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Three days ago, I picked up my 9 week old $1500 GSD puppy from the breeder. While we were there, she told me that he had been losing fur on his tummy and she knew this was because he had an allergy to grain. She sent me home with grain-free food, instructions to supplement his diet with condensed milk, cottage cheese, and yogurt, and the puppy. He seemed okay for a few hours. That night, he began to have terrible diarrea that included mucus and blood. We took him to the vet Monday evening. The vet told us there was no way to know he had a grain allergy yet, and that all the dairy could be too much for him to handle. She diagnosed him with a yeast ear infection and coccidia, and sent me home with special shampoo for his itchiness, Hill's bland wet food, and a number of meds including Albon for the coccidia. Frustrated, I called the breeder, who told me that she "knew" the grain was the issue because of his bloodline, and that we should not have changed his diet again. So, the breeder is telling me the vet is wrong, the vet is telling me the breeder is wrong, the puppy now will not eat, drink or take his meds, and I don't know what to do. The breeder told me I could return him, but I really don't want to as I have bonded with him. I'm a first time dog owner and really don't know how to handle any of this. Any advice would be appreciated. :(
 

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I agree with the vet.

Why in the H is this breeder reproducing a dog with known allergies????
It ticks me off that they are doing this, and you bet if I bought a pup without that fact being revealed, I'd be returning the pup asap. Let them deal with the problem they bred. Sorry for this insensitive rant, but I deal with an allergy dog daily and it is a PIA....
I'd be asking for a refund and go elsewhere for a puppy. Do it now, because three days is nothing compared to many years of $ going into vetting and watching your dog be miserable....just because someone decided to overlook the fact that allergies are ok to carry on.
Not many young puppies will even show allergies, so I think there are other things going on. Auto immune or other problems? Ask the breeder what else may be going on with her lines.
 

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I agree a little more with your vet then your breeder at this point. Albon would take care of coccidia -- your vet checked for that?

First off, the breeder probably shouldn't be breeding a dog whose lines have serious grain allergies. Serious being that puppies will be losing hair at 9 weeks old.

Secondly, if she was aware of a grain-allergy than why was she feeding the bitch and pups that grain?

Third, cow's milk and bitch's milk is very different, so young puppies given cow's milk will often get bad diarrhea. Not fun. But the overage of dairy could be causing problems. I do give yogurt, condensed milk, cottage cheese to the bitch when she is whelping or lactating. That is different. If you were feeding a grain-free food, your calcium would probably already be high for GSD puppies, adding the yogurt, cottage cheese and milk, would put your calcium phosphorous ration out of wack.

Breeders will tell you that after a run of antibiotics you should give the dog some Dannon's Yogurt to replace the good bacteria in the digestive tract. I have no problem with that.

Your puppy has a problem, probably a couple of problems while you were following the breeder's advice. I would go with the vet now.

Actually, coccidia levels are something pups generally have, but stress will make it flare up and give the diarrhea. It can be the stress of a new family, different water source, loss of the protection of the litter. And Albon is what is used to treat it. I don't like the blood and mucus, but if your vet is not concerned about that, then it is probably not a worse problem.

The vet wanted you to go to a bland diet which can make digestive upsets less problematic. Hills is Science Diet, and they say the prescription diets are better than the food itself, but I probably would have passed on the Hills and fed the dog boiled chicken and brown rice for a few days and then slowly move the puppy onto a decent food.

Your choices are to return the puppy, and there may be good reason to do so. I do not like that allergy crap where a nine week old pup is losing hair. But if you don't want to do that, I would go with your vet. I don't like the breeder's advice on what to feed a young growing puppy.
 

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I would go with the vets advice.
 

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I agree with the vet.

Why in the H is this breeder reproducing a dog with known allergies????
It ticks me off that they are doing this, and you bet if I bought a pup without that fact being revealed, I'd be returning the pup asap. Let them deal with the problem they bred. Sorry for this insensitive rant, but I deal with an allergy dog daily and it is a PIA....
I'd be asking for a refund and go elsewhere for a puppy. Do it now, because three days is nothing compared to many years of $ going into vetting and watching your dog be miserable....just because someone decided to overlook the fact that allergies are ok to carry on.
Not many young puppies will even show allergies, so I think there are other things going on. Auto immune or other problems? Ask the breeder what else may be going on with her lines.
Nine week old puppies immune systems are usually not mature, this is why demodex hits puppies. This could be demodex, but for it to be causing hair loss already, I don't know. And, usually demodex hits the limbs and the face, not usually the belly.
 

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The breeder is not making a whole lot of sense. She said the dog has allergy to grain, and that was what was causing him to lose fur. Was she feeding him food with grain knowing he was allergic?
 

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And by 8 weeks puppies really do not need milk-products. A little yogurt after a run of antibiotics for a few days. But regular milk should not be necessary. Cheese as a treat is ok.

Hard boiled eggs -- very good.

Raw bones to chew on -- good

Meat raw or cooked -- good, but if the pup is having an issue right now, boil the meat and remove the bones and broth. So that you are not giving a lot of fat.

Cheese -- ok in moderation

Good luck with whatever you decide.
 

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I'm not talking about the puppy's immune system but the dogs the breeder is reproducing. Hair loss on the abdomen isn't usually mange, but something else going on.
I agree with the milk products....not something I'd be giving a young pup.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The breeder is not making a whole lot of sense. She said the dog has allergy to grain, and that was what was causing him to lose fur. Was she feeding him food with grain knowing he was allergic?

She told me that when he started losing fur, they realized he had the grain intolerance or allergy or whatever, so they switched him to grain free food then.
 

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How many pups were in the litter, and were others having similar symptoms? Were the pups raised outside, in the home, what was the environment?
 

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Unfortunately for me, I am coming to terms with the fact that I did not pick a good breeder. I'm struggling with the fact that I just feel awful at the thought of bringing this poor dog back. It's not his fault, he is just a sweet little puppy. And I wouldn't mind if I had to feed him grain free and that was really it, I'm just concerned that it could be so much worse.
 

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I am thinking that the hair loss could be from unsanitary conditions, it could be from having them on the floor after using cleaning chemicals, it could be from rubbing against a wire grate, it could be from bathing the pup in a harsh/medicated shampoo. Lots of things I guess.

I brought up mange only because of the immune system stuff. I did not think it should be on the belly. I don't know this is a complaint I haven't run across -- losing hair on the belly. What did the vet say about the hair loss?
 

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How many pups were in the litter, and were others having similar symptoms? Were the pups raised outside, in the home, what was the environment?
I'm not sure exactly how many were in the litter, but at least 5 or 6 I think. The breeder did not mention whether others were having the same issue. The pups were raised in sort of a barn/nursery. I never actually saw the inside of it, just a customer visiting area. My fault for not being more thorough!
 

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I am thinking that the hair loss could be from unsanitary conditions, it could be from having them on the floor after using cleaning chemicals, it could be from rubbing against a wire grate, it could be from bathing the pup in a harsh/medicated shampoo. Lots of things I guess.

I brought up mange only because of the immune system stuff. I did not think it should be on the belly. I don't know this is a complaint I haven't run across -- losing hair on the belly. What did the vet say about the hair loss?
The vet said the fur issue could be due to an imbalanced diet. She said he was too young to do any testing for allergies anyway, and the Hill's food has grain in it. So, if the breeder is right, I'm probably making it worse by giving the HIll's. Sigh.
 

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This all sounds very questionable to me. First off, why is she breeding a dog with serious allergies? Second of all, why is she sending you home with a possibly ill puppy for that high of a price? Third of all, why is this allergy causing hair loss so quickly? It sounds more like a thyroid or genetic disease to me, and she is trying to play it off.

I know it sounds awful, but I think you are better off returning the puppy. When we first got our baby, we had serious health problems with her. We were over $2000 in before the end of the first month. For something this serious to occur so early, you are looking at a very expensive pup. There is nothing wrong with that, but you have to ask yourself if you are prepared to deal with a chronically ill pet. That may be restrictions on what they are capable of doing throughout their life, and even a short lifespan. It is a very serious commitment, especially for a first-time dog.

I would even consider getting a refund and going to someone else, she doesn't sound as if she is a good breeder to me. You never want to breed something unhealthy into the next generation, that is how breeds deteriorate.

It is so hard when you fall in love with them, but just think how much more fun to be able to have a healthy puppy keep up with you and have a full life.


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Ya know what? I bought my first GSD from a guy who raised the litter under a parked car in the drive and in his garage -- not the best guy.

No one is faulting you for the breeder. And it isn't the pup's fault that he has issues.

Now, the hair loss was there when you purchased him? Did she point it out? If she did, then maybe she is not an ogre.

The longer you keep the pup, the harder it will be to give him back. If you do want to give this an opportunity to resolve -- I would not return a dog for coccidia. But the allergy thing can be very painful, or it can be no big thing -- if you can figure it out.
 

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Ya know what? I bought my first GSD from a guy who raised the litter under a parked car in the drive and in his garage -- not the best guy.

No one is faulting you for the breeder. And it isn't the pup's fault that he has issues.

Now, the hair loss was there when you purchased him? Did she point it out? If she did, then maybe she is not an ogre.

The longer you keep the pup, the harder it will be to give him back. If you do want to give this an opportunity to resolve -- I would not return a dog for coccidia. But the allergy thing can be very painful, or it can be no big thing -- if you can figure it out.
Yes, she mentioned the hair loss when we picked him up. She said it was due to the grain allergy, and that is why they had started him on grain free. She also said something about how it was puppy fur so it might not come back until the adult fur comes in.
 

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P.S. Willas's "breeder" wasn't what we thought, in retrospect should NEVER have kept her, or gotten her. But she is our 3rd dog, and my brother is a vet. Daily medication, special diet, etc., but I work from home so I can do that. You have todo what is right for YOU. If you are worried to give the pup back, maybe report them to a local SPCA and have them investigated, might be the best case for not only your pup but every dog there.


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Yes, she mentioned the hair loss when we picked him up. She said it was due to the grain allergy, and that is why they had started him on grain free. She also said something about how it was puppy fur so it might not come back until the adult fur comes in.
This is what got me hot! Coccidia is a given with pups, and I don't fault a breeder for that or giardia, worms or other parasites...you treat for that and it clears. But to knowingly breed dogs with food sensitivities is just not right. You paid a fair amount for this pup, if you do decide to keep him, just know the initial cost will be nothing compared to what may lie ahead.
 
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