Join Date: Aug 2018
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Quoted: 55 Post(s)
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First, I am so sorry your going through this. I know what it feels like. My puppy came from a long line of performance dogs with all the certifications. I verified them. I was told when he was 7-8 months old that he had genetic sesamoid malformation in both front feet, and blunt heads on his elbows via CT Scan results at Univ of Penn. The elbows are questionable due to the fact that he was seven months old and they aren't developed completely, and the problem isn't a typical issue with the elbows. My biggest problem was that both of his feet where painful and it was a very sad thing to see. Univ of Penn suggested we start with surgery on both front feet, and follow with elbow surgery. I had already spent over $3500 just on the testing. I even had 3D renderings done of his feet at their recommendation to assist in diagnosing the issue. It was rare in a Golden puppy. My surgical bill with them if I did both surgeries, feet and elbows, would have been well over $10,000.
I couldn't imagine doing all of that to a puppy and sought many other medical opinions. I ended up at VOSM (Veterinary Orthopedic Sports Medicine). To date we have done no surgeries. My puppy is limp free from only doing an extensive rehab program. (It took 4 months) They said they would absolutely never consider operating on his feet, and his elbows are questionable. We will do new X-Rays at 2 years of age and see what they show. They aren't sure that he will pass or fail the OFA's, but he is not symptomatic. I will never breed him. He will never be the field trial dog that we had dreams of him being, but he is a healthy puppy. He's now almost 16 months old and you would never know we had gone through everything we went through. My point here I guess is don't rush into anything. Univ of Penn is well respected, but I am sure glad I kept looking for another opinion.
As far as your breeder I completely understand your frustration. My little guy was at a private trainer when all this happened and I was being told he was a rock star performer. We had huge hopes for him, but first he was a pet and we loved him. My breeder suggested putting him to sleep when I sent him copies of all of our medical documents. He was having another litter from a repeat breeding in the Spring. He never said it but I'm pretty sure that was his offer for a replacement. I also found out one of the puppies from the litter had pituitary dwarfism, which is definitely hereditary.
In my case it would all eventually come down to my contract if I pursued it. I won't pursue anything. I've had time to think about it and have realized some things. First, feet aren't covered under my contract. If he fails elbows by OFA I am due a replacement. He may pass OFA elbows according to several ortho vets. I would be due nothing. If I wanted to at that point I could contact the breeder and have his registration changed from "limited" to "full" per my contract. My contract states that as long as he's passed hips, elbows, eyes, and heart and obtained a title I can have full registration at age 2. I will have all of that done plus more if he passes elbows. I've already had DNA testing done on him for my own information. I will not be contacting the breeder for my full registration. It's not worth it. I love him, but I would never breed him. I know something went wrong somewhere in the genetics. I wouldn't want to risk going through this pain again myself, or putting anyone else through it.
OFA does not accept CT Scan results. It will all depend on what the x-rays show. I'm praying with everything in me his elbows pass at age 2. It has nothing to do with the breeder, or being owed a single thing. It has nothing to do with being able to breed him. I just want the peace of mind of knowing they pass. I've been through so much with this little guy. He is now healthy.
This summer he's earned his CGC, a JR Dock title, and a SR Dock title. He's still my little rock star, he just isn't doing it in field work. I'm no longer upset with the breeder. I will not support him by accepting another puppy from him, but I don't believe he set out to do anything wrong. I think something went wrong. Dogs are living things and we can't hold them to guarantees. Contract's normally state you are due a replacement puppy. That is useless once you fall in love with your dog. I wish he'd offered half my money back toward vet bills, but he wasn't going to do that. I wish I would have bought from a breeder that would have never said "I think your going to have to put him to sleep", but I did. That is what damaged my relationship with the breeder the most, at a time I needed hope and encouragement I was told the one thing that I never wanted to hear. Maybe he was being practical, but what if I'd listened? To date it's cost me about another $1000 and I have a healthy dog. That is why I will change my requirements before I purchase another puppy.
I know this isn't why you put this post out here, but I do understand how you feel. Before you cost yourself more money, and put yourself through more pain take some time and think it through. Before you operate, get more then one surgical opinion and see a rehab specialist in conjunction with your surgical consult if possible.
Do a K9Data page for your pup. It will document it in the line so others can see that there may be a problem. Puppies that come from OFA cleared parents can still have problems. I wish it was a guarantee, but the more vets you go to the more you will realize it's just a tool to help us reduce the problems. Trust me I will never buy a puppy without every clearance being there. I value them more now then I ever did before, and I thought they were extremely important before. The only solace I got out of the situation with the breeder is that they didn't do a repeat breeding. They bred the same male to a different female. I still would have never done that, but at least I made them think about it.
I wish you and your puppy all the best.