German Shepherd Dog > Is this a responsible breeder? Out of options. (54 replies)
Is this a responsible breeder? Out of options.
by minro on 28 September 2011 - 06:03
|I'm not quite sure what responsible breeders do in the kind of situation that I'm in, so I figured you guys could be of some help :)|
I currently have a 2 year old female shepherd out of (what I think is) a reputable breeder in Wisconsin. As she's matured, she's developed pretty serious environmental allergies. I've taken her to the vet numerous times for all the skin/ear infections she's developed, and even put her through a round of desensitization treatment. I'm a college kid, and don't have the financial means to put her through more of these treatments. At our last visit to the vet, I was informed that she had swollen lymph nodes, which could mean something serious.
She's an amazing dog, and is exactly what I'm looking for as far as a protection/sport dog, but I can't give her what she needs anymore.
I contacted the breeder because (as it says in the contract) I assumed that they would take her back and rehome her as necessary. Instead, I was told that all they would do is put her down and that it would be useless to bring her back to WI. They then said they would give me a puppy out of their next litter, as it's their responsibility to make it right with me and me only. I was shocked. I wasn't asking for any money back, or even for a new dog, I was just asking for them to take her back and hopefully find her a new working home that could better care for her health issues.
I'm not sure what to do at this point. I don't think she should be PTS. I do, however, think an owner with the financial means and desire to take care of an amazing working dog should step in. I thought that the breeder, having many more contacts than I could make that happen.
by Stumpywop on 28 September 2011 - 08:57
|Could you rehome her yourself? Of course you'd have to be up front about whatever may be wrong with her but there are plenty of people about who can give her the active home she needs and take on any health problems too.|
That way she doesn't need to be PTS, the breeder doesn't have to see her again (as it sounds as though they just cannot be bothered in my opinion) and you get a pup from their next litter as promised.
In the meantime, do you ahve any family or friends who may be able to help you out financially with vet's bills etc?
by noddi on 28 September 2011 - 09:47
|how,s about the breeder of your girl paying your vet.bill for the investigations n if the prognosis is for long term medication then they pay for this or as a compromise at least half .Perhaps if he/she is not agreeable to this,then instead of a puppy ,the cash value of said puppy is sent to help with vet bills.Understandibly yu DONT WANT HER PTS.I cant understand any breeder wanting this for an animal they,ve bred unless the vet says its in the animals best interest.If i was in this situ.i,d at least wish the breeders to contribute to the vet bills.Carole S.|
by cphudson on 28 September 2011 - 12:55
|I'm very sorry your in this situation. If you have a teaching vet school / ASPCA near you sometimes they will see your dog at a reduce rate. Or contact your local GSD rescue for help with placing her or if they have resources that offer reduce vet rates. Your dog should not need to be PTS at only 2 years old. Sounds like the breeder played with your emotions so you wouldn't send the dog back by threaten to PTS. Instead of getting the replacement puppy should request the $ value of the puppy instead to use toward vet bills. If you really need to place the dog then would work with your GSD rescue & vets normally have contacts for placements.|
by VKGSDs on 28 September 2011 - 13:28
|What did your contract with the breeder say? Most ask for "first right of refusal" meaning you offer a dog to them first, but not all guarantee that they will actually take the dog back. We can all sit here and post all day about what *we* think a breeder *should* do but it boils down to whatever agreement you had when you purchased the dog. Personally I would not expect the breeder to foot the vet bill as someone suggested. Getting a dog is always somewhat of a crapshoot and unfortunately this breed is riddled with allergy problems so unless the breeder specifically "guaranteed" against that I don't think they own any compensation. If the breeder does not want the dog back then I think you've done your part and it's your right to rehome the dog if you choose.|
by FlashBang on 28 September 2011 - 13:33
|While I don't think the dog should be put to sleep, I also don't believe the breeder should be responsible for paying any Veterinary bills for the dog. I have yet to see a breeder sales agreement that states a breeder would pay Veterinary expenses on any of their puppies unless the dog has a genetic health issue, and the breeder wants the dog examined by their own Veterinarian. I have only seen one or two agreements in which the breeder offers the money for the value of the puppy instead of the replacement puppy as well. |
Edited to add: If you're asking if the breeder from whom you purchased your puppy could be considered reputable, in my book? No. I don't know any reputable breeders that would sell a puppy to a current college student.
Offering cash instead of a replacement puppy is also not their legal responsibility and probably not in their contract; however, in my shoes, I'd be offering the cash value in this situation since the OP obviously cares for her dog but can't afford the appropriate treatments.
The contract states (based on what you stated) that the breeder would take back the dog and find another home for it, but I'm also guessing (in between the lines) that means, "as long as the dog is healthy and of sound temperament." In the breeder's mind, they are probably thinking, "so we have this dog with severe environmental allergies that needs to go for treatment and now has swollen lymph nodes. No one is going to want it, and I don't want another mouth to feed [irresponsible] so I will take it back and have it euthanized." Again, this is solely a hypothetical thought.
Unfortunately, you've fallen into the college student trap that many students fall into: get a dog, can't afford the long-term treatments the dog requires, must get rid of dog to someone who can afford it. I'm not judging you. It's just a standard event that happens all the time. Skin/Ear infections is one thing, but swollen lymph nodes are something else. Although, correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought severe allergies and swollen lymph nodes often go hand-in-hand? I'm not a Veterinarian though, and I'm sure, just like humans, Vets will want to run MORE tests to see what's going on and make sure it's not another illness on top of the allergies.
I agree with cphudson: maybe you could find a teaching Vet University near you or within reasonable distance. I'm also guessing that since you're a college student with a limited budget, CareCredit is out of the question as well? Have you sought out other options such as a holistic Veterinarian?
Sending good thoughts your way that this can get sorted out for you.
by Keith Grossman on 28 September 2011 - 13:45
|What do you feed the dog?|
by Jenni78 on 28 September 2011 - 14:56
|Ditto to what Keith said.|
If you don't find the right trigger for allergens, allergies can become a huge ordeal, as you're describing. I know it can be frustrating. I have never had a dog w/allergies except one rescue and it was due to a botched spay, crazy cocktails of treatments when she was sick w/kennel cough, and accidentally doubling up on her vaccines. She had literal holes in her neck where her collar touched her skin. Was it really her collar causing it? Of course not! That's my point; you have to look deeper. It's difficult and complicated, but it can be done and once you find the true cause, it's like night and day. You say the allergies are environmental, but even so, you need to make sure the gut is as healthy as it can be- this means proper diet, probiotics, etc. All these help, if not eliminate the problem.
Just something to think about...if you can't afford to take care of the dog you already have (and truly, I don't mean that in a mean way) and want to return it to the breeder, are you sure you should be buying a new puppy? With all due respect, what's to say the new puppy won't be less than perfect and require some medical or other investment? You don't have to answer- it's none of our business, really...I'm just bringing something up for you to think about, in the best interest of the dogs, both the ones you already have and the one you're getting.
by VomMarischal on 28 September 2011 - 15:04
|I also had really good luck with Carmspack.com supplements. Amazing nutrition. She is in Canada. Pricy but NO WHERE NEAR as pricy as the vet's office.|
by Jenni78 on 28 September 2011 - 15:06
|And yeah, someone mentioned this also...the lymph nodes can be swollen with any number of infections, allergies, long term inflammation, etc. Unless you are using a highly competent allergy specialist, I would say that the vet is at a loss and going overboard trying to rule other things out. Not the vet's fault; they don't have much training in allergies. Bascially, they're trained to give steroids and feed SD. See a specialist before you make any rash decisions. As long as you just keep treating the skin and ear infections, you'll never find the root cause. You need to start from the ground up.|
As an example, I have horrible mold allergies; I shouldn't eat wheat. When I do, my allergies are much worse. I'm not changing the mold around me, I'm changing my body's reaction to it; when it's not chronically inflamed because I'm eating wheat though I know I shouldn't, it doesn't overreact to mold spores and I can breathe. Thus, if your dog has, say, an allergy to grain or chicken, if you eliminate that and get her gut in better shape, she will be better able to deal w/her environmental allergies. The symptoms may disappear completely. What you're describing sounds like yeast/candida. Also, Google "Leaky Gut Syndrome" and assume she has it and let me know if that helps at all.
by minro on 28 September 2011 - 16:39
|Thanks for the help everyone.|
I'm not expecting the breeder to pay for her. At all. I realize that's not their responsibility. But I DO think they should exhaust their efforts in finding someone who would want her.
She eats raw. Chicken backs with the supplements necessary for the plant matter and other nutrients she's missing from the chicken alone. However, we've narrowed it down to ENVIRONMENTAL allergies (one of them being grass pollen), so as the allergist said, food doesn't play a matter in this (as long as it remains high quality). The allergy hunt began a long time ago, and we know what it is, and have even done a round of treatments in curbing them with no avail.
Yes, I'm in school but finances are generally never a huge deal for me. Maybe I should have specified (I didn't think it would be an issue, but of course people feel the need to bring it up) but I'm in grad school and also have a great career. However, when it comes to spending thousands and thousands of dollars on treatments and vet visits that may not work at all -- on top of the roughly 5 thousand I've already spent -- it's not an idea I think I can devote to.
I've looked into rescues and teaching hospitals (that's where she goes normally), and nothing seems to be a viable option. I'll keep looking.
by Keith Grossman on 28 September 2011 - 16:50
|So you can afford the medical care, you just don't want to pay for it any more.|
by minro on 28 September 2011 - 16:57
|It's a little disheartening that people on here really just love to persecute people for every idea they don't agree with. |
Finances are never a huge deal for me, as in, I can afford my rent and everything I need to live in the city. As in, I'm never worried about how I'll pay my next tuition bill. That doesn't mean I have a disposable income of a few thousand dollars to spend on vet bills. If I had such a disposable income, spending that money would be no question.
So I'm either on one end of the spectrum an irresponsible broke college student, or on the other end a very well off person with a great career? Love how this judgement works.
If from my post above, your only response is, "So you can afford the medical care, you just don't want to pay for it any more.", I truly hope you don't respond to this thread any longer. Thanks.
by BlackthornGSD on 28 September 2011 - 17:05
|If the dog is miserable no matter what is done to help her, euthanasia *can* be the best option. The breeder is going off of what you have told them right now. Will this breeder do any evaluation or will it be a trip straight to euthanasia?|
If it were one of my puppies, I'd take the puppy back, do some medical assessments, ask a vet to review what has been done so far, and see if the change of environment and diet makes a difference to the dog's health. After a bit of investigation, I'd evaluate what the options are for the dog's future--can she live a comfortable life with medication? Does this medication affect the dog's quality of life? What is the chance of this dog having a happy, fulfilled life? And euthanasia would be an option that would be on the table. Quite frankly, once you give up the dog, you no longer have a say in what is correct medical treatment.
I have been through some terrible allergy issues with my Jack Russell Terrier who is now almost 8. The canine dermatologist said that on a scale of 1-10, he's an 11 or 12 as far as itchiness. He's been tested for dietary and environmental allergy reactions and been treated with antihistimines, steroids, and even allergy shots. Up until recently, just about the only thing that kept him comfortable was a regular low dose of prednisone. At the moment, an every-other-day cocktail of Atopica (cyclosporine), 5mg of ketoconazale, and a very low dose of an antihistimine-prednisone combo (Temeril-P) is keeping him comfortable and healthy. At a certain point, if he is unable to stay comfortable on anything else, he will end up on prednisone regularly, which will slowly kill him. The option is for him to live in incredible misery. It's quite possible that I may one day decide that euthanasia is the best option for him--but we're not there yet.
by VKGSDs on 28 September 2011 - 17:08
|Worst case of allergies I know of was my friend's GSD (lived to be 14 I believe) who was always back and forth to the UofM vet school. She was on some drug like atopica I think it's called. Have you tried that? This dog went from being half hairless and covered in weeping sores to fairly under control. The dog was allergic to everything (dust, grass, you name it), had to eat ostrich meat and sweet potatoes.|
I also agree with Christine that euthanasia may be a kinder option depending on the severity, or I should say the dog's quality of life (because what is "severe" to one person might not be to another, but it's the dogs happiness that really matters). If you are able to care for her but no longer want to, who else will? Unfortunately there are so many GSDs in this country that are available it's unlikely anyone more caring and more well off than yourself will be willing to assume the care of the dog.
by Smiley on 28 September 2011 - 17:31
I can sympathize with your position. I think a good breeder should take the dog back. I learned the hard way that there are a lot of really crappy breeders out there.
I have also seen written contracts where a breeder states, "This dog may be returned to the breeder at any point in its life". I admire those breeders that are willing to take the dogs they brought into the world back and try to rehome them if life's circumstances demand it. It is their responsibility...especially for health reasons.
Also, it sounds like you ahve done everything you can. You have spent thousands on treatments for this dog.
I am discovering that severe allergies are becoming way too common and there IS a genetic link. Now, breeders will poo-poo this and turn a blind eye but it is a fact. However, I doubt they will add severe allergies or severe gastric/bloat issues to their warranty but they should.....
So, if the breeder doesn't want to do the right thing and take the dog back for ethical reasons than they should do it for health reasons.
I am not shocked people attacked you. People can be really mean.
I would feel awful if I bought a dog that had severe allergies or severe gastric issues knowing there is a gentic link. I also could not pour thousands into the dog. That is what a breeder health warranty is for....in my eyes. In fact, my husband's collegue bought a puppy that had to be put down at 6 months old. Found out that he had some weird digestion thing and he couldn't get nutrients from food and eventually stopped eating. They spent thousands on dog and more thousands on medical bills only to have to put him down. There was zero compensation from breeder as only hips and elbows were on warranty and not severe gastric issues. Not cool.
I agree with you 100%. Just wanted you to know. I don't see anyone that wrote a mean message to you stepping up offering to take the dog and spend thousands out of their own pocket.
Hopefully, you will be able to find her a home. It hurts me to say this..but the poster who said maybe you should put her to sleep might be right. It's a quality of life issue and who will take her knwoing they might need to spend more thousands? Poor girl. You must be heartbroken.
That breeder should be extremely aware of this dog's condition and I am curious if other dogs from this breeding also developed severe allergies. I would not be surprised. Plus, it would be too coincidental to not have a genetic link. Good luck and I am sorry you and your dog are going through this...
by Keith Grossman on 28 September 2011 - 17:34
|Well, I'm going to and those who are familiar with me will tell you that I rarely mince words so you're going to get my opinion, like it or not. You have a dog that has environmental allergies, one of which is grass pollen, which is truly unfortunate but you live in a high-rise in Chicago so avoiding grass, if you were so inclined, is not impossible. You would have to change your routine somewhat and certainly stop taking her to the PSA club and whatnot but you could lessen the impact of the allergies by simply not exposing her. Doing so could potentially lower the cost of treatment as well.|
I fully understand not being necessarily broke but not really having the money for expensive treatments and/or emergency surgery for an injury. I've had two dogs that required treatment with cyclosporin for perianal fistulas and another that shattered his leg pretty well going over a fence and had to go to Purdue for a very expensive surgery. It wasn't always easy or convenient but I have always been able to come up with the money; I understand that that is simply not possible for everyone and people sometimes have to make hard choices.
It's difficult for me to take any financial hardship on your part seriously, however, when you are apparently getting ready to buy yet another dog. I think that you are simply tired of dealing with this issue and again, I don't know that I can blame you. I'm not sure what I would do if I had a dog that was allergic to grass but think I would seriously be inclined to question any such dog's quality of life and would consider putting the dog down.
You are unlikely to find another home for your dog. You raised her and love her more than anyone and if her allergies have become too much for you to deal with, no one else will probably want to either. I know that it's harsh but that's the reality of it. There are lots of dogs out there; most don't come with an expensive, recurring price tag. If she's that bad off that it is seriously negatively impacting her quality of life, you need to do what's best for her.
by LMH on 28 September 2011 - 17:40
|Truthfully, Minro, I don't think you're worth the time of day. I feel so sorry for your girl. I thought you were bad enough wanting to get rid of her after two years of ownership. You're already looking to replace her flipping back and forth between A and B litters?????|
Whether or not she has allergies or, God forbid, lymphoma someone worth his salt would take care of business for his dog. I doubt you understand that concept. Only uncaring immaturity could possibly make you think that some here might not find you somewhat lacking.
On another note......Will someone here please explain to me how you can add a sentence to your post (as done just now by Minro----"So I'm either on one end of the spectrum.."), and the words 'edited' don't appear on that post?
by minro on 28 September 2011 - 17:42
|Just two things Keith.|
How exactly do you expect me to avoid grass? Take her outside to go to the bathroom on concrete? This isn't a smartass question, but one with real intentions. I may live in the city, but with a dog who will only go to the bathroom on grassy lawns, I'm not sure how that works.
Second, my posts regarding what puppy to get from what litter, while valid in the past, are no longer happening. As of yesterday, after another serious talk with our allergist (I had initially planned on putting my female on steroids long term), I have forfeited my 300 dollar deposit to see if it will help in scrounging up some money for any further treatments. Today is when the real numbers flew at me and have me questioning just how possible any of it would be.
by Keith Grossman on 28 September 2011 - 17:43
|Looks like a couple of people posted responses similar to mine while I was typing it...|
Let's quit making this about the breeder, already. Even if we acknowledge the possibility of a genetic link to allergies, how could any breeder possibly anticipate when and how and in which dogs they would manifest themselves? The breeder in this case has done everything possible to try to make this situation right.