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View Full Version : Hope this is the right place but Bentleys Breeder is under investigation



3kids1cav
1st May 2012, 07:20 PM
I am sick over this, I just held him and cried when I found out. She has decived a lot of people it sounds like.. I am really scared for Bentley. I guess one of his fathers parents is from a puppy mill (his grandfather) an amish puppy mill in PA. I am waiting to hear what kinds of health problems others have with their dogs, so far I have only seen reports of ear infections often. Bentley so far has not had any.

All I can do is love him but I am so afraid I did tons of homework before choosing this breeder, she was so into breeding to better the breed. and she told me about the health clerances and mri's, I think these might have been fakes, according to what I am hearing. If they find out this is all true she will get in trouble but I just didn't need to hear this today. I am not telling my husband he will be so upset.

3kids1cav
1st May 2012, 07:26 PM
someone responded to the info saying how "oh well don't get a dog till you have a list of breeder and meet the dogs and see the place.. I DID all of that, all of us who bought cavs from her did. She even checked our vet for referrals, ect.. maybe she never did.. and just said she did. I should ask them.

Bellybob
1st May 2012, 07:51 PM
So Sorry for this news but you should remember we all do what we think is right at the time with the information we have. Please don't feel guilty, he loves you no matter what and thats all he will care about xx

Lani
1st May 2012, 08:13 PM
I know you are scared, but try not to worry too much and just enjoy Bentley.

My Sparky is from a puppy mill that was raided. I would never purchase a dog from a puppy mill, but he is a rescue from one. I purchased insurance for him when I got him, because as you know, no testing happens for parents of puppy mill dogs. That said, keep in mind all puppy mill dogs don't end up with horrible diseases and some dogs from good breeders do, despite the breeder's dedication to producing healthy puppies. Of course though we'd all prefer a good breeder who wants to better our breed rather than a miller who just wants to make money.

Again, I know you would have preferred to hear glowing reviews of Bentley's breeder, but apparently she deceived you & many others. It'll be okay. :)

BTW, my Sparky (knock on wood) is healthy. He's nearly 5, still heart clear, no SM. An ear infection once every couple years, but he has not been the health horror story I imagined in my head. ;)

Just love Bentely and try not to worry too much. :hug:

Sabby
1st May 2012, 08:35 PM
Lani is right. You thought you done the best research but there are always people out there that are good in deceiving people. Don’t start worrying about Bentlys health before anything is even wrong with him. You are aware of MVD & SM and their symptoms so at least you are not in the dark like so many other poor owners. Just get the best health cover for Bently you can afford at least if anything happens you know you can give him the best care money can buy.

sins
1st May 2012, 09:49 PM
I can understand your shock and anger.However,none of this is your fault.
You did everything right,and you bought a puppy with the best of intentions and he's loved and cherished.
The world is sadly so full of people who have no morals or scruples.
I agree with Sabby,get the best insurance policy you can..its good that there are no horror stories emerging from her premises.
Bentley may be absolutely fine,there are very many cavaliers who live long healthy lives,regardless of their origins.
Sins

3kids1cav
1st May 2012, 10:04 PM
I just feel so dumb, like how could I have been fooled. I had this bad feeling the past couple of days, it started when I was reading a study on SM.. (I am going to get Bentley a referal for a CT scan after his next vet apt) I do not think he has it but I constantly am freaking out every time he gets an itch. I read about it before getting a cav But once you have one and you are so attached to them, when you read a new study that you hadn't read before it bothers you a lot more than it did before you fell in love with this beautiful creature. So I was feeling bad about that, then I read this new info on the breeder and I just started to cry, Sweet Bentley just sat down on my lap and put his head on my chest and his paw on my arm as if to try to say "I'm ok mom, don't cry" Augh he is so sweet. I am going to just wait and see what the investigation shows, and I am going to have words for the breeder (not that it really will do anything) if it is the worst case.

Karlin
1st May 2012, 10:27 PM
The problem isn't that you were fooled, because any of us can be -- it is hard to know what to ask about and what to see, even for longtime cavalier owners --but that a breeder could possibly be this deceptive and cruel. You were the victim, and not at fault.

I also have a mix of rescue/puppy far cavaliers and show breeder cavaliers. A puppy farm cavalier is generally a higher risk dog healthwise because it is unlikely a breeder ever did any testing and they tend to get a poor start in life. But the most prominent show breeder, with a line of champion dogs, can have equally poor breeding practice (and some of them forge MRI and heart scans too -- we have had a case here of a buyer encountering this :( ).

The difference is not so much between puppy farm or BYB dogs and show breeder dogs, but of properly testing, protocol-using breeders and those who do not. The risk factor is pretty much equal between show breeders and puppy farmers if they don't use health testing and protocols. My most affected SM dog was from a (non testing) show breeder, though I also have a pound rescue cavalier and puppy farm ex-breeder cavalier with milder SM. I have had two show breeder dogs with heart murmurs by age 6 and 7, and a heart-clear show breeder dog going on 9 and two rescue dogs heart clear at 6 and 7.

I'd save all correspondence with this breeder (paper or email) and also, sit down and write down any statements she made that could have been untrue, and the format of the discussion (eg, phone) and the date or week f you can recall.

On a separate note, a CT scan is useless for diagnosing SM -- only an MRI will show syrinxes, and these are very costly (generally well over $1000 in the US for scan and interpretation, more again for treatment and care). I would not recommend getting an MRI unless you are advised to, on the basis of symptoms, by a neurologist. By age 5 or so, about half of all cavaliers will show a syrinx on MRI so the issue is really whether you have a reason to scan -- telltale symptoms on clinical exam by a neurologist, generally. Or in other words -- I would scan for diagnosis to treat a symptomatic cavalier but would not advise scanning just to scan, especially a young dog as younger dogs are far less likely to show a syrinx and this is a progressive disease. As I advised elsewhere, I would wait and see if you see enough to warrant a referral to a neurologist after a vet has checked for likely alternative causes for any potential SM symptoms. :flwr:

3kids1cav
1st May 2012, 10:46 PM
The problem isn't that you were fooled, because any of us can be -- it is hard to know what to ask about and what to see, even for longtime cavalier owners --but that a breeder could possibly be this deceptive and cruel. You were the victim, and not at fault.

I also have a mix of rescue/puppy far cavaliers and show breeder cavaliers. A puppy farm cavalier is generally a higher risk dog healthwise because it is unlikely a breeder ever did any testing and they tend to get a poor start in life. But the most prominent show breeder, with a line of champion dogs, can have equally poor breeding practice (and some of them forge MRI and heart scans too -- we have had a case here of a buyer encountering this :( ).

The difference is not so much between puppy farm or BYB dogs and show breeder dogs, but of properly testing, protocol-using breeders and those who do not. The risk factor is pretty much equal between show breeders and puppy farmers if they don't use health testing and protocols. My most affected SM dog was from a (non testing) show breeder, though I also have a pound rescue cavalier and puppy farm ex-breeder cavalier with milder SM. I have had two show breeder dogs with heart murmurs by age 6 and 7, and a heart-clear show breeder dog going on 9 and two rescue dogs heart clear at 6 and 7.

I'd save all correspondence with this breeder (paper or email) and also, sit down and write down any statements she made that could have been untrue, and the format of the discussion (eg, phone) and the date or week f you can recall.

On a separate note, a CT scan is useless for diagnosing SM -- only an MRI will show syrinxes, and these are very costly (generally well over $1000 in the US for scan and interpretation, more again for treatment and care). I would not recommend getting an MRI unless you are advised to, on the basis of symptoms, by a neurologist. By age 5 or so, about half of all cavaliers will show a syrinx on MRI so the issue is really whether you have a reason to scan -- telltale symptoms on clinical exam by a neurologist, generally. Or in other words -- I would scan for diagnosis to treat a symptomatic cavalier but would not advise scanning just to scan, especially a young dog as younger dogs are far less likely to show a syrinx and this is a progressive disease. As I advised elsewhere, I would wait and see if you see enough to warrant a referral to a neurologist after a vet has checked for likely alternative causes for any potential SM symptoms. :flwr:

thank you! I really really appreciate this response. I have pet insurance for Bentley but I would hate to needlessly spend the 1000 on an mri and barely get refunded (they hardly refund us at all) I am going to look into different insurances We have VPI for Bentley, in the usa.. one of the higher up the ladder ones. I was told to have it for the first year, but I am going to keep it now for sure!

3kids1cav
1st May 2012, 10:50 PM
he's loved and cherished.

Sins

This! No matter where Bentley came from or what health issues that may come up when ever they do, I wouldn't trade him for anything, He has brought so much happiness to not just me but the whole family. We all just adore him and he is the type of pup that appreciates everything you do, he will thank me after our walk with kisses he is just so sweet. He is surely loved and cherished!

Margaret C
1st May 2012, 11:15 PM
Such a shock for you when you had tried so hard to do the right thing, I can imagine how angry and concerned you are.

You are obviously such a responsible owner. Bentley is a lucky dog to be so loved.

I am afraid that some breeders would put a dodgy second hand car salesman to shame.

I do hope that if any legal action is taken the puppy buyers that have been lied to and duped will give evidence against her.

I'm afraid there are dishonest breeders like that all over the world. All it needs is one or two angry and determined owners to take them to court and a powerful message could be sent to those that say one thing and do another.

Glitzymeesh
1st May 2012, 11:43 PM
Hello, I'm new here and will write a little bit about myself later. Not quite sure yet my way round this site.

Nothing in life is guaranteed to be perfect. You can do everything right, help the community, buy ethical goods, etc, etc and bad things can still happen to you.
When my daughter was born 20 years ago with Downs syndrome, I thought why me? I did everything right in my pregnancy, kept smokers away from me, ate all the right foods, etc, etc. I was so angry with the doctors for not doing the right tests, etc. I even started to sue them.
It took about six months to realise why me.... why, because I investigated what was available for her, but decided to do lots of alternative things as well. Those therapies I did with my daughter made her defy all the odds. She went to mainstream schools, speaks 2 languages and is currently learning a 3rd. And has a full time job which she travels to on the tube everyday.

I'm here because I think my two year old cavalier has SM, despite buying her from a top breeder in the UK.....
I'm not angry with her, because I don't think she did it deliberately. I know life is a lottery, and I think all of us are lucky to have dogs that fell to the right, caring owners who will do their best to help them. And to progress research with this disease.

I know why me.

anniemac
1st May 2012, 11:46 PM
thank you! I really really appreciate this response. I have pet insurance for Bentley but I would hate to needlessly spend the 1000 on an mri and barely get refunded (they hardly refund us at all) I am going to look into different insurances We have VPI for Bentley, in the usa.. one of the higher up the ladder ones. I was told to have it for the first year, but I am going to keep it now for sure!

I don't want to upset you anymore but on the health insurance I have to mention VPI does not cover heriditary conditions ie would not cover MRI for SM.

I debated saying something, but I feel any cavalier owner (from any breeder or rescue) should get pet insurance from one that does cover heridatary conditions. Just something to think about.

I know you are upset but know that Bentley came to you no matter how and you are not at fault. A lot of people gave good advice and I hope you will find comfort.

Sydneys Mom
2nd May 2012, 12:15 AM
I have to agree with Anne with the insurance, but want to add that if you decide to change insurance plans, do not mention testing to your vet until the insurance kicks in. If the vet writes anything in Bentley's chart about SM or other inheritated diseases, the insurance company could deem it as pre existing and not cover the costs.

3kids1cav
2nd May 2012, 01:54 AM
And he was walking along like two hrs ago, and the back leg started air scratching! I knee jerk shock reaction cried out, "Bentley what are you doing?!" and he stopped and looked at me. My husband said we are going to switch insurance next week for him and then call the vet when it kicks in and talk to him about it.. I also did not realize furniture digging was a symptom, he does that but I thought he was just looking for cushion crumbs. Trying not to freak, I would rather know if he is having a problem with this.
Does anyone know if Embrace covers SM? I think I need to find an insurance that will in case this was not just him being itchy and not being able to reach and it was sm.

Sydneys Mom
2nd May 2012, 02:35 AM
First, take a breath then go give Bentley a hug.

Many dogs will furniture dig. It is normal dog behavior. Other behaviors like face rubbing in the carpet or on the sides of furniture is also normal.. There are many things dogs do that is just normal. But you are right, it could also be symptoms of SM. I know you're worried and scared, but for right now, I wouldn't read too much into these behaviors. Just take it one step at a time. Write down symptoms and when and what time you see them. If something is really distressing, take a video of it. Save all the information and bring it to your vet when time comes.

I don't know about Embrace insurance, but here is a recent thread about insurance. You may find it helpful.

http://www.cavaliertalk.com/forums/showthread.php?41424-Pet-Insurance-in-the-U-S&highlight=insurance

3kids1cav
2nd May 2012, 03:07 AM
I am just going to try to relax, I am going to try to make sure we have all our eggs in a row just in case. getting the right insurance. Having a talk with the vet after, ect. I did tell Keith about the breeder and he reacted fine, he is upset though I can tell about the worry of SM, he has never had luck with dogs, his Lab growing up died at 5 from kidney desease, he was so attached he refused to get attached to another dog, till now, and now he is attached to Bentley and he said "if he has something I just will never do this dog thing again" I told him we would, maybe a different breed next time, one with a big long 17 year life span an nothing too prone to anything devastating. I told him chances are Bentley is fine, and just being a puppy, and that we need to just love him and enjoy him and be glad for every day with him. weather it be 2 years or 18 years.

Margaret C
2nd May 2012, 04:16 PM
Hello and welcome.

I am really pleased your daughter is so successful and it is obviously due to her hard work and your love and determination, but as far as I know there is little that can be done to prevent the chance of a child being born with Down's Syndrome, while there are recommendations in place to give cavalier puppies a better chance of not developing early onset Syringomyelia.


I'm here because I think my two year old cavalier has SM, despite buying her from a top breeder in the UK.....
I'm not angry with her, because I don't think she did it deliberately. .


I would accept that no breeder is going to deliberately breed a dog with SM, why would they do something that was so cruel and stupid?

My question would be was this top breeder using the health guidelines that are part of the Cavalier Club's Code of Good Practice to do her best to avoid the puppies developing SM so young?

If either of your cavalier's parents were under two and a half years old and/or not MRI scanned, or heart tested clear of SM and heart murmur after that age, then she deliberately took a chance on the health of your puppy.

If I discovered that someone had lied to me or had produced false certificates then I would be very angry indeed, especially for the dogs that actually live with the pain.

3kids1cav
2nd May 2012, 05:04 PM
She told me she used the ckcs code for breeding. that was one of my first questions. His parents were 3 (dad) and almost 3. (mom) so on the younger side. she said they were heart tested and clear, mri'd and hip cleared and showed me certificates. The claim is that these certificates might be fakes. This looks as though it might be an angry person (the whole thing started over a woman mad because the breeder would not cover giardia treatment, she went digging and started coming up with dirt.) Either way yea he probably is at risk. It makes me really upset. But I am trying not to dwell on it, get the insurance squared away, then if I start to see lots of signs, call the vet and get the ball rolling.

Karlin
2nd May 2012, 05:15 PM
First, take a breath then go give Bentley a hug.

Many dogs will furniture dig. It is normal dog behavior. Other behaviors like face rubbing in the carpet or on the sides of furniture is also normal.. There are many things dogs do that is just normal. But you are right, it could also be symptoms of SM. I know you're worried and scared, but for right now, I wouldn't read too much into these behaviors. Just take it one step at a time. Write down symptoms and when and what time you see them. If something is really distressing, take a video of it. Save all the information and bring it to your vet when time comes.


Agree on this. And on www.smcavaliers.com I have many videos of SM dogs with a range of symptoms to different degrees. Lead-scratching is quite particular in the way it looks -- and SM scratching as you can see in my Leo's video tends to be intense and it is hard to distract the dog from scratching. Several of my cavaliers face rub including the two that do/did not have SM and only very mild CM.

You'd really want to see a few suspicious, maintained behaviours over time where a vet can find no other reason/they recur without any clear reason. I'd always however keep a question in my mind of vets come back saying disk disease or allergies -- these can have very similar symptoms but I know way too many diagnoses where the true problem was untreated SM. Vets do not have the professional ability (speciality qualifications, skills and experience) to differentiate between those conditions and CM/SM which means they can be positive a symptom is something it is not, and the dog experiences inadequately treated pain/discomfort often for a very, very long time. :( For recurrent "disk" or "allergy" symptoms in this breed, I'd eventually ask for a neurologist referral.

There's also growing proof that many dogs have significant symptoms from CM alone which can be dismissed by some neurologists less familiar with SM (and many radiologists/neurologists are poor to mediocre at even reading MRIs for CM).

Neurologist Geoff Skerritt actually advises that NO dogs with even mild CM be bred, though clearly this advice is ignored by the many breeders who have him do their scans in the UK, as almost all dogs scan with some degree of CM. I understand not a single cavalier has scanned free of CM on the BVA/KC scanning programme, demonstrating what a challenge this problem is in the breed. It also has to raise serious douvbts about the readings from a couple of US neurologists who have claimed to find several CM-clear cavaliers, which their breeders then broadcast (despite being told how unlikely this would be, and not going for a second opinion reading :rolleyes:... caveat emptor to puppy buyers on any breeder making such claims!). Realistically, breeders have to work with dogs with some degree of CM and focus instead on syrinxes, and scan their older dogs, as the ones clear of syrinxes still after 5-6 seem (according to researchers) to have a protective gene(s) that prevents them getting SM or at least, significant SM.

In looking for a breeder, I'd be asking for whether they scan their older dogs, and the results... that to me is more valuable information almost than a given dog's scan, if it is available (unfortunately it rarely is). Rupert's Fund is of course trying to make this scanning option available for free to as many breeders as possible so they have this information for their breeding programme.

3kids1cav
2nd May 2012, 06:25 PM
Agree on this. And on www.smcavaliers.com (http://www.smcavaliers.com) I have many videos of SM dogs with a range of symptoms to different degrees. Lead-scratching is quite particular in the way it looks -- and SM scratching as you can see in my Leo's video tends to be intense and it is hard to distract the dog from scratching. Several of my cavaliers face rub including the two that do/did not have SM and only very mild CM.

You'd really want to see a few suspicious, maintained behaviours over time where a vet can find no other reason/they recur without any clear reason. I'd always however keep a question in my mind of vets come back saying disk disease or allergies -- these can have very similar symptoms but I know way too many diagnoses where the true problem was untreated SM. Vets do not have the professional ability (speciality qualifications, skills and experience) to differentiate between those conditions and CM/SM which means they can be positive a symptom is something it is not, and the dog experiences inadequately treated pain/discomfort often for a very, very long time. :( For recurrent "disk" or "allergy" symptoms in this breed, I'd eventually ask for a neurologist referral.

There's also growing proof that many dogs have significant symptoms from CM alone which can be dismissed by some neurologists less familiar with SM (and many radiologists/neurologists are poor to mediocre at even reading MRIs for CM).

Neurologist Geoff Skerritt actually advises that NO dogs with even mild CM be bred, though clearly this advice is ignored by the many breeders who have him do their scans in the UK, as almost all dogs scan with some degree of CM. I understand not a single cavalier has scanned free of CM on the BVA/KC scanning programme, demonstrating what a challenge this problem is in the breed. It also has to raise serious douvbts about the readings from a couple of US neurologists who have claimed to find several CM-clear cavaliers, which their breeders then broadcast (despite being told how unlikely this would be, and not going for a second opinion reading :rolleyes:... caveat emptor to puppy buyers on any breeder making such claims!). Realistically, breeders have to work with dogs with some degree of CM and focus instead on syrinxes, and scan their older dogs, as the ones clear of syrinxes still after 5-6 seem (according to researchers) to have a protective gene(s) that prevents them getting SM or at least, significant SM.

In looking for a breeder, I'd be asking for whether they scan their older dogs, and the results... that to me is more valuable information almost than a given dog's scan, if it is available (unfortunately it rarely is). Rupert's Fund is of course trying to make this scanning option available for free to as many breeders as possible so they have this information for their breeding programme.
If I ever get another cav I am going to ask the meet up group in fairfield for references too, there is a teacher at the school I want to ask also as she has a tri cav too. I am going to then research every breeder I have been referred to. Then interview them and ask for proof of the mri and the heart testing, then call the vet who did them.. I am just going to be over the top about it because in the end I will know I did everything to get a healthy cav. No guarantees but a better chance.

Emkaybee
2nd May 2012, 07:27 PM
Try not to beat yourself up too much about this. One: it's not sure yet that the breeder was fraudulent. Two: if she was, then you were fooled but that doesn't mean Bentley will get ill.

As much as I dislike lawsuits, I would recommend you collect all paperwork you have regarding Bentleys purchase and write down the dates of your conversations and recollections of what you asked and her answers. If you find out that she was deceptive, you could possible take her to court for some reimbursement.

In the States, I believe Trupanion covers genetic diseases. Good luck! I wish Bentley a long and healthy life. He's certainly well loved! :-)

BrooklynMom
3rd May 2012, 01:17 PM
I am so sorry. Others gave better advice than I could, but I just wanted to say...it's not your fault. You did what you thought you should, asked the questions that should be asked. You were studied, you did well. We, as humans, cannot be held responsible for others actions (does not mean it does not hurt though). She will pay her dues, if needed, in this life or the next...right now what matters is you pup. And loving the way that makes you happy. No matter what happens, this is your pup now and judging from how much work you put into pre-puppy, you will be an amazing adult dog owner. No matter what.
Worst case is something like SM, but, SM can even happen (though on a reduced and better chance rate) with proper MRI breeding. And I say "can" NOT because it will, but MRI gives you the most responsible, best chance. But then...life takes over.

No matter what, SM is incredibly distressing, but not a death sentence. This dog is lucky to have you and "past" has run it's course. Get angry, get upset, save files, save correspondence, analyze. And then hug the crap out of your dog and know it is here for a reason, in your life for a reason, here to teach you, here to teach us...and keep moving forward. Forward.
Hugs to you...big ones. xx

3kids1cav
3rd May 2012, 01:33 PM
Try not to beat yourself up too much about this. One: it's not sure yet that the breeder was fraudulent. Two: if she was, then you were fooled but that doesn't mean Bentley will get ill.

As much as I dislike lawsuits, I would recommend you collect all paperwork you have regarding Bentleys purchase and write down the dates of your conversations and recollections of what you asked and her answers. If you find out that she was deceptive, you could possible take her to court for some reimbursement.

In the States, I believe Trupanion covers genetic diseases. Good luck! I wish Bentley a long and healthy life. He's certainly well loved! :-)
I was having some suspicions, as There seems to keep being a hold up with his papers. first they were held pending for a while, then she said she got them and the birthday was wrong, now it has been 3 weeks since that with no reply. she never even registered him like she told me she did when he was born, she said she decided to wait till after he was neutered.
I have a contract saying I will get papers transfered to me from AKC when I show proof of neuter. I sent her proof of neuter about 3 months ago now. he was neutered in Feb, it is May now. I was telling an old room mate of mine what is going on (she works part time at a shih tzu rescue) anyways her sister is a lawyer, she immediatly said "talk to my sister, if you don't get papers, that is a law suite!" I have a contract signed about it. hmm She said then if he is sick, you take any money and put it towards his care. I do not want to think about that.. hopefully it won't come to that. I personally am not the type to go into a law suite. I never considered doing anything like that.

3kids1cav
3rd May 2012, 01:43 PM
what I did do that helped me last night was instead of watching a zillion videos of Cavs with SM and comparing the behavior (so that every little itch or shake freaks me out) I watched cavs in general on you tube, I watched undiagnosed with sm cavs just being cavs, and I noticed that they will give a shake now and then also, they will lick their lips here and there when they need water, they dig to make their beds up too. they get itchy too. They are not diagnosed with sm. It helped me relax and realize that he is fine for now.
Every now and them Bentley will do that stuff too. (heck he can't lie down till the cushion is all fluffed) but he will stop when asked, it is nothing out of control. It is normal puppy stuff at this point.