Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

Is it me? Or the illness?

977 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Jen2010
Hello everyone,

I’m new here so I am begging you to be kind as I’m in a pretty bad place.

I am not yet 2 weeks in on welcoming a puppy into my home, and I’ll just say we’ve had a very rough go. In the very first week I had to rush him to a vet hospital where he was diagnosed with 3 separate infections (with the possibility of a congenital disorder if the symptoms don’t improve with antibiotics) and to say that I’m overwhelmed would be an understatement.

I did so much research trying to find a breed suitable to my lifestyle. Organized my work schedule so he would be alone only alone 4 hours at a time (plus I will be leaving my job in 2 months so we have more time then). Set up the perfect puppy palace with supplies. And was so so excited to bring him home. I had been planning for 2 years.

However on top of typicical puppy growing pains (which I expected), the 3+ vet visits, strict and intensive medication regimen, and horrible heartbreaking symptoms, has diminished any excitement I had into exhaustion and fits of tears.

He is a little lover and honestly the best little boy, but everyday I am fighting the impulse to give him back to the breeder (they have been extraordinarily supportive through this whole ordeal, and feel terrible about what we’ve been through). I am plagued with self doubt that I cannot adequately care for him. I am wondering if this is because I cannot handle a puppy? Or if it’s because I’ve been dealt a pretty difficult hand with his illness.

The cost has been significant, but I really have tried not to let it get to me as I wouldn’t bat an eye at spending this much if he were an older and already established member in my family. But at only 2 weeks, I’d be lying if I said there weren’t any sticker shock. (Honestly I would prefer not to have comments on the cost because it isn’t the underlying issue and I am happy to pay for these bills if it is a temporary problem...)

But I am spending so much time looking after him that my own self care has deteriorated (not that that means much when he really should be the priority while he’s still sick)... but my lack of sleep from waking up every few hours to medicate/soothe him and overall lack of appetite has affected my ability to bond with him. Something that I am so ashamed to admit.

I am plagued with these questions:

What if I give him back to the breeder, his infections turn out to be temporary, and I loose the opportunity at a wonderful best friend?

Or, what if this infection is just delaying the inevitable, that I just cannot handle a puppy in general, am more suitable for an adult rescue, and that I am just making it harder on both of us by being resistant to give him back?

Please please any advice is welcome... I am crying as I write this with him finally asleep on my lap. I feel like I am falling apart...
See less See more
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Puppy blues are pretty common, and to add all this stress in on top of that is certainly not making anything easier for yourself. I'm sorry you and the pup have been dealt such a rough hand :(. Would the breeder be willing to cover any of the costs, or at least refund the cost of the puppy? Are any of their other puppies having problems?

Hang in there. Can you have someone watch him for an afternoon so you can just have some time to yourself, or time out with friends?
I find it takes a while to bond with a puppy even when it's not sick. They do have personalities, but it takes a while to really "get" the puppy's personality and start loving it for who it is, not just because it's a cute little thing.
Do you trust/like your breeder? If so, ahve you reached out to her about the puppy's problems? She may have insight for you, or may offer support.
If you get a puppy and he turns out to be ill AND the illness turns out to be incurable (I have no idea what you are dealing with) you may be faced with managing this animal's illness for the rest of its life.

It is heartbreaking to let go of a baby animal and even more so if the animal is not well. We want them to get better. However, the reality is that some times they do not and/or cannot get better.

For EXAMPLE (NOT saying this is your issue!), there are things like Persistent Right Aortic Arch where a blood vessel that normally disappears as a puppy grows does not disappear. The result is a puppy with reflux (from mega esophagus) who can not eat with his head down and who must eat in a special made stanchion so he is forced to sit up and eat. It is a congenital disorder that can be addressed with thousands of dollars worth of surgery during a very specific window in the puppy's growth. If it is not done then, the dog will have to eat sitting up AND still may aspirate food causing infections and so forth sio these dogs often don't have great long lives. Even if it is done, the surgery is not always successful in removing the reflux issue (mega esophagus).

While each must travel their own journey in something like this, I can tell you that if my puppy had a congenital issue requiring major life long management, the puppy would be returned to the breeder.

It may sound selfish, but I want a healthy puppy, not a puppy that may be short on life and long on medical bills.
See less See more
Sorry to hear about your situation. If you don't mind sharing, what breed is the puppy and who is the breeder, or...what does the breeder do in the way of health and temperament testing?

It is unfortunate regardless that you and the pup are going through this stressful and draining ordeal. But it'll be the genetics of this puppy that will determine how likely this is to be a long term issue.
It can take a long time to bond with a puppy even when they're not sick. Especially if you've been waiting a long time to get one; it can be kind of a let down. Even if you think you're fully prepared to get a puppy - you're not. I didn't really bond with Pepper until she was around 6 months old. I also shed a lot of tears in those first 6 months and wondered what I had gotten myself into. But it all worked out, I was just completely overwhelmed and un-prepared (even though I had waited a couple of years to get a puppy too).

If it weren't for the health issues I would say give it more time to allow both of you to adjust to the new life. If the puppy does have some kind of permanent/genetic health problem I would return it to the breeder since it's not what you signed on for and were unprepared for that kind of investment.
See less See more
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.