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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just returned from a vet visit for little Annabelle, the runt of our Malinois Litter, they are 4 weeks old today. Need advice, thoughts and input from experienced breeders and such if possible.

Little Annabelle is apparently a medical mystery. Annabelle urinates and defecates out of the same opening, my veterinarian and the others in his practice had never seen anything of the sorts but seemed to think that she'd probably still be able to live a normal life w/ the exception that whomever she stays with may have to clean her off occassionaly after going potty. BUT that isn't her only problem.

She also has a significant heart murmur. :( He said as a puppy she'll probably get along just fine but as she gets bigger it will probably cause her more problems. He said we can do an ultrasound to find out how severe the heart problem actually is and that maybe it'll show that she could possibly live 4-5 years or more if we are lucky.

IF this were a puppy from your breeding, would you do the ultrasound and find out the extent of the heart defect, would you do a wait and see (knowing that obviously she will not leave your home unless some unusual person come along that wants to take on such a thing), or would you go ahead and have her put down?

If you go ahead w/ the ultrasound, and the heart defect is really bad, do you go ahead and put her down then? If the heart defect isn't too bad (but still not good), what do you do then? I can see good points on each decision but ultimately I don't know that myself nor my family would handle keeping her knowing that possibly in a few months or years we will have to make the ultimate decision...but then what if that didn't occur for many, many years? *sigh*

Other littermates are healthy as horses and turning into little biting, growling, barking, fighting hoodlums. Puppy is currently growing and 'looks' and acts healthy just like her littermates.
 

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the others have no heart murmeors or something else? She is the only one ?
I probably choose for putting down, but is a hard call on a 4 wk old.
 

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I can tell you what I'd do (probably euthanize), but - I think this is a decision you need to make. I know you've been particularly attached to little Annabelle and it might be tough for you. Think it through - either way, though, it's worth it to tough it out for another couple of weeks or so and see how things go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone. My actual vet will not be in until Tuesday. Although I really trust all the vets in his practice and have seen them all over the years, I value HIS opinion more than the others. I have an appointment on Tuesday morning with him but I suspect we will make the decision then to let her go. :(
 

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Tammy McDowell said:
Thanks everyone. My actual vet will not be in until Tuesday. Although I really trust all the vets in his practice and have seen them all over the years, I value HIS opinion more than the others. I have an appointment on Tuesday morning with him but I suspect we will make the decision then to let her go. :(
If it were me, I would do the ultrasound and see how bad it is. At that point, I would make a decision. Just remember....no matter what decision you make, it is the RIGHT one. She is one of your babys, and I am sure you will do what is best for her.
 

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Do you know the grade of the murmur (graded on a 1-6 scale)? If the murmur is a soft one (grade 1-2, possibly even 3) at 4 weeks old can be "innocent" and as the heart grows, the sounds will normalize. You said "significant" which implies something more.

Dr. Alan Hammer here in Ohio does my heart ultrasounds. He explained to me that a heart sound can be a stream of water hitting some rocks, with only a little bit of water pushing through, but with alot of noise. Sometmes very loud murmurs turn out on ultrasound to be a such very small deviation from normal as to not impact quality of life whatsoever.

In my experience, if a puppy with an early heart murmur has a serious heart defect, clinical signs will appear by 6 weeks old. The puppy will fatique early and not be growing steadily. It doesn't matter if the pup starts out the smallest, as long as growth is steady. In my experience, an early heart murmur with good growth and activity has a good end result. In my experience, murmurs that develop AFTER 3 months old always indicate a problem.

The most troublesome part in your case is the malformation in the lower tracts. I'd suppose the heart will be more than slightly abnormal.

I'd give her to 3 months and see how she is growing, then do an ultrasound at that time. I screen heavily for heart problems to keep it out of my breed and have only encountered a few serious congenital issues, but oddly enough, the affected pups have especially charming personalities and while undersized, were placeable, have thrilled their owners despite that the lifespan may be shorter. I've found it hardest to lose oldtimer dogs that have been with me the longest.


Tammy McDowell said:
Just returned from a vet visit for little Annabelle, the runt of our Malinois Litter, they are 4 weeks old today. Need advice, thoughts and input from experienced breeders and such if possible.

Little Annabelle is apparently a medical mystery. Annabelle urinates and defecates out of the same opening, my veterinarian and the others in his practice had never seen anything of the sorts but seemed to think that she'd probably still be able to live a normal life w/ the exception that whomever she stays with may have to clean her off occassionaly after going potty. BUT that isn't her only problem.

She also has a significant heart murmur. :( He said as a puppy she'll probably get along just fine but as she gets bigger it will probably cause her more problems. He said we can do an ultrasound to find out how severe the heart problem actually is and that maybe it'll show that she could possibly live 4-5 years or more if we are lucky.

IF this were a puppy from your breeding, would you do the ultrasound and find out the extent of the heart defect, would you do a wait and see (knowing that obviously she will not leave your home unless some unusual person come along that wants to take on such a thing), or would you go ahead and have her put down?

If you go ahead w/ the ultrasound, and the heart defect is really bad, do you go ahead and put her down then? If the heart defect isn't too bad (but still not good), what do you do then? I can see good points on each decision but ultimately I don't know that myself nor my family would handle keeping her knowing that possibly in a few months or years we will have to make the ultimate decision...but then what if that didn't occur for many, many years? *sigh*

Other littermates are healthy as horses and turning into little biting, growling, barking, fighting hoodlums. Puppy is currently growing and 'looks' and acts healthy just like her littermates.
 

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Tammy, how did this turn out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorry for not updating sooner. We made the decison on Tuesday to put Annabelle down after consulting w/ my personal vet and the team of vets on his staff. :(

Selena van Leeuwen said:
the others have no heart murmeors or something else? She is the only one ?
I probably choose for putting down, but is a hard call on a 4 wk old.
Selena, all other pups were given a clean bill of health. :)

Thanks for the input everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Jeff Oehlsen said:
Can you post the pedigree for us?? Curious, as this would be something I would want to avoid.
Certainly Jeff. For one, please avoid any and all Roe v. Joefarm (hmm...maybe just avoid the whole EuroJoe/Joefarm kennel just in case ) as well as all Stoned v.d. Duvetorre Offspring, Ogar Van De Haantjeshoek, Uvito, anything from the Van Boekhout Akker kennels and you may also want to stay away from anything to do with A'Tim being as he is a 1/2 brother to the great-grandfather of this litter (they are related so we shouldn't take a chance just in case)...stay away from ALL of these lines because there may be some very rare instance where 1 puppy may come up with a serious birth defect.

8)
 
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