Meet Dr. Cathy Alinovi DVM; a small town veterinarian that is truly a rare breed. Dr. Cathy recently took a public stance stating she believes a pet food to be the cause of a pet illness and death. If only other veterinarians would follow Dr. Cathy’s footsteps.
How rare is this…a practicing veterinarian taking a public stance on her suspicions a pet food caused three cats to become ill and one pet to die? In my experience, it’s one of a kind.
Dr. Cathy Alinovi wanted to make sure this pet did not die in vain. Her training and experience told her three sick cats became ill for one reason, a pet food. When one of the pets died despite her treatment efforts, Dr. Cathy didn’t just console the pet owner, she sought more information and planned what to do next. Not just for her client, not just out of respect for the deceased pet, she took action out of her concern for all pets. Just exactly what all veterinarians should be doing!
Just imagine if every practicing veterinarian did what Dr. Cathy Alinovi did. Imagine the impact it could make. Imagine the impact it could make with the FDA and the CVM (Center for Veterinary Medicine – subcategory of the FDA) if every veterinarian bothered to report their suspicions of a pet food related illness or death. Everything could be different.
Experience and training told Dr. Cathy to suspect a pet food; it is easy to assume that thousands of other veterinarians every single day have the same suspicions. However the majority of them do nothing. They do not tell the pet owner they suspect a pet food is/was the cause, they do not advocate for the pet owner reporting the issue to authorities, they do not seek out other veterinary professionals for advice in hopes to prevent future deaths and illnesses. Most veterinarians actively treat an illness to the best of their ability; however most veterinarians are not proactive to prevent future illness when their gut tells them this illness could have and should have been prevented.
AVMA, take a lesson from Dr. Cathy Alinovi of Hoofstock Veterinary Service, Pine Village, Indiana; I’m confident she can teach all of you a great deal more about team work and trust than throwing around dead fish at your convention (http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com/articles/382/1/Fish-Tossing-at-AVMA-Convention/Page1.html). This isn’t brain surgery, its common decency and integrity. Do the right thing just like Dr. Cathy did; follow your gut. If your gut is telling you a pet food is causing the illness and/or death of an animal, report it to the FDA and to your State Department of Agriculture. Report it to the pet food manufacturer as well. Hold the pet food manufacturer accountable. Ask them to test the pet food and send you the results. All pet owners desperately need for their veterinarians to stop being in the back pocket of Big Pet Food and start advocating for pets!
It might be a bit of a burden, and it might be time consuming. But it is the right thing to do for your client.
Dr. Cathy Alinovi, you are one in a million! I thank you for caring enough. I thank you for bothering to do the right thing. I thank you having the integrity that few others have. A round of applause goes out to you.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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