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Current Replies for puppy died/breeder liability?
8/8/2008 8:11:23 PM
Posts: 1
Our family purchased a MaltePoo puppy from a breeder out of state. The puppy arrived OK and appeared OK also. Puppy was born 05/05/08 and we received puppy on or about June 23. The puppy seemed lethargic within a week or so and did eat but not well. Did not drink well either. We just chalked it up to adjustment to a new home and new people. The pup had it's health record which said it had it's distemper/parvo shot before we received her. We scheduled her for her first exam and second shot 4 weeks from that previous date. She was small, only 2 lbs one ounce at the first visit to our vet. Over the next couple of weeks the feeding problem got worse and she became even more lethargic with loose stools often. We brought her in to the vet for a check and they diagnosed Coccidia from the stool sample we provided. She was hospitalized with IV fluids for two days to get stronger and when we picked her up the vet had a prescription for Albon for the Coccidia, an antibiotic for her eyes which seemed to have a red swelling on her right eye (like conjunctivitis) and for Amoxil liquid by mouth for 10 days. We followed through with this regimen but she became more lethargic and weaker and seemed to be losing weight as well. We brought her back in to the vet the day that I saw blood in her brown water stool and they hospitalized her again with xrays, IV fluids and blood workup. Low white count, low red count, gave her blood, etc, etc, she died in four days. Can someone shed some insight on what went wrong here. Did she ever really have a chance and how did she get Distemper or Parvo (the vet did not conclusively diagnose it). What should my position be with the breeder, and the vet? vet bills total at least $1700 probably more. Puppy was $1000
8/14/2008 8:15:08 PM
Posts: 137
Oy vey....

First of all, you got scammed. The puppy was a mixed breed, a mutt, the kind of puppy you could pick up at any shelter for $50. Breeders who breed "designer dogs" are not reputable and/or responsible breeders, and people who support them with purchases just keep them in business. That's what it is to them, a business. The business of producing dogs for a market.

The puppy was sent home too early, another sign that it didn't come from a caring, responsible breeder. Some states have laws whereby puppies can not leave the breeder until 8 weeks of age because it's that important that they stay with their mom and littermates and continue to learn essential pack lessons like bite inhibition, for eg.

Next, current vaccination protocols call for puppies to receive their first vaccinations at 8 weeks. Giving vaccinations before that serves no purpose. The vaccination she allegedly received may as well have not been given at all - it didn't protect her because it was not given at the right time.

Your position with the vet? They provided service to you and your puppy, and you owe them payment. That's simple.

You can check the puppy lemon laws in your state and the state from which the puppy came - maybe you have a legal leg to stand on, maybe not. I'm sorry for your loss, but you made a very uninformed purchase and the puppy paid the ultimate price. You could try small claims court. You don't mention a contract with the breeder - was there one? That's something else that responsible breeders have, contracts that spell out exactly what happens in these cases.
8/18/2008 5:09:47 AM
Posts: 1904
I am sorry for the loss of your puppy, but the above answer is bang on.

You were scammed. Stories like this surface often with the recent discovery by Puppymillers, that fancy "designer" names will garner them more money.

As far as the vet goes. You have to pay the bill. It was your dog at that time.

As far as the breeder goes, that depends on your contract and what is stated in it. I doubt you will ever see any help from them, and i would find it highly surprising if you even got an answer back.

Serena Galloway
IGCA rescue Colorado

No Part of this msg may be forwarded without the author's permission
8/19/2008 2:10:06 PM
Posts: 3
you should always take a new puppy in to your vet for a health check right away they probably should have treated the coccidia with a better drug .there is proably nothing you can do now unless they are willing to replace the puppy
8/19/2008 6:12:20 PM
Posts: 6
With a tiny puppy you really can't ignore signs of illness and then say you thought it might be the change in location. You should have taken it to the vet at first sign something wasn't right. Coccidia is so strong that it can cause a puppy's death. That was what caused the diarrhea and blood, not parvo. You said your vet didnt find parvo or anything. Coccidia can cause those symptoms you described. In your breeders defense, Coccidia is sneaky and often doesn't pop up until the puppy leaves its home and mother. The stress of a new place, different drinking water, etc. is what causes it to come out. Some vets even call it stress coccidia. I'm sorry you lost this tiny one. One question, Why did you pay $1000 for a mixed breed? Seems pretty high. At that price, did you get a health guarantee contract? If so then maybe your breeder is responsible, but they may not have had any signs of problems while it was at their place. You can double check this info with your vet.
8/21/2008 5:23:32 AM
Posts: 137
The breeder has NO resposibility to can only get help IF the breeder actually feels bad and has a contract stating some sort of replacement refund.. Very unlikly.. because this "breeder" is selling a product..and I am sure has a iron clad sales contract to cover their ass..
This is how brokers/dealers and puppy mills work.. they by luck often do not have to many sick pups.. but the care, conditions and shipping and mass breeding do not make for a good situation to get a pup from.. SO many people end up with the issue you have had.. LEARN do not buy a dog off the internet again.. and also DO not buy what is basically a mix breed dog for lots of money becuse it is a designer breed..

Keep in mind.. these things will allow this breeder to get away with this..
One you got the puppy and it was in good health.. Did you take it to a vet within a 72 hours or soon after purchase?
If you did not.. then there is NO way to know if the stress of shipping or there was some other underlying issue at time of arrival.. This was a mistake.. and a common one these type of breeders COUNT ON..

Two when the pups started to act off.. you did by your own admision wait a bit.. so that put you at blame.. this is not a nasty commment but this makes you 100% responsible.. and now allows the breeder to say.. well the dog was healthy but you FAILED to seek appoperate medical care in a timly mannor that may have lead to this pups decline in condition and death.. sorry that is the deal.. the second the pup acted ill you needed to get to a vet..

3 unfortunaly coccida is a very NASTY parasite.. But is a problem because of stress..a lot of dogs carry coccidia.. so cannot be used as a specific point of blame.. also incubation on it is 10-14 days.. so once out of that stool sample checked soon after arrival.. you cannot be sure that the dog did not get exposed to it under your care vs the breeder..and this is a argument these breeders do use..
unfotunaly coccida can be from bad housing/breeding conditions but can also show up in the best cared for and bred litters.. Stress triggers the chance for the parasite to get a foot hold.. So dogs that are not under stress, Shipping, Change in home invorment can have coddidia and not be sick... but once it gets a foot hold it does and can cause the symptoms you describe..and yes in small weak pups can kill them despite aggressive treatment..
So coccidia by it self is not a indication of a bad breeder... but good breeders are aware of a possible carrier state.. and take additional steps and care when placing pups.. Do not ship them.. wait till they are older before placing them.. provide medication as a additional step to prevent severe cases.. information to the buyer about it and specific instuctions.. that kind of thing..

I would suggest you do contact the state vet in the state the dog came from.. odds are there are other complaints on file.. and there may be a pending case against them..
Truthfully do not expect some refund.. unless you qualify under the puppy lemon law in that state.. if there is one.. but by putting your complaint on file.. you may perhaps provide additional evidence for the athorities need to revoke the licence.. or remove her ability to breed in the future.. thus saving others from the same expense and heartache..