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Dr. Walt's happy tails: Puppy-buying tips

Author: Canadian Living

Pets

Dr. Walt's happy tails: Puppy-buying tips

Dear Dr. Walt: We have a male miniature schnauzer and are looking at getting a female from the same breeder. The female pup was born in July 2002. She has been behind in development but has since made up that ground. The problem is that she walks with her head down and has a problem walking. The breeder, who we trust, says her veterinarian has given the puppy a clean bill of health. I have read that this could be an ear problem. Should we go ahead with this puppy or not? Please advise as we are worried about the possibility of future, serious health problems.

I am glad to hear that the breeder has had your puppy to the veterinarian for an examination because so many problems that may occur in infancy require immediate attention to ensure successful recovery and prevent their reoccurrence. While the breeder states that their veterinarian has given the puppy a clean bill of health, it strikes me that the puppy's current behavior suggests otherwise; you may want to inquire as to whether the veterinarian saw the puppy specifically for this problem.

Regardless, I stress to all prospective new pet owners that it is critical that you have the potential new member of your family examined by your own veterinarian prior to purchase. As in any situation, multiple opinions providing the same interpretation are always more comforting than one and, if the breeder is confident in the puppy's health, she/he should have no concerns with this pre-purchase course of action (many actually encourage it). Not only will your own veterinarian perform a thorough physical examination (which would include the ears), but they will also correspond with the breeder's veterinarian to determine the status of any previous health problems and their potential for future problems.

Best of luck on the new addition to your family!



  About Dr. Walt Ingwersen
Dr. Walt Ingwersen is Chief Veterinary Officer at PetCare Insurance Brokers Ltd. He is a 1982 graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College. Board certified in Internal Medicine, he has the distinction of being the first Canadian editor of the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, a position he currently holds.

Involved in many aspects of the national and international veterinary community, "Dr. Walt" is the recipient of the President's Award for outstanding contribution to the veterinary profession awarded by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA). He is also Chief Veterinary Officer and Chairman of the Veterinary Advisory Board at PetCare Insurance Brokers Ltd. -- Canada's leading provider of insurance for dogs and cats.
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Dr. Walt's happy tails: Puppy-buying tips

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