In my post called  Happy Thanksgiving… I wrote of the difficulty I was having trying to reach Dr. Plechner, the veterinarian who developed the Plechner Protocol for dogs stricken with sudden blindness also known as SARDS or Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome. The young lady who runs his Facebook page, Blind Dogs Cure for SARDS by Dr. Plechner, had not only blocked me but removed Sasha’s progress videos I had uploaded as well as my posts. I also found myself blocked from his personal Facebook page which told me she had access to his account.  All because one Sunday she posted that he was admitted to the hospital and several of his California patients wrote that they were going to  visit him that afternoon.  He had actually been discharged from the hospital and not wanting to see people make an uneccessary trip, I posted that information which for some unknown reason set her off. He was ill at the time and I assumed that once he had recovered we would resolve the issue. Was I wrong!

At the time he was living and practicing in California but when he became ill he retired and eventually moved back to his home state of Idaho. I was assured by someone who is in Dr. Plechner’s loop that the woman who runs his Facebook page, Myriam Miranda of Naples, Florida, did not have access to his personal email but considering the control she’d already demonstrated, I had reservations.  I’ll admit I waited awhile before even attempting to email him because I was angry. I simply could not understand how he could allow her to arbitrarily do this to someone whos dog’s treatment he was consulting on. Especially since he and I had formed an exceptionally good relationship and emailed each other almost daily. Because of my location my goal was to bring his work to the attention of an esteemed teaching veterinary schoo/hospital. To go from that to dead silence and having a barrier thrown up for no rational reason was frustrating. Most of all it was unfair to Sasha for she had undergone many blood tests, a complete change in diet and a complicated medication regime in an attempt to restore some or all of her vision. And it was working! Plus she was on the cusp of regaining some near vision when this woman interfered.

In the latter part of November Sasha began vomiting which I wrote about in Sasha’s Tummy… I love her medical team in Maine but it would have been nice to speak with Dr. Plechner, to ask if he had encountered this problem with other dogs being treated for SARDS. I finally bit the bullet and emailed him but days passed with no response.  Sasha’s stomach issues seemed to resolve with medication and I thought we had successfully passed the hurdle ~ until this past week. One of her followers had commented on my Happy Thanksgiving post that he was disturbed as a dog owner that someone would do this to a person whose dog was undergoing treatment. He said he was going to find the Facebook page but I said let it go, not worth it etc. The other day he commented on the Happy Thanksgiving post to say he’d located the Facebook page, wrote a comment which was subsequently deleted and him blocked. He pasted the comment he made so I could see  and it was essentially benign except he asked for clarification as to whose page it was, why would “Miranda” take it upon herself to block someone because she misunderstood what they wrote or because they questioned her. I was dumbfounded and still haven’t responded (sorry Andy). I emailed Dr. Plechner one more time but again, no response. I then contacted the person whom I previously  wrote was in the loop as this individual has always been extremely helpful and genuinely kind. This time however he simply gave me names of several veterinarians who use Dr. Plechner’s Protocol. That’s the last thing Sasha needs ~ to bring a virtual stranger into her care plan. She has excellent vets  who follow his protocol to a T. They just aren’t as experienced with SARDS as he is so therefore can’t be absolutely sure if the steroids are causing her stomach issues. Then last week it happened again in the morning before she left for her scheduled veterinary appointment. I spent nearly $500 between her usual acupuncture/laser therapy plus diagnostic blood work and x-rays. Dr. Stuer prescribed some medication and I prayed it would work but then just a few days later it happened again. I spoke with him and she’s going on another round of the medication (Carafare) that I dissolve in a small amount of water then give by oral syringe. We’re also going to cut the daily amount of steroids she receives in half because we both feel they are contributing to her gastric distress.

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Sasha is such a good girl, always takes her daily mountain of pills split into three rounds over the course of the day yet doesn’t resist. She is one of the sweetest, most mellow dogs  I have  been blessed to be owned by.  I thought of all she’s been through; the FCE (spinal stroke) that ended her participation in Schutzhund, the perianal fistula disease, stem cell therapy and now the Plechner Protocol. I’ve thought about it, ground my teeth during my sleep, and shed many tears this past week. Today I made my decision; Sasha needs to be weaned off the protocol. Long term steroid use can have an adverse effect on one’s body, particularly their organs and I’m just not willing to take a chance with her health. I’d rather she remain blind than to go into organ failure. As much as I trust her veterinary team I refuse to gamble with her health by keeping her on a treatment when I can’t even speak to the doctor who essentially discovered and fine tuned it. And why? Because some woman in Florida decides who can post on the page and who can’t? Based on absolutely no normal or intelligent rationale? I took a cue from Andy and looked at her YouTube videos as well as her LinkedIn. .She can’t even pronounce Dr. Plechner’s name or the syndrome yet she has the audacity to get between my dog and a veterinarian who was helping her? I took a huge leap of faith with Dr. Plechner because of the controversy surrounding his protocol. I literally spent 8-10 hours a day on my laptop reading everything I could find,  both the good and the not so good. Only to be cut off at the pass by a woman just as Sasha was making real progress.

Would she have eventually regained her near vision? I don’t know because Myriam Miranda calls the shots. And know what? That is NOT acceptable to me. Sasha is worth far more to me than the Myriam Miranda’s of the world. As for Dr. Plechner? I have zero respect for him now because any professional medical practitioner who  allows an inexperienced, non-medical person to play God with dogs whose cases he is consulting on can jump on the boat and go straight to hell with her.

I have said from the beginning of Sasha’s Journey and her subsequent blindness that I would love her whether she had a return of vision or not and that has never changed.  We are like two peas in a pod; she has a bad left leg, so do I. She has a visual impairment, so do I. She sleeps half off the bed, so do I.

Now if I could just get her snow boots from the shoemaker before spring I’d be happy. The cold snow really bothers her foot now that she has arthritis in her toes so I need the snow boots.

What can I say other than welcome to Maine where it’s winter five months of the year!

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I’m not a savvy blogger  so unsure of menus and widgets. Please click to see Sasha’s You Tube channel which chronicles her journey from onset until present day. If you like it, please subscribe.

💜Next up ~ tapering off her meds💜

8 thoughts on “Difficult Day, Difficult Decision..

  1. I welcome the update and news of Sasha as always 🙂 However, this woman??? Seriously??? Does Dr.Plechner even know what’s going on?
    I do think you’ve made the right decision, as it comes down to quality of life, as you know, and having a perpetual sore tummy can’t be nice for Sasha. She’s such a beautiful, brave girl 🙂 Have you thought about supplements etc. like fish oils to help maintain eye health? It certainly can’t do any harm as they are natural.
    Great to have the news, lots of love to you all xx

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I hope what I said in your Thanksgiving post didn’t influence you. I folllow Sasha because as a K9 handler, our Department lost my first partner, K-9 Bonja to complications of a spinal stroke. We trained & worked together for 3 years. She lived with me inside my house. I’d had dogs growing up but she was different. We bonded so well I swore she knew what command I was going to give before the word got out of my mouth. The FCE happened at home while she was getting ready to jump onto her chair (another reason your Sasha resonated with me – seeing her in her recliner). We did everything as you did, neuro vet and because we are in an urban area we had animal rehab available. She regained some use but couldn’t go back to the department so I adopted her. I chose not to get a new dog right away so that in my down time I could work/play with Bonja. Anyway, unlike Sasha she had lingering complications and I lost her. Even though I’m on my third partner, I carry a piece of Bonja with me still (her picture was my avi that disappeared). Following Sasha’s struggle and successes I got to feel as if I know her and that a FB moderator or whatever could ban you is incomprehensible. I give you credit because you always took the high road by not naming her prior to this which is more than most would do. She is obviously one of these ppl that are always tuned into FB because I posted in the SARDS group during a work day and it was deleted and I was banned in no time. I’m sorry things didn’t work out but you tried. I do think at some point you might want to write something outside of this blog about Dr Plechner and the part this woman plays. Because honestly? By reading that FB page I couldn’t tell who was writing the posts. They seem medical but I also found several medical “articles” online written by her yet after listening to her on her YT videos there’s no way she wrote them. Just from your posts last summer it was obvious you thoroughly vetted him and things were great it seemed. I know I was happy the day you wrote that her local vet realized her eyes were reacting to light. But as a nurse you have an advantage to a degree as you know what to look for, where to find it and the ability to wade through the info. What about other people who don’t have that ability? I’d hate to think another blind dog could be victimized by her. And Samantha is right. Does Dr Plechner know about this? I believe he does which is why I feel this needs to come out. If for no other reason then to prevent one dog from being endangered. Sorry for such a long comment.

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    1. Thanks Andy for posting on that FB page. I don’t have FB but found it using my wife’s tablet. It’s really terrible that some woman who can’t even pronounce the words or the doc’s name can do what she does to ppl who are only trying to help their dogs. Even if Sasha’s mom told this Myriam to pound sand it doesn’t warrant the action Myriam took! The page is about Dr Plechners treatment for dogs with SARDS. Its not about Myriam or her ego. And to remove all traces of Sasha from the page like her progress videos is just malicious and spiteful. I’m sure the doc knows about it too but probably doesn’t give a rats ass which makes him just as mean.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ok this is inexcusable. Nobody deserves to be treated this way by some psycho who obviously thinks running that FB page makes her an elitist. She should work on her language skills instead of acting like the Hitler of FB

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I’m really sorry to read this as we were so rooting for Sasha. I remember your happy post when you were at the ski resort and she saw you and walked right up to you. I honestly thought it was just a matter of time. I know from following you on WPand Twitter that you are discreet and don’t name ppl. But posting this witches name is the best thing you did. Like Andy said, ppl NEED to know because if they’re thinking of contacting that vet there are other factors involved that they might not want to deal with. Plus instead of helping a dog those 2 could actually harm it. Him by refusing to respond to emails and her by cutting you off from a group where maybe another member could say their dog had stomach troubles too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I usually don’t comment but this post got to me both as a have man and a GSD owner. That woman is a straight up bitch plain and simple. And the vet has probably either started to lose his marbles or doesn’t care. Because any reputable caring vet would NEVER allow this to go on, especially as long as it has. I realize the person you said was in the loop was trying to be helpful but to add another vet to the mix? That you don’t know is wrong. Sasha has several medical things and if nothing else needs consistency in her care. Sounds like she’s getting it with her team now. I’m sorry that you’ll never know if she could have regained more vision but like you said, her overall health is more important. Sending healing thoughts.

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  6. I know this is a few months old but if you have weaned her off the steroids, Check out moducare-vet by thorne industries. We used it with Shadow and although it’s not a cure, it did help her a good bit. We did half dose twice a day. It may make her feel better and it can’t hurt. I’m on SARDS dogs on Facebook. Cliff Burton

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