Dr. Nicholas H. Dodman

Hi…I was just wondering if anyone has ever dealt with Dr. Nicholas H. Dodman a Veterinary Behaviorists out of Tufts in Boston?

I've enjoyed his books. But thankfully I've never needed to use his services first hand.

The more I'm learning about him at least I know he's one of the best and well known in his field…couldn't get an appointment until November. Need to explore some issues with Sonny we believe are related to his loss of vision.

Honestly, not to sound like a broken record, but have you tried some of the Control Unleashed stuff? I know there is someone on the CU list who has a blind basenji who had some issues. Of course I don't know what issue you're having with Sonny, but I doubt CU would hurt or be imcompatible with anything Dr Dodman would lay out for you. Additionally, you could probaby contact the blind basenji owner on the CU list if you have more questions. Once you read the book, you're allowed to post to the list, but I believe you can join the list before you read the book. If you join and search "basenji" you can locate her.

hope some of that's helpful. November seems like a long way off.

First Basenji's

I know of someone who did get an appointment with him for his two reactive Shibas. I can send you the link to the discussion on my other forum if you are interested, but it'd probably be a different situation from what you're working with. In summary, he said the consultation wasn't cheap, but it was good. Dr. Dodman is quite well respected by those that I respect, and I also like what I've read of his, so if you can schedule a time, it's worth a shot. Question is what do you do until November?

Thank you both very much for the feedback….I'm very comfortable with my decision to seek out Dr. Dodman and Sonny's vet is in totally agreement. Believe me it is very expensive for the initial 90 minute visit....hence my cancelling my vacation for next year & using that fund for this extra care for Sonny. We will be ok until to November. thanks again....

Oh well, vacations are over rated. Stay-cations are the new in thing anyway. 😉

I can only echo the others… Dodman is highly respected and worthy of the respect.

I also suggest that since you have until Nov. why not try some good training, both for confidence, relaxation techniques etc (including Control Unleashed) while you wait? That way you can perhaps help keep issues from getting worse, help Sonny feel more comfortable and then use Dodman to help polish off remaining issues or fine tune what you are doing?

Has Sonny had a complete eye examination done by an opthalmologist? If so, what is his vision problem(s)? How old is Sonny?


Jennifer, sonny is blind due to PRA…

Yes we found out Sonny had PRA right before his 4th birthday and he's now 5 1/2…

Sorry to hear about sonnyboy. We are wondering what exactly you will gain or are looking for by seeing this Dr. Dodman? Have you been able to actually have any discussion with anyone that has seen him first hand?

Hope things work out!

First Basenji's

Hello Sonnyboy's Ma! I went through some of your previous posts, but could not find out the actual reason for your calling in Dr Dodman. Boy would I love to be a fly on the wall and watch this expert help you and Sonnyboy out; totally respect him and his work!!!!

I'm not going to get into all the specifics of why we are seeking Dr. Dodman but I appreciate everyone's feedback on how well respected this doctor is. I know we are seeing the best and will let everyone know how our visit with him goes in November! 🙂

Just a quick update…We were able to get in to see Dr. Dodman in the middle of August unexpectedly. He has been truely wonderful and well worth the expense. Turns out when Dr. Dodman heard about some of Sonny's issues his 1st thought was that Sonny's thyiod was out of wack... I had previously done a full thyroid panel about a year 1/2 ago and all his levels were well within the normal range. Dr. Dodman felt strongly that at this point he had a feeling Sonny's levels had fallen. At the moment we're working off his T4 level. ( yes I know this doesn't give the complete picture as the full panel does). But Dr. Dodman started him right away on Soloxine when his T4 level was below the normal range and taking into account both his behavorial & physical symtoms that point to thyroid we're treating him at the moment to see if he responds in a positive way. Working on getting his level up to the higher end of the normal range. It's a work in progress and again I feel very comfortable in Dr. Dodman's treatment plan...It's shown me I will be looking for a new vet for Sonny because she see's no correlation to Sonny's behavior being possible related to his thyroid. How can a vet not read the literature and know that of course low thyroid can lead affect a dog in many ways..behavior included. but anways its a work in progress and I'll update as we go along 🙂

Good to hear and yes, many Vets discount what owners tell them, especially about a particular breed. And many never think "outside" the box. While Thyroid can effect many things and it is well known in our breed that low normal is TOO low for Basenjis, many Vet will discount that also.

My old boy OJ developed hives at about age 14, they were horrible. We first of course treated him with normal meds for this, however at that time I asked them to do a full blood panel. Sure enough his thyroid came back really low… so I asked to have him put on soloxine immediately. My Vet at the time looked at me like I was some kind of idiot... saying that while he needed the meds, he could not image that it had anything to do with the hives. Low and behold.... after one day on the soloxine, hives GONE!!!

They listen to me now!

When Dr. Dodman got the T4 level back he told me unfront that my own vet was probably going to dicount it as part of the problem and not want to put Sonny on the Soloxine and sure enought when my own Vet saw Sonny's levels she felt the Soloxine wasn't needed even though it was below even the below normal range. But at that moment I asked them to either work along with Dr. Dodman or I'd go else where. So they filled the Soloxine as Dr. Dodman prescribed and are willing to work with with his treatment plan. I will still be finding a new vet once I get all this under control anyway.

One of my dogs is on a very small soloxine dose because we believed a behavioral issue was tied to it. Technically most of the values were all on the low end of normal. The drug is cheap and it is simple enough to try to see if it helps. I did change vets regarding the same issue. They would have filled the prescription if I asked but philosophically we were in very different places so it was a good time to change. As an FYI, it can take a while to optimize the dose in between thyroid tests. I think it took almost a year for my dog but I wasn't rigorous about keeping to a tight schedule about it. Good luck and I hope you see a difference. They say it is usually pretty much a quick change if the thyroid level is linked to the behavioral issue. And even if it isn't the root cause, having the thryoid levels in a more typical range can help make behavioral modifications more successful.

Glad to hear dr. Dodman is working out and that sonny is on a better path. Thanks for the update and best wishes from Oakley and I!

Sounds like you are on the path to healing. I'm not sure why many vets are not knowledgable about thyroid issues. So easy and cheap to fix. I tihnk all dogs around 4-6 years should be tested - as a baseline if nothing else. I think you must be an exceptional dogmom to go the extra mile for dear sonny.

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