If you have a young, healthy, large, mixed-breed dog — unaltered dogs work best — you and your vet may able to help save other dogs from canine distemper. Your pet could be a donor dog.
Dr. Al Sears has developed a serum that can turn off the distemper virus in an infected dog. This treatment has saved dogs from around the U.S. and the world. However, we need volunteers with suitable dogs to make the serum.
Save Dogs From Canine Distemper seeks to establish a network of volunteers and their vets who would be willing to use their dogs to create serum. The serum would need to be stored at their veterinarian’s office to be used to treat another dog infected with the canine distemper virus. Federal law prohibits the shipping of serum.
Making the serum will not hurt the donor dog. The steps to create the serum can be found here or below.
Our first step will be to create a list of interested volunteers, veterinarians and their contact information. We will then send you more information about this process as well as an agreement form on what will be expected of you and how this will work.
Now that we have status as a 501c3 charity, we plan on raising money to help offset the costs for making the serum. We need your donations.
Anyone who is interested in having your dog used a donor dog should send your name, e-mail and mailing address at email@example.com. Questions can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to our blog here.
Process for making the NDV-induced serum
1. DOG: Use a 10- to 12-month-old, mixed-breed dog, 60-90 lbs, 27.27kg to 40.91kg, young and healthy.
2. Do full lab work-up to eliminate all possible health problems, especially blood-born diseases.
3. Must be previously vaccinated against all local diseases.
4. Do not use breeds or individuals known to have immune deficiency problems.
5. Make up Newcastle Disease Vaccine 1000 dose vial. (Use only the 6 cc of diluent vial that comes with the NDV or Saline if Diluent is not available). Inject 6.0cc of Diluent or Saline into the NDV vial. Discard the balance remaining from the Diluent vial. The La Sota strain or B-1 are most common. Other strains of this virus should work as well but do not use Killed Virus NDV Vaccine. Use Modified Live NDV. This virus is your cell immunity inducer.
6. Place IV Catheter in dog.
7. Inject 2.0 or 3.0cc of Newcastle virus I.V. from your vaccine bottle depending on the official weight of the dog. (Treat dog with I.V fluids accordingly) (Do Not use Corticosteroids)
8. Induction of Newcastle’s disease virus for cellular immune serum (cytokines) may only be done once on any dog. The second time around, antibodies to Newcastle’s disease are present. These are of no use and can cause an adverse reaction.
9. Timing is absolutely essential for taking serum against distemper. Take blood 11-12 hours post injection (11-12 hrs post injection= Anti-viral factors=Very effective against Distemper Virus in VIVO.) Timing is important. (Interferon, antiviral, regulatory, anti-inflammatory cytokines all have different times of production).
10. All procedures must be sterile. Just prior to the 11-12 hours post- injection, anesthetize donor dog (approx. 5-10 minutes before).
11. Place Jugular catheter.
12. Start I.V. fluids.
13. Withdraw blood between the 11th and 12th hour and inject into 10cc blood vials [sterile no additive vials] and allow the blood to clot. All VETS please take out only up to maximum amount from donor dog. Remove blood just short of putting the dog into shock. That can be determined by the color of the gums and respiratory rate. What is amazing is the speed with which a healthy dog recovers. Fluids of course help recovery. We could take about 250 cc whole blood from a 90 lb dog and get about 100 cc of usable serum (A.W. Sears DVM 6/8/09)
14. Centrifuge immediately after clotting for clear serum. Do not allow RBC’s to lyse.
15. Remove serum and place into sterile bottles.
16. Place serum bottles in baggies and store in refrigerator. Bottles of serum can be stored for up to five years in a refrigerator; longer if frozen.
17. Cryo-precipitates may form after refrigeration. Mixing causes clouding. This is not harmful.
18. May be filtered out with a .02 micron filter. Keep sterile.
19. All my donor dogs have survived. I have not lost any.
Note: Revisions may be made as new data becomes available. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Alson W. Sears DVM for further clarification at AntiDistemper@aol.com.
From Dr. Sears: Dose of the serum depends on age of the dog. If for herpes, single shot 1 cc to each pup at birth. If for distemper of any age the dose is 1 cc per dog plus 1 cc per 10 lbs 12 hours apart for 3 treatments. So, 20 lb dog would be 3 cc sub Q 12 hours apart 3 times.
Screening Tests/Criteria for Donor Dogs
Notes from Dr. Sears on eligible donor dogs:
1) Most important is parasites; must not have any ascarids; (roundworms), as these severely change the ability to produce cytokines, also interfere with the ability to make antibodies against distemper, which interferes with vaccine also. If a dog has recently been dewormed, wait a couple of weeks after deworming so the immune modulators of the worms have a chance to disappear.
2) Look for skin parasites. (All these things cause a change in the way the inducer works).
3) Full blood count
4) Full urine test
5) Thyroid test
Unfortunately, not all large dogs are eligible to be donor dogs. Mixed breeds are usually best, and some pure breeds do not create a serum that can save other dogs. Those that can’t be donor dogs include:
(and certain other mixes but fewer than purebreds)
If there’s any confusion, let us know more about your dog and we’ll let you know if you have a potential donor dog.