Distemper study concludes

So, we’ve heard from Dr. Ken Harkin at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

He’s been running a study on the effectiveness of the NDV spinal tap on dogs in the neurologic stage of canine distemper.

He wanted us to let our followers know:


1) That the study has concluded, meaning that if people want their dogs treated at Kansas State, they will need to pay out of pocket.

2) That he will not be treating distemper dogs with myoclonus — spasmodic jerky contraction of muscles. But he would still consider treatment in other cases without myoclonus because he believes those are most likely to respond.

3) He will be publishing his insights on CDV infections at a later date.

We are grateful for Dr. Harkin’s willingness to investigate the potential of NDV to treat canine distemper. And it sounds like he may have helped answer one question that has long perplexed us. With the NDV spinal tap in neuro distemper cases, some dogs would make remarkable recoveries and some would not. The success rate seemed to be under 50 percent. According to Dr. Harkin, it appears that the dogs with myoclonus do not respond to the treatment. Those without myoclonus are more likely to respond, but they were too small a number in the study to make any conclusion. But this absence of myoclonus had been the case with Nilla, a dog from South Dakota, which was the first to be successfully treated at Kansas State

Dr. Harkin says: “I am still happy to speak to clients about their dogs with distemper.  ….  I will still consider doing the NDV therapy in specific cases, but in my experience it isn’t the holy grail for CDV.”

We look forward to seeing Dr. Harkin’s completed study.

Here is the original post about the study.

– Ed Bond