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Thread: Umbilical Hernia

  1. #1
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    Default Umbilical Hernia

    Hi,

    Newbie to the forum, seeking some advice & comment.

    Having decided on our 1st CKCS, a black and tan bitch, for companion with option to breed/show, we searched (and searched!) avoiding farms looking for a good line. Finding one that was just born, we put down a deposit. The breeder knew what we wanted and has informed us how she is doing via email. Making the long journey to the breeder to see our girl at just under five weeks, we were informed she had an umbilical hernia.

    This has put us in a position of real dilemma. Whilst I understand no one can make the decision for us, I wonder if others agree it was wrong of the breeder not to advise previous to our visit. Securing her and waiting, having pictures and informed how well she was doing, she feels like ours and has made this a really tough call. The breeder knew of the hernia and did not tell us until we had the little one in our arms. It would still be a difficult situation knowing earlier, but an easier decision none the less.

    In addition to the concerns that the breeder kept this from us, she has said she will have it 'corrected' with an operation at six weeks. Our reading tells us this is not perhaps necessary, unless more serious than we have been led to believe. Further more, although not an issue, more a point of principle, the breeder made no mention of reduction in the high price.

    So there we are, we have our heads and hearts in turmoil. Would other breeders act in this way? Is it normal? To us it seems very unfair and not something we would do.

    Here's hoping some comment will come that will help.

    Russ and Claire.

  2. #2
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    Hi,

    When i fell in love with Harry (my cav) i also had to decide what to do as he also had a health problem, he has an overshot jaw.
    we decided that as long as he was otherwise healthy (heart/eyes/hips) we would still have him,
    Harry is now 1 and a half and is very healthy and his jaw does not affect him in any way.
    even though his breeder informed us right at the start of his problem i still paid full price for him which i didn't mind and he has brought so much joy to us.

    good luck in your decision

  3. #3
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    I'll start out by assuming you are working with a reputable breeder. I say this because she is taking care of the hernia, no questions asked.

    Umbilical hernias are quite common in this breed. Many times they go away on their own, but once in a very great while, they have to be fixed. I suspect your breeder may not have mentioned it because they are so common, it just may not have occurred to her to mention it til you were there in person. I can only think of a couple hernias we have had to get fixed. The biggest problem we have is when a vet tries to convince one of our puppy people that all umbilical hernias have toi be fixed, regardless of size; not often this happens, but once in a while. After we look at it, if we disagree, we suggest a second opinion.

    Having said all that, I also assume your breeder is experienced. The only reason I say that is we have never had a hernia that needed to be fixed that early. But I really don't want to second guess another breeder without seeing the hernia. Perhaps she is just doing it while she can keep a close eye on the puppy to be sure all is all right. Perhaps her vet is someone she has worked with for years and she knows is a good vet that she can trust.

    You should also know that fixing an umbilical hernia is a very easy procedure with very minimal risk. It should not affect showing your puppy. So, would I have mentioned the hernia immediately? Tough question, just not sure it would occur to us because it is so common. We will always point out a hernia when people come to see their puppy for the first time because they just want to know what it is. I have to say, though, that we would NEVER offer a puppy to someone if we thought it had a potential problem without a LOT of disscussion up front.
    Bruce
    MysticKnight Cavaliers

  4. #4
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    Thanks both,

    My reading has found out lots about the hernias, they do seem quite common Bruce. The puppy has not seen a vet but the breeder was certain what it was and that an operation would be needed. I think she has experience, perhaps too much in this area? 6 weeks does seem young to have it done, especially as reading says it is generally unnecessary.

    It's so tough as we are feeling very selfish as it's not the puppies fault that she would not be able to breed or show.

    It just all adds to things that we are upset that the breeder wasn't upfront, leading us to look at things more closely.

    Russ and Claire.

  5. #5
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    Maybe I misunderstood or you misunderstood. Generally, fixing an umbilical hernia would not stop a dog from showing. Has the breeder said something about not being able to show because of this hernia? You mentioned breeding; does your breeder know this is an option you are considering? Is she going to mentor you? If you have never bred dogs before, you should know there is a LOT to it. If you go toward the end of the list and look under "Caring for Your Cavalier", there is a lot of information about breeding the right way and for the right reasons.
    Bruce
    MysticKnight Cavaliers

  6. #6
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    Thanks Bruce,

    The breeder knew from the outset that we wanted the option to breed and indeed show. I know that currently in the UK it is under consideration to allow a small hernia op in showing, but not written in stone as yet. The whole area of umbilica hernia does seem an undecided one with opinion divided, yet my conclusion was one of pure inheritance.

    We would not enter into breeding lightly and are aware of the implications. We are asking ourself hard now if this is a true option and it is. Had we had a reply from the breeder that the puppy was unable to breed, then we would have persued no further. Whilst hernias may be common, we feel somewhat duped by the breeder as she knew our intentions and to leave it until we had the puppy in our arms, well. Personally I would never put someone in this position.

    Doubts have been raised now about the breeder and much as we do want to have faith. Things aren't ringing as true as they seemed.

    It's so difficult.

  7. #7
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    Don't take this the wrong way and I apologize in advance if it sounds harsh but...I would question the Breeder solely on the fact that she is willing to sell a Cavalier puppy without a spay/neuter clause to someone who doesn't have experience with this breed. There are so many health issues within this breed due to the small gene pool and it is a disservice to the breed to allow inexperienced people the option to breed their cavaliers.

    With that being said...Brodie had an umbilical hernia...very common as mentioned above. Not a huge deal...was fixed when he was neutered and I paid full price.

    Good Luck with your decision.
    Lynn
    Mom to Brodie (M Black and Tan) and Rescue Kitty Gonzolas

  8. #8
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    I agree with Lynn here. I personally have never met a decent breeder who is willing to sell a pup to anyone with no experience of the breed without either a spay / neuter clause or a clause reading that they are willing to mentor any breeding or have the bitch back to them for breeding.

    One thing I can't understand is why you seem to have this idea that you won't be able to show the dog ? The hernia may not need correction and even if it did then it would be corrected and you'd then be able to show.

    If you are planning on breeding, would you be prepared to pay for all the necessary health checks first (including scanning for SM)?

    I agree that you really DO need to read up on breeding Cavaliers and realise that it is NOT something which can be taken lightly.

    You say you feel let down by the breeder but surely, you wouldn't really know until the bitch is old enough, whether or she can be bred from anyway. She may get pyometria after a season or just not be able to conceive - would this be the breeders fault too?

    I picked Maxx when he was under a week old. When i got him at 13 weeks old he had an umbilical hernia and also an undescended testicle. I was unable to show him because of this but I love him just the same and he'll always be my little champ. I paid full price for him too .....

    I personally would question whether I still wanted to own a Cavalier if I was letting a small thing like an umbilical hernia get to me. If this is giving you so much upset then I would really wonder how you would cope if you ever encountered anything more severe or serious and also how you'd cope if you did manage to breed from her & there were problems?

  9. #9
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    Thank you Lynn,

    I do appreciate your comment although as said, breeding would not be entered into lightly should it be considered. Although 'inexperienced', that's how we all start out and I certainly would not persue a path I did not feel entirely comfortable with for myself or any other being.

    The internet is a great place for research, but all too often conflicting. If, and I say if, as posts here come to the conclusion that it is totally a heriditary issue and nothing to do with cord pulling, if, it is that common, there must be a lot of breeders continuing it in their lines.
    Of the litter of 3, all have the same condition.

    I'm sure that all will be well with her but I don't understand the need for an operation, especially so young, when it seems that a daily massage helps tremendously. I hope my vet will be able to help answer this tomorrow.

    The jury is still out but I have to be honest and say we are thinking it would be better to go elsewhere. We do have doubts in the breeder now as several things don't add up. Perhaps it is such a common condition that breeders don't mention it, but I cannot understand this when it means that a bitch could not have a litter.

    We should also be exthralled at the prospect of our new arrival, not days of debating what's best to do, swinging one way then the other. That alone isn't right.

    Why do we have a head and heart sometimes.

  10. #10
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    All I can say in reply is that if you are having doubts and things are not adding up then do not get this puppy.

    Sometimes our sixth sense kicks in and tries to warn us of impending problems - we should all use out intuition and not ignore it...

    The are PLENTY of good breeders out there, who carry out all health testing. I personally wouldn't buy a puppy from anyone who didn't scan for SM in their breeding stock as well as having all other required health tests performed by specialists.

    Breeding properly is an extremely expensive business and if someone is doing it to make money then they're obviously not doing it properly!!!!

    You don't say where you are in the World but i'm sure we could help you find a good breeder who does have all the health checks on their dogs and bitches and hold clear certification for them

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