DESIGNER PUPPYS: Everything you wanted to know about raising designer or mixed breed dogs,
featuring The BOYZ: Prince Alvin His Cuteness (on left) and Sir Simon The Sad, Cockapoo pups.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

More on Designer Puppy Breeders

Designer Puppy Breeders seem to be a breed of their own. Some produce purebred pups as well as designer pups. My guess is that although the demand for certain types of designer pups may be high, breeders cannot command a high price because the pups are mixed breeds.

Hear this - I'm not trying to make excuses for the breeder who delivered Alvin. The purchase went well and the pup arrived at the airport as promised, but after I reported that Alvin was showing signs of itching and scratching, all communications stopped.

For the price I paid, my expectation was the pup would arrive perfectly healthy. In the contract, the breeder promised initial distemper vaccinations and de-worming and also a (weak) guarantee if the pup had certain issues.

After the initial vet visit where the itching and scratching were duly noted (and attributed to ear mites and/or skin mites), the stool sample revealed a parasite called giardia, a common and hard to eliminate intestinal "bug." So far, two and possibly three kennel-originated issues.

Within a few days after he arrived, I also realized that the 12-week old dog was peeing way too often for a pup his age. Off to the vet with a urine sample we went. Ever try to collect pee from a dog who's only a few inches off the ground? The result of this vet visit - a urinary tract infection. Another possible kennel-related issue.

And so the tale (or tail) labors on; 2 months plus and counting. Here's a quick inventory of treatments for Alvin's bugs that very likely originated from the breeder's kennel:

1) Three separate treatments of antibiotics for the UTI.

2) Two separate medications to eliminate the intestinal bug (and it still might be there).

3) Four teatments for ear mites.

4) Three or four shots for skin mites (these shots sting; Alvin cried for about a minute after his first shot).

No living being need suffer this much medical intervention so early in life. And most of it is preventable under the proper kennel conditions. And think about this: Try house training a pup who pees every half hour. You'll need cases of the pee neutralizer sold in pet stores and lots of paper towels.

Here's the bottom line: Be smart and check out the breeder/kennel thoroughly.

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