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I Read It On The Internet, It Must Be True…

I Read It On The Internet, It Must Be True…

Hello again everyone. Gosh, I think that you all are going to believe I have a vendetta against the internet, but in reality I do not. I actually love the internet. What a great source of information, gossip, innuendo and misinformation! Wow! And, you can watch your favorite movies and TV Shows. The problems I have with the internet are the opinions that are taken as gospel, and the damage that is then done which is so very hard to undo.

I am talking about all the boards and blogs that have information on your pet’s well-being, and when you get right down to it, there is no information there at all. As a matter of fact, information that is put up on the internet, usually by persons of unknown education, is the bane to my veterinary practice.

I want to state categorically that I DO NOT know everything. But, I do have over 18 years of school, and 24 years of practical knowledge to back up my opinions. So, when I read the marketing hype that gets owners to buy into whatever snake oil is being peddled, it really makes my job/profession difficult at best.

Here is the dilemma: Are all aspects online bogus? Certainly not. As a matter of fact, many claims online give precedence and help to push true analytical studies that can be peer reviewed and published, thus giving more credence to the claims at hand. However, many items are plain hogwash and marketing strategies that use appropriate wording, thus making you “want” to buy in and spend funds on a ‘new’ means of treatment.

Many owners are educating themselves in all things natural and different from historic western medicinal thought. This is not a bad thing, but I caution the person reading an item, article, opinion, to look at the source. Is it from or by someone that had “raised many dogs and cats”, which only infers that they know what they are talking about? Is it someone that has a grudge against the veterinary community and believes that we are “ripping them off” and therefore  can save you “big bucks” if you do what they did? Or is it someone with the requisite bonafides that really has the knowledge to give not only opinion but back it up with scientific proof? And I don’t mean they completed some online seminar for 6 months and got a certificate in “Carbuncle Healing of the Knotty Noggin in Dogs and Cats”.

This is where you have to look deeper at who wrote it: what are their references, what background do they really have, and are they in fact to be trusted? This, in a nutshell, is what you need to know.

On a wider example, I went to see the movie “Lincoln”. In the movie, it was portrayed that the representatives from CT voted against the 13th amendment. Well, it turns out that all representatives from CT, both the House and the Senate, voted FOR the amendment. When the screen writers were called on it, they just shrugged their shoulders and claimed “editorial license”. If you saw the credits at the end of the movie and all the “experts” and “historians” that were consulted, you would think one of them would certainly get it right that CT voted in FAVOR of the amendment! So here you have a historical movie, lauded on its authenticity only to find out that a major part (at least I thought it was major of who voted for and who voted against) was NOT true. Makes me wonder what else was misrepresented. Hmmmm. Guess I’ll have to go research it on the internet. Because if it is there, it MUST be true.  So, please take everything you read in carefully, and ask your vet if you are not sure.