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This method by Dr. Plechner has helped many
thousands of pets lead normal happy lives. Without it, many would
have been euthanized. This information is decades ahead of mainstream
Albert J. Simpson, DVM
Pets at Risk
provides a clear guide for healing, written for both pet owners and
veterinarians alike. Dr. Plechner explains that many health problems
originate with genetic or acquired disturbances to the adrenal cortex
production of cortisol, an important hormone. A domino effect ensues,
affecting the hypothalamus- pituitary- adrenal axis. Other hormones
go awry and immune function is compromised.
Dr. Plechner also identifies
adverse environmental influences such as food intolerance, poor diet,
toxins in the environment, and stress, among others, as factors that
also may affect adrenal malfunction and overall pet health.In Dr.
Plechners therapy program, he uses a safe and effective combination
of pharmaceutical and plant based (natural) cortisone preparations,
depending on the severity and stage of disease.
Many once-sick animalssome
seriously illhave made remarkable recoveries and lived long
and healthy lives on this program. My independent clinical experience
shows that low-dose cortisone along with thyroid replacement, is hugely
beneficial for restoring lost immune competence present in many canine
conditions, explains Dr. Plechner. In most affected felines,
cortisol alone works.Pets at Risk creates the blueprint
for an effective working partnership between pet owners and veterinarians.
A part of the treatment includes pharmaceuticals, which must be prescribed
by a veterinarian, along with a healthy diet and careful attention
to food allergies, which require an attentive pet owner.
In the final chapter of his book, Dr. Plechner relates his findings in animals
to illnesses in human beings. Dr. Plechner has presented his clinical
perspectives in 2002 and 2003 to physicians at the Broda O. Barnes,
M.D. Research Foundation in Connecticut, an organization dedicated
to education, research, and training in the field of thyroid and endocrine
After learning about Dr. Plechners findings, one physician,
David Brownstein, stated: His revelations from years of clinical
practice have connected the dots between unrecognized hormonal defects
and immune system disorder. As a medical doctor, I find that his work
explains many of the chronic problems I see in my patients. This book
shows how safe and effective hormone treatments can be used to rebuild
the immune system. The information has great therapeutic significance
not just for sick animals but for sick humans as well.
Alfred Plechner, DVM
RETURN TO TOP
Alfred J. Plechner and Martin Zucker have collaborated
to write Pets at Risk with its breakthrough information. Dr.
Plechner combines his thirty-five years of veterinary clinical knowledge
with Zuckers twenty-five years as a writer specializing in health
and medicine. They first worked together in 1986 when they co-authored
Pet Allergies: Remedies for an Epidemic, which the Seattle
Times described as a superb, provocative wake-up call to
American pet owners.
Dr. Plechner is a graduate of the University
of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. He founded
the California Animal Hospital, which has been ranked among the top
1 percent of animal clinics in the United States. His research and
clinical experiences have been published in veterinary and medical
journals, including Medical Hypotheses, Townsend Letter for Doctors
& Patients, and Progressive Health News.
In the mid-1980s,
Dr. Plechner co-developed the first successful commercial lamb and
rice diet, a new hypoallergenic pet food diet that was widely copied.
He later developed a new generation of hypoallergenic foods that are
currently sold by veterinarians nationwide.
Martin Zucker was a former
foreign correspondent with Associated Press, who has since written,
co-written, or ghostwritten more than ten books. His specialty is
health and medicine. His five previous books on pet health include
The Veterinarians Guide to Natural Remedies for Dogs and
The Veterinarians Guide to Natural Remedies for Cats
(Three Rivers Press/Crown, 2000). His most recent books are Preventing
Arthritis (G. P. Putnam & Sons, 2001) and Natural Hormone
Balance for Women (Pocket Books, 2002).To read recent articles
by Dr. Plechner, visit his web site at www.drplechner.com
Clinical Evolution: From Frustration to Discovery
Endocrine-Immune Chaos: Putting the Puzzle Together
Environmental Influences: Food, Fleas, and Toxins
Repairing Endocrine-Immune Imbalances
The Test that Can Make a Difference
The Hormone Replacement Program
The Diet Replacement Program
Supplements and Natural Remedies
Dogs in Balance
Cats in Balance
Implications for Humans
About the Authors
RETURN TO TOP
The following is excerpted from Pets
at Risk: From Allergies to Cancer, Remedies for an Unsuspected Epidemic
(NewSage Press 2003). This material is copyrighted by Alfred J. Plechner,
DVM and NewSage Press, and may not be copied or excerpted without
direct permission from the publisher.
Chapter One: Endangered Dogs
Veterinarians are frustrated. They treat pets
engulfed by relentless disorders with multiple and seemingly unrelated
clinical signs. They frequently can do little more than temporarily
relieve their patients and make them more comfortable, but are unsuccessful
in reversing the decline in vitality and health, or the course of
disease. Many times veterinarians have no choice but to euthanize
hopelessly sick pets, even young ones. On a daily basis veterinarians
see animals like the following cases I have worked with:
- Georgette, a beautiful three-year-old Golden
Retriever, developed the canine equivalent of breast cancer. Another
veterinarian had removed the mammary gland tumor and treated the
dog with radiation. Within weeks, however, an adjacent mammary
gland became cancerous. The vet removed the new tumor and again
treated the dog with radiation. At this point, the veterinarian
was extremely pessimistic about the chances for survival and indicated
to the owners that the dog probably had no more than three to
six months to live.
- Miles, a seven-year-old Airedale weighing just
over a hundred pounds, had developed aggressive behavior and had
bitten his owner on two occasions. Just prior to these attacks,
a strange expression of rage suddenly appeared on Miles
face. Something had to be done or else Miles would probably have
to be euthanized.
- Buster was dying. This six-year-old domestic
longhair male had been previously diagnosed with feline leukemia
and treated with chemotherapy by another veterinarian. By the
time I treated the cat, he had chronic diarrhea, was losing weight,
and unable to hold his food down. Buster had anemia and white
gums, typical of advanced disease, and major hair loss, a side
effect of the chemotherapy. A blood test revealed that the cat
had serious hormonal imbalances affecting his immune system. He
was overproducing killer cells that were not only attacking the
leukemia virus but also his own tissue.
- Bob, a three-year-old male mixed breed dog,
and Cherry, a five-year-old shorthair female cat, shared the same
household and the same daily diet of lamb and rice kibble. Their
owner, like most people, believed that this type of diet was safe
and hypoallergenic, meaning food that does not cause allergic
reactions. Yet, his dog and cat had developed diarrhea and vomiting.
Both animal companions had flaky skin and weight loss, signs of
improper food absorption, and were clearly unhealthy. The concerned
owner brought the animals to my clinic, puzzled over their illness.
These cases are examples of an insidious, unsuspected
epidemic that sickens, weakens, and kills companion animals before
their time. Pure and mixed breeds. Males and females. Neutered, spayed,
and intact animals. All are at risk. Many are suffering because of
this unrecognized epidemic. As a result, veterinarians are seeing
the following manifestations of ill health:
- Candy had been a national field trial champion
at the age of two, but a year later, the Brittany Spaniel had
refused to run, point, and fetch. She had been bred but could
not conceive. Candy also developed valley fever, a
mysterious and hard-totreat fungal condition that damages the
- More chronic diseases, particularly chronic
health problems among younger animals that previously affected
mostly older animals.
- Middle-aged animals with the appearance and
organs of old animals.
- More animals with weakened immune systems.
- More animals unresponsive to conventional treatment.
- More relentless skin allergies with inflammation,
ulceration, and itchiness.
- Severe hypersensitivity to food and insect
- Conditions among many breeds that were originally
thought to affect only one particular breed.
- Inability to develop protective antibodies
- Miscarriages and sterility.
During more than thirty-five years in practice,
I have treated tens of thousands of dogs and cats with these kinds
of problems. Many years ago, I was fortunate to discover a common
underlying mechanism for multiple illnesses of pets that involves
certain imbalances within the endocrine and immune systems of the
- Aggressiveness, rage, and strange behavior.
Endocrine refers to the system of glands that produces hormones,
molecules that serve as messengers in an amazing network of inner
intelligence that regulates the function of the body. Health and orderliness
are based on this inner intelligence. There are myriad hormones made
in the body, many of which scientists still dont clearly understand.
These substances are secreted by glands such as the adrenals,
ovaries, and thyroid that are overseen by higher centers in
the brain. The problem I have identified starts with hormonal imbalances
that affect the immune system, a network of cells and organs that
defends the body against bacteria, viruses, and disease.
I have seen
these imbalances many times, creating so much bad health that I seriously
fear for the survival of our cherished pets. One thing is for sure:
if this epidemic continues to grow, basic health care costs of pets
may become so prohibitive that many people will not be able to afford
pets at all.The physical starting point of the problem I have identified
is a defect in the adrenal glands, important hubs of hormone production.
The defect creates a damaging domino effect among other hormones that
weakens the immune system. The end result is a major loss of protection
against disease and a greatly increased risk for disease.
I became alarmed and concerned early on in my veterinary practice more than
thirty years ago. As more clients brought inexplicably sick animals
into my clinic, I became dissatisfied with just treating the superficial
signs. Moreover, the conventional treatments I was trained to do were
having little impact on animals seemingly more susceptible to disease
and allergies and who were living shorter and sicker lives.
I saw dogs dying at six or eight years instead of twelve or fourteen. They developed
bizarre autoimmune diseases pitting them in a life-and-death struggle
not just against bacteria and viruses but against the very food they
ate. I saw cats with confounding combinations of inflammatory bowel
disease, failing kidneys, and urinary tract disorders.My medical school
training did not prepare me to deal with this inundation of ill health.
So I had to learn on my own.
Over time I learned that many of the
problems I saw had an apparent common denominator of skewed hormones
and compromised immune system. Some animals with this endocrine-immune
disturbance would develop clinical signs of disease early on in life.
Others would develop disease later. I liken this disturbance to a
timebomb. Some animals have long fuses. Others short fuses. Sometimes
the disturbance manifests dramatically in acute illness. Other times,
the endocrine-immune disturbance slowly unravels an apparently healthy
and orderly system, infecting the system with increasing chaos like
a computer virus. In the process, animals are often unable to absorb
medication and respond to conventional treatments. Until the imbalances
are corrected, the treatments may not work.
Sometimes stress, poor
diet, exposure to toxic chemicals, and parasites such as fleas can
aggravate, or even cause, the imbalances. My clinical studies indicate,
however, that animals are more likely to react to these factors simply
because their immune systems are compromised by hormonal imbalances.
For instance, the scratching itching and skin problems typically associated
with fleas are usually secondary to hormonal-immune imbalances. Correct
the imbalances and the animal becomes healthy. The fleas go elsewhere
and target other weak animals.The solution is to identify the hormonal
defect and correct it. This is what I did for Georgette, Miles, Buster,
Bob, Cherry, and Candy, all of whom recovered from their illnesses.
After years of treating thousands of dogs and cats with serious and
chronic health problems, I want to share the same program that I use
so successfully with pet owners and their veterinarians, so they can
recognize hormonal defects, correct them, and restore health to ailing
This book is an eye-opener. For veterinarians,
it fills a big knowledge gap and opens a broad avenue into effective
prevention and healing. For pet owners, the book is a blueprint for
forging a dynamic partnership with veterinarians that can preserve
the health of vulnerable animals and restore the health of those who
are sick. This information is decades ahead of mainstream veterinary
J. Simpson, D.V.M., Oregon City, Oregon
Humans suffer from hormonal imbalances,
so it makes sense that our pets would also suffer from them.ŠVeterinarian
Alfred Plechner has a different spin on the problem than I have with
humans, but I believe he's on the right track and is a much-needed
pioneering clinician in veterinary medicine.
R. Lee, M.D. , "The John R. Lee Medical Letter"
Co-author of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause:
The Breakthrough Book on Natural Progesterone
This book is dynamite. It presents
us with a way of evaluating and treating our animal patients with
all kinds of problems related to dysfunctional immune systems. My
initial experiences with the protocol have been extremely gratifying.
Tiekert, D.V.M. Founder of the
American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association
Al Plechner's revelations from years
of clinical practice have connected the dots between unrecognized
hormonal defects and immune system disorder. As a medical doctor,
I find that his work explains many of the chronic problems I see among
my patients. This book shows how safe and effective hormone treatments
can be used to rebuild the immune system. The information has great
therapeutic significance not just for sick animals but for sick humans
Brownstein, M.D., West Bloomfield, Michigan
This is a major therapeutic option
we didn't learn about in veterinary school.
Benesh, D.V.M., Chandler, Arizona