Few veterinarians (if any) have devoted their practice so completely to health as Finn Smed has. His attitude to treatment of animals for diseases and medical problems has always been to help the owner keep the dog out of the veterinary clinic - except for checkups. His public speaking in all kinds of dog associations have all had this clear purpose: help the owners keep their dogs healthy, so visits to vet could be kept at a bare minimum.
No wonder that veterinary associations and spokesmen for the pharmaceutical industries have tried numerous times to make him silent, through harassment, lawsuits, and even blackmailing - but completely without any luck. His clientele was massive and International - and the number of dogs he has saved or cured when other vets have given up are simply countless. The secret to this success is simple: he keeps things simple and uses the good "old fashioned" principles all medicine treatment should follow, respecting the animals' nature, avoiding harm, and using common sense in addition to all available techniques and expert support.
Finn Smed was not member of any veterinary association, and because he lived in Denmark, his license to practice was not linked to such a membership. So, he was free to tell you the truth.... And he did!
Finn Smed's main attribute was that he had a very solid understanding of how the physiology and body functions of a healthy dog are all working together - and he understood the effects and side effects of medication. He also understood the concept of risk management; when dealing with dogs that suffer from a trauma of some kind, your choices may not always include options that don't have negative effects or risks associated with them. The only diligent way of dealing with risk is information. You need to know as much as possible about the possible consequences of each option - and then make an informed choice that makes sense. In order to do this, it is mandatory that you truly understand the reasons for the problem - and do not try to fight the symptoms of it....
Some of the problems Finn particularly was very successful helping people with, also over long distances, include:
Finn was advocating a raw, natural diet for dogs and cats since the first sample of kibbles were ever promoted in Europe in the late fifties! The number of cases where his successful "treatment" of hospitalized cats and dogs consisted of nothing but feeding them a healthy diet runs into tens of thousands.
Finn has never used chemistry or drugs to prevent a bitch from coming into season, and he never removed healthy organs for the purpose of the owner's convenience.
Finn has never advocated yearly vaccinations but has consistently warned about over-vaccination. He has never vaccinated any dogs against Parvo, and none of his clients have ever lost a dog to Parvo.
Finn has never had dog runs in his hospital. Dogs that were hospitalized were taken out for daily walks by staff! He considered mental activation an important part of the healing process - and he has been proven right on that numerous times.
Finn's exam room was like a living room, and he ften conducted check-ups in his kitchen! He always insisted on greeting the patient with a kiss on the nose, and he never did exams on metal tables that were uncomfortable to the patient to stand on. No wonder than very few of his patients had any problems seeing him again! The vast majority of them pulled their owners along on the leash when returning for check-ups!
Finn never charged money for euthanasia, not even the cost of the drugs. He did not want an owner to have financial concerns involved when it came to deciding whether or not the future life of a given animal had reasonable chances of being enjoyable. Instead, he always offered the owner a cup of coffe and a free "cry-at-my-shoulder" session for comfort which often turned into a lesson in grief management.
For the phone consultations he offered through K9joy to an International audience, he gave the following guarantee:
If Finn Smed, from your description of the problem, does not believe that he can help you with any advice that can make a significant difference for you and your dog, he will tell you so - and your payment will be completely refunded, immediately!
If Finn Smed's suggested approach to solving the problem and your serious attempts to follow through on the suggestions do not give any desired results, then you send us an e-mail explaining the situation, and we will either schedule a new appointment at no charge, or you will get a full refund!
Although we only enjoyed offering this service for a time that turned out to be way too short, we never had a single request for a refund.
We wish more veterinarians world-wide would adopt some of those attitudes and ethics in regards to dealing with animals: respecting their nature and working primarily for making them well, with business motives coming in at a far lower priority.
Finn Smed was a modern representative of what unfortunately now has become almost a relict: a vet who used his professional knowledge to help animals and owners get more value of their time together by maintaining and restoring health as the very first priority, without succumbing to commercial advertising and exploitation.
May his mission be continued. If you are a veterinarian (or know someone who is) who can subscribe to some similar ethical principles, we are interested in hearing from you....
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