Mojave survives neurologic distemper

en español

I adopted Mojave (Moe) in June 2011 from a Border Collie Breed Rescue program. Moe was found wandering in the Mojave Desert and breed rescue picked him up from a shelter in that area. Moe was covered with foxtails, not neutered, and apparently had never been vaccinated for distemper as a puppy. He subsequently received all of his immunizations (including distemper) upon being picked up by the rescue folks. However, Moe was unfortunately exposed to distemper in the shelter where he stayed initially.

About 10 days after I adopted Moe, he came down with double pneumonia and a collapsed lung. My vet was hoping that this was not a complication from distemper, but we had no way of knowing that at the time. Moe’s infection cleared up after several weeks of intensive antibiotics, IV hydration, and breathing treatments.

Approximately a week after Moe recovered from the pneumonia he began to have tremors in his hind legs. We went back to his primary vet who suspected that these symptoms were distemper related. A blood test was drawn, but the

Moe and Shasta

results were not to be available for several weeks. At that point we saw a neurologist who confirmed the diagnosis of distemper based on Moe’s symptoms. She videoed him for teaching purposes since distemper is not common in adult dogs and basically told us to go home and say our goodbyes to Moe. I found that unacceptable!

Fortunately around the same time one of women from rescue told me about the Newcastle serum vaccine. She told me at 8 in the morning and at 11 am the same day Moe and I drove to see Dr. Slaton at Westlake Village Animal Hospital. Dr. Slaton is awesome! He spent time talking to me on the phone while I was making the 400 mile drive and explained the spinal tap infusion treatment in great detail. When we arrive Moe was checked in and scheduled to have the infusion the next morning. All went well, we drove home three days later and now the Moe dog you see in the videos is our recovering warrior dog!

Conventional veterinarian medicine does not accept this treatment as valid. I wish more doctors did because the Newcastle vaccine discovered by Dr. Sears does work if administered in time. Mojave is living proof of this!

Pam Nabors
Nov. 9, 2011

Rosie, distemper dog rescued from Baja

en español

Rosie is a 7-month-old distemper dog that had been rescued from the desert in Baja, Mexico. She started showing symptoms about two weeks after being brought into the U.S. Her owners found the Kind Hearts In Action website, but their vet in San Diego did not want to pursue the NDV treatments. They were referred to vets in Ventura County who had used the treatments before. The NDV spinal tap was performed on Saturday. Aug. 14, 2010. Here are excerpts from some of the e-mails.

Aug. 13, 2010

I read about your NDV treatment for canine distemper on the Kind Hearts in Action website.  Our dog is about 7 months old, found on the Mexican desert with no symptoms.  About two weeks after bringing her across the border (which included vaccination in Mexico and a single dose of a newer flea pill) she developed a twitch in her left rear hip and leg.  The twitch has slowly progressed to the point where she is in constant pain and becoming weak in her hindquarters.

Chip Bissell

Aug. 18, 2010

Rosie tolerated the [NDV spinal tap] procedure on Saturday and is home in Del Mar recovering. We don’t have high expectations for a full recovery as her back legs remain very weak and the twitch is still prominent. But she is more comfortable now, could be due to the anti-spasm drugs or maybe some result from the injection. We’re just going to watch her a week or two and see what transpires, then decide next step(s). If she doesn’t gain more traction from her current condition we’ll probably be forced to euthanize her.

I’ll keep you posted…


Aug. 26, 2010

It’s nearly two weeks since Rosie’s Newcastle injection, and we are pleased that she has stabilized.  From the attached videos you can see she still has the myoclonal twitch in her left hindquarters, and weakness as well.  But the progression of distemper has halted apparently, and we have been backing off her meds (antibiotics, anti-diarrheals) as the prescriptions expired.  She is still on Phenobarbital 2x/day.  For the most part she seems really stable, and I have high hopes for continuing recovery.  I expected to have to put her down within days, now she seems primed to survive, maybe thrive!  We are walking her on the beach daily, and she is running and jumping well. …

We agree that the injection has saved her life; now of course we hope for even more function! …

Chip Bissell

Copyright © 2011 Kind Hearts In Action Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

MJ is doing great!

Sent in from Joanna Hackney of Austin, Texas, July 7, 2010:
Hi…I’m MJ and I’m borrowing my mom’s e-mail account to send you this message!

I’m still just a puppy but I’ve been through so much for my young age! I started my life with a loving family but then tragedy struck and they were forced to surrender me to the shelter b/c we lost our home in a house fire. I stayed at the shelter for 10 miserable days and was extremely sad & confused…I mean, what did I do wrong to deserve this? The people at the shelter tried to interact with me but said that I was “shut down” and decided that I wasn’t eligible for their adoption program. So I ended up on their “euthanasia list”. I didn’t want to die…I was just really scared!

Then this wonderful team of loving people called Austin Pets Alive! came to my rescue and pulled me out of the shelter! A lovely lady named Becky took me home with her & the next day, I met my foster mom, Joanna. We had a great first week getting to know one another and I didn’t want to ever let her out of my sight. When she would leave me at home, I would just curl up against the front door waiting for her to come back and love me. On the 10th day though, I woke up feeling awful! As the day progressed, I became more and more ill and when I was rushed to the vet, they diagnosed me with distemper and pneumonia! My temperature went all the way up to 108 degrees! Yikes!

The next 3 weeks of my life were horrible! I couldn’t eat and had to have several IV’s administered each day. Then there were days that I couldn’t take myself out to the bathroom and eventually the infection moved into my brain causing neurological damage. My prognosis was grim and other people would have said that I was a lost cause but Austin Pets Alive! refused to give up on me. I am so incredibly grateful to the amazing Dr. Jefferson, the super caring vet techs Sara & Jordana, and the talented Dr. Zilkha at White Angel Animal Hospital who administered a progressive distemper treatment directly into my spinal cord to kill the virus.

And today, I am fully recovered from my distemper! Sure, I have some weird neurological ticks, but I’m such a happy puppy! And best of all, my foster mom decided she could not part from me after all we have been through together…I’ve been adopted! I truly would not be alive though if it was not for Austin Pets Alive! They saved me once from the kill list at the shelter and then again when I was sick.

My mom thinks it’s important to pay it forward. She’s been volunteering at Austin Pets Alive!, but I want to do something too! She says that my distemper treatment cost about $1000. In puppy speak, that’s the same as 75 bags of kibble!! So I’d like to raise enough donations to Austin Pets Alive! to pay back my medical bills and then some more too so that other pups can be saved just like me!

Please help me achieve this goal! I’m in a contest until July 15th for Austin’s Favorite Dog and each dollar you donate is a vote for me and a donation to Austin Pets Alive! Every vote counts!! Just go to the following website and enter your vote for me…MJ! Thanks!

– MJ the Pup!


Copyright © 2011 Kind Hearts In Action Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

MUST READ: Notes from Dr. Sears on pneumonia, distemper

en español

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
influenza H1N1
Corona virus
Herpes virus
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.

Doc Sears

Copyright © 2011 Kind Hearts In Action Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Dante’s destiny

Save Dante From Distemper

Dante was found on the streets of Hancock Park in the Los Angeles area three weeks ago wandering with a female Husky.  He was adopted from the shelter along with the Husky as a bonded pair.  From the time he came out of the shelter he was being treated for kennel cough. The kennel cough was getting worse and the family took him to the vet, and the vet diagnosed Dante with distemper.  The family had been considering euthanasia until Kind Hearts In Action and Under the Porch came forward to get Dante to a vet willing to try Dr. Sears’ distemper treatments.
Dante is now at the vet awaiting treatment, but donations are needed to pay his vet bills. Donations can be made through Paypal at the Under The Porch Web site at or through Kind Hearts In Action at
We also need funds to pay for the creation of Dr. Sears’ serum to save dogs in Southern California.
Please help,
Ed Bond

Update: Jan. 4, 2010

From Karen Bond: Dante didn’t make it – he passed away in the night after the last bed check at midnite and before the 6 am rounds. He appeared to have gone in his sleep not all twisted from a siezure . The vet techs had all spend time with him petting and talking to him and trying to make him comfortable. It was just too late for him … Sorry guys, we tried … We will save the next one is what we have to hope.

Under The Porch

Under The Porch is a dog rescue and placement  effort in Los Angeles that offers temporary and foster homes for stray dogs. Here are some excerpts from that blog:

Give Champ a home

December 17, 2010


This  is Champ .  He is a 13 year old champion good boy!   His 83 year old human was taken to the nursing home forever, his little adorable companion shih tzu was immediately taken in.  He was left behind with the drug addict adult daughter who removed his collar and set him out in the yard with the gate open as if to say “go on get out of here”.  He stayed until a neighbor came to his aid.  The daughter said she hadn’t fed him in “a couple days”.  For all that he is sweet, calm and playful .  Even though he is very confused about where his friend and his momma went, he is willing to make new friends.

Champ needs a safe foster or a forever home.  He deserves some comfy pillows and regular meals.  He has spent most of his 13 years outside but is a well mannered guy and likes to go for walks.  He is friendly with other dogs but is a cat chaser.  If you can foster him or give him a forever home please call 323 702 4667.   Donations to Kind Hearts in Action /Under the Porch will be appreciated – but the foster home is the most important thing.

Dumped for the Holidays

Dec. 8, 2009

Black Friday almost took on a new meaning for this old guy and his partner. A neighbor flagged me down on my morning dog walk to tell me that there was a dead dog down the street , could I go see if I knew who it was.  Because I am the neighborhood Dog Fairy I know most of the dogs and a few people.  He was laying flat on his side in the middle of the road.  As we approached I was making oh poor doggie noises and he slowly lifted his head.  I got another neighbor to help and got him in my car and off to the emergency vet.
He was not hit by a car , the vet said that his arthritis was so incredibly bad that he must have just given up trying to walk.  No other injuries and blood work was normal. His ears were caked in dried blood from bad fly strike and he was filthy with mats all over. But home he went to be dosed with pain killers and cleaned up and given a comfy bed to sleep on.
Next morning he was up for a stumble outside and lo and behold this big reddish brown girl shows up thrilled to see him.  She licked his lips and squealed and leaned on him and when he lay down she was practically on top of him.  She hasn’t let him out of her sight since.
They are partners for sure – she doesn’t eat until he does, she keeps herself between him and the unknown, she backs off the other dogs and they both cry if you seperate them.  The consensus is that they were probably dumped in the neighborhood — he would not have been able to walk far at all — going around the block totally exhausts him.  And no one responded to the signs we put up all over the neighborhood.
They are both very sweet , but seem to have been yard dogs that didn’t get a lot of care. They are catching on quick to inside living though and have nice personalities.  They like cats a little too much – or maybe like is the wrong word.  He is responding well to arthritis treatment and goes on very short walks, she had a smelly skin problem that is clearing up – and is not spayed ( hooray !!) .  I will take care of that as soon as the vet gives her the okay. Otherwise she is healthy and playful – a little nervous at first but then she warms up.  They need a place where they can relax and be safe together and thats the challenge
If it had been just him, old creaky and sweet , all alone I would have tried to keep him.  But the two of them are too much for my household. Unfortunately I am underemployed and overwhelmed with pets.   I have  two extras who seem to defy adoption – Lulu and Jimmy, and my others(Norman ,Ruby, Trixi, Brownie, Lorelei)  need my attention too.  Not too mention the cats !
So please  if you know anyone who can either foster them or take them on permanently let me know . Vet says best guess is that he is over 10 and she is about three.  I call them Ginger and Boo, or Bilbo Baggins.  You have to see how much they love each other – its the sweetest thing, right now they are sleeping under my desk with her head on his side, both snoring away.
Thank you in advance for anything you can do !
Karen Bond
email if you can help.