Read SARDS Clinical Case Study Here

I would like to dedicate this picture of Scotty Boy Stratton whose life and love as a SARDS dog helped his owner Dorie create a vest with a protective halo to protect all sight challenged dogs.

By Alfred J. Plechner, D.V.M.

SARDS appears to be an auto-immune disease that will lead to blindness.

It stems from a hormonal antibody imbalance that allows a deregulated immune system to not only lose their protective functions, but allows their system to lose recognition of self tissue and turn against the body and cause self tissue destruction.

This can occur, when the natural cortisol that is produced by the middle layer adrenal cortex of the body is either, deficient, bound or defective.

When this occurs, an excess production of sex hormones are produced by the inner layer adrenal cortex.

I personally believe that the offending hormone is due to estrogen.

The other sex hormone called androgen can be transferred into more estrogen, due to an enzyme in the fatty tissue called Aromatase or a deficiency in the production of Melatonin.

This has been documented in humans but not in animals, however it is worth considering.

The excess total adrenal estrogen, not only binds the thyroid hormone receptor sites, but deregulates the immune system and compromises antibody production.

The main concern with the depressed production of antibodies is the decrease in production of the mucous membrane antibody that protects the eyes and throughout the body, referred to as the IgA antibody.

This seems to be a large part of why the condition of SARDS occurs, which can be genetic or acquired.

This endocrine immune imbalance appears to cause an abnormal reaction, involving neuro-retinal tissue, and also an increase in the inflammation of the cells lining the arteries (endothelial cells) due to the elevated adrenal estrogen with depressed antibody protection due to the decreased production of IgA.

Note: To date, no anti-retinal antibodies have been identified and there still remains a question as to whether this is merely an inflammatory state or a true state of autoimmunity.

All of the above imbalances can lead to blindness.

Unfortunately by the time the loss of sight in the pet is noticed by the owner, and subsequent identification and treatment of the condition is begun, permanent retinal damage may have already occurred, but funding this hormone antibody imbalance may help stop further eye damage and other auto-immune diseases from occurring in other parts of the body including allergy, other types of autoimmunity and cancer.

In order to properly indentify and provide treatment for this endocrine immune imbalance please read other articles on Atypical Cortisol Estrogen Imbalance Syndrome (ACEIS) or as the public refers to it as Plechner’s Syndrome.

It is very important for the pet owner to realize, that their pet with this imbalance which causes a deficiency in IgA, may demonstrate other medical effects like food allergies, vaccine reactions or stinging insect sensitivities.

Any of these sensitivities may all cause reactions throughout the body including a further reaction in the already damaged eyes in the SARDS patient.

A simple diet devoid of allergens, a reduced vaccine program and making sure you protect your pet from stinging insects, will be of vital importance in helping reduce further damage to the eyes.

Unfortunately if a reaction does occur, seek veterinary help immediately to help reduce the severity and longevity of the reaction and provide more protection for the already damaged eyes.

As far as supplements are concerned, there are two supplements that I use that may help a SARDS patient.

The first supplement that I use is a premium calcium montmorillinite that provides 57 different chelated trace minerals that replace all those micronutrients that no longer occur in our foods and our pet’s food due to over worked agricultural soils.

The identification of micronutrient deficient disorders still needs to be explored. How do you know that a disease is not caused from a lack of a specific or several specific micronutrients that are vital to the body to complete the biochemical enzymatic actions in the body that if absence might allow for an inability of the body to respond normally to internal and external stress.

The cells and enzymes of the body must be complete if the body is to remain in good health.

If your food or your pet’s food comes from overworked agricultural soils, many diseases may occur due to a lack of any one of these, micronutrient.


The beauty of these chelated micronutrients is that the body will not absorb them if the body does not need to use them.

Other huge benefits from using this special calcium montmorillinite, is its negative ion that will neutralize toxins, toxic heavy metals, radiation and bacteria.

This becomes vitally important when we really do not know what the foods we feed our pets and we eat ourselves, really contain or do not contain.

This negative ion that occurs in this special calcium montmorillinite is responsible for helping vitamins, nutrients and supplements traverse the cell membrane thus helping create increased energy and oxygen in   factories within the cell, called mitochondria.

This enhancement, has led to an increase in nutrients to those glands that produce hormones, and many times that enhanced nutrition to these glands, and will be a cause for a reduced need for supplemental hormone replacement and better control of the immune system which in turn can reduce future damage to the eyes of the SARDS patient.

If you are interested in this product, please Google calcium montmorillinite.

The second supplement that may also be of great importance in helping a SARDs patient is the use of a supplement called Astaxanthin.

What is Astaxanthin?

Astaxantin is naturally occurring, very strong antioxidant that comes from a family of antioxidants called caratinoids.

Astaxinthin is a component found in certain foods that as a very powerful antioxidant, neutralizes damaging free radicals in the body.

Astaxanthin is responsible for the vibrant colors found in vegetables from the green, the red color in beets, to the orange and red in bell peppers.

Asxanthin is produced by a micro- algae called Haematoccous pluvialis, that actually protects the algae when it is without water and in intense sunlight.

There appears to be 2 main sources of this antioxidant.

The micro-algae is eaten by salmon, shell fish and krill and those that eat them seem to benefit also being higher up on the food chain.

The ingestion of the foods that contain Astaxanthin, is the reason why flamingos are pink, and the meat of salmon can range from pink to orange if it has not already been predetermined by the genetics of that species.

Farmed salmon usually do not have access to native foods that contain Astaxanthin therefore the fish pellets that are fed to the farmed salmon contain red dye to make their flesh appear reddish orange like native salmon.

To determine if the salmon you may have purchased from the supermarket or fish market is wild or farmed, upon cooking it, if the orange color diminishes or fades, you have purchased farmed salmon and not wild salmon.

New born flamingos are white at birth until after they eat shrimp and other foods containing the microalgae and then they turn pink.

My interest in using Astaxanthin with SARDS patients comes from the fact that this compound not only reduces the inflammation in eye, but also increases the overall protection of the eyes in people, while also helping to reduce the development of blindness due to retinitis, chorio-retinitis, cataracts and macular degeneration at the same time.

Treatment amounts of Astaxanthin can be obtained from Krill oil which also seems to be a more effective source of vitamin A, E and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

Astaxanthin can also penetrate the blood brain barrier, which from a neurological nutritional replacement, is vital because many nutraceuticals used for this reason, do not have that ability to reach the brain.

There are many companies that carry similar products, but the one I use can be obtained by going to

The product is called KriaXanthin and comes from Antarctic krill oil.

Normally, one daily capsule for your pet should provide enough Astaxanthin to help protect your pet with SARDS and at the same time may be therapeutic.

Please realize, if the neural-retinal damage that has already occurred in your pet, the loss of sight may be permanent.

The use of these supplements may come too late to recreate vision however their use can definitely help avoid the development of further diseases that often accompany the development of SARDS.


Because all SARDS patients have an IgA deficiency, it does allow the various disease insults that might occur, to affect the exocrine function of the pancreas and its production of its digestive enzyme, called trypsin.

When this occurs, the absorption of oral supplements used to treat SARDS, may be reduced, therefore it may be important to provide a digestive enzyme, in order to avoid this possible malabsorption, which will definitely lengthen the healing process.

It is best to provide your pet with a plant based digestive enzymes as opposed to an animal based digestive enzyme, which might be allergenic, because of the animal protein that is contained in the supplement.

An IgA imbalance might also affect the endocrine function of the pancreas and its ability to produce insulin and thus cause diabetes.

Allergenic foods may also affect the pancreases ability to produce both trypsin and insulin.

Any pancreatic involvement might reduce the patient’s ability to properly absorb those hormonal substances that are necessary to help control SARDS.

Hopefully this will help your pet with SARDS but also may be of value for and you’re pets just to maintain continued good health and help prevent future eye and other health problems.

These are only my thoughts.

NOTE - It is vital with any suspected autoimmune disease, not to use any medications or supplements that contain Sulfa, Melatonin, Rozerem or Echinacea. It has been recognized, that compounds containing Sulfa may alter the surface the red blood cell and cause an autoimmune hemolytic anemia and the other three supplements may cause an increased stimulation of an already deregulated immune system and worsen the patients disease.

ADDITIONAL NOTE - With any chronic disease process including SARDS, it is vital for you to realize that many monthly, applied or oral insect repellants, are endocrine interrupters that may have helped caused the original disease process and you should absolutely avoid their use.

Please read the article on Dr. Plechner’s Corner of my website entitled, Chemical Insect Repellents and please review the links.

At the very end of the article, there will be listed natural substances that claim to create the same protective results without causing chronic diseases that do not contain endocrine interrupters.

Hopefully this kind of information will help you and your veterinarian treat chronic diseases in your pet that may have been caused by using a monthly insect repellent. 

Please remember, the damage that these endocrine interrupters may have caused, can remain permanent even in the face of correcting the endocrine immune imbalance.

For more information on this subject, please consider contacting your veterinarian, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association.

You may also want to search online for "Natural Products for Repelling Insects in Pets" for your own information.

I have had two natural products that have been recommended to me that are said to be safe and effective, which I have personally have never used.

One recommendation was for the use of an all-natural weekly spray for fleas, ticks and mosquitoes and to can get more information about this product please to

The other recommended natural product was a monthly, oral, heart worm repellent that you can also get more information about by going to

Hopefully these thoughts and this information will help you find a safe and non- chemical alternative for protecting your pet from getting fleas, ticks and heartworms.

Copyright ©2012

Read SARDS Clinical Case Study Here

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