Skeptvet threatened with legal action by self-proclaimed dog cancer expert

The skeptical vet draws the ire of a self-proclaimed dog cancer expert after his authority and methods are questioned. Engage widespread internet exposure, otherwise known as the “Streisand Effect“.

Dr. Eisen Takes Legal Action to Suppress Criticism

In the true spirit of quackery, which cannot bear criticism or the exposure of its absurdities, Dr. Steven Eisen has expeditiously taken action to suppress my criticism of his marketing himself as a dog cancer expert despite no formal training in veterinary medicine, oncology, or any of the other areas of medicine in which he gives advice to dog owners. He has written to my internet service provider claiming that my quotations from his web site constitute copyright infringement.

What follows this announcement is a takedown notice claiming “exclusive copyrights” have been violated.

Tip: @pharmacistScott

Obviously Dr. Eisen is not respectful of fair use because in this context, citing his own work makes him look foolish. So, instead of providing rational responses to the claims, he takes the cowardly route and threatens the blogger. We see this so often when we question what appears to be bad reasoning or junk science.

Sadly, the best course of action for bloggers is to remove the material in question.

From the infringing (claimed) skeptvet post:

Dr. Eisen is a chiropractor who claims to be an expert in veterinary nutrition, toxicology, and cancer therapy based on having read a lot of books and invented his own “holistic system” by selecting which information he wanted to believe and which he felt he could ignore. The core of his marketing strategy is 1) to generate fear, by claiming that cancer is an epidemic and that we are surrounded by cancer-causing toxins in the very food and medicine we trust to keep our dogs healthy and 2) to claim that veterinarians have only dangerous and ineffective cancer treatments to offer and are ignorant of, or deliberately ignore, proven safe and effective alternative treatments. He provides no evidence for any of these claims, only his opinion and some testimonials.

Note: Eisen’s website is dogcanceradvice.com is not accessible at this time. The best course is for others to call out the questions raised by skeptvet. Unfortunately, we can’t see the evidence right now.

  10 comments for “Skeptvet threatened with legal action by self-proclaimed dog cancer expert

  1. Kristen
    July 31, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    This hits me in a special place, because four years ago I had to wade through the garbage of holistic and alternative medicines to find the right course of treatment for our beloved little dog who had cancer. Even real vets were pushing crap cures at us, with the old ‘it can’t hurt to try’ line. They know how to hit people when they are most desperate.

    Luckily we found good oncologists and got her just the treatments she needed to get an extra three years and a peaceful end to her life. The science-based vets never made outrageous promises, in fact we got more time with her than the vets had thought possible. No acupuncture, no chiropractors, no ‘flower extracts’ or magnets or raw diets. All those idiots did was cause me more heartache (as that little voice in my head said ‘what if they’re right’) in a situation that was already as heartbreaking as I could imagine.

    • August 1, 2012 at 8:55 AM

      Thanks for sharing that Kristen. It’s sick that someone would promise a “cure” that doesn’t deliver. Although, I suspect they are deluded into thinking it really does work. But, it seems unethical to not consider the plausibility of these alternative treatments but promote them.

  2. August 1, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    This past Spring when we purchased vet insurance for our critters I was amazed how many insurers touted that they covered chiropractic, acupuncture, and other holistic treatments. The amount of animal treatment woo I discovered was depressing.

    We finally found a respectable insurer that covered solid medicine and that is all. Not so shockingly it was the least expensive too.

  3. August 5, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    First off, Ms. Hill, thanks so much for your website and all of your hard work.
    The blogspot I listed hasn’t had an entry since about 2007; however, I have over 300 videos on YouTube…most likely 25/30 that mention chiropractors, the rest being mainly so-called CAM, politics, and such.
    Anyway, I’ve tried to stay away from all of my favorite websites as this stuff drives me nuts and in fact, I started a website, Bashing My Head Against the Wall…out of frustration.
    So, where was I?
    Yes, this guy and his…well…..
    I went to Amazon and posted the following comment about his book. Amazon said it could take 24 hours for them to decide if they are going to publish it.

    “This fellow is actually worse than most of the quacks out there. He’s taking advantage of people who love their pets and are desperate for help.
    Folks, wake-up, don’t fool yourselves. This guy is a chiropractor for cryin’ out loud. To begin with there is no scientific evidence that a chiropractor can treat much of anything. They talk about vertebral subluxations that don’t exist. Do you know that so-called chiropractic was dreamed-up by a grocer in 1895? Yes, a grocer with no medical training. A grocer who talked about vitalism and innate intelligence.
    Anytime folks start talking about holistic, balancing, energy, quantum, centering, toxins and so on, grab your wallet or purse and run.
    Also, this book is published by CreateSpace. CreateSpace is a self-publishing division of Amazon. Am I saying that all books that are self-published are bad books, books not worthy of traditional publishing? Of course not. However, in what’s touted as a medical book, if it had any value or merit I’m sure a regular publisher or the publisher of legitimate scientific books would have surely published this.
    Folks, if your pup has cancer, please either try conventional treatments or get with your vet for palliative care.
    If you feel you must buy a book, hey buy mine. Yes, it’s self-published through CreateSpace and it will most likely give you a few chuckles, give you some things to think about, is a lot cheaper, and I’m surely not promoting pseudoscience and
    trying to scam you by selling you supplements and herbs.”

    You folks take care and keep fighting…..
    Regards,
    George

    • August 5, 2012 at 8:42 PM

      Thanks, but please watch the comment policy. There are some ad hominem things in here. Sources of reference are best. Attack the claims, not the person.

  4. Peebs
    August 7, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    I’m not sure I saw much of an Ad Hom in that last comment.

    He made the point that the author was a chiropractor and then, quite reasonably, took the piss out of chiropractic.

    Personally, I thought he made a solid argument even if he was.promoting his own book.

    I could argue that, in quoting ‘Sceptvet’s’ criticisms you could be making an Ad Hom by proxy.

    Not a criticism, just an observation.

    • August 7, 2012 at 4:03 PM

      Peebs,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Actually, I shouldn’t have mentioned my book. I was just really ticked off when I made the comment on Amazon.
      I guess the point I was making, was, Hey, buy my book it’s cheaper (7.95) and will give you a few laughs. I really should of left my book out of it…At the time I made the comment I wasn’t trying to actually “promote” my book and of course surely didn’t expect anyone to buy it.
      I like this website!!!!!!!
      You folks take care.
      Regards,
      George
      PS. Ms. Hill….also appreciated your comment. I’m just a pissed off old (73) man with an impaired impulse control. Maybe I should pay attention to the carpenter’s mantra of measure twice and cut once.

      • August 7, 2012 at 4:13 PM

        We all have that problem, I assure you.

  5. August 7, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    I find Skeptvet’s comments to be calling out the qualifications Eisen does not have to make such claims about treatment. That the behavior fits an idea of “quackery” is an observation that is subjective.

    Mr. Callender is painting all chiropractors (and somewhat all those who self-publish books) with a broad brush and that’s not fair nor does it directly address this topic which is on the claims about dogs and cancer treatment. He could have made his argument in a much clearer way. Yet, he attacked the person (and unrelated persons who practice chiropractic or self-publish), NOT the claim.

    I would prefer the claims be addressed without referring to him as a “quack”. Thus, I was uncomfortable with Mr. Callender’s remarks.

    • August 7, 2012 at 8:18 PM

      Hi Ms. Hill,
      Yep, I’m back again. BTW, I really didn’t actually say anything bad about self-published books.
      “Also, this book is published by CreateSpace. CreateSpace is a self-publishing division of Amazon. Am I saying that all books that are self-published are bad books, books not worthy of traditional publishing? Of course not. However, in what’s touted as a medical book, if it had any value or merit I’m sure a regular publisher or the publisher of legitimate scientific books would have surely published this.”
      OK, I rewrote my Amazon comment. I welcome any comments you may have. I appreciate all of the time you’ve spent on this.
      Regards,
      George

      I guess my first comment about this book and this treatment, would be the obvious: it’s written by a chiropractor. Chiropractic was dreamed-up or invented, if you will, by a grocer who had no medical training. DD Palmer in 1895 started chiropractic and proclaimed that he’d cured a fellow who was deaf, by adjusting his spine. I guess old DD didn’t know that there are no nerves in the spine that have anything to do with hearing and the ears.
      DD also talked about vertebral subluxations. He claimed that adjusting the spine could fix most diseases, illnesses, or maladies. He also spoke about vitalism and innate intelligence.
      Of course, in all of these years since no one has “found” a vertebral subluxation. Recently, I think a couple of years ago, a British chiropractic association admitted that there is no such thing as a vertebral subluxation. It would seem, unless I’m missing something here, that chiropractors having been adjusting something that has never existed. Hey, I could be wrong…
      Sometimes people start regular treatment for cancer. Yes, they have chemotherapy and radiation therapy. They then for various reasons stop standard treatment and seek so-called alternative treatments. If they get better, they credit the alternate treatment and not the conventional treatment. Suzanne Somers may well be an example of this.
      If I were a chiropractor, or heck, just who I am, and figured out how to cure dogs of cancer, the first thing I’d do is go to the veterinarians’ equivalent of JAMA and give them the information. I would want to share my healing regimens with the world so that all dogs could be healed, not only the ones whose owners bought a 102 page book.
      Well, I could go on and on but will stop for now. I will leave you with this; I think it was Carl Sagan who said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” Or, something like that. You folks take care and be a little skeptical.

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