Pet Food Giant Buys Another Chain of Vet Clinics

Written by Jan on January 9, 2017 – 2:16 pm

spaniel-and-shot-and-bewarePet food giant Mars Inc., which owns the chain of Banfield Pet Clinics, has now purchased the VCA chain of animal hospitals. Reportedly, VCA also has ambitions to take over small pet clinics: “A letter mailed this spring to 2,000 proprietors of small veterinary clinics invited them to consider merging with a neighboring hospital run by VCA Inc., the largest owner of freestanding veterinary hospitals in the United States.”

In 2013, Dr. John Robb contacted me when he lost his Banfield franchise. He said it was because Banfield claimed he had violated its vaccine protocols and had broken Connecticut law by giving half-dose vaccines to his clients’ small-breed dogs. Dr. Robb admitted that he had (and I applauded him). He believed, and had evidence to prove, that small breed dogs were particularly susceptible to vaccine reactions. Finally, his crusade is making big news. Please read Why Big Business is Putting Your Dog’s Health at Risk, published in the respected business publication: Bloomberg/BusinessWeek.

Ironically, Banfield furnished the data for a 2005 Purdue veterinary school study of vaccine reactions in 1.5 million small-breed dogs. Banfield’s own data showed that small-breed dogs receiving multiple vaccines in one visit (a common practice) had a 27% increased risk of an adverse reaction for each additional vaccine. One “shot” can contain as many 5 or 6 vaccines. Add a Bordetella “booster” and maybe Leptospira and you can double the chance of an adverse reaction. Reactions can range from fever to seizures to death. (Learn more about safer vaccinating with my article on Questions to Ask Before Vaccinating.)

Dr. Jean Dodds subsequently conducted a pilot study to prove that a half-dose was sufficient for a small-breed dog. Numerous vets have told me that they regularly give half doses to small-breed dog. It makes no sense that a Great Dane and a Chihuahua would get the same dose.

Please spread the word about this. We may wake up in the very near future with Mars (makers of Pedigree, Cesar, Iams, etc.) owning most of the veterinary clinics. Who will advocate for your dog when the vet who treats the vaccine reaction has corporate ties to the vet who vaccinated your dog?




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Holistic Halloween Reminders for Pet Lovers

Written by Jan on October 27, 2016 – 2:10 pm

Welcome to the annual updating of my dog Chiclet’s Halloween holistic safety tips. Chiclet is the co-author (with me) of Scared Poopless: The Straight Scoop on Dog Care, our recently updated e-book version, a 5-Star Amazon bestseller.)  

Hi everyone. It’s Chicletpumpkin 2_edited-1 T. Dog writing to you from a patch of miniature pumpkins. You probably didn’t recognize me at first because I’m so cleverly disguised as a sorceress.

Halloween can be a very dangerous and stressful time for critters. Here are my seven favorite ways to help protect dogs and cats from ghosts, goblins and things that go bump in the night. I hope you’ll forward them to friends and family so everyone can stay safe. Read more »

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Side Effects from Your Dog’s Rabies Vaccine

Written by Jan on October 26, 2016 – 12:36 pm

 Veterinarian W. Jean Dodds, world-renowned rabies vaccination expert and co-Founder of the Rabies Challenge Fund study of the rabies vaccine, wrote an important article on rabies vaccine side effects. Read this summary or the whole journal article. Color emphasis is mine.

Rabies Virus Protection Issues and Therapy, W. Jean Dodds, Global Vaccines & Immunology Vol1(3) 51-54 2016, ISSN: 2397-575X

Although killed or inactivated products make up about 15% of the veterinary biologicals used, they have been associated with 85% of the post-vaccination reactions, mainly because of the acute adverse responses induced by the adjuvants used in companion animal…species.” [Note from Jan: adjuvants are “boosting” chemicals like aluminum.]

Killed virus vaccines like those for rabies virus…can trigger immediate and delayed adverse vaccine reactions.  While there may be immediate hypersensitivity reactions, other acute events tend to occur 24-72 hours or up to a week afterwards, and as long as 45 days later in the case of more delayed reactions.  Documented reactions in the above citations include:  behavioral aggression and separation anxiety, destruction and shredding of clothing and bedding; obsessive behavior, barking, fearfulness, self-mutilation, tail chewing; pica, with eating wood, stones, earth, and feces; seizures and epilepsy; fibrosarcomas at the injection site; and autoimmune diseases such as those affecting bone marrow and blood cells, joints, eyes, skin, kidney, liver, bowel, and CNS [central nervous system].

..rabies vaccines are the most common group of AE [adverse events] reported to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB). ”

Related links   Please donate to this study funded with contributions from people like you.
Rabies Vaccination: 13 Ways to Vaccinate More Safely
What to Do When Your Dog Has a Vaccine Reaction
Does Your State Permit Rabies Vaccination Medical Exemptions?
Rabies Vaccination: Caution! The Devil is in the Details
Vaccinating Unhealthy Pets: Beware Reactions & Vaccine Failure
Vaccinating Dogs: 10 Steps to Eliminating Unnecessary Shots
Vaccinating Small Dogs: Risks Vets Aren’t Revealing

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Take Our Tear Stain Survey

Written by Jan on August 31, 2016 – 7:36 am

mullie-with-URLMost people believe tear and beard staining are inevitable in some breeds: Maltese, Bichon, Poodle, Shih Tzu, Chihuahua and many others. But they’re not.

While researching various aspects of holistic dog health care for my book, Scared Poopless, I stumbled upon the “cure” for the tear staining of my first two Maltese. I was able to quickly resolve the staining of my next two little guys as well. I fancied myself quite the Tear Stain Guru, that is, until I adopted Mulligan (shown left). Mulligan’s staining actually worsened in my care and resisted all efforts to control it for more than 18 months. Mulligan is now 95% stain free — and much healthier.

Tear staining in rats, hamsters, cats and even pigs has been studied by scientists, but not in dogs. No one knows the exact mechanism causing staining. Most veterinarians see it as a cosmetic problem and don’t give it much thought. People selling remedies think they know what’s happening (but mostly don’t) and truly bizarre Internet myths abound.

As long as there’s money to be made selling untested tear stain “remedies,” research will not likely be undertaken. But promoting long-term antibiotic use to stop staining — while underlying causes go untreated — disturbs me so much that I’m trying to gather hard data on causes and cures. This not a problem of too many tears; it’s a health or lifestyle problem. I’m writing a book on the subject.

2,526 people have taken my in-depth questionnaire. I’m analyzing data now and will start writing my book. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook and get updates and sneak peeks. Tell us what you know there or here. It’s time to end this problem once and for all.

Related post: Dog Tear Stains: Everything You’ve Been Told is Wrong

Do you have a great photo of your dog’s tear or beard staining? Make your dog famous as a canine health advocate. Donate it to the book at stopstains at

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URGENT for Californians! Dr. Jean Dodds’ Hemopet Lab in Jeopardy

Written by Jan on July 29, 2016 – 11:34 am


Update on Hemopet animal blood bank from Dr. Jean Dodds:

Current State of SB898
As of right now, California Assembly may or may not consider the amended version of Senate Bill 898 (SB898) this coming week. We’ll keep you posted.

The history of this bill is that the California Senate passed this version of SB898:
1. Exempt the sale of animal blood and related products from sales tax
2. Directed the BOE to cancel its current assessment

Then, a dramatic turn of events occurred. The Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation passed the bill with amendments that will allow the state to collect approximately $81,000 of prior sales taxes from Hemopet.

Hemopet would like the original version restored.

What Dodds Is Doing Behind the Scenes
After our first efforts to restore the bill to its original language, some compromise changes were offered, which could be acceptable.

However, as of Friday, August 12th, things seemed to slip backwards with indications that the Governor may not even sign any bill.

During a conference call with the governor’s office and other officials, we emphasized that if Hemopet closes, dogs will die as a result of the loss of 40 percent of North America’s canine blood supply. There is no substitute for replacing this lifeline, which saves sick and injured dogs every day, but also wounded police dogs, dogs used in security at airports, government patrols…the list is endless.

Both the California Veterinary Medical Association and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association have publicly sided with Hemopet, joining us in discussions with lawmakers in Sacramento to prevent a tragic health crisis among dogs. The public has responded as well, with more than 800 letters and emails sent on Hemopet’s behalf.

But the voices of Californians, concerned dog owners and veterinary professionals are falling on deaf ears. 

Against all reason, officials of the state of California made clear that they are prepared to put the lives of these animals at risk.

It is an irresponsible, incomprehensible action, but with only 3 weeks left to get a bill out of the legislature, it now seems almost inevitable.

If you would like to call the governor, assemblymembers and senators on our behalf, Hemopet needs you to state the following language specifically:
I support Senate Bill 898 and want it restored to the original that passed the state senate.

Since we are now in crisis mode, Hemopet would love it if you e-mailed Governor Brown directly and copied a few people on it.

We have the letter phrased exactly as we need it and have the email addresses in it. All we need you to do is download, add the date, your name and email it just once. (Don’t want to make Gov. Brown too angry.)

If you have had a dog or cat saved by blood or if a blood transfusion was a part of the treatment protocol, please do not hesitate to include their story and photo if you’d like.

Please click here for the letter.

Most importantly, thank you thank you THANK YOU for supporting Hemopet! We have been completely bowled over by your generosity! Our greyhounds and the lives they have saved with their blood donations give you virtual hugs and doggy kisses!

Thank you! – Jean, The Lifesaving Greyhounds & Team Hemopet

Draft Letter
Download Sample Letter (Word Document)

Barbara Hodges, DVM, MBA, Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association Advisor
Charles Bridges, California Federation of Dog Clubs President
Charles Emely, DVM, American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association
Sheila Goff, American Kennel Club Vice President of Government Relations
W. Jean Dodds, Hemopet President

Previous post:

Dear Friends of California dogs and cats, Dr. Jean Dodds tirelessly works to help pets all over the world, fighting ignorance and even answering emails from strangers in need in the middle of the night. You have likely read her articles here and all over the Internet. I hope you take her wonderful newsletter. Now she needs our help.

Her lab, Hemopet, is the canine equivalent of the Red Cross. The lab does low-cost titer testing, diagnostic work and food sensitivity scans. I have used all these services many times. My little Chiclet received blood from Hemopet when she was hospitalized. Now the California Board of Equalization is threatening her nonprofit status. I hope you’ll read what’s going on and help her as she has so many times helped our dogs.

Even a short letter of support will really help. We have to save her blood bank and diagnostic labs. 

Jean has been told that letters should be addressed to Assemblymember Gonzalez but e-mailed to Charles Berman, her husband.  (They have to collate them and FAX them directly to the Assembly person’s privatefFax to keep them from being lost in the incoming e-mail system there.) 

Here are all the details:

Time is of the essence. Please respond before August 3. Jean needs us and we need her.

Jan Rasmusen

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