Hello Fellow RMF’rs,
I watch videos made by vets from time to time. Recently I watched one by a veterinary neurologist and thought I’d pass along a few thoughts about it. It’s a “day in the life” video, where he discusses three cases of his involving seizure – type activity. You may want to view the video before reading on, so just click this link.
Welcome back. Let’s break it down.
Misguided and helpless as vets are where discovery and removal of the causes of disease are concerned, the information that comes from them can sometimes be useful. If we understand it, it can actually help us steer clear of them because knowing about their methods can help us determine when getting their help is more beneficial than harmful. It can also help us make better decisions when our animals do need treatment.
Seizure Case #1
The first dog presents with head tremors and no other notable symptoms. We learn that the vet industry apparently regards the kinds of involuntary head movements seen in the video to be “benign” and do not generally prescribe drugs. It may be helpful to note that for some reason the vet industry has drawn an important distinction between head tremors that a dog can be “distracted” out of and a ‘real’ seizure like those seen in the next dog in the video. The reasons are not explained.
Benign or not, they are NOT normal. We’ve seen LOTS of dogs recover COMPLETELY from head tremors after being properly fed. In fact, it’s quite uncommon to see head tremors NOT improve when dogs are properly fed. It’s very sad to know that they sent the dog’s owner home with absolutely no information about how to deal with the problem other than “distract your dog”. I guess we can be comforted by the fact the further harm of drug treatment was averted. (Btw if your dog is afflicted with head tremors, you may be interested to read the testimonial of “Honey”, a Bulldog that recovered from them completely after RMF.)
Seizure Case #2
The next case in the video is a Boston Terrier with a serious seizure disorder. As usual in the world of veterinary medicine, the fear of the worst: a brain tumor. But after a $2,500 MRI, they ruled it out. To be fair-bordering-on-generous, it’s not crazy to suspect the worst and to make the dire prognoses that vets do when they see dogs with severe symptoms. After all, vets tell pet owners that the best they can do is trust the feeding of their dogs to the “experts” in Big Pet Food.
Since this creates disease that vets have no clue is connected to the crap dogs are fed, why wouldn’t they then suspect the worst and predict that the disease will progress? What’s to prevent it or stop it once it’s on its course? Real causes are not being identified, so of course effects can be expected to continue. And, of course, they absolutely DO in most cases. Except those where drugs are prescribed and the original symptoms are traded for other symptoms euphemistically called “side effects”.
In this little Boston, it was suspected that “meningitis” may have been the “cause” of the seizures. Well, as we know, anything with “itis” on the end is just inflammation. And we also know that inflammation is NOT a cause of anything. Inflammation of the spinal membranes (“meninges”, which means, surprise, “membrane”) is, in fact, an EFFECT, not a cause. Inflammation may create other problems downstream, and it may occur as part of a symptom complex. But inflammation itself is an effect of a bigger underlying issue.
Declaring that there’s inflammation in certain tissues is not the same as uncovering a CAUSE. At best, it’s a CLUE. Although we’ve all been brainwashed to believe that naming a symptom complex gets us closer to understanding what’s going on and WHY, it doesn’t. A vet pronouncing that fill-in-the-blank-itis is the diagnosis, in fact, tells us only that the body is having to bring extra fluids and heat to an area because deposited wastes are disrupting the healing process. This is useful ONLY to dog owners who know the truth about how to stem the production of excess waste in the body! To a vet, it means some little microscopic boogie man has “invaded” the body. (Notice how that takes YOU out of the equation?)
It’s not hard to see how this misguided assumption can lead to serious mistakes in the apporach of the problem. It’s the difference between removing a cause and creating further harm in the form of a toxin intended to kill or neutralize some presumed enemy. And it’s also the difference between an owner being able to completely resolve the problem independently and an industry having an opportunity sell products and services. Does it become clear why we’ve all been taught that attaching a name to a group of symptoms is sooo important?
Getting back to the video, the vet does not say if this dog was actually tested for meningitis, which generally involves taking a sample of the spinal fluid. Of course, the “cause” they would be looking for would be certain specific microorganisms (both ‘viral’ and bacterial) in the tested fluid. In this case, we can assume that testing was done and none were found since he just says that the seizures were declared to have no known cause (“idiopathic”). So once again they admit they do not know the cause, even though so many of the drugs and “preventatives” they routinely administer, and that were probably administered to this dog, are KNOWN to cause seizures in healthy dogs. And, conveniently, since there’s no known cause, all that is left to do is manage the symptoms with harmful drugs.
In the case of seizures, that means keeping a dog on barbiturates for the rest of his or her life. That’s exactly the fate that awaits this unfortunate little Boston. It may be true that in some seizure dogs, lifelong management is the only option available. But why on earth should a dog be sentenced to experience life through a haze of harmful barbiturates when there are other options that very often produce reversal? Why go directly to those more harmful methods and circumvent one that offers so much promise and so little ‘cost’ to dog and owner? If we didn’t have evidence of seizures going away completely or becoming MUCH less frequent after dietary optimization, it might make sense to just go with the drugs. But we DO. The vet industry doesn’t lift a finger to investigate or produce this evidence. They do this intentionally so they can continue to dismiss it as “anecdotal”.
The third seizure case is a herniated disc in a young Frenchie. We’re not told whether there was an injury to the dog. The vet does say that most of the time the “cause” is the nucleus of the disc becomes very “dried out”. That leads one to suspect this is once again degenerative. And once again, that’s not a cause because discs don’t dry out or degenerate spontaneously. Something has to cause it. But it wouldn’t really matter, because the veterinary approach would be the same: surgery.
Surgery is considered by them to be conservative, but in actual fact surgery involving the spinal cord is extremely risky. To my mind, almost any approach is going to be more conservative than surgery on the spine. And given that the problem is very likely degenerative, it would seem far more sensible to try reversing it with dietary optimization, which would constitute removal of cause. Pain management with the least harmful remedies could keep the dog comfortable while truly natural healing is attempted.
The vet told us that this condition is predisposed in French Bulldogs, but that can’t possibly be the cause alone. Predisposition only determines WHERE and HOW disease will manifest. It absolutely does not cause disease on its own. You may have heard the expression “Genes load the gun, but lifestyle pulls the trigger”. Laying the problem at the doorstep of genetics means nobody has to wonder why the nucleus of the disc becomes so desiccated and worn out, especially in young dogs, and whether this process can be reversed. And opens the door to drug treatment, which is the whole point of the veterinary industry, after all.