Undescended balls in a Border Terrier

(10 Posts)
birgittestyle Wed 28-Aug-19 10:26:23

On our vets recomendation our 13 month old border terrier will have surgery on Friday to find and then remove his (at the moment hidden) testicles. She will do an ultrasound first and once located will carry out the proceedure.

She, and various others, have told me I should speak to the breeder about some compensation or contribution towards the cost of the surgery. Here in Germany they estimate it to cost up to 700 euros and the puppy himself cost a fair bit. The breeder is registered with the kennel club and is high profile amonst the terrier world as she shows her dogs and has been a well established breeder for a long time.
Of course we will go ahead with whatever is best for our dog but I am not quite sure how to approach the breeder.

Do any of you know if there is a standard proceedure for this? She never flagged it up at 11weeks as something to keep an eye on - the vet says she should have done this. I worry she might have been taking advantage of my poor German and general excitement.
How would you approach this in the UK/elsewhere?

OP’s posts: |
missbattenburg Wed 28-Aug-19 10:36:49

I wouldn't necessarily expect it to be something a breeder must flag up on. It fits more in the general health of raising a puppy category (for me) and so just part of the research owners should do when taking on a a dog. A breeder might mention it, and it's good if they do, but I wouldn't consider them to have any liability by not doing so, iyswim.

I find it unusual it's not been noted until 13months, though. We had a running joke with Battendog because anyone I same into contact with told me had had two balls.

It was one of the things the vet checked at his first health check at 8 weeks. It was something mentioned in a training class which involved a pretend vet examination to help him get used to being handled. It was something his groomer mentioned. It was checked again by the vet nurse when he had his second jabs.

Most breeders expect you to have the dog health checked within a few days and so I would imagine the absence of testicles would come up at the check and be reported back to the breeder then, even if the next steps are just to wait and check for them.

In all honesty, at 13 months I would probably just claim the cost on insurance and send an email to breeder just to make them aware. I wouldn't expect or seek any cost contribution.

But, I might be wrong in doing so...

birgittestyle Wed 28-Aug-19 14:13:00

Sorry, I dont think I was very clear. The vet noticed at his first examination, we also discussed it from the first puppy training classes and then the groomer also flagged it up. We were waiting for a year just to give him a little extra time as on some rare occasions there are some late developers.
I think it was my responsibility to report back the the breeders which I nevver did but I was rather hoping they would descend and all would be fine.
I have written to the Club for Terriers here (not naming the breeder) to ask if there is any procedure - also advice of vet and groomer - but had rather delayed this too as I had personally put it down to 'that's the way it goes' sort of mentailty. They seem to think tha the breeder shares liability and I wondered if this was usual or not? I'm not really keen to make too much out of it tbh.

OP’s posts: |
Jouska Wed 28-Aug-19 17:17:50

It is very unusual to get compensation from the breeder for undescended testicles. The breeder does not have any liability for this.

I would mention it to the breeder for breeding concerns but not to get any money from them.

Your insurance will cover this (be grateful insurance does not cover neutering in other circumstances)

BiteyShark Wed 28-Aug-19 21:06:38

I would have thought your only recourse would have been at the very beginning when you purchased the puppy.

With my contract I would have needed to have contacted them within 1 week if my vets had picked up any issue.

Jouska Thu 29-Aug-19 08:19:43

You couldn't get recourse when you bought the puppy as testicles can take a year to drop.

BiteyShark Thu 29-Aug-19 08:50:40

But the OP didn't contact the breeder to tell them that it had been noted when she first got the puppy.

If I thought I would be chasing them for money in a years time I would have flagged that up in my contract time at the start but then again I wouldn't actually try and claim any money back in this situation personally as I would just put it down to one of those things regarding health.


Jouska Thu 29-Aug-19 10:12:38

The issue the OP could have is with insurance as often when you get your puppy you have 6 weeks free insurance. If the OP changed to another insurer at the end of this 6 week period the undescended testicles would be classed as an existing condition as the vet noted the problem before the second insurance was taken out.

It would be unusual to note with the breeder at 8 weeks as many dogs do not have descended testicles at this time - a bit like noting the dog is not fully grown!

I can not see how the breeder can have any liability in this situation at all - maybe if they knowingly breed from a dog with one undescended testicle but I still feel the responsibility is on the new owner to research this along with other health tests results

birgittestyle Thu 12-Sep-19 13:33:39

So it turns out the operation was even more complicated as our dog had only 1 normal testicle, something the vet couldnt really identify on the other side and some sort of part of a vulva in the penis. It was a 2 hour operation and quite complicated. He is recovering well but there is still some swelling - the stitches have been taken out. His head does seem all over the place. He is marking much more frequently and more reactive than he has ever been. I understand it takes a while for the body and head to readjust to this but am wondering if I should be training him out of these new behaviours. Recall has gone to pot and he was snarly with his park nemesis. I am worried that if I leave it whilst he rebalances whether this behaviour will become the norm for him. Very grateful for any advice...

OP’s posts: |
GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Fri 13-Sep-19 20:15:29

That all sounds rather horrible for him and you. Personally, given how feisty borders and terriers in general can be (I say this as a former terrier owner who really likes them) I'd go to a behaviourist sooner rather than later.

I think the advice to not seek compensation was right. We had a puppy with a minor pre-existing issue and the vet suggested nabbing the breeder but a) I should have noticed, quite experienced enough, b) it was minor and could safely have been left and c) the breeder had impressed me with how much he cared about where the puppies were going.

I'd make your breeder aware about your interesting puppy, because if I bred a litter I'd want to know stuff like that, but not expect any money.

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