Before I continue on the topic of coughing dogs, I thought I would address this topic of Pet communication/ animal communicator/ animal whisperer/ BodyTalk/ pet psychics etc.
This came up when I was out at lunch with a fellow vet friend earlier today. What was discussed (for lack of a better way of describing it) BLEW MY MIND. I thought long and hard on the drive home if this could be something I would write about; especially with the potential of incurring the wrath of some clinics (in Singapore and possibly in different parts of the world) that evidently subscribe to this practice.
As controversial as it is, I decided I should share my 2cents to my readers as this is ultimately supposed to be a platform for veterinary information and my honest opinion.
The rise in popularity of National Geographic: The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Milan has brought about a great deal of interest in the area of animal communication. Despite the title of “Dog Whisperer”; the principles covered by Cesar Milan is actually that behavior management and training INSTEAD of him being able to actually TALK to the dogs. I love Cesar, the show and am all for his training techniques as I do believe that being the “pack-leader” will enable you to better train and discipline your animal.
To clarify, the topic of pet communicator we are gonna discuss today, is literally someone who BELIEVES they can TALK to your animals. And they communicate what they believe the animal is saying to the owners after.
It is actually a lucrative and growing industry in Singapore (and possibly in other Asian societies) and this simply astounds me.
The topic of discussion during lunch today was regarding this patient that required live-saving surgery by a surgeon. This was a patient that was referred from a small general practice clinic in Singapore. The day before the surgery, the owner called the surgeon and informed the surgeon that she would like to cancel the procedure.
The reason she cited was the fact that the GP practice she patronized engaged a Cat Communicator and told her that her cat was “afraid and did not want to have the surgery done”. My understanding of this was that the surgeon was eventually able to convince the client using modern medicine that this surgery was essential to the survival of her cat and the procedure proceeded successfully.
This brought back vivid memories of the days when I was practicing in Singapore. A regular client of mine presented her cat to another clinic as she required treatment after-hours. The following day she called (flustered and emotional) to discuss her cat’s problems with me. She decided at that point that she would like to have her cat transferred to my clinic for continuing treatment.
Several hours later, she called me back; informing me that the transfer will not be occurring as that clinic’s cat communicator had informed her that her cat would not like to be moved and would like to continue staying at the said hospital.
I didn’t say more as it was ultimately the client’s decision. As long as her cat was receiving the medical treatment it required was what was most important to me.
That being said, I couldn’t help but wondered to myself (as well as out loud, as I discussed this with my peers and colleagues); Was this just a tactic that clinic employed to keep the business in-house?
I’m all for clients using / embracing all the modalities available in this world to help/ assist their pets. Holistic medicine, Western Medicine, Integrative medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Physiotherapy, Hydrotherapy, Acupuncture can all improve a patient’s quality of life. Hack, I’m doing a course on Natural Animal Nutrition myself.
Ultimately these consults with animal communicators aren’t cheap at all. In fact my brief search has found them to be approximately SGD$160- 210 PER consult. (To put things in perspective, an average consult charge in a veterinary clinic in Singapore ranges from SGD $ 35-60.
It is also extremely interesting to know pet communicating sessions can be done via distance (WhatsApp/ skype/ SMS/ Calls). And that Pet communication can be learnt via an online course and workshops. As this website states it” Animal Communication is NOT a gift. It IS a skill that you can learn, practice and master it!”
And to give you further insight: Veterinarians spend an average of 5-7 years studying/ training in Veterinary schools.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not calling them Quacks. I believe there can be a place for this said pet/ animal communicators. However this should be use in CONJUNCTION with modern medicine, logic and sense. To use them in place of actual medicine or even to prohibit treatment is an extremely dangerous tool.
The truth is that pets are unable to speak for themselves and perhaps pet communicators are mere psychological mirrors. Well that’s my two cents worth of which are personal and subject to debate. Fact or quack, I will leave if for you guys to decide.