it never ceases to amaze me how many people in rescue practice medicine...and i do mean practice because at best without the knowledge and education it is not a well honed skill....it is a guessing game with a toss of the lucky (or unlucky) dice for good measure. with the growing popularity of homeopathics and naturopathics this trend has grown even bigger....it is cheap and anyone can apparently do it. while rescuers can get their hands on donated traditional meds (and sc fluids), it is not as easy as walking into a pharmacy or health food store to pick up a few good sounding herbal supplies....and for some reason everyone thinks because these meds are natural....they are also completely safe to be used and abused incorrectly. put a book or two or the internet and the ability to read together and poof you have a homemade natural medical practioner....scary.
there is a fine line between..giving advice, starting responsible, initial, appropriate treatment and going too far. i give advice all the time re:geriatric or palliative care when folks ask, (i get ALOT of emails asking for help or ideas) but my advice always begins and ends with "in consultation with your vet".... and i will start the animals here on a beginning course of well thought out and educated and appropriate treatment UNTIL i can get them into the vet within a day or two.
i am not a vet, i am not a registered homeopathic or naturopathic practitioner, i don't know everything these folks know but i am smart enough to know this too.
what brings this to mind is a phone call i had today from deb....mable mae's time has come and they will be helping her to pass tomorrow.
and i started remembering when mable came to us, almost 2 years ago. so i will tell the beginning of her sad story and leave the happy middle and end to deb.
i did not want mable mae...i had a newly broken ankle and was freaking out in my wheelchair. but when the call came about this 16 yr old dog...it took one sentence for me to say "yes." mable's rescuer had rescued her and mable had alot of serious health problems. but mable's rescuer was not treating her thru the vets, she was making up her own herbal and homeopathic concoctions....she was growing herbal weeds in her garden (like dandolines) distilling them down and injecting them into maple's neck. mable grew a cancerous mass right where the woman was injecting. she offerred to make up several batches for me to continue on with mable's treatment, apparently it was amazing stuff. plus she had a list of homeopathics that she was giving to the dog that she picked up from the pharmacy.
ok...i hear alot of weird stuff in rescue, but this just took the cake. who in their right mind buys a book on herbal or homeopathic medicine and then starts practicing on their rescues?..it might not be illegal (not sure) but i am sure it is stupid so i said "give that dog to me." and refrained from saying too much more about what i thought of the whole nutbar insanity.
mable was a great dog here...a little brave shitz-head...all four feet firmly planted on the ground. she was blind and deaf as a post but she knew what she wanted and she got what she wanted and i loved her all the more for that. we started her on her appropriate medical treatment and deb and chris then STOLE her from me and continued on with her medical care.
and for almost two years mable mae has been coddled and loved (and not injected with ignorant poison) and lived her life happy and well. she would be about 18 yrs old now.
thank god for a home with not only a heart, but a brain as well, for the little old princess which understood something critical to responsible animal care....medical treatment in any form is for medical experts to provide. it is not a learn as you go, and when all else fails, guess answer "C" from the list in the book you have on your shelf....come on...if you want to be a vet, or a homeo/naturopath, then do the work and go school and earn the right to practice whatever medicine you believe in, but don't turn sweet mable-mae's into captive home-based basement laboratory test subjects....REALLY NOT FAIR.
mable escaped from whatever crappy home she came from, she escaped from a wanna-be but wasn't and shouldn't be vet and she escaped from spending the rest of her life as part of the saints crippled crew, three times lucky girl..... and so to deb and chris...i deeply and forever, thank you and i am sorry her time is done, but it has been a great time for mable with you.
gentle journey mable-mae, you are a very, very good dog.
Rest in peace little one. My thoughts are with you Deb and Chris.