One of the toughest decisions that a breeder must make is what to do when a newborn puppy has a disability. A disabled puppy faces two futures: to be put to sleep, or to be looked after and helped.
Even the most responsible breeder who does all the health tests imaginable can go through the experience of having a pup born with a disability and have to face making the decisions on what to do with the puppy. Their experience as a breeder will help them however it will ultimately be their veterinarian who will assist them with the final decision.
Unfortunately there are some breeders who will immediately have a disabled puppy put to sleep without even considering whether or not the pup could lead a normal and happy life.
The Disabled Puppy's Quality of Life
The main question that will be asked will be what the pup’s quality of life would be when they’re grow older. Physical and mental health are what truly matter.
One breeder said she would speak to her vet and the main discussion would be about the quality of life the puppy would have: basically whether or not the puppy would be able to lead a normal life. I have been using my veterinarian for over twenty years and trust his judgement when it comes to my animals. If there’s something that can be done to help the pup, we will do it. Money is no object if it means this pup will have a good life and be loved.
Dog Breeders & Their Old Habits
There are breeders who have been breeding for several decades who will immediately cull a disabled puppy. Unfortunately they don’t see the point in spending thousands of pounds to make the pup better. Fortunately these people are few and far between. The majority of responsible, ethical and decent breeders will do everything they can for the pups that are born into their care.
As far as they are concerned, these pups are part of the family, more than a commodity to be sold on for money. They will ensure that the pup is found the best home where he/she will thrive and be loved.
Sadly, there are instances where nothing can be done and it’s best to put the pup to sleep. Again it all comes down to quality of life and whether or not the pup will be able to lead a relatively normal life with the least amount of pain. If you have a pup that’s going to be having surgeries for the rest of it’s life, you have to ask yourself whether or not it is in the best interests of the dog to be put through this.
The term “Rule with your head, not your heart” is one I have heard a lot. As difficult as it may be, this pups life is ultimately in your hands and you have to decide what the best course of action is.
When he was born, we were not sure if he would survive but our vet was fantastic. He gave us all the relevant information and help twenty four seven and we were able to watch this pup thrive. Rather than rehome him, we kept him and he has become a loving and firm member of the family.
Breeder, friend of Lynn
Technology Is Evolving!
With the evolution of technology, health testing has become more available for dogs. Breeds have lists of the health tests which are recommended for them.
Unfortunately, not all health tests will prevent a puppy being born with a disability.
Technology and inventions have also evolved for disability aids for dogs; there are so many products available as well as websites dedicated to these products, including but non-exclusive to handicappedpets.com and dogmobility.com. Other websites provide information and support for owners of disabled dogs.
There are so many support networks for those who have disabled dogs where you can get information on helping your dogs.
If faced with the prospect of a disabled puppy, the best advice is to speak to your vet and decide whether or not the pup will have a decent quality of life. You could also speak to other breeders for help as they may have been through a similar issue. Building a network of professionals for such an occasion is a good idea and will help you with other problems you may come across in the future.
Just because a pup is born with a disability doesn’t mean it can’t live a normal happy life. So many new innovations and veterinary treatments are being created every year to help dogs with certain disabilities and problems. There are also many support networks out there which can assist you in helping your dog through the difficult times.
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