Friday, July 10, 2009

Distemper Season Is Upon Us

Yes, the wolf is at the door, and our work is cut out for us with all the cases coming in from California and Texas especially. As the heat rises so do the number of distemper cases around the world.

Despite the frustration of young puppies from whom we cannot obtain serum and those folks who follow a feedback loop of denial and procrastination, there have been some successes recently.

A tiny black and white Chihuahua named Inky recently received NDV in both body and CNS, traveling from Texas to Atlanta. Here he is before treatment; very undersized and underweight, almost looking like a newborn

and here he is 2-3 weeks after treatment!

He has doubled in size and in weight, and looking much more mature. The change is really amazing!

In the course of the past few weeks another vet has emerged (possibly 2 from the same practice
who are willing to treat dogs with Dr. Sears' protocol in both body and CNS) out of California. This will potentially help many dogs this summer and beyond.

A donor dog is badly needed in New York right now, so if you would, please ask around and give anyone you know there who has a vet and a dog the link to the Facebook group. Vets still seem to be very hesitant to try making the serum, but we need for somebody to start stepping up to the plate because puppies 12 weeks and under are unlikely to respond to NDV and their only hope in most cases is serum made from another dog.

It is tragic to see puppies out of luck because nobody will follow this simple process (which is outlined on my blog in a former post, on Facebook, and on Ed Bond's regular website). This really is not that much more risky than donating blood. The only difference is that the donor dog is under anesthesia because the amount of blood taken is larger than what would be taken from a leg vein. As long as the vet uses proper precautions there should be no complications and the donor dog will wake up and resume its normal activities shortly thereafter.

If you live in New York and have a large mixed-breed dog this is a wonderful way to help other dogs whose lives depend on your generosity. You and your vet will be providing a great service to puppies in need. You will truly be giving the gift of life.

To those of you who think or know your dog has distemper please don't delay in getting your dog tested and treated. Contact me on Facebook or leave a message on this blog. If you are having trouble financially paying your dog's veterinary expenses there are options available. Don't assume it is out of your reach. A thread on Save Dogs from Canine Distemper Facebook cause has a list of financial resources. Although it may be somewhat of an inconvenience to incur some debt or to contact a bunch on non-profit agencies, your dog deserves the help he/she needs just as you or your child does when you have a medical problem.

Distemper is a serious illness and so now is not the time to skimp on the necessary tests and treatment. If your vet's fees are astronomical and you cannot find any way to afford them even after exhausting all of the options on the list (including Care Credit) you might seriously consider looking for another vet whose fees are more reasonable and who takes more forms of payment. Don't just call 2 or 3. Finding a vet who will work with you financially and offer your dog the care it needs may require running through several lists of vets. The ones who cannot help you may have other vets they know which they can recommend. Take notes and don't be afraid to ask everyone you know for referrals. If you go to pet stores to buy food and other pet products that is another good place to talk to people who might have possible leads. Ask your co-workers, your friends, shelters, even at your kids' sports games. The key is to network wherever you can. Lots of people own dogs and cats, so the answer could be just under your nose.

Today the sun was shining again so I took lots of cute pictures of Carmella in the back yard. The Ivermectin has really gotten rid of the last of her mange and the dark pigmentation on her flanks is even beginning to fade now! I was beginning to worry that she would have permanently visible black blotches showing through her fur, but that too is healing.

She has a new stamina and vigor she never had before. It has not even been a full year since her treatment in the Central Nervous System and I can really tell that her immune system is finally returning to normal!

Now she seems to be doing wonderfully on just fish oil. I did not know whether or not the opportunistic bacterial infections would return after I stopped the Pet Tabs but they have as of yet stayed away.

Today Carmella was able to be outside for several hours chasing sticks and lying in the sun.

Her coat is gorgeous right now.

I think she's probably ready now to have photos submitted for dog food endorsements.

It seems that I can see a different breed in her from just about every perspective!
Above, her profile looks like an American Foxhound.

But in this picture she looks very much like a German Shepherd. Some of the other photos look alot more Dingo-like, Basenji-like, Husky or Malamute-like. She has come a long way from the day I brought her home; a small, frail puppy who wasn't expected to live through the weekend.

3 comments:

Giftbearer said...

You've done such an amazing job with Carmella and also in helping further the research, education, and treatment of distemper. Carmella is such a lucky dog!

Giftbearer said...

This is odd. That comment wasn't written by me but is under my name.

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