December 13th, 2011

me: portrait

Don't Feed the Trolls....

Anna's been hit with a troll lately. Normally, I'd ignore it...but this one decided to post on one of my comments (I guess because Anna has deleted all the "stand alone" comments, so they thought maybe she wouldn't delete a reply to a comment. Whatever...)

The discussion was heartworms in dogs. I had replied that I *do* treatment, but I use Ivermectin from the feed store, not the pills the vets will sell you (I also admitted that I'm not really good about remembering). I was told (this is from memory, since the comment WAS deleted, which I agree with, but I may have some of the "facts" wrong. Whatever.) that I was risking my dogs' lives because I wasn't using "proper" meds.

:deep breath: OK. First up, the troll claims to be a small-animal vet. Right. I don't know of ANY vet - small- or large-animal - that has ANY time at ALL during normal clinic hours to browse the internet. Unless this "vet" is not currently practicing, that's a red flag. (And if they aren't currently practicing, why not just say that up front? Lots of commenters noticed the time stamp of the comments.....just sayin'.) Also, the "vet" posted anonymously at first, then posted under a Xanga profile that's LOCKED, so no one can check to see exactly *when* the account was set up. Red flag #2. (Actually, #3 - the very first comment stated that they had read Anna for "years", and yet they'd never commented. I gotta say, while there are lots of blogs I read and have never commented on (YarnHarlot, for one), Anna's incites comments. There's NO WAY someone can read her for "years" and not been able to stop from posting some sort of comment on one of her religious posts. So...that was actually red flag #1)

Anyway......I was told by the Rescue group I got Zoey from how to use Ivermectin as a heartworm preventative. THEY were told by THEIR vet - they are THE only Rescue Group for IW's in our part of the State. They get - granted, not a LOT of dogs, but plenty, and there's no way a non-profit can afford the pills for that many Wolfies. When I first got Zoey, I asked my horse vet about the that time it was $60/MONTH for a dog the size of an IW. :shock: I had 2 Pyrs and Zoey at the time...$60/dog/month = $180/month for a preventative. I immediately asked him about the Ivermectin, and he confirmed the dosage AND THE SAFETY of it. (And we're currently at 4 dogs; 1 Pyr, Bree, the brainless German Shepherd, and the psychotic Blue Heeler. That's 2 dogs at the $60 level, 1 at (probably) a $50 level, and 1 at (probably) a $40 level. That's approximately $210/month for *4* pills. I can't afford that - not and feed them the quality feed (Blue Buffalo, mostly, or TSC's 4Health) and feed all the other critters - including the human children!)

Fast forward to last year. Zoey had to be put down (she was 9, which is almost ancient for a Wolfie), and we purchased Bree. (I...don't buy dogs. There's too many in the shelters that need homes. But in this case, I had to. Rescue didn't have any available (thankfully - I'm glad people weren't dumping their IWs!), and shelters don't get them often (and - we're still on the Rescue list as wanting to adopt another IW. I'd take one in a heartbeat if it was available, even if we are at canine critical mass right now!) My horse vet (1 of 3 vets I use routinely; he and our small-animal vet are practically on retainer) had told me he didn't want to work on any non-equine patients, so I found a local vet that was willing to do the dogs AND the goats. We took Bree to him the week we bought her, and he also confirmed that my Ivermectin usage was FINE, and was safe to use with her (Giant dogs have problems with meds that "normal" dogs don't. Anesthesia can be a MAJOR problem, which is one of the reasons Bree hasn't been fixed. I don't want to risk it.)

Now. I had remarked that I figured heartworms were natural, and therefore weren't really the big threat that big pharma wanted us to believe. The commenter, a "vet" asked me if I thought snake venom was "natural". Actually, yes - I do. Snakes produce it, just like Yah created them to do. (Seriously? That was the *best* argument a "vet" could come up with?) Just because I, or one of my many MANY critters, gets bit by a venomous snake doesn't mean instant death - Heart got bit last year (by a copperhead, we think - could have been a water moccasin) and is FINE today. All I did was hit her with 2 doses of Procaine Penicillin, which CAN BE fatal if the horse reacts to it. Or if I get any on me - I am HIGHLY allergic to Penicillin, but I keep it on hand because it WORKS. The skin sloughed off (normal per BOTH my vets), and she never had a bit of lameness. Lucky? Maybe - but the venom was *natural*, while the Penicillin *wasn't* You tell me which is the bigger risk? (And both vets told me the Penicillin wasn't necessary, but I felt like I needed to do *something*. They both assured me that - barring a rare allergic reaction - it wouldn't do any harm, so I used it. No, it wouldn't help with the venom, but an infection from the open bite-marks was a possibility. Heart being a horse and all, and living outdoors in the mud and muck.)

I am a lot more "hands-on" than most goat owners (99% of the goat owners around here just "feed and lead".) Our "goat" vet (the small-animal one) admits to not knowing much about goats, but he's willing to learn. He's got my copy of "Goat Medicine", he calls me sometimes to find out what *I'd* do if one of my goats had x problem (and I am NOT a vet; never took any classes, but I read a LOT, and I have friends that are MUCH more knowledgable than I am that I am not too proud to ask for help from), and he loves having me bring my goaties in for consults. (I think it's for the shock factor when other clients come in.....the sight of a bouncy Alpine kid in the exam room causes funny expressions and laughter *every* time. :nods:) I have a lot more experience in dealing with animals and their medical needs than the average person, but giving my dogs a dose of Ivermectin isn't rocket science. It's not even difficult.......and I have 2 vets green-lighting me on it. WHY would I take an internet "vet's" "advice" over 2 KNOWN vets recommendations? (And, BTW, my horse vet has known me since 1986. He knows how I think, and he knows how I treat my animals. It's why he has NO problems getting me RX meds for my goats, even when he KNOWS it'll be used off-label. Vet #3 - whom I freely admit I do NOT LIKE - also has no problems with selling me RX meds, because he's asked me before why I want Med X, how am I gonna use it, and oh, yeah - how much do I want? :grin: We keep going to him because he really is easy-going on the meds issue - and sometimes I need RX meds NOW, not a week from now. Like the Lute we bought last month.) ("dogandcatdoctor"? Feel free to ask me what Lute is and why I had to have 2 bottles for my does RIGHT then. I'll gladly explain why and how I used it.)

Sorry -this wasn't the post I planned on doing today, but I felt that I needed to respond to the comment.

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