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Sumilidon
4th November 2008, 09:14 AM
Hello everyone.

A couple of weeks ago I acted a ittle on impulse, and bought a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel....from a puppy farm.

My bad, never did my research and I am suffering for it now, because at 10 weeks he was diagnosed with a heart defect (despite aparantly being Vet checked and Vets 4 Pets claiming the same). In 2 weeks time he is having a full check over with xrays etc to diagnose it - but I was a little worried about him being alone and decided to get him a friend.

I therefore bought an 8 week Cavalier bitch yesterday - after much research - and got a cracking little puppy from a very trustworthy breeder.

I am just wondering as to some advice however as Charlie is playing a little...dominantly.

Not biting enough to yelp, and his tail is wagging, he seems determined to pin her down while he is on top. At first I thought he may be trying to hump her - but he never tried (I also heard they don't get that urge for a while yet)

Unfortunately she (who we are deciing a name for tonight) doesn't seem too keen. I suspect this is due to unfamiliar surroundings and a puppy about a 1/3rd bigger than her getting jumpy, but I just want to make sure. No matter what I tried, Charlie refused to stop (shouted, pushed away, picked up and moved)

I am therefore asking what you think I should do? Charlie is struggling to be housebroken so I am thinking of crate training him during this time to allow the new puppy time to get used to the house, and used to Charlie from the safety of the other side of the bars - but is this play normal?

Karlin
4th November 2008, 11:02 AM
Welcome! :)

I am so sorry to hear of your puppy's diagnosis.

I will start by asking that you please, immediately order Dr Ian Dunbar's Before and After you get your Puppy. You need a puppy manual that will give immediate and proper advice so that you know what is normal to expect with a puppy, An 8 week old puppy is never showing 'dominance' and indeed, please just forget this term entirely as it has long been discredited. You are seeing absolutely normal puppy play :) and there is never any need to be shouting and at such a young, especially not a seriously ill puppy, please. :thmbsup: There is also no need to intervene in these play fights. It is actually very important that they be generally ALLOWED to play roughly as that is how puppies learn to restrain their bite. They need you not to intervene or you can end up with an adult dog that bites without warning and doesn't know how to restrain its bite. You also need to know how to handle puppy biting etc so a manual should be your very top priority. If she is truly being attacked by Charlie -- which could be possible as puppy farm dogs are often very badly socialised -- then I would probably return the female pup as this isn't going to be a very good mix right now ==he would actually probably have been better with an adult anyway, not a smaller puppy, as an adult would be gentler and more patient and a more even companion for him. But most pups will sort things out together.

For those reasons, I would also perhaps reconsider having the second puppy though without talking to your vet. A friend may not be the best idea if this pup has a serious health problem. Did you discuss your situation with the second breeder? What was his/her advice? Were they aware you had a pup with a heart defect? Given that you will be caring for a dog with a debilitating illness, are you aware of the massive additional amount of time you will need to put in with two puppies and the difficulty of housetraining two at the same time? You really need to start separating them daily, crating them separately, housetraining separately, training separately etc. having two at once is very hard work and you need to be sure you can manage those difficulties and not expect the puppies to be able to learn more quickly or do what you would like-- especially with housetraining -- faster than they can learn and especially when two pups tend to mean the whole process will take about twice as long, depending on how much daily constant watching you can put in. I am deeply sorry you are facing a health battle ahead-- what has your vet said about this pup's possible future? But it is important not to take on more than the ill pup can cope with or that you yourself can cope with. :flwr: I'd very strongly advise taking the time to consult fully with your vet and probably a cardiologist as you really will need specialist advice for a heart problem at this age unless it is a simple flow murmur -- which may right itself.

PS also keep in mind that you are really going to have to be careful with two of the opposite sex -- they will mature at roughly the same time -- and can mature earlier than you expect -- and you will REALLY need to keep them totally separated from about 5 months old, and neuter early. Please talk to your vet for advice on this, too. I really would not have advised getting a female of this age simply because you absolutely must not risk her ever getting in pup from a dog that could give the defect to every puppy in a litter -- did the breeder discuss? This will be an extra burden of supervision and management for you til he is neutered -- but unfortunately he may not be possible to neuter because of his defect as surgery can be too high a risk for a heart defect dog. This is a serious consideration for you and you truly need to think now about whether you can keep them totally separate for the two months or so you will have to wait to spay her after he is of age to reproduce (by 5-6 months). Females often show little on their first heat so you cannot rely simply on watching for this, you will ned to separate them. Females can go into heat as early as 5 months, sometimes even a bit earlier so they will really have to be kept apart to be safe and not risk an accidental litter.

Sumilidon
4th November 2008, 11:43 AM
I didn't want to but Charlie will be getting the snip at the first opportunity. I understand the risk of breeding a dog with such a fault and I don't want my little pup breeding so early.

It is unfortunately not an innocent problem with his heart, but it's also one which is causing him no problems at present - and that I have been informed by the vet he may very well not have any problems until much later in his life - this however I get confirmed on the 18th of November when his tests are done.

As for training. The dogs are kept seperated at present, with set times for socialisation planned, and I plan to keep them seperated for a while yet until I am certain I can leave them together without incident. I understand the issues with training, and plan to train the dogs seperately (my partner is to help with this) and keep them quite individual for the first few months.

Play friends, not soul mates shall we say :)

As for the "attacking", I have no doubt he is playing - but just concerned that this is a little too much for the new pup while she is also getting used to her new surroundings and getting to know us.

When we went to buy Charlie he was playing with his brothers and sisters very innocently however, and don't think that socialisation is the problem. He is getting quite rowdy - chewing more - more energy - more running around - picking up anything he can etc. Today is the day he gets his first proper walk however, so perhaps a release of energy is what is needed

Upon discussing this with the breeder, she seemed a lot more disgusted by the puppy farms, but saw no problem with this situation. That said, she had the mother, grand parents, 2 cats, the father lived next door and children. She did emphasise that it would be harder to train, but was the one who reccommended they be kept apart a lot of the time to start with to ensure the bond with us, rather than with each other.

The vet said that as there was no symptoms, problems or anything apparant, that we should understand the extra training requirement but treat Charlie like any other dog. He also emphasised the initial distance between the dogs for training and bonding purposes.

I understand the difficulties having 2 pups, and I know i'm going to regret it long before I see any benefits of it - but (and this isn't very macho) it would break my heart if my little Charlie died alone.

Karlin
4th November 2008, 12:25 PM
Sounds like you are on top of things. :)

I'd get the Dunbar book which is one of the best manuals out there and will give lots of training and housetraining guidance.

If your female seems really overwhelmed just calmly pick Charlie up and put him in his crate for a while or-- also strongly recommended --get an xpen (puppy exercise pen) as this is very handy and I would call it a necessity with two pups! It means you can easily separate them and give a timeout and also put them somewhere safe if you run to do something or have kids around etc -- puppies need a time out from people too.

Sumilidon
4th November 2008, 12:32 PM
Thanks Karlin - just ordered the book now :)

I do have another question however. When I picked up Charlie, I noticed an unfamilir bump on both sides of his body below the rib cage. He doesn't have any pain, it's flexible (feels definately attached to something) but I hadn't noticed it prior.

Feels like large ribs - but flexible

Has anyone else had a puppy where this has happened? He's still going to the vets and I'll ask them to check - but too many things have happened to this little fella

Karlin
4th November 2008, 01:44 PM
I think it is probably part of his ribcage if you feel it on both sides.

Sumilidon
4th November 2008, 02:09 PM
Thanks :)

I'll get some pics up in the pic forum a little later

Sumilidon
4th November 2008, 03:13 PM
Just to add as I checked, Charlie's murmur according to the cardiologist was a grade 3 to 4.

He definately rules out MVD, and mentioned a thinning or narrowing most likely.

Research suggests therefore it may be Aortic Stenosis and according to a little more research, this is "moderate" and is unlikely to develop any symptoms (but a small number are likely to become symptomatic). It is also unlikely to advance beyond his puppy years into a higher grade

Like an ill person with a medical book however, many a conclusion can be drawn. In a puppy I have no idea how much this changes.