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Karen B. London
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Losing Puppies to Disease
Canine distemper strikes close to home.
Bhudan enjoys a toy weeks before he died.

Some friends recently lost two puppies to canine distemper. During the time when first one puppy, and then the second was succumbing to the disease, they were caught up in a painful swirl of grief, loss, information-seeking, medication use, and continuous attempts to comfort the puppies, their children and each other.

Obviously, it is painful to lose a dog of any age, but there is a particular kind of unbearable heartbreak associated with the loss of a puppy.

Have you lost a dog prematurely to disease? What happened and what would you like other people to know to try to prevent it happening to them? Do you have any wise or comforting words if, despite all the best efforts, it happens anyway?

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Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

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