I’m really excited to have had Dr. Jean Dodds on my latest Causes or Cures podcast to discuss the grain-free diet for dogs and its link to heart issues. That’s the second part of the podcast. In the first half of the podcast, she discusses her recommended vaccine protocol for dogs and cats. I feel like every dog parent has heard about the potential, health issues with the grain-free diet for dogs, but no one person can really wrap his/her head around it. Recently, I had a good friend write me and tell me that he “killed his dog.” He was inconsolable. His veterinarian had diagnosed his dog with heart failure and said it was due to the grain-free diet. My first response was to consider how awful that must make someone feel: The idea that you may have played a part, albeit unwillingly, in your dog’s death. My second response was to dig deeper into the connection between the grain-free diet in dogs and heart problems.
Recently, the FDA issued a report citing 16 dog food brands linked to cases of dilated cardiomyopathy ( DCM), essentially a form of heart failure. Specifically, the FDA linked grain-free diets and “exotic” foods to DCM. The proposed mechanism of action is that the grain-free diet for dogs lead to a depletion of taurine, a non-essential amino acid made from cysteine and methionine in the liver, which then leads to cardiomyopathy. As one can imagine, the FDA’s report caused massive panic amongst dog parents who worried that their dogs, if on a grain-free or exotic diet, may be at risk for DCM. In the second half of this podcast, Dr. Dodds discusses the FDA report, the data for and against the notion that grain-free diets cause DCM, bias in the reporting of cases to the FDA, benefits vs risks of a grain-free diet for dogs, and what dog parents can do if they are worried about their dog having DCM.
Vaccines, of course, are always in the news. In the first half of this podcast, Dr. Dodds discusses her recommended vaccination protocol for dogs and cats, the concept of vaccinosis, dogs at the highest risk for vaccinosis, lifestyle vaccines ( Leptospirosis, Lyme Disease, Bordetella and Canine Flu) vs core vaccines, and why she recommends getting titer tests vs getting boosters.
Who is Dr. Jean Dodds?
Dr. Jean Dodds received her doctorate of veterinary medicine in 1964 and has been a clinical research veterinarian and hematologist for over 5 decades. She was a grantee of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and has authored over 150 peer-reviewed publications in top journals. She started HemoPet, the first national nonprofit blood bank for animals, in 1986. Some of the services HemoPet provides include: Providing canine blood components, adopting retired Greyhound blood donors as companions and the Hemolife diagnostic division which focuses on hematology ( the study of blood cells), blood banking, immunology, endocrinology, nutrition and holistic medicine. She invented NutriScan, a food sensitivity and intolerance diagnostic test for dogs, cats and horses and is also a Co-Trustee of the Rabies Challenge Fund, a nonprofit project for assessing the duration of immunity and safety of current rabies vaccines in animals. She’s an active member of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association and the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation. She has a lot of published studies in peer-reviewed journals related to her vaccine protocol and she is publishing a study related to the grain-free diet in dogs and the link to cardiomyopathy.
On a personal note, Dr. Dodds has played a role in my life since I was three years old. In fact, she was considered a guru who we all adored from afar for one very important reason: She kept our beloved Chesapeake Bay Retriever alive.
My family dog, Hemor, was a hemophiliac. ( I guess my parents like to name their dogs after their diseases.) Hemophilia is a clotting disorder, so we had to be very cautious around Hemor and make sure he didn’t get any cuts or bruises. He couldn’t wear a collar around his neck, and he couldn’t play with other dogs. Still, despite our greatest efforts, sometimes he’d get a bleed, and he wouldn’t stop bleeding. There would be blood all over our house, and it literally looked like a multiple homicide. Luckily, my mom stored plasma in our kitchen freezer, next to her frozen fruits, and my dad, a veterinarian, would transfuse a very weak Hemor on our dining room table. When we ran out of blood, the neighbors would bring their dogs to the veterinary hospital to donate blood. The whole community was involved in saving Hemor! When Hemor was at his worst, my dad consulted with Dr. Dodds via phone, being that she was a hematologist and founder of the first canine blood bank. Her advice always worked for Hemor and she brought him back from the dead on many occasions. In fact, he lived longer than most hemophiliac dogs are expected to live. So, I guess you can say that this was a very special podcast for me.
If you have any questions for Dr. Dodds on the grain-free diet for dogs or if you want to learn more about her vaccination protocol, please click here.
If you have any questions for me, write me through my website.
Also, to read my new comedic book on the wellness industry and Big Pharma, click here: Yours in Wellness, Krystal Heeling!
( Promise, you will laugh.)
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