Question for Breeders: Breeder Responsibility for preexisting condition - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Question for Breeders: Breeder Responsibility for preexisting condition

Hello there,

A question for golden breeders:

I received a puppy and spent $2800 only to find out after we had it for a few weeks that it had a breathing issue which was eventually linked to a hernia. The hernia was causing soft tissue up into the chest cavity which was pushing the heart to one side of the body. The surgeon indicated the hernia existed before we got the dog evidenced by the fact she had to enlarge the size of the hernia to pull the soft tissue back into the stomach area.

The breeder was sympathetic, understanding and supportive and even refunded my $2800 but I was left on the hook for the additional cost of surgery of $700. Not only the cost but the endless hours of dealing with a puppy after the surgery. Puppy had a weakened bladder after the surgery and had to go out several times during the night. We had to keep the puppy separate from our older golden for 6 weeks, which was a major PIA. Add in the vet visits, hours on the phone, etc etc.

My view is a reputable breeder would have covered the additional $700 costs. The breeder told me I 'wish I could do more for your family' which to me is a bit disingenuous seeing there were 12 puppies in the litter, which results in well over $32,000.

SO my question to the breeders out there. Are my expectations reasonable?

Thanks,
--matt
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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 10:40 AM
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What did your contract say?

By the way, if you are looking at the $32,000 as pure profit, that is not how responsible breeding works. It is quite possible for a responsible breeder to be in the hole financially even after a large litter. I know my last litter was $4000+ in expenses just to get her *possibly* pregnant. That did not take in to account all the stuff like health testing etc. before a responsible breeder could ethically consider breeding any dog or the magnitude of expenses to get puppies to 8 weeks old.


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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 10:48 AM
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Most contracts wouldn't cover something like this, that isn't apparent @ birth or at 8 weeks when pup leaves.
I think you are fortunate to have gotten the $2800 refunded and perhaps it is your choice of verbiage, but would you really complain about having $700 in a puppy? If the breeder is a good breeder - have to assume so, since you got a refund without much fuss, then there is zero chance she had a huge profit in the litter. You are looking at it from an uninformed place to imagine she has a big profit- maybe to imagine she has any profit depending on the scenario and how many litters in she is, a new breeder never makes money because the investment on hard items that will be reused is a huge start up cost.
If your child had a problem that created extra work for you in the early days after the fix, would you complain or just be glad you still had your child. I am super generous and understanding, but I think a full refund was super generous and understanding and if you are unhappy w the puppy you should just return the puppy.

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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 10:59 AM
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Like Laura said above, breeders usually do not make much of a profit, if any, from a litter. The costs of breeding are huge, if you do it carefully and responsibly (meaning preservation breeding to preserve/improve on the breed and not just produce as many litters as possible with the least money spent). I think the refund of your purchase price was fair, and the extra cost for the surgery is the owner’s responsibility. Dogs are expensive to own, and caring for them and their puppy bladders (whether or not they’ve had surgery) is sometimes a PIA. If the puppy were going to have lasting health issues from this problem, and you decided that it was too much to handle (cost or otherwise), a responsible breeder would offer to take the puppy back and get the required care for him. But if you decided after accepting the refund that you want to keep the puppy, the vet care is your responsibility. I think the breeder did what she should here. I hope your little guy is feeling better and doing well.
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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 12:14 PM
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I'm no breeder but do know several... going to chime in here anyway. I totally understand how you feel. From your perspective you purchased what you thought was a healthy puppy and turns out to have a problem that has cost you in more than just the $700, right?
Here's a quick version of my experience with my girl. Basically on the long drive home I gave the pup a drink of water and her eye began to have a discharge, began to see fleas, she also had a heavy white discharge from her privates. We were already 3 hrs away and had a car full of grand kids and had to stop every 15/20 minutes to let her pee... very long ride home.

Bottom line is she was horribly full of parasites, hooks, rounds, coccidia, tapes. All preventable problems right? She also had a very severe UTI and all this took 4 months, $1100 in vet bills to resolve. The kicker was when we failed the eye exam with a eye condition. Looking back and a little more knowledge I can see the condition was apparent in the quick video the breeder had sent. So even though I was shown a "normal" eye clearance in both sire & dam, the breeder was aware of this condition and later admitted the sire can no longer pass an eye clearance.

After coming unglued on this so called good breeder of merit she offered a replacement puppy, in fact she demanded I return the pup. I of course chose not to return her... after all we had put in a great deal of money and time for 6 months getting her well from everything else.
Not once did the breeder offer a refund. Not once did the breeder offer compensation for the vet bills. Not once did the breeder feel the need to assist in the cost of speciality vet exams that will go on for life. I was threatened, cursed at, told she would sue me for posting on this forum and has removed the failed exams from OFA on multiple occasions.

Consider yourself lucky, if the breeder was willing to give a refund and be kind and supportive I'm pretty sure you had the option to return the pup. Once that decision was made, the rest is up to you. It's part of owning a dog. From the pups perspective, it may be a PIA but I'm no peach when in pain either.
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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 02:47 PM
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I think your expectation is unrealistic. What does your contract say? My contract says if the dog becomes ill with any of the covered items (and it gives a list) within x time frame, the breeder will reimburse us for vet costs up to the original purchase price of the puppy. When you buy a living creature, you are accepting that there are unknown variables. I think the breeder was very generous to refund you the full purchase price and not just the cost of the vet invoices. They could have said here's the $700 for the surgery and call it a day.

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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hernonm View Post
...I received a puppy and spent $2800 only to find out after we had it for a few weeks that it had a breathing issue which was eventually linked to a hernia...The breeder was sympathetic, understanding and supportive and even refunded my $2800 but I was left on the hook for the additional cost of surgery of $700. Not only the cost but the endless hours of dealing with a puppy after the surgery. Puppy had a weakened bladder after the surgery and had to go out several times during the night. We had to keep the puppy separate from our older golden for 6 weeks, which was a major PIA. Add in the vet visits, hours on the phone, etc etc.

My view is a reputable breeder would have covered the additional $700 costs. ... Are my expectations reasonable?...
My first question is this:
1) Did you take the puppy to your vet for a vet check within the first 48 hours of bringing him home the way most breeders require? Did your vet find the hernia? If neither the breeder's vet nor your vet found the hernia until over three weeks later when it was causing a breathing issue, it's not like this puppy was purposefully sold to you with a health problem. She didn't knowingly sell you a defective puppy.

2) The breeder refunded you the ENTIRE $2800 purchase price to cover the medical costs for the surgery which totaled $700. That leaves you with a very well bred and carefully raised puppy for under a thousand dollars. Are you trying to tell us that you deserve more than $2000 for your pain and suffering? It's a living creature, not a car. The fact is sometimes things go wrong and it's nobody's fault. It stinks that the puppy had a tough start, I'm sure it was even more miserable for the puppy than it was for you, but the breeder refunded the FULL purchase price which covered your monetary costs several times over. I don't understand why you think you are entitled to more.

We have had thousands of posts over the years here, but yours is the kind that always leaves me shaking my head. A thorough explanation of the hardship for yourself but not a word about how the puppy suffered, how much you love the puppy or even her name. You referred to your pup as "it" and "the puppy" and "the dog" but not a single note of warmth or affection, we don't even know if the puppy is a he or a she. It almost sounds like the breeder should have refunded your money, paid all your out of pocket surgical costs and had you return the puppy to her. Is that what you would prefer? If you think it's all about money for the breeder, why did you choose her in the first place?


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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 05:25 PM
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I think the OP means that the surgery was $3500 and after the $2800 refund left $700 that was paid by the family.

So the breeder walked away with no money on the puppy and the family paid $700 plus their extra time and work to support the puppy’s return to health.

Restated in a different way... He wants to know if the general consensus of those outside the situation was, is it reasonable for him to expect a free puppy plus an additional $700 because the puppy had a health problem that was surgically correctable but inconvenienced, frustrated and worried his family.

The way I see this is you were willing to spend $2800 on the puppy. You were surprised (the breeder probably was too though we don’t know for sure) that you had to spend $3500 to correct the issue. The breeder refunded the $2800, gaining nothing from providing a puppy to your family. At this point you have “paid” $700 plus time and effort above and beyond normal care for the puppy. I think the situation was handled fairly assuming the contract did not have further stipulations. Honestly, I’d guess that if there is a contract the breeder either meet or exceed their obligations.

If you are not going to be happy with a puppy that had this problem, I would encourage you to reach out to the breeder and return the puppy. It sounds like you are dealing with a responsible one, I am sure they would be open to further discussion if you are dissatisfied to the point that you can’t accept the puppy because of this.


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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 07:42 PM
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Sorry, I think you need to look at this a little more objectively, I apologize if this comes across as unsympathetic, as I just do not understand why you don’t admit that you made a mistake and move on.
It does not sound like the pup was going to die if it didn’t have the surgery the day the vet diagnosed? You should have contacted the breeder immediately, before the surgery. That way you would have avoided all of that inconvenience and money out of pocket.
You could have returned the pup and continued with your life a happier person.
It is ok to admit you misjudged the work and investment, emotionally, physically, financially. You all would be better for it.

When Tessa was diagnosed with kidney disease at age 15 weeks, it was clear she had that at birth. My issue was the refusal of the breeder to support us and talk to us. Or return my email and voice mail when I called to let her know that Tessa died.
Yes the puppy purchase price would have been very appreciated, and I have had enough feedback to suggest most breeders would have offered at least that or taking the puppy back.
I believe it was another $11,000 or so between sept 20, 2018 and her death at age 1 on June 4, 2019. Plus the $ to the breeder, and all the training classes and misc stuff at home.
Just like you chose to do the hernia surgery, I chose to love and care for Tessa no matter what, until the pain and inability to eat on top of sky high bloodwork for bun, creatine etc, made it clear that we were not getting another year together.
I cry to think a hernia surgery is the breaking point - I have a cat who had 2 surgeries for a sarcoma, a cat who had exploratory surgery for IBS and remains on pricey “duck” and “rabbit” protein food to avoid a reoccurrence. But the kitties are now 8, and doing ok. They are family, and that means you stick through the hard stuff.
Pets are also a choice, not a new dishwasher that broke down.
So I say you are lucky you have realized this NOW and hope you are honest and ask the breeder to take the pup back - not ask for $700.
What will you do when the dog gets a torn acl or gets sick, or when you spay/neuter? You have another golden, do you just not take it to the vet for anything?
Worth every penny to me share those 9 months with a truly special pup. Not $ sitting around, but a dip into when I can retire...
I am sure glad that my Tessa and I found each other - I hate to think she could have gone to a home where what the breeder paid for would have impacted her future and her chance for an awesome 9 months of loving and being cherished.

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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 08:22 PM
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Not to pile on, but this is what I read:

1. Purchase pup for $2800.

2. 1-2 months later, discovered pup had serious issue that required surgery.

3. Breeder made aware of the problem and returned the $2800 to owner without requiring the return of the puppy as well. You understand, a lot of breeders will not return full price without asking for the puppy back in some of these cases.

4. It's unclear as to how much the surgery cost, but let's assume we are talking about $2800 + $700 = $3500

5. Owner felt the breeder should have paid full cost of the related surgery.

^^^^^

So... yeah.

If I were the OP, I would be thanking my lucky stars that the breeder essentially paid 80% of the surgery cost with me struggling a little with recovery but at the end of the story with a healthy puppy who will hopefully live the rest of its life without too many issues popping up.

Or if it helps motivate you - you got a $700 puppy when all was said and done.

Quite honestly - with your attitude about not paying a single dollar out of your own pocket towards the surgery.... you should have gotten health insurance on your pup immediately and that might helped some things out as well with you coming out ahead. In theory. <= I believe there is a 2 week waiting period (with one insurance I looked at) and pup can't be dx with anything during or before that period.

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