Our hats are off in this newsletter to a volunteer whose name may already be familiar to many of us associated with the KBT foundation: W. Jean Dodds, DVM of Santa Monica California.
Dr. Dodds has contributed numerous health related articles to the KBT Foundation website. (Check under the Health for the Vaccination tabs or under the Nutrition tab for a few of her articles.) In addition Dr. Dodds has served on the KBTF Board of Directors for many years and is an active member of the Board today.
What you may not know is that her contributions to canine health are far ranging. Among the many accomplishments of Dr. Dodds is the founding of the first non-profit national blood bank program for animals, HEMOPET. Dr. Dodds has also written more than 150 research publications, holds seven patents and has received numerous awards for her research and work on behalf of canine health.
Dr. Dodds received her DVM degree in 1964 from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Toronto. From 1965 thru 1986 she worked for the New York State Health Department, starting as a Research Scientist and culminating as Chief, Laboratory of Hematology, and Wadsworth Center. In 1980 she also became Executive Director, New York State Council on Human Blood and Transfusion Services. In 1986 she moved to California to found HEMOPET. (See www.dogs4dogs.com/cv for Dr. Dodds full resume.)
Dr. Dodds' research is with purebred and hybrid dog breeds. The research covers inherited and acquired disorders of:
- Immune system (such as autoimmune [aka immune-mediated] hemolytic anemia and immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, autoimmune thyroiditis, and Addison's disease, to name a few);
- Vaccinology (safety and efficacy of vaccines, alternatives to over -vaccination, treatment of adverse vaccine reactions = vaccinosis);
- Endocrine system (disorders of thyroid gland, adrenal glands, reproductive system);
- Nutrition ( based on the principles of nutrigenomics = functional nutrition); and
- Clinical laboratory diagnostics (thyroid profiles, vaccine titers, nutritional testing using saliva for food sensitivity and intolerance).
Dr. Dodds chose these areas because they basically cover all health systems. Her research has contributed to the improved health and longevity of KBT's and many other breeds by educating the dog fancier and breeder about preventive and diagnostic medicine as well as more holistic alternative! complementary therapies and management, where appropriate.
She says that we can help her in this research by spreading the word through "education, education, and education.' She also encourages us to be more honest about the various diseases and maladies that pure bred dogs have.
The foundation of the relationship of the KBTF with Dr. Dodds started long before the KBTF was set up. John Van den Bergh & Janet Joers, cofounders of the KBTF, had aggression problems with their Kerry, Jazz. They contacted Dr. Dodds for advice. Because education is so important to Dr. Dodds, she was very open in discussing issues with problem dog owners.
Dr. Dodd's motto seems to be 'helping others through their animals' since she is actively engaged in numerous volunteer efforts including:
- HEMOPET, the national non-profit canine blood bank and the a web-page of the same name;
- Running a large greyhound rescue/donor/adoption facility;
- Running a diagnostic lab and a consulting/referral service--all as non-profits.
She says that she recommends volunteering because animals give us unconditional love. This dedication to animals and their owners manifested itself in her encouragement to set up the KBTF and her continuing support of the KBTF volunteers' work.
Besides the many articles contributed by Dr. Dodds to our web site, she has been instrumental in helping us select appropriate health & genetics research projects to fund.
On a more personal note, Dr. Dodds is married with four stepchildren and four step-grandchildren. She also shares her life and her home with her mother, who she indicates is 97 years young.
The KBTF has held several board meetings at Dr. Dodds house. Each time Jean prepared the board a wonderful lunch. She is sincerely interested in the work and the future of the KBTF. Jean Dodds is a volunteer who has truly helped not only the Foundation but every Kerry owner and lover who has ever turned to her articles for guidance in addition to multitudes of dog and pet people all over the world. The KBTF truly treasures Jean Dodds and her support of our work.