On January 30 2004, Champ a 26 year old Chestnut Morgan Gelding was taken to Tufts Veterinary School and several events happened on that visit. I went there for an eye removal for cancer. Champ at 16 was given up to my daughter and I due to his severe skin infections allergies and heaves. Within months of treatment with holistic care he became a beloved pet and my daughter’s show horse.
He had cancer in his eye for 6 years and it had not been an issue causing pain until Jan 15 of ’04 and then he needed to have it out. When he was taken to Tufts they insisted he had cancer everywhere and needed to be euthanized immediately. While there they slandered my care and insisted that he was dying. The veterinary school doctors could not see any other way but euthanasia.
He was taken from there and got his eye surgery elsewhere. He lived 2 ½ years more, remarkably jumping in horse shows and enjoying his rides through the forest.
During that same visit at Tufts another pet caretaker had gotten permission for me to give my opinion on little Moto, a dachshund, about his kidney failure. When I was in there looking at the dog I was pulled out and told by someone,
“We don’t believe in anything that you do and if the dog gets better it is because of what we do and nothing you did.“
Even though many double blind cases were presented in 4 years of Complementary and Alternative courses were taught at the school. Both as former faculty, and as an attendee of these classes I had used many of those modalities on Champ.
Meanwhile, they used the surgery suite for a different horse. He was having exploratory surgery in the surgery suite for colic. When they found no surgical reason for it, they woke him up and dropped him. Breaking his leg, and then he was euthanized. I was pushed into a room and told to shut up after I saw what had occurred.
When I asked if anyone had even offered the owners of this horse any alternative intervention on the colic case, and mentioned the success of another university using acupuncture to treat colic, the answer again was to produce these double blind studies. Even though many cases had been presented at Tufts, I was still treated with disrespect and unprofessionally.
The proof of the better care was the return of Champ to a full life. The surgeon who eventually took Champs eye could not believe they refused to do the surgery and only offered euthanasia.
I wanted a peer review from the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association. It didn’t happen until over 3 years later, as they managed to side step the issue not wanting to confront Tufts.
Fifteen months after the incident Tufts was having a lecture on “The Hazards of Feeding Raw Food to Your Pets”. The lecture was advertised to the general public as a free lecture open to all. It was not Continuing Education and had no fee. In fact a public lecture did not have a record of who was attending. Nevertheless, at the entrance to the event I was threatened with arrest and handcuffing for just coming to the door of the lecture.
My knowledge that Tufts gets state and federal funding and that their nutrition department is paid by dog food companies must have been something they wanted to keep quiet. The lecture opposed raw diets. They thought that somehow my attendance would be so threatening to them that they violated my civil rights of Freedom of Speech.
When I told the Dean that they were stopping freedom of speech and I was not afraid to sue them. He said “You sue us we will squish you like a bug. We have so much money and such deep pockets we will outspend and hire more attorneys and say terrible things about you“.
I did sue the anyways. The ACLU even wrote a brief in support of the case. On the date which the statute limitations was to run out, since no peer review ever happened, I filed a suit against Tufts.
It has gone all the way to the Supreme Court Of Massachusetts where it failed due to the veterinary bill being an issue. That was never why I was treated so unprofessionally and the freedom of speech was not addressed. So we are appealing. The case has more specifics and details in previous blogs.