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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Good day everyone! I'm new here. I'm seeking help.
Last Thursday my dog suddenly lost appetite and had fever and starts coughing. Yesterday she seems to have teary eyes. She doesn't eat and only drinks water for the following days. I brought her to the vet earlier because I'm so worried because she became so weak. Tests were conducted and turns out she has Distemper and she has low hemoglobin. The vet said that we could treat the symptoms but chances are they will come back and will get worse day by day. She said that if we continue the medication we can prolong her life for now but the financial cost will also be expensive. She also gave me the option to euthanize her. I don't have the financial capabilities to support her continuous medication but I don't want to euthanize her yet. My dog is 9 years old. I'm a home-based graphic artist and she's always by my side every time I work. Right now I'm in shock because things just happened so suddenly. Just a few days ago she's happily playing with me then suddenly this.

I ask for help and opinions...when do you think is the right time for me to give her eternal rest? and what do you think are her chances given her situation right now? She's in mucosal stage of the disease. She's currently confined in the vet clinic and given vitamins and other medications and before I left the clinic she had diarrhea but no vomiting. Should I just take her home? Please help me decide on what to do.

Thank you so much for reading.
 

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I'm so sorry!

Distemper is not a pleasant way to die. Even dogs who survive are permanently neurologically damaged. I personally would not put a dog through that, as painful as it is to let go.
 

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Why wasn't she vaccinated?
 

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Why wasn't she vaccinated?

Seems sort of pointless to ask and designed to make the OP feel even worse.

To the OP I have no advice. I'm very sorry you're going through this. I did have a young, newly adopted dog, that got distemper. He survived but at around two years of age developed seizures that we weren't able to control without affecting his quality of life. We chose to euthanize him at that point.
 

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That's such a hard decision to make, I'm sorry that you're facing it now.
Ultimately, I think you'll know when it's time to euthanize her. Be sure that you are taking her quality of life and what is best for her before yourself.
I know you aren't ready to euthanize her yet, but is she ready to go? When the answer looks like a yes, that means it's time to seriously consider it.
Again, I'm so sorry! This is never an easy decision to come to.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm so sorry!

Distemper is not a pleasant way to die. Even dogs who survive are permanently neurologically damaged. I personally would not put a dog through that, as painful as it is to let go.
Yes I know.
I had a Labrador retriever once, he's the same age as my sick dog, and he died as a puppy from the very same disease. I know I have to let go but I find it hard because I still can't believe how sudden this happened. TT___TT


Why wasn't she vaccinated?
when she was young there were no vets in our area. We were hours away from the city. It's just two years ago when vets and clinics popped up all over our area and most of those vets were residents who couldn't take the lack of pet clinics here.

She doesn't have any illnesses for the past 9 years of her life aside from this.


To the OP I have no advice. I'm very sorry you're going through this. I did have a young, newly adopted dog, that got distemper. He survived but at around two years of age developed seizures that we weren't able to control without affecting his quality of life. We chose to euthanize him at that point.
I've been told by the vet the same thing. Even if she survives this, the effects will soon show up and it'll be just an agonizing cycle. Thank you for sharing that link! ^__^


That's such a hard decision to make, I'm sorry that you're facing it now.
Ultimately, I think you'll know when it's time to euthanize her. Be sure that you are taking her quality of life and what is best for her before yourself.
I know you aren't ready to euthanize her yet, but is she ready to go? When the answer looks like a yes, that means it's time to seriously consider it.
Again, I'm so sorry! This is never an easy decision to come to.
Thank you! I'm considering every aspect right now. Her health is deteriorating quickly. I'll check on her tomorrow and ask the vet on her current condition and within the week I'll muster the courage to come up with a decision.
 

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Thank you! I'm considering every aspect right now. Her health is deteriorating quickly. I'll check on her tomorrow and ask the vet on her current condition and within the week I'll muster the courage to come up with a decision.
It sounds like her last 9 years with you were wonderful, healthy years. Just remember the happy times you had with her and be there for her when it's time for her to go.
-hugs-
 

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Im really not saying this in order to make you feel bad but I feel I need to say this incase that you in the future acquire another dog or a cat. Partly this is just bad luck. She went 9 years unvaccinated without picking up the distemper virus or the other diseases we vaccinate against. My dog many years ago got sick as a puppy with a type of hepatitis which like distemper is a virus because my country stopped importing the vaccine.

He with luck survived, many other pups did not. It was simply bad luck that he got it and good luck that he got through relatively unscathed.

I can understand that you had a dog for 9 years that was 100% healthy and you didn't believe it to be urgent to vaccinate. However dogs can be vaccinated at any stage after their puppyhood and indeed some believe they should get booster shots. In some areas and countries it's actually a legal requirement to vaccinate for certain things such as rabies.

I don't know whether I would continue treatment or euthanise I don't ever want to be in that situation, although as pet owners we all end up having to face this question eventually one way or another :(
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Im really not saying this in order to make you feel bad but I feel I need to say this incase that you in the future acquire another dog or a cat. Partly this is just bad luck. She went 9 years unvaccinated without picking up the distemper virus or the other diseases we vaccinate against. My dog many years ago got sick as a puppy with a type of hepatitis which like distemper is a virus because my country stopped importing the vaccine.

He with luck survived, many other pups did not. It was simply bad luck that he got it and good luck that he got through relatively unscathed.

I can understand that you had a dog for 9 years that was 100% healthy and you didn't believe it to be urgent to vaccinate. However dogs can be vaccinated at any stage after their puppyhood and indeed some believe they should get booster shots. In some areas and countries it's actually a legal requirement to vaccinate for certain things such as rabies.

I don't know whether I would continue treatment or euthanise I don't ever want to be in that situation, although as pet owners we all end up having to face this question eventually one way or another :(
It's okay, no offense taken ^__^
Most of the dogs in our area are not vaccinated too (they only have rabies vaccine) and they just die of old age with no illnesses.

And I agree with you in terms of luck. My dog used to have a partner, a male labrador retriever of her age. When they were 5 months old, the labrador got distemper. He was drooling and wobbling as he walks. We didn't know what kind of disease it was at that time but we are aware it's fatal. My dog would usually try and comfort the labrador by lying beside him and sometimes licking the drool off his face. We try to keep her away but she always does it when she sees a chance. I know she could've contacted that disease at that young age because she's so vulnerable but luckily she did not.

Most of the elderly here, including my grandparents have a myth about healthy dogs suddenly getting sick. They say that dogs love their owners so much that they can sense if their owners will get sick and in advance they will sacrifice and take the illness to themselves instead of it going to their owners to save them from pain. I don't know if it's true but it's one thing that make me love my dog more. =)

And I do plan on acquiring another dog but now I'll be sure to complete the vaccinations and boosters. Your advice is well appreciated, thank you! ^__^
 

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.

I ask for help and opinions...when do you think is the right time for me to give her eternal rest? and what do you think are her chances given her situation right now? She's in mucosal stage of the disease. She's currently confined in the vet clinic and given vitamins and other medications and before I left the clinic she had diarrhea but no vomiting. Should I just take her home? Please help me decide on what to do.

Thank you so much for reading.
Yes just take her home. The meds don't help they actually are more harmful. I have a dog that had it when she was a pup. I made her chicken veggie soup at first giving her just the broth then when she was in the acute stage with a fever. The important thing was keeping her hydrated. I also used warm compresses on her eyes the green goo that builds on the eyes is gross and hard to get off. Distemper progresses in two stages. After a 6 to 9 day incubation the dog contract a brief fever and malaise. After the dog seems fine for a few days or a week. The the dog gets the symptoms you spoke of. Your dog is in the second stage. So bring her home and love her till the end . I am so sorry. I know this is premature but this is something you will have to clean out of your yard and home before you can bring another animal into it that is not vaccinated against distemper. A un vaccinated pup can get it from your home or yard.
 

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@Dawnben, distemper is not a long lived virus. It doesn't remain viable for long. There should be no danger of another dog getting the distemper unless it comes into contact with a dog with distemper. You might be thinking of parvo virus.

I also don't understand what meds you feel are harmful when treating distemper. Mostly the vets would supplying support in the way of IV fluids and antibiotics if there's a secondary bacterial infection. How would that be harmful?
 

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A friend of mine rescued a doberman from a shelter that got distemper. She probably already had it, but didn't show symptoms until they got her home. They just nursed her back to health at home....Slept on the floor with her, hand fed her yummy stuff and made sure she got water. She got better and pulled through with no permanent neurological damage.

Anyway, it's an option. I don't know if a 9 year old dog would struggle more to pull through. Older dogs don't usually bounce back as easily as pups. Do what you think is best for her *hug*.
 

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@Dawnben, distemper is not a long lived virus. It doesn't remain viable for long. There should be no danger of another dog getting the distemper unless it comes into contact with a dog with distemper. You might be thinking of parvo virus.

I also don't understand what meds you feel are harmful when treating distemper. Mostly the vets would supplying support in the way of IV fluids and antibiotics if there's a secondary bacterial infection. How would that be harmful?
According to Dr Pitcairn use of antibiotics can cause encephalitis when a more natural approach can sometimes save them. I followed his instructions and my 8 week old puppy lived. Fasting and only giving vegetable broth and water until the fever was normal was his recommendation. He also recommended vitamin C while fasting. It worked for us our dog is 6 years old and still healthy.
 

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According to Dr Pitcairn use of antibiotics can cause encephalitis when a more natural approach can sometimes save them. I followed his instructions and my 8 week old puppy lived. Fasting and only giving vegetable broth and water until the fever was normal was his recommendation. He also recommended vitamin C while fasting. It worked for us our dog is 6 years old and still healthy.
You do know that it's possible your pup never had distemper? There is no test for it. Regardless, advising people to stop giving medications to an ill dog is taking a lot of responsibility on yourself. Dr. Pitcairn is not a vet whose advice I'd ever follow for one of my dogs. I'm glad you pup survived despite the lack of veterinary care.
 

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You do know that it's possible your pup never had distemper? There is no test for it. Regardless, advising people to stop giving medications to an ill dog is taking a lot of responsibility on yourself. Dr. Pitcairn is not a vet whose advice I'd ever follow for one of my dogs. I'm glad you pup survived despite the lack of veterinary care.
I was in Mexico without vet care available and was glad I had Dr. Pitcairns book with me the symptoms were exactly as he described in the book. High fever, skin eruptions on the belly between the back legs, thick discharge from the eyes that caused them to stick together, yellow discharge from the nose bad smelling diarrhea . I believe she did have it and his care saved her. The op ask for info I gave what my experience was.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I visited her yesterday at the clinic. I decided that if she's so weak I'll have her euthanized but if she still has energy and can move then I'll take her home. I came in and saw her just lying down she just looking at me but not moving a single muscle even if me and my father call out to her. The vet said that she hasn't changed since we brought her and said that it'll worsen from now on and she'll eventually die. So I decided to continue the euthanasia.

I talked to her for the last time before we take her to the medical table. Out of nowhere there was this thought in my head that told me to ask her anything so I suddenly asked her "Do you want to go home?" To our total surprise and with all energy left in her she tried so hard to lift her head and look at me. She forced her half-shut eyes to open. I look at her eyes and asked again "Do want to go home Mickey? go home together with us?" (I named her Mickey because when she was born she's the smallest of the litter and as small as a mouse).

By that time my hand was reaching inside the cage touching her feet. When she heard it not only she lifted her head she tried so hard to put her head on my hands and wags her tail a little. Her face has the expression "I want to go home...I want to be there." and it struck me. I told the vet that I'll take her home and she agreed. If ever she's going to die, I want it at home, a place where she's calm and with family and not in a place unknown to her.

We took her home together with her dextrose and some meds and I said I'll personally take care of her. She chose to sit in a place facing our front gate and to me it's like she's waiting for my Aunt who will not be home until 8pm. It's like she's just waiting to see everyone in the house before she says goodbye.

Today as I woke up she's weak...weaker than yesterday just lying on the ground, eyes half shut no longer moving but she will still move her eyes whenever we call her. My mom won't get close to her and will just look at her from the window of my room. She doesn't hate the dog because she's sick but she just love and pity her so much and she's afraid it might affect her hypertension if she saw her condition up close. My dog was like that until noon then she started making noises like barking or howling but those sounds weren't the sounds of pain. It's similar to the noises she make when I'm playing with her and when she's greeting someone who just arrived - happy barks and howls. She continued to do it until 3pm. My mom, though hesitant, decided to look at her one last time and I accompanied her and my dad was near the dog. After seeing all 3 of us together Mickey had her first and final seizure. It wasn't a terrifying seizure because the way it happened and what it looks like is just like what she usually do when stretching before sleeping and after that she stopped breathing. She is now at rest.

To everyone who read my thread and gave me help and advice, thank you so~~~~ much! I will take into account all your advices next time if ever I get a new dog.
Again, THANK YOU!!! ^___^
 

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Oh bless her heart for wanting to go home and holding off till she saw the three of you together! What a special girl. I am so sorry for your loss though. Hugs
 
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