat, my dog, and my boa constrictor. I do a lot of rescue work with animals, especially German Shepherd dogs. My dog Max, now deceased, was a classic case of vets having given up on him.

    Vets are not trained in nutrition, or wholistic health. They cater to acute issues, specific diseases, and use drugs. These have their place in medicine, but there is nothing more important that diet, exercise, and supplements to bring an animal or human back to optimal health. Most of our current pet issues are the result of lack of understanding of diet, and unscrupulous pet food companies passing of rubbish as food. My garbage can is more nutritious than what most well-meaning folks feed their dogs or cats. These animals get pernicious yeast infections in their gut based on poor food, overdoses of harmful (but sometimes necessary) immunizations, antibiotics, and steroids, and stress. Now we give them drugs like Diflucan to kill yeast that is hepatoxic (liver damage). What is the solution?

    Enter NZYMES.COM. The use of oxy drops (stabilized oxygen) + blackleaf (tincture of black walnut and olive leaf) for 4 weeks period, twice daily, is brilliant! Both these items kill yeast, but are not toxic for liver. Yeast takes a long time to kill as it lives in the intestinal cavities, like Taliban living in the caves of Afghanistan – hard to flush out. So you bomb it for 4 weeks slowly and systematically. Oxy drops is used by the Poultry farms as a non-toxic disinfectant for cleaning. If used without dilution, it can burn. If mixed with Citric Acid, it turns to a form of bleach. But… taken diluted with a glass of water, dosage at 1 drop per 20 lbs of body weight (human or animal), it is a potent form of oxygen in body. Going down the gut, it kills yeast, and disinfects it. It does not turn into bleach, since you are not mixing it with Vit C, or citric acid, so when you disparage this product, you don’t know what you are talking about, and not giving people the whole truth. Black Walnut juice is folk remedy for parasites with a long history in the South. It has lots of medicinal uses. So does Olive Leaf Extract. Both are powerful anti-fungals. It makes a lot of sense to combine them and treat our pet’s intestines with this, along with oxy drops. Other herbals that fight yeast are: Fresh green coconut water, caprylic acid, grapefruit seed. The last two can be bought in capsule form and rotated in use so yeast does not develop a tolerance. Cayenne pepper extract is Capsaicin which dilates blood vessels so the blackleaf is absorbed more full in the gut lining where the yeast reside. Dilating blood vessels and membranes flush the yeast out, and allow better absorption of medicines. It is frequently added to vitamins for same reason. By disparaging this, you are displaying your own ignorance of herbals.

    After 4 weeks of bombarding the gut with these herbals, you weaken the yeast. Then you put in the good bacteria. I was pleased to note that Nzymes bacteria is a combination of both acidophillus lactobacillus and also bifida longum and others. Most only use acidophillus, and leave out the bifidus. Great product and absolutely worth its weight in gold.

    Sprouted soy granules, not only boost the immune system of the animal being treated but is food for the bacteria. Another brilliant concept. Bacteria are little animals too, and this feed them and grows them in our guts.

    Antioxidant treats? What is wrong with antioxidants? Good for the animal. Again, this detoxes the animals and boosts immune system. Each time you boost immune system, you lower the yeast resistance.

    Every single product that Dan makes at is worth its weight in gold. After I exhausted all conventional vet medications on my poor GSD Max, I tried Nzymes. Why had I not tried this first? Because of sceptics like you! Because you folks that try to debunk myths are doing a lot of harm to good sites, and sensible remedies. There is no quackery with Nzymes. They only do one thing, and they do it well. If they are not clear about what they put into their products, would you also reveal your formulas for all to copy, if that was your business?

    Sceptics like yourself, remind me of art critics. Critics and sceptics do not have the creativity, or drive to build something, so they tear other people’s structures down. Try building something… a company, a product, to help animals, instead of taking the only sensible and effective anti-yeast remedy on the market today and shredding it with your baseless and sweeping generalizations. Nzymes work! Your long tirade does not. And no, I don’t work for Dan or Nyzmes. But he gave me an hour of his time to explain how his products work, on a long distance call from Vegas to Los Angeles, where I live, and since I study herbals, I understood his methods. I now send all my rescue doggie owners to Nzymes, and have instructed my vet and several other cat, dog, reptile rescues to buy the Big Kit and follow the intructions.

    Now could you please silence your tirade and let these good products do the work they are intended for. You are the real harm here.

  6. skeptvet says:

    It should be obvious that I neither agree with you nor intend to stop warning pet owners about unproven remedies like this one. Your belief, and the emotional intensity of your belief, are not actually evidence for any of the things you believe. You are entitled to feel whatever you like, but that doesn’t make you correct nor does it mean you have the right to demand anyone who disagrees with you keep silent. You may think yourself so much smarter than the rest of the world that you can decide which evidence and opinions people need to be able to read and which they don’t, but I am not convinced. I’ll leave my article and your rant up and we’ll let people make up their own minds.

  7. v.t. says:

    Actually, perhaps it would be better to delete the obviously dangerous”herbal advice” Martine posted – or at least, an editor’s note attached – so often do innocent owners read something and quickly ascertain false merits before continuing to read factual counter-points.

  8. Martine Chirayath says:

    Your response to my post confirms you bully people, not encourage intelligent discussion. Why are you so against Nzymes and the natural remedies. Are you paid by drug companies like Novartis to promote their toxic products over natural cures? It is anecdotal evidence that pressured the FDA to finally approve DMSO for interstital cystitis in humans, although it is routinely used on million dollar racehorses to reduce inflammation on joints. Still not approved for sale to humans for same. Of course this would put a lot of drugs out of commission like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, naprosene, and all the rest of NSAIDs. It is very simple why no tests are done on natural remedies. Testing costs money, great big amounts of cash. Why should any company put natural remedies through clinical tests when they cannot be patented for profit? What Nzymes is selling is non-patentable, so why should anyone spend millions in research on these? Drug companies have given us all manner of amazing drugs that help us in acute cases. But chronic cases are about nutrition and balance, and this is where nzymes comes in. Your blind refusal to see this, and assess the anecdotal evidence of cures in incurable dogs and cats, shows a mind that is already made up, refuses to reason, is incapable of intelligent conversation, and uses a website to bully others into submission while running down the ONLY INTELLIGENT CURE FOR YEAST IN EXISTENCE TODAY IN NZYMES!!! Shame on you. You are a small-minded petty tyrant playing god with the lives of countless animals, and posting only what suits you on your website. The fact that you decided to post my earlier comments and that you considered not posting them, is testament to the fact that your website is limited to those who don’t contradict you and your mindset. You are doing great harm with your limited knowledge and fixed ideas. If you had lived in the time of Galileo, you would have insisted on the world being flat because there was no proof it was round. It took the Catholic church 400 yrs to admit their mistake, despite being laughed at for 4 centuries at their obstinacy. You remind me of the same.

  9. Tina Duggins says:

    I don’t care what you say about We have a German Shepherd who has suffered horribly for 5 years. First it was allergies, then it was thyroid deficiency, thousands and thousands of dollars,then steroids, both oral and then injections that were harming his kidneys. Finally, I said ENOUGH! We started him on the Enzymes skin it and within three weeks, he did a 180 degree turnover. I kept him on the program for 4 months. He has been off of it to date 3 weeks and the yeast smell and blackened skin is returning. Unless you have a family member (our dog) that suffers from this gunk, whatever it may be, leave Enzymes alone-it works and if it doesn’t they give your money back with no questions asked. I also want to add that someone has called me and wrote me emails asking how Max is doing and can they do anything for us. One month, I forgot to order a resupply and I only had about 4 days worth left. I called them and told them of my oversight-they overnighted my order and only charged me regular shipping. I’m been going to my vet with multiple pets for over 20 years and He nor his staff has ever bothered to call to check on my pets. You call it snake oil, and I’m sorry it’s taking funds away from your drug stock, but I’m here to tell you first hand, I have my happy, good smelling, energy abound 9 year old GSD back.

  10. Laura says:

    I was just about to order more of this product but now I won’t. My dog is 14 yrs. old and if they can’t make her live forever, what’s the point. Thanks for challenging yet another
    Corporation that’s allowed to operate in the U.S., make erroneous claims, and do business as usual without regard to proving the efficacy of their products. It’s only shameful. It should be illegal!

  11. Colliemom says:

    We spent hundreds on a veterinary specialist when one of our boys developed serious skin issues. Eventually we came across NZymes antioxidant tablets and gave them a try. Frankly, it worked quickly and was cheaper than the prescription meds. Now we keep the granules or antioxidant tablets on hand in case of a flare up. Knocks it down quickly. No more suffering with red, irritated skin. Happy dog = happy dog mom.

  12. wanda says:

    my 8 yrs boxer mix has been suffering from dry ,itchy skin and a very bad dog smell since he was a puppy. I came across NZYMES when searching the web about what to do for ‘smelly’ dogs. I spend about $70,00 on their products. After about a month he was scratching worse than before,so I stopped the ‘treatment’ and the itching got a lot better.I decided to look for reviews on NZYMES and came across your blog. I had called the company about their 120 days money back warranty but was directed to an answering machine asking to leave a message and phone #. Never got a call back. Money thrown in the garbage literally.

  13. Alicia says:

    Our rescue mix Australian Cattle dog suffered terribly from yeast infections several times per year. The last one he was on so many rounds of steroids and antifungal medications but the treatments were not clearing him up. He was miserable, almost hairless, open sores from scratching. I ordered the healthy skin program for him and yes, it did get worse, just as the literature said it would, due to detoxing. After the first two weeks we started seeing improvement. He had never had a prettier, healthier looking coat and no more itching! I do believe he had treat over growth and am thankful I found a treatment for him that finally worked after spending so much at the veterinary clinic!

  14. Kim Green says:

    My 13 year old yorkie fell in a pool while we were on vacation and suffered with a respiratory infection. We took her to 7 vets over 5 months and spend over $2000 on drugs and tests that were a total waste of money. All the vets were oblivious to her condition. The last one suggested we clean her teeth. Our dog was on deaths door, gasping for breath all day, bubbles coming out of her nose, no energy what so ever.

    After taking the Nymes Ox-e-drops for 4 days internally and being tented with a vaporizer my dog is totally cured. She has spent the past 3 weeks not just healthy again but acting like a puppy so this blog is BS!

  15. SL says:

    I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with the view points of either party, I don’t know if Nzymes really helps alleviate these problems or not. My question/point is …On what basis can you dismiss the effects of holistic treatments? Many pharmaceuticals are synthesized from plants so dismissing the efficacy of the ingredients of a product like Nzymes is unfounded. Many people take nutritional supplements that help physical problems they are having and are know to have a real effect. Glucoseamine and fish oil are examples of nutritional supplements that have a positive effect.

  16. skeptvet says:

    In terms of Nzymes, we agree. I don’t know if it helps or not. Neither does anyone else. To know this, we have to have objective research. The problem is that the company sells this product with claims they haven’t proven, and people who have personal experiences with the product, positive or negative, think they know the answer when it is clear that such anecdotes don’t really tell us much. My point is not that Nzymes doesn’t work, it is that we don’t know if it is safe or effective until the appropriate research is done, and until then it is wrong to claim it does and make money from doing so.

    As for “dismissing” holistic medicine, I don’t think you’ve read much of my blog. Claims should be viewed as unproven in the absence of evidence either way. If those claims contradict established scientific knowledge (such as all for homeopathy), then they should be viewed as highly unlikely to be true. Your examples prove my point. Glucosamine is widely accepted as useful, but if you read the evidence, it almost certainly doesn’t work. And while fish oil has some small proven benefits for dogs with allergies, and some potential but not entirely demonstrated benefits for dogs with arthritis, for the major reason people use it, preventing cardiovascular disease in humans, it turns out not to be effective.

    What you should really be asking is not why don’t I accept claims for products like Nzymes when there is no evidence to suggest they are true, but why other people do accept them.

  17. v.t. says:

    SL said: On what basis can you dismiss the effects of holistic treatments?

    What effects? Are those effects proven through the scientific method or through magical thinking?

    Many pharmaceuticals are synthesized from plants so dismissing the efficacy of the ingredients of a product like Nzymes is unfounded.

    Pharmaceuticals are put through a rigorous scientific method – clinical trials and so forth – many years and many millions of dollars go into such research, only to find that very few make it past clinical trials or even approval to market.

    How a plant or other substance is synthesized is more complex than that. Ineffective or even toxic compounds must be avoided in order to develop/test what is remaining for efficacy and safety.

  18. Paul W says:

    I applaud you and your website. Independent laboratories evaluating herbal remedies routinely find that what is on the label is not what is in the bottle. The restorative benefits that people are a direct result of any product are letting emotion and not science cloud their judgment. It is ironic how some others claim you don’t want intelligent discussion -while at the same time telling you not to post your views. Which they clearly haven’t read and understood all they take away is you are attacking a product they believe in, your responses to them is mature, respectful and is intelligent conversations their angry retorts are far from it. I wish more professionals would challenge these so called miracle drugs for humans as well. I hear preposterous claims from friends/family/co-workers about some new supplement or fad diet -that all claim that the medical profession does not want you to know about. Example to not drink any fluids while eating as it dilutes digestive enzymes – or use some berry just found in the amazon that causes rapid weight loss. As I said at the beginning, I applaud your efforts to try to make people think about what they are purchasing. You are a true friend to the consumer and pets worldwide.

  19. skeptvet says:

    Thanks very much for the kind words!

  20. Michael Spardo says:

    I wish I listened. I gave my pup NZYMES to reduce/prevent seizures and while he went seizure free for 2 mos. He just had two within eight days. Unfortunate and desperately I believed the NZYMES story and testimonials. I guess we believe what we want to believe. The pup is on regular meds as well from the Vet and now we may have to increase/amend and hopefully it will work.

    I wish I found this site prior to my initial order. My error

  21. Mfernflower says:

    Just visited there website and was truly blown away by how much work was put into this empire of quackery! They have a extremely convincing website with lots of articles that have the Joey Mercola style of “make the nonsense sound science-y so people believe it and buy our stuff” writing style to them (some may even be copy-pastes from Mercola). Is this even legal? Mercola has gotten away with it forever, but since these guys are selling bottles of chlorine with a “Its not our fault if you don’t know what to do with this stuff” warning on the label how long is it until someone gets hurt?

  22. Ana says:

    I consider myself lucky to have found Nzymes. My 12 yo Lab Mix had arthrtis in his front legs and had a very hard time climbing the stairs. I started him on the antioxidant treats and it made a world of difference. He was about 65 – 70% better and could climb the stairs again, and the shaking in his front legs stopped. I kept him on the antioxidents until he passed away last year. He was 14 when his hips went bad and then completely gave out. I still use them on my Husky/Lab… It helps cut down on her shedding.

  23. Cindy Leanne says:

    You know, I recently came in contact with poison oak and used the oxy drops in a water solution. The drops helped instantly. It took away the burn and itch as if it were putting out a fire! So forget about the pets for a minute. Lets focus on a humans experience with it. IT WORKS. Thank God!

  24. My dog was having severe seizures, more and more frequently, some lasting for up to twenty minutes each! I just knew I was going to watch him succumb at some point. Vets weren’t any help and basically said to have him put down!!! I took a chance after extensive research and bought Nzymes. It is now 6 months later and I am THRILLED to say, he has had only one, almost non-existent seizure since!! You sir, need to trust our testimonials, as this one is totally from the heart and sincere. I am a disabled grandmother, who saved this dog from the pound. I have absolutely no reason to lie. NZYMES is a lifesaver!

  25. Derek Williams says:

    I Must say I have to Laugh at you. I have two Chows that are 12 and both have bad hips. First thing the vet did was put them on pain pills and said their wasn’t much that can be done for them. So I did my research. Changed their diet and thank the good lord i found Nzymes. After 4 weeks it’s like night and day. They have more energy, they play alot more with each other and they now run up and down the stairs. Hell Even the vet noticed the difference in their fur and energy. He even had the nerve to tell me keep them on the pain meds as it looks to be working good for them. I just smiled and told him that their not on pain meds and left it at that. So in this case, I’ll just say lets agree to disagree 🙂

  26. skeptvet says:

    Agreeing to disagree is always fair. However, feeling as if you have outsmarted your vet and me because you have an anecdote that you think shows the product worked merely illustrates that you do not appreciate the limitations of such anecdotes as evidence. If you are open-minded enough to consider that all may not be as it seems, consider this:

    Why We’re Often Wrong

    The Role of Anecdotes in Science-Based Medicine

    Why We Need Science: “I saw it with my own eyes” Is Not Enough

    Don’t Believe your Eyes (or Your Brain)

    Medical Miracles: Should We Believe?

    Testimonials Lie

    Alternative medicine and placebo effects in pets

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

  27. Dogowner says:

    Deborah Sparrow- It’s not about whether the testimonials is ‘totally from the heart’ or ‘sincere’. Bloodletting for cholera had truthful sincere people experience it ‘working’, but it kills people faster. Just there are a variety of reasons why something can appear to ‘work’ when it doesn’t. It doesn’t matter how sincere you are, you’re still using the wrong way to find out if something works.

    I can be sincere in checking your car to see what’s wrong with it. I can sincerely tell you it looks like the brake is in trouble. But if my basis for knowing that is wrong- if I don’t have enough information to know that- then it doesn’t matter how sincere I am.

    How do we know that a testimonial isn’t enough information to know that? Well, 1. every ineffective treatment has had some testimonials as sincere and as positive as yours and 2. Many of these treatments have testimonials as impressive as treatments which actually work. Read the links Skeptvet provided, they are really interesting.

  28. I have a 6 yr old Shih Tzu named Luke. Luke came to me as a rescue dog and is a great pet. At that time he was on Science Diet food once a day. That is all except carrots for treats.
    Me, thinking I was doing something great changed his diet to chicken (cooked by me) and also turkey. I added carrots, peas and other veggies that I thought he would like. I also give him canned salmon once or twice a week. He did love the diet change and I still gave him raw carrots for treats. However, I also added cheese (for giving meds at first, then just because he loved it) and other things which he didn’t really need. Let me say I did not ever feed him candy or a lot of things with sugar. I would give him mashed potatoes if we had them for dinner and even gravy sometimes.
    To make a long story just a bit shorter, he started with red skin, itching, ear infections, licking his paws constantly and a very bad popcorny odor after about a year or so. Oh, also black pigment spots all over his body and loss of hair.
    Now, I am told by my vet that it is not a good idea to give him steroids or antibiotics as they only work on a temporary basis and are not good for him. Therefore, I have removed all sugar from his diet and only give me cooked chicken or turkey and green beans or broccoli or spinach and sometimes wax beans. I have also been using olive oil on his food and sometimes coconut oil.
    Now, my question is this, if we are not supposed to listen to these companies that say they can cure his yeast infection and we are not supposed to give him meds per the vet, what does that leave my poor dog to rely on for cure or at least relief?
    I certainly am not the only pet owner who is having this problem. I welcome any and all suggestions and I just pray that one of them will help my little friend.
    Thank you.

  29. skeptvet says:

    I would certainly say that the best source of information is not going to be companies selling untested cure-alls on the internet. The diet you are giving sounds unlikely to be nutritionally complete, so if you wish to feed a homemade diet rather than a commercial diet, I would strongly recommend consulting a veterinary nutritionist for help. You can find one at the nearest veterinary college, or there are some who consult online:

    You should be able to have a detailed discussion with your vet about the pros and cons of different therapies available. Allergic skin diseases such as you describe has a pretty well-understood set of causes and a rational, evidence-based set of diagnostic and treatment choices. There is no simple, perfect cure, but there is a lot more you can do that either give steroids and antibiotics forever or do nothing and watch your pet suffer. If your vet doesn’t have any other options to discuss with you, than you need to get another opinion.

    The best choice would be to see a board-certified veterinary dermatologist, if one is available near you (here is a list: If not, I would consider finding another vet who might be more able to discuss your options in detail. Below is some information from the dermatology community on management of allergic skin disease (again, presuming this is what your dog has, which of course I can’t be sure without being there and doing the appropriate testing):

    Here is the original summary of treatments for canine atopy:

    And here is a recent update:

  30. Trisha says:

    It’s interesting to read the arguments back and forth here. It seems there are some basic points to note here. Number one being that antibiotics and steroids are proven to have harmful effects on both animals and humans when used even over even relatively short periods of time. They can be miracle treatments for acute illness, But for animals or humans with chronic conditions the use of them can wear the body down, cause antibiotic resistance and wreck havoc on the body’s natural balance and immune system. Wether Nzymes has been tested with double blind clinical trials or not, it appears that they have done some amazing things for the animals and humans treated with it. This is a natural approach with a money back guarantee if it doesn’t work. So why would anyone including a Vet not embrace this as an alternative?

  31. skeptvet says:

    What you don’t seem to realize is the ALL medical treatments which have benefits have risks as well, not just antibiotics and steroids. It is impossible to manipulate a system as complex as the physiology of a living being without unintended consequences. The difference between scientifically tested treatments and those not properly tested, is that for science-based therapies we know what the risks and benefits are and can make rational decisions about balancing. For things like Nzymes, we’re just rolling the dice, and that’s as likely to hurt the patient as to help. Testimonials don’t say anything about whether or not such things work or are safe (see below), and “natural” is a meaningless term which does not mean something is safe. So the reason to not support something like this is because it is essentially uncontrolled experimentation on people’s pets for profit, which isn’t in the best interests of my patients.

    Some explanation of why anecdotes and testimonials are meaningless:
    Why We’re Often Wrong

    The Role of Anecdotes in Science-Based Medicine

    Why We Need Science: “I saw it with my own eyes” Is Not Enough

    Don’t Believe your Eyes (or Your Brain)

    Medical Miracles: Should We Believe?

    Testimonials Lie

    Some evidence for how dangerous “natural” and alternative therapies can be:

    The Harm CAM Can Do

  32. Adrienne says:

    Obviously, everyone is entitled to an opinion and I respect Skeptvet’s right to believe whatever he or she chooses based on personal experience, education, research, etc. However, I also know that NZymes worked on our two dogs’ skin conditions when nothing else would. I’m sure this site will post the same links they’ve posted in response to all the other NZyme ‘believers’, but when you’ve witnessed the turnaround we did, I think our experience should be equally respected. And no, I’ve never seen a UFO nor Jesus’s face on a slice of toast. I do know, however, that sometimes conventional medicine is not as effective as we’d like to believe and alternative treatments can be helpful. Luckily, in our case, NZymes was.

  33. skeptvet says:

    Sure, everyone is entitled to an opinion. But not all opinions are entitled to be accepted as equally valid. Opinions based on anecdotes are less reliable than those based on scientific evidence. If this weren’t true, we wouldn’t need science at all, and it wouldn’t have changed our lives for the better in ways nothing else ever has. Did you read any of the links I posted on why anecdotes can’t be trusted?

  34. Adrienne says:

    I didn’t say you were wrong; I said that NZymes had worked for us. You might consider it anecdotal evidence–we consider it a fact. We’re both entitled to base our opinions on personal experience as well as research; my husband has a degree in chemistry, so he does have a scientific background. Our own veterinarians had no objections to its use and saw the positive results for themselves, and that’s enough for me. If you’ve tried it and it failed for your patient(s), then you’re certainly entitled to state that, too; I’ll be the first to say that it won’t work in all cases, just as certain prescriptions don’t work for me, but do for others in my family. Thank you for your consideration.

  35. skeptvet says:

    And I haven’t said you are wrong in stating that Nzymes worked for your pet. I have never claimed Nzymes don’t work. My point is simply that individual anecdotes simply don’t tell us whether or not something works. Patients get better following medical treatments, but they get better following bloodletting, prayer, and doing absolutely nothing too. All of the therapies we used to rely on and don’t use any more had exactly the same kind of stories told about them, some for hundreds of years. I’m sure you wouldn’t be willing to try bloodletting or most other treatments that science has shown don’t work no matter how many anecdotes there are from people claiming they did. My point is simply that you are using the same reasoning for Nzymes that has been used for every failed treatment ever tried.

    You used it and your dog got better. That’s great, and it might turn out the Nzymes helped. Or it might not. The danger is in trusting in anecdotes like this because they work the same for everything. If you browse through the blog, you’ll find people arguing that we should use coffee enemas, homeopathy, and magic of various kinds on our pets, and that we should not use vaccines or any kind of conventional medicine. And they support these claims with exactly the same kind of story you use here. If we rely on stories, then we have to belief everything or nothing. I just think my patients are better off if we use science instead.

    Thanks for your comments, and for being willing to have a polite disagreement (which too many commenters here can’t do!). 🙂

  36. stacy phillips says:

    I’m another sucker who bought some of these chewable tablets for my two Chihuahuas, and now I’ll be tossing them in the garbage with the seal still intact. What was I thinking.
    I usually don’t fall for these kinds of quackery cure-alls but I was vulnerable. There was the ad about an obese white dog that supposedly wasn’t ambulatory and after a day got up and wobbled a few steps, then after a couple weeks on this product, regained the ability to walk. Baloney. That testimony, now that I think about it, proved absolutely nothing.
    You see, I’m worried about one of my little boys, Nelson, who seems to have hurt his back and last week we started him on a temporary trial of steroids, low dosage as anti-inflammatory. The vet knew I just needed time to accept he may need surgery, and I’ll probably get it done because I love this little guy and if it’s possible to fix the problem, I say get it done. Tomorrow he goes in for imaging (brought to us by science) so we can see what’s going on and gain insight on his prognosis either way. Since he has not lost sensation to his hind quarters and since the studies break down probabilities of outcomes depending on several factors, we can make informed decisions rather than playing a game of pin the tail on the donkey of outcomes.

    Years ago I lost a dog that became paralyzed and had to be put down – so seeing a sudden weakness in Nelson’s hind quarters is scary, frustrating and probably going to be expensive. But this is a well researched area of vet medicine and I’m embarrassed to have purchased this bogus product based on emotions rather than reason.

    I usually know better than to get suckered into these kinds of crazy cure-alls. I have a medical background and I’m normally skeptical when there is no solid evidence.

    So … Bravo to the author of this site. If I took the time to google for critical reviews before pressing send I’d have that much more money to spend on diagnostics – real scientific methods that lead to realistic treatment options. Of course, I’ll still end up paying to know what mechanical or neurological problems are causing Nelson pain.
    Nelson is my ten thousand dollar dog who had liver problems that eventually lead to his having his gall-bladder removed. His liver enzymes slowly increased (which we knew because of blood work and science) and now his blood work is perfect due to his receiving a small daily dose of ursodahl which prevents his liver from clogging up and becoming inflamed. I’m pretty sure this nzymes products would have only made him worse.
    Also, Nelson takes milk thistle or Miran and SAMe, which are supplements derived from nature but have been and continue to be continuously studied using science – which means the results should be reproducible, eliminating bias, delusions and feel good opinions.
    The complainers contributing to this site remind me of religious folks who superstitiously rely on wishful thinking and wild coincidences. Some people just like being ignorant and get mighty upset when other’s don’t share in their blind optimism. I love your responses. Thank you for providing this forum.

  37. Mike R says:

    Great article. Can’t afford another voodoo gimmick. Just wondering if you have any alternatives that do work?
    We moved to Florida, and both of our dogs are now itching and scratching like mad with no prior 8 year history of allergies.

    Please if you have any suggestions, they would be appreciated. We need to stop the madness…!

  38. skeptvet says:

    The main thing to do is get a diagnosis. It is unusual to have severe allergies that begin at this age, so it is worthwhile pursuing some testing for other causes that are less common but easier to treat. If your vet determines allergies are the cause, there is a pretty well-established series of steps for ruling out particular causes, and a lot of options for managing symptoms. You might be interested in this article on evidence-based allergy treatments and the recent update for it.

    Good luck!

  39. Kristy says:


    I also politely disagree with you. Nzymes worked wonders for my Cocker Spaniel and being quite educated when it comes to naturopathic remedies and animal nutrition, the first place you lost my attention to your argument is when you claim that a conventional diet of essentially kibble (right?) is not bad for dogs? Come on, man. Let’s get real here. When I hear a vet say something ludicrous like that… Particularly when vets receive hardly any education on true animal nutrition, I take my business elsewhere. Now, I do appreciate your evaluation of Nzymes and I would have to agree with you about the alcohol tincture. There are so many “conventional” treatments that do so much damage to animals though so… I mean, a some vets will tell you that you shouldn’t feed a raw diet and to feed science diet instead as they try to enroll you in the Rimadyl frequent buyer program which will slowly kill you dog’s liver. So, I say, people today need to be educated enough to do right by their animals.

  40. Rick says:

    I am not a vet nor do I have any sort of scientific background. We finished the third – 2 pound container about three weeks ago and the following is our story using this powered product.
    We started using this powdered stuff on our Pug, because she developed a growth of some kind on her lower spine that inhibited the brain signals getting to her hind quarters, causing her to stagger when she walks, in addition to her back being arched. I am sure I am not describing this perfectly but I hope this is enough for the purpose here.
    We started her on the product and it mildly helped give her a bit more mobility and comfort but that is not the whole story.
    Our elderly cat was really gnarled up from what appeared to be old age and the jar indicated it was safe for cats so we put some in his food and within a few days he was walking normal so it has worked wonders in that instance.
    Its important to note that we asked our vet what he thought of this type of therapy and he agreed that it can work on certain mobility issues but its not a cure all and has little to no side effects. The here and now is we have run out of our third 2 pound contained and have been without for about three weeks and see our pugs spine arched more again but little else has changed. In fact our pug has really not gotten any worse when I look at the therapy over the length of the treatment, but has not gotten any better, except it has an effect of the amount her spine is arched. Our cat is still in good shape and moving around very good and I can say this product has had a dramatic effect on his mobility.
    I am incline to think that there was/is a dietary issue with our cat and this product has helped, in some way, supplement what he was missing, and being with out it for almost a month now he is showing no signs of regressing. The jury is still out on our pug though. The only sound advice I can offer is consult your vet and be prepared to be offered a similar product as almost all vets carry these types of supplements, at least the ones I have talked to, and give it a try. It may work! As for the conclusions in this article, it is clear and to the point and I simply see the supplier using a strategic marketing scheme that we all see in many supplements and medical therapy’s.
    We have all seen this movie before ! So seek professional advice first !

  41. skeptvet says:

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but just because you believe something doesn’t make it true and doesn’t imply that others should automatically believe you. Evidence matters, not opinion. And the claims you imply are obviously true, about commercial diets and carprofen, are just things you believe. And as I’ve explained before, people who claim vets don’t know anything about nutrition often know considerably less about it. You might want to read Dog Food Logic or consult a board-certified veterinary nutritionist, both of which are sources that are clearly real experts in nutrition.

  42. Kristy says:


    Evidence suggests that carprofen damages the live. Evidence suggests that processed food when animals are born to eat whole foods is not optimal. Evidence suggests that people eating processed food rather than whole foods is not healthy for the same reason.

    Skeptvet, thank you for solidifying my complete distrust of SOME modern veterinarians. Luckily, my vet disagrees with you too and she bases her treatment also on EVIDENCE.

  43. skeptvet says:

    It doesn’t change from opinion to fact because you say “evidence suggests” first. There is lots of evidence concerning the safety of carprofen and other NSIADs, most of it showing the risk is far lower than the benefits and not significantly different from one drug to another. This doesn’t support your vague and sweeping comment that “caprofen damages the liver.” This can happen in some dogs. It doesn’t happen in the vast majority of dogs taking the drug. So basically, you’re simply labeling your fears as facts.

    The same holds true for your nutritional claims. You are free to make stuff up if you want, but no one has to take it seriously if your claims aren’t specific and backed up by objective evidence.

  44. j.m says:

    nzymes work our little shitzu was having seizures dayly somtimimes twicea day the vet said the meds he would perscribe would posiblely make him worse if we skipped a dose in in case they would have to be taken on time everyday for the rest of his life.Iam so glad we chose nzymes.He is now a healthy little guy seizsure free for 7 months.

  45. skeptvet says:

    From a review of canine epilepsy studies:

    “Twenty-two of 28 (79%) dogs in the study that received placebo demonstrated a decrease in seizure frequency compared with baseline, and 8 (29%) could be considered responders, with a 50% or greater reduction in seizures…A positive response to placebo administration, manifesting as a decrease in seizure frequency, can be observed in epileptic dogs. This is of importance when evaluating open label studies in dogs that aim to assess efficacy of antiepileptic drugs, as the reported results might be overstated. Findings from this study highlight the need for more placebo-controlled trials in veterinary medicine.”

    Just because your dog is having fewer seizures doesn’t mean Nzymes has done anything.

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