As the days pass I became increasingly stressed. I think that was the only time I actually wanted an abnormal lab test result. Meanwhile Sasha continued to make small but positive changes after the Stem Cell Therapy and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections to both knees. Her gait was more limber and we noticed she was beginning to squat ever so slightly when going potty. She was adjusting to her loss of vision, bumping less inside and using the chain link fence as a guide when navigating the backyard area. Her sense of smell was still practically nonexistent because I still had to touch her mouth with a treat in order for her to realize it was there. As a dog who excelled at tracking it pained me but I tried to keep my emotions in check until the EI1 results were in which I anticipated May 2 or 3. Talk about a nail biter! The protocol used in an attempt to return some or all of her vision is contingent on the specific lab numbers because they dictate the medication dosage. I am happy to report that I finally have a new food for her that meets the dietary requirements for both SARDS and PFD. It’s by The Honest Kitchen, the same company who’s dehydrated food my dogs eat when we go hiking – only a different flavor, Brave. It’s quite pricey but by using autoship through Chewy I save a little.I was concerned because we weren’t doing Sasha’s spine and rear leg massage which we’ve done daily since her FCE in 2011. I emailed her neurosurgeon, Dr. Potthoff to ask but he said wait until he sees her f on Saturday May 7.
**BREAKING NEWS** Sasha’s results from the EI1 came on May 3 and she had irregular numbers in EACH level tested!!! This is what I’d been waiting for. I booked an appointment with her internist for Friday, May 6 to begin treatment. Basically the treatment is a series of (3) injections spaced approximately 10-14 days apart. I’ve decided to explain a few details in future postings because I don’t want to inundate any one post with too much data. The protocol will also help in other ways such as enabling the recently infused stem cells to work better, help her joints, and reduce her risk of cancer. The immune system or more specifically, adrenal exhaustion and immunoglobulin suppression, play a huge part in overall health. I’m so thankful we have medical pioneers like Dr. Alfred Plechner who has devoted decades to researching and formulating a treatment protocol that has helped so many dogs, despite meeting opposition from within his own profession. Throughout Sasha’s Journey I’m going to introduce you to dogs who have benefited because of Dr. Plechner. Please read Shasta’s Story ~ remarkable!
Sasha had a busy day on May 6! After a 2.5 hr drive to Portland, she had a 2 hr visit with her internist, Dr. Sarah Noble, of Portland Veterinary Specialists. Dr. Noble began the first step in the Plechner Protocol in an attempt to recover some or all of Sasha’s vision which she lost to SARDS on April 7, 2016. Dr. Noble is collaborating with Dr. Plechner and using the protocol he developed in an attempt to reverse her blindness and improve her quality of life. I am entering this next phase hoping Sasha regains her vision but will accept it if she doesn’t. She’s a wonderful, loving and loyal girl who will live the rest of her days loved and cherished no matter what. Since Sasha has her first checkup following the SCT the next day, we spent the night in the Portland area. Being in the car for long periods of time really does appear to bother Sasha so she had a well deserved nap listening to her “Doggy Playlist” on Spotify.
Since the SCT I’d noticed small but definite improvements in her mobility at home however I think the long 2.5 hr car ride to Portland on Friday set her back a bit. When I took her outside the hotel for potty breaks she seemed to fold her left rear foot under thus scraping her nails; I eventually learned this is called knuckling. I noticed her rear legs became entwined a few times causing her to plop down to the ground in a seated position. I hope that once she’s rested for a few days (which she definitely deserves) and we return home, she’ll resume showing improvement. I was really glad we were staying in the city for what I referred to as “Sasha’s Medical Vacation“.
On Saturday Sasha’s checkup began by having the (9) surgical staples that were used to close the incision in her abdomen removed. A member of Dr. Potthoff’s team, Angella, LVT, carefully removed them and as you can see by Sasha’s reaction in this video ,the process met with her approval. After Angella finished, Dr. Potthoff entered and began his examination. As you can hear on this video, he said her knees were still sore and stiff. I told him about her small but steady improvements at home following SCT but that I felt the 2.5 hr car ride to Portland set her back . Dr. Potthoff gave the go ahead to resume Sasha’s daily spine and leg massage as well as her passive range of motion exercises. I know every patient, whether human or canine, is different but I still pressed him on stem cell therapy “ballpark” results. He said that usually the most improvement is shown between the 6 ~ 10 week mark and that if the team opts for a follow-up infusion it’s usually done around 12 weeks. Time will tell…
At this point, we’re all just happy to go home.
💜Next up ~ imrovements continue💜
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