Animal Husbandry is Important

I was going to write about the end of the season and how it is bitter sweet. How it was time to look forward to training and planning for the next season.
However I have changed my mind and decided to write about some of the dangers that our canine partners face that can be prevented by basic animal husbandry from their human teammates.
I am writing this from my point of view based on the fact that I just had to put down a pup that I recently acquired. You read that right; I got the pup on Saturday and I had to put her down on Tuesday because of how far along the disease was when I got her. She did not show any signs when I went to see her. She was seven months old and ran harder than any puppy that I have seen in a while. When she pointed, she had a twelve o’clock tail and was pretty focused. I was very happy to acquire this prospect.

I asked the basic question about shots, “ Is she up to date?” I was told that she was except for Rabies. So I thought I could take her to the Vet on Monday for a rabies shot and a well puppy check and we would be off to the races.
Let’s talk about the Rabies shot first. Your dog/puppy is required by law to be vaccinated by four (4) months old. That is the law here in North Carolina. So for this guy to tell me that the puppy is not vaccinated for Rabies is a problem.
First, it is against the law, and when I advised him of this he said that was crap and that he never vaccinated for rabies unless he is going to a trial where they check. This was the first flag that I should have paid attention to. I should have put it together that the pup was not up to date on shots because she needed the rabies shot.
Second, Rabies, as we all know, is transmittable to humans through a bite or the animal’s saliva. So an unvaccinated dog is a health issue. Not only by being more susceptible to getting the disease but also to the community if they were to bite someone. As a responsible breeder, this dog should have had her shot. This is an example of bad basic animal care regardless of who you are.
This is not the reason that this young dog had to be put down. As I said, I got the dog on Saturday. She was not showing any signs of any issues. I put her in my truck and drove home. I get to the house and she has been drooling the whole way home. I figure that it is stress from the ride. I get her cleaned up and introduce her to my other dogs and take her in the house.

Now, a seven month old field-bred setter should be full of energy and exploring the house in a very excited manner. This puppy comes in and finds a place to lay down. I take her outside to use the bathroom and explore and she plays with the others. Then we all come in. We unwind and it is dinner time. She takes a few bites, a little drink and then back to my recliner to sleep.
After some time we go out so she can exercise and go to the bathroom. To get to it she had watery stool. I figure it was because of the new food and the stress of being in a new home.
Sunday she has blood in her stool and she does not eat or drink anything all day. We couldn’t get her to take in anything. So by the end of the day it’s off to the emergency vet we go. They give her fluids and send us home. However, before they do that, they inform me that she has hookworms. That is right, hookworms. So now unbeknownst to me she has not been wormed. So the vet gave me some wormer to give to her in the morning after the fluids had time to get into her.
How hard is it to worm a dog? A visit to the vet and they give a shot or an oral and done. This again not being done is a sign of poor animal husbandry and care.
Monday I have to go to the office and the wife is taking the puppy to the vet. She sends me a message that the puppy has Parvo. That is right: Parvo. Now a dog that is properly vaccinated does not come down with Parvo. So again, another example of poor husbandry.
It turns out that the drooling was because she didn’t feel good, the lethargy that she was exhibiting and the bloody stools are all tell tale signs. If I had any experience with this disease I would have picked up on this but I have never had to deal with this before.
Parvo has no real treatment. The vet supports the animal with fluids that give nutrition and help to ward off secondary infection while the disease runs its course through the poor animal. The survival rate is very low, especially if not caught early.
I have read that the day the dog is exposed to the virus it can take anywhere from three to ten days for the dog to show symptoms.. This dog started showing symptoms the day I got her home. This means that the dog was exposed at least three days before I picked her up.
So after the day at my vet who doesn’t have an overnight care facility it is back to an emergency vet that does and is equipped to handle her overnight. Through the night her condition worsened, and in the morning when we went to pick her up to take her to our vet we were told that she wasn’t doing well. Then came the price tag as we started to do the math and it was getting into the thousands and we were already fifteen hundred into. The vet said that he recommended that we put her down because she was not responding at all to the treatments and that the costs would be pretty high. So I elected to end her suffering.
This is horrible but it is preventable. The puppy is supposed to get three sets of Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus (DHPP). Usually the schedule is 6-8 weeks for the first one, another at 10-12, the last at 14-16 weeks. The rabies vaccine is in there at about 12-24 weeks. They get a booster about 12 Months old. This is general knowledge that all dog owners should know or if they don’t their vet will talk them through it.
This has really been hard on the family as it seems like a hurricane went through. We went from the excitement of a new puppy to saying goodbye to a dog that never really had a fair chance at life and developing into a great hunting partner.
So if you are going to breed, make sure you take the proper care of your litter. That means regular vet visits, worming the litter so they can get rid of them and get strong to fight diseases that they are susceptible to, and getting the shots from your veterinarian. The shots you buy at the feed store are not always taken the best care of and may not be effective. That is why none of the vets in this area take the breeder shot records and have you go through the whole regimen with them.
So don’t be cheap and take the proper care of your puppies. Give them a chance to become the dog you bred them to be and don’t let this happen to you or your clients.
If you are buying a puppy in the future, insist on seeing the shot records. Insist that there are no holes in the shot regimen and if there is, walk away. Do not take that puppy from a breeder that doesn’t put in the work and then run the risk of losing the puppy, large sums of money and upsetting your entire family.

5 Replies to “Animal Husbandry is Important”

  1. Brian. So sorry for your loss as I truly know how y’all feel. We lost a puppy a couple months ago that came from Oklahoma. She too was supposed to have had all her shots. Her breeder assured me that she was healthy but Parvo took its toll also. Oh, she had all her shots, my wife’s a vet, blah blah blah. I never did get her paper work but I did get a valuable ( and costly) lesson. Thanks for the article as always. Stay safe. Rod

    1. Rod,
      I am sorry to hear of you having a similar situation. These breeders pawn themselves off as responsible just make it so people have to really be careful. I think people should demand documentation and verification. I am curious about what you have done since this situation, clean up of the house and property and is there a new puppy in the future?
      Great as always to hear from you. Take care.

  2. Great article on an important subject. How did this breeder respond upon learning of this pups issues? I’m curious to know if they took any responsibility on this. I will be keeping these issues in mind as we look to add a pup to our family in the near future.

  3. Great article on an important subject. How did this breeder respond upon learning of this pups issues? I’m curious to know if they took any responsibility on this. I will be keeping these issues in mind as we look to add a pup to our family in the near future.

    1. The breeder got hostile and tried to say that the pup got the parvo from my yard. We all know how virus’ work and that in 24 hours the pup would not have come down with the symptoms if she got it in my yard.
      He then questioned my integrity saying he didn’t believe me and he wanted the dog back dead or alive. I had to show him all the paperwork from the three vets that I had to prove to him that the dog had passed.
      After all this I got the purchase price of the pup back from him.
      If you do get a puppy in the near future I outlined some thing that you should insist on or move on to another breeder. Good luck and thanks for joining in.

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