Distemper in a Puppy

Euthanasia May be Best


I bought a puppy. A day later it had diarrhea and green stuff coming from his eyes. I took the puppy to the vet and had the dog tested for distemper. The test came back positive. The vet said that the puppy only had a 3-5% chance of recovery, would be contagious to other dogs, and have neurological problems. So I opted to have the puppy put down. Did I do the right thing?


Dr. Nichol:

The decision to end the life of a sweet puppy is extremely hard. This little guy was facing a brutal disease. The doctor was right. You could have had treatment started but youngsters are highly vulnerable to distemper and usually do badly. Those who survive are prone to seizures and a permanent neurologic “tick”.


It took courage to set your own feelings aside and give your puppy an easy exit. It’s been painful for you but preventing his inevitable suffering was the kinder option. I believe you did the right thing.