Havanese Forum banner

1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
I am sorry to hear about your poor girl. I hope she gets better.

Lesson learned. Red flags are called that for a reason. For a truly responsible breeder, "show quality" is not simply a matter of paying more money.

I know you had your heart set on a show dog, but I would strongly consider your girl might not be. Yes, turning out feet is genetic - malnutrition might have had something to do with it but how can you be sure?

Also - the ultimate goal of showing dogs is breeding dogs. Even if your girl was pretty and appeared healthy, it doesn't sound like she came from a lineage that was. Even if you saw health papers, after every other way you were apparently lied to, how can you believe them?

There might be cause for legal action against the "breeder." Not only does it sound like she clearly misrepresented almost everything about your puppy but it sounds like situation where other dogs might be suffering, too. Take pictures and get vet records of her condition and required treatments, just in case you need them.

Get your pup healthy and continue to love her, she is awfully cute! Good luck with everything.

~K
 

·
Gucci's mom
Joined
·
9,378 Posts
I am SO sorry to hear this, there is just no excuse in the world to justify sending a puppy to a new owner sick and malnourished, its just wrong on so many levels.

You could probably get a better look/idea of the bowed legs if you take a picture then the hair is wet and laying flush so you can see how the bones curve, its much harder to tell when they are dry, most of the pictures online of the leg quality are wet dogs.

You really do have to listen to that little voice that warns you sometimes. She is very cute and probably needs alot of nourishing and socialization,which I'm sure you will provide for her. I don't know much about show quality, but I hope someone else has those answers for you.

hugs~~
Kara
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Narwyn -- yeah, I'm not planning on breeding her if the feet turning out is from genetics and not malnourishment (I mean, in her pedigree her grand-dad is a champion) but if it is from genetics then I'm definitely not going to breed her (but like you said it's hard to tell, I'll have to check with my vet and see what he thinks). I wouldn't want that to come up in my puppies. I want to breed to the best standard that I can. I was wanting both parents of my puppies to be champions. I was also thinking of what kind of legal action I could take against the breeder (especially if she doesn't send me the papers!), I just don't know how to go about that. And thank you!

Thumper -- Yeah I thought the same thing when I saw her. I was shocked! The way she treated this puppy was wrong. I am probably going to try taking pictures of her legs again the next time I bathe her. Or even maybe at the vets or something? Anyway! Thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,278 Posts
oh my, how heartbreaking, poor puppy. So glad that you are giving her all the love she deserves!! Congratulations on your new baby and definitly record all the info on her, that "breeder" that you got her from needs to be stopped!! she should NOT be breeding dogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,845 Posts
I thought if you had full AKC papers you got the paper work when you received the puppy you pay a fee and mail them in? Maddie came with limited papers and the breeder gave us the paper work. We mail it in after we get her spayed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
So sorry you had this difficult beginning. You are a good owner to take care of this little puppy--probably the first true love and care she ever received in her life.
There have been threads about pros/cons shipping puppies, and buying from breeders out of state.
I haven't gotten my puppy (I am still researching). Can you share why you chose to go out of state? Also you mentioned 1-2 red flags. But what made you decide to proceed? Were there enough positives that outweighed these warnings? Any advice would help, if you are willing.
I think that sharing these aspects may help those of us who are still searching.
Please share your updates on her care and recovery.
 

·
Roscoe and Stella's Mom
Joined
·
1,203 Posts
I'm sorry to read that all of this is happening. At this point, I think your best bet is just to plan to love her like crazy and keep her as a pet. As far as I know, malnourishment would be very, very, extremely unlikely to cause defects in the shape of her development. I'm willing to bet it's genetic. If I were you, I'd plan to have her spayed either way. The breeder she came from is obviously not reputable and is not breeding to standard, so the likelihood of your little girl producing exceptional puppies is quite slim. Did the breeder do health testing?

Also, I wouldn't hold my breath on the papers. I'd be surprised if this is even an AKC breeder and the "pedigree" she showed you is actually your dog's pedigree. You definitely have some legal recourse if this is the case.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,845 Posts
How are you doing

Hi, I just wanted to find out how you are doing with your new baby. Can we see more pictures please please .:flypig:
Have you named her yet?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
135 Posts
Hi. Sorry to hear of your experience. For whatever it's worth, our puppy did not have any real "health" issues, but he does have paws that turn out. We too were very upset, even though we never intended to show him. Regardless.we got over it and he is the most fantastic funny delicious dog ever! So don't worry!
 

·
Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
26,657 Posts
My understanding is that "eastie, westie" feet are a conformation flaw, but don't have the health and soundness ramification that bowed, dwarf legs can.

I don't think you'd want to breed a dog with that conformation, but I don't think it would interfere with the dog in terms of pet quality in the least.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
135 Posts
Just want to add that I had posted pictures of my dog's feet a few years ago when we got him and Tom King was nice enough to look at the pictures and, based on his experience, it was just "Easty/Westy" feet, not chondrodysplasia. Well, three years later, our dog is absolutely healthy, never had any of the issues associated with chondrodysplasia, and this is an issue that is all but forgotten. We thoroughly enjoy him every day! Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Yeah, I've talked to the breeder and she claims that she never noticed her feet turning out like that but I'm not sure if I believe her. She also says my havanese, was almost 5lbs (4.8lbs) before she left for the plane. I'm sorry, but regardless of how traumatizing the plane flight MIGHT have been, a puppy doesn't loose over a pound of body weight in 8 hours.

I talked to my handler though, and he's going to be evaluating her for show on Tuesday. He told me two things that I have never heard before.

1. That you want to get your puppies evaluated at 8 weeks old because how they look then will probably be how they'll look as an adult for show.
2. That adult dog food is better than puppy dog food for puppies. Sounds crazy right? He said he's talked to all sorts of nutritionists about it and they say that the puppy food promotes bone growth, and for the havanese it makes their bones grow faster than their soft tissue, causing problems like my havanese's feet turning out slightly (easty/westy). So it might not be a genetic defect at all. He said she'll probably be fine.

Have any of you guys heard either of that?

I'll post more pictures of my babies on here as soon as I can. We have a male and a female. The male is my mother's, and the Female is mine. She is the one I have been talking about. The only thing that was wrong with the male when he came in was that he had ear-mites, but we got ear-treatment stuff for that. Anyway. I'll post pictures as soon as I can.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,352 Posts
We've produced close to 200 puppies that have been raised on puppy food and never had a single one with leg deformity. It's not a nutritional issue, unless possibly a lack of. The 8 week evaluation comparison is correct.

Feet turning out is definately a conformational issue that can be from a number of different things including, and most likely, genetics. It doesn't mean that the dog has CD, which has been found to come from the FGF4 genes for short legs-parents have to carry and the affected has to get an extra copy back in the wrong location. Location was found in TAMU study, and gene later identified in completely unrelated study.

Short legs are floor to elbow less than elbow to top of withers, and often chest below elbow ("low on leg"). There are a lot of short legs in the breed. One version of the standard even called for short legs while at the same time somewhere in the same standard calling for equal proportions??????

You need to take soaped pictures to see the legs-plaster the hair down with soap and take front and side pictures without posing the dog.

Feet turning out can be something as simple as a narrow, heart shaped ribcage, but of course can be also possibly be CD. Also it might just mean that the feet turn out like some people.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Hi, I just wanted to find out how you are doing with your new baby. Can we see more pictures please please .:flypig:
Have you named her yet?
I just posted pictures in my albums on my profile. You can all feel free to go look at them! I have two havanese, my black irish-pied female, and my gold sable male. The Male is co-owned with my mom.

The female's name is Ritzy, and the Male's name is Benji.

Feel free to look at them and tell me what you think! :thumb:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Yeah, I've talked to the breeder and she claims that she never noticed her feet turning out like that but I'm not sure if I believe her. She also says my havanese, was almost 5lbs (4.8lbs) before she left for the plane. I'm sorry, but regardless of how traumatizing the plane flight MIGHT have been, a puppy doesn't loose over a pound of body weight in 8 hours.

I talked to my handler though, and he's going to be evaluating her for show on Tuesday. He told me two things that I have never heard before.

1. That you want to get your puppies evaluated at 8 weeks old because how they look then will probably be how they'll look as an adult for show.
2. That adult dog food is better than puppy dog food for puppies. Sounds crazy right? He said he's talked to all sorts of nutritionists about it and they say that the puppy food promotes bone growth, and for the havanese it makes their bones grow faster than their soft tissue, causing problems like my havanese's feet turning out slightly (easty/westy). So it might not be a genetic defect at all. He said she'll probably be fine.
If your breeder "didn't notice" the feet turned out, they clearly did not properly evaluate your dog as a potential show/breeding dog. Again - if they lied about the conformation and health of your pup, I would be pretty sure you've been lied to about the pedigree and health testing as well.

The 8 weeks thing is correct - it is a very educated guess because sometimes they surprise you, but it's generally accepted.

I also disagree about the puppy/adult food. An "all life stages" high quality food is one thing. I very seriously doubt the is the problem with your pup. Maybe it is, maybe not - but if you are not 100% sure it is NOT genetic, it would not be responsible to breed her and pass a bad front on to her puppies.

I hope you have found a reputable handler, even if you ended up with a less-than-responsible breeder. Remember that there are bad apples in the handler world who will just look at your dog, decide they can eventually finish it, take your money even though you do not have a quality example of the breed. Also remember that a responsible Havanese breeder knows WAY more about Havs than a handler who is not involved in Havs will.

It sounds like you have a lot to learn before you start responsibly breeding - I think there is another thread with some great books to get you going.

Hope the girl is feeling better!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
If your breeder "didn't notice" the feet turned out, they clearly did not properly evaluate your dog as a potential show/breeding dog. Again - if they lied about the conformation and health of your pup, I would be pretty sure you've been lied to about the pedigree and health testing as well.

The 8 weeks thing is correct - it is a very educated guess because sometimes they surprise you, but it's generally accepted.

I also disagree about the puppy/adult food. An "all life stages" high quality food is one thing. I very seriously doubt the is the problem with your pup. Maybe it is, maybe not - but if you are not 100% sure it is NOT genetic, it would not be responsible to breed her and pass a bad front on to her puppies.

I hope you have found a reputable handler, even if you ended up with a less-than-responsible breeder. Remember that there are bad apples in the handler world who will just look at your dog, decide they can eventually finish it, take your money even though you do not have a quality example of the breed. Also remember that a responsible Havanese breeder knows WAY more about Havs than a handler who is not involved in Havs will.

It sounds like you have a lot to learn before you start responsibly breeding - I think there is another thread with some great books to get you going.

Hope the girl is feeling better!
Oh no worries, I agree. If her front doesn't straighten as she gets older and if it is a genetic thing, I wouldn't breed her, like you said, if I did that I wouldn't be reputable, and above all else I want to be a reputable breeder.

And my handler I know is training me how to handle my own dogs, not handling them for me, and he's trusted by a reputable breeder who lives nearby me. I've actually visited her home and stuff a couple of times. The only reason I didn't get a puppy from her is because my mom has an issue with co-ownership (it wasn't a lifetime thing, the co-own was only until the havanese got it's champion), I don't have a problem with that, but my mom wouldn't hear it.

Anyway. I know I still have a lot to learn :) and I've got two or so years to learn it before I even try breeding, and that's only if my dogs meet the standards and are of good health and quality. I want to better the breed, and breed for quality, not quantity.

Thank you :)
 

·
LINDA
Joined
·
6,496 Posts
A good breeder will co-own until you champion the pup. This is to insure the pup is in safe hands and not a mill....I think. If someone sells you a pup with full registration, that's a huge red flag. In the shape your pup was in I wouldn't be surprised if she came from a mill:(. As for food, my breeder told me not to feed high protein to my pup. This was 5 years ago, but there was question as it making the pups grow to fast. Good luck, but it sounds like your pup is not show quality with the feet being eastie westie. There are a lot of bad breeders out there. You have to be careful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
467 Posts
At the shelter I volounteer in, a year ago we had four months old dogo argentino. Her feet were in such bad shape (turned outwards completely) that poor thing cannot walk at all. She was painfully skinny. We took her immediately to the vet clinc and vet told us she needs special food, special calcium supplemants and support for her feet (all four). She spent two weeks in the clinic and she was better. Then she went to foster home. Teraphy was very expensive, but after three months our little Nadine was back on her feet runnig like all healthy puppies. She has been adopted and now her feet ate perfectly straight.
Take your baby to a good vet, maybe a otthopedic specialist. i am sure it can be cured with proprer diet and medication!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
At the shelter I volounteer in, a year ago we had four months old dogo argentino. Her feet were in such bad shape (turned outwards completely) that poor thing cannot walk at all. She was painfully skinny. We took her immediately to the vet clinc and vet told us she needs special food, special calcium supplemants and support for her feet (all four). She spent two weeks in the clinic and she was better. Then she went to foster home. Teraphy was very expensive, but after three months our little Nadine was back on her feet runnig like all healthy puppies. She has been adopted and now her feet ate perfectly straight.
Take your baby to a good vet, maybe a otthopedic specialist. i am sure it can be cured with proprer diet and medication!
Thank you! I'll definitely try that :)
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top