We took our dog to our regular vet after she started developing tremors in her hind legs and whined and cried. He came in, looked at her, and then said, "well, I have bad news - it's distemper." When we asked what we could do, he said we would need to put her down. He did no tests at all.
On recommendation from our favorite vet tech ever, we took her to Dr. Hanks for a second opinion. I'm so glad we did. She did tests, and when the news wasn't good, she still said she wanted to try - because Gertie was alert, eating and going to the bathroom. When I did the big ugly cry at the news that it was viral, Dr. Hanks was tearing up right along with me. I knew I was leaving Gertie in the hands of someone who already loved her as much as we did.
That was last night. Today, we saw Gertie. She's so much better, and may get to come home tomorrow. Even if things still don't work out, I know that Dr. Hanks was rooting for her, and did everything she could.
We'll be bringing our other dog (and hopefully Gertie for many years to come) to Dr. Hanks now - even though live in north Dallas. I can't recommend her enough.