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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30412
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My dog Cookie is a 3 month old toy poodle with canine

Customer Question

Hello, My dog Cookie is a 3 month old toy poodle with canine distemper. She might be in her second stage because some mucous is coming out from her eye and nose. We started her treatment for 1 week and now we are vaccinating her with different shots including
Interferon Canine Distemper Suppressor protein Antibiotic (for her coughing and breathing problems) She shows no sign of twitching or seizures What am i supposed to expect? Every time she sleeps she breathes in very fast and short bursts, i have her on my
lap now. What should i do make her feel better, also she is not eating or drinking at all (only a bit in the morning) How can i make her eat and drink? This is a very urgent question; i don't want my poor Cookie to leave me, we spent thousands of dollars on
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Cookie. Can you tell me, please, how canine distemper was diagnosed? Generalized distemper manifests initially as a respiratory infection followed by gastrointestinal signs and often central nervous system signs; central nervous system signs may manifest concomitant with or after resolution of respiratory and GI signs. To answer you directly, she can be made to feel better by administering broad-spectrum antibiotics, nebulization and coupage if pneumonia is apparent radiographically, administering antidiarrheals such as loperamide, antiemetics such as dolasetron or metoclopramide, and GI protectants such as omeprazole as needed for GI signs. Hospitalization and IV fluid rescuscitation to correct dehydration and electrolyte disturbances should be considered in such an anorexic patient as she. You can't make her eat and drink unless she feels better; you can, however, force-feed her with a puppy food gruel administered by means of a small poultry baster placed between her cheek teeth and cheek.

The development of central nervous system signs is the most important negative prognostic factor and so the fact that these signs haven't arisen is encouraging. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When we bought her from the pet shop she already experienced slight coughing. It worsened day by day until we brought her to the hospital. For 2-3 days the vets gave her aerosol for pneumonia and diagnosed her for the 3 major canine diseases (one of the was canine distemper). She resulted negative the first 3 days, on the 4th day she resulted positive on canine distemper. What am i supposed to do as the owner to encourage Cookie to fight further? She seems to be giving up...
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the additional information. It's unclear to me what kind of testing was performed but at this point that isn't the issue. Unfortunately, you're constrained to keeping Coookie hydrated and fed. This is best done while hospitalized but she can be treated as an outpatient. For example, you could have subcutaneous fluids administered daily in the exam room which would satisfy her fluid and electrolyte requirements. At home, you would frequently administer small amounts of puppy gruel or a convalescent food such as Hill's Prescription Diet a/d which is available through Cookie's vet. You can't be expected to do any more than that. Please continue our conversation if you wish.