Sunday, June 14, 2009

On To New Frontiers! More Donor Dogs Needed

The Facebook Group (and the entire Distemper Cure community) continues to grow. New vets are beginning to take interest, we have a good bit of data now, and it seems that the need for serum is becoming ever more apparent after the loss of two puppies under 12 weeks of age.

Unable to obtain the life-saving serum which was the first-line substance for treating puppies in the body this young, the owner, with the proper veterinary approval, had to go to plan B and give them NDV in an effort to save them because time was running out. All this was done strictly by the book.

Although the serum might have bought the two pups the time it would take to travel to Atlanta for the CSF procedure, and the owner was willing to pay for it, it did not arrive, one died, and then the other; another example of just how quickly Distemper can strike a dog down and how little time there is to waste.

In times such as these even one day's delay can mean death. The owner did the best she could, and followed all of Dr. Sears' instructions, but this was out of her, (even out of his) control.

Now we are mobilizing our forces to solve this problem of access as quickly as possible. Although we are not likely to have more than a few dogs now and then in special circumstances who cannot be saved by the bird-based NDV thus it is highly unlikely that the demand will ever exceed supply, however, it is the season when the number of Distemper cases increases significantly and we need to be ready to meet the need when and if another similar case presents itself.

When that time comes these especially vulnerable young ones' owners will need to know exactly who to obtain the serum from, and those offering it will need to be prepared to get it to them right away.

We are working on developing serum banks and will begin raising money toward that end at some point so that even those for whom money would be a barrier to treatment will not be out of luck. I know that both Dr. Sears and Dr. Adams would want it that way, as the owner will already have expenses piling up most likely for his or her vet's services.

The founders of this treatment meant for it to be widely available and during the years he practiced, treating dogs in the body, Dr. Sears did not always charge for every single service, as he was doing this because he believed in it, and the good deed spoke for itself in the eyes of the owner, and their beloved pet relieved of suffering, once again restored to health, happy, and enjoying life. The results are their own reward. Besides, a dog is a dog whether it belongs to a rich family or poor one, and they are all just as worthy of our help.

That is what Dr. Sears' life's work is all about, and you can't really put a pricetag on that even though for logistical reasons we are tackling the task of putting a fair price on it for the purposes of the Foundation's future dispersal of funds.

Applicants who want to ask that their expenses be paid to create serum as an "approved serum bank" will be required to comply with certain requirements set forth by the organization, and will be bound by signed contract to follow those requirements as a condition of their arrangement with us.

We are looking for people (owners and their vets) who exemplify the spirit of Dr. Sears' and the late Dr. Adams' work, people who although they might be reimbursed have it in their heart to do this for other dogs and would do it even without pay because it's the right thing to do. These are the kinds of people who would give bone marrow to someone they don't even know when a drive was organized, or who would pull together an effort to raise money for a boy with a deadly form of cancer just because they care.

The actual cost of serum production is not as steep as you might have thought. Below is a quote from Dr. Sears, and he would know since he developed the technique.

"If you provide the donor dog then you are looking at an office call and the price of the assistants time, and the glass bottles (usually free). Need a jugular catheter also. Total cost if you provide the dog is about $100-$150. 00."

If you think you may be interested, let me know, read more about the process and criteria for the dog below, print out, and run this by your vet:


1. Dog- use a 10-12 month old mixed breed dog, 60-90 lbs, 27.27kg to 40.91kg, young and healthy.

2. Do full lab work-up to eliminate all possible health problems; specially- blood born diseases.

3. Must be previously vaccinated against all local diseases.

4. Do not use breeds or individuals known to have immune deficiency problems.

5. Make up Newcastle virus vaccine 1000 dose vial. (Use only the 6 cc of diluent vial that comes with the NDV or Saline if Diluent is not available). Inject 3.0cc of Diluent or Saline to the NDV vial. Discard the balance remaining from the Diluent vial. The La Sota strain or B-1 are most common. Other strains of this virus should work as well but do not use Killed Virus NDV Vaccine. Use Modified Live NDV. This virus is your cell immunity inducer.

6. Place IV Catheter in dog.

7. Inject 2.0 or 3.0cc of Newcastle virus into the I.V. from your vaccine bottle depending on the official weight of the dog. (Treat dog with I.V fluids accordingly) (Do Not use Corticosteroids)

8. Induction of Newcastle’s disease virus for cellular immune serum (cytokines) may only be done once on any dog. The second time around, only antibodies to Newcastle’s disease are produced. These are of no use and can cause an adverse reaction.

9. Timing is absolutely essential for taking serum against distemper. Take blood 11-12 hours post injection (11-12 hrs post injection= Anti-viral factors=Very effective against Distemper Virus in VIVO.) Timing is important. (Interferon, antiviral, regulatory, anti-inflammatory cytokines all have different times of production).

10. All procedures must be sterile. Just prior to the 11-12 hours post- injection, anesthetize donor dog (approx. 5-10 minutes before).

11. Place Jugular catheter.

12. Start I.V fluids.

13. Withdraw blood between the 11th and 12th hour and inject into 10cc blood vials [sterile no additive vials] and allow the blood to clot. All VETS please take out only up to maximum amount from donor dog. Remove blood just short of putting the dog into shock. That can be determined by the color of the gums and respiratory rate. What is amazing is the speed with which a healthy dog recovers. Fluids of course help recovery. We could take about 250 cc whole blood from a 90 lb dog and get about 100 cc of usable serum.
(A.W. Sears DVM 6/8/09)

14. Centrifuge immediately after clotting for clear serum. Do not allow RBC’s to lyse.

15. Remove serum and place into sterile bottles.

16. Place serum bottles in baggies and store in refrigerator. Bottles of serum can be stored for up to five years in a refrigerator; longer if frozen.

17. Cryo-precipitates may form after refrigeration. Mixing causes clouding. This is not harmful.

18. May be filtered out with a .02micron filter. Keep sterile.

19. All my donor dogs have survived. I have not lost any. (A.W. Sears)

Note: Revisions may be made as new data becomes available.If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Alson W. Sears DVM for further clarification at

1 comment:

Giftbearer said...

Thats incredible! It's good to know there is so much going on to fight this horrible disease. I had a puppy die from distemper. She was unable to walk within just a few days, we had to put her down.
It was one of the saddest things I've ever seen.