Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"The only cure is bedrest! Anything I give you would only be a placebo." "Where do we get these placebos!?" "Maybe there's some in this truck!"

What the hell?
Dr. Jiu Jia Wen specializes in alternative medicine. Herbs and acupuncture. And while he also practices conventional medicine as well, his true miracles have occurred through holistic therapy.

Really? Given that acupuncture doesn't work in people, I have no reason to believe it would work in animals. I suspect any evidence of "true miracles" would be unreliable, random anecdotes rather than controlled, scientific studies.

At least, that's what I thought when I started the article. But it's even worse than that.
I came to Dr. Wen when my own dog, Jack, was diagnosed with bone cancer a year-and-a-half ago.


I started Jack on herbs that day. He unfortunately was very resistant to the amount required since he was never a great "pill taker" anyway. Well it was really difficult for me to try to disguise the herbs in every form of delicious food I could come up with, and Jack was becoming more resistant and distrusting of me every time I would try to feed him.

Needless to say this was not working for Jack. Then to my shock, I noticed Jack's tumor in his leg was growing and my heart stopped. It went from horrible to a true nightmare, when Jack ended up suffering a pathological fracture due to the tumor eating away at the bone.

At that point I was given no choice but to amputate my beautiful dog's leg to save his life. But conventional medicine for Jack was a true blessing. Eighteen months later, after his amputation and chemotherapy, Jack's cancer is in remission and he's living a beautiful happy and healthy life.

And as you may know, he is now the "ambassadog" of hope for specialized medicine. He is a true miracle.

...what the hell? Maybe I misread this, and it was the woman who was sick and not her dog, because how else can one explain this enormous leap of logic?

Let's try and summarize this woman's position: Her dog had bone cancer. She took him to this quack instead of a real vet, who prescribed herbs... herbs, to fight cancer. Well, if it works....

Except that it didn't work. The cancer didn't get better; it was the other one--worse. The tumor grew to the point where it fractured the poor animal's leg. And then she went and used actual medicine (namely, chemotherapy) and--miracle of miracles--the dog got better! Who knows; maybe if she had the brains to do that in the first place, her dog wouldn't have had to get its leg amputated.

So to sum up: altie medicine did absolutely nothing to help her dog, whereas real medicine did. And from this she concludes that "holistic" medicine somehow works? That it's a "miracle"? That pet owners should treat it as a viable alternative to actual science?

This woman is insane. More than that, what she did is criminal. Her dog was dying of cancer, and instead of getting it help, she force-fed it useless herbs. She--and that vet--should be arrested for animal cruelty, not given a platform to spread this nonsense.

The comments on the post are even more dismaying. It's pretty much more of the same--people who tried "alternative" medicines for their pets, which predictably did nothing, and yet there they are on that blog singing hosannas about how wonderful these scams are. For example, the first comment reads:
Our beloved young lab, Tiki, has been diagnosed with sublingual squamous cell carcinoma and we have been told she has about a month to live. I started her on holistic therapy as soon as she was diagnosed, and she is an otehrwise healthy, energetic dog, except for the tumor in her throat which will eventually strangle her. The supplements I have been giving her have greatly improved her health, and I would like to learn more about more ways to possibly prolong her happy life. I am a strong believer in holistic therapy; I can see the results right here laying beside me!

Yes, it's such a miracle that the "holistic therapy" is doing nothing to combat the tumor that will kill your dog. Hallelujah!

I find it horrifying that the blog post describes just how this woo did nothing for her dog, and yet scores of woo-woos show up in the comments asking how to get in contact with this fraud, Dr. Wen.

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