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Discussion Starter #1
Should a breeder take a dog back that has more or less been sick since it left his care? Has anyone had success in doing this? Puppy is about 14 weeks old. Thoughts and experiences are appreciated!
 

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Well, what kind of sick? Parasites? Parasites are extremely common in puppies, and while a reputable breeder would never send home a puppy with parasites, it does occasionally happen. It’s not quite the same thing, but my pup had coccidia when he came home from a very reputable breeder. She had a clean fecal from the pups before she sent any of them home, so she was surprised. Coccidia is more of a stress related parasite (a lot of dogs don’t even need treatment for it), so not the breeders fault at all, but she still offered to pay the bills.
 

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Well, what kind of sick? Parasites? Parasites are extremely common in puppies, and while a reputable breeder would never send home a puppy with parasites, it does occasionally happen. It’s not quite the same thing, but my pup had coccidia when he came home from a very reputable breeder. She had a clean fecal from the pups before she sent any of them home, so she was surprised. Coccidia is more of a stress related parasite (a lot of dogs don’t even need treatment for it), so not the breeders fault at all, but she still offered to pay the bills.
To start with, bacterial ear infection, SIBO, UTI and seems to have some other issues causing serious incontinence. Can't get her to stop peeing/pooping in her crate. My guess is there is something more serious wrong with her. We are completely worn out. Never had these issues with any of our other dogs. Already spent over $1000 at the vet and know the next step is an ultrasound, etc which will be even more money.
 

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To start with, bacterial ear infection, SIBO, UTI and seems to have some other issues causing serious incontinence. Can't get her to stop peeing/pooping in her crate. My guess is there is something more serious wrong with her. We are completely worn out. Never had these issues with any of our other dogs. Already spent over $1000 at the vet and know the next step is an ultrasound, etc which will be even more money.
That sounds really rough. I'm sorry you guys are going through that. I don't see anything wrong with returning her to the breeder at this point. I have returned one dog to a breeder, but not for health issues. It was sad, but the breeder was willing to take her back and was nice about it. Have you already asked the breeder to take her back? Do you have a contract that states the breeder has right of first refusal?
 

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What does your contract say? Have you been in contact with the breeder about the issues you have been having? A reputable breeder will take a puppy back for any reason.
 

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How was SIBO diagnosed?

where is puppy’s crate at night? How often are you taking her out? What do you do out there to ensure she intimates/defecates? is she on a leash?

what do you do AFTER she eliminates outside?


have you consulted an veterinary internist? A veterinary behaviorist? A trainer? What kind of trainer? Do they/you use force punishments at all?

what do you do if she has an accident in the crate or the house? Please outline your process.

did the pup live full time in a house or a kennel at the-breeder’s?

Finally, was the urine taken directly from her bladder or was it caught in a plate or cup?

sorry for all the questions but it helps to understand the situation before giving advice in this situation
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have kept the breeder updated throughout as of last week. SIBO was just diagnosed so he doesn't know that. I just wanted to get some thoughts before I came right out and asked him if he'd take her back. Sadly, we've put our heart, soul and wallet into this puppy to no avail. My concern is we spend another $1000 to find out she's got some congenital defect that will require thousands in surgery to possibly fix. At that point, it's a lose-lose situation. This is not a decision we would take lightly as we've never thought of doing this before. There is clearly something wrong with this dog and it may never end. I'll check again, but I'm pretty sure the contract stated the usual 72 or so hours to get vet checked, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
How was SIBO diagnosed?

where is puppy’s crate at night? How often are you taking her out? What do you do out there to ensure she intimates/defecates? is she on a leash?

what do you do AFTER she eliminates outside?


have you consulted an veterinary internist? A veterinary behaviorist? A trainer? What kind of trainer? Do they/you use force punishments at all?

what do you do if she has an accident in the crate or the house? Please outline your process.

did the pup live full time in a house or a kennel at the-breeder’s?

Finally, was the urine taken directly from her bladder or was it caught in a plate or cup?

sorry for all the questions but it helps to understand the situation before giving advice in this situation
I understand. This is not our first rodeo. We're doing everything just like we have with our other pups. SIBO was based on full GI panel from Texas A&M. Praise and treat after going outside since day 1. Pup was in a kennel at breeders but also spent time in house. Urine from cup but clinical signs also there. Never punished for going in crate. Crates thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, etc after. Have not forked out more money for internist or anything like that yet. That's part of my issue...don't feel like we should have to since the dog was clearly sick when we got her.
 

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Most contracts say to take the puppy to the vet with a certain time frame. At that time, you should have returned the puppy for a full refund. Breeders may replace a puppy with a genetic disease such as HD. Many breeders I know would take the puppy back if the owner was this upset for the puppy's well being.

However, everything you have stated so far is curable. Peeing/pooping in the crate is most likely caused by the SIBO and UTI. SIBO is not permanent. It's an imbalance of good to bad bacteria in the gut. It very well could have been caused by antibiotics for the ear infection or the UTI and if that's the case, that's just bad luck, not the breeders fault. Once that is cleared up then it should go away with training. A previous member had this exact situation. Once the SIBO was cleared up, the dog has done amazing.

I understand that you expected a healthy puppy and I wouldn't be happy either. IF I were to return the puppy, I would not expect a refund unless I had concrete proof that the puppy had an incurable condition, or one that would impact quality of life, none of which is relevant with the information you have so far.

So if you want to return her then you should hope your breeder is very, very, very nice and in a good mood.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Most contracts say to take the puppy to the vet with a certain time frame. At that time, you should have returned the puppy for a full refund. Breeders may replace a puppy with a genetic disease such as HD. Many breeders I know would take the puppy back if the owner was this upset for the puppy's well being.

However, everything you have stated so far is curable. Peeing/pooping in the crate is most likely caused by the SIBO and UTI. SIBO is not permanent. It's an imbalance of good to bad bacteria in the gut. It very well could have been caused by antibiotics for the ear infection or the UTI and if that's the case, that's just bad luck, not the breeders fault. Once that is cleared up then it should go away with training. A previous member had this exact situation. Once the SIBO was cleared up, the dog has done amazing.

I understand that you expected a healthy puppy and I wouldn't be happy either. IF I were to return the puppy, I would not expect a refund unless I had concrete proof that the puppy had an incurable condition, or one that would impact quality of life, none of which is relevant with the information you have so far.

So if you want to return her then you should hope your breeder is very, very, very nice and in a good mood.
Jax, as usual, your advice is very much appreciated. I totally agree with you...if everything is curable, which it may be, then I'm pretty much SOL and I get it. I'm just worried this continues, does not improve and a month later down the line she is found to have something far more serious. We pretty much have the SIBO under control. She hasn't had diarrhea in a couple weeks (since the last time we tried to feed her kibble) but the eliminating in the crate thing has gotten worse over the last couple weeks.

We haven't had a good night sleep since the night after we brought her home so we're just very frustrated and very tired. Thanks again.
 

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I am a little confused. Are these issues being diagnosed partially on this puppy's inability to be housetrained?

What works for some dogs house breaking won't necessarily work for the next one. How long is this puppy in a crate before having accidents?
 

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What is her blood work for kidney function showing? Did you do a sterile sample and have them culture to determine which antibiotics would work best?

What are you feeding her? I would think it would be the hydrolyzed protein food?

Since she was sick, and she couldn't help going on her crate, you will have to make the crate as small as possible so she has no choice but to hold it as it's now a habit that needs to be broken and you have to start at square 1 with crate training.

If you are that unhappy, all you can do is talk to the breeder and ask the questions you asked here. I just would not expect the breeder to do anything outside of the contract. And can you please PM me the name of the breeder? This is a showline?
 

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Ok. SIBO sounds legit, but I (and others I know with perfectly good dogs) have had puppies with SIBO from good breeders that turned out to be good dogs.

I realize this isn’t your first rodeo, but your pup doesn’t know that. She is an individual. I’ve learned that over the years. The pup sitting in front of me has no idea what I already know. She is just herself.

Generally speaking, Urine collected in a cup isn’t great especially if the pup already has GI issues, particularly if we already know there is an overgrowth of bacteria in her gut.

She may have a UTI. She probably does. Sloppy fecal matter easily travels Into the urinary tract on females. In your case, I would see this as a symptom of the SIBO, not a whole other issue that points to her general unsoundness.

Did you culture the urine? I would: the ampicillin or amoxicillin you’re using to treat the SIBO may be effective for the UTI because it may be the exact same bacteria. I wouldn’t throw other another abx at it until I knew for sure (it’s a good way to get antibiotics resistance. And even if you return her, that’s not fair to her)

Ok.Crate accidents. The illness may be the primary cause, but in my experience,the older dogs come from breeders, the less likely they are to be fully crate trained, especially if they live in kennels. Females in particular.

Like, really females. sigh. (I’ve been there. I feel your pain)


I’d start her from scratch as though she’s an 8 week old. Give her a crate floor that isn’t snuggly or absorbent. There are rubber ones you can buy. I’ve found Kong Chew resistant pads are pretty good. They’re at least comfortable.Walmart carries a similar pad for less ( Vibrant Life Durable and Water Resistant Pad). Make sure her crate isn’t any bigger than she needs it.

Set an alarm to take her out every two hours. Start this weekend.

After she eliminates, treats, praise and mostly PLAY.

if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that if we scoot our dogs back into the house after they eliminate, it takes longer for them to go next time and we often don’t get a full emptying of bowels and the bladder.

Eliminate, ,praise (Tiny treat. Don’t reload her intestines), play then ask for a potty again.

no? Ok, bedtime

yes? Ok, praise and play.

repeat.

My pup is 10 months old. He’ll run outside, immediately urinate, happily zoom around then try to run into the house. I show him his favorite tug in my pocket and give him the command for defecate. He’ll bounce around a bit. I give him the cue again. And oh yeah, he has to poo. A lot!

My guy is healthy, well trained, a service dog in training and smart... but he forgets he has to poop. Sigh...

They’re puppies. We can’t trust their judgement.

Personally, I’d put your girl on the antibiotics for SIBO, get a cysto draw and culture the urine. Treat those.

Handle the other stuff behaviorally. Positive reinforcement only. If she makes a mistake, put her on another room, then clean up.

Before I do a pricy ultrasound, I’d get a less expensive consult with an internist.

I don’t think you really need an internist at this point, but I don’t think there is cause for an ultrasound.So if you think there is, put a more educated laser-focused set of eyes on her first.

I’ve found repeatedly that specialists save me money because we’re not randomly doing unnecessary tests. (My experience, my vet and likely my internist —whom I’m consulting for two of my other dogs — would say for a GSD with ongoing loose stools issues, testing for EPI would be the next step,But how could you know if you’re still treating the SIBO? (I don’t see a lot of reason to jump to EPI with our hair on fire here. I’m just saying, that would be my next step, not an ultrasound unless your vet is actually talking about scoping her?
That seems a bit extreme at this point. And you’d want an internist to do that anyhow.)

For my GSD, it simply meant moving to all fish diet.

So...after treating for SIBO (one thing at a time. Scientific method!) if that didn’t work, you could try a significant diet change.

I’d keep the breeder informed, but I’d give this pup more time and more individualized energy.

Good luck!

(I kind of jumped around a lot here. Drop me a note if you want to chat more)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Every day, my wife, kids or I take her out at least once an hour, never fail. Today, she went in her small (enough room for her to turn around) crate about 10 minutes after we took her out and had no issues peeing right where she was. Yesterday, my wife was out for about an hour and a half and she went in the crate (after going out right before my wife left). She is eating The Honest Kitchen since I tried that on a recommendation and other than homemade chicken and rice it's the only thing that hasn't given her diarrhea or very loose stools. I would have to ask the vet if the full GI panel showed anything about her kidneys but based on the folate levels they diagnosed SIBO. As far as the UTI, he prescribed clavamox. And yes, she's showline.
 

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Ok. SIBO sounds legit, but I (and others I know with perfectly good dogs) have had puppies with SIBO from good breeders that turned out to be good dogs.

I realize this isn’t your first rodeo, but your pup doesn’t know that. She is an individual. I’ve learned that over the years. The pup sitting in front of me has no idea what I already know. She is just herself.

Generally speaking, Urine collected in a cup isn’t great especially if the pup already has GI issues, particularly if we already know there is an overgrowth of bacteria in her gut.

She may have a UTI. She probably does. Sloppy fecal matter easily travels Into the urinary tract on females. In your case, I would see this as a symptom of the SIBO, not a whole other issue that points to her general unsoundness.

Did you culture the urine? I would: the ampicillin or amoxicillin you’re using to treat the SIBO may be effective for the UTI because it may be the exact same bacteria. I wouldn’t throw other another abx at it until I knew for sure (it’s a good way to get antibiotics resistance. And even if you return her, that’s not fair to her)

Ok.Crate accidents. The illness may be the primary cause, but in my experience,the older dogs come from breeders, the less likely they are to be fully crate trained, especially if they live in kennels. Females in particular.

Like, really females. sigh. (I’ve been there. I feel your pain)


I’d start her from scratch as though she’s an 8 week old. Give her a crate floor that isn’t snuggly or absorbent. There are rubber ones you can buy. I’ve found Kong Chew resistant pads are pretty good. They’re at least comfortable.Walmart carries a similar pad for less ( Vibrant Life Durable and Water Resistant Pad). Make sure her crate isn’t any bigger than she needs it.

Set an alarm to take her out every two hours. Start this weekend.

After she eliminates, treats, praise and mostly PLAY.

if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that if we scoot our dogs back into the house after they eliminate, it takes longer for them to go next time and we often don’t get a full emptying of bowels and the bladder.

Eliminate, ,praise (Tiny treat. Don’t reload her intestines), play then ask for a potty again.

no? Ok, bedtime

yes? Ok, praise and play.

repeat.

My pup is 10 months old. He’ll run outside, immediately urinate, happily zoom around then try to run into the house. I show him his favorite tug in my pocket and give him the command for defecate. He’ll bounce around a bit. I give him the cue again. And oh yeah, he has to poo. A lot!

My guy is healthy, well trained, a service dog in training and smart... but he forgets he has to poop. Sigh...

They’re puppies. We can’t trust their judgement.

Personally, I’d put your girl on the antibiotics for SIBO, get a cysto draw and culture the urine. Treat those.

Handle the other stuff behaviorally. Positive reinforcement only. If she makes a mistake, put her on another room, then clean up.

Before I do a pricy ultrasound, I’d get a less expensive consult with an internist.

I don’t think you really need an internist at this point, but I don’t think there is cause for an ultrasound.So if you think there is, put a more educated laser-focused set of eyes on her first.

I’ve found repeatedly that specialists save me money because we’re not randomly doing unnecessary tests. (My experience, my vet and likely my internist —whom I’m consulting for two of my other dogs — would say for a GSD with ongoing loose stools issues, testing for EPI would be the next step,But how could you know if you’re still treating the SIBO? (I don’t see a lot of reason to jump to EPI with our hair on fire here. I’m just saying, that would be my next step, not an ultrasound unless your vet is actually talking about scoping her?
That seems a bit extreme at this point. And you’d want an internist to do that anyhow.)

For my GSD, it simply meant moving to all fish diet.

So...after treating for SIBO (one thing at a time. Scientific method!) if that didn’t work, you could try a significant diet change.

I’d keep the breeder informed, but I’d give this pup more time and more individualized energy.

Good luck!

(I kind of jumped around a lot here. Drop me a note if you want to chat more)
Thank you for the great advice and recommendations. BTW, the full GI panel tested for EPI, at least cobalamin and folate levels. Cobalamin was low but normal range and folate was high outside normal. We started clavamox for the UTI and since it can be used to treat SIBO, I didn't want to add another one in there just yet at least. I hear what you're saying about more time and energy but to be honest, my wife and I have done exactly that since we brought her home at 8 weeks. So, it's not like we lock her up in a crate all day. My wife stays home and gives her a lot of attention and care during the day. She's the most patient person in the world and even she's at wits end. I like your idea of the internist. I think that will be our next step.
 

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I think it is really possible that physical issues caused a behavioral problem: dirty puppy. Meaning she couldn't help but pee and poop all the time then sit in it because of her physical problem. But she also became desensitized to sitting in her own mess and now she doesn't care.

Assuming her physical problems are legitimately resolved then you have to address the dirty problem.

Big job. I don't envy you.
 

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I think it is really possible that physical issues caused a behavioral problem: dirty puppy. Meaning she couldn't help but pee and poop all the time then sit in it because of her physical problem. But she also became desensitized to sitting in her own mess and now she doesn't care.

Assuming her physical problems are legitimately resolved then you have to address the dirty problem.

Big job. I don't envy you.
I think it is really possible that physical issues caused a behavioral problem: dirty puppy. Meaning she couldn't help but pee and poop all the time then sit in it because of her physical problem. But she also became desensitized to sitting in her own mess and now she doesn't care.

Assuming her physical problems are legitimately resolved then you have to address the dirty problem.

Big job. I don't envy you.
That's my take on it as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The crazy thing is she slept through the night from about 10 till almost 5:30 this morning and didn't do anything in her crate. She started whining and I took her out. Day started off great and went downhill from there!
 

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Because it's a habit you have to break now. It's like you put food on the counter every day and everyday she takes it. a month in, you're like "why can't I keep her off the counter?"

You literally have to be there to stop her in the act of dirtying her crate. Bang on the crate, make a sharp noise, anything to break her cycle to stop her in midstream or mid poop and get her outside, where she can finish and you can reward her with a huge party.

But, like I said in our messages, you have to get her well first because the original issue of being dirty wasn't her fault or within her control.
 
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