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Posting this on behalf of a friend who has a 8 month old cocker spaniel, Tucker. She took him to the vet when she noticed he was looking very thin and despite feeding him more he was not putting on weight. He had several blood, urine and faeces tests (cost almost £500 altogether) and they finally told her it was likely that he has a liver shunt, and she needs to take him to a specialist 2 hours away. She was told the consultation would be £250 and investigative surgery would be around £1000.

She thought she would be fine as she had insurance with The Kennel Club, but when she phoned them they informed her that they would not pay as the insurance was only activated 4 days before the first vet visit (they do not cover for the first 14 days). The insurance was supposed to start soon after he was collected from the breeder at 9 weeks old, however the Royal Mail lost his registration forms, meaning she was not the registered owner until the breeder gave her new forms when he was 7 months old (at a meet up for all the litter).

If it is a liver shunt as the local vet thinks, Tucker will need to have surgery to correct this which after some research she's found will probably cost around £4000-£5000.

The most frustrating thing is that the dog seems happy, and shows no sign of being in pain or feeling ill, the only thing that shows he is ill is his weight loss. He also never stops running about which apparently is also a symptom! This is what would make it so much harder if she has to have him put down. But she has also been told that due to his liver problems, the anaesthetic could effect him more and he could not wake up at all.

Has anyone had any experience with dogs with liver shunts? How much was the operation? Is the dog going to have a healthy life afterwards?

Also, what are her options for paying that amount of money when the insurance won't cover it? She has raised £450 on a just giving page (https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/katieandtucker if anyone could spare anything at all, it would be hugely appreciated) but the consultation and investigative work is next Thursday (the 8th) and she has been told they need the payment on the day.

She loves her dog to bits and he's so young, she'll do all she can to get him better but finding £5000 isn't easy! Any advice would be appreciated hugely.

Thank you
 

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It's her responsibility to take care of the dog. Even if she has to take a loan or finance the bill as AsherLove has replied. It's something that is expected.
Everyone is monetarily responsible to their dog/animal that they take into their ownership.

That is why it's very critical to do lots of research of different dog breeds and see what illnesses are associated with that particular breed. IF you want a pure breed.
Mixed breeds are more likely to be healthier.

I just researched that Cocker Spaniels have liver problems. It's quite common for them.
 

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Please don't continue to spread this, it's quite simply not true.
I agree with foxes. people who breed mixed breeds (for non sporting reasons) rarely do genetic testing, the dogs are often not proven in anything to show they are capable, the dogs are often just random pets crossed with random pets, and often the breeds mixed together are similar that have similar genetic issues so are at a risk of those same genetic issues.
 

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So inbreeding, which is the norm for pure breeds is healthy? I don't believe that false opinion of yours.

Mixed breed dogs are healthier. They are less likely to get genetic defects caused by inbreeding.

Please don't continue to spread this, it's quite simply not true.
 

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Line breeding is still breeding very closely to the same bloodline or DNA.
That is still a form of inbreeding.

Say what you will, but any close breeding of the same/closely related DNA will cause more health defects in a dog or any animal.

Pure breeds are inbred in one way or another.

Would you as a human being line breed or inbreed with any of your relatives? Wouldn't that mess up the offspring in one way or another?
Tell me the truth on that question.

Good breeders line breed which is different from inbreeding.
 

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Speaking as someone who has worked in the veterinary industry for more than a decade I can comfortably say that there is no intrinsical difference health wise between a purebred and a mixed breed. Yes purebreds have certain health issues that they are prone to, but IME that actually makes it easier to diagnose and treat their health issues. We don't have to go through the whole list of things that they may be symptomatic for if we know there's a certain percent likely hood that it's this disorder vs. the 10 others that it could be. I have also met quite a few mixed breeds with severe health issues that took them at a very young age, 6-16 months old. The biggest thing that affects the genetic health of a pup is good breeding regardless of breed or mix.

Anywho to get back on topic and answer the OP. It's likely that even if your friend had the insurance coverage the company still wouldn't pay, since liver shunts are considered congenital defects and would most likely be a pre-existing condition even if it wasn't diagnosed yet. Your friend should contact the breeder and see if they can help with the costs. A good breeder would/should pay for medical bills up to the cost of the pup, though your friend may need to check their contract since sometimes breeders will request they return the pup instead. The U.K. has slightly different cultural standards that are expected of breeders compared to the USA. As far as the likely hood of surviving the surgery, that would need to be discussed with the vet and surgeon since it really depends on each individuals current health status. My co-worker has a Brussles Griffon that they did the surgery on and she's still alive and well at 14 years old.
 

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Line breeding is still breeding very closely to the same bloodline or DNA.
That is still a form of inbreeding.

Say what you will, but any close breeding of the same/closely related DNA will cause more health defects in a dog or any animal.

Pure breeds are inbred in one way or another.

Would you as a human being line breed or inbreed with any of your relatives? Wouldn't that mess up the offspring in one way or another?
Tell me the truth on that question.
A study was done about the health of mixed breeds and purebred dogs that spanned a decade. They surveyed 27,000 animals. Purebreds were more likely to suffer from genetic illnesses, like DCM, aortic stenosis, bloat, cataracts, and epilepsy. In other words, all illnesses that ethical breeds should be tracking and avoiding in their lines. Mixed breeds were more likely to suffer from cruciate ligament tears. Purebreds and mixed breeds suffered equally from cancers, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, hip dysplasia, and more.

While there's a taboo about human relatives producing offspring, there isn't any science that proves that problems will occur except for in offspring from people who are closely related (sibling/sibling, parent/child, first cousin/first cousin).

You're far more likely to get a healthy purebred dog from someone who knows their lines, tracks health issues, health tests their stock and removes dogs who produce offspring with issues from their kennels than you are to get a mixed breed dog produce by someone who does none of those things. And on the other side of the spectrum, a poorly bred purebred dog from an unethical breeder is likely to be more unhealthy than the average mixed breed.

Not all purebreds are created equal. Don't paint them all with the same brush.

Back to the OP's question:

In the states we have CareCredit, which is a credit card that veterinarians (and other healthcare professionals) take in order to cover large bills. The terms of the card are six months same as cash. Does anything like that exist where you are? Will the breeder cover any of it?
 
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