April 22, the day I was anticipating yet dreading ~ was our appointment with Dr. Cory Mosunic, an ophthalmologist with Portland Veterinary Specialists. She would either confirm that Sasha has SARDS or a more favorable diagnosis. Normally I would enjoy a visit to Congress Street in Portland , Maine’s largest city, because of its diversity but today I was focused solely on Sasha and learning the reason for her sudden loss of vision on April 7, 2016.
We usually see Sasha’s internist at PVS’s other location so this was my first time to this office. We only waited a few minutes and then taken to an exam room by Ashley, one of the wonderful vet techs from PVS (they sometimes rotate between the two locations so you often meet). Ashley initiated the initial testing =which included staining and others that I can’t recall the name of. It was painful for me to watch Sasha with strips sticking from her eyelids but as a;ways, she was cooperative and a true champ. Dr.Mosunic entered and after introducing herself, we discussed Sasha’s vision loss. She had the records from the neurosurgeon so knew there was NOT a spinal compression. She did some manual tests on her eyes with a variety of lights and instruments. She told me she wanted to do an Electroretinography (ERG), a test that would confirm the diagnosis of SARDS. With a SARDS dog, the ERG is always flatlined. Like the movie where the hospitalized patient goes into cardiac arrest and the camera zooms in to the flatline of his monitor. Dr.Mosunic explained the test could take up to 30 minutes and had to be conducted in a dark, quiet exam room. We waited for what seemed like hours but really only about 40 minutes. My daughter who is my trusty sidekick and I met with Dr.Mosunic in her office to discuss the test results. As I feared, she confirmed it was SARDS. I had my list of questions and began asking. I asked if she had ever had a SARDS dog whose vision was restored but she said no. She did say that she had referred several patients to a veterinary ophthalmologist in Iowa, Dr. Sinisa Grozdanic. who had some reported success in reversing SARDS by administering Intraocular IVIg injections directly into the dogs eyes. I asked if any of her referrals had gone to see him but she wasn’t aware of any. I also asked if she knew of any dogs, perhaps patients of colleagues, treated by intraocular injections but she only knew what she had read and heard during conferences. I introduced the subject of Dr. Plechner and his theory. She was aware of it but not a supporter. I respected her for that because as I wrote in my previous post, many traditional veterinarians are not.
I left knowing I had my work cut out for me and time was critical. Part of Dr. Plechner’s protocol is that the dog have a preliminary lab test drawn called an EI1 (Endocrine/Immune 1) because it will indicate if there are any hormonal deviance. The EI1 is currently only processed by one testing lab in the country, National Veterinary Diagnostic Services in TX. The blood must be drawn on a fasting dog and shipped with ice packs overnight. Sasha’s STC was scheduled Tuesday morning, April 26. As a nurse I believed that if labs were needed, they must be drawn prior to the IV infusion of the stem cells because IV infusion travel systemically through the body and I felt they could possibly alter the results of lab tests. I was fairly confident that I could get Dr. Potthoff to agree to draw and ship the specimen but I still had to initiate contact with Dr. Plechner. I also had to approach Sasha’s internist, Dr. Sarah Noble, to request that if Sasha’s EI1 was indeed abnormal, she begin the treatment referred to as Plechner Protocol. I’ve inserted a small slide show of pictures from Sasha’s visit with the exception of the actual ERG as we weren’t permitted in the darkened room. Please note her ERG graph; she does not have a flatline.
💜Next up ~ Dr. Plechner💜
I’m not a savvy blogger so unsure of menus, icons etc. Click to see Sasha’s You Tube channel which chronicles her journey from onset until present day.