Article by Michael Goldman
The topic of SARDS is gaining major recognition as people are becoming more aware of this Catastrophic Disease. SARDS awareness is extremely important as this is a time sensitive disease and one in which it is extremely important to recognize the symptoms or clinical signs when they are FIRST happening. Dealing with this disease BEFORE the dog actually goes blind, increases the chances of recovery exponentially, but please keep in mind that even after initial loss of visions, there is still hope. Just remember to act very quickly. Dr. Plechner has had many successes with this catastrophic disease and is in my opinion the foremost authority and go to guy on the subject. Most Veterinarians have no idea what SARDS is and even today’s ophthalmologists are just now coming to grips with the subject matter. I had one ophthalmologist tell me they now believe this is an auto immune disease. I could have told them this a long time ago but at least they are learning.
Below, is an article I wrote a couple of years ago but it is still very timely and I know will be very helpful. You are welcome to contact me if I can help in any way.
This article comes from my heart. Please excuse any perceived ranting, as I do feel very strongly about the subject matter and please understand, my intent is to help by providing information that you may find of value.
Several years ago, my little buddy Rex, who was like a son to me, developed a very catastrophic diseasecalled SARDS ( Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome) and became blind. This had a number of implications for the Goldman family, not only for Rex but for all of us. Being an animal lover and caregiver, I never realized just how naïve I was when it came to animal health. We did not know what to do, scrambling around in a daze. The only thing I had going that helped tremendously was my determination and insistence for answers.
Have you ever had a veterinarian or doctor for that matter, tell you they don’t know, they don’t have any answers? Call me thick headed, thick skinned or whatever but this is unacceptable to me. This is their job. My animals are dependent on them for answers. You may think I am hard headed but that’s me. Now what did this have to do with my little guy Rex?
We noticed that Rex seemed to be losing his eye sight, bumping in to things, lack of depth perception etc. When we took him to our Vet who by the way, is highly regarded in the veterinary community, He didn’t have a clue. He decided to do exploratory surgery on Rex ruining one eye and causing a cataract. When he was pretty much blind, he finally recommended an ophthalmologist, closest one being 300 miles away. I pushed for an immediate appointment. I will never forget the day I took him to the specialist. He had just become completely blind and was scared to death. He did not know what the heck was going on. I felt and probably was, pretty much worthless. He was diagnosed with SARDS, thus starting our journey to knowledge. Problem being, this enlightenment came at the expense of my little Rex.
Our Vet had heard of SARDS but didn’t know enough to send him to a specialist. The Specialist certainly knew about SARDS but said there was nothing that could be done and that was it. Me being me, I refused to accept this and sought answers. I came across several very knowledgeable, helpful people, in the subject matter. By the way, this is how I first met my good friend Dr. Plechner, DVM who is also a consultant for the Healthy Pet Network.
Now please bear with me for a moment as I am going to get on my soap box. I came to learn there is a defined cause, and a treatment that can provide a solution to many catastrophic diseases. Problem is, most Veterinarians are content to treat the symptoms or effects. Very few, look to the causes BEFORE they become effects. I am sad to say that I have found many Veterinarians, think they know everything. Instead of saying, I have things to learn and will move forward trying to find ways to better help my patients, many take the attitude that nothing can be done. They will say, “I have learned there IS NO ANSWER, NO SOLUTION”. They think and they say “Anybody with an idea, who has had success, is crazy and must be a quack.”
It’s important to note that every important scientific discovery has gone through the 3 phases of truth.
- Truth becomes self evident
I am sorry to say, that I have no respect for these people, and have found that many of them are in the profession strictly to heal there wallet. On the other hand, I have the utmost respect for a doctor or person who says, I don’t have the answer, but I will look for one or I am open to ideas or suggestions and especially one who’s FIRST priority is the health of their patient and not there wallet.
OK OK, I will get off my high horse but there was a purpose to my tirade, If you haven’t already, you may in the future have an extremely ill pet and more than likely you will encounter the above, unacceptable attitude. Know it but don’t accept it. I am making an assumption that your pet is a family member and incompetence won’t do. You want answers and hopefully solutions and rightly so. If your primary physician does not offer you anything, find someone who will because there is good news, There Are some very knowledgeable, caring medical professionals who can help.
Now, several years later, I have learned much. I am committed to helping animals in any way I can and providing the knowledge one can use to have healthy long lived pets. I will always be learning but I am committed to animal health.
We are caretakers for a number of pets—dogs and cats. I have Rex’s mother and (2) remaining siblings. Through my desire to learn and with the help of globally renowned Dr. Alfred Plechner, we discovered his mother and siblings had a hormonal imbalance that predisposed them to certain catastrophic diseases. The have been diagnosed, put on a protocol and are doing VERY well today. Before Rex came down with his problem, his sister Millie was near death from an auto immune problem called hemolytic anemia. She had numerous blood transfusions and the doctor said she probably would not make it. Since being on the protocol, she has never again had the problem and acts like a young school girl again.
So what do I have to offer when it comes to SARDS. My main points are these
- To know what to look for so you will be a step ahead of the game
- To know what to expect when bringing your pet to the vet
- You love your pet—don’t be afraid to not only expect proper treatment but also be decisive and persistent in expecting action.
- A couple of facts for a better understanding.
- And a couple of resources if needed.
First AND FOREMOST, it important to know that SARDS is Extremely time sensitive. By the time you notice your pet is blind, it’s probably too late. On the other hand, if you notice them starting to lose their eyesight, there is still hope. The problem being, all this can happen in a couple of weeks—sometimes less and sometimes more. Time is of the essence when it comes to SARDS so if you remotely suspect, have your pet checked before it is too late. If you notice your pet being lethargic, out of sync and seeming to lose their eye sight whether stumbling, losing depth perception, anything that gives you this feeling, Have them checked immediately.
I should note that when I say too late, I mean in retaining their eyesight. Even when sight is lost, proper treatment can restore a high quality of life.
When seeing your health care professional, be sure to mention you are worried about SARDS. They may not understand the disease or have any solutions for you but they have probably heard of it. If they even remotely seem lost, DEMAND an immediate referral to a specialist. Remember you have weeks, maybe days so be decisive in your actions.
You can always feel free to contact me at the Healthy Pet Network and I can quickly and easily put you in touch with Dr. Plechner. There is also a support group out there with similar experiences, that I can direct you to if needed.
Very sadly, my Rex passed away a short while ago, which is why I wrote this article now. He was an unsung hero. The catastrophe he went thru prompted me to learn more, MUCH more about animal health. It literally saved his siblings and several others in our family. And one of the most important things was that through this, I met Doctor Plechner, who I truly believe is one of the Great men of our time and a future Nobel Prize Winner, in medicine.
OH, The Healthy Pet Network would never have been if it wasn’t for Rex.
Thank You Doctor Plechner for Rex’s good quality of life in his last years.
Rex, we miss you greatly and will love you always.
About the Author:
Michael Goldman is an entrepreneur, teacher, writer/author, & animal care provider, who along with his wife Terry are best known as the founders of the Healthy Pet Network. As respected authorities and consultants regarding Animal Health & Longevity, they help people with their pet’s health & well being. Their “passion” is the continued development of the Healthy Pet Network Animal Rescue and Sanctuary. The Rescue and Sanctuary provides a home, food, medical attention and love for homeless or injured animals.