Hello fellow lab lovers! My name is Toni and my boyfriend, Alex, and I are new parents to a beautiful little girl named Fenway (her daddy is a Boston Red Sox fan- personally I root for the Tigers ) I tried to post an introduction a few weeks ago but the post never showed up. I apologize in advance for the long post, but I have many questions and frustrations to vent and I'm hoping some of you may have some insight/advice for us.
A little background- we brought Fenway home on Friday April 11 when she was exactly 8 weeks. She came from what I would consider a "back yard breeder", if she is even deserving of that term. We didn't realize this until our visit when the pups were 4 weeks old. By that point, although we didn't like the idea of supporting this "breeder" and our instinct told us to RUN the other direction, we were in love with our puppy and knew that she needed a loving home and we wanted to be the ones to give it to her. The conditions of this person's home were disgusting, to say the least. It was a single wide trailer housing a couple and their child, plus 6+ adult dogs as well as cats and the litter of 8 puppies. The "whelping area" was the kitchen, gated off. There were clean puppy pads in the kitchen when we visited but the condition and horrible smell of the home told me that wasn't the norm.
There were dozens of red flags but as I said before, we just felt after seeing this that we needed to rescue this puppy.The breeder smoked in the house with all of the pups. She wouldn't allow us to meet the mother, stating that she was "protective of her pups". The yard was full of feces- so much that I literally had to kick poop to the side to clear a walking path. We did meet the sire, and he seemed nervous, aggressive and untrusting. He was kept in an outdoor pen (mind you, this was mid march in Northern Michigan- very cold) and had a nasty looking eye infection. The breeder got very defensive when I asked about the infection, and almost seemed nervous when we walked toward the pen to meet the sire... I think she would have preferred that we didn't. She also claimed to be feeding an expensive brand of dog food but I saw Kibbles & Bits type feed scattered on the ground outside and in the dishes of the kenneled dogs.
Fast forward to last Friday.. we picked up our girl as soon as we could that morning. She has been great at home- she is an extremely sweet, vibrant and intelligent girl and is everything anybody could hope for in a puppy. She is doing great with potty training (only 2 accidents in the week that we've had her and both were 100% my fault). She already knows sit, down, and easy and we've made great progress with come, stay and leave it. Crate training has improved every day. However, we have noticed lots of itching everywhere, ear discharge, vaginal discharge & frequent licking, as well as a lower food drive than I would expect from a puppy. Needless to say we were concerned and yesterday went to the vet, leaving with diagnoses of an ear infection, puppy vaginitis, a urinary tract infection, round worms, and a skin irritation- all of which (besides the worms) the vet attributed to a dirty living environment. We weren't able to get her 2nd round of vaccinations due to the active infections, and now we're on 5 different medications in hope that we can quickly get my sweet girl feeling better.
Does anybody have advice on any of these issues? Should I tell the breeder what health problems her pups are coming home with? I would love to give her a piece of my mind but is it even worth it? Should I notify the other new owners from Fenway's litter? (Some of them are tagged in Facebook photos so I could possibly reach them that way). As far as the health issues, anybody have experience with these in an 8 week old?
I'm aware that by admitting my stupidity and not researching breeders I'm opening myself up to all kinds of criticism... just know that while I'm kicking myself, I am also so very grateful to be Fenway's mommy. She has brought so much love and laughter to our home and even after just a week, I wouldn't trade her for the world!