CellBIO: Another Dubious Lab Test from Hemopet and Dr. Jean Dodds

Dr. Jean Dodds
I have, unfortunately, had to write about Dr. Jean Dodds many times over the years. She has undergone a depressing transformation from a pioneer in transfusion medicine to a shameless promoter of dubious or bogus alternative medical ideas. She is particularly known for promoting diagnostic tests that claim to be revolutionary breakthroughs but which are based on questionable theories and little to no evidence. Here are some previous articles related to Dr. Dodds’ activities:

Canine Nutrigenomics by Dr. Jean Dodds: Science as Windowdressing
This is a comprehensive review of Dr. Dodds’ book Canine Nutrigenomics. Like so much of what she produces, the book is a mixture of fact and fiction, science and pseudoscience, plausible ideas and outright nonsense. Overall the work is deeply misleading. It has little at all to do with nutrigenomics or epigenetics, despite the title and claims to the contrary, and it uses real science primarily to give an aura of legitimacy or authority to claims which are unproven or outright false. The book is a collection of opinions, some plausible and some not, supported in most cases by very little evidence and in some cases clearly contradicted by this evidence. The references employed are often simply other people’s opinions or, in some cases, Dr. Dodds’ own opinions reprinted elsewhere.

The recommendations made for and against specific feeding practices and dietary supplements are typical for proponents of alternative medicine, and they stem from ideology and philosophical beliefs rather than scientific evidence. Occasionally, such claims turn out to be true, in the manner of a broken clock which happens to be right twice a day but this has little to do with the underlying principles. And while there are a few evidence-based claims here and there in the book, and some recommendations I would agree with, overall Canine Nutrigenomics is misleading, misguided, and in conflict with the best evidence and expert consensus in veterinary nutrition.

Hair and Saliva Test for Allergies are Worthless Pseudoscience
Dr. Dodds’ proprietary test for food allergies using saliva has beenshown not to work(along with similar tests by other companies), and yet she continues to promote and sell it. Charging pet owners hundreds of dollarsfor a bogus allergy test is unethical and should not be allowed regardless of whether or not Dr. Dodds refuses to accept the verdict of the evidence against the test. 

What’s the Right “Dose” of a Vaccine for Small-Breed Dogs?
Evidence Update: Dodds’ Study on Vaccine Dose in Small Breed Dogs
Dr. Dodds is, if not outright anti-vaccine, certainly an alarmist about vaccine safety, and she promotes the unscientific and unproven notion that arbitrary reductions in the volume of vaccines given to dogs and cats will reduce the risks of adverse effects from vaccination. 

Quack “Documentary” about Pet Cancer
Dr. Dodds was interviewed for a propaganda film about cancer in pets, which I have evaluated in detail, and she contributed an impressive variety of pseudoscientic nonsense to the project, ranging from claims about vaccines and GMO ingredients in pet foods to praise for animal psychics.

Dr. Dodds has also been involved in promoting questionable claims about thyroid disease in animals which are not accepted by experts in veterinary endocrinology, in suing a pet food manufacturer for the exclusive right to use the term “nutrigenomics” (1,2), in legal wrangling with the state of Californiaover the taxes owned by her company Hemopet, and in legal and ethical controversies over Hemopet’s blood bank operations.

CellBio- Salivary Isoprostane
The latest questionable test Dr. Dodds is marketing through Hemopet is promoted this way:

CellBIO is a novel biomarker test for cellular oxidative stress in pets using saliva and measures Cellular Oxidative Stress (inflammation, injury) and Microbiome Health.

The new easy saliva collection device with a volume indicator offers non-invasive sampling of saliva by veterinary clinic of pet owner— this is a patented test. Positive results occur with inflammation, infections, obesity and cancers (dysbiosis). Functional beneficial foods and supplements are given to re-balance the Microbiome and restore health.

The marketing then lists a hodgepodge of foods and supplements supposed to undo the damage detected by the test:

Alpha-Lipoic acid
Co-Enzyme Q-10
Green tea
Licorice Root
Milk thistle
Garlic (in moderation)
Honey (not for young puppies)
Resveratrol (as a natural supplement or as food like blueberries and cranberries)
Turmeric (curcumin) – without black pepper for pets
Vitamin E

These claims fall under the general concept Oxidation=Bad and Antioxidants=Good. I have written about this idea before, and the decades of research based on it have not been encouraging. Like most things in biology, reality has turned out to be more nuanced and complex than our simplistic ideas about good and bad. Oxidation can, in some cases, be beneficial, and antioxidants have failed to show dramatic benefits and have even been harmful for some patients, so the general principle is shaky to begin with. 

In more specific terms, the explicit and implied value of the CellBIO test involve three core claims which must be proven for the test to be worthwhile:

  1. The test accurately identifies oxidative damage in dogs and cats.
  2. The test results accurately predict the risk of disease.
  3. Interventions based on using the test, such as supplements or foods, reduce both oxidative damage and, more importantly, risk of disease.

Does the Test Work?
There is no published research evidence demonstrating the validity of the specific test Dr. Dodds is selling. The test fails the most basic criteria for a legitimate laboratory test, which is proof that it accurately and consistently measures what it is supposed to measure. Given the demonstrable failure of Hemopet’s Nutriscansalivary food allergy test, it is not reasonable to expect the veterinary profession or the public to take the company’s word for the validity of this new test.

There is plenty of research in humans and laboratory animals showing that isoprostanes are accurate indicators of lipid peroxidation, a chemical process that indicates active oxidation and oxidative stress.1There is some limited research in dogs and cats investigating the measurement of isoprostanes, but the significance of the findings is not at all clear.2–4Typically, these compounds are measured in blood or urine, and there is less support for the accuracy of saliva as a sample for measuring systemic oxidative stress. All of this evidence illustrates how far we are from being able to support the claim that a salivary isoprostane test is accurate or useful in dogs and cats. 

Do the Test Results Predict Disease?
Even with other tests in humans that have been shown to accurately measure oxidative stress, it is not always clear that doing so allows us to predict health problems. Isoprostane levels have been associated with some diseases in some studies, and they have not been reliable indicators in other studies.1The idea that measuring isoprostanes could predict the chances of specific diseases is a reasonable hypothesis, but it is still being investigated in humans, and it is almost entirely untested in pets. A couple of studies have explored the measurement of isoprostanes in dogs and cats with various health conditions, but no clear conclusions about the predictive value of such testing have been reached.2–4Dr. Dodds is extrapolating well beyond the bounds of the available evidence—in other words, she is guessing.

Does Antioxidant Treatment Based on the Test Reduce Disease?
Once again, there is absolutely zero published evidence that using this specific test to guide the use of antioxidant therapy has any benefit at all. The claim is based entirely on speculation and anecdote.

Extensive testing of a variety of antioxidants over several decades in humans has been profoundly disappointing. The evidence not only hasn’t found that consistent health benefits can be achieved in healthy or ill people with the use of such supplements, there have even been studies in which antioxidants actively harmed patients.5–11Antioxidants can have some benefits in specific circumstances, but they are not a universally safe and effective treatment, and in many cases they do nothing or cause harm. Using such supplements should be based on specific and compelling evidence for their safety and effectiveness in treating or preventing disease, and there is little of this available for most of the things Dr. Dodds recommends.

There is little research evidence on the use of antioxidant supplements in animals. A handful of studies show some potentially promising effects on markers of oxidative damage, and a couple seem to show some clinical benefits, but the evidence is scant and weak.12–21The harmful effects

of antioxidant supplementation in humans has only emerged with studies of large numbers of individuals over periods of time far longer than typical veterinary trials, so while few specific safety risks are known for common antioxidants, the assumption of safety in pets is not justified for most. 

The bottom line is that most of the claims concerning the benefits of antioxidants are based on theory or indirect and limited evidence. The specific antioxidant given, the form in which it is given, the other components of the diet, the species, health status, and individual makeup of each animal, and many other factors all influence the effects of antioxidants. Whether such effects are strong enough to be clinically significant, and whether they are beneficial or harmful if they do have a real effect, is a complicated question, and simplistic, strong claims are not justified. 

Using antioxidant supplements in your pets or patients is a roll of the dice. You might protect them, you might put them at risk, and you probably won’t ever be able to tell which you are doing because the complexity of biology makes individual cases unreliable predictors of the true benefits and risks of such products. The claim that using this test can reliably tell you whether antioxidants will benefit a patient or pet is simply not supported by any evidence.

Bottom Line
Dr. Dodds has a long history of promoting questionable and unproven tests and treatments. Real experts in veterinary endocrinology, nutrition, immunology, and other relevant fields rarely agree with Dr. Dodds beliefs or claims. Some of her recommendations are unproven (e.g. her beliefs about thyroid testing), others are demonstrably false (e.g. the Nutriscan food allergy test). 

The CellBIO saliva test for inflammation and oxidative stress is another unproven idea being sold well before it is properly tested. There is no specific published research showing the test is accurate, that its results are clincally useful, or that the treatments Dr. Dodds recommends based on using the test have any value. All of the claims for this test are based on theory, dramatic extrapolation from complex research evidence in humans and lab animals, or anecdote. 

Both the details of the claims made for this product, and Dr. Dodds track record, should inspire significant skepticism about the value of this test. Perhaps this will be the exception, a test Dr. Dodds promotes that is one day actually validated with strong research evidence, but based on the past I am not optimistic that this will happen, and I would not recommend using this test in the meantime.

1.          Milne GL, Dai Q, Roberts LJ, II. The isoprostanes–25 years later. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2015;1851(4):433-445. doi:10.1016/j.bbalip.2014.10.007

2.        Whitehouse W, Quimby J, Wan S, Monaghan K, Robbins R, Trepanier LA. Urinary F 2-Isoprostanes in Cats with International Renal Interest Society Stage 1-4 Chronic Kidney Disease. J Vet Intern Med. 2017;31(2):449-456. doi:10.1111/jvim.14634

3.        Kendall A, Woolcock A, Brooks A, Moore GE. Glutathione Peroxidase Activity, Plasma Total Antioxidant Capacity, and Urinary F2- Isoprostanes as Markers of Oxidative Stress in Anemic Dogs. J Vet Intern Med. 2017;31(6):1700-1707. doi:10.1111/jvim.14847

4.        Viviano KR, VanderWielen B. Effect of N-acetylcysteine supplementation on intracellular glutathione, urine isoprostanes, clinical score, and survival in hospitalized ill dogs. J Vet Intern Med. 2013;27(2):250-258. doi:10.1111/jvim.12048

5.        Bjelakovic G, Nikolova D, Gluud C. Antioxidant supplements and mortality. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2013;17(1):1. doi:10.1097/MCO.0000000000000009

6.        Bjelakovic G, Nikolova D, Gluud LL, Simonetti RG, Gluud C. Mortality in Randomized Trials of Antioxidant Supplements for Primary and Secondary Prevention. JAMA. 2007;297(8):842. doi:10.1001/jama.297.8.842

7.        Bjelakovic G, Nikolova D, Simonetti RG, Gluud C. Antioxidant supplements for prevention of gastrointestinal cancers: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet. 2004;364(9441):1219-1228. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(04)17138-9

8.        Bjelakovic G, Gluud LL, Nikolova D, Bjelakovic M, Nagorni A, Gluud C. Antioxidant supplements for liver diseases. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;(3):CD007749. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD007749.pub2

9.        Sesso HD, Buring JE, Christen WG, et al. Vitamins E and C in the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Men. JAMA. 2008;300(18):2123. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.600

10.      Paulsen G, Cumming KT, Holden G, et al. Vitamin C and E supplementation hampers cellular adaptation to endurance training in humans: a double-blind, randomised, controlled trial. J Physiol. 2014;592(8):1887-1901. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2013.267419

11.      Schürks M, Glynn RJ, Rist PM, Tzourio C, Kurth T. Effects of vitamin E on stroke subtypes: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ. 2010;341:c5702. doi:10.1136/BMJ.C5702

12.      Piercy RJ, Hinchcliff KW, DiSilvestro RA, et al. Effect of dietary supplements containing antioxidants on attenuation of muscle damage in exercising sled dogs. Am J Vet Res. 2000;61(11):1438-1445. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11108194. Accessed December 11, 2018.

13.      Freeman LM. Focus on nutrition: antioxidants in cancer treatment: helpful or harmful? Compend Contin Educ Vet. 2009;31(4):154-158. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19517407. Accessed December 11, 2018.

14.      Hall JA, Chinn RM, Vorachek WR, et al. Influence of dietary antioxidants and fatty acids on neutrophil mediated bacterial killing and gene expression in healthy Beagles. Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2011;139(2-4):217-228. doi:10.1016/j.vetimm.2010.10.020

15.      Milgram NW, Head E, Zicker SC, et al. Learning ability in aged beagle dogs is preserved by behavioral enrichment and dietary fortification: a two-year longitudinal study. Neurobiol Aging. 2005;26(1):77-90. doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2004.02.014

16.      Plevnik Kapun A, Salobir J, Levart A, Tav ar Kalcher G, Nemec Svete A, Kotnik T. Vitamin E supplementation in canine atopic dermatitis: improvement of clinical signs and effects on oxidative stress markers. Vet Rec. 2014;175(22):560-560. doi:10.1136/vr.102547

17.      Barrouin-Melo SM, Anturaniemi J, Sankari S, et al. Evaluating oxidative stress, serological- and haematological status of dogs suffering from osteoarthritis, after supplementing their diet with fish or corn oil. Lipids Health Dis. 2016;15(1):139. doi:10.1186/s12944-016-0304-6

18.      Snigdha S, de Rivera C, Milgram NW, Cotman CW. Effect of mitochondrial cofactors and antioxidants supplementation on cognition in the aged canine. Neurobiol Aging. 2016;37:171-178. doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2015.09.015

19.      Sechi S, Fiore F, Chiavolelli F, Dimauro C, Nudda A, Cocco R. Oxidative stress and food supplementation with antioxidants in therapy dogs. Can J Vet Res. 2017;81(3):206-216. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28725111. Accessed December 11, 2018.

20.      Head E, Murphey HL, Dowling ALS, et al. A Combination Cocktail Improves Spatial Attention in a Canine Model of Human Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease. J Alzheimer’s Dis. 2012;32(4):1029-1042. doi:10.3233/JAD-2012-120937

21.      Hesta M, Ottermans C, Krammer-Lukas S, et al. The effect of vitamin C supplementation in healthy dogs on antioxidative capacity and immune parameters. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2009;93(1):26-34. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0396.2007.00774.x

This entry was posted in Miscellaneous CAVM. Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to CellBIO: Another Dubious Lab Test from Hemopet and Dr. Jean Dodds

  1. v.t. says:

    It’s really too bad there is no regulatory oversight for these “tests” – particularly for the animal/veterinary ‘medical devices’. If the FDA ever gets to the point of a real regulation overhaul (now 4 years after informing the public of their intentions,….nothing yet), I’m betting this would fall under one of the three classes that would require regulation (IVD or LDT testing devices), without exemptions (again, if only the animal/veterinary devices received half as much of their attention).

  2. In relation to Canine Blood banks Dr Dobbs influence in California has served to ban volunteer external donor blood banks in which pets and their owners come to a designated collection site on a regular basis and the dog donates blood. The donor is given an extensive health check and including laboratory blood work on a regular basis by the blood bank.
    One positive aspect of this is that dogs do not have to be maintained in restricted quarters and denied social interaction with people and other pets. The blood bank my dogs donate to requires 4 donations a year to stay in the program. This is a low stress rate of blood donation that is not dangerous to the pet.
    When I was in graduate school at University of Pennsylvania I learned about the Tuft Vet School external donor program and I advocated for the U Penn Vet School to consider such a program. They did and installed one. Now that I am living in Maryland my dogs donate to Blue Ridge Veterinary Blood Bank which holds blood drives at my kennel. In my opinion any one who would promote closed colony blood donation over a participatory external donor program does not appreciate the psychological health of the dogs in their care.

  3. Jen Robinson says:

    Posted link to this post on a discussion forum where there have been many suggestions of sending samples to Dr Dobbs. Will be interested to see what response follows.

  4. skeptvet says:

    I expect many vehement defenses of the unappreciated genius of Dr. Dodds. 😐

  5. Jen Robinson says:

    Turns out, no one replied.

  6. Lori says:

    Jen Robinson, I am truly laughing out loud!

    Kudos for your valiant effort, nonetheless.

  7. Kirstin says:

    Not sure if you have any means to investigate this, but I can not seem to find information that Dr. Dodds has ever been licensed by the California VMB yet she seems to have been practicing medicine in California for well over 10 years. The clinic she owns has a different doctor on the premise license.

  8. skeptvet says:

    You are correct, she is not licensed. Unfortunately, she gets away with what I would call practicing veterinary medicine because she identifies what she does as “consulting” with the licensed doctors who see patients at her clinic. A frustrating loophole a lot of folks peddling pseudoscience seem to use (for example Gloria Dodd).

  9. Michele says:

    Is it true that the AVMA has adopted her protocol for vaccines and is teaching it in vet schools?

  10. skeptvet says:

    Not even a little bit. For one thing, the AVMA is a membership organization and lobby for the veterinary profession, and they don’t set policy or influence curriculum in the first place. The guidelines most vets follow are those from the American Animal Hospital Association and World Small Animal Veterinary Association, though academic institutions and individual practices frequently modifiy these as appropriate for their local needs (we don’t vaccinate for Lyme disease much, for example, because it is vanishingly rare in our area, whereas a vet in New England might do so more often). Here’s what the AVMA has to say about vaccines.

  11. Michelle says:

    I’m just starting to research Dr Dodds as my vet here told me about the intolerance testing that some of her clients have done. I’m interested in finding out more. So Dr Dodds, is not even a veterinarian? Are there any known allergy testings for dogs like humans ones that work?

  12. skeptvet says:

    Well, Dr. Dodds is a veterinarian, but she is not actively licensed or practicing clinical medicine.

    Allergy testing is done in dogs, just not the sort of testing Dr. Dodds sells. Intradermal skin testing is used, though there is some question about how accurate it is and how useful for guiding therapy. Blood testing (serology) is also available and may have some value. Here is some further information about these tests, and here are a couple articles about allergy treatment in dogs (1, 2).

  13. art malernee says:

    >>>>Is it true that the AVMA has adopted her protocol for vaccines and is teaching it in vet schools?

    the avma supported annual revaccination at first years ago when the avma helped get annual vaccination of pets started as the standard of care in the profession but as that started to look more and more like the organized professional health fraud it is the avma stopped. Now as you can see the avma supports what ever the vet wants to do. see from the avma web link above.
    “How often will my pet need to be vaccinated?
    Many vaccinations provide adequate immunity when administered every few years, while others require more frequent schedules to maintain an acceptable level of immunity that will continually protect your pet. Your veterinarian will determine a vaccination schedule that’s appropriate for your pet.”

  14. Jean says:

    Would love thoughts and feedback on the thyroid testing done by the Dodds’ Hemopet lab. They seem to have many different tests and am wondering what, if anything, differentiates those from the tests my vet would send out to have done at another lab.

  15. skeptvet says:

    As with her other lab tests, Dr. Dodds has theories that don’t fit the understanding or evidence followed by endocrinologists and other experts in this area. Without any special training or expertise, she has decided everyone else is wrong about thyroid disease in dogs, and she is using methods for evaluating and treating it that have not been scientifically tested and are not accepted by most experts in the field.

  16. Alex says:

    I had never heard of Dr. Dodds before today. A client came in and said her breeder (with whom she had signed a contract), told her she had to use Dodds’ vaccine schedule and recommendations. I don’t understand where she gets her information for creating this vaccine schedule. This woman was terrified to get her dog vaccinated because of what her breeder said instead of trusting the veterinary clinic she chose to bring her pet to

  17. Jacob says:

    Current Veterinary Therapy XI
    Chapter-Canine and Feline Vaccines
    Authors- Tom Phillips-Ronald Schultz
    “A practice that was started many years ago and that lacks scientific validity or verification is annual revaccinations……”

  18. Clara says:

    That’s not true.

  19. skeptvet says:

    Also a practice that is widely rejected by veterinarians, so classic straw man.

  20. Ellen says:

    If you ever get a chance to, I would really, really appreciate an article explaining why Jean Dodd’s stuff on thyroid is incorrect. I’m not in the vet industry but am a skeptical, data driven person but even I’m finding it hard to reject the idea of using her test for my dog with autoimmune thyroiditis. He’s an anxious dog and I’m an anxious person and the allure of the idea that I could maybe help him and *do something* besides fluoxetine and regular testing of his thyroid levels with my vet is very hard to let go of. Plus, every place online that is talking about thyroiditis in dogs is made up seemingly primarily by Dodd supporters. I’m not going to support her financially no matter what, but the guilt that I might be turning my back on something that could help is not insignificant. I know that this is a big ask and would be a lot to write up but hey, worth asking, right?

    Thank you sincerely for what you’re doing. The rise of pseudoscience is becoming stronger and stronger in the veterinary world and it’s cruel at best for everyone involved.

  21. skeptvet says:

    Thanks for the question!

    The challenge with Dr. Dodds’ claims about thyroid disease and her approach to testing and treatment is that she has published ZERO articles in the medical literature and provided no data or evidence. She has simply decided that everyone else in veterinary medicine is wrong about how to diagnose and manage thyroid disease, and she feels no need to demonstrate that she’s right scientifically. And, to be fair, there doesn’t seem to be a need for her to do so since she is able to convince the public that she is an expert (even though she has no advanced training beyond her DVM from 1964, no certification in any medical specialty, and is not even currently licensed to practice medicine in any state).

    Ultimately, what she does with thyroid disease is run a bunch of tests that have not been shown to be accurate or more effective at diagnosing hypothyroidism than the standard freeT$ED or T4/cTSH (e.g. T3, thyroid autoantibody) and do some basic math on existing tests which no one has shown means anything (e.g. T4/freeT4 ratio). As far as I have been able to tell talking with internal medicine specialists and other vets etc, she never tests a dog without diagnosing them as hypothyroid and putting them on supplementation even if they don’t need it by the usual diagnostic standards. She simply blames everything on thyroid diseases, treats nearly every dog for it, and does this entirely on the basis of her own opinions, without any other evidence.

    It would be impossible to write something critically assessing the evidence for her position because she never provides any. If you read my review of her book on nutrigenomics, you’ll see that she dresses this opinions up in scientific language and associates them with actual scientific evidence that has little, if anything, to do with whether or not they are true, and it is pretty difficult to respond to that in any other way except by pointing out that she’s making it up and the burden is on her to prove that she’s correct and the rest of the profession is mistaken.

    As for your own dog, I have a high degree of confidence that if you submit a sample to Dodds lab, he will be diagnosed as hypothyroid and she will recommend supplementation. Given how common placebo effects are in vets and dog owners, and the fact that thyroid hormone has noticeable physiologic effects, you might well see a change that leads you to believe she is right. On the other hand, giving an anxious dog with a normal thyroid hormone level additional hormone seems risky, since behavioral changes (such as agitation and hyperactivity), as well as changes in weight, heart function, blood pressure, and other aspects of physical health are seen with hyperthyroidism, which is essentially what we create when we supplement a dog who doesn’t need it. Conventional vets used to do this all the time for skin allergies, and the skin sometimes did look better, but the net effect on the dogs was harmful, not beneficial.

    I can’t tell you what you should or shouldn’t do, but after years of seeing Dr. Dodds promote everything from unfounded speculation to outright falsehoods, I can’t encourage anyone to trust her claims or her judgement.

    For reliable information on hypothyroidism in dogs, I would suggest the AHHA Guidelines.

    Good Luck!

  22. M DeWolf says:

    I don’t usually comment on these things but here I go.
    I don’t believe you should believe any one source. Because they all have their own opinions and beliefs that sway them heir way. Do your research, read the the clinical research and if you have a vet you respect than have conversations with them.
    As for Dodds pushing meds I have used her blood testing for years and have never been told to medicate a dog unnecessarily. She has always been on the less is more side.
    This is just my experience. My regular vet is not a fan of hers but is respectful enough to discuss findings with an open mind and work with me even if we don’t agree.

  23. skeptvet says:

    I don’t believe you should believe any one source.

    I think the more important issue is how you decide the credibility of sources. It is generally a good idea to consider multiple perspectives, but not all perspectives are equally useful. If one vet bases their recommendations on good quality scientific evidence and the other recommends something because the idea came to them in a dream, should we give equal weight to both?

    Do your research, read the the clinical research and if you have a vet you respect than have conversations with them.

    Good advice, though unfortunately most people think “do your research” means skim a bunch of articles or videos online, and that isn’t a reliable way to develop an accurate understanding of a subject. Even reading the research literature can be misleading if you don’t have the background to understand the significance of the papers you read. I have my veterinary degree, a Mac in epidemiology, and many years experience with evidence-based medicine, and there are still times when I need a subject matter expert (e.g. nutritionist, cardiologist, etc.) or a statistics expert to help me understand what conclusions are fair to draw from a research paper. There is a balance to be found between blindly following the opinion of individuals and imagining that we can each be experts in all things, and again that makes being able to find and rely on trustworthy sources even more important.

    unfortunately, Dr. Dodds is not a reliable source on many subjects. Her opinions are rarely supported by strong scientific evidence, and they are often in conflict with what most other veterinarians, include board-certified subject matter experts (which she is not). Her intentions may be noble, and she is by no means always wrong, but much of what she says is simply opinion or even demonstrably false, and her influence is, sadly, far stronger than the quality and scientific ;legitimacy of her recommendations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *