"If you're happy with our services at HEMOPET / HEMOLIFE,
please tell your veterinarians and your friends!”
How I (Helen McKinnon) go about getting the blood testing accomplished:
Note: The testing should done during a time of low stress -- i.e.: not right before, during, or immediately after a heat cycle, or excitement times such as holidays, and not during very cold or hot weather, etc., Dr. Dodds suggests:
A complete thyroid profile done 12-16 weeks from the onset of the heat cycle.
Annual testing is done after puberty, starting about 10-14 months in males, and 12-16 weeks after the onset of the maiden heat in females.
Also, it's best to send these serum samples at the beginning of the week (Monday or Tuesday) so that the samples aren’t sitting around over the weekend and perhaps exposed to heat. Too long of a delay in shipping can ruin the samples. It happened to one of my shipments as a result of the September 11 attack when all flights were grounded.
I make an appointment with my local vet to draw the blood and some samples will be spun in the centrifuge where necessary. I stay right with my dog, and do not allow them to "take him out back", etc. My vet is paid the usual fee for this procedure, typically $10.
Then, I pack everything as instructed on the forms (see yellow highlighted info below), and I highlight the tests to be done. The tops of the serum sample tubes should be secured with tape. To protect the glass tubes, it's advised to put them inside a plastic syringe capsule/case, close the syringe capsule securely with tape. I put the submission/request forms in a locked plastic baggie with a 'cold-pack' that's covered with bubble wrap as the whole blood needs to be kept cool but NOT frozen. If you're adding on a Heartworm test, there's generally enough serum for that as it only requires a small amount (.5ml). The additional fee for that 'add-on' test is $17 (2010).
I send it myself via US Postal Service (USPS) Priority Mail (Click 'n Ship) or FedEx overnight (with the box inside their shipping bag) directly to HEMOPET which is Dr. Dodds’ Blood Bank in Garden Grove, CA- Zip Code Plus 4 = 92841-1403.
Note: Blue and lavender top blood sample tubes require an ice pack with an OVERNIGHT courier, such as Fed-Ex, or USPS Express Mail. Be Aware that USPS Express Mail may not get the package there overnight - you may also find that the USPS will take 2 days for delivery of Express Mail from your location to California. Dr. Dodds suggest sending the package via USPS 'Click n Ship' . Depending upon the free Priority Box size, it can cost as little as $5.15 (online small flat-rate box) which includes the free online Delivery Confirmation for domestic USA mailing. Wrap your sample tubes in bubble wrap or paper stuffing and use the free USPS Priority mail box. Do NOT use padded mailing envelopes.
All samples need to be received at HEMOLIFE / HEMOPET -- Monday through Saturday -- except on holidays.
If you need overnight delivery, there's lots of FedEx drop-off boxes with supplies under the lid and you can charge the fee to your credit card.
Additional Mailing Instructions to print-out from Dr. Dodds are here in a pdf document.
Please consider having your dog's Blood Typing done. You will then know if your dog is a universal donor or if your dog may serve as red blood cell donor in certain cases. This could be life-saving information -- which I learned the hard way.
Dr. Dodds advises that all cats should have their thyroids tested at mid-life as many cats can become hyperthyroid.
Following others' good example, I add a Donation to the total amount to be paid for the tests. When 'rounding-up' the amount of the fees - and pay with a check or (or use a major credit card -- except for "Discover"). Just include the check or credit card account # and expiration date with the blood sample Our donations help support the wonderful work of Dr. Jean Dodds on behalf of our beloved animal companions. The Rabies Challenge Fund and HEMOPET are 501(c)(3) charitable organizations, so the donation is tax-deductible.
Major credit cards can be used for payment (with the exception of Discover).
Should you have any questions, please call HEMOPET / HEMOLIFE or e-mail -- contact info is at the top of this page. Or, if clarification is needed about information on this Web Page, please call me, Helen McKinnon, 828/ 628-7999 (ask for me because it's also my husband's business line -- North Carolina) -- or email: Admin at ItsForTheAnimals . com -- just remember to replace "at" with the symbol @ and delete the spaces before and after the "."
* * * For blood samples sent from within the USA * * * (see the yellow-highlighted information)
Click on the Links below to download and print-out the forms.
Note: For those who are outside the USA -- there are separate Forms below.
Please Note: These are download documents in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.
If you do not have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer,
you may get it free by clicking here:
* * * For folks residing INSIDE the USA, here are the Forms to Download & print-out: * * *
HEMOPET / HEMOLIFE Blood Test Request Form - (2 pages) - from within the USA
HEMOPET / HEMOLIFE - Instructions for MAILING serum samples to HEMOPET - (3 pages) - from within the USA
For those who are outside the USA -- here are the forms to download & print-out:
Instructions for International Shipping Serum Samples: Sending to HEMOPET / HEMOLIFE - (4 pages) from OUTSIDE the USA--
NOTE: Due to Customs regulations, the instructions must be followed exactly!
Sending to HEMOPET / HEMOLIFE-- from OUTSIDE the USA --
Dr. Dodds' staff can Fax to you the "Foreign Samples Test Request Forms with Instructions", should you wish your veterinarian to send the samples directly. In that case, be sure that you mark the parcel:
"DOG Serum, Non- Infectious, for Diagnostic Purposes Only"
(Note: If you write "Animal Serum", it will be confiscated as it could be from livestock.)
HEMOPET / HEMOLIFE Letter: New "Thyroid 5 Panel"
When your animal's test results arrive, and "It's Greek to you"...
Click on the Link below for detailed information about Blood Tests:
Blood Tests Explained -- many helpful articles.
If you've been told that titer tests "aren't reliable",
Dr. Jean Dodds explains the facts in her article below:
"... the validity of using vaccine titer testing to assess the immunologic status of animals against the common, clinically important infectious diseases."
Please Note: This article is a download document in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. If you do not have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer, you may get it free by clicking here:
CLINICAL APPROACHES TO MANAGING AND TREATING ADVERSE VACCINE REACTIONS
W. Jean Dodds, DVM
938 Stanford Street
Santa Monica, CA 90403
310/ 828-4804; FAX 310/ 453-5240
Hemopet.org email: hemopet at hotmail dot com
There is no doubt that application of modern vaccine technology has permitted us to protect companion animals effectively against serious infectious diseases.
Some veterinarians have challenged the validity of using vaccine titer testing to assess the immunologic status of animals against the common, clinically important infectious diseases.
With all due respect, this represents a misunderstanding of what has been called the “fallacy of titer testing”, because research has shown that once an animal’s titer stabilizes it is likely to remain constant for many years. Properly immunized animals have sterilizing immunity that not only prevents clinical disease but also prevents infection, and only the presence of antibody can prevent infection. As stated by eminent expert Dr. Ronald Schultz in discussing the value of vaccine titer testing, these tests “show that an animal with a positive test has sterilizing immunity and should be protected from infection. If that animal were vaccinated it would not respond with a significant increase in antibody titer, but may develop a hypersensitivity to vaccine components (e.g. fetal bovine serum). Furthermore, the animal doesn't need to be revaccinated and should not be revaccinated since the vaccine could cause an adverse reaction (hypersensitivity disorder). You should avoid vaccinating animals that are already protected. It is often said that the antibody level detected is “only a snapshot in time". That's simply not true; it is more a “motion picture that plays for years".
Furthermore, protection as indicated by a positive titer result is not likely to suddenly drop-off unless an animal develops a medical problem such as cancer or receives high or prolonged doses of immunosuppressive drugs. Viral vaccines prompt an immune response that lasts much longer than that elicited by classic antigen. Lack of distinction between the two kinds of responses may be why practitioners think titers can suddenly disappear.
But, not all vaccines produce sterilizing immunity. Those that do include: distemper virus, adenovirus, and parvovirus in the dog, and panleukopenia virus in the cat. Examples of vaccines that produced non-sterile immunity would be leptospirosis, bordetella, rabies virus, herpesvirus and calicivirus --- the latter two being upper respiratory viruses of cats. While non-sterile immunity may not protect the animal from infection, it should keep the infection from progressing to severe clinical disease.
Therefore, interpreting titers correctly depends upon the disease in question. Some titers must reach a certain level to indicate immunity, but with other agents like those that produce sterile immunity, the presence of any measurable antibody shows protection. The positive titer test result is fairly straightforward, but a negative titer test result is more difficult to interpret, because a negative titer is not the same thing as a zero titer and it doesn't necessarily mean that animal is unprotected. A negative result usually means the titer has failed to reach the threshold of providing sterile immunity. This is an important distinction, because for the clinically important distemper and parvovirus diseases of dogs, and panleukopenia of cats, a negative or zero antibody titer indicates that the animal is not protected against canine parvovirus and may not be protected against canine distemper virus or feline panleukopenia virus.
Finally, what does more than a decade of experience with vaccine titer testing reveal ? Published studies in refereed journals show that 90-98% of dogs and cats that have been properly vaccinated develop good measurable antibody titers to the infectious agent measured. So, in contrast to the concerns of some practitioners, using vaccine titer testing as a means to assess vaccine-induced protection will likely result in the animal avoiding needless and unwise booster vaccinations.
Reasons for Vaccine Titer Testing: *
1. To determine that animal is protected (suggested by a positive test result).
2. To identify a susceptible animal (suggested by a negative test result).
3. To determine whether an individual animal has responded to a vaccine.
4. To determine whether an individual vaccine is effectively immunizing animals.
* from: Schultz RD, Ford RB, Olsen J, Scott F. Titer testing and vaccination: a new look at traditional practices. Vet Med, 97: 1-13, 2002 (insert).
Dodds WJ. Vaccination protocols for dogs predisposed to vaccine reactions. J Am An Hosp Assoc 38: 1-4, 2001.
Lappin MR, Andrews J, Simpson D, et al. Use of serologic tests to predict resistance to feline herpesvirus 1, feline calicivirus, and feline parvovirus infection in cats. J Am Vet Med Assoc 220: 38-42, 2002.
Mouzin DE, Lorenzen M J, Haworth, et al. Duration of serologic response to five viral antigens in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 224: 55-60, 2004.
Mouzin DE, Lorenzen M J, Haworth, et al. Duration of serologic response to three viral antigens in cats. J Am Vet Med Assoc 224: 61-66, 2004.
Paul MA (chair) et al. Report of the AAHA Canine Vaccine Task Force: 2003 canine vaccine guidelines, recommendations, and supporting literature. AAHA, April 2003, 28 pp.
Tizard I, Ni Y. Use of serologic testing to assess immune status of companion animals. J Am Vet Med Assoc 213: 54-60, 1998.
Twark L, Dodds WJ. Clinical application of serum parvovirus and distemper virus antibody titers for determining revaccination strategies in healthy dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 217:1021-1024, 2000.
Some excellent information from/about Dr. Dodds:
The Rabies Challenge Fund
This is the answer to many of our prayers! For decades, too many animals have been over-vaccinated with dire consequences. Rabies is the only legally required vaccination and the laws vary from state-to-state in America. With this 'Challenge', research will finally provide the science upon which to base rabies vaccination requirements. On behalf of companion animals world-wide, THANK YOU Dr. Dodds & Ms. Christine!
"World-renown vaccine research scientist and practicing veterinarian, Dr. W. Jean Dodds of California, and pet vaccine disclosure advocate, Kris L. Christine of Maine, have established The Rabies Challenge Fund to raise money to fund a 7 year rabies vaccine challenge study in the United States. In addition to the challenge study, the fund will finance a study of the adjuvants used in veterinary rabies vaccines and establish a rabies vaccine adverse reaction reporting system."
In Lieu of Flowers -- Consider Donating to The Rabies Challenge Fund
The Rabies Challenge Fund Charitable Trust is a 501(c)(3) charitable
organization [Fed. EIN # 84-6390682].
Tax-deductible donations made with credit cards may be phoned into Hemopet (specify that it is for the Rabies Challenge Fund) by calling 714.891.2022, ext. 13.
Or, you may also send a check payable to The Rabies Challenge Fund to:
Rabies Challenge Fund
11561 Salinaz Avenue
Garden Grove, CA 92843
Please fill out the Rabies Challenge Fund's contact form with the name and address of the individual / family member so that they are aware of your thoughtful generosity.
Hemopet/Pet Life-Line The Rabies Challenge fund
Tax-deductible Donations are accepted via Visa, Master Card, American Express and PayPal.
To donate to the Rabies Challenge Fund via Pay Pal, please click the Donate button:
If you are making a donation to commemorate an event or in memory of a loved one,
please indicate it in the 'payment for' notation in PayPal.
Rabies Challenge Fund information on this Web Site
Thyroid Health Articles
The Immune System, Nutritional Support, Explanation of thyroid testing, Influence of Age, Breed type, and Athletic Conditioning on Thyroid Function Testiong -- and how the Thyroid can Affect your Dog's Behavior -- have your dog's thyroid checked if you notice "bizarre behavior"!
by W. Jean Dodds, DVM [pdf document]
"... Vaccination of pet and research dogs with polyvalent vaccines containing rabies virus
or rabies vaccine alone was recently shown to induce production of antithyroglobulin autoantibodies,
a provocative and important finding with implications for the subsequent development of hypothyroidism. ..."
Changing Vaccine Protocols --Dr. Jean Dodds' latest vaccination protocol (2011) and other articles (might want to print-out an extra copy for your veterinarian).
Also see: Dr. Dodds' letter to Senator Hall with additional details about vaccinations.
Caring 'more naturally' for your companion animals --
Would you like to learn more and share your knowledge with others?
Consider joining Helen's Internet Discussion Group, it's free and on occasion, features a Special Guest, answering Members' questions.
Click to join CompanionAnimalCare-Naturally
~~~~~~ A note from Dr. Jean Dodds ~~~~~~
"We operate as a non-profit corporation dedicated to providing the highest quality lab test results and expert interpretations. Our canine blood products are supplied nationwide for transfusional needs. The rescued greyhounds at our facility are adopted into pet homes after serving one year in the donor program, thereby fulfilling our commitment to their welfare."
~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ ~~~~~
Dr. Jean Dodds, "an extraordinary woman and veterinarian" --- Debby Kay, who sent me the following note about how Dr. Dodds helped her Aurora, a beautiful Labrador Retriever, with so much promise:
"I noticed on your web site where people have written in about their experiences.
I can't praise Dr. Dodds dedication to helping animals enough. In December of 2008 I noticed my 4 year Labrador was not acting like herself.
Even though her thyroid had been tested by Dr. Dodds 2 years prior, I thought it should be done again based on a comment on that report from Dr. Dodds to watch her. I sent off another sample to Dr. Dodds for evaluation.
She immediately called me late on a Friday night due to time zone differences, when she got the results which revealed my dog was experiencing liver failure.
She knew I had to get her to a vet as soon as possible and did not wait for the faxed results to get to my vets office later the next morning.
That alert got my dog to the emergency vet in time to save her life. She was in intensive care for 3 days but pulled through, any further delay would have a different outcome.
As it was we were able to keep her alive much longer all because of Dr. Dodds' actions. She is an extraordinary woman and veterinarian.
With gratitude and respect,
Nix Cuthell shares her story about Billy, her Bearded Collie whose life was saved as a result of help from a wonderful Internet Discussion Group, and Dr. Jean Dodds.
-- updated May, 2008
Lynn Drumm shares her experience about her beloved Issho, a lovely Akita who became very ill after receiving 'combo wombo' puppy vaccinations. As a result, Cathy Pollack, Issho's breeder, made important changes to her vaccination protocol. Included on her Web Page is a wonderful tribute to Dr. Dodds. Also, there's wonderful photos of Issho, whose amazing will to live serves to inspire all who take the few moments to read this poignant story.
Issho, her courageous Akita who with her favorite idol, guardian angel and veterinarian, Dr. W. Jean Dodds at her seminar in Duluth.
To follow are just a couple more people's experiences of how her one phone call to Dr. Jean Dodds helped to save their dogs and improve their lives, reprinted here, with kind their permission.
I would love to share our story about Jean! It's an honor to do so. I am constantly recommending her to others with whom I consult - and I refer them to your great site. Here's our little story - Thanks Helen.
Love and warm regards,
Jean Dodds, DVM, founder of HEMOPET, became our lifeline back in 1991. My first Akita, Trump, was about two years old and Jasmine was seven months when we were referred to Jean. Someone surely was looking out for us when she was brought into our lives. You see, for the better part of his first two years, Trump would come home utterly exhausted from walks. It would take him an hour or so to recuperate. He would lay in the hall panting heavily, not able to get up. I kept taking him to the vet during that year and a half and all they said was "he has worms" and would give him that Strongid stuff. But it didn't help.
Then, after a rabies shot in August '91, he had two seizures, he then went lame and he was diagnosed with hip dysplasia in September '91. He was going down very, very fast. I was desperate. My friend at Akita Rescue, Puller Lanigan, said call Jean Dodds! I did. And life changed for the better.... because, with just one phone call and me describing the symptoms, Dr. Jean Dodds immediately knew, first of all, that he was hypothyroid. Sure enough, the proper tests (you must have a Complete Thyroid Profile, which my vet did not know about ) proved that both Trump and Jazzie had this disorder. From the test results, Jean prescribed the recommended dosages.
She then began my education about vaccines! Boy was that an eye opener. In the beginning, I was too uncomfortable not vaccinating, but Jean gave me the options for my initial compromise. For example, never give combined 5-in-1 vaccines and always give "killed" virus vaccines, and give them separately at least a month apart. My vet resisted this because the killed virus vaccines were a "special order" back then. And, he thought it was a waste of money to give vaccines separately. Well, I thought it was a waste of my beloved Akitas' lives to do it the conventional way!
There was heartache along the way to be sure as we had to deal with the subsequent health issues of hip dysplasia and debilitating chronic urinary infections. What turned the tide was their last-ever rabies vaccine in 1995. Jasmine was literally paralyzed with pain - she couldn't move a step without crying out in excruciating pain. And Trump, who never displayed an aggressive or mean moment in his life, got aggressive and bit Jasmine in the neck - the blood was everywhere. I was finally convinced with Jean's ever available help and guidance -- and I never vaccinated them again. Another change I made was a switch to feeding a raw diet around 1996-97.
And so, because of Jean's counsel between 1991 and 1996, Trump and Jasmine regained their health and lived active and happy lives until ages 13 and 11. She continued to monitor my beloved Akitas throughout their lives via the blood work results and my consults with her. All of this is to say, I urge you to connect with Jean Dodds if you have any health concerns for your animals. Let your vet draw the blood, but have it sent to Jean to run the tests and analyze the results. She sees and knows things that, in my experience of 12 years now, many vets do not know or miss completely. Helen and her www.ItsForTheAnimals.org site have made it easy for you - Jean's contact information and the two forms you need can be printed right from her site.
It is in honor of Trump and Jasmine that I take this opportunity to tell you about Jean Dodds, DVM. I'll end our little story of gratitude with this: It was just one phone call to one incredible, brilliant, patient, generous and loving person that saved my Akitas. And, to Jean I say with deepest gratitude - Thank you.