Cincinnati Zoo fails to answer my query about chiropractic given to tiger cub

Well, by now I’ve written three times to the Cincinnati Zoo about their reprehensible use of a (human-trained) chiropractor to adjust the cervical vertebrae of a tiger cub who wasn’t “thriving.”  I asked for a response and I didn’t get one. I also wrote to Thane Maynard, the head of the zoo: no response. (Note that he has a Twitter account but his tweets are protected, which is just plain weird.)

I just wanted to report this nonresponse for the record. Maynard, who is in the video looking on approvingly as a quack presses the neck of a baby tiger, is—pardon my French—a jackass. First he employs a quack, one trained to practice quackery on humans rather than felids, to treat a fragile animal, and then he doesn’t bother to respond when I call him out.  I have no use for the man. What’s next, Thane? Homeopathy for sick hippos? Acupuncture for llamas?

Of course I also got lots and lots of emails and comments from chiropractors, all telling me that I didn’t understand their profession, and some adding that while many chiropractors are indeed bad, they themselves are of course the good ones.

Sorry, but it’s all duck noise to me.


  1. mikeyc
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Do not apologize, Dr Ceiling cat; that’s the only noise they can make. It’s all I hear and, I’ll wager, almost all your readers too.

  2. Mark Reynolds
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Love the no-nonsense approach!

    My sister lives in Kerikeri. She ran for many years a cat sanctuary – although I think she may only have about four now. A nurse, married to a GP, I’m sure they’d love to hear you talk – if you’re planning on being near Kerikeri.

  3. Barry Lyons
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Homeopathy for sick hippos? Sounds good! Someone should get on that right away!

  4. Posted March 21, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Acupuncture for llamas?

    If acupuncture worked porcupines would never get ill.

    • Geoff Toscano
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Nice one!

      • Mike
        Posted March 26, 2017 at 8:10 am | Permalink


    • Posted March 21, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink


    • dabertini
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      You, my friend (if I may?) are BRILLIANT!!

  5. barn owl
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Acupuncture in horses is pretty common, so acupuncture in artiodactyls can’t be far off.

    No convincing scientific evidence is provided in the article, of course.

    • Posted March 21, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Anybody who uses non-scientific medicine on animals should be kicked in the rump and given in charge of police. They can’t consent to quackery!

      • barn owl
        Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        All of the “quackplications” of acupuncture described in that article are wacky, but using acupuncture to “treat” cryptorchidism in stallions has to be the wackiest.

        Of course it’s no surprise to anyone that there’s a lot of money to be made in treating horses (especially Thoroughbred racehorses), whether by standard, legitimate veterinary practices or by quackery.

      • Posted March 22, 2017 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        Horses could do the kicking. I also wish that the quack who “treated” the baby tiger continues his practice on an adult tiger… which has some issues making him nervous but is generally in good condition, strong and fast…

        (I fear I am already fitting in the stereotype of the evil atheist.)

  6. Posted March 21, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    No doubt they feel threatened and intimidated by you.

    • bluemaas
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      I concur, Miss Ironfist.

      As re “duck noise” and the alignment of commas, say, instead of vertebrae, joke time: “Instead of the Secret Service personnel in the impending event of a riot or chaos screaming, ‘Get down !’, its agents are .now. trained to shout out, ‘Donald, Duck ! ?’

      I apologize. Today ? Stressed.

      ps YES, for what s t r e s s e d is spelled backwards !

  7. Taz
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    I used to take my cats to the vet nearest my house who specializes in cats. One day when I called for an appointment I was put on hold, and proceeded to listen to a recorded message about how they now offer acupuncture.

    I don’t go there anymore.

    • Untheist
      Posted March 22, 2017 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      The closest vet to me does cat acupuncture. Needless to say, I take my cat to a vet a few miles farther away.

  8. Randall Schenck
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    We take our cats to a very nice vet establishment in the city and they do charge pretty well. But no quack sounds. What the folks there should do is demonstrate outside the zoo. About as likely as demonstrating outside a church.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      If you’re that close to Cincinnati (is the radio station still WKRP?), would becoming a “member” (“supporter”, donor, whatever) to get speaking rights at the AGM be a plausible course of action?

  9. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    The French might be “Jacques âne”

  10. Lee Beringsmith
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    As a llama rancher and lover of these wonderful animals, I have unfortunately seen vets use acupuncture on llamas as well as homeopathy. All I can say is I keep my animals far away from such woo, woo type doctors.
    Thanks for standing up for animals health.

  11. Heather Hastie
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    The zoo are cowards in not responding to your contacts imo Jerry. If they insist on using woo, they should have the courage to stand behind their decision.

  12. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    “… some adding that while many chiropractors are indeed bad, they themselves are of course the good ones.”

    This is precisely the sign of something isn’t it. Imagine some MD’s saying “oh sure there’s some worse doctors out there”… but the MD’s never have to do that for some reason…

    I don’t know what “it” is, but …

  13. CJColucci
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    While the theory of chiropractic sounds like quackery to me, I would not be surprised to learn that some of its techniques — like some pre-scientific medicine — might actually work for some conditions for reasons that scientific medicine might be able to explain. Is anyone aware of any studies along this line?

    • Posted March 21, 2017 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      The meta-analyses show that it’s no better than a placebo with the POSSIBLE exception of lower back treatments. But even in those cases, Orac recommends going to a licensed physical therapist; it’s cheaper and based on science. And NEVER let one of these quacks adjust your spine.

      Chiropractors often try to sign you up for long courses of treatment IN ADVANCE and also to sell you other stuff. If I had a back problem, I’d go to an MD or to a licensed physical therapist. NEVER EVER go to a chiropractor–that’s my opinion.

      If you don’t believe me, see how they’re trained. Or have a look at the bogus theory behind their practice.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted March 21, 2017 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        I would think there could be chiropractors who know what things are bad for health, and what things are placebo or good, then leave out the bad stuff, and voila – chiropractic is vindicated (or so they’d think).

        • Posted March 23, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

          There are a few more-or-less scientifically literate chiropractors, but they aren’t really *chiropractors*, but just PTs without the name.

          • ThyroidPlanet
            Posted March 23, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

            Your comment makes me tthink what’d really help people is if an MD opened up a shop that has the sign “chiropractor”, but what happens inside is all learned in medical school and no goofy quackery.

  14. alexandra Moffat
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Agree – write to the city fathers, mayor, local animal rights groups,local papers and get a veterinarian to protest ? But of course the pro chiroprac and their fans vote so maybe nobody would dare object.

  15. Zetopan
    Posted March 25, 2017 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    “Sorry, but it’s all duck noise to me.”

    I would have thought Martian would be more appropriate since ducks actually do exist.

    See #4 at the below link for details:

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