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Thread: Puppy with curve in spine; breeder wants her back

  1. #21
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    I totally understand how difficult this situation is, especially with a young family to consider. I am positive with Karlins' help you will reach the right decision. I wish you, Ruby Mae and your family well. Good luck.
    Tania and The Three Cavaliers!
    Dotty!- A Sweet Little Tri
    Molly - Pretty Tri Dougall - Gorgeous Blenheim

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Love my Cavaliers View Post
    You posted your last message while I was writing my last one - so this is an addendum in response to your last question. We got Riley at 11 months oldd and she already displayed neurologic symptoms, but I didn't know about SM. I thought it was due to a very difficult birth. She was finally diagnosed with SM at age 5 and had decompression surgery shortly after diagnosis. She has been the most wonderful dog, before and after surgery. She is living a good quality life. She runs and plays and seems happy. She is the same sweet loving dog she was before surgery - her personality did not change. Having SM is not necessarily dooming a dog to a life of pain - you just have to find the right medications for her. EVen after surgery, SM dogs are still on medication. While the initial diagnosis of SM is devastating and heartbreaking for the owner, you come to a point in which you realize that you just need to love your dog and enjoy their lives right now. Since I don't know if Riley's SM will cause her to die earlier than otherwise - I decided to stop obsessing about it and just get on with loving her like I do my other dogs. I do admit that I treat her and think about her a little differently - I think it's hard not to. But she is a happy dog, she seems pain free right now and she is happy to be a part of her "pack".
    Bless you Bev... That was very poignant and very true.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tania View Post
    I am inexperienced in dealing with breeders. If the breeder took Ruby Mae back, what would she do with her, or what would other breeders do with a sick puppy that has been returned?
    That depends on the breeder and on the prognosis of the pup. The first thing I would do is get a diagnosis that more than one vet agreed with. If the prognosis was that the pup was suffering from a condition and it couldn't be fixed, the only option would be to pts.

  4. #24
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    Yes it is true that generally most more severely affected dogs will show symptoms between 5 months to 3-4 years.

    But Clare also clearly states on her site and in her documents that she has diagnosed puppies at 12 weeks; others have noticed problems as young as 8 weeks; and I know of two puppies of around 12 wks who were diagnosed *because they had scoliosis*. As Clare notes in her SM document, it is severely affected dogs that show scoliosis, and they tend to show it only as puppies.

    That is why I am simply saying I would not proceed solely on the basis of what an orthopedist says IF that involves any kind of surgery or invasive procedure.

    I can guarantee you that any neurologist would say that a cavalier puppy showing scoliosis probably needs to be checked for SM as well before any invasive procedures for presumed other causes are carried out.

    In the current situation, or if this were a puppy in rescue, I'd want to get a basic diagnosis from a specialist and then consider the possibilities. I totally agree with Sins:

    Just get the results first,it may not be as bad as you fear.
    Then learn as much about the condition as you can.
    I would also hazard that one look at the breeder's website, if she has one, will give a pretty good idea on whether she is likely to simply want the dog back to pts or would care for the puppy, if Ruby Mae were returned.

    The fact that Ruby Mae was showing problems within a week of arriving would suggest she can hardly have been properly vet checked immediately before the breeder homed her in the first place. Surely a birth defect causing off bumps on her side would have been picked up in a basic vetcheck? Or noticed by any good breeder handling her puppies regularly? My suspicions here are based on red flags raised in the very first posts from Jo.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  5. #25
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    Clare's website:

    What age of dog is affected by syringomyelia?

    The youngest reported dogs with syringomyelia have been 12 weeks old. Dogs may be presented at any age although the majority of dogs (approximately 45%) will develop first signs of the disease within the first year of life and approximately 40% of cases have first signs between 1 and 4 years old. As many as 15% develop signs as mature dogs with the oldest reported case first developing signs of disease aged 6.8 years. Due to the vague nature of signs in some cases and lack of awareness about the disease there is often a considerable time period (mean 1.6 years) between the onset of signs and confirmation of a diagnosis.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  6. #26
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    Thanks for all the replies. I was hoping to hear from people who have dogs with SM and if it is to bring a life of heartache.[/QUOTE]


    Its not a life of heartbreak but it is a good few months or so
    I think I would put myself in the "getting there" category!

    Ruby lives a very good life but only since we have found the right medications to give her...that look a few months of trying.
    She does competitive obedience (which I may add isn't anyway near as nerve racking as before she was diagnosed) my outlook has changed since and to be honest as long as she enjoys it I could care less whether she wins or looses!!
    She does Agility aswell once a week and she flys round the course barking as she goes, much to the amusement of the other dogs and owners (they call her a collie in a cavvie body)
    She walks every day for miles and swims once a week too- she plays rough and tumble with our other youngster Charlie and she doesnt know any different.
    I have learnt alot about myself since her diagnosis and I have taken a leaf out of her book and live life to the full with her alongside me! Dont get me wrong she still has her bad days and on those we cuddle up and chill out together with out a care in the world.

    With talking to your daughter just let her take it in in her own time- and just expain that Ruby Mae is a very special dog that you have taken as she needs special care and just give her some child friendly info on SM (or whatever it turns out is the problem)
    She is old enough to understand that Ruby Mae has an illness just let her deal with it as she feels best- Kirsty wrote a letter to Ruby and I have kept it along with a few other little keep sakes of my own. I read it to her occasionally Its very sweet xx

    Karen

    Ruby - my stunning soul mate who defies the odds every day
    Charlie- my angel at heart and devil at play


  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlin View Post
    Yes it is true that generally most more severely affected dogs will show symptoms between 5 months to 3-4 years.

    But Clare also clearly states on her site and in her documents that she has diagnosed puppies at 12 weeks; others have noticed problems as young as 8 weeks; and I know of two puppies of around 12 wks who were diagnosed *because they had scoliosis*. As Clare notes in her SM document, it is severely affected dogs that show scoliosis, and they tend to show it only as puppies.

    That is why I am simply saying I would not proceed solely on the basis of what an orthopedist says IF that involves any kind of surgery or invasive procedure.

    I can guarantee you that any neurologist would say that a cavalier puppy showing scoliosis probably needs to be checked for SM as well before any invasive procedures for presumed other causes are carried out. ...
    I now recall Dr. Rusbridge finding a 12 week old with SM. It shows that even a research paper written in 2005 can be somewhat out of date by 2008 or 2009 in a field where much research continues to be done.

    I would hope that "any neurologist" would recommend a check for SM before operating on the spine. Certainly any neurologist schooled in CM/SM would, but, unfortunately, right here in Florida, I know of a neurolgist who knows very little about CM/SM in Cavaliers.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Love my Cavaliers View Post
    Since I don't know if Riley's SM will cause her to die earlier than otherwise - I decided to stop obsessing about it and just get on with loving her like I do my other dogs. I do admit that I treat her and think about her a little differently - I think it's hard not to. But she is a happy dog, she seems pain free right now and she is happy to be a part of her "pack".
    Very good advice. You have to find that balance between being vigilant and being obsessed. For some that it more difficult than others. You need to be honest with yourself about how you and your family will handle a major disability, emotionally and financially.

    If the breeder is an ethical breeder, and will do the right thing by this puppy, then I would not be embarassed about making the decision to return her. I think the explanation to your daughter that the puppy has some special health issues that the breeder, who has lots and lots of experience, is best able to handle, and the puppy needs to be with her, is a good approach.

    If the breeder is not an ethical person, and you believe she would PTS a puppy for her convenience, and not because medically it is the right thing to do, then I think you need to keep the puppy and take the best care of her you can.

    JMHO
    Phyllis in West Virginia USA with two Clumbers and a Cavalier Named Buddy

  9. #29
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    I'm so sorry that you are facing this dilemma

    There are so many unknowns in this situation, it is difficult to do anything but speculate until there is a definite diagnosis.

    Ruby Mae has some abnormality of her spine. What that abnormality is caused by is not yet known, so her future prognosis cannot be known.

    The breeder has done everything that you would expect from a responsible person, but if she has Ruby Mae back she will also need a diagnosis before she can know what care Ruby Mae needs.
    She may not have the room, or money, or inclination to keep a sick dog, perhaps for many years. It is very possible that if Ruby Mae does prove to have ongoing health problems the breeder will make the decision to have her put to sleep.

    Only you can decide whether to return her or not, as you are the family that must live with the consequences.
    I understand the concerns about how this will affect your daughter, but from what I have read Ruby Mae and your family have already bonded and will be even more bonded by the time you know for sure what is wrong with your pet.

    If you were going to replace her, my guess is you would have done it by now.

    Best wishes
    Margaret C

    Cavaliers......Faith, The Ginger Tank and Woody.
    Japanese Chins.... Dandy, Benny, Bridgette and Hana.
    Remembered with love......... Tommy Tuppence and Fonzi

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tania View Post
    Whatever you do do not take the puppy back, the breeder will have her
    put to sleep.

    I agree with Tania. The breeder is protecting themselves, they are in it to make money and a sick pup does not make them money. I would be very suspicious of the breeder and what they are going to do with the pup once its returned to them.

    Its a hard decision. Speak to your vet and ask long term how healthy the pup will be etc and decide as a family if you are willing to take this on. If no see if someone else is willing.
    Emma
    2 lovely cavs Sam and Charlie

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