I had a puppy in a litter of nine, diagnosed with a heart murmur two weeks ago. We have shown for years and this is our third litter and we have never had a health issue. Parents have extensive genetic testing, and have no sign of any health issue. I would not even purchase from a carrier, all dogs in their line are normal. Needless to say, I cried for days. We took him to a heart specialist who diagnosed PDA and said he needed an ultrasound and surgery at a price of $3000-$4000. We didn't stop there, we took him to Colorado State University's Veterinary Hospital and met with one of the top canine cardiac specialists in the nation. He said the pup did not have PDA-Patent Ductus Arteriosus, but he had a very small (2mm) hole between his ventricles. This is called VSD. He said the pup did not need corrective surgery and has a 90-95% chance of leading a normal, healthy life.
The questions I would like your ethical responses to are:
1. The pups sell for $1900. Should I just give him away? 2. I took a deposit on him 6 weeks ago, as all the pups were presold. They want their deposit returned AND want the pup for free. I have $600 in medical expenses to diagnose his problem and he most likely will live a healthy life. What would you recommend? 3. I cannot justify asking much, as there is a known defect, although my contract does state that I will replace the puppy, if a genetic defect arises. I would love to get my $600 back and find a loving home for him.
He may live a full life and I want the best for him. I am a very responsible breeder and would even cover a follow-up ultrasound when he reaches adult age. Please give me your input. Thanks so much.
***Edited By: pwdlover on 1/7/2010 12:46:23 AM*** Reason: Need advice on ethical sale of pup
Thanks, I am considering keeping him, but have three dogs. As much as I love him, I would need to neuter him and cannot show him. My male is now marking my house with the male pup in the home, so there is much to consider. I will most likely keep him until his next ultrasound to see how he is doing and if the hole closed or not.
I agree with oxfordbostons. They want their money back and still want the pup? do they understand how much this puppy COULD cost, you need to look whats best for this pup which might make it hard to find him a good home because he could end up costing a new owner a ton of money in vet bills later down the line. itd be best to keep him yourself but if you cant, give him to someone who you know can afford him financially down the line if need be and that will love him no matter what. i dont believe in selling a sick puppy (when you breed, i think thats a risk you take that something bad can go wrong with mom or pups that you need to spend money on...breeding isnt supposed to be for a profit)but giving a free puppy to people sometimes is a horrible idea (if you cant afford to buy one, you cant afford to take care of it has always been my thinking) regardless, i hope you can get him the best home!! good luck
I agree with the others as well...refund the deposit. Keep the puppy.
We taek risks as breeders and more often than not do not break even or come out ahead in the long run. If you feel the pup can indeed live a fulfilled life, than give him away under a 'as is' type deal.
If it is believed he may rack up medical bills, or not live a decent number of years, then keep him, neuter him...whatever it is that is needed. I believe if I bred it, I am responsible for it.
Personally I would try to sell the puppy to a perfect home for small fee. As long as someone knows what is wrong, it is there choice. I see no reason to give them away unless you feel this dog will die soon, and then hand on to him.
I had purchased a breeding dog, at 2yrs old when I did her OFA's my vet noticed her heart looked enlarged. I took her to a Cardiologist. $700 later we found she had faulty heart valves. She was otherwise healthy and happy, and her body compensated well for it. I sold her to a pet home for $300. She is doing wonderful, and they love her to death. As a breeder, I felt she should have a pet home with someone to love her 24/7. The right home came along and although I was and still am (1year later) sad to see her go, she is better off, and spoiled completly rotten lol.
My point is the choice is yours, but I wouldn't give the pup away. A medical contract should be drawn up so no one can say anything later. Make sure people know what can happen, and go from there. The right home does come along.
I would refund the deposit and keep the pup for a while to monitor the situation to see if it gets worse or stays the same. Then at that time decide his future how ever long the prognosis may be. If his prognosis remains good, you may be able to recoup some of the vet bills but if it gets worse, then probably just have to eat it. I worked with a pup for a year on a problem that started out small but turned out to be a very long drawn out ordeal and eventually had to have him put to sleep. The issue was rather small in the beginning but gradually got worse and glad I held on to him and not put him in a home.
Thanks everyone and I really appreciate your honest advice, and positive input. I have refunded their money and will keep him until his next specialist checkup. The heart surgeon said 2 mm is very small and it won't enlarge. The only worry at this point is an enlarged heart or pulmonary hypertension way down the road b/c of pressure. He said that to check him as an adult, as the heart may grow over the current opening, so we will hang on to him and see if the problem corrects itself. It is not best to hang on to him permanently though (if it doesn't correct itself), as we live at 7200 feet elevation, which would not be healthy for his heart and lungs if the opening were not to close. I know that time will tell. For now, he is a rambunctious bundle of joy that is so affectionate and fun that I feel this has been a blessing---in some weird sort of way.