So your pet has an issue, what is the first thing you do? Do you call your vet? Nope, I guarantee you turn to Dr Google. In the healthcare industry we refer to an internet search about healthcare issues, Dr Google.
You may think this is amazing. You can quickly search for free what questions you have, find an answer, and avoid paying high vet bills. But, is this really hurting or helping? The majority of the time Dr Google is wrong. Gasp! I said it! Dr Google is not always right and most of the time you will find wrong, harmful, and sometimes even fatal information out there.
I have seen people come in and give their animals toxic stuff because Dr Google said it was ok. The internet has an endless supply of information and as long as someone can make any piece of information sound right, you just may believe it. Think about this for instance. There are websites trying to say the world is flat. There are people that actually believe these websites. I hope you realize they are wrong, in reality the world is round. It goes the same with medicine.
Here are some crazy things that Dr Google has told clients.
Garlic helps keeps fleas away
Ok, lets think about this for a minute. Garlic is toxic to dogs. It can actually cause gastroenteritis, lethargy, anemia, pale gums and collapse. It also actually does nothing to keep fleas away.
Spraying Lemongrass for fleas
I had a client that the dog would come in and look like the owner put grease on his hair. The dog also made the entire hospital smell like lemongrass. Guess what. The fleas still came! Also, lemongrass causes gastroenteritis in dogs and if not diluted enough will cause skin irritation!
Ibuprofen, Aleve, Tylenol or even Aspirin for pain
This one is very upsetting. People will google about these, find dosages or just given their animal the pill when little do they realize they are all toxic to animals. Ibuprofen and Aleve cause kidney damage and bleeding ulcers. Tylenol can cause liver failure. Aspirin can cause bleeding ulcers and death. By giving these medications it also inhibits what your veterinarian can give your dog for pain.
Do not vaccinate my dog
I have heard this excuse over and over again. They heard vaccinating animals is bad. I have heard every excuse in the book. I am here to tell you, Rabies is 100% FATAL, Distemper (is not for behavior) but can be fatal. I have seen it! Parvovirus, it is real, it is around and many puppies do not do well. Vaccinations are recommended for a reason and it is not to make me money.
Motor oil gets rid of mites
No, just don’t do it. This is an old wives tales that can actually cause severe skin damage.
Coconut oil does not cure everything but it sure does taste good in cooking. This is not harmful, it just doesn’t help. I see websites jumping on the bandwagon and selling coconut oil for dogs at an extremely high cost. News Flash! They do it just to make money!
Look Google searches are great and they provide us with a wealth of information. They make it so we can learn anything and do anything we want. The thing we need to realize is that even like fake news, Google has bad websites. They have websites with false information just to get you to sit there and read so they make money.
Next time your dog or cat has any issue, call your veterinarian. A lot of times when you have a relationship with a veterinarian they can answer questions over the phone.
Do you have a pet and have questions? Head on over to Ask The Veterinarian!