These are notes from Dr. Sears, amending treatments, after attending a lecture in St. Louis:
Treatment at presentation of acute upper respiratory disease.
Serum — NDV induced serum 1 cc per ten lbs plus 1 cc per dog for 3 treatments given 12 hours apart. ( not NDV as some dogs cannot or do not respond and make appropriate cytokines) So, for a 30 lb dog would be 1 cc plus 3 cc for a total of 4 cc given 3 times.
Tamiflu–Turns out some of these other viruses are extremely sensitive to this medication. I would recommend that 1 mg/lb be given twice daily for at lease 7 days. Should block most of the viruses we are discussing.
Antibiotics.–All these viruses cause inflammation in the lungs. (flu causes hemorrhagic pneumonia) All leave a BACTERIAL SECONDARY PNEUMONIA. My recommendation is Penicillin -G and Baytril inj three times daily in older dogs 9 Mos or older for at least 10 days.
Penicillin -G and Chloromycetin (25 mg/lb) three times daily for 10 days in younger dogs. (Baytril causes joint problems in younger dogs)
Supportive fluids and feeding as necessary.
There is an effective test for these viruses developed and available through ANTECH. This is a throat swab that distinguishes the upper respiratory viruses and give a good diagnosis. Also for distemper there is still the transitional cell bladder test. Works great to diagnose acute distemper quickly.
There is a test for distemper antigen an intranasal swab that is done at the clinical level. Problem with this test is that it can and does go positive with vaccine distemper virus. So, it can and does give false positive tests for distemper and cause a misdiagnosis.
Bordetella is kennel cough. It is treated with cephalosporin antibiotics. It does not routinely cause pneumonia. Can be confused with the viral diseases. I DO NOT LIKE THIS CLASS OF ANTIBIOTICS FOR PNEUMONIA IN VIRAL DISEASES.
List of upper respirartory diseases that can and are confused with distemper
Canine influenza H3N8
Many bacterial pneumonias.
Treatment of secondary neurologic problems in dogs remains the same at this time. This problem is only seen in those dogs treated late in the disease or those that make a spontaneous recovery.
If you have any comments or recommendations please write to me and we can discuss them. I came to realize that a lot of the pneumonias that are reported are NOT distemper. Still need to be treated.