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Thread: What would you do? (sorry, long post)

  1. #1
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    Default What would you do? (sorry, long post)

    I bought my puppy Bailey back in June of this year, unfortunately i had no found this site at that point, but i read books etc before hand and as my parents had owned a cav i knew it was the right dog for me.

    I went to look at a number of litters, and eventually found a breeder who seemed to be caring towards her animals. She was licenced by the council and *told* me that the parents were heart and eye clear (i realise now i should have asked for proof of this). I got Bailey at 9 weeks and bought her home with me. She had a slight sniffle so i was given antibiotics by the breeder (said she had been given them by the vet) she gave me a '10 day money back guarantee, so that Bailey could finish tablets and be vet checked by my own vet).

    Bailey's sniffles came also with a cough i discovered when i got her home, but within 3 or so days, Bailey appeared fighting fit. I took her to my vets 5 days after getting her and they said the lungs were clear, no heart mumur etc and gave her the ok. I emailed the breeder and explained the antibiotics had worked and she was given ok by vets.

    Whilst at the vets, Bailey was weighed - at 9 and a half weeks she weighed 1.65kg - the vet said she was very small for her age, but she was eating and drinking fine. For the next few weeks, there were no issues, she had runny poo but i thought that may be just the change over in food (graduual though). I woke up one morning to very runny pooh with blood in it, i wrapped up my baby and went straight to the vets.

    They weren't sure at first so antibiotics were given, oral rehydration fluids and probiotic paste. The blood within the poo stopped within a day, but poor Bailey's tummy still wasn't right. This was eventually diagnosed after a stool sample as coccidiosis and was medicated for this. Again i contacted the breeder, as the vet said that the litter-mates owners should be told. The breeder basically said it was not from her kennels, and she was 'at a stump' as to why Bailey was ill.

    Bailey was really run down by this point and her old cough started again, she was really poorly with her cough and again i was back to the vets (i must have been there at least weekly since i bought her by this point!) They gave her new antibiotics and kept telling me they thought it was kennel cough. However many times i told them my westie was fine and had no symptoms of the contagious kennel cough they clearly did not take this on board. After 2 and 1/2 months of persistent illness i went to a second vet for a second opinion. Bailey had by this point probably been ill for 2 out of the 3 months in total (and i am probably underestimating there). It took me til she was 19 weeks old to get her fully vaccinated due to her ill health.

    The second vet had Bailey's documents faxed to her and asked me about her 'kennel cough' (yes the origional vet had the diagnosis still down as this!) anyways... i explained that lily was fine, vet agreed this was no way kennel cough. Bailey was placed on antibiotics, bisolval and freusamide for 7 days after which she may need x-ray on her lungs and chest. well after 7 days she wasn't completely better, but vet said no need for x-ray as great improvement. She gave bailey another 5 days of antibiotics and halfed amount of freusemide for 5 days and i was to take her back after 4-5 days off meds.

    As soon as meds decreased she started to get worse, when off meds completely her cough was terrible, really chesty, catching her breath and snorting a lot and you could hear all the mucus in her as she was sleeping. My poor puppy was getting worse :-(

    Back to the 2nd vets... i didn't feed bailey in case they wantd to x-ray, an saw the same vet again. She listed to baileys heart, lungs etc and is convinced this is not in her lungs, she believes it to be chronic damage in her upper respiratory tract from when she was a little pup. She said that x-ray will not confirm this and she didn't think an x-ray would be beneficial. However she did say that an endoscopy would show us everything but would cost approx £1000 Bailey is fully insured, however due to her being ill with this from day one, none of this is covered and all her vet bills to date have not been covered. Quite frankly i just can't afford that and explained this to the vets. I also asked what if i saved the money - what would it tell me.. the answer i got was 'i'm not sure, probably exactly what i have said - that she has chronic damage'. I then asked what can be done about the chronic damage... nothing, just medicate her when her cough is at its worst Well we decided to try again with meds... i asked for 1st antibiotics which i had had from initial vets as they had cleared it... we also had freusemide and bisolvant again.

    I came out and i was so upset, i couldn't afford to help my puppy with an endoscopy and didn't know what i could do. I spoke to a lady at work who helps to rescue breeding bitches, she pointed me to a homeopathy vet for a consulation. she has used this lady a lot with her rescue dogs and said it may help. All of this happened last week which is how i found this site, googling about coughs...

    We are now on thursday of last week... straight after getting home from vet number 2, i rang vet number 3. Apt made for saturday (just gone) but she advised to start meds from vet 2 straght away which i did. The homeopathic vet (number 3) was lovely, she was supprised at Baileys size (3.3kg at 6 months) and asked about her syptoms, what she's like at home, how she is with our dog lily etc... she was suprised that no one ha x-ray'd yet. She said she would put together a homopathic mixture over the weekend and post it out to me (rather than me make the 2 hour round trip to pick it up). She said that should Bailey not improve she would strongly suggest a chest x-ray as was concerned that although she doesn't have a heart murmur, she could have an enlarged heart.

    Well.. we have a day left to go on vet 2's meds and no coughin... woo hoo... also this morning the homeopathic remedy arrived, and i am gonna start that also to try and make sure it stays away... now for the reason of my post....

    i would like some advice on a few points:

    1. what would you do about the endoscopy? its money which i just don't have right now and it would take me a long time to save. As Bailey is so little i am VERY concerned about anaesthetic, but if it will help her then i will have to. I just don't know what it can tell us and what can be done about this... the vet gave me the impression that it won't be treatable, just deal with the 'flare ups'.

    2. although i am worried about anaesthetic, would you insist on x-ray? i just don't know?

    3. I now am registered with 3 vets, who do i stick with? My Westie is with vet 1, and i am currently seeing number 2 and 3 regarding bailey.

    3. I have been advised to take breeder to small claims court by a friend (we work within the cirminal justice system). The reason for this is to reclaim the money i have spent out on vet bills (i would guess at about £500 in the 4 months i have had her.. maybe more), i would then place this aside for future treatment (as each vet is certain these are long term problems). Has anyone done this before? would anyone advise for or against this?

    I'm sorry to make such a long winded post, but there's a lot of info for such a short space of time.

    I would be greatful for any opinions or advice.

    Thank

    Em & Bailey x
    Emily with her furry monsters
    Cariad (Ruby) Jan 2009 & Lily (Westie) May 2007

    Gone but never forgotten... Baby Bailey (Blenheim) 10th April 2008~25.02.09

  2. #2
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    I'm on a deadline at work so this will be brief -- first to say I am so sorry you have been through all this. Also I am glad you are seeing a bit of success.

    On your questions-- I wouldn't have the endoscopy -- sounds like it won't make much difference anyway.

    I would aim to get the Xray but unless it is urgent,wait til she builds herself up more.

    I would take the the breeder to small claims. You can talk to your local legal advice centre on how to do something like this or perhaps the RSPCA or Dogs Trust.

    Many times puppies have a harder time than adults with these problems so you may find she overcomes a lot of this -- just keep her comfortable and well fed.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  3. #3
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    Forgot to add -- with vets, I'd see whoever you want for each dog. I use several vets for mine -- 3-4 different practices of one branch, and often two other vet practices as well. I like different places for different issues.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the advice Karlin, i'm going to look into the small claims court asap - the last thing i want is someone else getting a poorly puppy from this lady.

    I forgot to add, i also contacted the county council last week who give out licences regarding Bailey's health problems and they are going to do a 'suprise' check on the place to make sure the breeders animals are healthy.
    Emily with her furry monsters
    Cariad (Ruby) Jan 2009 & Lily (Westie) May 2007

    Gone but never forgotten... Baby Bailey (Blenheim) 10th April 2008~25.02.09

  5. #5
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    Emily I think you need to see a cardiologist to determine whether or not this is a heart problem. I am surprised that the vets you have seen have not x-rayed or suggested this. A constant cough and the fact that she is undersized for her age would make me think heart problem straight away. Poor little mite. so sorry you are having all these problems and hope she improves soon. Not all vets are able to recognise a murmer so please ask them about a cardiologist.

  6. #6
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    Just something to add, she may not HAVE to be anesthetized for x-rays depending on her temperament. Casey is so laid back she had full body x-rays done with no meds and no problems. She was awake and just did what they asked her to do!

    Have you contacted the breeder to see if she would refund your money? Casey was diagnosed with a heart murmur just before her first birthday and I called the breeder and made such a stink that she gave me almost all of my money back. It's worth a try.

    I'm so sorry you're going through this. Just keep your little one as well and comfortable as you can. Good luck to you, keep us updated.
    Trisha in Southwest Florida
    Cavaliers: Casey, Ollie, & Winston and usually a foster or two! Cats: Pebbles & Benson

  7. #7
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    Have pm'd you, please respond asap

  8. #8
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    Thanks everyone for the input, Bailey is now on day 3 of no coughing, so fingers crossed... i am keeping a strict eye on my little bundle of mischief and will take her straight back if anything comes back.

    Trisha suggested contacting the breeder - would anyone else suggest this? I am pretty set on going to small claims, should i contact the breeder before doing so, or just go straight into the court process? crikey this puppy owning just isn't simple!
    Emily with her furry monsters
    Cariad (Ruby) Jan 2009 & Lily (Westie) May 2007

    Gone but never forgotten... Baby Bailey (Blenheim) 10th April 2008~25.02.09

  9. #9
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    I would definitely call the breeder first and see what she is willing to do before going to small claims court. I think she deserves a chance to make it right (or as right as possible at this point) before bringing in the court system.

  10. #10
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    I can only echo what Daisys mum says. I have no experience of this myself but try to think what if it were the other way around.? What would your reaction be? Having said that, if you get a negative response from the breeder I think you would be justified in cranking up a gear.

    I do hope your little one is feeling a little better now. Please let us know how you get on.

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