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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15573
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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I'm looking for information about distemper. Our lab mix

Customer Question

I'm looking for information about distemper. Our young lab mix most likely has it and we are awaiting results from the vet to confirm.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What seems to be the problem with the dog?
Customer: Last Wednesday night I took her to the ER Vet Hospital about midnight. She had a muscle spasm from her back through her left leg. She was whimpering and barking. She had small eye crust. She was kept for two days. She had a fever of 103.1 and 103.5 but the other times they took her temp, it was within the normal range. We brought her home Friday evening and she had been the same since then, with the exception that she now stays in her bed next to ours, or crawls under it. We got her from a shelter but she had no signs of any health issues. She received her first puppy shots, including distemper within 12 hours of us picking her up.
JA: Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: What would I look for? A spider bite or something else?
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the dog?
Customer: That's all I can think of. She still eats, has not had much to drink but I put broth on her food (she's currently just eating turkey - whatever it takes). Urinating fine. Her last stool was rather dark, but she has taken Amox/Clav the last couple of days and I think she was on antibiotics while at the hospital.
A couple of questions include should we ask for pain medication or anything to alleviate her anxiety until we have the results of her test? It may be Tuesday before we have any answers. How will we know what her life holds if she "recovers" from this? Are we being cruel keeping her alive while not knowing the answers? We have another poodle-mix dog that is now staying somewhere else. Will it be safe to bring him home anytime soon? What sort of direct questions should we ask the vet when we are contacted with the results?
We have been treated like we have leprosy from several vets we've contacted and have no one to get a second opinion from, which I find very disheartening...
Type of Animal: Puppy/lab mix
Pet's Gender: Female
Pet's Age: <1
Name of Dog: Paris
Detail Required: HIGH
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. My name is***** am a veterinarian and will do my best to help.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry to hear your shelter dog may have distemper. How long have you had her? When will you get the test results?

I just came online and saw your question; I am sorry you did not get help from an expert before now.

Some dogs do recover from distemper, but if it gets into the brain and causes seizures, tremors, blindness, etc. the dog usually dies or has neurologic problems for life. I am sorry to tell you this, but it is a terrible disease. I sure hope she does not have it.

It is good she is eating. I might consider pain medication such as tramadol or gabapentin, that might also help by sedating her a little.

If your other dog is fully vaccinated he should not be at risk for getting distemper.

If the vet says this is distemper, I would ask if he or she thinks euthanasia is appropriate or if there is a chance of Paris getting better. Usually dogs with distemper eventually die or their quality of life gets worse and worse.

Let me know what other questions you have. I am so sorry your new rescue dog may have this terrible disease.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

I hope you were able to see my response. How is Paris? Can I help with anything else?