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Distemper Test or Vet Scam?

October 11th, 2005, 01:07 PM
We have a 4 month old Lab pup now for 1 month. Recently he suddenly developed a limp. Our regular vet was not available so I took hime to a nearby petclinic/vet. After detecting a fever of 40.9 deg (105) a short exam was made and I was told he should be checked for distemper (he has had his vaccines up to date). I was charged for a blood test with results pending the following day. He was also given an antibiotic shot and one for fever.

My normal vet checked him out the next day and saw no signs of distemper. He said there did appear to be evidence of mild broncitis, though no cough yet. The fever was gone and the limp turned out to be result of puppy jumping off a too high retaining wall in our garden. He prescibed continued antibiotic capsules for the virus and hot/cold packs for the leg.

The next day puppy was running and jumping normally with a huge appetite, normal stools, and no signs of distemper. Then the clinic called and told me the lab tests had confirmed my puppy had in fact distemper and I should bring him in immediately for further checks and treatment.

I did not bring the dog in, but went to pick up the tests. Apparently an Elisa test had been performed with results of 1:80, indicating to them a positive diagnosis of distemper. My subsequent checks on the Internet indicate that the Elisa test is not even a test for distemper, rather a check to determine a dogs resistance to distemper after vaccines and a 1:80 result means the mininal acceptable resistance needed against distemper is present in the puppy.

I live in South America, so I do not rule out criminal or corrupt actions by the pet clinic, though they are very prestigious locally. Can anyone confirm that the Elisa test is in fact nothing to do with distemper diagnosis?