This is going to be a long story. Please take time to read it. Anyone looking for a havanese might benefit from it.
So I bought a havanese female last week and she was shipped to me this past Thursday. I was lead to believe by the person that I was buying her from that she looked great (she even had excellent reviews on her site). Since she was out of state there was no way I would be able to go and visit her, and only one or two red flags, one of them was the fact that the breeder was willing to sell me this puppy with full registration, no problem, all I had to do was pay an extra $300. That worried me at first, but the puppy face I was looking at in the pictures was just too darn cute to pass by. So I complied.
The breeder had even sent me pictures of her stacked. I thought she had really nice conformation. (photo-shopped, maybe?) Anyway. So I bring her home from the plane and the first thing I notice is that she was really tiny, and didn't look much like the pictures I had seen. She also wouldn't go potty, and just wanted to lay on me. She seemed very lethargic and I was worried about her, but I just decided that it was probably because of the plane ride (which was 8 hours long), and that she would feel better when she was able to get home and eat and drink a little. I had even brought some Nutrical, which I gave to her as soon as we got in the car. As I drove, she laid across my lap, and as I would run a hand over her, I could feel her ribs and hips sticking out. That was one of the first things that scared me. My grandmother was with me, felt the ribs for herself, and almost had to question if she was feeling her knee or something by accident because they stuck out pretty bad.
Once we were home, she wouldn't eat, and barely drank. She would also cower when I reached for her, but once I had her all she wanted was for me to hold her... I already knew from the drive home that something had to be wrong. We scheduled a vet check for the next morning. At the check-up, the vet told us that she had a possible ear-infection, was malnourished (she weighed in at 3 1/2 lbs at 12 weeks old. Her parents are both 10-12 pounds), and had tape worms (which are deadly if not treated soon enough, and we had no idea how long she had had them). I was instantly angry. I had just paid $1800 for this puppy and she was in bad condition! But, I loved her still. So we went home, and began her medication for the tape worms. She now seems more lively and bouncy, and I decided to give her a bath yesterday so I could look at her bones more closely. Once again I was shocked to find that her feet turn out (this was not what I saw in the pictures I was sent! I was told that this puppy had been evaluated and was show quality, and I had gotten her for the purpose of showing her!).
This has been a lesson to me that even if one or two things seem suspicious but everything else seems fine, don't just trust the breeder! If I would have just listened to those red flags I could have avoided paying extra for a sick puppy. I don't regret getting her, she's a bundle of joy, and has gained almost a pound since we took her to the vet this past Friday. This was my first experience with buying a havanese, and I should have listened to those red flags.
Anyway, my question is, is the feet-turning out a genetic thing, or is it because she was malnourished? I haven't had a chance to ask my vet because I just noticed this yesterday, and they're closed on weekends. Anyway. Is there any way I could correct this and still show her if it's not genetic? I'll post pictures.