My Experience with having a sick dog from MalinGer Kennels and dealing with Jenn Segal. - Page 1

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by Natasha901216 on 20 November 2019 - 11:11

By making this post I hope to detail my personal experience so as to inform others of what an experience with Jenn Segal of MalinGer Kennels may look like if they are to go negatively. Hopefully then, as well as talking to those with good experiences, they can make an informed decision on if the kennel is right for them.

The secondary purpose to this is to retract any and all statements that I have previously made about/toward Jill Missal regarding her hardships with Jenn Segal and MalinGer Kennels. Jenn Segal had advised me that it would be helpful if I were to make a statement supporting herself on Jill Missal’s posting about her negative experience. I did so blindly without having any understanding regarding the truth of the matter. For that, I am sorry, Jill.

November 7,2019

I wish to detail my experience buying a Belgian Malinois from Jennifer Segal/Malinger Kennels. This account is factual to the best of my knowledge and ability.

I purchased one male co-own Belgian Malinois Puppy from Jenn Segal/MalinGer Kennels in July, 2018 out of the Ember x Armani breeding. I was advised by Jenn Segal that this pairing would be the most suitable for me (wanting a social/stable, versatile sport prospect - and further, an active companion). I had been advised that both parents were great breeding prospects with equally great temperaments. 

Neptune arrived by air in an overall healthy-appearing condition, aside from some initial wariness and severe itching/dandruff. 

Neptune’s itching progressed between receiving him from the airport to about 7 months of age. After a few weeks of having him home, he also developed a Chalazion above his eye (which was treated with warm compresses and antibiotics). ‪Around 5-6‬ months of age, the itching and excessive dander was also accompanied by a near complete loss of guard hairs (Neptune is a very darkly pigmented Malinois, and the stark change in coat was dramatic). Throughout this time, Neptune had seen my vet several times to discuss the same and undergone some diagnostics - with no obvious answer. As advised by my vet, I started Neptune on a high dose of omegas, Hydroxyzine, a veterinary skin/coat diet, a weekly routine of medicated baths (to soothe his skin) and a topical treatment to help protect his skin. Eventually, his skin cleared up and his guard hairs grew back. With no firm diagnosis, we assumed the cause to be some form of environmental allergy. 

Neptune has also had issues controlling his bladder, since a young pup. While it was rare that he would mark or piddle accidentally as a regular puppy or intact male dog might, Neptune absolutely could not (And still sometimes cannot) control his bladder when he is excited or scared. Initially, I didn’t think much of it - but despite efforts to ignore the behaviour (so as not to encourage the same) and allowing time - at about 9 months of age, it became extremely frustrating. We had also noticed that Neptune would often have a difficult time urinating. Even when he had a full bladder, he would struggle to produce anything - just a trickle. I would have to assist him by manually expressing (gently squeezing) his bladder for him. He would also, as an adult, run up to us inside the house and suddenly start urinating, often without posturing - he would hold his ears back and look as though he knew he wasn’t supposed to, but couldn’t help it. I had him seen by my vet for this on several occasions where we would pass a urinary catheter, do x-rays and a full urinalysis - which always came back normal. It wasn’t until much later when he received his diagnosis of Limbic Epilepsy that we realized this likely was related (Urination is controlled by the brain stem and cerebral cortex - and seizure activity can affect this). 

Neptune also always had bouts of fluctuating appetite and weight accompanied by diarrhea and excessively large volumes of stool. He would go through times where he was ravenous and would eat with excitement to the point that he would pant and shake. Other times, he would refuse to eat (anything) for days at a time, have diarrhea and be extremely irritable. Despite diet changes, nothing seemed to help. 

The other, and most serious issue we have had controlling with Neptune was his idiopathic aggression and rage syndrome.

I first noted some minor aggression the second day I had him home (at 8 weeks of age). I was parked with him in the passenger seat of my car, meeting a friend. My friend approached the car on the passenger side ( as in a way to not scare baby Neptune) and gently said hello to us. Neptune bared his teeth, whale-eyed and growled at my friend. We didn’t push the topic and my friend left him alone. I didn’t take it too seriously at first, although I didn’t approve of the behaviour - baby Malinois has been through a very busy couple days and experienced a ton of changes. He was bound to be out of sorts. 

As he grew his aggression worsened. He had issues with space guarding - ie; guarding whatever space he perceived to be “his” when he was tired or wanted to be left alone. He also began reacting to strangers on leash(barking and lunging). I raised Neptune with Micheal Ellis’ techniques, had seen a few behaviourists and trainers and generally had tried my best to set him up for success with daily training, enrichment and proper “socialization”/exposure (done with approved dogs only, approved people only and never forced). I had prepped for getting a mal for about 7 years. While I was new to the breed, I wasn’t new to behavioural training or aggression (I had experience with mixed dogs from fostering, working in a vet clinic and from my own Karelian Bear Dog). Neptune’s aggression was and is not typical and is often accompanied with conflicting/odd body language. 

I was speaking to a colleague of mine regarding Neptune’s odd behaviour and she directed me to a genetic test done through UC Davis for the Malinois breed on Behavioural Propensity. I performed the buccal swab and the test came back A22/A22 - two copies of the gene most commonly associated with aggression and other erratic behaviours in the Belgian Malinois. Link to test: https://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/services/BelgianMalinois.php

The behaviour and aggression began expressing fairly consistently in a cyclical pattern. He would be the normal, happy-go-lucky Neptune for days or weeks, then would begin to get manic (frenzied running, above-mentioned excessive/erratic eating, very pushy/obsessive attention seeking, frenzied licking the floor while “hooting”, neurotically gulping and regurgitating water. He would then start to experience some typical focal seizures; gulping fits (gulping air to the point that his stomach would inflate), muscle twitching, star gazing (he would stare directly up and growl - you couldn’t break his focus, and then suddenly snap out of it), aggression towards inanimate objects or spaces like the ground (would take mouthfuls of dirt or earth and chomp it while growling), episodic dyscontrol, absence episodes and ultimately escalating to rage. The rage, aggression and depression would sometimes last for days. Neptune was ultimately diagnosed with Limbic Epilepsy and prescribed Phenobarbital, Trazodone and Gabapentin to assist in regulating his moods and controlling his seizure activity. (To view some of the same, you can go into my Instagram @Knowing.Neptune).

Eventually, Neptune bit me in the face, requiring an urgent care visit, some tissue glue and a tetanus vaccine. We have made the decision to euthanize Neptune and are currently mentally trying to process the idea of the same. 

Dealing with Jenn Segal:

Throughout having Neptune, when issues would come up, at times she would appear to be helpful, at others she would be accusatory and belittling. She would often go from seeming genuinely apologetic and concerned, to outright blaming. She would tell me that I caused Neptune’s issues with my own health problems (I have anxiety and IBD), that he was “too much dog” for me, or that I caused his seizures by once administering him a tick preventative (Nexgaurd) - despite his symptoms appearing long before then, and despite veterinary confirmation. When I tried to reach out to fellow littermates to ask if they were experiencing similar problems, Jenn became irate and removed me from the secret MalinGer Owners Facebook page. I was told I was not allowed to contact members of the group without her permission and that she had received several upset emails and telephone calls from the other group members (even though I had these people on my own friend’s list).

At this point, Jenn and I still seem to disagree over his diagnosis and she is continuing to breed his mother. Jenn has long before this released me from the co-own agreement as she believed (as do I) he wasn’t a good breeding specimen due to the medical issues he was experiencing. Over the past few months she has been urging me to euthanize him. When I finally came to that conclusion, she frantically tried to take him back - stating that she believed her friend could manage him better and provide the best vet care. I politely declined as Neptune’s illness isn’t behavioural, but medical, and if he’s ultimately going to be euthanized, I want it to be done with those he’s knows and loves. Jenn became frustrated and told me many of her breeding dogs are owner returns (Adelaar, Charm and Sky) and some with bite records and that they are much more “adjusted” - and she chose to add them to her program. I became very uncomfortable with the interaction and advised her it was no longer up for discussion. Jenn agreed to refund me for Neptune (our contract states a replacement puppy, but I didn’t want one purely on the basis of having to deal with her). I asked that she provide me with a typed and signed document of when she expects to provide me with the refund. She initially agreed, but then refused to provide me with the document, and wanted to see Neptune’s death certificate before refunding me. I advised her that due to our contract, I didn’t think that was necessary and that we were not ready to immediately euthanize him, but that it would be inevitable. I sent her 3 email reminders (consecutively, 3 days in a row) that the date (November 1, 2019) that was initially discussed for refund was approaching and that I had not received paperwork from her. Instead of providing me with the paperwork or a date that I could expect the refund, she reported me to the Guelph Police for Harassment. 

I waited a week past our originally agreed upon date for refund, but she did ultimately refund me $3,000.00 for the purchase price of Neptune, so for that I am grateful.

Conclusion:

I put trust in the breeder and I received a dog with an inheritable illness. I was treated poorly by the breeder and made to believe it was my fault. The situation causes much emotional damage and suffering and now I’m going to lose my dog - I wouldn’t wish his upon anyone. Additionally, I was told stories and advised to go defend the breeder publicly so as to help protect her livelihood - despite the individual making a valid claim. I was used.

As with any breeder, I cannot stress enough to make sure you do your research - the good and the bad. Make sure you are willing to deal with the potential consequences should they come up. Ask to see health testing, titles and pedigrees. Ask about previous litters.

I know many have had great experiences with this breeder and she has produced some wonderful dogs, unfortunately, I cannot personally advocate for that.

by jillmissal on 20 November 2019 - 19:11

I think it's worth mentioning that Natasha reached out to me to apologize a while back and we are on good terms now. Thanks for doing that, Natasha, that's hard to do and I appreciate it. I'm sorry for what you are going through.





 


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