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Poor adjustment?

August 21st, 2010, 12:45 PM
I recently adopted a puppy from a breeder who was not thriving. She was already small and when she came to us she was not eating much, not highly energetic and was having bouts of vomiting bile and diarrhea(not bloody or mucussy or tarry). This continued intermittently for one and a half weeks with vet intervention; checkups and testing stool & urine and using a dewormer to rule out this possibility.

She was given time on her own with me, my Husband, time with the children, and was bonding with our other dog also from the same breeder but not playing because she had low energy (they would chew at toys together and snuggle).

Finally after two weeks with us she was reverting back to her diarrhea again after a period of improvement, so I consulted the vet who conducted x rays and ultrasound but found nothing wrong and recommended that we check for bloods. He felt that we should return this dog to the breeder as she was not thriving.

We consulted our breeder who told us to bring her to them and we would run the bloods together at their vet to get a diagnosis.

WELL, we got to the breeders and my semi comatose puppy started batting her eyes at home and thumping her tail on the ground and PRANCING about tail held high. This was like something out of a movie; the contrast was frightening to me. Even the expression in her eyes had gone from a frail, suffering patient to a proud beaming expression.

She WOLFED down a bowl of caesar mixed with the kibble that the breeder had given to us that we could never get her to eat. The breeder suggested that we should have kept her on this food - of course since she did not eat it EVER for us and she needed to gain weight we gave her what the vet had recommended.

WE NEVER saw this behaviour from her- it is as if she was literally depressed by being with us.I caught a glimpse of her being this way for a moment with a stranger we met; a man who perhaps reminded her of the breeder.

WE left her there the breeder wants to fatten her up and return her to us.


Firstly that she will not ever respond well to us and then that she will get sick again; she clearly was not happy here and secondly that yesterday was a great display but there could be some underlying problem.

Has anyone ever had an experience like THIS? Can a dog WILL herself not to thrive even after 2 weeks in a loving home with another dog? Does anyone think that there is a chance of SUCCESSFULLY reintegrating her into our home when she had such a violent reaction?

I am feeling sad (about losing her and moving on to a different pup- and terrible by somehow not doing right by her despite all my best efforts)- but I am so happy that she seems to have bounced back into a healthy puppy.

August 21st, 2010, 07:08 PM
It's a very strange thing. Failure to thrive is something that happens occasionally in humans. Normally when there is not enough love and affection given. I've never heard of it in dogs. If the pup reverts back to not thriving when it's returned to you is the breeder willing to keep it? If not she had better start a really intense search for the perfect owner(s). I would suggest letting the puppy pick who he wants to live with. :shrug:

August 21st, 2010, 10:54 PM
I think it is possible that the pup and your family just don't click for whatever reason. When I was breeding cats, I had that happen with 2 of my girls. One was a young spayed girl that had several litters that I wanted to retire and rehome. She did not adjust to the new home after 6 mos. and the owners were unhappy with her hiding out under the bed all the time and when she was returned was as happy as a clam, so at 6 yrs. old took her to cat shows again, which she really enjoyed and very soon she achieved her Grand Premier championship.

Another was a red tabby girl I sold as a breeder that had only met her new owner very briefly, but after a week or so and the cat started attacking her. I was shocked when she told me that, as she had never done that with me or anyone else. As it turned out the cat adored this girl's mother, so went to live with her, had her kittens there and was just fine. Learned much later that this girl had some kind of mental problem---so maybe the cat picked up on it? For whatever reason, sometimes things just don't work out the way you'd expect or like.

As for your pup, I think you did everything you could for her. Based on the pup's joyous reaction at being "home", eating well, etc. showed how much she missed being away. It really didn't sound like the pup was very healthy from the beginning, maybe the runt of a litter? if I were in your position I would not take the pup back. Just curious, did the pup choose you when you went to see it initially or did you choose the pup? After having the experience of "returns", I was very careful that it was the cat or kitten that chose it's owner, which was sometimes difficult to persuade as sometimes people get hung up on a certain colour they want.

August 22nd, 2010, 08:30 AM
Thank you for your wisdom.
No, this pup who was too small for her age was not selected by us nor did she choose us. We have a male and wanted a girl; most breeders have first pick with the girls and keep many of them so we were basically "given" her. I thought that this could work- not everything in life needs to be so calculated; many people have just taken the last pup left , which she was not, and everything has worked out well.
There is still a chance that there are some underlying medical issues that remain to be seen but regardless we will take a different pup from another litter that is on ground where we have a selection and a chance to observe them several times from a young age. This is what we did with our last boy and he is a dream.

August 22nd, 2010, 01:45 PM
Layla passed today at the vets office with the breeder. She was too weak; this was definitely not behavioural but a medical issue. WE posted her picture on the Rainbow bridge site, thanks to all for your advice.

August 22nd, 2010, 01:53 PM
So sorry to hear. :(

August 22nd, 2010, 02:28 PM
Thank you .She was clearly suffering and is now at rest. I have posted her picture in the rainbow bridge section, feel she deserves a tribute for her valiant effort at life.

August 22nd, 2010, 02:32 PM
I am so sorry for your loss :grouphug:.

August 22nd, 2010, 02:48 PM
So sorry to hear about poor little Layla. That was a very nice tribute to her in Rainbow Bridge, such a sweet little face. At least you can be assured that it was not anything that you did, as she was really very sick and just didn't feel like eating or playing or bonding. I hope you have much better success with your next pup.