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Old 11-28-2006, 04:02 PM
Wednesday's Mom Wednesday's Mom is offline
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Default Please help - Distemper in Puppy

I have had a couple of posts in the past about my puppy's condition, which has worsened. I just got back from a visit to the veterinary internist who diagnosed my dog with distemper. Needless to say, this is causing me a great deal of pain and sadness. This is my first puppy and, being a single woman with no children, Wednesday is much more to me than just a "pet." Although I have only had her for six weeks, she has become a highlight in my life.

The internist was not hopeful about her chances of recovery due to her recently declining condition. Obviously I have to make some decisions and would appreciate any suggestions (or support) any of you could offer.

Wednesday is well past the respiratory problems associated with distemper and her lungs are clear. She eats well and has not had any instances of vomitting or diarrhea. However, over the past few weeks she appears to be in increasing pain, has begun twitching (head and front paws) and has "fits" where she cries and yelps for about 30 seconds at a time. These fits usually happen at night (all night). She does appear very weak, but can still go up the stairs or get onto the couch.

I would greatly appreciate it if any of you who have been through this could offer your insight about how long I should hold on to the hope she will recover. As I mentioned before, this is my first puppy and I know I am not thinking clearly right now. I want desparately for her to be well, but I also don't want her to suffer needlessly.

Wednesday's Mom
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Old 11-28-2006, 04:36 PM
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You're not going to want to hear this, but unless I'm mistaken, the best thing you can do for her now is to have her humanely put down. I know that when my grandmother saw a barn cat acting like that, she got out the .22.

Things could have changed in the last 15 years in regards to treatment, but I don't think so. If the internist isn't hopeful, I wouldn't be either. If for some reason she does survive this, it will permanently, and negatively affect her.

I'm so sorry for you!! This is why vaccinations are so important for puppies!!!
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Old 11-28-2006, 04:39 PM
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This puppy was vaccinated before it left the shelter
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Old 11-28-2006, 04:45 PM
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It was as a general statement for those who might read the thread.
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Old 11-28-2006, 04:50 PM
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I had a 1 year old beagle that came down with distemper when my kids were small. It started having seizures ( this was the first symptom that we noticed) and when I brought it to the vet, he said to euthanize it, which I did. It was very sad....I am sorry your dog is sick....
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Old 11-28-2006, 06:07 PM
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I am so sorry to hear about your puppy. Not a fun thing for you or the pup to go through. I think it's great that you adopted a shelter puppy as well. If your pup doesn't make it, I hope you find peace knowing that you did everything you could and at least you saved your puppy from further homeless days at a cold shelter.

This disease is not 100% fatal. If your puppy is eating well I think you could very well try to see him through it. There is a chance he could make it. It all depends on how much you can handle and how much more you can deal with. It's no fun to see our pets suffer. If there was no chance of recovery then I would say euthanize, but since there is a chance, I think if you chose to then rest, TLC and good food are in order for your pup.
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Old 11-28-2006, 06:17 PM
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My parents adopted Shack from some people about to go to the shelter and he came down with distemper. He was very ill from what I've heard (I wasn't born at the time). The vets did not expect him to live. He was at the vets and went downhill very fast. My father drove up to the vet's to go with him to be put down, and the tech had left his cage open in the isolated area he was in because he hadn't moved or eaten in days. Then when they came in to go get him to be euthanised, he was out of his cage and across the room wagging his tail. So they decided to give him a few days and he did turn out okay after a long long time. He lived to be a very old spoiled dog. I'd imagine treatment has improved since then too, so I'd not give up unless you were sure there wasn't a chance of recovery.

I'm very sorry to hear about your pup and I hope everything turns out okay.
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Old 11-28-2006, 10:02 PM
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I feel sooooooooooo sorry for you and your pup !!! I've heard of many who have popped back with few problems. This is so unnecessary today if only BYBs would give shots !! Your vet is your best guide at this point ! I'd say hang in for a while .....both for your pup and your heart . Let us know !!
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Old 11-28-2006, 10:46 PM
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Hi Wednesdays' mom... sorry to hear this was the diagnosis. Your puppy is keeping food down and lungs are clear. That's a good sign. You are now going thru the phase that comes several weeks later, the neurological signs after infection. Seizures, "tics", known as chorea. This can sometimes be managed with medication. Please do as much research as you can. Good site to go to with others that are dealing with this.... (for as many people that had to put their dogs down, there are just as many that got thru this.) www.vetinfo.com/distemper Good luck.
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Old 11-28-2006, 10:46 PM
Wednesday's Mom Wednesday's Mom is offline
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Thank you all!

Wednesday did get all of her vaccinations at the shelter and received two more sets since I adopted her. I did speak with the person who runs the shelter today and she seemed genuinely surprised that this happened. Wednesday came in to the shelter with two brothers, and she is going to call their owners to let them know and to see if they are sick also.

Tonight has been a challenge. She is crying and yelping like she is in a lot of pain. Although when some of my friends came over she acted alert and not in that much pain.

I will talk to her regular vet again in the morning and keep you all posted.

Wednesday's Mom
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