NEWS AND COMMENT: Louise Blake from Hucclecote, UK, adopted a German Shephard puppy who was eight weeks old from, I presume, a breeder. He was quieter than his siblings and was off his food when she brought him home for the first time. He started to gag and he threw up a couple of cat collars. She took him to a veterinarian and an x-ray revealed a third cat collar in his small intestines. He had to undergo a laparotomy which means opening him up to remove the partially digested cat collar in his gut. Louise Blake was worried, of course, about any long-term health implications but it worked out okay and he is healing well. A bad start to a long and hopefully happy relationship.
It got me thinking and a quick online search revealed that in July 2017 a playful puppy called Dougie had done exactly the same thing but they were dog collars. He had just been adopted and he too had become ill and was taken to a veterinarian who had to make an incision in his stomach to remove the offending foreign object. On this occasion they were a trio of traffic light-coloured collars. They sound particularly dangerous inside a dog’s body.
Assessment: In the first story, it looks as if the dog’s breeder is using cat collars for her puppies and in the second story, dog collars. The breeder is putting collars on their puppies and during play the puppies are biting the collars and pulling them off and then eating them. Or the collars had been left around the place or in their den where they are eaten.
It seems feasible that the breeder used cat collars for puppies because they felt they were more suitable because of the size of the collars and the size of the puppies. I would guess that the more likely occurrence would be that the puppy pulled the collar off his siblings but it’s remarkable that it happened three times without the breeder being aware of it.
It would seem reasonable to think that the breeder would notice that three collars were missing particularly if they were actually on siblings. But apparently not, or the breeder kept quiet about it knowing that it might have happened in order to avoid a veterinary bill which must have been very expensive. I don’t know what the veterinary bill was but it was probably something in the region of £1000 and it would be the equivalent in dollars in America as a rough guess. Perhaps Louise Blake had taken out insurance but this would have been a pre-existing condition and her insurance policy might not have covered that medical problem.
In my view Blake could sue the breeder for the cost of the veterinary treatment provided the contract did not bar the possibility. She won’t do it, though. It serves as a warning to breeders in particular and adopters of puppies to be aware of this potential health problem.
P.S. In a brief, black moment, I thought the dog had eaten three kittens and no one had realised! 🙂