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Thread: Cavalier pup dies from heart complications

  1. #1

    Default Cavalier pup dies from heart complications

    I purchased a ruby show quality cavalier pup from a registered breeder. I was very happy upon picking her up and felt confident that all was up to par as far as temperament and health was concerned. I did speak to the breeder pertaining to mitral valve heart disease as I was aware that this condition was very common in the breed and was reassured that they had no such problems in their lines; I asked if they health tested their breeding stock and was told that they felt no need to do so as their dogs did not have any heart murmurs. Anyway, to cut a long story short, after 4 weeks I woke one morning to find that the pup had died. To say that I was shocked is an understatement. I had the pup autopsied only to find out that it did die as a result of heart problems and that there was a high likelihood that it was a congenital problem. I outlayed $1400 only to lose the pup. I have since purchased another cavalier. A blenheim girl and she is gorgeous in every way; she has the very best temperament and is a dream. I love my Jazzie.


    The breeder has been informed but refused to admit that there are health issues in their lines.

    What would you do in the same circumstances?

  2. #2
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    Celeste, did you have such a contract with them at all?

    I personally do not think you have a legal leg to stand on, but sure hope I could be wrong.
    If you looked at ten breeders and only five of them did the particular testing required to ensure there were no heart abnormalities - and could prove it by showing you the current test result certificates - then you should only consider purchasing from those five who do. Not the others. Taking a breeders word for it is like...well, Russian Roulette really IMO. MDV is prolific, but many breeders aren't taking it seriously.

    Secondly, the autopsy has shown your previous puppy's death had a 'high likelihood' of being from congenital defects. Unfortunately, that is not a certainty, and one that cannot actually be proven in a court of law to my understanding.

    One would hope this breeder took your puppy's death on board and is now testing all their stock, but I probably wouldn't hold my breath. Sigh.
    Last edited by Devil's Advocate; 05-12-2010 at 11:25 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Celest,

    I am sorry to hear about your dificulties.
    I have a few things to say...
    1. It may not have been in the lines. I know you said that the vet said it could have been congentital, but sometimes these things just happen. I speak from experience after just loosing a pup to heart problems that do not run in my lines, he just grew that way
    2. In saying all this, I do not like the fact that the breeder didnt talk to you about this. But some breeders just do not care. I have had dealings with breeders who knew they had issues in their kennels and tried their hardest to hide it from me to the point where I baught a dog from them only to find out after that there was an issue. They provided vet checks and such so I didnt see it coming. Then they would deny it was their fault for giving me a pup. Its wrong, but some people are just like that. Dont beat yourself up about it, if it can happen to me when I have had extensive dealings with many breeders, how could you have hoped to see it coming.
    I hope I have helped

    Breeding, Showing, Training and general crazy making!!!
    If you seek understanding listen to the music, not the song.

  4. #4
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    I would report it to the cavalier breed registry ANKC, if everyone does this they will be able to spot and deal with genetic problems.

    If you have it in writing they guaranteed no genetic heart defect and in writing from the vet, that it was a genetic defect with more than 50% likelyhood, then I'd consider writing to them asking for your money back. And if they refuse a written request or ignore it for a month - then if you paid by credit card - I'd write to them and ask for your money back.

    I would also talk to the consumer affairs people in your state. Let them know what the problem is and register a complaint if you can. Otherwise you may have to register the complaint with your local political rep. Probably state government, I'm not sure. An accumulation of complaints will result in an investigation.

    All care and no responsibility - doesn't cut it in Australian law.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Devil's Advocate View Post
    Celeste, did you have such a contract with them at all?

    I personally do not think you have a legal leg to stand on, but sure hope I could be wrong.
    If you looked at ten breeders and only five of them did the particular testing required to ensure there were no heart abnormalities - and could prove it by showing you the current test result certificates - then you should only consider purchasing from those five who do. Not the others. Taking a breeders word for it is like...well, Russian Roulette really IMO. MDV is prolific, but many breeders aren't taking it seriously.

    Secondly, the autopsy has shown your previous puppy's death had a 'high likelihood' of being from congenital defects. Unfortunately, that is not a certainty, and one that cannot actually be proven in a court of law to my understanding.

    One would hope this breeder took your puppy's death on board and is now testing all their stock, but I probably wouldn't hold my breath. Sigh.


    I don't think I do stand a chance, unfortunately and therefore I am not going to pursue it. It was only a verbal understanding and I stupidly placed my trust when I really should have known better.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    I would report it to the cavalier breed registry ANKC, if everyone does this they will be able to spot and deal with genetic problems.

    If you have it in writing they guaranteed no genetic heart defect and in writing from the vet, that it was a genetic defect with more than 50% likelyhood, then I'd consider writing to them asking for your money back. And if they refuse a written request or ignore it for a month - then if you paid by credit card - I'd write to them and ask for your money back.

    I would also talk to the consumer affairs people in your state. Let them know what the problem is and register a complaint if you can. Otherwise you may have to register the complaint with your local political rep. Probably state government, I'm not sure. An accumulation of complaints will result in an investigation.

    All care and no responsibility - doesn't cut it in Australian law.
    The breeders are adamant that they have no such problems in their lines and, at the end of the day, I cannot prove that such a discussion took place before I purchased their pup. It is my word against theirs. I am going through some stressful times lately and I don't think I am feeling up to par to pursue this albeit I also don't think I stand a chance of getting my money back.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celeste View Post
    I don't think I do stand a chance, unfortunately and therefore I am not going to pursue it. It was only a verbal understanding and I stupidly placed my trust when I really should have known better.
    Yeah, I know what that feels like. In your head you know better, but at the time..sigh.

    I'm sorry. Look, with the Cav's though, it really is rampant, did the breeder you have purchased the following puppy from do the testing as is recommended at the right ages/time frames etc?

    ETA: You hope the breeder would at least meet you half way financially for your loss, but unfortunately, I can't see it happening.
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  8. #8
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    Hmm

    It would be fairly easy to get them to make the same claim to the next customer they get enquiries from.

    Two questions
    any history of ...
    any puppies die of ...

    Try getting a friend to have the discussion with them on email.

    And then you have them.

    Credit card companies tend to refund because you asked, for good will reasons. They don't spend ages on an investigation or trying to prove anything one way or the other, so couldn't hurt to write, explain and ask. There's a good chance you get a refund. And if it happens enough, that business might get cut off by the credit card company.

  9. #9
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    I'm really sorry to hear about your first puppy and wish you all the best with the next puppy.

    If any disease is known in a breed then I would only purchase from breeders that screen their stock. No help now, but for others that might read the thread its something to consider.

    Having said that, as a breeder, unless you screen all your stock, even those that go to pet owners then you can never fully 100% guarantee anything.

    In other words I can screen the parents and any puppies I keep, but what of the ones I sell to pet homes??? I checked for heart murmurs in my Whippet puppies at 6 weeks and sighed a big sigh of relief when all 7 were given a clean bill of health, but until they are about at year old I will always hold my breath when the vet does a health check.

    My in-laws had a sheltie and a murmur wasn't picked up until she was about 1.5yrs old. She did live until she was 12, but I think her heart did give up in the end.

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