Not sure what to do, heart murmur... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Not sure what to do, heart murmur...

I purchased a white German Shepherd puppy boy at 8 weeks on Christmas day of 2017. I recently took the pup to the vet yesterday and found out that he has PDA, Patent Ductus Arteriosus. I called the breeder and she agrees to either return the pup and wait for the next litter, March, or return the pup and get a full refund. This breeder is very reputable and has been in business since the 1990s. My main concern is that I've had the pup for so long but I was mainly looking to pursue schutzhund. The breeder has also offered that we can find a forever home for the pup but that it'll be without the registration papers and the new owner would be made fully aware of the condition of course because I'm scared the breeder will just put the pup down. Also today I found out that the pup has both round worms and tape worms. So now I have to worry about de worming my current female GSD as well as the pup. Can anyone give me advice as to what they would do in my position? Also the pup was purchased for a little more than 1k.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 09:06 PM
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Sorry to hear about your unfortunate experience thus far. First things first would be to have the pup evaluated by a veterinary cardiologist with echocardiogram just to confirm the presence of a pda and itís severity.

Iíve gone through having a pup with a pda and it can be quite a bit of work in the beginning. In order to ensure quality of life the pda needs to be fully assessed and most likely repaired otherwise there may be a 50-60% chance the pup will enter heart failure before 1yr of age and die. However in terms of heart issue lottery, a pda is actually usually one that once fixed has the best prognosis. Assuming it is repaired before too much damage has a chance to occur they often can go on to lead complelety normal lives with no exercise restrictions whatsoever. It would be more of a problem down the line if you are pursuing schutzhund not just as a sport, but as a breed worthiness test since dogs that had pdas should never be bred due to the genetic component of it.

If you decide to get a pup from the next litter and also keep the current one the pda will still need to be fixed in that pup sport prospect or not. It will be necessary to evaluate whether the finances are available to care for and raise two puppies while also paying extra medical expenses for one for a few months. And unfortunately pda repair may actually exceed the cost of the current pup. Is this something you would be okay with?

If you decide to get a pup from the next litter and rehome the current one, it is essential that the new owners are aware of the need to have the pda addressed and the cost commitment. Is there a reason the registration wonít transfer to the new owners? As mentioned before while the pup should not be bred it could still be put under limited registration.

As for the worms its not unusual for pups to require a few instances of deworming until they are 12 weeks or so. After that point monthly preventatives usually take care of it if there is further exposure anywhere (though not for tapeworms a different med is needed for that)
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 09:58 PM
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I would not get a pup with the same blood lines. It can run in lines. Sorry to hear this. Know of several people who knew what the puppy had and though it was hard, kept pup alive and as happy as they could knowing it most likely would be a very short time. Hard decision.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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I'm currently thinking that I will get a pup from the new litter which has the same dad that has bred many litters in the past but not the same mom. The breeder has already stated that she will be retiring the female due to recently having smaller litters as well as this situation now. I will be informing the new owner of the heart condition and hopefully they can take better care than I can currently. I'm not completly sure as to why the breeder would rather rehome the pup without the registration papers but my best guess is to keep their name and reputability in the best of condition as possible. A fear I have is that the heart condition might run in the studs bloodline and not the females... Idk what to do because I am set on a white Shepard but it was very difficult finding a breeder as is...

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-19-2018, 01:50 AM
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I wonder if this tends to be present in pups from older bitches. I mean, ok, dogs produce sperms throughout their life-time, but a bitch has all of her eggs, and just drops some of them when they are in heat. So she has all of her eggs. And we x-ray her hips, maybe once, maybe a couple of times. We x-ray to verify pregnancy and count spines and skulls. We x-ray for limps and injuries. We sometimes x-ray to see if there is a retained puppy.

Yeah, they say the amount of x-ray is not harmful. But how do they know? It is not harmful to the bitch, but what about these eggs in there, that have been x-rayed every time? Every time I go near the x-ray room, they ask me if I am pregnant -- and sometimes do a pregnancy test even though I say I am not, no way, I'm not paying for that!!! And they put a lead apron on you. Hitler had done experiments on sterilizing humans through x-rays. So how do we know that the amount of x-rays a breeding bitch goes through does not effect the eggs, that she has all along? Maybe some of the congenital problems coming out of reputable breeding situations, are actually being caused by reputable breeding practices. Maybe.

Now this PDA, isn't that where the valve does not close/whatever, it should have happened either before or after birth, and it just didn't? If that is so, then the answer is to have heart surgery and repair it. Else the heart enlarges, as the puppy does not have a proper life-span.

The decision to return the pup to the breeder is a personal one. If you choose that route, than I see nothing wrong with the decision. No one should fault you. I think that if you do go through with the heart surgery, the breeder should refund your purchase price and let you keep the puppy. Going through with the surgery proves that you are a good home. You are not getting something for nothing. And otherwise she has to find a buyer/new home for a dog that had heart surgery, probably for free. I mean, it could be an option, the 1K purchase price can be somewhat of an offset for the surgery. I understand that puppies that have this repaired actually do have a good prognosis for a normal life and life-span.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-19-2018, 03:04 AM
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I would imagine that the breeder would retain papers to decrease the chances of someone acquiring the rehomed pup with the intent to breed it.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-19-2018, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Fodder View Post
I would imagine that the breeder would retain papers to decrease the chances of someone acquiring the rehomed pup with the intent to breed it.
I considered the same, but unfortunately as we well know the lack of papers doesnít actually stop potential backyard breeders from doing that. Many of the Facebook groups for GSDs run rampant with people saying that they donít need papers to breed their dogs and no one can tell them otherwise 🙄. It might decrease buyer interest, but it doesnít physically stop them from going through with it.

The ductus arteriosis is a part of the fetal circulation which allows for bypass of their lungs while in utero. Typically that ductus arteriosis, the vessel which connects the two closes at birth or shortly after. The pda is caused by an opening between the aorta and the pulmonary artery remaining patent. This results in redundant recirculating of blood and an increased workload for the heart.

Iíve seen both young and old GSD bitches produce pdas and it is considered a relatively common issue with shepherds since it does have a significant hereditary component. Selzer does pose an interesting question though. It looks like most infor comes from human studies and in general they have seen that there hasnít been detectable effects in children of exposed parents so low level radiation (diagognostic examination) exposure of repro organs is considered safe in regard to most genetic effects. With direct exposure to repro organs shortly following ovulation the effect of damage to unspecified cells is most usually failure to implant, but malformations are unlikely or very rare. Patients that have had high level of radiation (therapeutic) exposure to their repro organs did experience temporary infertility, but did recover and resultant children were normal. Imaging EssentialsFetal Count Radiology - Today's Veterinary Practice

There are known possible environmental causes of pdas in humans such as premature birth and birth at high altitudes, it would be interesting if this was present in dogs as well.

For my pda pup, I was the family they were rehomed to. The breeder waived the pup fee in exchange for providing medical care. It wasnít something known/reported in either of the lines, medical checks had been sound, and the breeders were shocked. It was a first time breeding of the bitch while the father was a known stud. They chose to not rebreed and to sell the bitch.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-19-2018, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoseW View Post
I considered the same, but unfortunately as we well know the lack of papers doesn’t actually stop potential backyard breeders from doing that. Many of the Facebook groups for GSDs run rampant with people saying that they don’t need papers to breed their dogs and no one can tell them otherwise ��. It might decrease buyer interest, but it doesn’t physically stop them from going through with it.
Oh I’m well aware... my response was mainly directed towards the OP who felt that the reason may have been to protect the kennel name. On the contrary, I took the action to be a more honorable one.
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