Posted by: charlene | 2008/10/14

Chorea distemper

My 5mnth old 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 - no loss of appetite or energy at all - in fact if it were not for the twitching and the moaning you would never say that there is anything wrong with him.

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 questions to you is - when he moans and groans is that pain or frustration? And should I consider amputating the front leg also " after amputation"  will there be twitching in the shoulder?

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Our expert says:
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Dear Charlene

Very difficult question regarding the frustration or pain, I suspect more uncomfortable than painfull. If we amputate a front leg the shoulder is removed as well. The whole leg is removed.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Chill | 2008/10/15

Yes, diarrhoea is one of the symptoms. Distemper is kind of progressive - different things can crop up as you go along.

I know you want to do do whatever you can, but I' m not sure I' d be feeding him things you don' t know how he will react to - milk is exactly what one should avoid in cases of diarrhoea.

Frankly, I doubt you' ll do any better than by keeping in close touch with your vet, and in consultation with him, determining what' s best for each stage you may still encounter. There are loads of weird ideas out there and unfortunately most of us are not really equipped to evaluate them and decide which are sound and which are rubbish.

Hang in there - you' re doing your best - let the experts help you. Again, good luck, I hope your pup makes it through.

Reply to Chill
Posted by: Charlene | 2008/10/15

Thank you both for your input.

This morning though for the first time i noticed a bit of diarrhoea - he never messes in the house.

Is this an indication of the distemper deteriorating or is this normal as part of distemper - from what i have read it is normal but apparently in severe cases?

However, I read that oatmeal and milk helps assist the nervous system / muscle in distemper - i gave him a bowl last night, could it be that?

Otherwise, no other symptoms.

Reply to Charlene
Posted by: Chill | 2008/10/14

Distemper causes neurological damage, which doesn' t go away. There can be loads of other symptoms, so you' re lucky they haven' t shown up - the treatment he received probably contributed to this.

I' ve dealt with a pup with the same problems before, only worse - a rescue - I eventually had to take the horrible decision to put him down, because his other hindleg also started twitching, and he could get no peace whatsoever - obviously, amputating both hind legs was not an option.

Assuming the progress of the disease has been arrested, and no further symptoms crop up, then the key thing to the decision to amputate would be first, the dog' s ability to rest and sleep peacefully despite the twitching, and second of course his mobility. You' re going to have to be as objective as possible when judging those two things....

Best of luck!

Reply to Chill

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