View Full Version : Dog dying. Any advice?
03-09-2005, 06:35 PM
Okay guys. I probably know all I need to know about this, but I have to ask you fine people before I throw in the towel.
Picked up a terrific little pooch from a local dog rescue oufit. I would find a way to post a picture, but she's so beautiful it would really break your heart. I had specifically been looking for a dog to save after outliving my my last dog-pound mutt. I had her for 19 years. I've always had cats & dogs, and I'm well-versed in the ins and outs of pet ownership/companionship.
The dog is a small-to-medium terrier cross, about 1-1/2 yrs old, all white with brown patches over each eye. Better looking than that cool dog in the Disneyland commercials. She was pulled out of a hell-hole of a dog impoundment center by the rescue lady when her time there was "up", if you know what I mean. I got her maybe a few days later. She recieved her vacinations and was spayed before she left the pound.
After a few days she's hacking a little "kennel cough". Into the vet for x-rays and antibiotics. She has developed a fierce case of tracheo-bronchitis which goes into a full pneumonia (we think), but we're getting her to eat and drink a little. After more than a week, the cough subsides and we think we're getting somewhere. Except she's listless, depressed as the doc puts it and sleeping all the time. She's not coming around.
Vet just called with results from yesterdays bloodwork. She's positive the dog has distemper. Prognosis: Zip :(
This vet isn't used to seeing distemper - who is anymore? She didn't exactly say we had to hurry-up and decide what to do. The dog isn't in pain or in that much distress, so she said we could continue to nurse her if we liked. Of course she's now throwing up the food they gave us to gently force feed her, so she's somewhat distressed.
Anyway, the vet made it clear that she's expecting us sooner or later to put little Dulci down. I guess I picked the wrong week to.... you know.
So what do you think, folks. Any experience saving a puppers from distemper?
Like I said, I know enough to know how bad it is.
But I had to ask.
03-09-2005, 06:43 PM
Here's some info on prognosis of affected dogs.
So sorry about your dog.
03-09-2005, 06:54 PM
Thanks. The more I know, the worse it looks.
Stranger On A Train
03-10-2005, 12:55 AM
Thanks. The more I know, the worse it looks.
This really breaks my heart. She sounds like a beautiful mutt. But distemper is basically untreatable and the longer it goes on, the more uncomfortable she's going to be and the more attached you are going to get. Better to get "it" over with.
Be consoled in the fact that you (and others) did the best you could for her. Remember her for her short tenure with you and adopt another dog similarly in need.
03-10-2005, 02:14 AM
I'm so sorry about your pooch and that you're going through this. It's very very rough to deal with a sick loved one, animal or person.
But from doing some research I see that distemper is not 100% fatal. In fact, among adult dogs, recovery rates are 50% in dogs (only 20% in puppies under 4 months). It's a serious disease and carries a high risk for residual effects (hardening of the nose and footpads, tooth decay), but it's not necessarily a death sentence.
Here's a very informative description via the Baker Institute/Cornell Veterinary School (http://bakerinstitute.vet.cornell.edu/companion_animal/CDV.htm)
Everyone must make the euthenasia decision on his/her own, of course. Many are in favor of euthenasia not just for fatal illnesses, but for lingering sickness that can have detrimental effects on the pet's quality of life. Others lean more on the side of "if the pet might survive, and it's just going to be slightly uncomfortable, and there's a way it can still enjoy life, I'm gonna do whatever I can." But only you can make that choice. :(
Anyway, I just wanted to give you a little info to show there's some hope. FWIW. Please know my thoughts are with you and your little dog.
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
03-10-2005, 07:34 AM
It seem that it is her time to go.
Been there, with old Billy, & my cat, Clapton.
03-10-2005, 07:40 AM
My room mate in college had a puppy survive distemper, but the vet bills were astronomical. That's my only experience with it.
03-10-2005, 10:12 AM
I have a puppy with distemper.
She contracted it when she was 3-4 months old. She is now just over a year.
Once we realized she had distemper, we prepared for the worst, and took the best possible care of her we could. We put her on goldenseal and echinatea, along with a few other vitamins. Every day was difficult, but she has survived, and with a minimal of problems. If the dog can survive the initial 2 months, then their chances are right about 100% survial.
Madi continues to be a happy, energetic puppy, with only a slight head/neck twitch, and a little "softening" of her mental capacity. Ok, she is dumb. But happy, and otherwise healthy. Most vets now will suggest putting down any dog with distemper. We searched and found one who had been practicing long enough to have actual first hand expereince with distemper. He really helped us keep a positive outlook on things.
If you want to talk with me about distemper let me know and I'll get you my phone number.
We ended up spending about $2000 in vet bills/tests/suplaments over the course of 3 months. But it was all well worth it.
03-10-2005, 10:22 AM
I've also known a dog who survived distemper.
The question is whether you're willing to play the odds. The dog will suffer unecessarily if it's going to die anyway. However, if it's going to live, then the suffering is not unecessary.
Do you feel lucky?
03-10-2005, 10:23 AM
Huh. I saved a kitten once that had distemper. From what I've been able to tell, she was in some pretty bad straights - had just started to do the circling that signifies brain damage. We took her to a vet, who promptly told us that things didn't look good. As it was my sister's cat, and since she was pretty torn up about it, I asked if there was anything at all we could do.
He gave us some medicine, and we spent the next week or so dutifully giving her the medicine (came in a medicine dropper, if I recall), and the cat made a full recovery.
There were definite signs of damage, however. She did everything that cats do (the bathing and the eating and all that), and was very cat-like, but she certainly wasn't smart. Nor did she have much of a personality. And there were some litter box problems, now that I think about it.
Perhaps with cats it's much different - I don't remember there being a lot of "work" involved (but it was a good deal of time ago; my memory might be hazy). It sounds like things are more difficult with dogs. We did what we could, already knowing things were dire, and had a happy result. We were prepared, however, that she probably would die. Was rather a surprise when she didn't. I do remember that the vet pretty much washed his hands of it - he gave us the medicine, but didn't think it would do much good.
I'm really sorry for you and your pup, and wish I had some advice.
03-10-2005, 05:30 PM
I want to thank you for your comments and support. I know this is mpsim material at this point, but it's not worth another thread. Just so you know, the poor pup took a turn for the worse, and we had to let her go. My brave daughter helped me take her in, and we're very sad right now. But I know we did the proper thing to end her suffering. I'll wait a month or two and find another dog needing help. This was a tragedy, but dog-pound refugees are still the best.
I'm very, very sorry.
This is going to be very rough on you. We're here for you though.
May I suggest doing a paw print for your baby? http://www.kazootoys.com/crafpawprins.html has them. We did this with our border collie and I pressed her name tag into it as well. Hell, I'm looking at it right now...next to her ashes, snip of fur and collar.
PS: Now is the time for ANY food they want. My babies got steak and eggs and Wendy's at will. :D Those were good memories at a horrible time.
03-11-2005, 08:15 AM
From what I remember, you should wait a minimum of 2 months before introducing an unvaccinated puppy back into your house. This allow for plenty of time for the Distemper virus to die.
It's allways sad to loose a pet, even one you just got. And you did the right thing.
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