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Hello all!

I was wondering, what is generally considered a "genetic birth defect" should they not be listed individually in a pet contract?

From the following statement, is it to be understood that the puppy must die from said genetic birth defect to qualify for reimbursement/replacement? If not, do you assume the owner of said puppy would have to surrender the dog to receive reimbursement/replacement benefits?

"I DO GUARANTEE AGAINST LIFE THREATENING GENETIC BIRTH DEFECTS UNTIL 12 MONTHS OF AGE.IF THIS PUPPY DIES BEFORE 12 MONTHS OF AGE, BODY MUST BE AUTOPSIED. IF THE CAUSE OF DEATH WAS DUE TO A GENETIC BIRTH DEFECT I WILL REPLACE THE PUPPY WITH ONE OF EQUAL QUALITY AS SOON AS ONE BECOMES AVAILABLE, OR HALF OF THE PUPS PURCHASE PRICE. THIS DOES NOT COVER CANCER, COSMETIC ISSUES, AND HEAD INJURIES, FROM A HEAD TRAUMA ACCIDENT OR BROKEN BONES. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR VET FEES, SHIPPING COSTS OR MENTAL STRESS. YOU MUST CONTACT ME FIRST, AND THEN OUR VETS MUST TALK TO ONE ANOTHER. THERE MUST ALSO BE VETERINARIAN WRITTEN DOCUMENTATION SENT TO ME AND MY VET OR I WILL NOT GO ANY FARTHER AND VOIDS THIS CONTRACT."

Thanks for your replies/thoughts about this question! :thumbright:
 

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If the breeder wants to specify what genetic issue she/he is referring to, then yes. Otherwise I would assume it refers to Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Hydrocephalus, Mitral Valve Disease (heart), Hemophilia....... There are other genetic health problems (Patellar Luxation, Hypoglycemia, Cryptorchidism, Cystinuria (unless Kidney failure is present), but I don't think they'd be covered. I would assume the dog would have to be surrendered, or die. That would be at the discretion of the breeder, and should be stated in the contract.
 

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I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR VET FEES

What's the point then? If a puppy dies from a genetic defect, you are out major $$$ in vet fees plus she requires an autopsy. To me....it wouldnt be worth the effort pursuing a replacement since you could probably purchase another pup with all the added fees she would require you to pay :confused: I dont know...sounds harsh and one sided to me.

In the state of Florida....we have a puppy lemon law. My sister purchased a puppy from a pet/grooming store and upon taking him to his first vet visit...she found out he was not able to breath thru his nose due to birth defect (according to that contract...this type of defect would not be covered). He required surgery which cost about $300. According to our Puppy Lemon Law....my sister had several options. (1) return puppy for full refund (2) return puppy for replacement (3) seller to pay vet bill not to exceed price of puppy. She took the 3rd option and the seller paid for the surgery. Im happy to report this seller no longer sells puppies because he was losing money in vet bills :hello1:
 

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I believe all contracts state that the breeder isn't responsible for Vet fees. Don't quote me on that, but I think the majority say that. To my knowledge once you find out that the puppy has some kind of problem (within their time line stated), before treatment of any kind, you are to contact the breeder and make a decision on what you want to do, as per contract.
 

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I personality think that is good but you need to put something like Heart mumurs(sp?) like what happens if you pet has one or it get ones cause your vet didnt catch it, what about knees? liver? kidney?
 

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I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR VET FEES

What's the point then? If a puppy dies from a genetic defect, you are out major $$$ in vet fees plus she requires an autopsy. To me....it wouldnt be worth the effort pursuing a replacement since you could probably purchase another pup with all the added fees she would require you to pay :confused: I dont know...sounds harsh and one sided to me.

In the state of Florida....we have a puppy lemon law. My sister purchased a puppy from a pet/grooming store and upon taking him to his first vet visit...she found out he was not able to breath thru his nose due to birth defect (according to that contract...this type of defect would not be covered). He required surgery which cost about $300. According to our Puppy Lemon Law....my sister had several options. (1) return puppy for full refund (2) return puppy for replacement (3) seller to pay vet bill not to exceed price of puppy. She took the 3rd option and the seller paid for the surgery. Im happy to report this seller no longer sells puppies because he was losing money in vet bills :hello1:
Well, I think that last sentence is the reason for the clause in breeder contracts saying that they don't pay for vet bills. It makes sense.

Say your puppy has a liver shunt. The diagnostics for that can be extremely pricey, and there is no way a breeder would agree to pay the vet fees for this. I believe that the usual protocol is that if the vet has determined that there is a birth defect then you have a couple of options.

1.) Is to seek reimbursement for the cost of your dog from the breeder, and then assume responsibility for the treatment of your dog from there.

2.) Surrender your dog back to the breeder for either the purchase price (or in this case, half the purchase price) or a new puppy. Usually the dog you have surrendered back is simply euthanized.

So to answer LoveMyPups original question, it reads to me that the breeder will compensate you in some manner for genetic birth defects, but it has to be verified by the breeder's vet as well. If the pup is determined to have a treatable birth defect then you have the choice to surrender the puppy to the breeder in exchange for a new one or for half the price you paid for the pup. If you have the puppy examined for defects, the breeder states that he/she has no responsibility for the vet costs and that is all up to you.

I would really get in writing which defects he/she will cover to avoid any potential nastiness should something happen. Otherwise, according to their contract if you dog has a defect that is deemed a genetic birth defect, no matter what it is you are entitled to compensation (obviously so long as it isn't cosmetic or cancer).
 

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It probably does cover anything life threatening, heart, kidney, liver, etc. within the first year, or however long the contract states. Some guarantee against the knees, some don't. But rarely do they include Hypoglycemia.

As mentioned above, if you feel like it’s something that should be covered, and the breeder refuses, many States have “Puppy Lemon Laws.”

And yes, many times unless you agree to keep the pup at your expense, the breeder will not spend thousands on testing and treatment. They will have the pup euthanized, unfortunately.
 

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I feel that these kinds of guarantees are basically worthless. Who wants to give the puppy back if something is found wrong with it later on? By then you are in love with the dog. That would be heartbreaking. If the breeder would PAY for the surgery or whatever, that would be different - but I don't see that in most contracts. They all specify the dog has to be returned and you get a different one. Actually, giving you half your money back is pretty good, I haven't seen that one very often. (But in the contract you posted, I think that is only in the case of death.)

I had a puppy years ago that I bought to show that developed Legg Perthes at 8 months of age. (Avascular Necrosis of the Femoral Head). It is a debate on whether this is caused by genetics, or it could be caused by an injury (jumping off a couch for example). This puppy never jumped off anything. It was mine and my vets conclusion that this puppy had a genetic defect. The breeder would do NOTHING, even after my vet faxed x-rays of the puppy's leg/hip to her and her vet. It was just heartbreaking. The surgery was $1,000. I ended up giving the puppy to a good friend who had the surgery done and kept her as a pet and I got another puppy (from a different breeder) to show. I was out the purchase price of this puppy which was HIGH. And of course, I didn't have the dog anymore and my friend had a $1000 vet bill. Bad deal all around.

I think that the BEST way to buy a dog, if you want any kind of guarantee, is to buy ONLY from breeders who health test their breeding stock against hereditary diseases. That means CERF of the eyes, OFA patella's and hearts checked by a cardiologist. If you have mature breeders who have clear eyes, hips, knees, and hearts - your chance of getting a healthy puppy is HUGELY improved. Many breeders don't way to fork out the money to get their breeding stock certified, so they don't do it. There are lots of excuses. But to me - that would be the ultimate guarantee. Buy from healthy parents.
 

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I feel that these kinds of guarantees are basically worthless. Who wants to give the puppy back if something is found wrong with it later on? By then you are in love with the dog. That would be heartbreaking. If the breeder would PAY for the surgery or whatever, that would be different - but I don't see that in most contracts. They all specify the dog has to be returned and you get a different one. Actually, giving you half your money back is pretty good, I haven't seen that one very often. (But in the contract you posted, I think that is only in the case of death.)

I had a puppy years ago that I bought to show that developed Legg Perthes at 8 months of age. (Avascular Necrosis of the Femoral Head). It is a debate on whether this is caused by genetics, or it could be caused by an injury (jumping off a couch for example). This puppy never jumped off anything. It was mine and my vets conclusion that this puppy had a genetic defect. The breeder would do NOTHING, even after my vet faxed x-rays of the puppy's leg/hip to her and her vet. It was just heartbreaking. The surgery was $1,000. I ended up giving the puppy to a good friend who had the surgery done and kept her as a pet and I got another puppy (from a different breeder) to show. I was out the purchase price of this puppy which was HIGH. And of course, I didn't have the dog anymore and my friend had a $1000 vet bill. Bad deal all around.

I think that the BEST way to buy a dog, if you want any kind of guarantee, is to buy ONLY from breeders who health test their breeding stock against hereditary diseases. That means CERF of the eyes, OFA patella's and hearts checked by a cardiologist. If you have mature breeders who have clear eyes, hips, knees, and hearts - your chance of getting a healthy puppy is HUGELY improved. Many breeders don't way to fork out the money to get their breeding stock certified, so they don't do it. There are lots of excuses. But to me - that would be the ultimate guarantee. Buy from healthy parents.
:thumbright: I agree!
 

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I agree with what Tracy said, Zoey had a health guarantee....for all the good it did me, her breeder tucked her tailed between her legs and ran off like a baby instead of manning up and acting like an adult and a responsible breeder. Would I have returned Zoey, HECK NO, I am financially and medically able to care for Zoey's special needs, would I have liked some of my money back, it would have been nice, it was a HUGE struggle for my hubby and I to pay for Zoey in our first year of marriage while he was unemployed. But we sacrificed and made it work, I think that if a breeder is going to offer a health contract they need to stand behind it and not try to make excuses or exclusions for something that is common in the breed, isn't that what responsible breeding is all about? Breeding to ELIMINATE or minimize the health issues?
 

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Should add, when I was raising Westies, I had both mom and dad as I simply couldn't find a stud dog who was doing everything I was, but I had them, both CERF'd, OFA's patellas/legge calve perthes (my first rescue westie had that disease), von Willebrands tested, thyroid tested, and comprehensive health panel ran on both parents. I guaranteed my puppies and am still in contact with most of my puppy buyers. One of them their vets thought the puppy had Demodex so I had them take to another vet but helped with the bills, it wasn't demodex but an allergic reaction to something (yah their vet was that big of an idiot). But I did help with the vet bills and was there for them every step of the way. When my male died of Lymphoma, I contacted all my puppy buyers so they could be aware of it. I made sure my male and female complemented each other and my male was show quality with lines from one of the top westie breeders in the country (acreages). I did a ton of research before breeding, Jakob was used as a stud to an outside girl only once and I made them do all the health testing as well. I had lots of people who wanted to use him but I refused unless they were willing to do the health testing. I also sold most of my puppies on a spay/neuter contract unless the puppy buyers were willing to do the health testing prior to breeding, if they did get a full akc pup, and decided to neuter I gave them money back. Just what I did. I also have a comprehensive website about westies, and educate the buyer prior to them filling out an application for a puppy, westies are not the breed for everyone. Yes I did not do what I 'should' have when I got Zoey but I thought with my heart, not my mind on her :) and the people on the group I was on told me it wasn't necessary to health test chihuahuas other than a vet check, which I thought was odd, but at the time I knew next to nothing about chihuahuas. We had many heated debate about health testing in chihuahuas on that group.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks very much for the replies. I appreciate everyone's thoughts! Was great confirmation on what I was thinking to be true. :)

Could I please get this thread closed now? I don't feel super comfortable having this portion of the contract posted for an extended period of time... Thanks!
 

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Thanks very much for the replies. I appreciate everyone's thoughts! Was great confirmation on what I was thinking to be true. :)

Could I please get this thread closed now? I don't feel super comfortable having this portion of the contract posted for an extended period of time... Thanks!
Just go in and edit your post and take out whatever you don't want in there. That will take care of it. :)
 

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Are you sure? Because I can still edit mine and I posted after you. Maybe contact a mod?
 
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