Oct 31 2019

Evidence Based Medicine

At the Alberni Veterinary Clinic, we practice evidence based medicine because, unlike in humans, the placebo effect does not work in our pets and denying vital medication or surgery results in undue pain and suffering for both the pet and the owner.

Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is an approach to medical practice intended to optimize decision-making by emphasizing the use of evidence from well-designed and well-conducted research. Although all medicine based on science has some degree of empirical support, EBM goes further, classifying evidence by its epistemological strength and requiring that only the strongest types (coming from meta-analyses, systematic reviews, and randomized controlled trials) can yield strong recommendations; weaker types (such as from case-control studies) can yield only weak recommendations. The term was originally used to describe an approach to teaching the practice of medicine and improving decisions by individual physicians about individual patients. Use of the term rapidly expanded to include a previously described approach that emphasized the use of evidence in the design of guidelines and policies that apply to groups of patients and populations (“evidence-based practice policies”). It has subsequently spread to describe an approach to decision-making that is used at virtually every level of health care as well as other fields (evidence-based practice).
Naturopathy or naturopathic medicine is a form of alternative medicine that employs an array of pseudoscientific practices branded as “natural”, “non-invasive”, and as promoting “self-healing”. The ideology and methods of naturopathy are based on vitalism and folk medicine, rather than evidence-based medicine. Naturopathic practitioners generally recommend against following modern medical practices, including but not limited to medical testing, drugs, vaccinations, and surgery. Instead, naturopathic study and practice rely on unscientific notions, often leading naturopathic doctors to diagnoses and treatments that have no factual merit.

Naturopathic medicine is considered by the medical profession to be ineffective and possibly harmful, raising ethical issues about its practice. In addition to accusations from the medical community, such as the American Cancer Society, naturopaths and naturopathic doctors have repeatedly been accused of being charlatans and practicing quackery. Over the years, many practitioners of naturopathic medicine have been found criminally liable in the courts of law around the world. In some countries it is a criminal offense for naturopaths and naturopathic doctors to label themselves as medical professionals.
Please keep in mind that dogs and, especially cats, are not little humans and the have very different enzyme systems in their livers. Because of this, many substances which are not toxic to us are to our pets. Tylenol is a good example of this. Tylenol in very small amounts kills cats. Furthermore, naturopathic medications are not tested to be safe in people let alone cats and even the solutions that the supposed “medical ingredient” is dissolved in can be toxic itself. They are not screened for pesticides, active ingredients, or any amount of safety as they are not regulated by the same associations that regulate actual drugs. When you purchase these products, you have no idea what is really in them or what it will do to your cat.

If you have any questions about whether a product is safe you can always call or email the clinic. Advice is always free and it is better to ask a veterinarian before giving anything to your pet.

“What do you call alternative medicine that works? Medicine.” Tim Minchin

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