Skeptics and Allies

Progress continues to move forward on the long-awaited book on about Dr. Alson Sears and his treatments for canine distemper. A first draft was finished last summer, and I have been systematically circulating drafts and excerpts of the book to those who played a part in his story. The manuscript is not ready to go out into the world — yet — but it is evolving. What slows me down is that I am also an entrepreneur and my game-design business frequently sucks up all my time.

In my ongoing research, I came across two videos which I had watched years ago. They are essential viewing for anyone trying to save a distemper dog. They represent a break from the previous mindset that distemper dogs cannot be saved and that euthanasia is the most humane option. The experts in these videos disagree. They believe it is possible to save dogs from canine distemper. It may take 2-3 months, but if the vets, owners and shelters can put in the work, many of these dogs can survive. However, they don’t necessarily endorse the NDV treatments. They remain skeptical because scientific trials have not yet proven that they work.

I admire anyone who believes dogs can be saved from canine distemper. This reminds me that someone does not have to completely agree with you in order to be on the same side. You can be allies and skeptics at the same time.

These videos also answer important questions about the diagnosis, care and survival of distemper dogs. So, I encourage everyone to watch these. (When you have about 2 hours)


Dr. Ellen Jefferson
Executive Director of Austin Pets Alive

At Maddie’s Institute Shelter Medicine Conference at the University of Florida
October 2, 2012


Dr. Cynda Crawford presents “Everything Shelters Need to Know About Canine Distemper.”
In this presentation, you will learn: – The basics of the canine distemper virus (CDV) – Risk factors contributing to the frequency of canine distemper outbreaks in shelters – How to create a clean break between infected/exposed dogs and new admissions without resorting to depopulation – More rules and tools for lifesaving intervention during shelter outbreaks – Current best practices to mitigate risks of outbreaks in both open and managed admission shelters – The role of vaccination, antibody titer testing and housing – How to communicate with community members and the media about outbreaks and prevention
Apr 9, 2014


As I explain in the book, I do not have the means to prove NDV will save dogs from canine distemper. But I offer a prediction:

If the NDV treatments could be put to the test under proper scientific controls and standards, they would show:

  • a significantly shorter course of the disease
  • fewer cases reaching the neurological stage
  • a significantly higher survival rate.
  • fewer long-term symptoms
  • shorter period of being contagious/lower risk of infecting other dogs

In short, we think we can help make the job easier for the vets, owners, shelters and rescue groups who are willing to give these dogs a chance.

— Ed Bond
Jan. 4, 2018