What would you do? Help!
As you might already know I've got my name down on a puppy from a litter born on Wednesday; there were only 3 boys born in the litter. I emailled the breeder earlier today to ask how they were getting on and she has just told me that one of the poor little pups that had been picked out by another lady had died today. She just passed it off as one of those things and said the rest of the litter seemed fine, but should I be worried? Does this signal bad things for the rest of the litter? It's really worried me, I was so looking forward to getting this little boy but now I don't know what to do. Would you look elsewhere or is it really just one of those things, however sad?
I'm not sure what I would do in your situation, because I feel like I'm too far removed to formulate an opinion. If it were happening to me though, I would pay close attention to my 'gut feelings' about the situation.
Was it the runt? I've heard they often don't make it and it has nothing to do with how the rest of the litter will do... My Goldendoodle was the runt, at 6 weeks she was half the size of her littermates and the breeder said they hadn't expected her to make it... was the pup that died even a little smaller than the others?
I think I would ask the breeder if she knows why the puppy died. One of mine came from a litter of 5 but only 3 survived. One was born very undeveloped and not expected to live and another was rolled over on by mom and died. I don't think I'd automatically rule her out, but would want to know if she knows or has any ideas about what happened. For one to have died so quickly after birth wouldn't concern me quite as much as one that were several weeks old. Not a professional opinion by any means, just my personal opinion
Would this breeder conform with the suggested things to look for in a good breeder, pinned at the top of the Library section on buying a cavalier puppy? If not, then I wouldn't even consider a pup from this litter. If however she does, then you need to be asking more questions so that you feel there was a good reason for the puppy to have been lost. Then it becomes a gut decision on whether those answers satisfy you.
Personally, I would expect a breeder who lost a puppy to be a bit more upset, not business-like. No good breeder ever views the death of a puppy as anything but devastating.
But at the end of the day the determinant for a good breeder really has nothing to do with a single incident like this. The issue is what age does she breed her cavaliers (you might be a bit shocked at the age of first breeding for breeders who later seem to show that they follow the MVD protocol age of 2.5 years). Does she cardiologist (not vet) heart test? Does she have certs for parents and grandparents? Does she MRI and what grades were her dogs getting? Was sire MRId before she did this mating? Are hips and eyes done? In other words the whole health history.
Miles came from a litter of only 2 puppies, and the other puppy died soon after she was born...within a couple of weeks, I think. I remember that my breeder told me why she died, I know that she had been very sick from the start and she did not expect her to make it, but now I can't remember the exact reason she died. My breeder's attitude wasn't that these things "just happen", though....she seemed upset by it and I remeber she even planted a tree in the puppies' name (she had already named the puppy) on the 1 year annivesary of her death so she could be remembered.
I would find out why the puppy died and see if you're satisfied with the answer, but I would also be concerned if your breeder didn't think it was that big of a deal, or wasn't sad, that one of the puppies didn't make it.
Thanks for your replies, very helpful.
To be fair to the breeder she did say that although this does sometimes happen it is always sad. As far as I'm told she followed the proper breeding protocall (this is very important to me) but as I have not yet seen her in person I cannot say for sure she has the certificates, because I haven't seen them myself.
Some more bad news though I'm afraid. Another of the puppies died today. According to the vet it was due to respitatory problems and they just couldn't make it. My gut feeling tells me to move on, so my puppy search begins again. Feeling very sad and disappointed at the moment but everything happens for a reason. I'll get my Cavvie one day! :)
Bandit came from a litter of 5. One male puppy was born with his guts on the outside of his stomach (sometimes this happes in people, too). The breeder was going to take him in to the vet and see if htere was something that could be done for him, and she had seperated him onto a warming pad away from the whelping box. When the breeder had her back turned, the bitch went and retrieved him and "cleaned him up" as if the innards were afterbirth. This puppy had to be put to sleep because he, obviously couldn't be saved. It was a terrible story and Bandit's breeder was clearly upset by it when she told us. She recently had a litter of 4 puppies in which only 1 survived. One was a tiny runt that lived about a week, the other two were born dead with severe malformations. She took them to University of GA Vet School for necropsies and learned that they had been dead for some time due to, they thought, an infection of some sort and had been decomposing. This one puppy that lived was robust and fine. I sought her advice for a friend of mine who recently had a little Chihuahua puppy runt that was failing to thrive. She said that she no longer goes to herculean lengths to save puppies because she has done that in the past only to suffer the heartbreak of having to put them to sleep or have them live a horrible quality of life. She has found that most of the time there is something incompatable with life in those puppies (such as heart, kidney or liver defect, or something like that) and that no amount of nurture and special care could overcome. If a vet can't find a treatable problem anda little supplemental feeding doesn't get them thru the crisis, she has learned that they are most likely not going to make it.
So...I wouldn't worry about the pup coming from a litter where a puppy died. Like Karlin said, make sure the breeder is following the reputable breeder protocols.
I agree with broytmo. If the pup died shortly after birth the most likely case was that it wasn't completely formed correctly.
All breeders I know personally, feel each and every loss. Not just because it is a pup they can't sell, but because of all the time they have invested in the breed and it feels like a set back.
If the breeder can't give a reason, I'd ask for my deposit back and look elsewhere IMHO.
:xfngr: though that everything is okay with the remaining pups and that they find perfect forever homes!!!