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Old 07-16-2005, 06:57 AM
JRT_Rattie_Mom's Avatar
JRT_Rattie_Mom JRT_Rattie_Mom is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Oregon
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Default Natural Pet Care

Many of you on Chazhound know me, but for those I haven't had the chance to meet... my name is Karen Goodale. I have a Jack Russell Terrier, Lucy that went blind overnight in September 2004 from SARDS (Suddenly Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome) at just 2 1/2 years old.

SARDS is rare. Many regular vets have never seen a case in their own practice, and end up learning about SARDS along with the patient & dog owner. The vet ophthalmologist that diagnosed Lucy with SARDS at most sees only 1 or 2 cases per year. The first cases of SARDS were seen in the 1980's, but the cause of SARDS is still unproven, and is assumed to be a non-genetic condition. Researchers describe the actual mechanism of degeneration as apoptosis, or programmed cell death. When the body detects damage to a cell, the hormone cortisol crosses the cell membrane and initiates a programmed, self-destruct message.

There is no treatment for SARDS, since the cones and rods in the retina are totally destroyed. The most recent studies and theories indicate that SARDS may be triggered by the modern-day lifestyle: Inappropriate nutrition, over-vaccinating, chemicals from flea prevention products, yard pesticides, home chemicals, etc. causing chronic irritation (stress) and sending the dog's system into overdrive, producing excess stress hormone. SARDS is not just an "eye disease" but is considered an autoimmune problem, with other possible other health problems.

So... in trying to make this shorter... when I still have SO much I want to say! My life totally changed last September when Lucy went blind. I don't get a chance to visit here as often as I'd like (I love to just "dog chat") ... and still consider myself very much a part of the Chazhound family!

I work a full-time job, plus I am a support person on a list for blind dog owners, with over 2,500 members. I have a web site with stories of blind dogs at: ( ) and a dog rescue directory at: ( )

I am also working with 2 natural pet care companies, Natures Paws ( ) and Botanical Dog ( ) for natural products choices to keep Lucy as chemical free as possible, and inform other pet owners about natural alternatives.

When I stopped by tonight to try and catch up on the forum, I was having a hard time deciding where I "should" post just the one message I had time for... and decided this topic would be best!

I will be back to visit just as often as possible.... and sure do miss all of you, and the forum here!
Karen, Lucy (JRT) & Holly (Rat Terrier)

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Old 07-16-2005, 11:40 AM
Barb04's Avatar
Barb04 Barb04 is offline
Love my pets
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 27,368

So glad you posted. It's great having you back. I know how busy you are with all that you do.
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Old 07-17-2005, 09:57 AM
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Sheba Sheba is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: In a wolf pack
Posts: 4,310

I've never knew you, but I'm sure you will bring even more happiness to all
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Old 07-17-2005, 11:19 PM
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Renee750il Renee750il is offline
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Where the selas blooms
Posts: 94,266

Karen's amazing! I remember when we first found out about little Lucy (she really is extended family, lol!). She adapted so quickly to her changed world and Hully just stepped right up and became her own personal guide dog!

Karen did so much work, researching and doing everything she possibly could to help Lucy and learn more about SARDS. I really miss having her around as much as she was, but the things she is doing with her time are so important and help so many. All too often dog owners can leap to the conclusion that their dog's happy life is over when sight is lost, and that's just not so. Karen is helping to dispel that myth, saving many dogs from tragically unneeded euthanasia and giving comfort to so many distraught owners.

And . . . I'm going to move this up to the Health Care forum where more people will see it who might really need the information.
In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves. ~Buddha

Stupid is the most notoriously incurable and contagious disease known to mankind. If you find yourself in close proximity to someone infected with stupid, walk away as soon as said infection is noted.

There are few things more nauseating than pure obedience. ~ Kvothe

***8206;"silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation."
Be a god. Know when to shut up.

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Old 01-14-2006, 12:58 PM
Caroline Levin Caroline Levin is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1
Default SARDS resources (Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration)

Hello all,

I'd like to post some new resources to help dogs affected with SARDS.
(I 'm the researcher Karen refers to, above.) My first research study is slated for publication in the Journal of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association Jan-Mar 2006 (regarding lifestyle/diet and SARDS) my second article (a case study) is posted online in the hopes that it would be more easily accessed by actual dog-owners.
(Scroll down to "SARD Resources" and select "Research article".) There's a "plain English" translation to make it a little more understandable.

Best wishes to you,
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