Animal testing barbaric

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This is a rebuttal of Christopher Cutler’s and Mark Hamrick’s Dec. 1 guest column (“Animal lovers deserve the truth on GRU dental implant testing”) stating dental experiments used on dogs “are neither frivolous nor unnecessary, and are a key component of developing safe and effective dental procedures for humans.”

I am a licensed dental hygienist. Dental implants have been around for many, many years. They have become mainstream in treatment planning in the past 10 years. Each week in clinical practice, I see patients with dental implant success. I am one of them – I have an implant in my mouth I had done in 2011.

Dental implants have a 96 percent success rate. If they fail, usually it is because of a systemic disease or the patient was a bad candidate for implants (smoker, alcoholic, bone loss too far gone, etc). There is absolutely no reason for these tests to be done. What do you think you would gain from using a jawbone from a dog? Don’t you realize that dogs comprise an entirely different species, and their tissue and metabolism, among many other things, is different from ours?

Would you use your dog’s medication to treat your own health aliments? No? I didn’t think so. It is barbaric that animal testing is being used today.

Please, as a dental professional, I want to be informed of what researchers glean from these experiments. I would love to know.

Becky Leaphart

Johns Island, S.C.

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Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 12/12/13 - 07:17 am
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3
I think this letter writer
Unpublished

I think this letter writer should be barred from ever using any medical substance or technique that was developed using animals.

ymnbde
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ymnbde 12/12/13 - 07:19 am
5
3
well, they actually did provide the "gleanings"

"research into a new antimicrobial coating for dental implants that could help prevent dangerous infections ... because of the ability of bacteria to get into the bloodstream and infect heart valves and other organs."
sorry, dear writer, but adult life has some hard choices
but maybe you'll get some new barbie dolls for Christmas
oh, excuse me, that must have been offensive
...for the "holidays"

InChristLove
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InChristLove 12/12/13 - 08:58 am
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Amazing.....it is sad when

Amazing.....it is sad when someone can't write an opinon letter to the editor without out someone demeaning the letter writer character. Why is it we can not just state our opinion based on either observation or facts without degrading the individual. If you disagree with the writers opinion state so, you don't even have to say why, but why make it personal. ymnbde I'm sure Ms. Leaphart's "barbie doll" days are long past and HA I see no where in Ms. Leaphart's letter where she is against all animal testing. She just happens to be of the opinion that the recent dog testing was unnecessary for the testing of dental implants. I've seen it time and time again on here and although we don't all agree with each other, we can remain civil in our disgareements.

Now, have at it thumbs down because I'm sure there are some who just won't get it.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 12/12/13 - 09:23 am
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2
You don't see where she is
Unpublished

You don't see where she is against animal testing? Quote from the letter...." It is barbaric that animal testing is being used today."

I personaly am against things that I find barbaric, but you are right....perhaps the letter writer finds animal testing barbaric, yet isn't against it.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 12/12/13 - 09:43 am
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2
Well HA, you may have a point

Well HA, you may have a point but reading her letter, since it was purposely on the "implant dog testing" and since she is a dental hygenist and gave her knowledge on how implants work well today, I took her statement "It is barbaric that animal testing is being used today", in the context of the letter, to assume she was referring to "animal testing" of dogs. I suppose we could nit-pick and say she didn't say "any animal testing" but that would be pointless.

But then it is just my interpretation on how I read her letter. Of course you are entitled to your own opinion. My earlier comment was mainly against the personal attacks to letter writers I see often on here

blh
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blh 12/12/13 - 09:43 am
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0
the writer is naive

This person makes her living from the fruits of science but is not herself a scientist. Her statement about animal tissue says enough. Most decent people are against animal abuse. Research labs are not immune to it but are far from "the problem." Lets start with our food supply, for example.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 12/12/13 - 09:49 am
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My point is that calling
Unpublished

My point is that calling animal testing "barbaric" is a personal attack on the people who are doing research to try to save lives and better the human race. A personal attack is a personal attack.

RMSHEFF
13225
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RMSHEFF 12/12/13 - 10:17 am
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0
She states "I see patients

She states "I see patients with dental implant success. I am one of them – I have an implant in my mouth ". I wonder if she realizes the one she has in her mouth was most likely tested on animals and not her. WoW...the lack of thought and reason. Some people live completely in a world of emotion.

InChristLove
22407
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InChristLove 12/12/13 - 10:23 am
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1
Your point has already been

Your point has already been noted and I don't see where that had anything to do with what both of us were discussing. You stated she was referring to all animal testing, I just stated in my opinion from the context of her statement, most likely she was referring to the dogs. I never insinuated you personally had attacked the writer, but if you feel guilty or singled out, I appologize.

If you feel her letter was a personal attack towards the researchers, personally I don't see it but you have a right to your opinon. Would it have sounded better if she has said "horrible" instead of "barbaric", what about the word "unneccessary" instead of "barbaric".....in your opinion would those words have constituted an attack on the researchers. If so, what word would you suggest she use to make her point and not appear to be an attack?

soapy_725
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soapy_725 12/12/13 - 10:34 am
1
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Wonder how she feels about baby butchering for convenience?
Unpublished

Wonder how she feels about baby butchering for convenience?

soapy_725
43527
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soapy_725 12/12/13 - 10:35 am
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Move to India and step over the ants, rats and roaches.
Unpublished

Move to India and step over the ants, rats and roaches.

GiantsAllDay
8952
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GiantsAllDay 12/12/13 - 10:41 am
2
1
I like ICL's comment. ICL,

I like ICL's comment. ICL, your 7:58 AM post is some of your best work.

Bizkit
28006
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Bizkit 12/12/13 - 10:53 am
4
1
Yes I have used dog

Yes I have used dog medication on me, and vice versa. Many are the same -just the dosage differs. Dogs, because we humans have artificially selected on them to create breeds, have many of the same diseases as humans, and their genetics is simpler for us to study disease. I remember when they were using dogs for cardiovascular studies in Emory years ago. Dogs have been useful in understanding how our genes interact to produce a trait-like the length of a dogs nose is related to the number of repeat sequences in a single gene-fewer repeats short nose-more longer-all the same gene. We humans are complex with polymorphic gene networks so a dog model is very useful to help us understand humans. Being a "licensed dental hygienist" doesn't mean you have any understanding of science or research or the intricacies of dental implants (no more a nurse can diagnose as a physician) so that was a useless bit of information. Besides you seem naive that dental implants do fail and infections are a problem, and that because of evolution we can use other species to understand our own. The letter writer is just resorting to ad hominem because she doesn't offer a valid counter argument=in her mind the research is useless but in reality experts reviewed the grant, funded it, they legally performed the research (accusations aren't proof). She help pay for this research as you and I. Course we could restrict research-like cancer research is on the verge of a cure but we can just drop it . Oh I get it-It would unethical to let dogs die, but humans we abort, death penalty, etc so no biggie. Cancer and heart disease are the two big killers and we just no longer should fund that because some animal may be harmed.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 12/12/13 - 11:00 am
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Thank you letter writer

ICL is right...we do attack the letter writer too much on here...

dichotomy
29737
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dichotomy 12/12/13 - 11:00 am
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"bad candidate for implants

"bad candidate for implants (smoker, alcoholic, bone loss too far gone, etc). "

Maybe they are working on procedures that will allow them to help those folks too some day. There are a multitude of people today who routinely get heart procedures who would have been classified as "bad candidates" 30 years ago. But continued research has given us safer, new procedures.

Maybe some day former smokers, ex-meth heads, and others who have severe bone loss for any number of medical reasons will be able to get some sort of implants.

Bizkit
28006
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Bizkit 12/12/13 - 11:09 am
2
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No Car, it is more humane to

No Car, it is more humane to let humans suffer rather than dogs. Like all life doesn't struggle and suffer-ooooh.

InChristLove
22407
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InChristLove 12/12/13 - 11:09 am
2
2
"Oh I get it-It would

"Oh I get it-It would unethical to let dogs die, but humans we abort, death penalty, etc so no biggie. Cancer and heart disease are the two big killers and we just no longer should fund that because some animal may be harmed."

Bizkit, your rambling is nothing but hyperbole. I do believe her education and certification in the dentistry field as well being an implant patient herself makes her more qualified to voice her opinion on the sucess of dental implants than you yourself (unless you also have a dental implant or are licensed in the dentistry field?)
Jus because experts reviewed the grant, funded it, they legally performed the research does not mean it's ethical or necessary. There are a number of grant funded research which can be deemed unnecessary.

InChristLove
22407
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InChristLove 12/12/13 - 11:16 am
0
1
Bizkit, in your hyperbole,

Bizkit, in your hyperbole, if research was to find a chemcial component or some kind of gene in placentas of aborted fetuses that cured aids or cancer would you approve of abortion for the sake of science and research?

Sean Moores
706
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Sean Moores 12/12/13 - 11:25 am
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Attacks on letter writers

We have to allow criticism of letter writers - this is the opinion section, but we don't allow them to be insulted. If you think a comment insults a letter writer, report it so we can take another look. We want people to write letters and be sources. If we allow them to be insulted, no one will want to submit letters or be interviewed. I don't think anything here rises to the level of insult though.

Little Lamb
43350
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Little Lamb 12/12/13 - 11:28 am
1
0
Dog Medicine

I noticed that the medicine the vet prescribed for my cat's infected gums was amoxicillin, the same antibiotic that is prescribed for humans.

Bizkit
28006
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Bizkit 12/12/13 - 11:55 am
2
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No I don't approve of

No I don't approve of abortion, but I would use legally aborted placentas for the said purpose. Just like why not use dogs that are going to be put down. But thanks for the hyperbole. Touche' eh. You could dispose of it, and some people even eat placental. Hyperbole is the soup du jour around here. No she has a right to her opinion but my point is just because of her "credentials" it doesn't mean her opinion is any more valid than the next. I'm a biologist but I only offer my opinion on a topic ,like evolution, and don't think my expertise would make my opinion any more valid than the next. It's an opinion page. She doesn't agree with using dogs for this research-I don't know how she feels about rodents or other animal models. "She" thinks its superfluous, but numerous others disagree. If we go by credentials then the first letter she mentioned by Hammrick, etc would surpass hers and I guess we should just ignore her opinion. I don't think we should go there. My next dental appointment I'll tell the hygienist that I'm totally depending on them and don't want to bother with a dentist. What do they know?

InChristLove
22407
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InChristLove 12/12/13 - 11:39 am
2
2
Sorry Sean...."sorry, dear

Sorry Sean...."sorry, dear writer, but adult life has some hard choices
but maybe you'll get some new barbie dolls for Christmas"

You don't consider this an personal insult and has nothing to do with the letter content? Sorry, must not have a clear understanding of having a respectful conversation. If every insult is reported, I'm afraid your comments on here would be few and far between most days.

Bizkit
28006
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Bizkit 12/12/13 - 11:44 am
1
0
An "insult" could be

An "insult" could be interpreted as any opinion different than your own.

InChristLove
22407
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InChristLove 12/12/13 - 11:59 am
0
1
"No she has a right to her

"No she has a right to her opinion but my point is just because of her "credentials" it doesn't mean her opinion is any more valid than the next."

Agreed she has a right to her opinion, but my point was because of her opinion she was insulted because of it. But just because she does not have the "credentials" you deem necessary or that another writer who is head of research (which in my opinion could be bias) counters her view, does not invalidate her opinion of what she views as a horrible act on dogs used in testing.

All I stated was if you disagree with her view, state yours and leave the "barbie" insults out of it.

Fiat_Lux
14638
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Fiat_Lux 12/12/13 - 01:22 pm
1
1
I'm sorry, Becky, but

being a licensed dental hygienist doesn't exactly put you on the same plane of knowledge and insight as these medical researchers who have terminal degrees, especially one in dental medicine.

Dr. Cutler is the department chair of Periodontics, for pete's sake, and Mark Hamrick is the GRU senior VP for research. The buck mostly stops with him when it comes to research at GRU. They didn't get to those levels of professional responsibility knowing only what you are likely to know about these issues. And I daresay they have had exponentially more education and credentialing in medical and research ethics and regulatory responsibility than you can even imagine.

Put more simply, if you don't appreciate the value of having an implant that resists failure due to infection--even if it is infection that results from a person's lifestyle--then it becomes a strain to take your repudiation of these professors, based on your own professional/education level, at all seriously.

But no one doubts you feel this very deeply.

InChristLove
22407
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InChristLove 12/12/13 - 12:03 pm
0
1
Bizkit, an abusive remark is

Bizkit, an abusive remark is different than a different viewpoint. One is given with respect or cordial language, the other is a rude remark or slur.

InChristLove
22407
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InChristLove 12/12/13 - 12:06 pm
0
1
Perfect example Fiat! Thank

Perfect example Fiat! Thank you.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 12/12/13 - 12:12 pm
2
1
ICL.... The word unnecessary
Unpublished

ICL.... The word unnecessary certainly would have been less of an attack or insult. And as you stated, I don't agree that it is unnecessary, but at least it's not the same as calling someone "barbaric" because they think it IS necessry.

ymnbde
9005
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ymnbde 12/12/13 - 01:01 pm
3
1
oh, ICL, i don't actually think the writer plays with dolls

my point was that animal research is necessary
and to write a letter such as this without acknowledging the "other side"
in this case, the actual things that happen to people with infected implants
implicitly asserts that dogs are equivalent to sick humans
and the letter was written as a request for information
that was included in the initial column!
plus the letter was quite condescending to the writers of the column
they acknowledged the moral dilemma, this writer did not
they were very respectful to the opposing point, this writer was not
and that seemed just a bit immature
and "playing with dolls" is just another way to say that
really, "dogs comprise an entirely different species" isn't condescending?
this letter degraded the individuals who wrote the column referred to
and this letter writer got much less than she gave

WalterBradfordCannon
1354
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WalterBradfordCannon 12/12/13 - 02:36 pm
2
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As a point of interest or

As a point of interest or two, the study in question was funded by industry. Approval of new implants requires studies in at least one non-rodent animal model. Assaulting GRU in particular over this case is asinine. The company is buying, someone is going to do the work, and it has to involve a non-rodent animal (dogs or pigs, generally, for this class of work). If you really want to blame someone, blame the FDA. They set the requirements to do animal work for this class of study.

I've been meaning for some while to assess the charges of barbarism and cruelty. These dogs were given veterinary checkups several times. They were fed multiple times daily. They were walked daily. In their procedure, they were anesthetized by veterinarians. Clinically licensed surgeons extracted a tooth, reflected the gums, and placed an implant in the jaw. The gum was re-sutured, and the animal given pain medications, then recovered. Animals were kept on pain medications for several days. And they continued to be well fed and walked every day. These dogs were better loved and cared for than 95% of all pet dogs in the world. At fixed time points after their implants, they were euthanized to recover their jaws (to check the success of the implants). The dogs would have been euthanized many months earlier if not used for research.

My personal opinion is that the truly inhumane people are the ones attacking this research. If you want to save a dog, go to an animal shelter. They have dozens they are killing weekly. I have two rescue dogs myself. But you cannot save all the shelter dogs under our current culture. The ones used in these particular studies undergo a whole lot of care and very little pain and suffering.

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