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  • Writer's pictureErin Schwartzkopf

Guarantee the Health of Your Puppy

Dear Puppy Buyer,

I want to have a real chat with you about something for a moment. Something very important to you as an owner of this little white dog we love so much.

First, understand this...I want for you to have the healthiest, best match for your family for as long as possible...even if you do not get your puppy from me. I care about the entire breed, not just the puppies I send home with some of you. I have had to turn many folks away lately, but that does not mean I am not still available as a resource or that I don't care about the puppy you add to your family. The folks I have turned away have all heard some version of the below from much to the point that I wanted to put it out there for those I have not spoken to.

That brings me to matter where you get your puppy from, make sure that breeder is doing genetic testing. But don't just ask. GET PROOF. Ask to see copies of the test results. Do not take anyone's word for it. This matters to you as "just a pet" person because you will have this puppy for 15 years +/- if it is healthy. If it is not, you are looking at expensive vets bills and possibly euthanasia, depending on the issue. This isn't about color or coat type...this is about HEALTH.

There are several diseases in our breed that have tests. SCA, PLL, and DM are the major three. PLL is extremely painful for the dog and treatment is usually removal of the eye. Not all dogs can adapt and not all families can afford it results in euthanasia. SCA is one of the most heartbreaking things to watch a dog go through...and it is absolutely fatal. It does not wait to strike until the dog is elderly. SCA strikes young dogs. Just when your family has grown to love this dog and it is an integral part of your life, you are having to put it down. DM is often misdiagnosed as just old age and many dogs are put down because of it, the owners believing that was just their life span. It is another horrible disease to watch your once athletic four legged friend go through.

If the breeder you are talking to refuses to provide you with proof of testing, I would ask you consider that a sign. The breeders I know of would not be offended to be asked for proof, nor would they hesitate to provide it. Many of them provide it without being asked, even.

If you have questions on anything regarding testing and feel you cannot go to your breeder or you do not know who your breeder was or how to contact them...or ANYTHING, I am happy to help you. You do not have to have gotten a puppy from me at any point ever. I believe that our pet owner population is extremely important and deserves to be educated. They deserve to have pets that live as long and as healthy and happy lives as absolutely possible.

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