The pioneering veterinarian and author of the New York Times best seller The Dog Who Loved Too Much recounts his uniquely entertaining - and poignant - stories of treating animals for all-too-human problems, as he reveals his amazing breakthroughs with the new science of One Medicine. The Oliver Sacks of animal brains, Dr. Nicholas Dodman is an internationally renowned veterinarian and research scientist who wrote one of the first popular books to recognize the complex emotional lives of dogs, and to reveal innovative ways to help them, including with Puppy Prozac. Now Dr. Dodman once again breaks new ground with the practice of One Medicine, the profound recognition that humans and other animals share the same neurochemistry, and that our minds and emotions work in similar ways.
Racehorses with Tourette's syndrome, spinning dogs with epilepsy, cats with obsessive-compulsive disorder, feather-plucking parrots with anxiety, and a diffident bull terrier with autism - these astonishing cases were all helped by One Medicine, which emphasizes the similarities, rather than differences, between animals and humans. Inspiring, sometimes heartbreaking, and utterly fascinating, Pets on the Couch demonstrates how what we share with our animals can only lead us to a greater appreciation for them - and for our mutual bonds.
©2016 Nicholas Dodman (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!
Beyond the realm of the unsound and deeply disturbed, "Pets on the Couch" provides fascinating and loving stories of the animals who share their lives with us. Their struggles and ultimately, their salvation.
Here are the dogs of war, home now and suffering PTSD as surely as any marine who worked alongside them; horses with Tourette syndrome, helped and now wonderful examples to children that differences shouldn't be scary; animals with OCD, explosive aggression, pathological fear, epilepsy, even autism. These are the things that would have been an animal's death sentence in the past.
Now they can be treated. The science that's always used them as test subjects can now be used to ease their suffering, treat their seizures, provide that window of stabilization where behavior modification can then be used to show them that life can be safe, good, filled with love and fun.
This isn't just a series of anecdotes, though there are many examples to go along with each illness. Dodman is a dedicated man who uses PET/CT scans, advanced MRIs, plunges into genetic testing to find that autism in humans, and the similar in animals can be traced back to a faulty piece of X chromosome.
But while he values research and science, he preaches common sense and empathy overall. Your dog is not barking ALL day long to drive you nuts; perhaps she was deprived of socialization in her early months, was mistreated, has fears that would drive the normal person to bark all day long were they in her paws.
The narration is wonderful, reflects the warmth and humor in the text, makes the research riveting. I laughed and smiled a lot through the whole audiobook and listened to it in a single day.
I suppose I was looking for my cat, Thoreau's, problem to be described, diagnosed, and fixed. He has it in for my brother, gets majorly aggressive, and I was hoping there'd be an easy fix. Alas! In this case, there is no magic pill, no easy way out.
I guess I'll just have to get another brother...
Having been raised on a farm my earliest experiences were with all sorts of animals. I recognized in all creatures fear love pain need for approval and reward. A need to feel safe and nurtured. There was communication going both ways continually. So it is refreshing to listen to a research professional verify what was obvious to me from a very early age that we are more alike to other vertebrates than we are different.
A little too clinical for average person but very interesting. Basic summary is that pets experience many of the same issues we do and can be treated with the same drugs .
Interesting and enlightening about how many issues can be caused by brain chemistry issues. And how many of these issues can be treated pharmacology, like with people. Because remember, the pharmaceuticals we humans take were tested and vetted on animals (sometimes those animals are dogs). So, yes, medication can make a difference for animals. Chill pills (Trazadone) has made a difference in my dog - he's less anxious and less reactive to other dogs. In addition to the meds, training is critical.
I guess the doctor is assuming that all dog owners have trained their dogs in obedience and if they're still having problems that it must because of brain chemistry (or tumor). There was a brief disclaimer at the end about the need for training. Except the entire write-off of "shock collars". There have been advancements in "shock collar" technology to where they are extremely effective and do not "shock" the dog, rather because they're based on a tens unit, there is a buzzing (like what we feel when using a tens unit) that gets the dog's attention.
As a clinical psychologist, it's intriguing to contemplate how similar our brains are to other animals, and how psychoactive medications can have similar effects. This is especially interesting given how often I hear how research shows antidepressants "are no better than a placebo"--wouldn't their effectiveness with animals not materialize if that were the case? To me that is evidence of the strength of the placebo affect, if anything. I appreciate Dr. Dodman's caring work with animals and the insight his book has given me about their similarities to us.
What a phenomenal book. Whether you like dogs, cats, birds, horses, cows, whales ... I couldn't stop reading this amazing book -- even the epilogue.
Seems like a remember a negative review of the narrator, but for my money he's spot-on and I loved him.
DR Dodman has raised the bar once again ! The information about pharmaceutical in this book are amazing !
Easily entertained and amused.
I've had many pets in my life. This explains so much. I have two cats now and know I'll love and enjoy then for many years to come because of what I learned from this book. Lol, this even explains a lot about many people I've known in my life.
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