Saturday, January 2, 2010

Canine Distemper-a treatment?

      Along with the Rabies outbreak Arizona has experienced this year, wild and domestic animals are also suffering from a Canine Distemper virus outbreak as well. I have seen several puppies with distemper this year, when I only saw three cases in the preceding decade.Canine distemper is very rare in domestic dogs because the vaccine is very effective. Several common types of wild animals-Canids (dogs, foxes, coyotes), Mustelids (skunks and weasels) and Procyonids (raccoons and coatis)-are susceptible to canine distemper and are capable of spreading it. This is a good reason for universal vaccination of dogs, as individual immunity is probably as important as herd immunity when a wild animal reservoir for disease exists. relying on other pet owners having their pets vaccinated ignores the potential of spread from wildlife. Distemper is an RNA virus related to measles, rinderpest, and of particular interest to this discussion, Newcastle virus. All of these viruses are Paramyxoviruses. In the process of treating one of these puppies with distemper, a client asked me about a treatment invented or discovered by a retired veterinarian named Dr. Alson Sears using Newcastle virus vaccine, and primarily promoted online (several websites and a facebook group) by someone named Ed Bond, who apparently has no medical or veterinary background, but who thinks his dog was cured by Dr. Sears' treatment. this treatment is not really "alternative", but it does illustrate how clients and veterinarians can be fooled into thinking something works without taking into account possible confounding factors. At least Dr. Sears and Mr. Bond  seem to be sincere and do not seem to be making much if any money on this treatment.

     Like many viral infections, many factors including varying strains of virus, and multiple host variables affect the severity and course of the disease. Young puppies 3-6 months old are the most susceptible-younger puppies have some protection from maternal antibodies acquired through the placenta, and older dogs are both less susceptible to the virus and more likely to be immune to vaccination or mild infection. Effective vaccinations have been available since the 1960's, and I cannot find any data with specific information about mortality rates. Canine distemper does have a high mortality rate in puppies, probably much greater than 50%, and dogs that survive are likely to have severe neurological complications months or years later. However, depending on factors such as age and immune status, some dog do have mild cases, and some dogs do recover completely. These cases have the potential to convince clients and veterinarians that a variety of ineffective treatments work. It is natural for owners to bond with puppies quickly, and providing supportive care to a very sick puppy is tedious and frustrating, which leads people to look for other potential treatments for the disease.

     One client this year was in just this situation, and as I mentioned above, brought my attention to Dr. Sears' "treatment" for canine distemper. I will repeat that I have no reason to think that Dr. Sears or Ed Bond are not sincere and honest in their belief that this treatment, which involves either creating serum from a donor dog or treating the infected dog directly by injecting modified-live virus Newcastle vaccine (usually used for poultry) intravenously. They also encourage vaccination, and state that the vaccine is the best way to prevent distemper. Unfortunately some of the instructions they provide on their site seem to be directed more at owners or shelter personnel than to veterinarians.  They posit that the newcastle vaccine virus is better than distemper virus at inducing cytokines (a non specific term for a wide variety of proteins such as interleukins, interferons and others) and these cytokines enable or "stimulate" the dog's immune system into fighting off the distemper infection. While this idea is not impossible, there are several things about the claims on the various websites that raise red flags for me. These include; 1: claims for effectiveness with absolutely no data presented to back up those claims, 2: hints that most dogs still experience the usual complications and sequelae of the disease, 3: a lack of information about side effects or mortality from the treatment or in the dogs used as serum donors, 4:  the claim on the page about Dr. Sears that he has developed treatments for a wide variety of diseases but has never published anything about these treatments, 5: finally there are several reasons to be concerned about potential problems with this treatment that are not related to it's effectiveness or lack thereof.

     1; They claim that injecting the serum or vaccine early in the disease will cure distemper within 24-48 hours. However, they do not provide anything other than a few testimonials to support this claim. They say Dr. Sears has treated hundreds of dogs, but do not provide any well documented case reports. Apparently Dr. Sears first developed this treatment in 1970, and "presented" it at a veterinary conference, but was told to sit down. Since then, he has apparently kept the treatment to himself until Ed Bond started the various websites in about 2000. Dr. Sears says he does not have money to research the treatment, but he has not, as far as I can tell, even published any case reports. A case report basically only requires good records and some time to write it up. If the evidence from the case report is compelling enough, others may do the research needed to develop further evidence. Science and medicine progress by the publication and free spread of knowledge, not by keeping things secret for decades.

     2; Statements they make on their site recommend continuing supportive care during and after the treatment, which is generally all we can do to try to help a dog make it through the infection anyway.
"Even if the treatment is successful, the disease has probably done damage to the lungs, stomach, eyes, pads of the feet, etc. You will need to treat these symptoms as needed."
     3;  They claim that giving the patient or donor dogs the Newcastle vaccine creates a cytokine storm;
"The Newcastle Vaccine creates a thunderstorm of activity within the dog’s immune system. We think this unleashes a previously unknown class of cytokines — proteins that create an immune response — that can enter a cell infected with distemper and kill the virus. We don’t know how or why, but it works and it works quickly, often within 24 hours."
Cytokine storms are thought to be one of the reasons certain viruses are so deadly (the 1918 flu pandemic for example). If they really are creating a cytokine storm, then at least some of the donor dogs or patient dogs should be expected to show the effects of a cytokine storm, which can include respiratory failure and death. However, they say the procedure is safe and that they have never had a donor dog die.

     4;  Dr. Sears claims to have developed novel treatments for several other diseases, but has never published anything about those either. Some of these diseases either have other established treatments, are preventable, or are self limiting.
"Diseases that he has developed treatments for include distemper, herpes (fading puppy syndrome), feline FUS, post-surgical cutaneous granulosum of the doxy breed, giardia, canine and feline trichomonas, babesia gibsoni and others. However, none of this has entered the veterinary literature at this time."
Why have none of these wonderful treatments entered the veterinary literature. As I mentioned before, case reports are not expensive, and while scientific criticism can be harsh, that is how progress is made, if you have the evidence to back up your claims.

     5; There are several reasons to be cautious with a treatment like this. Paramyxoviruses have a nasty habit of occasionally affecting different species than usual, and a search on PubMed for zoonotic paramyxoviruses
gets 19 hits, including one on the detection of antibodies to avian viruses in humans and another potentially linking Paget's disease to canine distemper virus exposure. There are also potential concerns about recombination of live-attenuated Newcastle vaccines with other viruses. While these concerns may seem slightly far fetched,  they are no less plausible than the postulated treatment itself.
Finally, there is the concern that injecting a very sick animal with an attenuated vaccine could be dagerous to the individual patient. I wonder how many patients have died under this treatment protocol? they do say procrastination means death, but provide no information about how many animals have not survived the treatment, either due to it's inefficacy or to adverse effects.

     Anytime someone makes claims such as the claims that are being made for this treatment, they have an obligation to keep good records of both the positive and negative outcomes. At this point there are hints that the treatment may not be as effective as it's supporters would like, but by focusing on the positive outcomes, and minimizing the negative, there is no way to tell if the treatment is effective, ineffective or just downright dangerous. This is true for this treatment as well as many CAM treatments. When some patients get better, it is easy to attribute their improvement to whatever you did, but some dog have always survived distemper.

35 comments:

  1. Wondering how you can say canine distemper is very rare in a domestic dog? We see it a lot in shelters with domestic dogs.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Maybe I should have expressed it better, but I meant rare in pets because of vaccination. It is reasonably common in certain populations of susceptible animals such as shelter animals where there are probably a lot of young, unvaccinated dogs. I usually see one case every few years, and it usually comes from a shelter or certain communities in the area where vaccines are not used as much as they should be.

    ReplyDelete
  3. BTW, Bond & company are now selling a DVD on the process for a $100 donation. It is supposed to have a seminar on it for info regarding the process. Some housewife in the Houston area who writes a blog is now funding the project by getting people to donate to Ed Bond, they have thousands coming into some vet's office in the Houston area.

    ReplyDelete
  4. BTW Ed Bond & company are now selling a DVD with Sears on it giving a seminar, you can get it for a $100 donation. And as for donor dogs not having a reaction, one in the Houston area did. There's a housewife in the Houston area who writes a blog and is getting people to donate thousands to Bond for this. There is a vet working on this with them and he took in almost $7000 in March from "donations".

    ReplyDelete
  5. That's interesting, do you have any links to that information? I'd be interested in following up. What kind of reaction did the donor dog have? Was it a typical allergic reaction to the vaccine, or a "cytokine storm" as they suggest they are causing (a severe allergic reaction might qualify as a cytokine storm). If they are collecting money in the thousands, then there is even more reason to keep records and document their results.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Donor dog reportedly suffered vomiting and diarrhea for a five day period immediately after the procedure and when they were approached with the information in their online forum on Facebook, they proceeded to delete any comments regarding it and blocked anyone from posting about it. In addition, when Dr. Sears was directly contacted he stated the donor dog probably picked up something in the clinic where the procedure was done. Even though the dog had just been screened twelve hours prior and announced to be in perfect health by the same vet. There is no apparent room in their "study" to allow for any type of non-favorable data or questions allowed that might allow for more informed discussion.

    Housewife's forum on Facebook:
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000717094455&ref=ts#!/profile.php?id=100000717094455&v=wall&ref=ts

    Links to the entire "donation" raising:
    http://www.firststop-laststop.com/project_hope_distemper_treatment.html

    http://rescueranchsavesmiissprecious.chipin.com/project-hope-phase-three

    Not saying that this is not a "heartfelt" endeavor--who wouldn't like to see distemper eradicated? But it needs to be done under an unbiased and informed platform where both dogs, donor and the ill one, are being looked out for and the money should be accounted for appropriately.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for those links. I agree that this is a heartfelt endeavor, but it seems full of signs of pseudoscience to me, and I am afraid that it is giving false hope to people who find themselves in unfortunate circumstances when they are trying to do the right thing and adopt a puppy from a shelter. We already have a very effective method of prevention (vaccination) and the money might be better spent in that direction, and in supporting shelters in allowing for better quarantine of potentially infected animals. It is certainly disturbing that they are suppressing information that they don't like.

    ReplyDelete
  8. wow. Strange seeing the word "cytokine storm" used positively. Someone should call the cops on these guys.
    Incidentally, I have been treating a few distemper cases with the antiviral Ribavirin (with proven and well documented activity against morbiliviruses!) and my very, very initial results are promising.
    In the short term, there is a complete cessation of seizures, no secondary bacterial infections and an overall improvement in health but I am yet to see what the final outcome is in dogs that manifested neurological signs prior to commencement of treatment.
    Still, I am hopeful. I will be publishing my results by the end of this year.
    - vet student from India

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My friend has a dog, a former stray, that seems to be suffering from distemper, now in the nervous phase, after 2 weeks. He is an adult.
      Could you please give me more details about this treatment.
      Thank you in advance!

      Delete
  9. @ Big Giant Head;
    That's really interesting. Please let me know when and where your results are published. I'll do what I can to help get more exposure.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Bartimaeus -

    Don't you think that there is much documentation in the scientific literature that the current distemper vaccines (mostly made from the 1960s isolated odendestpoort and Snyder Hill distemper strains) are becoming less effective in preventing distemper? Do a lit search on 'distemper' at PubMed.com.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Also, there is a paper out documenting the use of interferon in the early 1990s. There's also some evidence of Interferon Gamma or Feline Recombinant Interferon working to treat distemper. The use of Ribaviron is supported by the in vitro efficacy reported in a paper that was published a couple years or so ago. The big problem here is that there is a lack of GOOD research in the veterinary world. For example, Tamiflu and Neopogen are used to treat Parvo but NOTHING has been published.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Frankie;
    Most of the literature I have seen indicating potentially ineffective or less effective vaccines and later infection with different wild type strains of distemper comes from China and other parts of the world, not North America. This raises some questions about manufacturing practices (there have been problems with fake rabies vaccines in China, so what is stopping unscrupulous manufacturers form making fake distemper vaccine?) and poor infrastructure leading to degradation of vaccines-this is a problem for human vaccines in some parts of Africa, for example. There is one interesting paper (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19931324) indicating that the pfizer vaccine has a different, wild type strain than the strain the company claimed. So far in North America, I have not heard of anything other than isolated vaccine failures in vaccinated dogs. If you know about other information, please send me the links. If there are strains that do not resond to current vaccines, it should not be too difficult to change or add strains to the vaccines if necessary.

    As for antiviral treatment,you are right, most of the literature seems to be in vitro studies using canine distemper as a model for other viral infections, and not much about treating infected animals. Antivirals are generally not as effective as we would always like them to be, and are often less effective if treatment is delayed as is the case with Tamiflu and influenza. Since Vaccinations for Distemper and Parvo have generally been effective, there is not much motivation to research treatments. This is compounded by the fact that the animals that tend to get these infections are often unwanted shelter animals, or the owners are economically disadvantaged, and may not be able to afford treatment anyway. Vaccination of humans against measles is more effective than attempting to treat infections as well, and I suspect that these are some of the reasons that there is not a lot of research about the use of antivirals in distemper or parvovirus infections.

    The main point of this post still stands-Dr. Sears and Ed Bond, among otheres still seem to be making unsupported claims, and there are hints that they are hiding information that their treatment may have adverse effects on the donor dogs, and may not be as effective as they claim. It looks like a significant number of the dogs undergoing treatment that are discussed on the facebook page still die.

    ReplyDelete
  13. According to the information the "housewife" has posted on her blogs, dogs that receive Dr. Sears' treatment and the donor dogs that receive the Newcastle injection can NEVER again be vaccinated for distemper due to possible side-effects that could include DEATH. The "housewife" has convinced a local Houston rescue to allow her to use rescued dogs, dogs awaiting adoption, as donor dogs for this ongoing experiment. I find this highly unethical.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I also find it highly unethical that a 501 charity rescue group would allow animals in its care to be used as donor dogs and also be treated with what in fact is an experimental treatment. It is actually against Houston City ordinance to use any animal from its city owned dog pound in this way, this is to protect animals from being sold to laboratories and research facilities. However, the "housewife" involved has played God many times in regards to animals and has no conscience apparently.

    ReplyDelete
  15. http://jvi.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/81/6/2817

    Proof that the ndv induced serum works is anecdotal, but the use of NDV in cancer research has already been going on for years. This virus selectively targets certain tumor cells and triggers programmed cell death.

    ReplyDelete
  16. @ dex; there has indeed been a lot of research on NDV in a variety or cancer treatments for years now.
    Unfortunately the results have been fairly disappointing, and recent efforts seem to be directed at modifying the virus using various techniques to try to get a more consistent and reliable response. It is possible that it may help cause some type of general immune reaction in dogs with relatively mild cases of distemper that helps some dogs with distemper, but the fact that there is ongoing research into NDV directly contradicts the story the Save Dog's form Distemper folks are presenting-a lone vet being ignored by everyone. There has been and is a lot of continuing research on NDV.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have personally experienced the successful treatment of quite a few dogs for distemper using the Sears protocol, both the simple body cure and the more invasive neuro cure for more advanced cases. Yes I have seen miraculous recoveries even in very symptomatic dogs.

    I have also been involved in the development of the Sears serum using well-loved donor dogs who were carefully screened for health and other factors and who experienced absolutely no ill-effects from the process. I have never heard of a donor dog getting sick. Apparently you have heard of one. That does not mean the process is dangerous or that there is any relationship. The donor dog simply receives the Newcastle vaccine and the next day gives blood. The donor dog does not come in contact with infected dogs.

    Yes vaccination is critical. But some dogs don't have that luxury of receiving such before contracting the disease. And more importantly we are seeing strains for which the current and rarely updated vaccine is less and less effective.

    A distemper diagnosis is almost certainly a death sentence. In those rare instances when dogs survive it, they will ultimately succumb to neurological effects from the disease if they otherwise live that long. With the outlook so grim, I would think folks who cared would be more eager to consider a treatment protocol that many have witnessed working rather than inventing reasons to attack it.

    Dr. Sears is brilliant and a hero for developing the body cure many years ago and the neuro cure much later. I thank God for Dr. Sears and for his willingness to share his findings despite the aggressive efforts of his colleagues to discredit and ostracize him.

    And I thank God for the few veterinarians who are willing to give condemned dogs a chance and try Dr. Sears' protocol. Their successes can't be ignored forever. Sadly, because of Dr. Sears' experiences and the closed-mindedness of the profession, many of these vets are reluctant to share their very positive experiences.

    It would be great if someone would fund an extensive study to document the success of the protocol and save many dogs in the process. There is no shortage of infected dogs in shelters and puppy mills to provide all the subjects needed for such a study.

    Unfortunately, there is a shortage of funds available to conduct such a study. Vet schools that have the infrastructure to do such work don't want to touch it. Quite frankly, there is not likely ever to be funds for such a study until distemper becomes more common in dogs who live with families who would go to great lengths and expense to save their beloved pet.

    Until then or until the minds and hearts of people like you open up, most dogs with distemper will be condemned to die. Only a lucky few will belong to someone with the time, energy, resources, and commitment to find out about the cure and find a vet who will undertake it. Believe me, this is no easy task.

    What happened to the puppies with distemper that you have seen recently? My guess is you put them to sleep or they died on their own. Recently symptomatic puppies can be easily and very cheaply treated with the Newcastle vaccine even if no serum is available. Rather than spend so much time on this negative site, why don't you order some of the vaccine and try the treatment with the next infected puppies you see. What have you got to lose?

    More importantly, what do the puppies have to lose? Everything. Believe me, it will be the best $5 investment you will ever make. If it's too late for the body cure and you're not comfortable trying the neuro cure, then at least you gave them a chance they otherwise would not have gotten. If it's not too late, or you were willing to try the neuro cure, I believe you will be stunned at the results. And the body cure treatment will take no more time or effort or expense than euthanasia would take. Please tell me why any vet who ever sees puppies with distemper would not at least try this treatment. What could possibly be the harm?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Did you even read the post? The fact is that Canine Distemper is not always a "death sentence" many dogs do recover, and at this point we don't really know if doctor Sear's treatment works at all, or if our cognitive biases are tricking us. While I am sure the procedure is generally safe for donor dogs, there is the possibility of adverse reactions, and a low but potentially dangerous possibility of viral recombination resulting in something worse than either canine distemper or newcastle disease (it has happened before-canine parvovirus was accidentally created by humans from a feline vaccine). I am open to the idea that this treatment works, but after 40 years we have nothing but anecdotal evidence and testimonials, which are not proof of anything, unfortunately.

    ReplyDelete
  19. As the Founder of Project Hope, The Canine Distemper Project, in Houston, I can tell you that we saved hundreds of dogs so far with Dr. Sears' NDV-induced serum. All over the world, vets are now using it and vets in CA, FL, VA and more are making it now. It really really works. The survival rate, if the dog does not have the advanced state of neurologic distemper would be 12 percent with only supportive care. With serum (three injections/12 hours apart), the survival rate is 90-95 percent. The bacterial pneumonia/progression that all distemper animals have after about six days, is the big variable as is worming these sick animals. The ascarids (worms) take down their immune systems and hide up in their stomach and intestines. If their vets give the proper suggested combination of drugs, the animals live and rebound quickly. If they don't, the pneumonia will kill them even though they were cured of distemper. I certainly invite you to talk to Dr. Sears/happy to arrange a call or with a vet or two who is using his protocols. For more information, go to www.firststop-laststop.com/project_hope.html and/or www.edbond.com/distemper The results of last years study is published. The alternatives are euthanasia or a wait and pray approach which often times includes very expensive supportive care at the Vet hospital. We can save an animal for under $100 if it doesn't need hospitalization and in three days, the distemper is GONE and they are no longer contagious. Again, I have personally supervised a project and helped hundreds of animals LIVE who have very bad cases of distemper. Dr. Sears' work is a gift to the world. I just wish people didn't wait until their animal gets distemper to reach out, to find this out...

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have looked at the results published on the Pets Houston page, which you link to on your project hope page as well. The problem I still have is that you are basically collecting a lot of anecdotal data, which is still not of high enough quality to report as a more scientifically useful case series. It is not clear that all of the puppies actually had distemper, and certain red flags still bother me. For example, Dr. Sears and his supporters portray him as being the inventor of the brush border smear-this is not true, as this has been a standard test for a long time, and has some limitations such as false positives caused by vaccine strains of the virus. Despite what Dr. Sears says, a lot of research has been done and is being done on using NDV as a treatment for a variety of diseases, including cancer, so far without much success. Your comments on deworming, secondary infections are interesting, as it seems probable that some of the puppies were probably debilitated by other infections and parasites, and may not have had distemper at all. To be more useful and convincing, you need to report how the dogs were diagnosed, what treatments they may have received beforehand, including vaccinations, and how you know that the Distemper virus is actually gone. Despite the way you represent it, quite a few dogs and puppies do survive the infection, and always have. That is why controlled studies are really the only way to know if such a treatment is effective or not. A collection of poorly controlled and inadequately recorded case studies is, unfortunately not proof of much, and I suspect that this is why the veterinary journals have so far refused to publish this information.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Reading all these comments and observation, i believe dr sears really found the cure for canine distemper and that bartimaeus can't handle that for some personal reason

    ReplyDelete
  22. @ merrywrendy; LOL-you'll have to do better than that. Perhaps some evidence that rises above poorly recorded case reports and testimonials. The proponents are well meaning, but don't seem to understand what they are talking about (yes, even Dr. Sears) and may be doing more harm than good. That is my only personal reason for these posts.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am convinced, we all work for the well-being of our four-legged friends. But in a different way...
    Serum treatment of distemper has been known for at least 80 years (Laidlaw and Dunkin). With the introduction of vaccination it lost most of its impact, but animal control facilities and shelters could still benefit from it.
    Here is my experience:
    We treated endemic distemper in an animal control facility with the combination of vaccination and serum treatment. First, we controlled distemper, and in 3 months it was eradicated. All these were confirmed by demonstration of morbillivirus in a PCR study. After a 6-year follow-up the facility is still free of the virus. (We did not have chance for quarantine or sanitary measures: this supports the speculation that the key is the animal that carries the virus, and not the environment.)
    What makes easy to perform the diagnostic tests?
    It is very simple: the vaccine strain is not shed at all.
    This is the essence of a successful distemper project. One should be skeptical and have a cool mind!
    I wish all the best to You, and to your 4-legged friends.
    Dum spiro, spero.
    More research should be funded on this challenging field: academy and practice should work together.

    ReplyDelete
  24. @ B Lakatos-was this treatment NDV serum or serum antibodies from dogs already immune to canine distemper? Using serum with high antibody titers to a virus or bacteria was the standard treatment for many infections in the days before antibiotics and vaccinations and is a different thing than the small amounts of NDV serum used by Dr. Sears, which has not been tested by PCR as far as I can tell, and does not have a known mechanism of action.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Greetings from India!
    I was wondering what your thoughts are about this study:http://jn.nutrition.org/content/137/8/1916.full.pdf+html

    ReplyDelete
  26. That is an interesting study-it could be that giving shelter pups vitamin A would help reduce the problem with distemper in shelters. It would be an interesting thing to test in dogs as they did in ferrets. The most susceptible puppies may often be suffering from poor nutrition as well as not being immune to the disease, so it would be an interesting thing to study. It certainly is plausible scientifically.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Imagine this: You as a human go to your family physician and learn that you have measles. Because you weren't properly vaccinated as a child (internet rumors and all), and because you have a comorbidity, there is a chance you could die from it. "Good news" says your doctor. "My last patient, who is a reporter, says he was cured of measles by injecting a chicken vaccine into the vein. I ran down to the feed store and picked some up for you. Roll up your sleeve please."

    When you put this in the perspective of "would I want this done to me?" it highlights the recklessness of doctors providing treatments based on such scant evidence. With their reputations, finances, and careers on the line with each treatment, doctors need to know that the treatments they provide are more likely to help than harm. They need to know both the risks and rewards.

    As a lay person, I can sympathize with people who don't quite understand why doctors won't just try things they see rumored on the internet. But as a person who reports on medical news and scientific studies for a living, I can not fathom how this protocol has been in use for more than four decades, and no one has produced a single case study worthy of scrutiny. Case studies do not require high levels of funding. They simply require normal clinical note taking expected of veterinarians and the time to write up the cases. One of the pro-chicken vaccine websites said it's goal was to raise $12K in 2011 for treatments. If one doctor volunteered her time, $3,000 could fund a controlled trial of the direct injection protocol with 40 patients. Such a study could put this chicken vaccine protocol on the map in real terms. If there were real science behind this protocol, it would be taught in continuing education settings, and would be rapidly adopted world wide. Wouldn't that be a better use of the $3,000. I know it's hard for lay people to understand this argument. The work of Ed Bond stands up to journalistic standards. But it falls far short of scientific or medical standards.

    A previous poster linked to the vitamin A study by Rodeheffer and colleagues. Notice in this study, more than 80% of the animals that did not have a nutritional deficit survived the distemper infection. The researchers deliberately used a strain of distemper that is not particularly lethal. This demonstrates that there are multiple genetic variations of the canine distemper virus. With no control group, it is very difficult to ascertain from subjectively documents anecdotes whether a treatment is doing good or causing harm. With the given data, wide adoption of the direct chicken vaccine injection protocol would be reckless and unprofessional for doctors of veterinary medicine. The long-standing unwillingness of doctors to write down what they have done with this protocol in terms that would be meaningful to fellow doctors is dubious. If I understand the original poster correctly, he is not saying that the protocol is definitely wrong. He is saying that doctors who refuse to do that are well-justified by the professional standards on which the public has come to rely. I'm saying that doctors who support this protocol have thus far fallen short of professional expectations in that they haven't even posted decent case studies on the internet.

    I could go on about how high dose Vitamin A and Ribavirin currently have more scientific merit and deserve more attention at this point, but that may be a topic for a later post.

    -Gary Brazzell

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My friend has a dog, a former stray, that seems to be suffering from distemper, now in the nervous phase, after 2 weeks. He is an adult.
      Could you please give me more details about this treatment with Vitamin A and Ribavirin.
      Thank you in advance!

      Delete
    2. Both drugs should be readily available to your local veterinarian, vitamin A doses are available in many formularies (the goal is to maintain vitamin levels at normal levels-high doses of vitamin A are toxic) as are ribavirin doses. There are still not a lot of published studies to tell us how effective they are in treating canine distemper, but Vitamin A is beneficial in Human measels infections, a virus that is similar to distemper. Good Luck-I hope all goes well.

      Delete
  28. This veterinary clinic in Galax, VA was so disturbed by people trying the NDV IV injections on their own, that they developed a competing experimental protocol for canine distemper and offered it to the public for free. Their experimental protocol for canine distemper is vitamin A injections, and they did a long write up on it. In this article, they express very specific concerns about Newcastle injections. Here's the link: http://www.healingspringsanimalhospital.com/Emails/Distemper-Vitamin-A-NDV.html

    ReplyDelete
  29. You really really really need to try this for yourself before you go bashing the treatment on your blog. I live in the Houston area and am a foster for a local animal shelter and know fellow fosters who take their dogs to Dr Huddlestein and have received Dr Sears' serum for various fosters as well as witnessing dogs going through distemper without the treatment. They estimated an almost complete turnaround of the dogs treated with this serum within 48 hours and have told us that they have never once lost a dog to distemper that had received this serum. There will obviously be effects of the disease if the animal has already started showing neurological symptoms...once the damage is done, it's done. There are many vets across the country who have adopted this treatment for distemper and the group Ed Bond runs (which is a 501c by the way) focuses on helping people find vets in the area(unlike yourself)who understand that the animal is most likely going to die anyway and is willing to treat with the serum and Ed Bond's group is working to collect data for this serum to become recognized...that is the whole purpose of the group. Mr Skeptical, for the love of dogs...attempt your own trials of it (what are you risking by trying? make your patients owners sign waivers to protect yourself if that is the issue)instead of protesting it on your blog. And remember, this is coming from people who have been working with shelter dogs for years where distemper runs rampant, we have had three puppies with distemper in our household in the past three months alone...as opposed to a vet who has admitted he rarely deals with the disease.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once again, I must repeat that personal experience is not a substitute for good clinical evidence. If you had read the post and the related posts, you would know that we have been through an outbreak in our area as well, and that the "results", which are really a series of anecdotes, are not much different than expected survival rates without NDV treatment. If you really want to collect data, do a controlled, blinded study, not a collection of poorly documented case studies. If you are still having an outbreak (ours has subsided due to vaccination, isolation, and other evidence based methods) you have a good opportunity to do this. I would encourage Mr. Bond and others who are raising money for the treatment to spend some of it actually proving that it works, rather than collecting more case studies which don't prove anything.

      Delete
  30. Year 2013 !! My dog suffers (3mon stray dog) distemper. I can not get a clear answer weather Dr. Sears treatment works or not. But we use the "proposed treatment".
    I totally agree w/ Bartimaeus. DO A CONTROLLED STUDY. With the evidence from the internet its all urban myth to me.

    ReplyDelete
  31. It has been some time since I visited website with such high quality information. Thank you so much for providing such helpful information. This is really informative and I will for sure refer my friends the same. Thanks.
    HCG Treatment Chicago

    ReplyDelete