I just wanted to share with you a success story. I know how bad it is when you discover you're beloeved pet has a life threatening disease but i want to share some hope with you. My wife and I decided to get a dog from a rescue pound when we moved to Houston so we got ourselves a 6 month terrier who had been found wandering the streets. We took him home with the knowledge that he was in the middle of his vaccination cycles and never thought any more about it. He continued to live a normal life until Christmas last year; our dog was becoming very lethargic and refused to play. His eyes were caked in crust and he also had a runny nose. We though it was just a normal cold but then one day he got so bad he could hardly walk and would refuse to eat or drink. We took him straight to the Vet and she diagnosed him as having distemper. We knew very little of the disease other than the fact that it has a fairly high mortaility rate and is sifficult to treat. Immediately we began treatment for his pneumonia; at this time he had a seizure also but the vet could not determine whether it was because of the distemper or the stress of the situation he was in. He boarded in the kennels at the vet's and a few days later we had him back in the house. He was very ill. Anyhow, we had him on medication for seizures and pneumonia and he just slept most of the time. As the pnemonia passed, we started to take him out for walks to try and get him moving again. He responded pretty well. He was still worse for wear and the distemper was still taking a toll on his neurological senses. He had the ever present twitch which would not go away but we made sure that he exercised at every opportunity. In the middle of all this we started to feed him organic foods to try and move him away from taking drugs all the time which were taking a toll financially. We looked at holistic methods to get him better and they did help; he seemed more sprightly and cheekier than usual as a result! Over time, with his herbal meds we were noticing major changes in his behaviour. He would start running round the house like a lunatic, playing with his toy's and being the really loving doggie he once was.
To cut a long story short, out dog has pretty much recovered from distemper. He has a twitch that is a neuro response from the distemper but all in all he is in great health and wonderful to be around. He plays with his toys all the time, runs after his ball and does all the things dogs do! He even swims but he has to be coaxed into doing that at times!
People now ask us what the secret is to the transformation. Really it was down to a quick diagnosis, unconditional love for our dog and his desire and will to live. An early diagnosis was key to his survival; had we left it any longer he would most certainly have died. do not ignore the symptoms. You have to stay really strong and shower your dog with alot of love and over time he may too respond positively. Drugs aren't always the answer; try investigating holistic remedies and make sure the dog gets plenty of exercise to boost his immune system. Our dog survived and we consider ourselves very lucky but you got to have faith the dog will pull through. You simply cannot give up. We never did and as a result i now have a dog who nibbles my hand in the morning to wake me up and then commands me to play with him! Don't ever lose faith, dogs are alot more resilient that we give them credit for. There is always hope and always the chance the dog will survive and lead a normal life just like ours. I hope this can provide some comfort to those going through the distemper virus in those early, dark days of treatment.