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Mini schnauzer diagnosed w/ SARDS &autoimmune disease in 1yr, are these related?

Max, my mini schnauzer, started to lose his eye sight in September of 2017. By Halloween he was completely blind and diagnosed by a specialist as having SARDS. He has needed no treatment and gets around quite well. Most ppl can’t even tell he’s blind. Breaks my heart that he’s lost his sight but he takes it in stride. My concern is that he’s also recently been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, and I cannot help but think that these are related.

Since a puppy my Max has always jumped up from a sound sleep as if something were biting him in the behind. With auto immune his symptoms at their worst (anal prolapse, straining, mucus and bleeding from the back end) his jumping up behavior is more prominent, only now with an audible expel of gas. So it would seem that this mysterious behavior was related to some sort of painful/frightening intestinal/anal pain all along. I’m wondering if this behavior should’ve been an indication of his future autoimmune disease and therefore if I should’ve been doing something for him all along. I post that wonder for the benefit of others.

For myself now and for my boy I’m wondering what I should know and be doing to help prevent flare ups and discomfort and protect him from getting any worse. What do I need to know about diet, effects of medication, etc that will help him now?
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675347 tn?1365460645
COMMUNITY LEADER
Poor little Max.
He does sound by your description, as if he is adapting very well to not seeing. And it does sound as if you do the very best for him.

No-one knows exactly what causes SARDS (Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome) but it is suspected to possibly be an auto-immune condition itself.
So if now Max has developed auto-immune symptoms generally, then there is a likelihood that it is all connected somehow.

I have no experience myself of a dog with auto-immune conditions, and I am not a vet, so haven't the knowledge really to be able to help and support you.

I was wondering about any natural/alternative options for supporting the immune system while not over-stimulating it.
But that would depend on what medications Max has already been prescribed. Herbs generally should not be used with prescription drugs unless prescribed by a holistic vet.
It may even be possible to get Max a consultation with a holistic vet perhaps....I don't know. Or advice on gentle dog-safe herbs which may be safe to use alongside prescription drugs, and which may help with any side effects of his treatment?

Most western medicine ideas about auto-immune disease centre on depressing the immune system totally or almost totally.
A herbal approach would be not as dramatic, but would work to balance the immune activity, not totally suppress it.

However, I am not giving advice about what you should do as really, only your vet can advise; only providing an option which you might want to take a look at?
There is some brief information on this site which looks quite helpful, plus a few diet tips:
https://www.natural-dog-health-remedies.com/autoimmune-disease-in-dogs.html

You do probably already know, but Max's sight has already gone. It is possible to treat his auto-immune disease (either by vet's prescription medicines, or by holistic methods) but his sight will not return.
However, it seems he has learned to manage that well, thanks to your companionship and care.

I do wish him well.
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