Pass The Turkey and the Stuffing, Celebrate The Ones Still With Us, and Remember the Ones We've Lost
Thanksgiving is both a joyous time and a time of reflection.
This year the effort to save dogs from distemper has been a big success wherever those striving to help these dogs in a number of different venues, connecting with owners wherever they are found; on various messageboards, dog-related forums, websites, and blogs, both on the internet, and in the community.
One by one more and more dogs that once would have been considered hopeless will now spend the holidays, happy and healthy with their families.
More vets have begun to venture out and try the body and/or the CSF treatment, and are happy and intrigued with the results.
The broader the base of support for this cure becomes, the bigger its impact. There are many people who have made this possible, some who are highly visible and others working behind the scenes to bring about change, hope, and health, and working to educate the public, each in his or her own way, advancing science in a very tangible way.
Because of all of you who've contributed in one way or another more dogs this year will curl up by the fire, sit next to the table tomorrow night when the big feast is served, and will live to see the lights on the Christmas tree, play in the snow, and sleep securely in the knowledge that they're home with people who love them and will be for a long time.
At the same time though, there is much work ahead of us, and there are dogs and owners that will not spend the holidays together because they didn't know about the treatment until too late.
For the owners of these dogs the holidays this year will be a time of mourning, a reminder that although a cure now exists the vast majority of vets still do not make use of it and many have not even heard of it.
To many dogs and their owners in many parts of the world Dr. Sears' treatment is still out of their reach. They must travel great distances to get to a location in which a vet can perform that more invasive CSF procedure many of these animals need to fully rid them of the virus after it's reached the brain and spinal cord.
Many still have no way to travel these distances, or they do not have the money to pay what it costs to save their dog's life, and/or cannot do it soon enough.
This beautiful black brindle puppy is one of those who didn't make it. He was only 11 weeks old. By the time his owner found out that there was a cure his pneumonia had severely compromised his breathing. No serum was available where he lived, and antibiotics could not knock back the pneumonia enough for him to wait to reach a vet in another state.
Unfortunately, he did not make it through the weekend.
This next puppy in India died despite her owner and vet's best efforts to save her life, but her immune system was too weak and she got the treatment too late. The CSF procedure was performed 5 days after she was diagnosed, but what happens too often is that dogs aren't diagnosed before the disease has taken too much of a toll.
Her littermate survived and seems to be returning to health.
To those of you who have been reading and wondering how you can help, go to the links of the distemper projects on your right and donate, talk to your vet about this cure, send them the link to this blog and the other informational websites, talk to shelters, rescues, the Humane Society, and other dog-related groups and encourage them to get involved too, volunteer to make serum if you're a vet or an owner whose vet is open to this, print fliers, business cards or other written material and hand it out, set up a fundraiser benefit, or if you have the connections see if you can arrange speaking opportunities with Dr. Sears and Dr. Muller someplace where it will really have some impact, pull strings with news media, medical journals, etc. Be creative. There are all kinds of ways to move this forward.
I look forward to the day when a dog is diagnosed and the same day it can be treated with the serum or NDV; a day when no dog has to wait and decline because he or she can't access the care needed, a day when no dog is left with seizures, with myoclonus, with paralysis, or with blindness, a day when this cure is first line for the treatment of canine distemper in every shelter, clinic, and country.
Lets make that day soon! With all of you pitching in we can get there.
This ground-breaking treatment for distemper is really something to be thankful for.