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Discussion Starter #1
I purchased a top of the line titled show GSD who was 12 months at the time last June from a top breeder who goes unmentioned-the breeders contract did not exactly fit this deal as most dogs are bought as puppies- I had him four months when he started to become sick- cow piles stool which was diagnosed over the next 5 months by several vets as everything from giardia to EPI because he has low TLI scores but within range.
My expenses to day are $5,000 including the latest treaments at the Univof Fla which finally diagnosed him with food intolerances and plasmacytic lymphocystic enterocolitis which is common to GSDs which now requires prednisone/tylan for treatment maybe for life and a complete diet change with a new protein source. I should have gone to the vet school from the beginning but..... they were even hesitant to do the complete endoscopy at first.

My question to you all is shouldnt the breeder be liable for some if not all of these expenses out of principle! I did not make this dog sick and he probably had the beginning signs when we got him last June. I perservered to solve his problems and get a diagnosis and ultimately treatment.
 

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From the sounds of what is written above, I would say no. You had the dog for 4 MONTHS before you saw anything "off". What makes you think the breeder knew there was something wrong when they still had the pup?
 

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I agree with Tracy
 

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Also agree with Tracy.

Depending on the contract, if the breeder offers a health warranty against genetic conditions, the breeder may be liable for a refund of your purchase price. But no, the breeder should not be liable for the vet costs. Most good contracts will specifically state that the breeder is no liable for vet costs, only refund, if a genetic health problem crops up.

While this situation is unfortunate, this is a risk EVERYONE takes when purchasing a living creature. Sometimes dogs get sick. Sometimes health problems, even genetic ones, appear later in life and no one could have predicted it or prevented it. And sometimes those things are expensive to treat. It sucks, but this is part of the risk inherent in dog ownership. If you can prove the breeder knowingly sold you a sick dog, you may have recourse in small claims court. But from the sounds of it, there is no way the breeder knew the dog was sick at the time you purchased the dog.
 

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If you had him 4 months before the dog showed any signs of illness, then in my opinion, you can't blame the breeder for selling you a sick dog. Certainly some genetic issues do not show their ugly heads until the dog matures, but if the dog was healthy at time of sale, especially being an older dog, there is no way the breeder could have predicted such issues.

What does the contract say as far as a health guarantee?? I have no experience with plasmacytic lymphocystic enterocolitis. Allergies for example, can have many causes such as genetic inheritance, vaccine intolerance, or just plain dumb luck. If a dog with allergies came from parents who had no allergies, I would have to say you can't blame the breeder if you end up with a dog with allergies, if you trusted this breeder to put forth the effort to produce healthy dogs. Different story of the parents showed signs of allergies, or were known to widely produce them...

I know when I buy an adult dog, if the dog is healthy when I recieve it, and then something develops later, I would take that as simply a part of life. When you are dealing with live animals you have to accept that health issues can arise that cannot be predicted or prevented so matter how careful you are.

That said, business is business. And if the breeder cares about doing good business, and you are a reasonable person...I stress reasonable because there are some people you can never make happy....then in my opinion she should work with you somehow to make you happier about doing business with her, irregardless of what any contract says she or he is liable for.

I don't think the breeder owes you FULL reimbursement for medical expenses. Again, we are dealing with live animals here. You recieved the dog healthy and he remained healthy for 4 months. When you buy a car, it runs good, you sign and accept the warranty. If 4 months later the transmission goes, and it is out of warranty, technically you are SOL. But, if the dealer if reputable, they should do something to help ease the pain of the repair bill, as a good transmission should not just "go" after only 4 months of driving it.

Dog is TITLED by 12 months of age??? what titles???
 

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I also agree with the above BUT alot of it depends on the breeder. I took back a kitten that a woman had a 1 1/2 months before she told me that it wasn't gaining weight or growing. I took it back immediately and the vet's diagnoses was general neglect and lack of nutrition. I spend a couple of hundred dollars in vet bills on that kitten and than gave it to one of the other vets at the clinic who was in love with Bengals. She's fat and healthy now but her body structure looks stunted.

I also returned half of this persons' money because 1. She wouldn't stop harassing and 2. I had no solid proof that the kitten wasn't genetically stunted. In all honesty, I was ready to kill her because it took that long to contact me to tell me something was up. She did have her checked within three days of sale per the contract and nothing was found to be wrong with the kitten at that time either.

Okay....that's my rant of the day.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am just floating this idea- I have not asked the breeder for $$ but they were willing to take him back two months ago but never spoke to a refund of $- but we are bonded to him and him to us plus our second GSD is attached to him. I guess I am lucky that we have the money to have paid these bills all along as these vets fumbled over themselves except for the Florida Vet School. It has been a very frustrating expensive experience in the world of vetinary medicine.
 

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Have you been in contact with the breeder through this ordeal?
If not, I'd send a lengthy email along with the vet report & see what develops - the breeder may surpise you.

While this is an older pup, I'd still expect some sort of breeder involvement, especially as early symptoms of IBD, while minor are not nonexistant; this is also a known disorder in GSD's so likely has a genetic component (ie important for breeders to be involved with these issues).

I wouldn't expect the breeder to stand for any vet expenses (unless you worked very closely with the breeder through all of this & discussed treatment options & where to go next) but partial to full refund of the dogs purchase price or offer of a replacement pup... alot depends on what sort of contract was signed.
IMO the contract should've been modified to fit this circumstance (older pup) as this breeder does keep back & sell older pups, young adult and titled dogs on a regular basis.

I hope your boy does better now that he's finally been diagnosed.
Given his age, I'd want to move him off the pred once his symptoms are under control, I'd start him on supplements & joint support as soon as possible as his digestive issues mean that he hasn't been getting proper nutrition (likely all his life).

N-Acetyl-D-glucosamine has shown good results in Crohn's patients ( The protective mucus in the gastrointestinal tract consists of glycoproteins, a protein backbone with carbohydrate side chains. Half of these carbohydrate side chains consist of N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG). ), a friend has used Chitaq (a liquid formulation) with great success in IBD cats/dogs.
 

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Quote:It has been a very frustrating expensive experience in the world of vetinary medicine.
It's not just VM, my SIL spent 2 years in & out of hospitals with potential Crohn's diagnosis being tossed about (she lost neraly 30% of her body weight & was < 105lb to start) - in the end, the consensus was not Crohn's but "IBD" (which is really just a descriptive term of the symptoms, not any sort of diagnosis).
This is just a really tough thing to sort out - in case you haven't read this one.

Re the breeder, communication is a 2 way street, let them know that you want to keep the dog but would like to discuss a refund etc ...
 

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1. Was the dog checked out within a few days of you getting the dog? What was the report from the vet at that time?
2. What is listed in the contract?
3. Have you changed food, supplements, life situations in the last few months?
4. Did you contact the breeder when this 1st started happening and keep them updated? Do they have copies of all the medical documentation or is it just verbal to them or emails? Open, consistent, thorough and clear communication is important.
 

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Certain things are out of the control of the breeder once the dog/pup leaves their property. As everyone has stated you are dealing with a living breathing animal not something like a car.

Dogs can develop all sorts of things as they get older some of them are the result of immune problems. A pup may not have any allergies, the parents had no allergies but as the pup gets older the allergies pop up. There are all sorts of things that can weaken an immune system, vaccinations, chemicals used in the house or on the lawns, poor nutrition.

plasmacytic lymphocystic enterocolitis, had to do some reading but

lymphocytic-plasmacytic enteritis
infiltration of the lamina propria with lymphocytes and plasma cells can be a nonspecific response to chronic inflammation, but is classified by some as a primary, immune-mediated disease of the intestine causing malabsorption, chronic watery diarrhea and sometimes a protein-losing enteropathy.
http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/lymphocytic-plasmacytic+enteritis

The Merck Vet Manual is one of my favorite sources for information.
http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/23312.htm

There is no definitve that says genetic, there could be many causes as I stated earlier.

I am an impatient person so I would have been doing my ouwn research and trying a simple diet, Novel Protein and Novel carb, or soemthing else before I let my dog go 5 months waiting for Vet's to figure things out. I like some Vet's but not a lot. I have learned to be proactive with my dogs.

Val
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well let me say this I did not wait 5 months to figure this out- three months were wasted with two local vets guessing at his diagnosis when on 1/06/09 I went to the Univof Fla vet school- the chief of staff was his first doctor and diagnosed him as a EPI dog because of his TLI readings and cow piles- he even prescribed pancrezyme which we tried and later that week I informed him that I believed his diagnosis was incorrect and the dog was sicker. He refered me to his associate a younger internal med doc who did not want to do the endoscopy yet but said lets play with the novel protein which worked but he was not GAINING weight-in June 08 he was 68 and six months later 70. After one month on the diet I pushed for the endoscopy and ultrasound. They took about twenty biopsies which showed a variation of Inflammatory Bowel disease- lymphocytic-plasmacytic eneterocolitis which is a common disease in dogs and GSDs are predisposed to it. This is an illness for which the realistic goal is control not cure per the vet books. A BUMMER!
My dealings with the vet community was a frustrating and expensive experience until I got to the vet school. This is not any different than managing a serious illness of humans in todays medical maize- this I know.
Now he may be on prednisone for the rest of his life- we will see over the next two weeks if he gains weight- he gets 3000 cals per day.
 

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I know this doesn't help but thanks for posting about that medical problem. I am the R&R foster for a GSD and I am keeping an open mind in case there is an underlying cause for her issues. (See Kyah in the rescue stories section)

I do have to say I have gotten fosters from other foster homes or dog sat and have found issues that the previous person or owner never noticed. Depending on how well the breeder monitored poops (I can ID each of my dogs' poops and know many on this site can as well
) it could have been apparent but not noted or of concern. But for those of us who know our poop
we know what a huge indicator it can be of general health and wellness.

I also have observed that it does seem to take quite some time to dx GI issues.

No idea on the money! Sorry!
 

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It sucks that your dog has problems, but that is really life. Once we are born, the world starts killing us. It happens to dogs too.

At what point do you believe that it is you and not your breeder that is responsible for their dog's care?

I am sorry that the vets took time and money to figure out the problem. I do not see that as your breeder's fault.

It amazes me what people expect of breeders:
1. you should not make a living off of your dogs.
2. you should be with your dogs and available to customers and prospective customers 24/7.
3. you should be responsible for all of the puppies you bred until they die.
4. you should be responsible for all of your puppies' puppies.
5. you should provide a guarantee, that guarantees against all ailments present or future until the puppy is dead.
6. you should take the dog back at any time during the dog's life for whatever reason. (And you should not euthanize this dog for any reason.)
7. you should train the puppies to be perfect from eight weeks on.
8. you should do some type of dog sport or work with each dog.
9. you should do all of this and more for $200 or $1200.

I will tell you this, if you add just my vet bills this year (mostly health screenings and breeding related expenses) to my dog food bill, I would not have broken even even if I was charging $1500/puppy.
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You bought a dog. It now has a problem. You chose to diagnose and treat the dog rather than having it euthanized, good for you.
It is good of you to let the breeder know what exactly your dog has, so they can factor this into future breedings. In my opinion, that is all you should expect or hope for from your breeder.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I totally disagree with your list- I dont expect anything from the breeder BUT when the breeder sells you a dog for BIG #s because of breeding etc not 1200 or 3500- I would expect some moral hazard to kick in- that is all- I have not asked the breeder for anything and would not probably get it- I cant figure out why any one would breed dogs except for the love of animals- it cant be about the $$$
that is all I have to say re the above.
 

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Quote: My question to you all is shouldnt the breeder be liable for some if not all of these expenses out of principle! I did not make this dog sick and he probably had the beginning signs when we got him last June. I perservered to solve his problems and get a diagnosis and ultimately treatment.
This is a really sad situation. You bought the dog at about a year old, correct? I'm sure the price was a lot more then people are thinking here, ie 8 week old working line pup.

I had something similar happen to me. There has been more then one adult dog that I have purchased that I have had at the Vet school shortly there after. It's expensive and frustrating. And since they have every thing in the world there the bill adds up quick!

There are a couple of ways of looking at this.
1. The person knowingly sold you a sick dog. That would be reprehensible and in my book they would be morally responsible for the bills. But lets be honest, if they go around selling sick dogs they are not going to pick up the bills.

2. The breeder sold you the dog in good faith. The illness either developed afterwards or was present and they were not aware of it.

This one is trickier. In all honesty I am not sure what I would do, but I know I would try and do something, even if it was only to offer you another dog down the road either for free or discounted. I know as a breeder I would be very happy that you had had persevered in getting the dog properly diagnosed and treated.

Personally I would let the breeder know about the situation. They need the info for their own breeding program. I would also let them know the amount of money you have spent and see what they do from there. Legally, I don't think that they are under any obligation.

I'm sorry this happened. It happens even when everyone is doing what they are suppose to be doing and that is just a shame.
 

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Betty,

That is what I was asking and has not been answered yet.

1. Did the owner take the dog to the vet when they 1st got them and what was the report?
2. When did the owner notify the breeder of the issue and how? Copies of the vet reports?

This would help. This would also set the tone between the buyer and the breeder - when and how was the breeder notified. Can the breeder talk to the vets, etc?
 
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