When forums aren't fun anymore…

I’ve been on the internet for a very, very long time, and one thing I must say is that there’s a distinct similarity between the types of posters on various internet forums. I’ve come to expect the stereotype. The flame wars, the “discussions”, the off-topic ramblings, cliques, trolls, the internet thug.. it’s almost systematic, from goth make-up to WoW to even medical advice.

The latter is the most creepiest at all. Imagine the same kind of cliquism, trolling, bickering, when it comes to the health of your kitties. There’s a popular forum for people who are looking for help for their kitties with diabetes. Being a natural internet person myself, I gravitated towards these forums to look for help and advice, questions I can ask my veterinarian, or things and behaviour to look for in kitties. I’ve learned a lot, and to be fair, nothing bad has happened to me personally. But looking through the other posts, I found a dangerous trend of people coming to the boards, giving a brief description of what’s happening to their cat, and in some, immediate responses come in about changing the cat’s insulin dosing, and diagnosing problems based on those few words…

And that’s fine, these people have supposedly had a lot of experience with their cats, helping them and treating them. But I think some people are casually ignoring the big disclaimers at the top of the page where the advice given is not veterinary advice, and should not be taken as such.

It’s frightening to me that people would follow the advice of people on the internet who’s never seen their pet, knows what their history is, never met their vets, would make assumptions on what to do. I think many have become so jaded by bad vet advice that they’ve decided to take matters into their own hands… yet I still don’t see “DVM” by their name.

Mind you, i’m not going to say that the Vet’s word is the Law when it comes to the health of your cats… I myself have opted not to over vaccinate my kitties, because they are indoor cats. But I’m not going to jump to conclusions and say “OMG DOC UR WRONG!” from the few words of a few people on the internet who’ve never met your cat. It’s scary that some people do.

/off the soapbox now.

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