Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Spreading The Word To More Vets That Distemper Is Cureable

A series of informational pamphlets are in the works to reach more vets and owners about the hope that exists for dogs with Distemper and how they can be proactive in the diagnosis, treatment, and the aftercare of their pets.

These pamphlets can be printed on just about any computer and/or a xerox machine and the advantage is that any number of people in any country will be able to access them, print them, and distribute them at the touch of a button.

It will be important for informational materials to be as user-friendly as possible so that vets and owners will feel comfortable using Dr. Sears' treatment.

Oftentimes people are overwhelmed by the mass of reading material written in small print with long paragraphs and no pictures, and at a time when their dog is in crisis wading through such long documents might seem insurmountable.

Thanks to everyone who provided pictures of their dogs for the pupose of creating this material, we now have a growing database of pictures of not only those who have died of the disease,

but those who are successfully cured with the use of NDV.

Pictures are worth a thousand words and these dogs speak for themselves!

Concise pamphlets presented in an easy-to-understand format are now being created for distribution and we will need all the volunteers we can get to take these over to vets' offices. Please contact me if you are interested in helping with this task once these are written and laid out.

It will be increasingly important as more dog owners hear about this cure to locate more vets spread out around the country and beyond who will be willing to perform the CSF procedure for dogs with ODE (Old Dog Encephalitis). As this phase can be extremely debilitating, involving the brain and spinal cord and progressive demyelination, this part of the treatment is vitally important to the dog's survival and quality of life.

Tragically, there are still many dogs for whom this half of the treatment is out of reach because they don't live near a vet who is proficient in spinal taps. Not all vets learn this skill in veterinary school as not all achools require it in order to become licensed for general practice. Carmella's regular vet only saw it demonstrated in his curriculum but never had any hands-on experience.

I cannot stress enough how important it is once the disease is diagnosed to move ahead expeditiously. Distemper, especially after it shifts to the central nervous system can be brutal and unforgiving and its damage can be irreversible even after the virus has been killed if not treated before significant neurological impairment sets in.

A good rule of thumb once you confirm your dog has the disease is to treat it as though you're best friend, wife, husband or child were bleeding to death. Yes, it is really that urgent.

Don't be lulled into a false sense of security if one day your dog seems to be slightly more playful, or appears to be in a holding pattern. He or she might not be showing any neuro symptoms today, but tonight at 9:00 pm when no vet is available, at 2 in the morning, or 12 noon, things could suddenly change for the worse and then it becomes not merely a day-by-day thing but minute-to-minute.

This is the message that we need to convey. Dogs can be saved and miraculous recoveries can happen, but this is not a disease in which to wait and see the symptoms is appropriate.

Earlier I looked on Google to see what other sources were writing about Distemper testing and was disappointed to see that the Brush Border Smear was conspicuously absent from the mainstream literature readily available online other than the two groups currently supporting Dr. Sears' methods.

Much time is wasted, as many are tested with one antibody test or other types of smears after another, taking too long before receiving the results and too often render false-negatives. Many vets hold off on treatment until they see a smoking gun (which with most of the other tests may or may not ever happen, and by the time the diagnosis is confirmed that way tissue, organ, or brain damage may already have occurred).

One of my goals is to have the process for this test widely and readily available to all vets. I recently heard a dog owner say that their vet had never even heard of the test. That has to change if we are to get an effective program put in place promoting early detection and treatment.

The most reliable test to confirm distemper is a Brush Border Smear.

It’s very fast, very cheap, and very accurate for DX of Distemper.This test can all be done inside the VET Clinic with no problems and also poses no danger to anyone in the clinic or out. It is a very safe technique. Call your VET to see if they can do this procedure, and if not, ask the VET if they know of anyone in the medical field who can do it, hit the web or phone books and locate someone who can do this for you.

1) Use a urinary catheter, empty the bladder, flush with saline, and collect some of the last saline.

2) Spin down the saline and remove the cells.

3) Prepare a slide with the bladder transitional epithelium of the inside lining from the bladder and dry stain with diff-quick. This is a very common stain used by most medics or lab people who use medical microscopy.

4) These cells ALWAYS have inclusions. So easy to collect, easy to stain (quick dip), and instantly diagnoses, showing inclusions in these cells which will stain a beautiful carmine red color in the cytoplasm of infected cells and para nuclear.

5) About 90% of the bladder cells will be positive for inclusions in the early stages of Distemper.
These inclusions will NOT be present in long-term distemper cases.

6) If negative, then your dog either has Kennel Cough, Respiratory Herpes, or Toxoplasmosis.

***Note that once dogs develop neuro symptoms inclusions may not always be found in the Brush Border Smear, so in that instance one cannot rule out Distemper.***

In some cases not even a spinal tap analysis may detect the virus and can only be confirmed by brain biopsy (which is not very feasible in a live dog).

When tests are inconclusive and clinical symptoms warrant, it is safer to assume the dog has it and treat, than to be sorry by waiting too late.

Other Tests:

Rarely, inclusions can be seen in the red cells.

I have never seen inclusions in the conjunctiva.

An IFA test of the conjunctiva to test for inclusions is available. I have no experience with this test.


It is best to initiate all the tests and then give SERUM or NDV immediately.

Don’t wait for test results to come back. Time is of the essence. Wait for the test results AFTER treating.

If wrong, your dog will suffer no adverse reactions.

If right, you are ahead of the game; stopping the Distemper virus before it does significant and possibly irreversible damage.

(A.W. Sears DVM)
For further clarification please contact

People need to be as urgent and insistant about this as they are for the cure for Breast Cancer. If you think this is only important and relevant for dog owners think again! Dr. Sears has said, and many other researchers throughout the world agree, that much of the same biochemistry inherent in canine distemper and in its treatment provides the building blocks for MS in humans.

If saving dogs doesn't particulary linterest you get involved for the benefit of people you love who have or might develop MS disease in the future!

The veterinary profession and the human health profession run paralell and so the key to your dog's health may someday be instrumental to your own.

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