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Question
Posted by: chris | 2008/08/20

&quot Hondesiekte" 

My dog is diagnosed with " hondesiekte" . Is the diagnosis a death sentence? What stage of the illness is the point of no return where I should rather consider euthanasia or should I do it right away afeter diagnosis?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Dear Chris

Some dogs recover and can live a normal life. No spesific treatment for distemper but aimed at treating secondary infections and other other complications due to the nervous signs caused by the distemper virus.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Charlene | 2008/10/14

My puppy was diagnosed with chorea distemper 3 weeks ago - the first sign was convulsions, thank God this has stopped.

I do have 4 other dogs which has not up until now been affected by this.

Since his diagnosis i have been keeping him indoors over night to monitor him - two vets have advised me to put him down, the third put him on a course of anti-biotics to prevent secondary infection.

However, his situation has not deteriorated and thus far it has only been the front left leg that has the twitching.

At the moment I am using a homeopathic remedy which seems to subside the moaning and groaning for a while and then it returns.

My question to you is - when he moans and groans is that pain or frustration.

Reply to Charlene
Posted by: Chris | 2008/08/22

I decided to end his suffering last night. I feel that it was the right thing to do. Thank you

Reply to Chris
Posted by: Chill | 2008/08/21

Well, in that case... here' s my take.

Distemper causes a number of short-term problems, which are treated symptomatically - but the main damage it does is neurological, and the most common side-effect is the twitching of various muscles, which is involuntary and will not improve. This is called chorea.

Depending on the degree to which the dog is affected, where the twitching happens, and how the dog copes, it may or may not be possible to save the dog. In some cases, if only one limb is affected, and it' s seriously troublesome to the dog, amputation is done - don' t write this off, because most dogs cope perfectly well on three legs. Obviously if more than one limb is affected then that isn' t a ' solution' .

If your dog is badly affected, and the disease is still running its course, then most likely things will get worse. Some drugs, normally those used to treat epilepsy, can have a beneficial effect.

I' ve been in this situation before, with a young rescued puppy that nobody wanted because of its affliction, and nursing him for a few days convinced me to end his suffering. He had no peace, he was exhausted, his whole little body was twitching, and there was no way to get comfortable. It was a very very difficult and sad decision, specially in view of his age (around 3 months) - he didn' t have a fair shot at life. But, it was the right thing to do.

So to answer your question: there is no hard and fast rule, and the diagnosis itself is not a death sentence. The amount of damage is what determines the outcome, and that is something that you will have to assess together with your vet.

Best of luck whatever you decide.

Reply to Chill
Posted by: chris | 2008/08/21

Yes it is distemper. The vet did discuss the prognosis with me but the decision to euthanise is mine. At this stage the whole body is convulsive. And. No. The vet was very sympathetic.

Reply to chris
Posted by: Chill | 2008/08/20

I don' t know what ' hondesiekte'  actually is - do you mean distemper?

Also: did your vet say: ' Ah - hondesiekte, that' ll be R200, please pay as you leave' ?

Surely you had some discussion with your vet about the prognosis?

Please provide a bit more information so we can advise you.

Reply to Chill

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