I adopted a small female Rat Terrier from a high kill shelter in Florida. She was found as a stray Jan. 17th and I put a hold on her Jan. 22nd. She was very laid back it the cage and when I visited with her in the viewing room. She was probably sick already.
I brought her home on Jan. 25th, a Monday morning and this is her story. I am positive she had distemper and that the NDV serum given to her by a vet in Cooper City on the 29th absolutely SAVED her life. No distemper test was done because my vet felt it would not really show she had distemper because she was given a distemper shot when she was in the shelter.
Cough started the day after she came home. Took her to my vet, thinking it was kennel cough. He gave her antiobiotics and some dog food that hopefully would get her to eat. He mentioned there had been another instance of dog he had to put down because it got so sick with distemper and said, perhaps, she could have distemper. He said to keep a close eye on her over the weekend. She got worse over the weekend and I researched symptoms of distemper. She started with pitting on her teeth, sick look in eyes, slightly runny eyes, cough, lethargic, 103+ temp for days, not eating (I fed her with syringe – chicken, vitamin and water mix about every 3 hours, lost 1 1/2 lb).. Luckily she had not started any twitching or seizures and I was lucky enough to find the Save Distemper Dogs website and sent them an e-mail right away. They responded within an hour. This was the day I had taken her back to the vet on Mon. morning, Feb. 1st, and he gave her different antiobiotics and said it was out of our hands at this point. I really felt and knew she was going to die if I didn’t do something drastic. Save Distemper Dogs e-mailed me back and gave me the vet closest to me who gives the NDV shot. It was a horrible windy rainy day and the vet and his assistant came out to my car to give her the shot since they didn’t want her in their office. Mimi started eating on her own by that Thursday, her fever broke and she started to recover. I have had dogs for 25+ years and I am convinced she would have gotten much sicker and deteriorated if I hadn’t taken her for the shot. I am so glad there are people out there like Dr. Sears who are not afraid to research and get the word out on saving distemper dogs. And Mimi thanks him too!!
Posted Feb. 10, 2010