Dikky was my female boxer dog, born on 18th Nov 2009. She was the jewel of my eye, but dog distemper virus and her doctor, Dr. A.R. Joshi, Vaishali, Ghaziabad, together collaborated to kill her in just 15 months.
Dikky was a healthy boxer dog. She had all her vaccinations on time, was fed from start on either Pedigree or Royal Canine food. Regular bath, healthy living conditions and daily walk, so all in all, she was an active dog. Ever since she came into my home, my life changed for better. Every morning she’d wake me up by licking my head so that I can wake up and give her biscuits. She’d always sleep beside me on my bed, sometimes even keeping her head on my shoulders. When I returned from office, she’d be there waiting at the gate, ready to jump on me with joy. We had a good life together. She was my baby.
Then on 7th March 2011, for the first time ever, she fell ill. When I woke up in morning, I saw she had a bloated face. I knew the bloated face could be the result of a wasp bite and it’s nothing serious. By evening, when I returned back home from office she was back to normal, just a little quiet. On 9th March morning, she got her first fit. Her body seemed okay, just her mouth had that strange fit. It did not last for long, maybe 10 seconds, but it was repeating every 2 hrs. Definitely I was worried and I opened a thread on Boxer forum for some information from fellow dog owners.
That’s when what I did eventually killed my dog. I called Dr. A. R. Joshi on the evening of 9th March, who has his Pet Dog Clinic at Mini Reliance Plaza, Main Market, Sector-4, Vaishali, Ghaziabad. Dr. Joshi was the one who was administering vaccines to my dog ever since I got her. When Dr. Joshi came to my home, he gave my dog Canine Distemper Vaccine Vanguard Plus from Pfizer. Despite the fact that my dog was getting fits and had a slight fever running, he gave the distemper vaccine. This was her 4th Distemper Vaccination shot since I got her. For the fits, Dr. A R Joshi said they were because of worms and he gave Dikky de-worming medicines.
By 11th March, the fits had stopped. I felt it really was worms which were causing the fits. But by 14th March, the fever had gone worse. Dikky was constantly getting 102.6 to 103 fever. I called back the doctor who asked me to give my dog a human fever medicine, Calpol. I did that and fever went down on 15th but returned back on 16th. The dog had started limping and was barely able to walk now. I called Dr Joshi home, who this time gave liver medicine for the dog. For the limping he said it was because of weakness due to fever and asked me to just wait for a week and watch.
By 22nd March, I was beginning to worry. The fever was no longer severe, but Dikky was no longer moving. She’d just stay at one place, and can hardly stand on her feet. I also noticed small twitching on one of her hind legs. By 27th March, the twitching had moved on to her head. I went to meet Dr. Joshi in his Vaishali Clinic on 27th March, and pleaded to him to get a thorough check-up done on my dog. But, Dr. Joshi asked me to repeat a dose of de-worming medicine and start a few tablets like Doxrid and some other costly tablets. I asked him to get a blood test done, but he said we should wait for a few more days.
By 1st April, I had lost hope on Dr. Joshi. I and my friend took the dog to Dr. Jain in Vasundhra, Ghaziabad. The doctor took one look at Dikky and said it’s Distemper virus and as the twitching was in head, it meant the virus has hit her nervous system. That’s when he clearly said there’s so few chances left for my Boxer. He took blood sample for testing SGOT and SGPT. Every single symptom matched to what my Dikky was going through. I was in panic. I came back home and researched Distemper on the internet. I found the email of Ed Bond, who everyone was saying, has had success with curing the distemper virus in dogs. I emailed him and he promptly replied saying I should visit Dr. Ajay Sood in Delhi.
On 2nd April, Dr Jain called and said that Dikky’s platelet count was low (1.68 lac/cum) and her SGOT/SGPT were normal. This meant only one thing that the dog had distemper, but he did not had the test kit so could not be sure. He asked us to give the dog a Homeopathic medicine called Nux Vomica, which we started from that day itself.
3rd April I rushed to Dr. Vikas Sharma, South Moti Bagh Market, New Delhi to get the distemper tested. Dr. Vikas Sharma was the one from whom I had purchased Dikky. Unfortunately, the test kit was not there as well. But he confirmed the dog had distemper and there was little we could now do as the virus had already hit the dog’s nervous system. He asked us to continue on a dos of Doxicip and Methycoval. He also suggested I should consult Dr. Sood in Preet Vihar, Delhi. By now, Dikky had stopped taking solid food. I was feeding her liquid food, like Cerelac, through a bottle now.
4th April I went to see Dr. Sood in Preet Vihar. He gave me a lot of hope. He said that since my boxer was healthy and big, she may make it through. Maybe, she may not be able to use one of her legs, but she should be able to survive. First time in over 20 days, I felt little happy. Over the next week, Dikky did show improvement. She started accepting solid food through my hand. Her bowel movements became normal, though her hind legs were still not working. By 15th April, I could she her getting stronger. I now was sure she will survive Distemper.
On 15th April, we took her to Dr. Sood for a routine check. Dr. Sood gave her some steroids this time. When we came back home, Dikky was fast asleep. She did not wake most part of the day. I thought may be the medicine was too strong and she’d be back to normal by Saturday, but I was wrong. On Sunday, her bowel control gave away. She was not able to control her poop or pee, but I cleaned the area and kept her clean as well. Her neck became lifeless and her whole body just gave away. She stopped taking food again. Her head jerks had become very fast, which resulted in her biting her tongue and blood with saliva started coming out of her mouth.
18th April, Monday, I took her back to Dr Sood who gave her a drip, Compound Sodium Lactate Ringer Lactate Solution. He asked me to bring her back on Tuesday, which I did, and he repeated the same dosage. He told me frankly that if the dog does not show any signs of improvement, I should consider euthanasia. Disheartened, we came back home. Wednesday evening I got chicken momos for my dog. She used to like them a lot. And she readily ate four pieces. Till Thursday night, she took solid food from my hand, raising my hopes again.
On Friday morning, 22nd April, when I woke up, I saw she was breathing very slowly. Her eyes had a white film on them and she looked almost dead. I got her feeding bottle and tried to give her water. But her heart beat almost stopped. I hit her on the chest and she resumed breathing. On Friday night, same thing happened. The white film had covered both her eyes by now and her tongue had rolled back. She was not even opening her mouth anymore and I knew the end was very near. Finally, on Saturday evening, 23rd April, around 5 P.M., her whole body jerked heavily and she went silent. My baby had left me.
From Dr. Jain to Dr. Sharma to Dr. Sood, everyone agreed that the Distemper vaccine that Dr Joshi gave her was the reason behind her death. Dr. Joshi not only gave her vaccine when she was not well and her immune system was weak, but also lied to me for at least three weeks. Dr. A. R. Joshi keep giving me liver tonics and medicines for fever and for three weeks kept the fact away from me that Dikky was infected by the virus he gave her. If he had informed me in the first week, I am sure, Dikky would have been with me today. I just hope that dog owners will learn from my mistake and stay away from doctors like Dr. Joshi who killed my dog just to make money for himself.
And Dikky, my baby, I will miss you for every single second of my remaining life.
Rest in Peace.