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Bringing Home a Special Needs Puppy

Got a new, young, furry love in your life? This is the place for you to ask all of your questions-big or small! Just remember that you are receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a vet or behaviorist! Most important is to remember to have fun with your new fur baby.

  
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Member Since
11/27/2012
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 4:38am PST 
My mother and I have been looking into the min pin breed for some time and decided to get one. We found a breeder and were going to work with her to get a puppy from a future litter (we weren't really planning to adopt until January or February). Well, last night, she messaged me and told me that she knew that we were planning to put a deposit down on the February litter, but that she had a boy that needed a home that she wanted to find a good place for. So I called and spoke with her about him.

She sat on the phone with me for I don't know how long and talked about this beautiful red boy she had that was playful and loveable and tenacious and just so full of life, but apparently a little wobbly on his back legs. She shared with me that sometimes he falls, but gets right back up, and that despite that, he seems to be able to keep up with the other pups quite well. The vet wasn't able to offer an explanation, and he seems to be getting stronger with age. She offered to send me pictures and video so I could see him and see how he interacted with the other pups.

My mother and I fell in love as soon as we saw him.

A little bit of backstory? I have cerebral palsy. It is very mild, and I can walk, but sometimes -I- teeter on my feet, and sometimes I fall, but I always get right back up and keep going. When she was telling me about this little pup, it was all I could think about.

We are going to call him Trooper, because that's what he is. He should be ready to come home on Dec 13th. We can't wait.

Does anyone else have any similar stories they would like to share?

Edited by author Fri Nov 30, '12 4:40am PST

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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 5:16pm PST 
Just bear in mind that there IS the potential for true heartbreak! I once had a little Frenchie puppy who carried his head crooked. I placed him with one of my employees, she and her family fell madly in love and sadly, his neurological issues were more severe than the vet or I realized and he ended up having to be put to sleep at 6 months of age. Not only was it heartbreaking, but it was also extremely expensive as they consulted with veterinary specialists along the way and did MRI's, cat scans and other expensive testing to no avail.
Had I ANY inkling this is how he would end up I never, ever would have let her take him.
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Jasper

High-flyin' Pup!
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 8:42pm PST 
Hmm, not a dog, but we've fostered kittens with Cerebellar Hypoplasia before. They teeter, totter, and wobble around...but all of the ones we've fostered (even the REALLY wobbly ones!) are able to play, use the litter box, and be normal kittens! They can be hard to place because of their wobbliness, but they are darling little kitties!
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 8:59pm PST 
I'd be curious as to why the vet doesn't have a guess? Has he had x-rays?
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Member Since
11/27/2012
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 4, '12 7:24am PST 
Jasper - That's probably what it is, or something like it, from the sound of it. The vet says that there's not much that can be done for him, but he's getting stronger as time goes on. He had much more trouble when he was first born and now he runs and plays with the other pups, knocking them over and everything. Apart from the occasional teetering over, we've been told he's expected to live a healthy, happy life.

Tiller - Tests and everything have been run. I think I may have misspoken. There was nothing found that would have indicated that the puppy can't have a nice normal life. We've been told he may have difficulty with stairs, but we don't have any in our home. He'll be coming home soon, so I'll do my best to post pictures and stuff. I'm going to use the diary feature here as well to talk about his journey and document how he does.
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Member Since
01/04/2009
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 4, '12 9:16am PST 
Is the breeder asking you to pay for this puppy, or is she giving him to you?
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Member Since
11/27/2012
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 4, '12 11:19am PST 
She is just giving him to us. We're not paying a penny for him. She just wanted to find him a good home.
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 4, '12 1:50pm PST 
You'd probably want to consider pet insurance. I hope you don't think I am trying to be mean or question the heart you have for the puppy. I am just concerned about you and your heart, expectations and so on. Just being a momma bear wink

We had a puppy....I am a rescuer....who suffered a looseness in his atlantoaxial region (I think I am remembering that term right, lol!), and it did take a bit of digging to find out what his problem was, in concert with my vet. Then we did and it wasn't the greatest prognosis. Long story short we did continue with him and it turned out ok (his video is on my Dogster page, if you'd like to see him....cute as a little bug!), but I know at the time I did communicate with a French Bulldogs breeder, a breed with which that can occur, and her take was pretty stern, recommending euthanasia if certain things showed up on his xray.

That's a good breeder....she knows what the outcome will be (not pretty) and takes that courageous step. Other breeders just don't have the heart or stomach, and try to find the pup a home any way.

So that's my basic advice to you. If you know the tests and results, that's wonderful. But if it is more that you are being told tests have been done, and/or being held from an actual diagnosis, then it gets a little more funky.

We found a special adopter for our puppy who was given all vet work, the contact for the vet, she had the finances and was fully aware of things. That's the same thing you should be expecting from your breeder, minimally so that you can prepare for whatever it is you are looking at.

Toto usually has good advice. She's a very ethical breeder and if you could be more specific can probably tell you if anything seems amiss or not. I know you are heart set on the puppy and no one is trying to dissuade you, but for his future and your own emotional safety, I would hope you are getting very detailed disclosure as to tests done, the vet who did them, prognosis, etc. Minimally so that you can be educated and aware of his challenges as his guardian.
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Member Since
11/27/2012
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 4, '12 2:14pm PST 
Thank you for the advice. I will look into that. The breeder has assured us as well that if we can't care for the puppy or something unexpected does come up in the future, that she will gladly take him back, but as far as I know the vet has done all he can. I was told that the pup would have been euthanized had anything been found during that time that pointed to a serious problem. For now, I'm going to keep in contact with the breeder and watch him when he gets home, but I'm hoping that everything goes well. And don't worry--you don't sound mean at all. I totally understand where you're coming from.
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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 4, '12 4:09pm PST 
Guest, I also need to tell you about another pup I placed, a labrador... he had a grade 5 (!!!), heart murmur discovered at his 8 week health check. THREE vets told me to euthanize him, I couldn't as I saw no problems so I was going to just keep him.
I had a good friend who wanted him and he seemed to understand the issue so I finally placed him at four months of age after making sure they would be able to deal with his premature death, when it happened. I did get him neutered BEFORE he left me as that was probably going to be extremely risky to his heart health. He did well.
He is now eleven years old and just now starting with enalapril as he was in the very beginnings of some heart issues, not terribly rare in a large breed with a NORMAL heart. He has lived a perfectly normal, active, running/swimming/hiking lab life all these years and he looks great! Sooo....
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