Monday, June 9, 2008

Holistic Hocus Pocus For Bleeding Dog Earns Connectict Vet Mark Danetz' Treatment the Adjectives "Negligently" and "Unskillfully"

In 2002, Connecticut Vet Mark Danetz (currently of Clinton Veterinary Hospital) saw a dog named "Carob," who had progressed from vomiting to vomiting blood.

Danetz did bloodwork on Carob, which revealed that Carob had a low platelet count, also called "thrombocytopenia."

There is no mention in the document of any treatment being given to Carob at that time.

Four months later, Carob's owner brought Carob back again. This time, he had a nosebleed. According to PetPlaces description of thrombocytopenia, this is one of the things to look for.

PetPlace says:

"When the concentration of platelets becomes too low, bruising and bleeding may occur. Dogs with blood platelet concentrations of less than 40,000 per microliter of blood are at risk for spontaneous bleeding . . . The severity of bleeding associated with thrombocytopenia depends on how low the platelet numbers fall . . . In general, the lower the platelet count, the more likely bleeding is to occur . . .

    What to Watch For:

  • Small red spots on the white parts of the eyes (sclera), the gums or the skin

  • Bruises on the skin (ecchymoses)

  • Nose bleeds (epistaxis)

  • Bloody urine

  • Bloody stool

According to PetPlace, there are numerous tests that may be done to identify the cause of thrombocytopenia. The causes range from tick-borne diseases like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or Erlichiosis; to cancer or autoimmune disease.

But according to the vet board document, Danetz didn't order any diagnostic tests when Carob was brought in with a nose bleed, in spite of his prior history of low platelets. Instead, he prescribed an "herbal, holistic agent."

The document says:

"In providing care and treatment to Carob, respondent negligently and/or unskillfully: prescribed an herbal/holistic agent without proper diagnosis of Carob's condition; failed to conduct diagnostic testing in relation to the symptoms presented; failed to ensure that the results of blood work were accurately transmitted to [Carob's owner]; and/or failed to properly diagnose and treat Carob."

The Board placed Danetz on probation for a year. They also ordered a random review of his cases by a supervisory veterinarian.

So WHAT happened to Carob?

DID he have cancer? A tick-borne disease? An immune problem? Did his lack of treatment by Danetz cause serious health consequences for Carob? What happened to his nosebleed?

What was the "herbal," "holistic" remedy Danetz gave?

What BAD thing happened to Carob that inspired his loving owner to file a complaint with the vet board?

Now, I'm not saying that holistic remedies are always hocus pocus. But they are no substitute for needed diagnostics.


Pet Place Info on Thrombocytopenia (low blood platelets) in dogs

Minutes referring to Consent Order signed by Board and Danetz