First of all, thank you guys for your quick responses, really appreciated!!
Retained testicles is a pretty common problem in GSDs of all lines. It could be that the breeder had felt two at 8 weeks and didn't check again. I always put in the contract with male puppies if they have both testicles or not at the time of sale. It isn't a sign that the breeder or their dogs are bad, it's just something that happens and it is extremely hard to breed away.
Pano is a very common issue in GSDs and as everyone else has said, it is self limited and eventually goes away. I'm not sure how old Pheonix is but if you had him neutered young (before the age of two), some of his problems can be associated with that as well. Pano resolves itself when growth stops but dogs neutered young grow for a longer period of time than dogs who are left intact until mature, which may lead to pano lasting longer as well. As for the skin issues, I have personally noticed more tendency towards autoimmune related problems in early neutered dogs. Have you had allergy testing done on him?
Did the breeder do the appropriate health testing on Pheonix's parents? OFA hips/elbows? Were the parents healthy? Pano and retained testricles are common and minor issues which don't badly affect the dog later in life (unless you don't remove the retained testicle by time the dog is middle aged, then there is a chance it can become an issue as the dog gets older). Elbow dysplasia is something which can happen even in the most thoroughly tested lines because there is no genetic test available to determine carriers. And there is no genetic screening for allergies or skin issues. I have known people with shelter mixed breeds who have had the issues you're having with Pheonix. It's sad for sure and I hope you can get the skin issues under control. It's so common to blame the breeder when something goes wrong but sometimes it's just bad luck.
First what you have to understand is that some breeders are just ignorant. She may not have knowingly lied to you...She honestly may not have known. How many people come on this board all the time and think just because the dog has a SchH titles in it's pedigree it's working line? Or she could just be thinking about the fact that Shepherds in general are considered to be working dogs. Who knows. And truthfully (NOT to sound mean) but you didn't know enough to ask.
As far as the health issues- Not that it's a great situation but those things do happen. Pano is growing pains. It comes and grows as the dog grows. It usually happens early because that's when the big growth spurts hit but in some dogs it can continue on. Did you get Phenix as a pup? It is possible for 2 testicles to be present one day and then for one to disappear and not return.
Ultimately it comes down to your contract. When you purchased the pup there should have been some kind of paperwork to outline what you should expect the breeder to do in the event of problems. No contract? Well sort of buyer beware then. You could still take it to small claims court and ask for a judgement- but it's possible they would require you to return the dog since dogs are classified as property. It could really just depend on the judge that hears your case that day.
It is very unfortunate that you were misled and poor Phenix is not what you expected or desired...I am glad that you love him as it is not his fault!
All the problems you describe are fairly common in all lines and types of GSD - BYB, AKC Show, European working and show....it is just dumb bad luck that they all got wrapped up on one poor little puppy!
Skin/allergy problems are rampant - many many causes....the first thing I would do is limit his diet - and believe it or not, Beef is a big problem in many dogs - go 1 protein - lamb or chicken - and try to manage this problem - it will take awhile, but you may be able to pinpoint the issue via process of elimination.
The anxiety - well - you answered that - dam was not 100% stable...pups learn from dams and some of this is just plain genetics. Testicles can yo-yo up and down through the inguinal rings...so the testicle could have been down, and then gone back up....I know a breeder who sold a coated pup on a limited contract - I felt both testicles myself - and a year later the buyer called complaining because he wanted to breed the dog and he had one testicle (I tried to talk her out of selling to the guy - thought he was a weasel right off the bat anyway!)....but at 9 weeks, both testicles WERE there! And I helped her take them for their shots, and saw the vet check them - both there. A year later - one gone....sorry - it happens.
Unfortunately, there are many people breeding who are unscrupulous, who are ignorant/unknowledgeable and there are even more who are kennel blind....but I will say that I do not believe ANYONE intentionally breeds intending to get problem puppies...so as
Pano should hopefully resolve itself - but the elbow issue is of more concern....many dogs with Gr 1 or fast normal are fine - if it is one elbow only, there is a school of thought that it is trauma/environmental rather than congenital...is your guarantee on both Hips and Elbows?
Dont' think this was the most knowledgable or ethical breed - but there is nothing else to say other than I am sorry...
I feel for you, but you didn't do enough research. A quick look at the pedigree could have told you if he was working line or show line from someone who has done research. Did she lie about the parents? Did you not bother to look it up? Did you just trust what she said? Did you not see pictures of the parents? Unless someone is blatently lied to about who mom or dad are, I feel like the responsibility lies on the buyer to make sure they are getting the dog they want.
I've NEVER heard of a dog being put down for pano...not to say I know all, but I've never heard of it.
What was the fate of the dog in the situation where the person won money against the breeder? At least in the US, most of those cases involve giving the dog back. I wouldn't be able to do it, but everyone is different.
The only thing that you could probably approach with is the HD, since you have a written guarantee in respects to that. What does the guarantee stipulate? What are the conditions if the dog is diagnosed with HD?
I am sorry to hear that your dog is suffering, but this is what happens with poor breeding. I know you want to receive a compensation for his pain and the money you are putting into his medications, office visits, and so on, but unfortunately unless it was not covered in the contract, you won't receive anything in court. A dog is merely seen as property; and if best, you just might get back what you purchased for him (only there is enough evidence of bad breeding and congenital defects).
I hope things get better for phenix with time. Good luck.
First of all, the testicules problem. The breeder told us she touch them at 8 weeks old. I do understand that sometime, testicule go up or down, but Phenix testicule was so deep in is belly, the vet needed to cut at 3 different places. I asked him today if it was possible that the testicule was down at 8 weeks old, but got up after. He answered me that in my case, it was clearly impossible because the testicule was too far in Phenix's belly. He might be wrong??
As for the Pano, I think I should not worry about it as you guys said. Phenix is just 28 months old....we hope it would disapear by itself soon! The thing is, in Europe, they do test their dogs for Panosteitis, why not here?
As for the OCD, I'll see with the vet if Phenix will need any surgery soon, if so, I'll ask the breeder for the compensation.
Yes I have signed a paper with the HD guarantee. The guarantee says if the dog is affected in a way he cannot survive or have a great life, she will replace it by another pup: OK, I WILL NEVER EVER EVER give back my baby! Not a single chance in the world!!!
As for Phenix's parents, yes I had all information I needed (titles, genetic etc.). Yes, maybe I could have see the "show" line if I had ask more questions on forums, but at this time, I didn't try to ask questions on forums...I put my trust into the breeder, like everyone of us would have do... Phenix's dad is dead now. He died from a "twisted stomach"(an other thing....).....I've never seen his mom, she live in Vermont in a private family. Phenix's mom is a dog of her previous litter (not from Phenix's dad!! lol).
My last question is, why did she get a judgment against her if she is so wonderfull? The guy wons agaisnt her because his female had a congenital malformation, which is the same as Phenix's testicule problem, and even if the problem couldn't be seen at the young age of the puppy, the judgment statuated that this became a real inconvenient for both the dog and the owner as it was a genetic problem also. The judgment condemned here to pay $1200 plus taxes to the owner.
I don't absolutly want money from her, but I'm asking myself about her real intentions....I don't want any other person like me to put its trust into her if she don't care about the health of her dogs!
I mean...if it's bad luck...****....it is a LOT of badluck no?