Saturday, January 10, 2009

Distemper Cure-Letter To The Editor of Time Magazine

Last night while searching on Google to see if there had been any more written on Distemper I ran across an article called "Distemper Cure". I clicked on the link and found that it was on Time Magazine's online news version along with articles about Obama, the Blegojovitch scandel, and various other current events and editorial topics.

The article painted a very bleak picture of dogs with the disease, stating that dogs who got it were pretty much hopeless, that they were religated to limping around the yard in various stages of wretchedness until they met an inevitable and pathetic death. The article stated that there is "no cure".

I just could not let that stand if there was hope to offer, and so I decided to write in. I sent the following letter to the editor;
sent by e-mail 1/10/09

Dear Editor,

My dog Carmella has recently had a rare treatment/cure for Distemper. In your article it says a cure does not exist, but Dr. Alson Sears, DVM has discovered one and I can attest that it works. The first two surviving dogs are Dachshunds living in Thailand, and Carmella is the first documented case on US soil (the third dog in the world), then the 4th was recently treated successfully (a Boston Terrier).

This protocol involves the off-label use of Newcastle Disease Virus vaccine (Newcastle Disease virus only infects chickens, so dogs cannot contract it, but because it’s in the same Paramyxovirus category as Distemper it elicits a heightened immune response in the dog, allowing its own immune system to kill the Distemper virus. The first part is given as an IV to treat all symptoms in the body, and then more is injected into the spinal canal at the base of the skull (where spinal taps are done on dogs) to eradicate the virus in the Central Nervous System.

I have carefully documented Carmella’s results in my blog; and taken photos which clearly show her healing. This was not a spontaneous remission, as she was progressively getting worse until the time at which she received this treatment, first for the body, and the second part for the Central Nervous system.

Dr. Sears has not been able to get the right research facility interested in his cure because too much emphasis is placed on prevention and that’s what tends to be funded when it comes to clinical trials.

I myself contacted several University Veterinary schools including UGA and The University of Florida and both were very guarded about even looking into the science involved. It seems to be a taboo subject but if dogs’ lives can be saved by this discovery then vets should be using it and research facilities should be willing to invest in clinical trials.

As I see it, merely focusing on prevention does not solve the problem. There are always dogs in shelters who were inadequately vaccinated, puppies born in the woods, and even cases where dogs get the disease from the Distemper vaccine itself! My vet who has spent his life educating pet owners about the importance of vaccinations had to admit when the facts became apparent that this approach alone was simply not preventing the disease. Many erroneously believe that Canine Distemper has been almost eradicated in the Western Hemisphere, but in reality many cases are not represented in the statistics due to dogs being quickly “put down” and many dogs that are not ever diagnosed but instead are assumed to have and are wrongly treated for bacterial infections which never respond to antibiotics.

If you would like to do a follow-up article for either your online or printed magazine I would be willing to be interviewed and have your staff include the evidence that exists that Carmella is in fact recovered.

I would also be willing to put you in touch with the man who owns the two Dachshunds in Thailand, and possibly the owner of the Boston Terrier (if she is willing).

Dr. Sears has his e-mail address as contact person on various documents displayed online regarding the protocol and is open to any fair inquiries about how this works and the science involved. He can be contacted at

The two vets who treated Carmella in this two-part process may be willing to speak about this as well, as they are considering writing a case history on my dog at some point.

Within only 2 days after the first part of the treatment Carmella’s hardening and scaling paw pads began healing, and within only 2 weeks they were completely healed! This part was no less than miraculous. She gained weight, started eating suddenly, became active again, her eyes lost their haziness, and she more than doubled in size within a little over a month.

It took so long to find a vet who was both willing and able to do the CNS part of the treatment that while waiting Carmella developed some brain damage which left her with myoclonic jerking in the right, front leg that is pretty pronounced. Although less dramatic than the body treatment, the jerking/neuro symptoms stopped worsening immediately as soon as the NDV was injected into her spinal canal. It was obvious to me because of the almost daily disease-progression she’d suffered prior to the procedure that the NDV had in fact stopped the disease at that point.

She continued to become more and more robust and developed incredible muscle tone in the months afterwards since October 1, 2008 when this was done.

Please contact me at (e-mail witheld for public re-print) to let me know whether or not you can do a story about this. I believe this is news that will be of interest and a great help to many dog owners, shelters, and vets.


Pippit Carlington

Carmella's Mange continues to heal, slowly but surely, and today I found some Borax at Kroger. Surprisingly they did not carry it at Walmart.
Every day that goes by she is looking a little less red and inflamed.
Last night I tried my best to file down her toenails with that Pedi-paws sanding device and although feeding her pieces of kibble from my other hand allowed me to sand some nails down a little bit, it soon became a wrestling match with her chewing on my hands as though they were steak bones.

Then she began trying to tear apart her nice new bed, first with her claws, and then with her teeth. She looked for all the world like a child throwing a temper tantrum when she didn't get her way. I was horrified and yelled at her that she better stop that right now because I just bought that!

I'm glad she did not cause any damage to it and has not tried to do it again. I lucked out in finding such a high quality dog bed and hope it lasts a long time because I don't know how long Sam's Club carries those.

Be sure to take a look at her on the Carmella-cam now, as you will have a bird's-eye view of her in her bed.

The seedpods have been fired, but I need to re-attach new headpins at the top where they'll connect to the chain.

I hope to start the watercolor series on Carmella soon!
***This just in***10:12 p.m. EST
I heard back from Dr. Sears after sending him Carmella's update. He now has a website for questions and answers regarding the treatment with NDV and about the dog-based serum that he invented using cytokines produced by a healthy donor dog after the introduction of Newcastle Disease Virus Vaccine, spindown and seperation from red blood cells.
If you or someone you know has a dog with Distemper or you think a dog might have it go to Dr. Sears' website here;
The site is still relatively new but it has a blog, still photos, podcasts, description of the protocol, including the most up-to-date understanding of the science behind it, and several short video clips showing dogs with Distemper-induced seizures. These clips are rather disturbing and have somewhat spooky music in the background, but they are effective.
I've written him tonight after looking at the website and asked if he would like to use any of the pictures of Carmella before and after treatment, and a video clip showing her myoclonic jerking. Once the site fills out some more and is made a little easier to navigate I think it will probably climb in Google position, as it's very nicely done.


kim* said...

she looks so healthy in pics i wouldnt be able to tell

SleightGirl said...

Great letter! And she really is such a cutie!

Giftbearer said...

Yes, that's why Carmella's case is so special. The way she looks now (except for the mange) compared to before she was cured of Distemper is like night and day and very good proof that the treatment works.