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Complimentary or Alternative Veterinary Medicine(CAVM)- Hope or Hype?
Many "complimentary" or "alternative" therapies are becoming common in veterinary and human medicine. The American Veterinary Medical Association(AVMA) has established a task force to determine proposed guidelines for CAVM.
More complete information is available on the AVMA website at http://www.avma.org/. CAVM is defined as "an heterogeneous group of hygienic, diagnostic, and therapeutic philosophies and practices whose theoretical bases and techniques diverge from modern scientific veterinary medicine".
Examples of CAVM now include, but are not limited to:
Claims for safety and efficacy of all veterinary therapies MUST be proven by the scientific method. Such proof can only be established through controlled scientific studies. At present, these studies are not available for the above therapies.
Therefore, CAVM therapies must be considered UNPROVEN at this time. Most evidence that exists supporting these therapies is anectodal (stories of experiences without scientific proof). There is no evidence supporting not only the efficacy of these therapies but also the safety.
If you are considering "alternative therapy" for your animal, it is important to consider several facts.
3. From a legal standpoint, veterinarians practicing CAVM are required to inform the client of the potential benefits and risks and that the therapy is alternative. Non-veterinarians practicing CAVM must do so ONLY on a referral from a licensed veterinarian who has a client patient relationship with the specific animal to be treated. The referral veterinarian in this case is legally liable for the treatment as the non-veterinarian is not licensed.
For example, it is illegal for anyone, even a licensed human chiropracter (D.C.) regardless of the "certifications" they may have, to provide manipulations on an animal without referral from a licensed veterinarian.
For further information on facts about alternative therapy, go to the NCRHI Veterinary Task Force at http://www.seanet.com-vettf/ or "The Consumers Guide to Alternative Therapies in the Horse", by David Ramey, DVM., published by the Howell Book House, NY. This book is available on line at http://www.amazon.com/.