Plechner Syndrome and the Art of Making Stuff Up

Most proponents of so-called complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) are ordinary, reasonable people, even when promoting beliefs that may be dubious or even thoroughly incredible. However, occasionally I run across one of those individuals with not only a bizarre understanding of health and disease but a bizarre sense of their own relationship with veterinary medicine. Individuals like Dr. Gloria Dodd and Eric Weisman (1,2,3) appear to see themselves as misunderstood geniuses, martyrs whose insights and efforts to improve the world are resented by the less enlightened and attacked by nebulous conspiracies dedicated to preserving their power and income by suppressing simple, cheap cures for disease.

Many of the warning signs of quackery are related to these narcissistic and self-serving narratives (including the Galileo Complex, the David and Goliath Myth, and the Dan Brown Gambit). While an exaggerated sense of self-importance and a persecution complex are not guarantees that the ideas a person is promoting are nonsense, they certainly should raise a red flag and lead one to pay even closer attention to the amount and quality of evidence behind these ideas. All too often, it appears that ego alone is all the evidence these folks need.

That seems to be the case for Dr. Al Plechner. Dr. Plechner is a California veterinarian who appears to have discovered the cause and the cure for most serious medical conditions not already curable by scientific medicine. He calls his one true cause of disease Atypical Cortisol Imbalance (ACIS), though he usually refers to it as Plechner Syndrome.

What’s The Problem?

Dr. Plechner begins his somewhat vague argument by referring to the “Medical Ice Age.”

The MEDICAL ICE AGE relates to the gradual breakdown of ourselves, our animals, and our earth. As this gradual breakdown is occurring, a concentration of predisposing factors of poor health are being created. Not only are we seeing entire families of people developing allergies, auto-immunity, and cancer, but we are also seeing even a faster progression of diseases in our animals due to indiscriminant breeding, and breeding without function. The lack of concern for our earth has further allowed for environmental breakdown, contamination of our soils and waters, and the development of an unstable atmosphere…

With this present day destruction, a potentially dangerous cortisol deficiency is being created in our bodies which allows the immune system not to protect people and animals, but instead allows the loss of recognition of the body’s own tissue by these cells, resulting in allergies, auto-immunity, and cancer. This is called, PLECHNER’S SYNDROME. The identification and control of this syndrome may slow down the MEDICAL ICE AGE which threatens our existence.

He goes on to describe ACIS or “Plechner’s Syndrome” and how he believes it is related to disease:

ATYPICAL CORTISOL IMBALANCE SYNDROME (ACIS) (PLECHNER’S SYNDROME) DESCRIBES A DEFICIENCY IN THE PRODUCTION OF CORTISOL FROM THE MIDDLE LAYER ADRENAL CORTEX AND ITS INABILITY TO PROVIDE ACTIVE (WORKING) CORTISOL WHICH IS THE UNDERLYING CAUSE OFATYPICAL CORTISOL IMBALANCE SYNDROME (ACIS) (PLECHNER’S SYNDROME) AND THE MEDICAL ICE AGE. This shortage of active (working) cortisol leads to a domino effect through the deregulation of thyroid hormones leading to the production of excess ESTROGEN and the deregulation of the immune system and all of the diseases and maladies this resulting faulty immune system creates.

…The fact that these hormones (ALDOSTERONE and ADRENAL ESTROGEN) are present relates to whether the CORTISOL and THYROID HORMONES are working, and not the ESTROGEN and ALDOSTERONE, otherwise the electrolytes and the antibodies would not be working. The comparative levels refer to the CORTISOL and IMMUNOGLUBULINS and this is why it is so important to do comparative levels, including those secretions which are regulated by active (working) hormone.

This supposed endocrine disorder is identified as the underlying cause for many seemingly unrelated diseases, including:

Food Allergies: “You must realize that food sensitivities may only occur secondarily to Plechner’s Syndrome, which is a hormonal antibody defect. If this syndrome is damaged and uncontrolled, eventually the patient will develop food sensitivities to all food.”

Skin Allergies and Infections: “Most dog skin problems seem to come from a hormone antibody imbalance referred to as Plechner’s Syndrome.”

Vomiting in Cats: Of course, food allergies can cause vomiting, and this has already been attributed to Plechner Syndrome. But apart from this problem, “The 2nd most common reason why cats vomit is due to a hormonal antibody imbalance.”

Cancer: “What then is the cause of this uncontrolled tissue growth called cancer? It occurs because of a endocrine-immune imbalance that leads to a deregulated immune system. This endocrine-immune imbalance begins with a defective or deficient cortisol which is produced in the middle layer adrenal cortex.”

Feline Viral Leukemia: “…feline-leukemia victims usually suffer from a hormone imbalance. In treating more than 2,000 cases, Plechner has discovered that with an individualized hormone-replacement plan, dietary changes and regulation, the virus can be controlled, if detected early enough. There are cases in which leukemia-positive cats have become negative after several weeks of treatment, although veterinary textbooks say this is impossible.”

Other Retroviral Infections: “The cats and humans that suffer from these viruses [retroviruses], like HIV, FIV, FIP and FELV, all have a hormonal-antibody deficiency caused by the Plechner Syndrome.”

Bladder Infections:  “Chronic bladder infections in cats are caused by a hormonal antibody imbalance which as yet has not been realized.”

Dental Disease: “The plaque, on the actual tooth may not be causing a problem unless the plaque is great enough to cause the gum associated with that tooth, to cause a gingival recession leading, to an exposed tooth root problem, causing the problem, but rather a hormonal antibody imbalance that is leading to a deficiency of the protective antibody for the gums?”

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: “The cause of the IgA imbalance, IBD and other associated diseases, come from a middle layer imbalance in natural cortisol, produced by the middle layer, adrenal cortex.”

High Cholesterol: “I have found in people and animals, that when there is a cortisone imbalance, the pituitary stimulation causes an increase of total estrogen in male and female patients from the inner layer of the adrenal cortex. This in turn binds the use of thyroid hormone, and reduces the metabolism of the liver where cholesterol utilization and breakdown occurs. Automatically you can see why cholesterol levels may remain high, even after you have done everything that had been recommended.”

Epilepsy: “However, my research studies have allowed me to discover a syndrome involving elevated adrenal estrogen, causing an inflammation of all the endothelial cells that line the arteries of the body. When this elevated level of adrenal estrogen, including ovarian estrogen, causes inflammation of the cerebral arteries, a migraine headache or epileptic seizure can occur…In animals that have had their ovaries removed and in males with no ovaries, this same elevated adrenal estrogen can occur, causing the majority of epileptic seizures in animals and other catastrophic diseases.”

Cherry Eye: “What is cherry eye? This is a condition seen in dogs that relates to the tissue near the inner area of the eye. At the inner portion of the white of the eye, is a membrane that is a remnant of amphibians. In amphibians, this is a membrane that covers the actual eye, and allows the amphibians to see under water. In dogs, there is only a small remnant. But in this remnant, there is a small lymph node, often referred to as the Hardarian gland. When Plechner’s Syndrome is present, it creates an antibody deficiency. When this occurs this small gland increases in size to make up for the antibody imbalance and can reach a size when it can actually abrade the cornea and definitely needs to be removed. At this time, you should insist that your healthcare specialist, remove the other lymph node even if it not enlarged. It will enlarge later and have to be removed, unless you correct Plechner’s Syndrome.”

Plechner Syndrome is also credited with a causal role in female infertility and poor breeding performance, Sudden Acquire Retinal Degeneration Syndrome (SARDS), “Rage Syndrome,” and infestations with fleas and ear mites.

And how is this syndrome detected when it can cause so many seemingly unrelated disorders? Why a simple blood test, of course. It has to be sent to the one lab he trusts, one which will measure the particular kinds of hormone levels he believes are important (which most labs don’t measure since most endocrinologists don’t agree with his assessment), but otherwise it is easy to identify this one underlying cause of many, if not all, diseases.

While Dr. Plechner identifies his eponymous syndrome as the root of most disease, he only speculates about what causes the syndrome itself: “It may be caused by genetics, exposure to toxins, stress, aging, lack of sleep, or in combinations thereof.”

And he does identify a few other causes of ill health, though most he mentions do ultimately cause disease by generating Plechner Syndrome. He feels there are “toxins” in the environment and in pet foods, though he only identifies a few specific substances (plastics, parabens, fluoride, and of course genetically modified food crops). He also considers inbreeding to be one possible cause of Plechner Syndrome, and he has a lot of concerns about radiation. And he recommends dosing the amount of vaccine given by size, in a purely subjective way despite the complete irrationality of this approach, presumably because “too much” vaccine would be harmful.

What’s The Solution?

What does Dr. Plechner recommend as treatment for Plechner Syndrome? The mainstay of his treatment is a lifelong supplementation of cortisol and thyroid hormone for any species, both as a treatment and a preventative measure. He may use the laboratory tests he recommends to guide the specific dosing he uses, but it seems clear that he isn’t really diagnosing Plechner Syndrome since he already knows it is always present; “Every patient I have been involved with, whether dogs, cats, horses or people, all have an identifiable, hormonal antibody imbalance.”

He also recommends calcium Montmorillonite clay as a panacea for numerous conditions, including: kidney disease, nutritional disorders, “detoxification” and chelation of supposed toxins, osteoporosis, urinary tract infections, radiation poisoning, skin disease, burns and wounds, gastrointestinal upset, and more.

And finally, he tosses in a hodgepodge of other alternative therapies, including homeopathy, another “magic water” called Kangen Water, and digestive enzymes.

So Why Isn’t Everybody On Board?

The first question one should always ask about any hypothesis or new approach to health and diseases is “What’s the evidence for this?” Here’s what Dr. Plechner says:

1. I have created a successful treatment program that has helped approximately 150,000 dogs, cats, horses and people. These were patients, not only at my hospital, but in healthcare facilities throughout the world.

2. My clinical studies also show that there are high levels of total estrogen in all female dogs that are diagnosed with cancer… although these dogs no longer have their ovaries.

3. Every cancer patient I have ever been involved with, whether it be animal or human, has an elevated level of total estrogen that is not indicated with standard estrogen testing.

4. Through my clinical studies over the past 50 years, I have been able to identify a genetic and acquired endocrine immune imbalance, which can be easily corrected so that the retrovirus will not end the life of a patient.

5. With my clinical studies I have found that 80 % of the causal control will not need antiepileptic drugs to control their seizures however 20 % even on hormone regulation of the seizures may need to stay on antiepileptic drugs.

Wow, these are pretty impressive research results! Let me just have a look at the published reports so I can get all the details….

….

….

Hmm, I’m not finding any published research studies. I wonder why that is….

As a clinician, my patients are my primary concern. For that reason I have not conducted controlled studies where one group of patients receives treatment and another group, for comparison, receives a placebo. I cannot in good conscience deny treatment to suffering animals who I know will benefit from that treatment.

Please realize that my clinical studies have not been accepted by my peers.

Oh, there aren’t any controlled studies, published or unpublished. By “clinical studies” he means “in my personal experience.” The theoretical foundation of Plechner’s Syndrome and the evaluation of clinical efficacy of its treatment is empirical. In other words, he made it all up!

An examination of the articles and information on Dr. Plechner’s web site reveals that he invented the entire theory and decided he was right based entirely on clinical experience and anecdotes. He has neither the inclination nor the training to conduct controlled scientific research, so his claims are purely faith based. He quotes numbers and percentages, but there is no evidence that these are based on anything more than his own imagination.

It is often pointed out, quite rightly, that science doesn’t know everything, and our understanding of phenomena as complex as living organisms is likely to always be incomplete. However, the incompleteness of knowledge is not the same thing as total ignorance, nor does it mean that absolutely anything can be true. We don’t entirely understand how gravity works at the subatomic level, but that doesn’t mean we can simply imagine ourselves into a real ability to fly if we leap off a tall building.

Endocrinology, the study of glands and hormones, is an enormous field with huge amounts of highly detailed knowledge based on centuries of scientific study. While we don’t know everything, Dr. Plechner’s theory is fundamentally inconsistent with what we do know and so is highly unlikely to be true. Perhaps through pure imagination, study, and uncontrolled personal experience, one man has discovered a fundamental principle of endocrinology that will overturn decades, even centuries of established science. Or, perhaps he is mistaken. Which seems the more likely?

Beyond the fundamental implausibility of his theory and the complete absence of any pre-clinical or clinical trial research to support it, Dr. Plechner’s claims raise many of the red flags of quackery.

  1. The Galileo Complex: As already pointed out, his characterization of himself as a misunderstood visionary ahead of his time qualifies as a manifestation of the Galileo Complex.
  2. The David and Goliath Myth, and the Dan Brown Gambit: Dr. Plechner appears to believe that the medical profession is deliberately resisting his ideas out of selfish and venal motives:

How would you feel if you found out that they’ve discovered a cure for cancer but they’re not going to let anyone know about it? I’m sure you’re all responding to this question by attacking it. “Why would they do that?” “That makes no sense!” “What about the money they could make?”

I could answer all of your objections by stating a single fact. The profits that a cancer cure would accrue wouldn’t even come close to the profits made by all of the cancer treatment drugs and the associated services involved in treating cancer. Sad to say, the treatment of cancer has proven itself to be, a tremendously successful revenue builder. Why wouldn’t you keep a possible cure under wraps?

But of course, this is purely a hypothetical question. We couldn’t possibly believe that our medical institutions could be callously driven by the pursuit of profit. Why, they’re as ethical as our great financial institutions are and look at how successful they’ve been.

The frightening fact is that a cancer cure could prove to be financially disastrous to the pharmaceutical and all of the other dependent medical industries.

The One True Cause of Disease: He believes his insight explains many apparently unrelated conditions with a single, simple answer that all other doctors and scientists have somehow overlooked.

Remember, many healthcare professionals will treat the EFFECTS of the illness or disease, but not the ROOT CAUSE cause of it.

It is no longer enough to say that my Veterinarian or Health Care Professional did the best that they could. There is another way. You as a pet owner or as a patient need to DECIDE FOR YOURSELF if you or your pet want to be just another statistic.

PLECHNER’S SYNDROME ADDRESSES AND TREATS THE ROOT CAUSES OF CATASTROPHIC ILLNESSES AND NOT JUST THE MEDICAL EFFECTS. It has the potential to help millions of animal or human patients to realize their dreams of better health and greater longevity.

Other Red Flags from Dr. Walt’s List:
Is the product or practice promoted as a “Major Breakthrough,” “Revolutionary,” “Magic,” or “Miraculous”?

Is only anecdotal or testimonial evidence used to support claims of effectiveness?

Is the treatment said to be effective for a wide variety of unrelated physiological problems?

Is the product a quick and easy fix for a complicated and frustrating condition?

Is the treatment said to be effective for a wide variety of unrelated physiological problems?

Is the product a quick and easy fix for a complicated and frustrating condition?

Who Is This Guy?

While I don’t believe personal details about someone are key to evaluating the legitimacy of their scientific claims, they can be informative, particularly after the claims have clearly failed the tests of plausibility and scientific evidence and contain so many red flags of nonsense. Dr. Plechner provides a brief biography on his web site. In it, he discusses a number of dramatic experiences with the medical profession which might be expected to generate some suspicion of mainstream medicine:

1. One afternoon, when I was just seven years old, I was playing in the alley behind our house when a car came speeding up the alley and then ran over my four-year-old sister. The next door neighbors were both physicians and were home at the time. They rushed out and wrapped up my little sister in a blanket and headed straight to the nearest hospital. The interns and residents at the hospital were in a meeting at the time and were, “too busy” to attend to her massive head trauma. By the time we reached the next hospital, she had died .What a sad example for a seven-year-old child to suddenly realize that taking the, “Hippocratic Oath” must mean that you are a, HIPPOCRITE. Can you imagine what must have gone through my child’s mind seeing a hospital who did not care if a little girl died or not? 

2. One afternoon, when I was eleven-years-old, my Dad had gone to the hospital for an injection of a bronchiole dialator for his asthma called, “Aminophyline”. He suffered from a horrible allergic reaction and died within a few minutes.

3. After five years of hard work I then applied to medical school. I had hoped that just maybe I could help stop those unnecessary tragedies that befell my Dad and little sister.

At the end of my first year in medical school, I developed a horrible upset gut. The Dean of Men attributed my problem to, “freshman nerves”. After losing forty pounds, and a lot of my hair, and after being given two weeks of Paragoric, I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “self, you are going to die”. I went to see the Dean of Men the next morning, and I was so dehydrated that I spoke with a, “clicking sound”. He said to me that I could go into Public Health because it would be much less stressful…I looked like I had just come from a Concentration Camp.

I went to see my physician who with serum titers and my clinical symptoms diagnosed me with typhoid fever. My physician was livid that this, “Third World” disease could have been missed in a “high powered medical school”?

He also describes how he came to “discover” Plechner’s Syndrome. His mother was treated surgically for breast cancer, including removal of her adrenal glands and ovaries. She was on steroid replacement therapy, and Dr. Plechner’s independent reading convinced him she needed thyroid hormone supplementation. He convinced her doctor to provide this and took her subsequent good health as proof of his theories.

Is It Safe?

Since there is no research data whatsoever concerning the diagnosis and treatment of Plechner’s Syndrome, it is impossible to directly evaluate the risks of this approach. However, the glucocorticoids and thyroid hormone supplements Dr. Plechner recommend have well-recognized and potential serious side effects. While he claims that such side-effects will not occur at the doses and with the particular combinations of drugs he recommends, it must be remembered that the physiological arguments for why this is are not consistent with what the rest of the scientific community believes is the way the endocrine system works, and there is no controlled scientific evidence to show the disease he is treating even exists or that the treatment is safe or effective.

Using real drugs to treat a quite likely imaginary disorder is not a sensible way to care for our pets and our patients. While these drugs often make pets look or feel better in the short term, regardless of whether the imagined “imbalance” exists, this comes at the price of both risk from the drugs themselves and the risk of ignoring, masking, or simply overlooking  other real, and possibly treatable, disorders.

Bottom Line

Plechner’s Syndrome is an implausible hypothesis that conflicts with well-established scientific understanding of endocrinology. There is absolutely no supporting scientific data showing this theoretical disorder exists or that the proposed treatment is effective. Dr. Plechner is content with anecdotes, testimonials, and his own belief as sufficient evidence for his claims and has no intention of testing them through controlled scientific investigation. Most veterinary scientists, who generally prefer research data to storytelling, do not accept his claims.

Dr. Plechner, of course, feels this is due mostly to the veterinary profession’s fear that if his miracle cure is real it will lead to fewer sick patients and less income for veterinarians. This ridiculous and offensive suggestion is just one of many warning signs that he is promoting nonsense.

Dr. Plechner undoubtedly believes, genuinely and fervently, that he has “discovered” an important cause of disease that the rest of the scientific and medical professions have overlooked or suppressed, and he has convinced some clients and even other veterinarians of his claim. However, in the absence of any legitimate or compelling scientific evidence, despite apparently miraculous results, his treatment has not been accepted by the rest of the veterinary profession.

Just as there is no scientific evidence that Plechner’s Syndrome exists or that the proposed treatment for it works, there is no evidence to allow us to judge the safety of the approach. Using real drugs to treat a quite likely imaginary disorder is not a sensible way to care for our pets and our patients.

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214 Responses to Plechner Syndrome and the Art of Making Stuff Up

  1. Jennifer says:

    THANK YOU!!!! I am a small animal veterinarian who had a client about a year ago convinced that his dog had Plechner’s syndrome. She was an intact female with cyclic fevers and, long story short, was suspected to have endometritis and a spay was recommended before she developed a full blown pyometra. Well my client read Plechner’s book and actually consulted with him over the phone. Plechner diagnosed this dog with his syndrome (surprise) OVER THE PHONE! He also recommended that the dog be given 3 injections of depomedrol 10 days apart and then started on oral, life-long steroid, estrogen and thyroid supplementation, then the dog could be spayed at that point. I even humored the owner and sent blood to the lab he recommended in Texas for tests that we had already done with our lab that came back normal. The lab tests came back with the same numbers but inacurate reference rangess so the owner thought they were actually abnormal. I essentially fired the client after I refused to do what I thought was medical malpractice with Plechner’s treatment.

    Thank you so much for this post on this guy! He is the definition of quackary and a disgrace to our profession. I just hope that your readers take this article to heart to see what this Plechner really is, a quack!

  2. skeptvet says:

    What a frustrating experience! It always amazes me that some guy on the internet with a theory no one else believes seems to some clients more trustworthy than the vet they already have an established relationship with. But then, how many times have you heard, “That can’t be right, Doc! The kid at Petco said….”? 😉

  3. v.t. says:

    I wonder when, if ever, owners can be prosecuted for abuse, such as human parents (albeit rarely) are for treating their children with homeopathy, faith and prayers and wishful thinking.

    I know, I’m wishfully thinking.

  4. Anthro says:

    @v.t.

    Parents are only prosecuted when the children die. Sometimes treatment is forced when parents refuse–if the condition is life threatening.

    @Jennifer

    I used to have an acquaintance, very into woo, who was fired by her vet. She learned nothing and simply found a quack vet who didn’t “yell at me” as she claimed the real vet had done–well, who wouldn’t? This woman nearly killed her cat with altie “treatment” and then got upset when the vet pointed that out.

    @SkepVet

    After reading the points gleaned from the biography, I guess I feel some pity for this guy. No excuse for his delusions of genius, but an explanation perhaps. One wonders if any of this is related to side effects of using his own treatments?

    I recently switched vets because of weariness with altie advice from the staff–the docs seemed rational, but they were letting the staff go on about crazy diets and such. The new one is a single practice (four in the other one) and so has fewer staff, so I am hopeful. I should have interviewed them maybe, but it turned out I went in on a near-emergency.

    I’m assaulted almost daily by one or another type of quackery believer and it’s getting to me. I’m becoming downright anti-social. I went for coffee with someone I hadn’t seen for a few years and she ends up telling me her son is so into “holistic medicine” that she thinks it’s a cult, “but then again”, she said “there might be something to it–who knows?” I said that I knew, and that there was nothing at all to it, and that it IS a cult, and that I didn’t think we should talk about it anymore.

    Arghhhhhh!

  5. v.t. says:

    Anthro, your last paragraph says it all, for me. In fewer words and more tactfully 🙂

  6. Anthro says:

    @v.t

    I’m not always this tactful. Not too long ago I simply hung up on a friend of many years and refused to take any further calls or answer emails. It was a number of conspiracy theories, with one about Tesla that turned out to be the breaking point–that and the death of her sister (whom I liked very much) from a very treatable cancer (if found early) that didn’t get diagnosed until Stage IV because of the woo of the other sister.

    But thanks, because sometimes I think it’s just me that runs into this all the time and that I am losing the ability to apply any tact at all. :-/

  7. Michael says:

    Skeptics and non believers. This is the foundation for the 3 phases of truth (please google it) which throughout history have plagued every scientific discovery. For myself and for many others (testionials abound) Dr Plechner saved my SARDS dog and several others with auto immune and more. Interesting that when one sees another vet the typical thing is to do VERY expensive tests only to say they are inconclusive while at the same time saying ”WE DONT KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEM IS”. Dr Plechner is a great caring man who has discovered the cause of most catastrophic disease and his successful treatment protocol has saved many thousands of pets whose owners were told that euthanasia was the only answer–WRONG. I make no attempt to change the minds of people like the one who wrote the article above and have no positive imput or knowledge in the subject matter, BUT if you truly care about your pet, who may have a problem, do not hesitate to contact Dr Plechner thru his site at http://www.drplechner.com. You will be glad you did

  8. skeptvet says:

    The courage to accept uncertainty as a necessary part of our limited and incomplete understanding is something that should be encouraged and respected in healthcare professionals. Replacing uncertainty with fiction does not serve the best interests of our pets.

  9. v.t. says:

    Michael said: Interesting that when one sees another vet the typical thing is to do VERY expensive tests only to say they are inconclusive while at the same time saying ”WE DONT KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEM IS”.

    What makes you think this is the norm? Where’s your proof?

    And who are all these several others? You? Plechner? All those purported clients of his? Do you really think “testimonials abound”, makes Plechner’s claims true?

  10. rana says:

    My dog was diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease and then with Insulonoma by the very expensive huge VCA hospital on Sepulveda. They wanted me to take out half of his pancreas or he would die within two months and they wanted to charge me another $5,000. I had already spent over $6,000 there. I took him to my vet who said with the diagnosis from VCA, his recommendation would be to put him down as the treatment of insulonoma using steroid, predisone, would increase the symptoms of Cushings and he would be miserable his last month of life. So I was supposed euthanize him over a month ago. I took him as a last resort to Dr. Plechner, three days prior to putting him to sleep. Dr. Plechner has saved my dog and Charlie is running around chasing squirrels and back to normal. He charged me very little and in return he has saved my dog. So to the naysayers on this blog – Mr Plechner in my opinion is a miracle worker.

  11. Dr. Robert Berger says:

    Most of the folks who commented on this blog are not scientists nor vets, so their negative comments are pretty useless. Dr. Al Plechner is a graduate of the University of California, and is well-respected by many. He just thinks a bit ahead of his time-and why then does he have a number of successes with his treatment? Just like any other form of healing, he also makes no claims that his “system” works for every animal. But the ones that he have helped are doing better than they would have without any other modification. This comment is coming from a traditionally-trained biochemist and pharmacologist who totally believes in traditional medicine. All I know is that, as a major animal lover, if my dog or cat had been helped by Dr. Plechner, I would be very happy to spread the word.

  12. Wendy Paulin says:

    Dr.Plechner has been our vet for about 3 years. He was recommended to me after I expressed my frustration about vets that ran up high bills and had no answers or suggested a protocol that was so complicated that no human who had a job or another pet could follow. I had gone through 3 vets by that point. My terrier had a skin condition that diet change, shampoos, prescriptions, nothing, eased her agony. After going to Dr. Plechner for 1 month, maybe 2 visits my dog’s skin cleared up and she is resting peacefully at my feet three years later. Yes, she had a diagnosis of Plechner Syndrome but he didn’t diagnosis my cat with it or my other dog. So the critics claiming that he blames every illness on this imbalance is just not true. My experience is he an extremely responsible doctor and the suggestion that he is doing all this for money is laughable when you see what he charges. For those of you who have not had the privilege to meet him let me describe his persona, he has more common sense than most people I have ever met. You know when someone tells you something or is explaining how something works and you “get it”. It has the ring of truth in your gut. That is Dr. Plechner. He is funny, “down home” and regardless of the suppositions this author makes, he is modest maybe even a little shy. He communicates honesty and integrity. I am not afraid of people thinking “outside of the box” certainly the keepers of so called scientific methodology aren’t so perfect with their pronoucements. I am not new age or necessarily an alternative medicine follower. I think the medical establishment is great but I also know when something works. I thank Dr. Plechner on behalf of all 3 of my pets who are healthy and happy after 3 years in his care. I am grateful he is our doctor.

  13. Firouzeh says:

    My first English Bulldog Arturo got an inverted eyelid. I took him to a Beverly Hills vet who said I need to see an eye specialist. I went to the eye specialist and she wanted $2000 to do surgery on his eye. Not the bad one, but both she insisted. I was broke and desperate. Then I met a couple who recommended me seeing Dr. Plechner. He immediately put Arturo on hormone therapy and within days, the eye went back to normal. I seem to believe the vet that suggests a rather cheap treatment that works, vs. the creeps who just want you to pay. Dr. Plechner is an awesome veterinarian.

  14. Michelle says:

    I really don’t understand the point to your site. Is it just to shoot down other vet’s research to find treatment or a cure for illnesses and disease that other vets just scratch their heads at? I thought by the time I got to the bottom of your rant that you were going to have an alternative treatment plan for SARDS or other illnesses, but you didn’t all you did was shoot down Plechner’s theory and research, which quite frankly, at least he has one. I think that it is not only unprofessional of you, but also find it destructive to the veterinary profession to blast Dr. Plechner and other vets like him simply because his research goes against the mainstream. If you don’t believe in his theory then you obviously have every right to your opinion and your little blog here, but I think it would do the world more good if you simply suggested people to push for more research and try to help the cause not stir up resentment toward those who are trying to make progress in helping pets.

  15. skeptvet says:

    Well, as a trained scientist, presumably you understand the unreliability of anecdote and personal experience. So is Dr. Plechner making pets better? There is no reliable evidence to suggest he is, and the kind of evidence put forward by supporters is the same sort of anecdote that was relied on for all medicine before the advent of scientific methods, and which supported all kinds of practices since shown by scientific investigation to be useless or even harmful. It is fine for you and other supporters to say his approach is successful, but you give nothing beyond your opinion to support that.

    As for claims of authority, they aren’t a useful way to evaluate arguments. Dr. Plechner is a vet, and he believes his approach works, so should we accept that? I’m a vet, and along with most internal medicine specialists in the profession I believe his ideas are implausible and his approach probably not helpful, so should we accept that position? You claim that the comments of non-scientists on this blog are “pretty useless,” yet you have far less expertise in veterinary medicine than I do, so does that mean I can dismiss your opinion as “useless?” This kind of argument by authority is not productive and doesn’t get us any closer to the truth. That’s one of the reasons reliance on empirical scientific evaluation of healthcare interventions is superior to simply taking the word of whichever authority you choose.

  16. skeptvet says:

    What you seems to be saying is the following:

    1. Your og got better after seeing Dr. Plechner. I have noo doubt this is true, but a lot of doubt about whether or not it has anything to do with Dr. Plechner’s theories about disease. As I’ve pointed out many times before, such stories don’t actually work as reliable evidence that the treatment is responsible for the outcome, for many complex reasons which you will undoubtedly not find convincing. Personal experiences like yours are very compelling, but they often don’t mean what they seem to. If they did, science wouldn’t be necessary and wouldn’t have resulted in such dramatic and unprecedented improvements in health as it has.

    2. As for whether or not he diagnoses all annimals with his syndrome, his own words claim that he does: “Every patient I have been involved with, whether dogs, cats, horses or people, all have an identifiable, hormonal antibody imbalance.”

    3. Dr. Plechner is a likeable guy who doesn’t overcharge. Sure, that may be true, but it doesn’t mean he’s right about his syndrome and his treatments. And while I have no doubt he genuinely believes what he saying, if he’s mistaken then all the good intentions in the world don’t change the fact that he’s offering an inappropriate treatment for a non-existant disease.

  17. skeptvet says:

    As always, I understand that your experience has made you a believer that what Dr. Plechner did solved your pets problem. All I can do is point out that if you look into the history of medicine, every therapy ever invented has been promoted using the same kinds of stories. People who had their blood drained to cure every imaginable illness believed it made them better for centuries, until science demonstrated it helped almost none and harmed many. We either trust anecdotes and end up believing in everything, or we use the tools of science as require every idea to endure up to the same scrutiny and stand up to the same standards of proof.

  18. skeptvet says:

    I do suggest people push for more research. If Dr.Plechner’s therapy works as well as he claims, it should be easy to demonstrate. Yet despite decades of practice, he has made no effort to do the rsearch needed to convince the rest of the profession. You may simply choose to believe, base dpresumably on the kinds of anecdotes others are offering here, that one man is right and the rest of the veterinary profession is wrong despite the absence of real research evidence, but there is no reason the rest of us have to take your or Dr. Plechner’s word for it.

    There is nothing destructive about expecting everyone to support their ideas with something more than just fanciful theories and testimonials. Medicine has gone from useless, often destructive and barbaric to freuqently helpful and effective by applying science to claims about health and disease. Scientific medicine isn’t perfect, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a whole lot better than simply making stuff up. People who promote wild theories and expect to be exempt from the standrads of evidence the rest of the medical community submits its ideas to aren’t innocent victims, they are actively impeding medical progress, and often their methods turn out to actually harm patients when proerly evaluated scientifically.

    The purpose of this blog is to give people access to a point of view they are never going to get from the people selling such untested approaches: the point of view that doctors have a responsibility to their patients and clients to rely on the best scientific evidence they can get and to be honest and clear about the basis for their claims and recommendations. Making the kind of wild and dramatic claims Dr. Plechner makes, without real evidence and in conflict with well-established knowledge about health and disease, is not heroism, it is arrogant and a disservice to pet owners.

  19. skeptvet says:

    Clearly, from the sudden increase in the number of comments on this article, someone has brought it to the attention of many of Dr. Plechner’s clients. To save time, I will point out that I am happy to allow reasonable discussion on any subject, but I have no obligation to permit abusive and hysterical ranting. If you want your comment to be approved, you can skip the name calling and threats.

  20. Robin Poehnert says:

    My dog Bear was diagnosed with Stage 4 Liver Cancer 4 years ago. He had a liver biopsy showing multiple lesions in his liver. His Platelet count had dropped so far that he was bleeding out of his mouth and internally. The Veterinary Oncologist told us to pick the dog up, there was nothing else to do for my dog. He was 10 months old. We were referred to Dr. Plechner and he asked to see the lab results, and the biopsy and ultrasound reports. Immediately he helped us with our local vet’s assistance, get our gravely ill pet on high powered steroids and thyroid medication. We immediately ran an EI 1 panel. We took him off all foods except white potato and cottage cheese. Bear was suffering with Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis. Immediately the diarrhea stopped. Once the EI1 panel results came in showing elevated estrogen and low thyroid levels. Dr. Plechner adjusted the medication. We continued “Plechner Syndrome” treatments and slowly after 2.5 weeks began to reintroduce different veterinary dog foods. We were searching for a protein our dog was NOT allergic to. We went through, lamb, chicken, turkey, pork, fish, duck, deer and finally…thank goodness, finally rabbit. Each new protein Bear began the diarrhea again, until glorious rabbit. All the while, we strickly followed the Plechner treatment. Once the food allergy was stopped, with consumption of rabbit. Bear gained back the 20 lbs he lost from 73 lbs back to 93 lbs. All his blood level normalized, hemoglobin, platelet, red blood levels and cell shapes returned to normal. Within a month he was a different dog. In 6 months we did another ultrasound no signs of the lesions in his liver. NONE! His liver, that was riddled with huge holes….all gone. His lymphoma that turned in to stage 4 liver cancer, gone? 4 years later, Bear is still on large dosed of methylprednisolone (compounded) and synthroid. He eats only rabbit protein and rabbit treats. He runs and plays and is in to everything. He is the Airedale everyone would want. He seems to somehow know each day counts, after such a close call. Our vet cannot believe how fit and trim he is on steroids for such a long time. His bloodwork is normal, we run an EI1 panel occasionally – to adjust medication, we ran another liver ultrasound this year no lesions. Our dog was on death’s door, our veterinary is still amazed and consults with Dr. Plechner, regularly.
    I have clinical documentation to prove everything I’ve told you. You try to explain it if you can, without Dr. Plechner’s Endocrine/Adrenal gland/cortisol/estrogen relationship. Estrogen goes up, slight symptoms reappear, estrogen goes down homeostatis returns. Better to research good clinical results, talk to a vet who has followed “Plechner Syndrome” treatment for 4 years, investigate, learn. You too may be able to save animals who were written off to die. How many times have you told your animal owners to come get this dog, there is nothing else to do….I wonder??

  21. Jake says:

    Our dog lexie was diagnosednwith SARDS several months ago. We were told by iowa state university ( a well known vet school) that she was blind and to go home and learn to live with a blind dog. They also told us she probably has Cushings disease ( high cortisol) and it would be wise to start therapy for that. We decided to consult with dr Plechner. Thank god we did… The blood test revealed Low cortisol and elevated estrogen. Following advice from these vets with all this knowledge and
    ” research” could have induced Addison’s disease ( according to our local vet). Thanks to dr Plechner’s “unscientific ” treatment our dog is doing great , her eyesight is great, she fetches her stuffed animals instead of bumping into furniture ! I’m sorry but you are going to get some very passionate responses on this , because this guy has helped a ton of very sick pets. Our local vet is impressed and agrees the principles behind Dr P’s treatment make sense.

  22. skeptvet says:

    No matter how many anecdotes you gather, they don’t become proof of anything. I bet I can find as many people who claim to have been abducted by aliens as who claim Dr. Plechner has saved their pets. Does this mean alien abduction is real too?

  23. skeptvet says:

    It is interesting that one theme of these anecdotes is that well-infromed experts such as board-certified oncologists or faculty at veterinary colleges turn out to be wrong and Dr. Plechner turns out to be right. While that is always possible, it is not only unlikley but it raises the question of why, if he has discovered a single cause for so many medical disorders and is able to cure so many cases that conventional medicine fails to cure, why is it that no scientific evidence for this exists? It would not be at all difficult to test such a theory and to prove it true if the results are this dramatic.

    I can’t help but point out that exactly the same kind of evidence exists for anything else anyone claims as a miraculous medical therapy:

    Homeopathy
    Lourdes Water
    Electron Water
    pH Miracle Water
    Kangen Water
    Hexagon Water
    Pranic Water
    Ypsilanti Water
    And even just
    Plain Water

    So does every kind of water cure disease? Maybe the problem isn’t that testimonials aren’t unreliable. Maybe we’ve just stumbled across the fact that water itself is medicine? Ah, but I wonder then if we can find the same testimonials for every other therapy ever invented? Let’s see.

    Christian Spiritual Healing
    Islamic Spiritual Healing
    Hindu Spiritual Healing
    Christian Science Healing
    Ancient Greek Healing
    Ancient Roman Healing
    Norse Magical Healing
    Shamanic Healing
    Theta Energy Healing
    Ritual Child Sacrifice for Healing
    Crystal Healing
    Laser Healing
    Bloodletting Healing
    Magnetic Healing
    Angel Therapy
    Urine Therapy

    Anyway, this list could be endless even without including the most popular alternative therapies. But it seems to suggest we should ask this question: If testimonials and miracle stories exist to support every medical treatment ever invented, does that mean every treatment works, or does it mean testimonials aren’t reliable?

  24. Dr. Robert Berger says:

    I do understand and appreciate that the veterinarian who authors this site is a well-versed and fine veterinarian, as I did my post-doc at Penn Vet School and know what a great school it is. I also agree with him that folks who write on this blog should refrain from name calling and ranting no matter which side they are on…actually there should be no sides-but just those who agree to disagree or those who agree to agree. When you rant and are abusive to the author you only appear silly and uneducated and your comments should not be posted because they are not professional. Once again, I write articles defending chemotherapy and many totally traditional medical and/or veterinary procedures where I have many “holistic” and “alternative” believers call me everything short of being the devil-many of these alternative folks have no credentials nor training, so I take what they say with a grain of salt and don’t take them seriously. But in defense of Dr. Al Plechner, who I have known for quite some time, I can truly say that he is a very respected and honest veterinarian as well as a good human being who cares only about helping pets whose owners have not found any other answer for their beloved best friend. Folks have to understand that he only offers his services and opinions, and does not push any beliefs on people unless they actually come to him.

  25. skeptvet says:

    Dr. Berger,

    I appreciate your thoughtful and reasonable comment. Discussions such as this are always more productive when focused on ideas rather than on the individual advocates for those ideas.

    While I don’t doubt that Dr. Plechner is a good and genuine person, I’m afraid we will have to agree to disagree about the appropriateness of his claims about Plechner Syndrome. I would love for his claims to prove true since it would open the door to tremendous improvements in care for patients with a variety of conditions. But I am skeptical of such simple and yet powerful solutions discovered in isolation by one clinician and ignored or overlooked for decades by the rest of the medical profession. Such claims have failed to be borne out far more often than not in history, and his will require robust objective supporting evidence before they will deserve to be taken seriously.

  26. Hallie Foote says:

    Dear SkepVet,

    I have known Dr. Plechner for 20 years. The only time I was ever distressed with him was when he retired temporarily, because I wasn’t able to find a Vet who came close to his knowledge, his caring and his love of all of his patients. When I first met him, my cat Penelope, was diagnosed with FIV and pretty much written off by my Vet at the time. He basically told me to keep her separated from my other cat, because he was afraid she would infect the other cat. Penelope was showing all the symptoms of the illness and at the time had sores on her body and her hair was falling out in patches. Luckily for me I happened to read a book that talked about Dr. Plechner and about his protocol, and it was my good fortune that Dr. Plechner lived in my area and I was able to bring Penelope to see him. He is one of the kindest people I have ever met. He is also highly trained. He isn’t some quack off the street. He went to UC Davis Vet School. He was able to tell immediately by looking at her gums which had this Red Flare that is always a sign of the imbalance. I had the blood tests and what he suspected was, of course, true. She was put on his protocol of an initial DepoMedrol shot and then small a physiologic dose of predinisolone. Her skin cleared up immediately. Her fur grew back instantly. She was a different cat.

    That began my relationship/friendship with this remarkable man. I have found a kitten that he took in that had a broken jaw that he just fixed for free and found a home for. And didn’t charge me a penny for it. I have a cat now, Mischief, that I adopted when I thought Dr. Plechner was no longer practicing medicine. She started developing Chronic Infections. After spending a lot of money with another, well meaning Vet, and giving her all kinds of antibiotics. After she even ended up in the emergency because she was so sick, and ending up with a bill for several thousand dollars and no cure in sight, I found out that Dr. Plechner was practicing again and I got her to him straight away. She was a tough case and it took several shots, but within a month she was COMPLETELY HEALED. And….I was even been able to take eventually take her off the oral medicine, because, contrary to what you seem to think, he doesn’t just push his protocol down your throat. Sometimes animals get better to he point that they heal and their immune systems actually get better and they do okay on their own. Yes, I have seen him read a blood test where he says, “she’s doing okay, let’s just watch her.”

    I work with a rescue organization in Texas and I have three rescues that I foster down there and they are the genetic nightmares he talks about. Probably several generations of inbred cats (people don’t spay and neuter like they should down there and we are trying to educate them about that…). I have one cat that is FIV and finally stabilizing because he has Plechner’s Syndrome and will probably be on his protocol for life. I have another cat, Dot, that had Feline Leukemia and actually zero converted which means she went from FL Positive to FL Negative. I am happy to show you the test results. Both done by the same Vet (who by the way has been great and extremely open to Dr. Plechner’s protocol, and was shocked by the conversion). It is interesting that the Vets I have found most open to his work (in my experience) are often country Vets who often have to think outside the box. And, by the way, Dr. Plechner was available to him 24/7 for consultation and didn’t charge a single dime for his help.

    This is the Vet I know. He isn’t some Narcissitic, Craven person who only cares about himself. He deeply cares about helping animals and by extension, their owners who have been frustrated by a medical system that is close-minded and never very helpful. If Dr. Plechner is guilty of anything it is that he cares too much and worries too much about people and their animals and about this planet. He feels that animals are the canaries in the coal mines and that we need to pay attention to what is happening in the world, because there isn’t much time left to really turn around what is playing out in terms of our environment and of the animals and the people we love.

    I wish you were more open. You don’t even tell us your name. Are you even a real Vet?
    Do you practice? I would love to know the answer to that.

    Sincerely,
    Hallie Foote

  27. skeptvet says:

    While the answers you are looking for are irrelevant, and you aren’t likely to take any argument in coflict with your beliefs seriously regardless of the source, you might want to have a look at the FAQ for this blog.

  28. Sarah Baumgartner says:

    I think we are all familiar with what Dr Plechner does and for all of his clients and patients I think it is unanimous that we all know he has helped us when nobody else could. Is it last resort probably for most of us, but the truth is no matter how we word it, when our pets hit rock bottom Dr Plechner is the one who gave us back our pets, made them better, restored our lives too, as its us humans that watch our animals suffer and no matter how much money or in most cases how little we have to invest it was just one misdiagnoses after the other, call it what you want he is a healer when others can’t and when our animals are better our lives can go back to normal, its not just the animals that suffer. I am not scientific or academic but I am intelligent and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize that he has done some marvelous things. I have looked and I am not able to find your name any where, I find that on its own strange. You are obviously intelligent as you have quite a nice website and perhaps many good things to help others but when you can’t sign your name to anything it does make one question your motives. If you too are a good and kind person trying to do right and bring up things that need to be bought to others attention so we can help one another, then why of all people talk ill of Dr Plechner? I only ask you this, of all the people in the world why not look at people that are causing hurt and ripping people off? why attack Dr Plechner? and then not to let us know who you are, makes little sense to me. There is so much wrong in this world and so few people trying to do right, where do you fall in place in this world of ours???

  29. skeptvet says:

    As I’ve said before, my identity is irrelevant since it neither proves nor disproves anything I say, and since you will never change your mind about anything I say regardless of who I am. That said, my resume is available in the FAQ.

    The purpose of this blog is to provide information and balance. Anyone can promote any point of view on the internet, and most of the information about alternative healthcare practices for pets comes from people promoting and selling those practices. Despite your devotion to him, the fact remains that Dr. Plechner has an idea about the cause and treatment of disease that most veterinarians believe to be unproven, at best, and quite likely wrong. The veterinary professionals he writes off as “Disease Care Providers” are as smart, educated, experienced, and compassionate as he is, and it is childish and unethical of him to claim that they disagree with him out of ignorance or malign personal motives such as greed. I personally believe his ideas are contrary to established knowledge and almsot certainly mistaken, and nowhere does he or any of his supporters provide any real evidence to the contrary. Testimonials, as I’ve said before, prove nothing and can be found for any idea no matter how wild.

    Pet owners are entitled to full information, and that includes knowing that the claims made about Plechner Syndrome are scientifically implausible and unrpoven, and that Dr. Plechner has a perspective on health and disease, and on the medical profession, that most doctors believe is profoundly mistaken and potentially harmful. While I’m sure he believes he’s doing good, if he is as deeply misguided as I believe him to be, then he is not truly helping anyone, and he may very well be doing harm. I believe I have a responsibility to look at all medical practices, particularly those that are based solely on unreliable sources of information such as intuition, personal experience, folk tradition, or simple faith, from the perspective of the scientific approach to establishing knowledge. Science simply works better than anecdote and faith, as history demonstrates quite clearly.

    Other pet owners who are as smart and conscientious as you have a right to hear that Dr. Plechner’s ideas are widely regarded as extreme, unproven, and probably mistaken and that they are not consistent with established scientific understanding. They are free, as you are, to do what they like with the information and arguments I offer. You don’t have to agree, but I also don’t have to accept Dr. Plechner’s claims on his word or refrain from explaining to others why they should not be accepted as true. Open debate and competition in the “marketplace of ideas” is healthy, and it is a shame that just because we disagree you feel it is wrong of me to express an opinion contrary to yours.

  30. Michael says:

    Throughout history, the truth regarding all scientific and medical discoveries goes through three distinct phases known colloquially as:

    “THE 3 PHASES OF TRUTH”.
    1) First it is ridiculed.
    2) Second it is fiercely and violently opposed.
    3) Third, the TRUTH BECOMES SELF EVIDENT

    What I mean by this is demonstrated by these 2 examples; In the times of Christopher Columbus the world was believed to be flat. When Christopher Columbus said the world was round, there was disbelief, he was ridiculed, even persecuted and guess what, the fact that the world is round is NOW SELF EVIDENT.

    In the 1980s, two doctors Warren & Mitchell determined that peptic ulcers can be caused by bacteria. There was disbelief and they were ridiculed by their peers who stated that bacteria could not survive in the acidic ENVIRONMENT of the stomach. Today, this truth has become self evident. They even won the Nobel Prize in medicine for this discovery. It’s amazing that Drs. Warren and Mitchell had to test their theories and protocols on themselves to avoid professional and medical ramifications.

    The Three Phases of Truth

    Truth passes through three phases:
    • First it is ridiculed.
    • Second it is fiercely and violently opposed.
    • Third, it becomes self-evident.

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

    When a new way is suggested, people often criticize it as strange, outlandish, or even at odds with the laws of the universe. It is lambasted and laughed at.

    When momentum begins to build for change, ridicule gives way to concerted opposition. The forces that benefit from the way things are currently arranged feel affronted. They defend the status quo with whatever means necessary.

    When this momentum builds into an undeniable force, it creates an incentive for the power-holders to move off their adamant position. Now the impossible is not only possible, it becomes the new standard. It becomes self-evident.

    This three-part progression does not happen, however, automatically or magically. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, duration is not enough: the mere passage of time does not create change. It requires ordinary people envisioning, acting and constructing the future.

    Each of us can help bring this progression into being – often, in part, by being “phase three” people in a “phase one and phase two” world.

  31. skeptvet says:

    What you are choosing to ignore here is that most implausible ideas that are ridiculed at first turn out to be wrong and are justly forgotten. The reason we hold up exceptions as examples is precisely because they are exceptions. These “stages” don’t apply if an idea is actually wrong, so your argument assumes the truth of the idea from the beginning. Have we moved from ridicule to self-evident truth for the idea that bloodletting cures pneumonia, that the sun and stars circle the Earth, that Dr. Sanden’s Electric Belt cures impotence? Of course not. Those ideas were either ridiculed and then forgotten or, even worse, accepted as true until eventually disproven, because they were all mistakes.

    The case of helicobacter is actually a great example. This went from ridicule to the winning of the Nobel prize in less than 4 decades. Why? Because the proponnts of the idea produced reliable, high-quality, repeatable scientific evidence that they were right. Science and skepticism means accepting new ideas only once they have rpoven themselves with appropriate evidence. Ideas that meet this standard are readily accepted, often quite rapidly.

    Dr. Plechner has been talking about Plechner Syndrom for almost as long as the idea of Helicobacter as a cause of ulcers has been around. His ideas haven’t yet been accepted because he hasn’t actually proven his hypothesis to be true using science. He and his supporters seem to feel that the usual process of scientific validation shouldn’t apply to this idea, but that it should simply be accepted because he and others believe it to be true. Fortunately, that isn’t how science works, which is why we aren’t all wearing electric belts.

  32. v.t. says:

    Dr Berger, well said. However,…

    Skeptvet has very often been attacked here simply because the “subject” of a pseudoscientific claim has gathered his/her followers to do his/her bidding, rarely without enough conviction to do so on their own accord. It’s mob mentality, and I believe skeptvet has every right to act accordingly. On that note, he rarely deletes posts, rarely bans people on the blog, and engages with more tact and professionalism than I’ve seen from many of his peers.

    One can only engage those refusing to evaluate the facts, for so long. Ad hominem attacks are disruptive and downright ridiculous. Anecdotes, testimonials, and conventional vet-bashing abound in the posts by others in a silly attempt to discredit skeptvet, question his ethics, question his credentials, his experience, ad nauseum.

    Whether Plechner is nice, decent, cares about pets and their humans is redundant. Have his claims passed the scientific test beyond anecdotes and testimonials?

  33. Rita K. says:

    Dear SkeptVet,

    I’m just curious, what are your accomplishments and achievements? Yes, we know. You will refer us to your “resume” page on this blog. Yes, we get it. Who you are is not important therefore you will remain as “SkeptVet”. It is probably a wise choice in the event that in the future there is “scientific data” that backs Plechner’s theory – you wouldn’t want to be known as the Vet who was narrow minded and against his theory as opposed to the vet who found his theory interesting and did his own clinical trials to see if there was truth behind Dr. Plechner’s years of research. We truly understand the reason for wanting to remain anonymous and honestly, that’s ok.

    What I would like to know is, how many researches have you conducted on YOUR OWN to find a cure for cancer, diabetes, aids, allergies, SARDS, etc.? My guess would be none. You don’t seem like the kind of person who would spend hours upon hours of his time and spend his own money for that sort of research without knowing that you would have some financial gain from it. I mean why should you, right? You graduated from Vet school and are applying all that you were taught so why should you do any more than that, right?

    I’m just wondering, what scientific test are you looking for?? Are you asking or suggesting that Dr. Plechner should put the lives of hundreds of animals at risk just so you and others like you can have your “scientific proof”?? It seems cruel and heartless of you to even suggest that, don’t you think? Dr. Plechner has spent years and years on his research and has had countless numbers of success in treating many sick and dying animals. You are asking him to allow animals to die just for “scientific data” and then you would believe that he is on to something and that his treatment plan works?

    You are suggesting that we should ignore all of the testimony from people whose loving pets have benefitted – been given a second chance at life just because his findings has not passed some “scientific test”? How could you even suggest that those testimonies be IGNORED?! Isn’t the proof in the pudding???? WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED?!?

    I have dumped my vet because they had a close mind, could not think “outside the box”. Would not even consider Dr. Plechner’s protocol. I am not even going to tell you how many of my pets Dr. Plechner has SAVED with his treatment because YOU apparently, evident by your comments, don’t care about that. YOU need “scientific testing” and apparently until YOU get your “scientific proof” you will continue to discredit a man who has probably been a vet longer than you have just for the sake of bringing him down. That seems like a pretty accurate understanding for the purpose of this blog, yes? You should be ashamed! You should be supporting Dr. Plechner and his years of research and findings. If you did, you would then see FOR YOURSELF that your patients are actually benefitting from his protocol!! You would be their HERO! You would be saving lives…isn’t that the reason you became a vet in the first place?? I’m not even discrediting you by saying “if you even are a real vet”. I’m sure you are and I’m sure you are doing what most vets do, follow what they were taught in vet school (that are backed by drug companies). You are taught to push this pill and that pill and run this test and that test while your patients wallets get thinner and thinner and your wallet and the pockets of those drug companies get bigger and bigger. Just stop and seriously consider the possibility of Plechner’s theory. Do your own research. Try his methods and see with your own eyes if it works or not! Then tell us your findings as opposed to your blind theory of how this just cant be true! I challenge you and all those other nay sayers on here! I DARE YOU TO THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX!! Yes, it will be scary but it will truly be worth it.

    To anyone reading these posts. I’m sure you ended up here because you were looking for a way to save the life of your beloved pet from a life-threatining illness or even just relief from allergies or perhaps your pet was diagnosed with SARDS or FIP/FIV. You came across Dr. Plechner name during your search and took some interest in him and did some research and read about him and “Plechner Syndrome”. You then thought “this is too good to be true – there must be a catch”. Then you scrolled down a few more links in your Google search for Dr. Plechner and found the link to this blog and thought “Aha! I knew it was too good to be true”. Well, I am here to tell you that no matter what SkeptVet and his post and other like-minded folks on here say (because heavens forbid they could be wrong because Vet school didn’t teach them any of what Dr. Plechner is saying), Dr. Plechner is on to something and well past being on to something! His treatment is benefitting so many of our beloved animals and guess what? We aren’t having to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to get them the treatment they need! Dr. Plechner doesn’t claim that this treatment works for every animal out there but if you look at the number of animals who’s lives have been saved, then the odds are pretty good don’t you think? What do you have to lose anyway? I’m sure your vet is telling you that nothing can be done and that your pet should be put to sleep. For most of us who love our pets like family, that just isn’t good enough! There has to be more we can do, there has to be someone who can give us hope… I am telling you, Dr. Plechner is that someone and I thank God everyday for having his name come up on my Google search of finding a cure for FIP. I didn’t realize at that time that more than one of my pet would benefit from Dr. Plechner’s treatment. I am so thankful and grateful to have my babies in his care…and I won’t even go on to say that he is a truly genuine and caring human being who obviously has a great love for animals because I know SkeptVet doesn’t want to hear about personal character. I wish there were more people in the world like Dr. Plechner!

    Sincerely,
    Rita

  34. skeptvet says:

    I’m afraid that you have constructed in your head a strawman to dsilike simply because you cannot imagine a world in which well-intentioned intelligent and informed people disagree about the fatc, or a word in which anyone could disagree with you without being an awful person. That seems quite sad, and it certainly contributes nothing to the betterment of veterinary medicine.

    Allow me to correct a few errors;
    1. Though it has no relevance to whether what I say is true or false, my identity and education is easy to find, so it is not correct to say I am anonymous. And by the way, what credentials or training in veterinary medicine do you have to support your claims. You are actively promoting a medical practice the majority of veterinarians believe doesn’t work. If you expect anyone to take you seriously, shouldn’t you have the kind of credentials in science you expect me to produce? Or is your opinion alone supposed to be enough?

    2. I would be thrilled, as I have said often, if some of the miraculous therapies I critique turned out to be effective. Unlike you and Dr. Plechner, I do not fear being wrong so much since I understand we are all mistaken often, which after all is why we need science to help us figure things out.

    3. While I have participated in some research, I am a clinician not a researcher. As is Dr. Plechner. He has published absolutely no scientific research to support his claims, so either he has not done any or he is keeping it a secret. What he misidentifies as “research” is simply collecting records of individual patients he has treated. This includes none of the features of real clinical research intended to control for error, and it is merely a marketing tool, collecing anecdotes to offer that suggest a teatment works without actually testing it. Without this proof, he is the one putting lives at risk. Informal collection of anecdotes was the standard method in medicine for thousands of years, and it failed spectacularly. Most of us are alive today because of the kind of rigorous, laborious scientific research Dr. Plechner has chosen not to conduct on his theories.

    And exactly whhat scientific research have you done on Dr. Plechner’s treatment? You are, after all, claiming it works, so shouldn’t you do the work to prove it? It makes no sense to praise Dr. Plechner and his supporters for making claims without proof and then expect those of us who question those claims to do the work to prove them.

    4.”You are suggesting that we should ignore all of the testimony from people whose loving pets have benefitted – been given a second chance at life just because his findings has not passed some “scientific test”? How could you even suggest that those testimonies be IGNORED?! Isn’t the proof in the pudding???? WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED?!?”
    Nope, all those testimonials prove nothing. Frustrating, I know, but the reason we’ve finally extended our life expectancy past 40 is because we stopped relying on the testimonials and anecdotes that previously supported every failed medical therapy ever employed. Science exists and works precisely because individual experience isn’t reliable, and it doesn’t matter hw many unreliable individual experiences you gather together. This is a fundamental misunderstanding which would be entirely forgivable if you weren’t presuming to lecture other people on the nature of scientific evidence.

  35. v.t. says:

    Rita K, beyond your ridiculous spiel and one where I wouldn’t blame skeptvet for ignoring, I simply wanted to say that skeptvet’s identity is nothing secret. It takes all of a few seconds to determine that.

    If Plechner has a cure for FIP, by all means, provide the undeniable, undisputed, fully researched, trialed, replicated, and peer-reviewed publication that Plechner has obviously kept secret from treasured pets, their loving owners and their hard-working vets who also want that cure.

  36. Rita K. says:

    The only information I found on your “Skeptvet” blog under your main page quote is Scott L. Replogle MD. Is this you?

    If so, this is what my few “clicks” of search found on you:

    You’re a plastic surgeon?? I thought you were a “Vet”?

    If this isn’t you then why so secretive about your identity? Why do we need to go on a scavenger hunt to find out who you are? Why should we take your word for any of it when we don’t even know who YOU are?? Why don’t you just tell us who you are and where you practice so that we can do some research on you and what your achievements are and what your contributions have been?

    And v.t. while we’re on the subject, why don’t you do the same? Or does v.t. stand for Vet Tech which means you aren’t even a vet so until you provide your identity and credentials, why don’t you keep your comments to a minimum as well.

    As for me, I never claimed to be a vet. You are the one making all of these claims and accusations so I would like to have more of your background. I am a person who has great love for animals and all of my pets have received care from Dr. Plechner. They have received great relief when “traditional” treatment options had failed them. So the fact that you think my statement is not valid is beyond my comprehension of the kind of human being you are. There are so many others like me whose pets have found relief and whose lives have been saved because every other vet such as yourself gave up on them but Dr. Plechner did not. He gave us hope and he made a difference. Why don’t you make a difference in the lives of the animals you treat? I’m sure you are the first to give up on them and say they should be euthanized without even giving Dr. Plechner’s treatment a try. What would you or your patients have to lose? You were going to put them down anyway. Why not try his treatment plan and see if you can actually save a life…isn’t that why you became a vet in the first place? Assuming you aren’t the Plastic Surgeon…

  37. skeptvet says:

    You are clearly a fanatic, and you are incapable of even hearing any argument or idea that conflicts with your faith. My identity, as irrelevant as it is, is printed on my CV which is available on the FAQ page. It is obvious, however, that the only reason you care is because you’re looking for excuses to dismiss what I say, which is the reason I don’t make a big deal out of my credentials-they aren’t evidence for against anything I say, and no one is going to make up their mind about what I say based on them anyway.

    As for your credentials, you admit to having no medical training, yet you are aboslutely certain that Dr. Plechner’s theories are correct and the rest of the veterinary profession is wrong. Not much clearer evidence of blind, unreasoning faith could be found.

    Finally, it is bizarre and sad that you have to protray someone you know nothing about as uncaring just to defend a belief in a medical theory you don’t even understand but are committed to come hell or high water. Is this real how reasonable adults disagree in this day and age? No wonder we can’t even keeop the government working, when such fanatacism has become ordinary.

  38. v.t. says:

    Rita K, do you actually have a reasonable argument, or is it more important to you to defend a belief that you have no scientific evidence to back up?

    Pretty wild assertions you’ve made about skeptvet, what is your proof?

    I’d also like to point out that in the history of medicine – human and veterinary – it is those who practice sound science and improve methods of science and medicine that allows them to succeed (for your benefit I might add, as well as your pets). Much of what we see in the alt crowd is nothing spectacular in improving medicine at all. In fact, they are simply regurgitating old medicine that has been discarded and only putting a new spin on it in an attempt to somehow validate it. The unscrupulous do it to prey on vulnerable people such as yourself.

    Btw, google is your friend.

  39. Rita K. says:

    Skeptvet

    You claim that I am looking for excuse to dismiss what you say, yet you are doing the EXACT same thing to Dr. Plechner. That is very hypocritical of you wouldn’t you say? Just as you dismiss my opinions because I have no medical background, yet you don’t offer any background for yourself? So why should this be a one way street. Why don’t you give up some details right here about yourself so that we can research into who you are? Seems fair to me.

    I, with great confidence, am absolutely certain in Plechner’s theories because I’ve seen it be put to use on ALL of my pets and they are ALL benefitting from his treatment for Atypical Cortisol Imbalance Syndrome.

    As for understanding his medical theory, I never said I didn’t understand it so why don’t you stop speaking for me by saying I don’t “understand”. I have an open mind and logic rings true with what he is saying is the cause of these illnesses and what’s more is that I’ve seen the RESULTS! Have you?

    In order to disprove Dr. Plechner’s theory, you would need to first apply his theory and prove him wrong. So how about putting your energy towards that rather than attempting to disprove somebody of their findings?

  40. Rita K. says:

    Vet.Tech.

    Google is a great place to start. I’m sure you are familiar with it yourself.

    As for “scientific evidence” I don’t need to be in a lab to see the improvement my pets are getting with Dr. Plechner’s treatments. Seeing is believing.

  41. Rita K. says:

    Skept Vet aka Brennen McKenzie

    You have been a relief vet for all of 12 years compared to 50+ years that Dr. Plechner has been practicing?? Wow. You’re credible – not. You are very wet behind the ears my friend. You have many years of your own trials and errors and when you stumble upon something amazing in your research, you’ll too have a “Skeptvet” waiting to discredit you. Until then, since your Bachelors and Masters of Art in Literature didn’t pan out for you as a profession, you can put it to use and write up these blogs and others you have like it. I’m glad I was able to find some info on you through my scavenger hunt. What a waste of time…

    I’m out.

  42. Well Actually says:

    Rita K – by commenting on Sketvet’s CV, you’re missing the point. In science, personalities don’t matter – at all. The only thing that matters is evidence.

    There is no evidence to show that so-called Plechner Syndrome even exists (by evidence I mean properly conducted research, published in peer-reviewed journals; I do not mean “well it worked for me” type anecdote).

    It is totally irrelevant how long Dr Plechner or Skeptvet have been practicing, whether they have letters after their name or if they like the colour blue. It doesn’t matter if a theory has been proposed by someone with an alphabet after their name, or has been practicing for 50+ years if that theory cannot be supported by repeatable and verifiable fact.

    So I’ll say again – there is no evidence to show that Plechner Syndrome exists. If proper evidence exists – show us. And we’ll change our minds.

  43. v.t. says:

    Rita K: You claim that I am looking for excuse to dismiss what you say, yet you are doing the EXACT same thing to Dr. Plechner.

    What are you talking about? You clearly do not understand how this works. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, meaning the onus is upon Plechner to prove his claims, not skeptvet, not you, not his clients, but Plechner and he alone.

    Skeptvet has taken Plechner’s claims and methods to task by refuting the so-called evidence of Plechner’s claims – he hasn’t been the first to do so and certainly will not be the last. If you had read the article in full, and even had a slight understanding of science, you could as well, see that there is zero plausibility in Plechner’s claims.

    It is appalling that a veterinarian can, as skeptvet aptly describes, pull b.s. out of thin air, make something up that is scientifically implausible, perform bogus tests at the clients’ expense and convince them that his implausible theory is the sole cause of their pets’ disease. Going further, that he prescribes steroids, thyroid meds and other useless or harmful medications for an imaginary condition for the LIFETIME of his patients, when in reality, he is putting those patients in life-threatening situations. Steroids must be dosed extremely judiciously, and unless the health condition warrants long term use (such as auto-immune disease, inflammatory conditions etc), there is no benefit, but indeed great risk to the patient whom otherwise could be treated effectively with much less risk. It is actually criminal that he treats imaginary disease with life-threatening medications and he should be held lawfully accountable for that.

    That you could so readily accept and defend Plechner’s method of practice in which he preys on clients and loads the patients with steroids for life for some imaginary disease, pretty much sums up how gullible and adamantly close-minded you are. Rather than take your blinders off long enough to examine the science and evidence AGAINST his claims, you resort to attacking skeptvet for providing you the tools to research the implausibility of those claims on your own.

    The plural of anecdote is not data. It is Plechner’s responsibility to provide evidence for his claims. You can scream all you want in defense of Plechner, but it doesn’t make Plechner’s claims any more true.

    As for the rest of your rant and accusations against skeptvet and his CV, any credibility or argument you may have had is lost.

  44. Rita K. says:

    I think you guys are missing the point. Many of these patients are END OF THE LINE (they are going to die anyway)! Others have conditions that make their quality of life poor. If you know anything about his treatments you would know that the steroid and thyroid treatments are in very low dosages which is something traditional vets certainly don’t look out for. You vets overdose with steroids and other drugs (even prescribe lifetime drugs) that cause additional harm to the animal (i.e. organ failure). You in no way will change the minds of those who know Plechner’s treatments work and to make correction to your false claim that these tests are costly, you have no clue how little these tests and the injection or pills cost! Compared to all of the testing you vets run and the amount you all charge for pills, blood work, x-rays, ultra-sounds is ridiculous! I guarantee you that what it costs to have the pets on Plechner’s protocol is far less expensive and far less dangerous than any treatment method you would recommend. Of course most of you would throw your hands up in the air and say “nothing can be done” and “it’s best to euthanize as there is no hope”. At any rate, talking to you so-called scientists who clearly are closed minded and have you’re head buried in the sand is a waste of everyone’s time. It’s interesting the medical community is accepting of Plechner’s theory and treatments and the vet community is so narrow-minded. Good for you guys. Continue being narrow-minded as the rest of us open-minded people continue to move forward WITHOUT YOU with great success!

  45. skeptvet says:

    I’ve explained before why your attempts to make this discussion about me personally and distract from the issue of Dr. Plechner’s theories and practices are silly and pointless. Anyone is free to go looking for information about me, and as you have discovered I’m pretty open about my opinions and my background. But since all that stuff is irrelevant, I’m not going to allow you to keep pasting your little “juicy tidbits” in this discussion or respond to pointless personal questions and attacks. You are welcome to rant as long as it is relevant and civil, but copying and pasting bits about me, or anyone else for that matter, which everyone is free to find for themselves elsewhere, is not going to be permitted.

    Why is it you think you need to psychoanalyze me or draw some kind caricature of me in order to respond to my questions and concerns about Dr. Plechner’s treatments? What does any of this have to do with whether or not we are in a “Medical Ice Age” or most diseases are caused by toxins and cured by thryoid hromone and steroids? Nothing. Am I more or less credible a source because I am a skeptic? A vet? Black or white? Male or female? What kind of bizarre person acts as if any of that has anything at all to do with the issues I raise?

    I advocate for an evidence-based approach to medicine because when we make stuff up and rely on intuition, guesswork, uncontrolled personal experience, or faith, we make more mistakes and do more harm and less good for our patients. Just because you are unable to understand that doesn’t make the facts about the role of science in medicine any different. I spend time applying the principles of science to veterinary medicine because it serves the needs of veterinary patients. Why do you spend all this time trying to figure me out and paste your clumsy cartoon villain picture on me? Is it because I have challenged your faith? Is it because you don’t actually have any evidence to offer, merely your own belief? Why do you care who I am or what I think? Has it changed what you or Dr. Plechner do at all? Of course not. You are unreachable by any kind of doubt, which you no doubt believe to be a virtue.

  46. Diane says:

    Rita K, come on now, you’re overwrought. You can’t possibly believe half the stuff you’re saying. You’re like a cornered animal that’s coming out all claws and fangs as if you’re being attacked. You’re not. The whole point of this blog is how fallible human experience and judgment is and therefore why scientific investigation is a safer and more reliable way to decide what really works. It’s nothing personal against Dr. Plechner. It is wonderful that your pet is doing so well and it’s understandable that you attribute that to Dr. Plechner, but science doesn’t support the treatment being the real reason behind your pet’s improvement. That’s all. Be civil, for crying out loud.

  47. Rita K. says:

    Skeptvet,

    Being that you’ve deleted the rest of my comment asking you to please clarify some details about yourself as there is contradictory information about you. I don’t feel there is a point to even further comment on your blog since you feel it is OK to edit someones comments and modify it to suit you. Why don’t you share everything I wrote in my last response? Yes, I know. You don’t want to draw attention to the fact that you’re a bit wishy-washy in your beliefs.

  48. Rita K. says:

    Don’t flatter yourself Skeptvet. I have not questioned my faiht by your meaningless comments nor has it changed what I think of Dr. Plechner. It only takes an arrogant person such as yourself to think that and speak for other people. I have been civil and I ask that you stop editing my comments if this is really going to be an “open” blog.

  49. v.t. says:

    Rita K, you’ve been anything but civil, you’re resorting to relentlessly attacking skeptvet instead of engaging in rational discussion, that’s trolling behavior and apt to get you banned. Skeptvet is under no obligation to meet your demands to explain his life story. Whatever he has deleted from your posts, if anything, is most likely because you are disrupting discussion, you’re slandering, and/or because his personal beliefs are none of your business.

  50. skeptvet says:

    I have no idea who you think I’m speaking for aside from myself. As for your comments, I’ve explained the rules and the policy, and you can abide by it or post your opinions elsewhere. That you can say “I have been civil” one sentence after calling me “an arrogant person” shows you have no grasp of what “civil” means. And given that you’ve provided no arguments or evidence, merely angry rhetoric, I am under no obligation to let you continue to post here if you can’t participate in polite discussion like an adult.

    It is interesting, too, that you thinkit arrogant of me to point out that Dr. Plechner has no real evidence for his claims and that they are not accepted by the rest of the veterinary professin, but you don’t think it arrogant of him to stick to promoting a from of treatment he has never developed any scientific evidence to demonstrate and that almost no one else believes is valid. A common definition of arrogant is “having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities.” That seems to fit an unwavering belief in an idioyncratic idea far better than asking tough questions about that idea. But of course, you don’t really mean “arrogant” when you call me that, you are just expressing your feeling of being offended that I have criticized an idea you believe in. It is a merely a way of saying you think it wrong for anyone to disagree with something you believe in.

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