Author Topic: Alfred J. Plechner, DVM  (Read 5136 times)

Offline Pookie

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Alfred J. Plechner, DVM
« on: October 24, 2015, 01:09:23 PM »
I read Dr. Plechner's book, "Pets at Risk - From Allergies to Cancer, Remedies for an Unsuspected Epidemic" several years ago when I was trying to find something to help Pookie's sister.  Dr. Plechner developed a protocol to correct hormonal imbalances in pets that were causing or, at least, contributing to allergies, aggression, epilepsy, viral diseases, gastrointestinal problems, vaccine reactions, cancer and other illnesses.  He uses low-dose cortisol and usually thyroid medications to balance the hormones.

Let me be clear:  he is not talking about the large pharmacological doses that most vets will prescribe.  The doses he recommends are to bring the cortisol level back to normal.  So for example, let's say on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the normal amount of cortisol produced by the body, your dog or cat only measures a 6.  Instead of giving a large dose of cortisol, Dr. Plechner would prescribe just enough to bring the level back to 10.

His book doesn't really address Addison's, which is why I created a separate thread for him.  But the information in his book may be very helpful to people who's pets have other chronic illnesses.  He also has a website:  http://drplechner.com/ and it includes what your vet would need to test for.  Dr. Plechner had retired, but came out of retirement due to demand, so if your vet isn't open to Dr. Plechner's protocol, you can have your vet do the bloodwork and then you (or your vet) can consult with Dr. Plechner.

I haven't completely explored his website yet, but I can tell you in his book that while he is somewhat open to raw feeding, he prefers pets on his protocol be fed a cooked meat diet and/or hypo-allergenic diet.  I didn't get the impression that he understands how a grain-based diet can contribute to at least some of the health problems we see in pets.

Personally, I think that feeding a species-inappropriate diet causes stress to our pets' systems, and that may contribute to the kind of hormonal imbalance that Dr. Plechner is treating.  His book discusses those issues mostly as a result of breeding, along with toxins, etc.

Please, visit his site, read through it.  Perhaps there's something there that will ring true to you, and it might be worth looking into if your pet has health issues that haven't been completed resolved by changing the diet.  You can always have the bloodwork done, finances and pet permitting, and then make a decision if you want to pursue the protocol.

One other note:  in his book, he finds that his protocol doesn't usually correct food allergies.  That's what I thought was going on with Pookie's sister, so I didn't pursue using the protocol.  But he does find that the protocol does work very well for other allergies, e.g. environmental, etc.  He has also found that every pet with cancer has this hormone-immune imbalance, so this protocol might be helpful in preventing health issues down the road as well as correcting existing ones.

I hope this helps!  http://drplechner.com/

http://drplechner.com/learn/miscellaneous-articles/prevention/
« Last Edit: October 24, 2015, 08:18:45 PM by Pookie »
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Re: Alfred J. Plechner, DVM
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2015, 01:26:01 PM »
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Re: Alfred J. Plechner, DVM
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2015, 02:16:39 PM »
And 2 articles (parts I and II) from his site about adrenal fatigue.  This discusses pets as well as humans.

http://drplechner.com/what-is-adrenal-fatigue-part1/

From Part I:

Quote
In the majority of canines, felines and equines, the damage to the zona fasiculata and its production of cortisol is genetic and permanent, and that is why adrenal, nutritional support may not work.

Well, there goes my hope that adding some supplements to a pet's diet, short-term, after surgery could help them recover.   :(  Personally, I don't think it would cause any harm as long as the vitamins are water-soluble, but that's just my opinion. 

He seems to believe that this is a genetic issue, but I can't help but wonder if at least some of it is diet-related, since the pet may have been eating a less-than-ideal diet for most/all of it's life.  For pets that have been eating a species-appropriate diet all their life and weren't exposed to a lot of vaccines or toxins, and are having chronic health issues, genetics may very well play a role.  I don't know if he's ever compared pets that were fed an appropriate diet/few vaccines, etc. to pets that were fed commercial food and regularly vaccinated.

http://drplechner.com/what-is-adrenal-fatigue-part2/

And from Part II:

Quote
Hopefully Part 1 of ADRENAL FATIGUE explains to you how a deficient or defective cortisol can lead to elevated total estrogen in humans and in animals.

When this hormone imbalance occurs, the elevated adrenal estrogen may cause the following problems in the body:

It causes a deregulation of the immune system, which leads to a loss of recognition by the immune system of self-tissue, which can lead to allergies, autoimmunity and cancer.

It reduces the B lymphocytes ability to produce immunoglobulins and when the mucous immunoglobulin (IgA) in a human or animal is below a certain level, intestinal malabsorption may occur. An example of this is when a human or animal is in the hospital and is receiving intravenous or intramuscular medication and are improving, but when they are sent home on the same medication, in an oral form, their original disease begins to return. This may happen because they were unable to absorb the oral medication due to an IgA deficiency and the turmoil that happens in an unprotected gut. Please remember, immunoglobulin A is designed to protect all the mucous membranes in the body, including all those systems which contain mucous membranes.

This includes the mucous membranes of the mouth, gums and the rest of the digestive tract, including the respiratory tract, the urogenital track and in many areas of the skeletal system in their joints. Note: An IgA test level, should be standard for all patients that have general blood tests done, to ensure that the patient, can absorb oral medication, if is prescribed.


Elevated adrenal estrogen in canines and equines binds the receptor sites of T3 and T4. This usually is not a significant finding in a feline, unless they have Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP).
« Last Edit: October 24, 2015, 03:54:09 PM by Pookie »
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Offline DeeDee

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Re: Alfred J. Plechner, DVM
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2015, 12:41:02 AM »


He seems to believe that this is a genetic issue, but I can't help but wonder if at least some of it is diet-related, since the pet may have been eating a less-than-ideal diet for most/all of it's life. 


They've known for a while now that Addison's has a genetic component to it. That's why so many GOOD breeders get really, really upset when they get their first Addisonian offspring. There is research going on right now in Cali, NC, and in the UK. Standard Poodles are really bad about it, but so are West Highland Whites, Portuguese Water dogs, Rottweilers, and a few other breeds that seem to have it occurring higher than average than other breeds.

Some of these breeds are the ones that are being researched in some of the studies. There's talk with some in the BRTCA (breed club) of having Black Russians like Vlad added to the research, but the BRTCA has to come up with grant money for it.

I talked to one researcher in North Carolina, and he'd be more than willing to take Vlad's blood on the side, but I have to pay for everything to get it to him. Let's just say that it's not going to be happening right now at the moment so close to the giant bills we've already had. If he were a Standard Poodle, then it would all be free because their breed club is paying for the grant. http://www.ncstatevets.org/addisonsstudy/

The reason I contacted him was b/c of a notice like this one that was confused by other people: http://www.akcchf.org/research/participate-in-research/Samples-Needed-for-Addison-s-Disease-Study.html

The confusion came about where it says "all dogs" before the "Standard Poodle," so people in the BRTCA thought it was for any dog. I'm not too worried about the BRTCA coming up with a grant, b/c if they find the gene in one breed, then they'll know where to look in every breed, and a test can be developed for breeding stock.

The Estrogen thing. I don't think Vlad's adrenals can make estrogen at all anymore. If it can't make aldosterone to regulate the potassium and sodium, and it can't make cortisol, then I don't think it can make estrogen at all either. I'll have to ask about that on the 6th at his next appointment. I'll put it on the question list right now.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2015, 12:45:22 AM by DeeDee »
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Re: Alfred J. Plechner, DVM
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2015, 11:48:33 AM »
Thanks, DeeDee.  Would you mind including that information in the Addison's thread?  As mentioned in an earlier post, this thread really doesn't pertain to Addison's -- Dr. Plechner's protocol isn't for that particular disease.  I agree there probably is a genetic component to Addison's, however my point for this thread was that this particular vet blames a lot of the (non-Addison's) hormone imbalances on genetics, and doesn't seem to consider other factors, like diet.  His book mentions diet, toxins, etc. briefly, but for the most part, he blames genetics, and while I'm sure that may be part of it, I wouldn't be at all surprised if these hormonal imbalances can be caused by other things as well.
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Re: Alfred J. Plechner, DVM
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2015, 03:18:31 PM »
I honestly DO think that things like thyroid conditions are in the genes, but I'm not sure what sets them off. A lot of dogs with Addison's also end up with hypothyroidism, and other hormonal imbalances.

Is it something that's set off by vaccinations or bad food? I don't know. I know a lot of breeders seem to think that things like vaccinations can set off things like Addison's or thyroid problems, but that wasn't the case with Vlad. He's not had any vaccinations since he was a puppy. A lot of them just don't want to admit that it's heredity because that would mean that they've done something wrong.

Personally, I think that the animal already had the problem, and it just hadn't finished the immuno-attack on the gland or organ that secretes those hormones that are the problem. But getting a vaccination helped the body finish the attack, and suddenly the animal is ill.

In Vlad's case, I think he had the problem a long time, his body was attacking the adrenals, and then the stress of his life being changed so much (by my situation with my parents) finally completely stressed his adrenals out to put him in crisis.

I think that stress of some sort might be a huge factor with a lot of these things going into full-blown problems. Now is it stressed caused by bad nutrition, vaccinations, being left alone all day? That's my big question.

 
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Re: Alfred J. Plechner, DVM
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2015, 11:41:12 AM »
I agree.  I think that our genes are like light switches, and everything may be ok until something (poor diet, stress, vaccines, environmental toxins, etc.) flips the switch and causes a problem like hypothyroid, etc.  I don't know that the genes themselves start out "defective," but that's not to say that they're NEVER "defective."  I think it depends on the animal.  Some may be fine genetically until they're exposed to something that "flips the switch," and I think some are born with the switch already flipped.  I'm re-reading Dr. Plechner's book again, and he does mention that these immune problems can be caused by other factors like diet and toxins, he just leans a lot more towards genetics.  I personally would love it if he could have tested the animal at birth to see if they had the hormone imbalance that he's looking for, and then tested them again at various points in their life.  If they didn't have it at birth, but developed it later, that would tell me that the cause wasn't necessarily genetic as much as something they were exposed to.  But he doesn't have data like that.

I think in Vlad's case, you're right that it's genetic.  I know how careful you are about what he eats and what he's exposed to, and I really hope you don't blame yourself because I don't think there's anything you could have done.  You are a PAWSOME Mommy, and he is very lucky to have you!

It's my hope that posting about Dr. Plechner helps other people to treat immune problems in their own pets.  Just to re-emphasize, his protocol does NOT treat Addison's (I'm not sure about Cushing's), but he has used it on thousands of patients to treat skin allergies, vaccine reactions (or vaccines not being effective), aggression, and other inflammatory diseases like arthritis and ibd.  He's also used it to reduce the risk of cancer, or in cancer patients, to improve their quality of life.

IMO, if changing the diet hasn't worked, and you don't know what else to do, this protocol is worth looking into.  Just my  2cents.
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Re: Alfred J. Plechner, DVM
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2015, 04:50:11 PM »
Thank you so much! :-* I try. That's all I can do. Try my best. I DO think it was stress from being away from me so much more than normal that set it off. This really isn't a breed for people that are going to have the whole family away the whole day. They're VERY family oriented and want to be with their human always. They're natural protection dogs, and it makes them nervous to not be able to see you to protect you.

From the first when I started having to drive them everywhere, he started getting pushy when I was trying to go out the door. Trying to go with me. Sort of a panicked look in his eyes. I know now that part of it was not having enough cortisol because it mostly completely stopped once he started getting prednisone. There are days like today though, he gets that pushy thing going, not wanting me to leave without him.

I'm sure this is part of what finally flipped the switch on him. Total mental stress from not being able to be there to protect me all the time--though it would have finished happening sooner or later.

So, I definitely think that mental stress can flip a switch on a lot of these dogs that get sick. Like every female in my family getting Hashimoto's thyroid disease. Especially those dogs with separation anxiety. Mix genetics, environmental/immunological issues, and stress, and you have a recipe for illness.

Stress as a factor is going to have to be considered along with vaccinations and bad food/environment.

"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

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Re: Alfred J. Plechner, DVM
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2015, 10:05:37 PM »
Stress as a factor is going to have to be considered along with vaccinations and bad food/environment.

Yep, Dr. Plechner does include stress as a factor.  BTW, I just finished re-reading the section on dogs, and he claims his protocol has resolved separation anxiety as well as aggression.  *Sigh*  I can't help but wonder if his protocol would have helped my parent's dog with his aggression issues, at least somewhat, or if it would have helped boost Pookie's immune system so he wouldn't have gotten cancer.  I'll never know, and I just have to take it on faith that everything happens for a reason.  But I do kind of kick myself for completely forgetting about this book and treatment (I read it over 5 years ago), and only thinking of it now when it's too late for my (family's) pets.   :(

Live and learn, I guess.  Hopefully, someone else who sees this thread will benefit from the information.   fingerscrossed  If you see anything on his website that you think may be helpful, would you mind Tweeting it, Dee?  Maybe the animal protocol page or something?  (There's a similar protocol for humans, too, and a book about it called "Safe Uses of Cortisol" by Dr. William Jefferies.  I haven't had a chance to read it yet.)
« Last Edit: October 26, 2015, 10:09:32 PM by Pookie »
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Re: Alfred J. Plechner, DVM
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2015, 09:31:38 AM »
 thumbsup1
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

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Re: Alfred J. Plechner, DVM
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2015, 11:07:39 AM »
Thank you!
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Re: Alfred J. Plechner, DVM
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2015, 08:56:07 PM »

The Estrogen thing. I don't think Vlad's adrenals can make estrogen at all anymore. If it can't make aldosterone to regulate the potassium and sodium, and it can't make cortisol, then I don't think it can make estrogen at all either. I'll have to ask about that on the 6th at his next appointment. I'll put it on the question list right now.

I just remembered that I asked about it yesterday. I was told that the body also converted some testosterone to the estrogen it needs, and since Vlad hasn't been deprived of his testosterone, he really saw no reason to worry about him not having enough estrogen. If Vlad were neutered, we might look into the possibility of some of those other hormonal issues.
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"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

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Re: Alfred J. Plechner, DVM
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2015, 09:06:50 AM »
I just remembered that I asked about it yesterday. I was told that the body also converted some testosterone to the estrogen it needs, and since Vlad hasn't been deprived of his testosterone, he really saw no reason to worry about him not having enough estrogen. If Vlad were neutered, we might look into the possibility of some of those other hormonal issues.

Since Vlad has Addison's, and Dr. Plechner's protocol doesn't address that, I can't really speak to Vlad's condition and how estrogen may or may not play a role.  But to clarify for others about Dr. Plechner's program, he doesn't look at testosterone.  He found that low cortisol = high total estrogen (inflammation) and low antibodies (immunity), and this was the case whether the animal was spayed/neutered or intact, because the adrenals also produce estrogen (not just the reproductive system).  Giving the animal a low (physiological) dose of cortisol would bring the system into balance by lowering estrogen and improving the immune system.

I hope this helps!

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Re: Alfred J. Plechner, DVM
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2015, 11:44:04 AM »
However, it should be noted, that if the animal has low cortisol, it should also have it's potassium and sodium watched closely. Part of Addison's disease is the inability to make cortisol as well as aldosterone.

It's pretty much accepted by everyone that the cortisol is what goes first because there's a Secondary Addison's that is a lack of cortisol, but they still make the aldosterone. In Secondary Addison's, they only need the prednisone to replace the cortisol, and they don't need the Percorten V or Florinef to replace the aldosterone.

It's not uncommon at all though for the animal to progress into Primary Addison's later, so their potassium and sodium still have to be observed closely.

I still can't help but think that the low cortisol Plechner is talking about is the beginning of Addison's in a lot of cases, but giving the animal cortisol-replacement therapy might help the adrenals not be overworked so much and hold Addison's off for a while or even permanently.
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Re: Alfred J. Plechner, DVM
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2015, 04:38:32 PM »
Thanks, DeeDee.  Would you mind posting that information in the Addison's section as well?

I still can't help but think that the low cortisol Plechner is talking about is the beginning of Addison's in a lot of cases, but giving the animal cortisol-replacement therapy might help the adrenals not be overworked so much and hold Addison's off for a while or even permanently.

That didn't seem to be the case in all the examples his book mentions.  These were all animals that had allergies, UTIs, kidney issues, ibd, cancer, behavior issues, epilepsy, vaccine reactions, etc., and those issues were corrected once their cortisol levels were brought into balance.  Their ages varied from kittens/puppies to 8 years old or older.  And cats don't seem to get Addison's, at least, it's my understanding that it's rare, but he used this program to treat cats as well for the issues listed above.

It's possible that eventually maybe some of these animals would have developed Addison's, but he literally treated thousands this way.  In Vlad's case, did he have any other issues going on, like allergies (rash, ear infections, that sort of thing)?  My impression he was doing great and then not acting like himself and then he crashed, but that was just an impression.
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