Vaccinate your dogs
We have a place between Phippsburg and Yampa, and about six weeks ago, we adopted the cutest little blue heeler, Australian cattle dog mix from one of our neighbors.
We named him Teddy because he reminded us of a little Teddy Bear, and even though we're not sure he was ever going to be much of a cattle dog, he played a mean squeaker toy, he loved burying himself into the stacks of pillows on our bed, and he would cuddle up with anyone. He had huge ears and big black spots over both his eyes, and he was just the sweetest dog we've ever known.
Shortly after we adopted Teddy, he started coughing and wheezing with weepy eyes and a runny nose. Our vet treated him for a respiratory infection, and he got better and stopped coughing, even though his eyes and nose continued to be a bit runny. We thought it was just allergies.
But then, we noticed that the pads on his feet were very tender and that he had trouble walking on gravel, and then a few days later, he started biting at the air and salivating terribly. The biting at the air quickly turned into full-blown, body-shaking, violent seizures. He was diagnosed with canine distemper, and by Thursday night, he was having terrifying seizures that started with air biting and quickly developed into absolutely horrific seizures that lasted for an endless two to three minutes.
By 3 a.m., he was having the seizures every 30 minutes, and we brought him to the vet to be put down at 8 a.m. Friday. He never lost his appetite, and he was fine between the seizures.
Distemper is a virus that dogs are typically vaccinated against, and although we're not sure how Teddy got it, I want to urge all of you to make sure that your dogs are properly vaccinated. There is no treatment for canine distemper. I've been told that it's very contagious to unvaccinated dogs, and believe me when I say that you wouldn't wish this disease on your worst enemy.
I promise you that if you could have seen our little Teddy go through even a single horrific seizure that you would make sure that your dog was properly vaccinated.
Peace be with our little Teddy man.
and Cindy Powders