Hi again. I've got a breeder related question. Does anyone know if there are specific laws, rules or regulations that a breeder in the US (or more specifically MN) must follow/honor? I ask because I recently discovered that my Siberian Husky had sustained a skeletal altering injury while in the care of the breeder.
About two months ago, I noticed that what looks like Skye's left hip (its the top of the tailbone (pelvis on dogs?), not the actual hip) was noticeably larger than the right side. The bump looked like it could have been a growth (probably unlikely at then 8 months) but it was obvious even then that it was the bone pushing against the skin. Skye and I had gone to the vet for another problem back then, I had asked her opinion about it at the end of the session. By quick examination it looked as though it might have been part of Skye's gait, just the way she carried herself. If it got worse then we would try X-rays.
When I walk Skye, at this point she would always walk on my left side. a lot of the time, she would try to go ahead a few more inches by leaning her neck to the side that the leash was on. So I thought if I walked her on the other side she might do the same thing and hopefully correct it a bit if it were truly her gait that was the problem.
Well, it didn't help and it became more prominent. I had X-rays done and the vet thought them strange and had them sent to a radiologist for a more professional opinion. The pelvis bone was actually misshapen. I hope I can describe it well, if you imagine a pelvis bone like the outline of a butterfly, it would be like the left wing was taller than the right side and stretches a bit further from the center of the butterfly. The radiologist said that it was likely that Skye had an injury that broke her bone, fractured or cracked along (on a butterfly again) where the top section of the left wing connects to the body of the butterfly. This would cause it to grow asymmetrically. Fortunately, her hip joints seem to be ok and hopefully will remain unaffected by this.
I asked if this injury would have been painful, and the vet told me "very". I know that Skye has not experienced this type of pain with me, also no limping or lameness of any kind. That leaves it with the breeder. I also asked if it were possible to figure around what age the injury happened, but it wasn't certain.
Now, I don't know if I would press charges even if there were the possibility of doing so. The breeder never informed me (among other things) of this history and I do feel that I was taken advantage of being a first timer. She knew this and I know now that I was ignorant and unaware of her responsibilities as well as mine to inquire of this sort of thing. My concern at this point is that I just want to know the circumstances of the injury.
See Skye also still has her fear of strangers quirk that is set off primarily with guys. Now I would hate to think that something that traumatizing would have taken place at all in the 16 weeks that she had Skye, but I couldn't help but thinking that this injury could possibly be the major driver of her current fears. Whether the injury happened and wasn't preventable and Skye acquired her fear of guys because she was in pain whenever she was handled (maybe handled by the breeders husband often?) or the unthinkable and a man had actually caused the injury.
Like I said, I don't know if I would act on any regulations, but there's no way the breeder could not have known about the injury; Skye would have been limping and in pain for sometime while she was young. Has anyone had experience with anything like this? What can I, should I do in dealing with this breeder? I haven't spoken with her just yet, I'm waiting for a copy of the radiologists report to send her, but she's been short with me before and I'm just hoping that she's cooperative. Any advice?
Sorry about the length of the post again, I always appreciate your time.