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Blackjack is a 10 year old neutered male Chihuahua/Jack Russell Terrier dog that came to me for back pain and hind end weakness. As his pain and weakness subsided with acupuncture, laser therapy and Chinese herbs, he suddenly became blind.

Blackjack was diagnosed by a local eye specialist with SARDS (Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome) and was told that there was no known cause, no treatment or cure, and his blindness was irreversible.

Blackjack’s owners were devastated and Blackjack was miserable.

Because Blackjack had such a grave prognosis regarding vision restoration, his owner’s elected to try a controversial treatment and continue acupuncture, laser therapy, and herbal supplements.

SARDS is believed to be an autoimmune disorder affecting the retina. In Chinese Medicine (TCM), autoimmune disorders are caused by a pathogen that leads to an imbalance in Yin and Yang which causes the body’s Yang to injure the Yin. Autoimmune disorders are characterized in TCM by heat, dampness, and stagnation (blockages) in the body.

Dr. Al Plechner believes excess estrogen produced by the adrenal gland in response to the production of deficient or defective cortisol causes SARDS and other autoimmune disorders. The excess estrogen binds to the thyroid hormone receptor sites, deregulates the immune system and cripples (IgA) antibody production. This endocrine immune imbalance is called Atypical Cortisol Estrogen Imbalance Syndrome (ACEIS) or Plechner’s Syndrome.

Blackjack’s first Endocrine Immune blood panel revealed high estrogen, elevated cortisol, undetectable thyroid hormone, and depressed immunoglobulins.

Blackjack was started on thyroid supplementation and began a series of steroid injections. He was also placed on krill oil, digestive enzymes, prebiotics, probiotics, nutritional clay, transfer factors, medicinal mushrooms, curcumin, IP-6, and several other nutritional supplements. He was switched from a kibble based diet to a moist, organic food.

Blackjack received acupuncture and laser therapy every 2 weeks and continued Chinese herbs. His acupuncture treatments consisted of points to dispel heat, drain damp, tonify and move Qi and Blood to resolve stagnation, and local points around the eyes to improve vision.

After 3 months, Blackjack’s vision returned! He is now able to go for walks without wearing his “halo”. He can maneuver around the other dog in the house. He can go out the dog door and lay in the grass.

Blackjack is visual and visibly happier!

Special thanks to Blackjack’s owners for following Dr. Plechner’s protocol and not giving up!

Super special thanks to Dr. Al Plechner for his support and guidance!

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