Save Dogs from Distemper: The 'Impossible' Cure of Dr. Alson Sears
Ed Bond, author
In the early 1970s in the desert community of Lancaster, California, Dr. Alson Sears had been overwhelmed with cases of canine distemper, resulting in “boxes and boxes” of dead dogs despite trying every treatment he could find. Then a paper about using Newcastle’s Disease Vaccine to induce interferon in cats gave him a flash of insight. Dr. Sears made an attempt to create interferon in dogs, but it did not work out the way he planned. A laboratory test concluded the resulting sample did not include interferon, but by then Dr. Sears had already saved a distemper dog with his NDV serum. After treating and saving more distemper dogs, he realized he had created an unknown material with lifesaving properties. But Dr. Sears lacked the training and connections to properly document his treatment, and the experts only dismissed his discovery as “impossible.” So, he quietly treated hundreds of dogs over the next few decades, drawing little attention to himself. But then in 1997, he treated and saved a dog that belonged to Ed Bond, a freelance L.A. Times reporter at the time, who eventually would draw the story out of Dr. Sears. After posting a website about the treatment in 2000, Ed Bond kept hearing from people whose dogs were being saved. When a vet in Romania followed Dr. Sears’ protocols on the edbond.com website and saved at least 5 dogs with it, the light bulb went on for Ed. In December 2008, Ed launched a campaign to Save Dogs From Distemper that circled the globe and involved hundreds of dog owners and rescuers, as well as dozens of veterinarians and professionals. This is a story of hope for owners of distemper dogs that explains what Ed has learned about canine distemper and why many more distemper dogs can be saved.