Last month I discussed our approach to holistic anesthesia, a unique way we approach sedation and anesthesia to keep your pet safe whenever anesthesia is needed. We get many referrals for this alone as so many pet parents are fearful of anesthesia, especially for older pets that may have health problems.
This month I want to discuss a disturbing trend I’m seeing among my veterinary colleagues. It’s what I call the “holistic lie.”
Recently I did an internet search for “holistic vets” in our area. I was shocked to see so many listings as I know that we are the only full service hospital offering true holistic care. I recognized many of the names listed as “holistic vets” and know they are in no way “holistic.” I’ve also had this verified by seeing many new clients who told me they were also deceived by these doctors advertising themselves as holistic, only to find out the truth during their initial visit to these doctors. Apparently these “holistic” doctors advertised they were holistic but still “pushed” vaccines, chemicals, drugs, and less-than-health name brand pet foods.
I’m concerned that my colleagues would stoop so low as to falsely advertise services they don’t offer. A big problem is that there is no legal definition of the term “holistic,” so these vets are technically not breaking the law but are certainly breaching the public’s trust in our profession. And I know why these doctors are falsely advertising their services-the are losing business to me (and nationwide to other “real” holistic doctors.) In order to compete, they feel it is necessary to advertise they are holistic when their real goal is simply to make money.
I don’t like this deception going on in my beloved profession. I’ve worked hard to establish our hospital as the premier facility offering this specialized care. While I never mind competition as it forces the competitors to be their best, I don’t like or tolerate others lying and ripping off clients by false advertising and not providing the services the pet parent is expecting.
Unfortunately I don’t think things will change and they will likely worsen as there is no way to stop this, short of pet parents complaining to our state board as false advertising is punishable by the board.
My hope is that prospective clients who really want true holistic care will do their homework before wasting money and placing their pets’ lives at risk by doctors whose main concern is financial gain and not the health of their patients.