Health & Research

131|Dr. Cindy Buckmaster|Research Animal Truths|Pure Dog Talk

Dr. Cindy Buckmaster

Dr. Cindy Buckmaster - A Passion for Compassion

Dr. Cindy Buckmaster reveals the facts behind fabricated Animal Rights fundraising campaigns. Recorded at the NAIA Animal Nation Conference in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Cindy Buckmaster, Director of the Center for Comparative Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, LOVES her research animals.  She describes falling in love with monkeys in a research project during her doctorate program which entirely changed the shape of her career.

Way back in ‘60s, things were happening that should not have been,” Cindy noted. “Some of this is a matter of people evolving and their knowledge base evolving. The Animal Welfare Act was a good thing,” she adds. “Once lab animal science was organized as a field, it was no longer the same issue.”

Breeders are Complicit

Cindy is an avid and active proponent for changing the way we as hobby breeders, animal researchers, anyone actively involved in the lives of animals, fill the information void currently swamped by fanatics.

We are complicit. All of us are complicit because we chose to be quiet and not educate anyone,” Cindy said. “We are now just one more loser demon (in public opinion) when we are the true animal welfarists. We have actual knowledge and experience … animal rights folks don’t care about animal or people…. Every animal rights agenda ends with companion animals disappearing.”

Animal Research of the Past

Cindy worked on her advanced education at the National Institutes of Health. “I found some quality of life stuff, some areas of improvement…. the folks who cared for the animals were suffering from old school philosophy of detachment… When you ask human beings to behave like they aren’t human it doesn’t end well.”

Loving these animals hurts, many of them leave us,” Cindy observed. “The reason we work with them in the first place is love based. These animals lose everything for our well being and the well being of our pets. They deserve the best quality of life we can give them. This is a big calling that requires special people.”

The New Culture in Animal Research

So, Cindy set out to change the entire culture of the field of animal research. She developed training and education programs at NIH and at Baylor College of Medicine that instilled a culture of compassion and love and gave the folks working with animals “permission to love the lab animals.”

We are advocates for the best science possible,” Cindy said. “The best science possible right now includes animals in the equation.” Cures to these diseases don’t fall from the sky, she added. People don’t want to believe animals are part of the equation, Cindy noted, so they accept the animal rights agenda as it is presented out of guilt.

The New Truth from D. Cindy Buckmaster

Cindy is a vocal and passionate advocate for research animals and all animals in opposition to the animal rights agenda. “They don’t want me to tell the truth,” Cindy said.

Folks have to get out there and share our truth,” she said. “But share it with emotion. We don’t want to talk about stuff with their big brains. This is passion. Hobby breeders especially love their puppies. They love that bond, that connection. This is an investment in love.

National Animal Interest Alliance and Homes for Animal Heroes

Cindy talks about her partnership with National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA) and the Homes for Animal Heroes. This program is organized to find adoptive homes for research animals without the Animal Rights folks hijacking the conversation.

Listen today on Pure Dog Talk!

Biography of Dr. Cindy Buckmaster

Cindy Buckmaster, PhD, CMAR, RLATG

Dr. Buckmaster is an active and passionate advocate for animal welfare and biomedical progress. She speaks regularly on the necessary role animals play in biomedical progress we continue to demand for ourselves and our animals and she educates audiences internationally about the highly trained Laboratory Animal Science professionals who have dedicated their lives to caring work with research animals and to the animal and human beneficiaries of the results of their work. Dr. Buckmaster completed her doctoral degree in Neurobiology and Behavior at SUNY Stony Brook, and is the Director of the research animal care program at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. She serves on the boards of several research advocacy and professional organizations, including the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science, Americans for Medical Progress and the Texas Society for Biomedical Research. She writes a monthly public outreach column in the journal Lab Animal. Dr. Buckmaster is committed to educating the public on the distinction between animal welfare and animal rights and believes, wholeheartedly, that animals and people cannot survive without each other: she will draw her final breath defending the human-animal bond.


Tip of the Week - Line Brushing

Allison Foley - Leading Edge Dog Show Academy

Stay small when line brushing your dog.  Line brushing is step one in shaping your dog.

  1. Take a small section of coat with knitting needle or rat tail comb no more than a finger width wide.
  2. Use a pin brush the appropriate length - the shorter the hair, the shorter the pin.
  3. With brush, pull hair away from the body, shape the hair in the direction that you want.
  4. Think of line brushing as a row of vegetable - start at the top and move row by row to the bottom... or bottom to top.

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130|Canine Care Certified|Candace Croney PhD on Pure Dog Talk

Candace Croney - Photo by Tom Campbell

Candace Croney on Canine Care

Candace Croney is a very accomplished scientist who teaches on ethics and animals welfare at Purdue University.  So when a representative from the Indiana commercial dog breeders reached out asking for her help to develop better standards of care for their dogs, she was understandably leery.

I was concerned they would trade on my name to market better,” Croney said, “but that they weren’t interested in actually improving the quality of life for the dogs.

So, eventually I decided to go to this meeting. I was quickly ashamed and humbled,” Croney admits. “These people had gotten the message that folks weren’t happy with how they were raising their dogs, but had no idea what to do about it. They had a sincere desire to not just do better marketing, but actually improve their performance.

Commercial Breeders Reach Out for Canine Care Improvements

Croney noted that it is rare to see a group take proactive steps, when faced with the possibility of being legislated out of business, to not just fight the legislation, but actually fix the problem.

So she set out researching what would be needed to create these scientific based standards of care. And what she found was, basically, a black hole.

Lack of Canine Care Research

“It was amazing to me how little was available to write science based standards for care,” Croney said. “I was just floored that there is much more information about housing for livestock and poultry than there is about optimal housing for dogs. Much of the existing research was outdated. Or there was nothing there. It was people’s professional opinions, but based on no actual research.”

Basically no one had studied this population of dogs on site. There was anecdotal information, but nothing empirically based.

The more research we did, the more research we needed to do,” Croney observed.

Center for Animal Welfare Science

According to the Center for Animal Welfare Science (CAWS) website:

Commercial breeding of dogs faces significant scrutiny and criticism despite consistent public demand for purebred dogs. Concerns include the extent to which the physical, behavioral and psychological needs of the animals can be met in the conditions in which they are raised, and the specific effects of genetics, housing, health, handling, behavioral management and general husbandry practices on dog quality of life.

This project aims to help the US pet industries address the socio-ethical and scientific (well-being) concerns embedded in commercial dog breeding. With the support of dog breeders, pet industry representatives, animal health and welfare experts, and other key stakeholders, the researchers are developing and testing voluntary standards for the care and well-being of dogs in commercial breeding facilities. The research team is also investigating the following areas:

  • Effects of flooring surface on overall health of dog feet, cleanliness of the enclosure, and ability to sanitize the dog’s environment”
  • Effects of caretaker interactions on dog behavior and welfare when housed in a breeding facility and their implications for management, socialization and adoptability
  • Public perceptions of dog breeding, procurement and welfare
  • Development and refinement of metrics of kenneled dog well-being”

Canine Care Certified Program for Breeders

The end result of Croney’s research and work with the Indiana Council on Animal Welfare is the implementation of Canine Care Certified. This voluntary, outcome-based program is dramatically changing the way commercial breeders are interacting with their dogs, Croney said.

Canine Care Certified

Canine Care Certified

“This program forces breeders to pay better, more individual attention to their dogs,” Croney noted. “Breeders are able to see better what’s going on with their dogs. And they want to show off how much they are doing! They’re getting healthier puppies, bigger puppies, catching underweight puppies, losing fewer puppies. It’s showing up in data…. the breeders like dogs better so they’re spending more time with them.”

Listen to #130 with Candace Croney on Pure Dog Talk

Learn more about this fascinating and revolutionary project by listening to my talk with Candace on today’s Pure Dog Talk podcast.


Biography of Candace Croney

Candace Croney

Candace Croney

Candace Croney is associate professor of animal Behavior and well-being in the Department of Animal Sciences at Purdue University. She received her masters and doctor of philosophy degrees in applied animal ethology from the Pennsylvania State University and her baccalaureate degree from Rutgers University. Dr. Croney’s research, teaching and extension efforts focus on cognitive correlates of animal welfare, the effects of rearing environments and enrichment on animal behavior and welfare, and bioethical issues associated with animal care and use. She has served as Assistant Director of Conservation Education for the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, and has held faculty positions in animal behavior and bioethics at Oregon State University and The Ohio State University. Her research on farm animal cognition has been featured in national and international broadcasts by National Geographic, the BBC and their affiliates. She serves as scientific advisor on animal welfare to several groups, including American Humane Association, National Pork Board, Federation of Animal Science Societies, Bob Evans Farms, Michael Foods, P & G Inc., Target and Merck. She is currently serving as co-chair for the new Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) taskforce report on animal welfare, ethics and economics.

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127|Canine Herpes and Puppy Fatalities|Dr. Jean Dodds|Pure Dog Talk

Canine Herpes - Dr. Jean Dodds

Prevention of Herpes Puppy Death: Silent Killer in the Whelping Box

Dr. Jean Dodds on Pure Dog Talk

A long anticipated litter, new babies, great expectations. All can be crashed on the rocks of Canine Herpes Virus and you’ll never even know what hit you.

Jean Dodds’ information indicates that as many as 70 percent of the canine population has CHV. Most will show no symptoms at all unless the immune system is stressed. The virus is transmitted primarily nasally and dogs can come into contact with it at any time and in any normal life activity.

She has some excellent suggestions and recommendations:

  • Titer bitches for CHV antibodies before they are bred.
  • It is possible to collect and freeze blood plasma that has antibodies to CHV that can be administered to puppies if they are affected.
  • If you know there has been contact within the kennel of a dog with CHV, isolate the bitch from all other animals three weeks before and three weeks after whelping.
  • Be sure the puppies stay warm. The herpes virus is susceptible to heat. They are most impacted in the first two weeks of life before they can maintain their own body temperature.
  • Herpes cannot be diagnosed without necropsy. All fading puppies can be treated with fresh frozen plasma.
  • Huge tip: Check the pH balance of the dam’s milk supply with simple pH papers from the pharmacy. Who knew?

Join us for today’s episode to learn more.


Blog Post 105 – Canine Herpes Virus - Dr. Jean Dodds Blog

Title: Herpesvirus in Dogs and The Fading Puppy Syndrome

It is estimated that at least 70% of the canine population is infected with the canine herpesvirus (CHV) , which generally does not cause clinically significant illness.  However,

the mortality rate of newborn puppies – that acquire the disease – is estimated at 100%.  Indeed,

CHV rapidly invades the entire body,  affecting all organs, the lymphatic system, eyes and central nervous system. This begets the question: how has the dog population survived after all of these years?


Canine herpesvirus is an alpha-herpesvirus more closely related to feline herpesvirus, equine herpesvirus-1, pseudorabies virus and human varicella-zoster virus than to other herpesviruses. It is found worldwide in domestic and wild dogs, but not in other species. Seropositivity rates of more than 30% are commonly seen, although some infected dog kennels have antibody prevalence rates as high as 100%, yet without any evidence of disease in infected puppies. Transmission is by direct contact with infectious body fluids, since CHV is unstable in the environment. Like other herpesviruses, it becomes latent after a primary infection and is shed periodically, primarily in nasal or rarely in genital secretions.

The disease is usually asymptomatic in puppies exposed to CHV after 1-2 weeks of age. However, CHV infection is generally fatal in neonatal pups (1-4 weeks old) that lack maternal immunity. These pups may be infected during passage through their infected dam's birth canal or, more commonly, by contact with oronasal secretions of the dam or other dogs in the kennel or home. Infected littermates, or neighboring dogs that are shedding virus, also can be sources of infection. The incubation period is about 6 - 10 days, and duration of illness in newborn pups is 1-3 days, with signs of anorexia, dyspnea, pain upon abdominal palpation, incoordination and a typical soft, yellow-green feces. There may be serous or hemorrhagic nasal discharge. Petechia (small pinpoint hemorrhages) are common on the mucous membranes, and thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) may occur.  Rectal temperatures are usually not elevated.

Occasionally, CHV may cause in utero infections that result in the death of fetuses or pups shortly after birth. The virus also has been isolated from dogs with vaginitis, conjunctivitis and respiratory illness. Asymptomatically dogs remain latently infected and virus can be excreted for about one week in nasal or genital secretions, and, thereafter, at variable intervals for several months or even years. Recrudescence of latent virus may be provoked by stress (movement to new quarters, introduction of new dogs) or experimentally from use of immuno- suppressive drugs; the virus sheds for about one week. Once the virus enters a kennel, it generally spreads and causes asymptomatic infections, except in pregnant dams or very young pups from susceptible bitches. Such intermittent shedding assures the survival of CHV in the dog population and in breeding kennels. Development of CHV immunity in the form of neutralizing antibodies is transferred to pups via the placenta and colostrum.

Clinical CHV Disease and Recommendations

Your first reaction to this scenario might be to remove the dog shedding the herpesvirus from your environment. Yes; this is advisable. The problem is though adult dogs shedding the virus do not exhibit any symptoms. Instead, we isolate the pregnant mother from all dogs three weeks before the litter’s birth to help prevent in utero infection. After the litter is born, we continue to isolate the puppies and the mother for another three weeks to prevent transmission via colostrum or close contact with other dogs.

Herpesvirus survives in low body temperatures and does not do well in the environment. So, as a puppy ages, natural resistance to infection and the puppy’s ability to maintain a higher body temperature both increase.  [Note: Do not expose puppies to dogs who have recently been vaccinated for parvovirus as the disease is shed through feces and urine.]

Clinical signs of canine herpesvirus if presented are:

  • Lethargy
  • Decreased suckling
  • Diarrhea
  • Nasal discharge
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Corneal edema
  • Red rash, rarely oral or genital vesicles
  • Soft, yellow-green feces
  • Notable absence of fever

Remember, though, that herpesvirus is fast-acting so clinical signs may never present. In this instance, pet caregivers want to be on the defensive by acting preventatively. Not only should all caregivers isolate the litter and the possibly immunologically naïve mother from other dogs three weeks before and after birth, but also:

  • Alert your veterinarian about the upcoming litter. Let the clinic know if the pregnant mother has or has not been exposed to CHV. If you are unsure, admit her to your veterinarian when close to her due date for observation.
  • Purchase incubators and set the temperature at 95°F [35°C], 50% relative humidity.
  • Provide spotless hygiene.

Future Breeding and Treatment of Neonates

The previously exposed or infected mother may be successfully bred and have future litters, as long as you skip the next estrous cycle and try again on the following one. In our experience, these females if bred again as advised here, can have healthy litters by: harvesting plasma at the time of the initial clinical infection from infected dams or kennel mates determined to have anti-CHV antibodies, taking the puppies by cesarean section, and giving them two doses of the plasma perinatally (orally) and then 5-7 days later (intraperitoneally).  Such treatment is effective only if virus has not generalized. Once illness develops in pups, however, anti-CHV plasma therapy is ineffective.

Prevention with Vaccine

You might be thinking: how can puppies over the age of 3 weeks even be allowed exposure to other dogs without herpesvirus vaccination? Unlike distemper and parvovirus, no vaccine is available for CHV in the United States. Also unlike distemper or parvovirus, canine herpesvirus is fickle.

An inactivated, subunit vaccine (Eurican Herpes 205, Merial Animal Health) has been available in Europe since 2003. As stated above It is not available in the Unites States. It consists of purified CHV glycoproteins in a mineral oil solvent. The vaccine is specifically indicated for bitches during pregnancy and two doses are given, first during estrus or early pregnancy and the second 1-2 weeks before the expected date of whelping. Although it has few undesirable effects, transient edema may occur at the injection site for up to one week. Presently, the value of this CHV vaccine in reducing neonatal puppy mortality is unknown.


Please remember that you may not save the entire litter from canine herpesvirus. Pups that survive may have irreparable damage to some organs.


Antech News, “ Canine NeoNatal Viral Diseases”, September, 2006.

Allison Foley's Tip of the Week

Don’t forget to listen in to Allison Foley’s Tip of the Week to give you the Leading Edge!

Today’s tip?

Move that front leg BACK!

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125 – Marty Greer DVM JD|Cancer Links in Early Spay and Neuter|Pure Dog Talk

Dr. Marty Greer Cancer Links to Early Spay & Neuter

Dr. Marty Greer, DVM JD on Pure Dog Talk

Recorded at the NAIA Animal Nation Conference in Washington, D.C.

naia patti strand

Marty Greer is both a vet and an attorney, and speaks with Laura Reeves about cancer links to early spay and neuter, Pink Paw for Cancer, and Canine Companions for Independence.

Marty Greer Helps Canine Companions for Independence

A new addition to Marty's family is a new puppy to raise and train for Canine Companions for Independence.  While not the intended topic of this interview, new puppies in the household seem to demand top-of-mind attention.

Canine Companions for Independence breeds and trains dogs to help with mobility - pick up keys, open or close doors, fetch items from the refrigerator...  Activites that a handicapped or limited individual needs help with to live more independently.


Canine Companions for Independence

Canine Companions for Independence

Cancer Links to Early Spay and Neuter


Breast Cancer is one of the top 3 cancers that affect dogs, as well as cats. Per Marty Greer, research now shows that intact dogs or dogs with later spays, 4 years or older, have significantly lower risk of acquiring breast cancer.

Breast Cancer in dogs is usually surgically treatable when discovered early, while more serious in cats.

Pink Paw - October Breast Cancer Month

Dr. Marty Greer Pink Paw for Cancer

Pink Paw for Cancer

Examine for Breast Cancer Monthly

To examine, just feel along mammary chain, down one side from front to rear and then the other side.

Feel for lump around or underneath each teat.

For women, try doing your exam on the same day as your dog!

If not sure, ask your vet to show you.

Pyometra Risk Based Upon Breed

Research from Sweden, where pet insurance enables better research, suggests that certain breeds have higher pyometra risk.  Bernese Mountain Dogs have up to a 48% risk.  Listen as Marty Greer explains the findings.

Breed Risk for Pyometra

Spay, Neuter and Cancer Articles

Biography of Dr. Marty Greer, DVM JD

I received my Bachelor of Science in 1978 and my DVM in 1981 from Iowa State University in Ames Iowa. In 1982 I established the Brownsville Small Animal Clinic in Dr. Griffith’s practice building and in 1988, moved the practice to Lomira.

I have a special interest in Pediatrics and Reproduction. In 2002, I opened a Canine Semen Freezing Center, International Canine Semen Bank – Wisconsin (ICSB-WI/IL) and became Penn-Hip Certified.

On my first attempt at using extended semen, I bred the practice’s first litter of pups from frozen semen in 1998. The advent of in-house quantitative progesterone testing has made this process much more successful.

My husband, Dr. Daniel Griffiths, and I have two children, Katy, married to Tim, an entomology PhD student at Purdue, and Karl, married to Kelly. In addition we raise and show Pembroke Welsh Corgis and Danish Swedish Farmdogs. We also have cats, a llama and sheep. Our family has raised 5 puppies for Canine Companions for Independence, a service dog organization.

The practice has contributed to pharmaceutical and nutritional research as an investigator for Abbott Laboratory, Deprenyl Animal Health, Pfizer, Virbac, and Hill’s Pet food Corporation. I have also been featured in articles in Veterinary Economics.

In 2005, I was appointed by Governor Jim Doyle to a position on the Veterinary Examining Board of the Department of Safety and Professional Services, where I served for 8 years.

In 2010, I graduated from Marquette Law School. I practice law part-time with my law partner, Attorney Sheila Kessler, at Animal Legal Resources LLC.

I am active in the community as a member of the AVMA, NEWVMA, ASVBP, APDT, AAFP, SVME, ACSMA, The Society for Theriogenology, the Fond du Lac Kennel Club, The Kettle Moraine Kennel Club, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America, Lakeshore Pembroke Welsh Corgi Kennel Club, and the Lomira Area Chamber of Commerce.

I am on the Board of Directors for the Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics, American Veterinary Medical Law Association, and the Society for Theriogenology. I served on the Animal Welfare Committee and Education Committee for the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association.

I am also president of the National Animal Interest Alliance.



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122 – Eddie Dziuk: OFA, CHIC and Why Breeders Should Health Test

Eddie Dziuk Ch. Shoreview’s Grace

Eddie Dziuk on OFA, CHIC and the Role of Health Testing

Eddie Dziuk is a behind the scenes kind of guy. But arguably no single individual is more responsible for providing the tools to improve the health of our purebred dogs. OFA and CHIC are invaluable resources which enable breeders to apply “selective genetic pressure *against* breeding abnormal results.”

Eddie Dziuk has led OFA for the last 16 years, including implementation and growth of the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) originally envisioned by the delegate body. CHIC’s “test and tell” protocol has enabled more than 100,000 dogs to earn a CHIC number.

This voluntary program is not an award program, Dziuk reminds people.

It is not a stamp of approval, it's not about ‘normalcy.’ The key piece is that owners must be willing to disclose information,” he adds, both normal and abnormal results.

It is this sharing of results that allows breeders to make more informed breeding decisions. “If you breed dogs long enough, you will produce animals with an inherited disease,” Dziuk notes. “It’s about what are you doing up front and after the fact to address that reality.”

Canine Health Foundation and CHIC

CHIC is co-sponsored by the Canine Health Foundation (CHF) and focuses on empowering national parent clubs for each breed to establish the health protocols and testing best suited for each breed.

Most of the dogs we breed go to pet homes,” Dziuk observed. “The most important thing for these folks is not the dog’s tail set or how much stop it has, they just want a happy, healthy, long-lived faithful companion.”

With that idea in mind, OFA is continuously looking at new testing protocols, developing new efforts that address far more than the orthopedic issues for which the organization was originally created nearly 50 years ago.

Background on Eddie Dzuik

Eddie Dziuk began his journey in purebred dogs in the mid-‘70s by joining the Hagerstown Kennel Club before he even had a dog. He finished his first Beagle, down from Michelle Billings’ Kings Creek breeding, and was hooked. He credits numerous mentors within the Beagle breed, as well as his work for professional handlers from Bob and Jane Forsyth to Tom and Andrea Glassford, for his long-term success in the sport and his breed.

Co-owner of not one, but two, Westminster Kennel Club BIS winners, Dziuk has more than held his own in the breeding and conformation arenas. Both Uno and Miss P, the modern Beagle winners at the Garden, find Dziuk’s breeding in their pedigrees. He talks about seeing both dogs at around six months and falling in love to the point that he’d “beg, borrow or steal” to be involved with their careers.

I believed in those dogs 100 percent,” Dziuk said. While Uno was an odds on favorite, Miss P was a complete surprise, he added. So much so that he missed her winning Tuesday night while on the road for work. “I turned on the tv in the hotel room in Vegas just in time to watch her win,” he observed with obvious dismay.

Encouragement for Owner Handlers

As a long time owner handler, Dziuk encourages owners to compete with their dogs. The top winning 13” Beagle of all time was a dog he showed himself on weekends only. He does note that times are different and the proliferation of dog shows means chasing records is much harder these days.

After 40 years of dogs, every dog show is still an opportunity to learn. It’s a journey,” Dziuk said, “Embrace it.” He also encourages sharing knowledge — whether through judging, belonging to a club, whatever it is.

Final Words

“If nobody is willing to do the work, there will be no dog shows."

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120 – Canine Vaccinations with Dr. Jean Dodds – Part 4

Dr. Jean Dodds

Dr. Jean Dodds - All About Canine Vaccinations

In Pure Dog Talk Episode #120, we talk with Dr. Jean Dodds about the canine vaccination controversy and her recommendations to consider for your dog.

Hemopet and Canine Vaccinations

Protocols, Q & A, and further information on canine vaccinations from Jean Dodds can be found at

Hemopet Dr. Jean Dodds

Hemopet Dr. Jean Dodds

Pure Dog Talk Series with Dr. Jean Dodds

Here are the other episodes with Dr. Jean Dodds:

Episode 118 - Thyroid Epidemic in Dogs

Episode 116 - Wholistic Medicine

Episode 114 - Saving Dogs Lives: Canine Blood Bank

Author of the Week - Myra Savant Harris

Myra Savant Harris has released a new DVD series based upon her successful seminars.  Thanks to for giving us another great product.

MYRA SAVANT HARRIS' Canine Reproduction, Whelping, and Puppy Intensive Care Seminar:  Techniques for a Successful Breeding and Healthy Puppies

Attend Myra’s Breeding Seminar Without Leaving Home!
Myra Savant Harris’ breeding seminar that she has given to clubs and breeders throughout the country is finally available as a comprehensive 8 hour recorded seminar. Myra applies scientific approaches to every aspect of breeding, dispelling a number of popular myths along the way.

She explains how to:
•Set up the ideal conditions for your stud dog to thrive
•Calculate when ovulation occurs, and the ideal time to breed
•Determine when a C-Section really needs to happen
•Know what the ‘green discharge’ actually is
•Use the accordion technique and a delee to resuscitate puppies
•Enhance milk production, encouraging the puppies to latch to the breast, and when to tube feed or use formula
•Deal with common conditions such as mastitis, pyometra, eclampsia, and canine herpes

Along with great anecdotes and stories from Myra’s own experiences and breeders who she has worked with.

Myra Savant Harris, R.N. is the author four books including Puppy Intensive Care and Canine Reproduction and Whelping. Myra combines her life-long interest in animals with her professional experience as a labor delivery nurse to bring breeders priceless information on reproduction and whelping. The hundreds of seminars Myra has given throughout the country has given breeders the skills, knowledge and confidence to have healthy and successful litters. She lives in Tacoma, Washington with her husband Doug Harris and her dogs.

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118 – Thyroid Epidemic in Dogs: Dr. Jean Dodds #3

Thyroid Epidemic in Dogs

Thyroid Epidemic in Dogs: What it is and Why it’s Important

My breed, the German Wirehaired Pointer, is currently ranked number 10 of all breeds for prevalence of this autoimmune disorder. And that’s progress! Ten to 15 years ago, it was ranked second. I learned about all of this the hard way at the beginning of awareness regarding OFA testing for autoimmune thyroiditis in the late ‘90s. My foundation bitch, originally tested clear in an in-house test of t3/t4 only, came back equivocal in the OFA test. In other words her thyroid hormone levels were out of whack, although fortunately she was negative for the TGAA (Thyrogobulin Auto Antibody) that would indicate that her body was attacking itself.

I have had to work twice as hard in my breeding program to weed out this disease occurrence than I would have, had I known then what I know now. A number of beautiful animals were washed out of the breeding program when they failed to come back clear for thyroid. I am so grateful to Dr. Dodds for her work in this area. It has enabled me to not “throw out the baby with the bath water” in my breeding goals.

But my early personal experience taught me the value of what Dr. Jean Dodds has to share in this podcast. Please, take 30 minutes out of your life and do your breed a favor. Listen to what Dr. Dodds has to say here.

The primary points of Dr. Dodds’ interview are as follows.

The thyroid gland is a “master gland.” It is regulated by the pituitary gland. Eighty percent of processing of thyroid hormone occurs in liver. Individual animals might have primary hypothyroidism in which the thyroid gland itself is not functioning properly or secondary hypothyroidism, in which the organs which process the hormone are not working.

We get a primer course in the basics of autoimmune disease. Essentially, the body attacks itself. This is a genetically inherited trait which frequently has environmental triggers.

In people and in dogs, what is heritable is the *propensity* for the body to attack itself, not the specific autoimmune disease. In other words, just because low thyroid is cheap to medicate and not “life threatening” in and of itself is NOT an acceptable reason to continue using those dogs in a breeding program. Other, more serious and often fatal, autoimmune diseases frequently occur in future generations. Dr. Dodds describes breeding affected hypothyroid dogs as a “ticking time bomb.”

Dr. Dodds describes hypothyroidism as consisting of four interlocking circles — inheritance… vaccines as triggers… stress… sex hormonal change … The triggers can cause disease to express itself that is hidden otherwise. Nutrition is at the center of that circle,

What are indications of thyroid disease in dogs?

Some early signs of thyroid disease are: “easy keeper,” changes in cognition/“growly owly,” changes in hair texture, chronic ear/skin infections, chewing the feet, leaky gut. Only when 70 percent of thyroid function is destroyed do we see classic symptoms of obesity, aggression, patterned hair loss, cold intolerance and more.

Dr. Dodds recommends establishing a baseline for our dogs in the breeding program at the onset of puberty. For bitches 12-16 weeks following the onset of the first heat cycle. For dogs between 10 and 14 months of age depending on the breed. Dogs, particularly from breeds with a family history of the disease, should be re-checked every year until six years of age.

She also suggests maintaining a minimal vaccine protocol, avoiding heartworm/fleas/ticks preventatives if possible and good nutrition. (For more information on nutrition, listen to the second installment of this series. Next week Dr. Dodds will discuss vaccine protocols.)

Finally, for dogs affected by hypothyroidism, Dr. Dodds indicates the most effective treatment is to divide the dose and give twice daily. And urges owners to not give the medication with any food containing calcium or soy, as this makes the medicine ineffective.


See the link here for an easy to follow slide show from Dr. Dodds with these reminders. We’ve also included here the most recent statistics from OFA regarding the rankings of breed affected by thyroid disease. Where does your breed rank?



Summary: Weight gain, hair loss and behavior changes are symptoms of thyroid problems. Learn how to recognize and get treatment for this under-diagnosed and misunderstood malady. Easy to read text with color photos and case studies to help you help your dog!

Author of the Week: Pat Miller

Pat Miller has been a dog trainer for over thirty years. She is the founder of Peaceable Paws Dog & Puppy Training Center and is on the Board of Directors of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. She is a leading proponent of positive dog training techniques, and her columns on training are read by thousands in publications such as Whole Dog Journal. She is the author of Play With Your Dog; The Power of Positive Dog Training; Positive Perspectives, Love Your Dog, Train Your Dog; and Positive Perspectives 2, Know Your Dog, Train Your Dog.



Summary: Beware of the Dog offers a wide-ranging look at all types of aggression and the way these troublesome behaviors develop. It explains the latest protocols for evaluating and dealing with the problems of aggressive dogs from classical conditioning to operant conditioning, and prescribes management strategies that really work.

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116 – Wholistic Medicine with Dr. Jean Dodds – Part 2

Dr. Jean Dodds

In Part 2 of Pure Dog Talk's Dr. Jean Dodds series, Jean discusses Wholistic Medicine, food as medicine, and how to test your dog for food sensitivities.

Part 1 - Episode # 114

Wholistic Medicine - How traditional medicine works with conventional medicine

Dr. Dodds quotes Hippocrates:

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food - Hippocrates

Food As Medicine

Food should be dense, have variety, be readily available and safe.

Every animal's genomic structure is unique.  Historically, dog's were carnivorous.  As dogs followed man, they ate scraps and cereal or grain was added to their diet. The dog genome changed from the original wolf genome.  But basically dogs are still carnivorous and require whole meats - bones, organ, tripe, flesh, and muscle.

Diet Preferences: In order

  1. Raw is the first choice - either fresh, freeze dried, or frozen.
  2. Homemade Balanced Diet - Grain and Gluten-free, no wheat, corn or soy.
  3. Grain-free Premium Dry with Grain-free Premium canned food added.


Food Intolerances - Nutriscan Test

Dr. Jean Dodds created Nutriscan, to test for food intolerance and sensitivities for dogs and cats.  Based on unique results, appropriate diets can be recommended.

Nutriscan - Dr. Jean Dodds

Nutriscan - Dr. Jean Dodds

Food Sensitivities - How Do I Know?

Dr. Jean says that if your dog is itching, excessively biting or chewing on himself, or rubbing his face that food sensitivities should be tested.

Another sign is gas.  Listen to your dog's belly to hear if there is excessive gurgling.  We have all had upset stomach's so listen to your gut instinct.

Don't Miss Next Week!  Thyroid with Dr. Jean Dodds

Here is a teaser from Dr. Jean on her Dogwise Book - The Canine Thyroid Epidemic - Answers You Need for Your Dog.


Winner of the DWAA Maxwell Award for 2011, Best Care and Health Book and the Eukanuba Canine Health Award.

Problems with your dog? It may be his thyroid! If your dog is lethargic, losing his hair, gaining weight or suddenly becomes aggressive, perhaps the last thing you (or your vet!) would think about is his thyroid. Unfortunately, however, thyroid disorders can cause literally dozens of health and behavioral problems in dogs and frequently go undiagnosed or are misdiagnosed. And the real tragedy is that most thyroid problems are treatable with the right medical care and a well-informed owner can often minimize the chance of a thyroid disorder occurring in the first place.

Noted veterinarian Jean Dodds and co-author Diana Laverdure have done the dog owning public and their vets a great service by writingThe Canine Thyroid Epidemic. The book is written in such a way to inform both the average dog owner and animal health care professionals about the ways in which thyroid disorders occur, can be prevented and treated.

You will learn about:
• The role of the thyroid and why it is essential to a dog’s health.
• How to identify the clinical signs and symptoms of thyroid disorders.
• The lab tests needed to identify thyroid problems and how to administer the proper medicines.
• How an increasingly toxic environment can impact your dog’s health.

Another great book from Dogwise Publishing!

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114 – Saving Dog’s Lives: Canine Blood Bank with Dr. Jean Dodds – Part 1

Dr. Jean Dodds

Dr. Jean Dodd's - Part 1 - Canine Blood Bank

Welcome to Pure Dog Talk's 4 part series with Dr. Jean Dodds, DVM.  In this episode #114 Saving Dog's Lives: Canine Blood Bank, Dr. Dodds introduces us to how the first canine blood bank originated.

Jean packs an immense quantity of breeder information on blood types, herpes, plasma and more in this episode that I can't begin to summarize it all... you will just have to listen!

Hemopet - the Canine Blood Bank

Founded by Dr. Jean Dodds, Hemopet provides state-of-the-art blood components and supplies for transfusions to veterinary clinics nationwide.

Hemopet also is a diagnostic testing lab that specializes in thyroid testing which will be featured in Part 2, Episode # 116.

Resources from Hemopet:

Greyhound Adoption from Hemopet Blood Bank

Greyhounds are the primary blood donors for the blood bank.  Highly screened for infectious disease and tested prior to inclusion in the blood donor program, these gentle dogs give so other dogs may live.

4 -5  Greyhounds cycle out of the Hemopet program each week and are available for adoption.  Find out more at

Book Bonus: Canine Nutrigenomics by Dr. Jean Dodds

Listen to our book bonus near the end of episode #114, as Dr. Dodds talks about writing and publishing her two books.  We cover Canine Nutrigenomics: The New Science of Feeding Your Dog for Optimum Health today, and next week we cover The Canine Thyroid Epidemic.

Dogwise Books - All Things Dog

For our listeners that are unfamiliar with Dogwise Books, Larry and Charlene Woodward have been publishing books for the dog fancy since the 1980's.  Dogwise is a small company out of Washington state that deserves our support.  Many of our favorite books, especially breed specific and training books, would never be in print without Dogwise.

Just for Pure Dog Talk Listeners





Bio of Dr. Jean Dodds from

Dr. Jean Dodds received the D.V.M. degree with honors in 1964 from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Toronto. In 1965, she accepted a position as a Research Scientist with the New York State Health Department. She began comparative studies of animals with inherited and acquired bleeding diseases. Eventually, her position culminated as Chief, Laboratory of Hematology, Wadsworth Center. In 1980, she also became Executive Director, New York State Council on Human Blood and Transfusion Services.

This work continued full-time until 1986 when she moved to Southern California to establish Hemopet, the first nonprofit national blood bank program for animals.

The diagnostic division of Hemopet, Hemolife, provides the most advanced comprehensive diagnostic profiles for identifying canine thyroid disease, performs titer testing, as well as a wide range of other diagnostic services. Hypothyroidism is the most common endocrine disorder of dogs. More than 80% of cases result from autoimmune thyroiditis, the heritable autoimmune disease that progressively destroys the thyroid gland. Classical clinical signs of hypothyroidism only appear once more than 70% of the gland is destroyed. Accurate diagnosis may be difficult because thyroid dysfunction produces a wide range of clinical signs, many of which are subtle and mimic those of other causes.

Dr. Dodds also assisted Antech Diagnostics to establish its IFA testing method (published in JAVMA 2000) and with its thyroid testing antibody profiles.

Dr. Dodds is very well-known for her minimum vaccine protocols and as Co-Trustee of The Rabies Challenge Fund. She provides an FAQ on the subject and has authored several articles such as "Changing Vaccine Protocols".

Dr. Dodds co-authored The Canine Thyroid Epidemic: Answers You Need for Your Dog, which was rewarded the Dog Writers Association of America, Best Care and Health Book for 2011 and the Eukanuba Maxwell Canine Health Award. Her second book, Nutrigenomics: Foods that heal your dog, was published in January 2015.

In 2011, Dr. Dodds released NutriScan, a food sensitivity and intolerance diagnostic test for dogs. NutriScan tests for twenty of the most commonly ingested foods.

• Grantee of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH) and has over 150 research publications.
• Former President of the Scientist's Center for Animal Welfare
• Former Chairman of the Committee on Veterinary Medical Sciences, National Academy of Sciences
• Former Vice-Chairman of the Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources, National Academy of Sciences
• Former member of the National Research Council/BANR Committee on National Needs for Research in Veterinary Science, which released its report in July 2005
• Board of Directors of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association
• Board of Directors of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation

• 1974: Outstanding Woman Veterinarian of the Year, AVMA Annual Meeting
• 1977: Region I Award for Outstanding Service to the Veterinary Profession from the American Animal Hospital Association
• 1978 and 1990: received the Gaines Fido Award as Dogdom's Woman of the Year
• 1978: Recognition of Special Contributions to the Veterinary Profession from the American Animal Hospital Association
• 1984: Centennial Medal from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
• 1987: Distinguished Practitioner of the National Academy of Practice in Veterinary Medicine
• 1994: Holistic Veterinarian of the Year Award from the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association

U.S. Patent 5,196,311   ELISA Test for von Willebrand Factor
U.S. Patent 5,202,264   ELISA Using Multi-Species Antibodies for Detection of von Willebrand Factor in Multiple Species
U.S. Patent 5,486,685   Oven with Food Presence Indicator
U.S. Patent 5,830,709   Detection Method for Homologous Portions of a Class of Substances
U.S. Patent 6,287,254   Animal Health Diagnostics
U.S. Patent 6,537,213   Animal Health Care, Well-Being and Nutrition
U.S. Patent 6,730,023   Animal Genetic and Health Profile Database Management
U.S. Patent 7,029,441   Animal Health Care, Well-Being and Nutrition
U.S. Patent 7,134,995   Animal Genetic and Health Profile Database Management
U.S. Patent 7,548,839   System for Animal Health Diagnostics
U.S. Patent 7,552,039   Method for Sample Processing and Integrated Reporting of Dog Health Diagnosis
U.S. Patent 7,794,954   Detection and Measurement of Thyroid Analyte Profile
U.S. Patent 7,797,145   Animal Health Diagnostics
U.S. Patent 7,799,532   Detection and Measurement of Thyroid Hormone Autoantibodies
U.S. Patent 7,865,343   A Method of Analyzing Nutrition for a Canine or Feline Animal
U.S. Patent 7,867,720   Food Sensitivity Testing in Animals
U.S. Patent 7,873,482   Diagnostic System for Selecting Nutrition and Pharmacological Products for Animals
U.S. Patent 8,060, 354  System and Method for Determining a Nutritional Diet for a Canine or Feline Animal

20% Off Entire Dogwise Store - Coupon Code - PURE DOG TALK

Secrets to Feeding Dogs for Optimum Cellular Health and Longevity Revealed in Groundbreaking New Book
Vibrant health begins in the cells. Learn how to transform your dog’s cellular health with the power of nutrigenomics in this ground-breaking new book. Nutrigenomics (a combination of the words nutrition and genome) is the study of how the foods we and our pets eat “speak” to our cells to regulate gene expression, which in turn plays a huge role in determining whether a person or animal will live a life of vibrant health, or one plagued by illness.

Scientists now know that while we can’t change the genes we are born with, we can change how those genes behave, which is exactly what authors W. Jean Dodds, DVM and Diana Laverdure show us how to do in their newest book, Canine Nutrigenomics: The New Science of Feeding Your Dog for Optimum Health from Dogwise Publishing.

Read Canine Nutrigenomics and discover:
• How to tell which foods create optimum gene expression and vibrant health at the cellular level and which foods lead to chronic disease.
• The amazing healing power of functional foods.
• The “Three Keys” to easily creating a foundation diet for your dog based on the principles of nutrigenomics.
• How to use functional ingredients to treat, manage and even reverse a wide variety of chronic canine health conditions.
• The 10 “canine functional superfoods” and how they can supercharge your dog’s health by optimizing his gene expression.
• The signs of a food intolerance/sensitivity and how to stop it in its tracks.

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97 – First Aid for Dogs: Bloat, Shock, Heatstroke and Snakebite

First Aid for Dogs

First Aid for Dogs: Bloat, Shock, Heatstroke, Snakebite

First Aid for Dogs, Part 2 with Dr. Cynthia Heiller, DVM

What conditions require immediate veterinary attention and how to recognize them can be the difference between survival or not.

First Aid for Dogs - Bloat

Bloat is extremely time sensitive and requires veterinary care within an hour.  If your dog is a deep chested breed, meaning the chest is deeper than it is wide, it could be prone to bloat.  Bloat is when the dog's stomach distends and possibly twists.  The twisting cuts off the blood flow to the vena cava which leads to shock and death.

Bloat may occur if the dog overeats, or without warning.  Often the dog tries to vomit, but food does not come up.  Think of how uncomfortable you feel after a huge Thanksgiving dinner and multiply that 10 times.  Bloat is extremely painful and requires surgery.

While not recommended if not a vet, and only if immediate transport to a vet is not available, a needle placed three fingers behind the ribs and inserted into the stomach may temporarily relieve the gas pressure on the vena cava and buy time.

Surgery is the only treatment.

First Aid for Dogs: Internal Bleeding/Shock/Sudden Paleness

Trauma is the common cause for internal bleeding.  Splenic tumor bleeds may also occur without warning.  Internal bleeding may lead to shock and sudden collapse.

Test the gums for sudden paleness.  Apply pressure to the gum and release.  The color should refill in 1-2 seconds.  If longer, the dog may be in shock or bleeding internally.

First Aid for Dogs: Heatstroke

If the dog is in distress, and it is hot, immediately take the dog's temperature.  Temperature over 105 degrees is heatstroke and critical.

Cool the dog with tepid water, NOT COLD.  Use fan or air movement for evaporation cooling.  Cool dog to 103 degrees.  Cooling to fast or below 103 degrees can lead to other problems.

Short nosed dogs are most at risk for heatstroke.

Dogs that are overweight have fat layers that insulate and prevent cooling.  Keep your field dogs in condition.

First Aid for Dogs: Snakebite

Snakebite's may not be immediately obvious.  Puncture wounds can be difficult to locate.  Localized swelling is the sign to watch for.

The vet will run a blood clotting test to see if there is venom.  Up to 25% of snakebites are dry, but the clotting tests are required to test.  Venom amounts and concentrations injected vary.

Antivenom within two hours of the bite is recommended.

Snake vaccine is recommended, but antivenom and vet care is still required.

Do Not's

Do not apply a tourniquet or X cut the bite.

Do not ice.


Give Benadryl

Carry the dog, and keep them calm.  No exertion.

And Finally...Foxtails

Foxtails in some regions of the U.S. keep vets in business!

Foxtails can be fatal to your dog and travel inside the body and can be found anywhere - in the lung, against the spine...  Foxtails can lodge in vulva or in the sheath when a male dog lifts his leg.  Oh, my goodness.

Prevention is Best

Prevention is the best option.  Check between dog's toes, the face, the eyes and ears.  If a dog is sneezing or sneezing with blood, a foxtail or foreign matter may be to blame.

For heavy coated breeds, keeping a blower and table handy is an easy way to check quickly for foxtails.

Be sure to listen to First Aid Part 1 - Episode #94.


first aid dog bloat
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