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Discussion Starter #1
Hi!
My puppy is scheduled to come home on Monday when he turns 8 weeks, he is currently 7 weeks and the breeder called me today to tell me that he’s fontanel is open 3mm. He is a Shihpoo. Anyone else has experience with open fontanel, is 3mm big of a concern? I called the vet and she’ll give me a call back but she’ll probably tell me to wait and see if it closes. Should I take the risk and hope for the best or just forget about him and start looking for another puppy? :(
Thank you! I would appreciate your advice!
 

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I personally would not buy a dog with an open fontanel without first having a vet verify that the dog does not have hydrocephalus. Even then, this isn't exactly an extraordinary type of dog, so I find it hard to see paying a breeder money for a dog that may have a congenital defect (sometimes those fontanels close, sometimes they don't) in the absence of some special circumstance, when there are so many other puppies out there that don't have the problem.

This being a "designer dog" raises extra red flags for me...most of those breeders are puppy millers or substandard backyard breeders who don't health test and don't do much planning or research beyond cute dog + cute dog + cute portmanteau = puppies I can sell for more money.
 

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I won't offer any medical advice, but I will say you should pass on this particular puppy.

This could be a dog with the recessive genes from both the sire and dam.

As said, this is likely either a puppy mill or a backyard breeder who cares only about the $$$$$.

Wait, find a healthy pup from a known and verifiable source.
 

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While it's good that the breeder alerted you to the problem, I'd also be wary of taking on a dog with this condition without a thorough exam from a vet I trusted. Especially if the breeder can't answer whether this condition has been present in the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. and whether it closed with maturity in those cases. I'd also be reluctant if:

1. The puppy was being sold at the same price point as its siblings with no obvious congenital defects
2. The puppy is being not sold under a contract that offers some kind of protection in terms of refund, help with vet costs, replacement puppy, etc. in case this condition requires extensive treatment, other congenital issues occur, or (goodness forbid) the puppy needs to be euthanized due to complications from this or other congenital conditions.
3. The breeder is not willing to take the puppy back for any reason, related to the fontanel or otherwise.

These aren't hard limits for me. For example, if the puppies were being sold for a relatively low amount to begin with, or if I felt the breeder was offering something exceptional that would be difficult to find elsewhere that justified the cost (not like breed or color, more like if the puppy had been through a rigorous socialization program and was already potty trained and crate trained, etc).

Now congenital issues can happen to the best of the best breeders of any breed. But what I'm saying is that if I'm going to be paying high quality breeder prices, I'm going to expect a dog that has everything stacked in its favor, from genetic testing on the parents to neonatal stimulation, socialization, and training. And lifelong support from the breeder for any training and behavior questions, genetic issues, or rehoming the dog if ever necessary. If the only thing a breeder can offer me at those prices is a cute puppy, well. Virtually all puppies are cute. Add in a condition that may or may not be a big deal, I'd be pretty hesitant. Rather just choose a cute puppy from a shelter or rescue at that point, or find a breeder whose practices deliver on the cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This is not giving medical advice. The vet told me it is my decision if I want to take the risk or not so I’m simply asking if anyone has experience with this and share it with me or give their thoughts on that.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
the source is liable. the open fontanel issue is very common in small dogs just so you know and doesn’t mean for sure there is something wrong with the breeder! there’s still a big chance he might just close a little later let’s not forget that...
 

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the source is liable. the open fontanel issue is very common in small dogs just so you know and doesn’t mean for sure there is something wrong with the breeder! there’s still a big chance he might just close a little later let’s not forget that...
Yeah, but there's also a chance it won't, or that it's a symptom of a more serious problem, and you won't find that out until after you're attached to the dog. And there are innumerable dogs to be had that don't have the issue.

There are enough surprise medical issues that pop up with dogs over their lifetimes - I personally wouldn't take on a pup from a breeder that already had a known issue unless it was some kind of special circumstances. It's not like it's a rescue situation - if the breeder is reputable she'll still take good care of the pup, so you don't need to worry about it, and if she's not reputable, then why would you want to pay her money? So either way...I'd walk, personally.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi! just wanted to say thank for everyone who gave me some advice. I got to talk to 4 different vets and they all said 3mm is barely anything, it is very common in small dog breeds and I shouldn’t be worried. They didn’t even mention to be more careful with him comparing to other puppies. We are welcoming him home on Monday and are extremely excited!❤
 

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It was pretty clear from the jump that you'd already decided, so I hope it works out despite the red flags. "Shihpoo" indeed.

Make sure you get a signed health guarantee contract in writing (e.g. that they'll refund your purchase price if congenital or genetic defects become apparent before 24 months) from the breeder at least.
 
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