I got Sascha from a friend of a friend who wanted to see her dog have a litter of puppies...I actually did some research before I bought her, and knew about the health testing that should have been done on the parents. I asked the lady if she had done any of them, and she said no, both parents have always been healthy! Well, i figured I didn't really know anything about dogs, and she was breeding them, so she must know what she's talking about right?! We picked out our puppy and brought her home when she was 8 weeks old. I had read that you should schedule a vet appointment for the day you get your new puppy, and I did that. The vet told us that she had a heart murmur, and if he were us, he would give her back. How could we give her back? She'd been ours since she was 3 weeks old. we were already in love. So three regular vet appointments, and 1 veterinary cardiologist appointment($500 just for that one visit) all we knew was she hada murmur, and there was nothing we could do. A few weeks later she got a hystiocytoma on her forehead - and then several more. Next came the demodex mange. Then vaginitis(which she still has at 15 months - even antibiotics wont clear it up), infections on her lips, allergies(we can't find a bed that she isn't allergic to -she has to sleep on a pile of fleece blankets), and weight problems. We recently had to remove a growth from her elbow, and spent $1000+ on an emergency vet stay when she had pancreatitis. We took her to the vet for her annual exam and the vet told us she was concerned because she could feel Saschas lymph nodes through her skin. She didn't know if it was because they were enlarged or just because Sascha is so skinny...either way - not good. She also gave us another round of antibiotics to try and clear up the vaginitis, and some infected pustules that have popped up on her lips, neck and chest.
I know that all of these problems are not genetic, and that if we had bought a dog from a reputable breeder, there is a chance that we would be in the same boat, but I can't help but believe that Saschas health problems have to do with where we got her. I believe this to be true particularly with her heart murmur, d-mange, and all of her many infections(a result of her compromised immune system, which no amount of dietary improvements have been able to help)
We love Sascha, and we couldn't ask for a sweeter, smarter, more loveable pet. But her health problems have cost us so much - both monetarily and mentally. I am always worried about her health, and I am so afraid of what we are going to run into as she gets older.
Sascha - fawn girl, born 3-28-2005