Friday, January 2, 2009

Relationships: Vets and Breeders

Veterinarians are a breeders best friend.  They used to be; they should be still.  As was mentioned in the post The Power of Language,  the past two decades have brought about changes in the ways people treat and think about animals, vets included.  The following was written by "Lottadogs", a long-time dog owner, breeder and member of the showing fancy.  Read it, then go have a serious conversation with your veterinarian.

Vets and Breeders
by "Lottadogs"

The new vet is staring at my rather thick folder with an unhappy expression. “Are you some kind of breeder or something?” she asks as my heart sinks.

“Why yes” I answer with a smile, “I’m a breeder and I also do breed rescue making my folder extra thick. I like to say I’m a responsible breeder and that I care about more than just the puppies I produce.” She looks at me in disbelief and then examines my dog.

“How many litters has she had?” the vet asks. “None,” I reply, “she’s just getting old enough to have completed her health testing and I’m thinking about maybe doing a litter next spring.” Again the look of skepticism appears. We leave it at that and once the dog is cared for I leave.

Next time I’m at the office I ask for the senior vet and discuss the conversation I had with his new intern. He tells me the vet is very good but that the new vets are coming out of school thinking that breeding is bad as they don’t have a farm background like the vets used to when he was young. Back then most who studied veterinary science went into school from a background of animal care. Now they are people ‘who love animals’ and that is bringing in a new view of the animal owning world.

I do see more of the young vet as she is gentle with the animals and a good diagnostician plus her schedule is more open than the more senior vet’s may be. Over time she decides I actually am what I say I am, a careful and concerned breeder.

I know I’ve changed her view when she unexpectedly calls me one day for advice to help a client who needs to hand raise a litter. At one point during I conversation she tells me “This person shouldn’t even be a breeder as she’s not the least bit like YOU!” So I know the anti breeding prejudice is still there but at least now allows for there to be exceptions.

What is going on here that veterinarians are coming out of their studies disliking breeders? How could this happen that the professions that need each other should be so at odds? If there are no breeders there are no animals and no need for veterinarians. If there are no veterinarians who are familiar with breeding issues and the care of breeding animals then the breeders and their animals are going to be out on a limb alone with urgent or specialized care needs. People new to breeding will not get good advice or be guided into responsible practices by their veterinarian if the veterinarian is anti breeding.

What are the vets learning in school that makes them anti breeders and breeding? Here’s an example from one curriculum seen here .
“A small animal veterinarian has to decide what procedures he/she is unwilling to do for ethical reasons (e.g. ear crops, tail docs, de-claws, convenience euthanasia, etc.) and be equipped to deal with clients and colleagues who may disagree with your ethical values.”
The implication being that objecting is the correct and ethical stand.

In the early 1980’s,  Bernard E Rollin  who is now widely recognized as the father of veterinary ethics published a book Animal Rights and Human Morality which is and has been used in the study of veterinary ethics.
Veterinary Ethics: Animal Welfare, Client Relations, Competition and Collegiality by Jerrold Tannenbaum is another book used to teach veterinary ethics.

Previously ethics was considered to be about the ethics of running a practice, abiding by rules on advertising and dealing with fellow veterinarians etc. More recently it’s become about whether or not a vet should do a medical procedure depending on how they feel about it.

Starting in elementary school students today are presented with information on animal rights and encouraged to not eat meat, not wear leather, and to consider breeding and owning animals as immoral and cruel. By the time they get to a vet school they have years of images about greedy breeders, puppy mills, and animal cruelty firmly in mind.

Then at veterinary school these attitudes are reinforced with more training that comes straight from the animal rights agenda including peer pressure from those students who are ardently animal rights oriented. Some of it works to short term financial advantages for practices such as promotion of spay neuter surgeries.

There is the push for alternate sources of study rather than using real animals such as is seen here on the veterinarians for animal rights website  .   Not working on live animals is considered ‘good’ and working on living animals or dead animals is considered ‘bad’. Yet do we really want veterinarians who have not worked on the actual animal tissue working on our pets?

According to this site  :

“There are approximately 80,000 veterinarians in the United States, and 11,000 of them are already supporters of The HSUS.”
With HSUS being an animal rights group that supports the ending of all animal ownership or interaction between humans and animals it seems a bit strange to find any veterinarians supporting them at all, but they do.

So what are the results of the new age of veterinary science for the animal owner? Well in the new age lexicon Breeder = Greedy Evil Animal Torturing Person. Not quite how I view myself considering the thousands in dollars and thousands in hours I spend tending to my animals’ welfare!

This extends to the person with that new show puppy who will be encouraged to spay or neuter, not show or breed; perhaps the given opinion will even be based on faulty knowledge of a breed by a vet. I remember one vet who told me to spay my show puppy as she had an undershot jaw – which fortunately I knew was perfectly correct in my breed!

This also impacts the pet owner who might consider becoming a breeder as a definite effort to get the dogs altered is shown.

Extremely high prices for needed medical services come into play. $3500 for a c-section but only $150 for a spay with some vets refusing to do a c-section at all! When a beloved pet dies horrifically as the owner cannot afford to get needed medical care at staggering prices, how many will continue on thinking breeding is OK to do?

If you have a dog that is elderly but in good health, or young but dangerously aggressive or fearful, some veterinarians will refuse to euthanize if the animal is not untreatably ill. This leaves owners open to lawsuits if they rehome a dangerous animal because a vet will not euthanize it, puts more stress on the shelters who may end up taking in these animals, or in the case of a senior animal may mean the pet will be bounced in and out of shelters or foster care until it becomes too ill to rehome as so few adopt a senior dog. Is it kinder to keep the animal alive when the owner wants to euthanize? – some vets now think so.

Then there are surgical issues. Surgery is surgery and always has risks and is only ever done for the owner’s convenience and is never done at the request of the animal. So if it comes down to rights, how is it a vet can decide this surgery is OK and that is not? I’m pretty sure that if my dogs could discuss this, they would be happy to sacrifice a bit of ear or tail in exchange for sex and that their vote would be to retain the ability to reproduce.

In the new way of thinking,  it is OK to do surgical sterilization (NOTE: this is a .pdf file) of an animal with all the far reaching impact this may have due to the change in hormones this causes, but its not OK to snip off a length of tail before a pup can feel that surgery, or take off excess ear so that the ear can stand as is normal in dogs (a drop ear is a mutation seen only in tame canines). It is considered reasonable to mention only the positive effects of alter surgery but not to mention the negatives. Now how can it be OK to ‘sexually mutilate’ a dog without its agreement, but not be OK to prevent tail injury or fix an ear or remove a dewclaw? Do the vets not realize that if they alter the last animals they will be out of work?

I think one of the things the dog fancy perhaps even the AKC should be doing is ensuring the new vets coming along in the world are familiar with the positive side of breeding, and that ethical and responsible breeders not only exist but can be encouraged into existence by a vet with a good attitude towards breeding and the ability to guide a new breeder along the path of becoming a caring responsible breeder. Get them to be an educational resource for breeders rather than a card carrying breeder hating animal rights person. It all starts in their courses in veterinary science and they should be hearing from more than just the animal rights groups on the topics near and dear to us!


  1. Thank you for a very informative article. My wife had told me about this new counter-productive tendency in vets. I would like to know how they come to grips with the obvious conclusion that they will be the last generation of vets if they adopt the HSUS philosophy.

  2. This article is of great interest to me. I would like permission to forward it to my son a 3rd year vet student. If granted permission, I will ask him to print and share with his fellow students.

    Perhaps through this article we can open the eyes of at least 100 soon to be vets.


  3. Yes, please forward and distribute. We have to educate our vets and future vets!!!

    Thank you all for your comments! They are most appreciated.

  4. I thought I was the only person noticing this trend. I currently drive 2.5 hours with my dogs to visit a vet who actually wants to work WITH me to produce healthy dogs. Bravo and let's hope this gets to the veterinary community!

  5. I have 25 years breeding, showing etc and drive an hour to a vet who will "work with reputable breeders" It is very frustrating when you are treated like scum because you breed

  6. One large dog club has a long time practice of donating four few-thousand dollar scholarships to a nearby vet school for students indicating an interest in purebred dogs. This year, the scholarships were declined: There weren't that many students indicating such interest in the entire class.

    Like the rest of us, vets are busy people. They depend on their organizations to alert them to trends. But just as with the AKC, the people who get to the top of vet organizations are those who make THAT a priority -- very often, not the most forward thinking and rarely those who are willing to make waves. The AVMA is almost unaware of the AR threat; if you want to see how far they've gone toward the AR side, check their recently revised position statement on cropping of ears and docking of tails.

    State VMAs generally range downward from Virginia's (hamstrung by the ARs) to California (hard core AR).

    This isn't actually a business problem for vets. Interest in becoming a vet is declining but in the immediate future, demand for vet services will do the same as vets increasingly become an arm of law enforcement. 15-20 years out vet practices will be based on a legally required standard of care, sometimes supplemented by 'see no evil' services for those able to pay to not have illegal dogs and/or breeding reported to authorities.

    By all means talk to your vet. But focus on spreading the word to animal lovers generally, because (as with the AKC) it's too late for the vets to have much influence.


  7. I too am a breeder. I am fortunate in that my vet is also a breeder:>) So we get on very well. Like me she breeds sparingly but always with an eye to improve her previous efforts. She deeply loves her chosen breed as do I mine. To be faced by young vets who dislike breeders and breeding is indeed a frightening prospect. I live in Canada, so far I have not met or heard of these type of vets, but I do not doubt for one moment their existance. Animal rights has inflitrated nearly every walk of life why should we be surprised they have also gotten a platform in the schools of veterinary medicine?? They have run rampant in govenment particularly in the US but there is little doubt they are hard at work here in Canada as well.

  8. I too travel a long way to go to different vets with experience and judgement. I keep an account at my nearby vet that I've gone to for years but now I only go when I have an emergency that can't wait. My problem is that the newer vets the nearby vet clinic brings in don't seem to know anything and they especially don't know about dogs that are used for breeding. I end up teaching them!

    Even with a non-breeding problem they just run a bunch of expensive tests and take a guess. I'm out money and the problem is still not fixed. They seem to have no judgement - no analysis of the problem. I don't know if it is because they have no real hands on experience with a blood and guts animal or if they have been programmed to make money with the tests or some combination of those factors. Whoever was going to send this post to their vet student son - tell him and his classmates that they need to learn on real animals and with real mentors - not the AR types that want to take animals out of our lives. Thanks, Alice

  9. Interesting post that's right on the money. Society's increasing humanization of dogs is terribly disrespectful to these great creatures. This trend not only impacts breeders, but all other professions that work with dogs. It also degrades the human-canine bond that has developed over countless ages IMO.

  10. Thank you for posting this very important article!!! I've been a breeder of pedigree rabbits for over 20 years and have found most small animal vets to be very hostile towards my endeavor. It is a hobby which cost me money. There is no "big money" in rabbits. I find my livestock vet far more in line with the breeder aspect of things. Most vets do not have training in rabbit health and I have found, more often than not, that the treatment they prescribe to pet rabbits is quite dangerous. Some vets have become "exotic" vets (rabbits being considered exotic) and require very high fees to treat. Recently, I took a rabbit with an abscess on it's jaw to one of these "vets" and was given a quote of (no lie) $800.00 to treat a $35.00 rabbit. As many rabbit breeders do, I treated the rabbit at home, successfully as I knew the condition was far less "serious" than they were making it out to be. If the current trend continues with these Vets and their "ethics" many breeders will be prevented from any kind of home treatment (vaccinations, deworming, and minor treatments within the skill level of many knowledgable breeders.) It is in the interest of the Veterinary "practice" to require ALL treatments of any kind (minor included) to be done by a Vet and with Vets supporting laws to require this will be a detriment to all breeders.

  11. I think that a lot of it is because there are a lot of breeders out there who don't know what they are doing.

  12. I'm a vet student, who also happens to be involved in purebred dogs. I can tell you that most of the time during new-puppy/kitten/mongoose visits, alarm bells go off when we hear "we got him/her/it from a breeder." Most often, these patients are not carefully produced examples of the breed standard (though most vets, old guard included, couldn't identify breed standard with a picture book). They are often congenital nightmares with owners who are astonished that their $300 puppy with 'papers' could possibly have anything wrong. Often we, as professionals are asked to be involved in painful and litigious finger pointing between said breeder and owner.

    So really two problems exist - first, we, as vet students, are not taught much about reputable breeding practices, and second, we too often see the results of BYBers, puppy mills, and pet shop animals. We almost never get to see examples of truly fine breeding. I would estimate that only one out of every 15 dogs we see from breeders actually came from the type of breeding that many of you likely practice.

    So, as Ghandi said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Visit those new practitioners - show them the health testing records, let them see all the waiting and heartache that goes into producing your next litter of champions. Both of you will be better for it, and the purebred dog community will gain another friend. My personal foray into the community to find my own perfect breeder and puppy yielded startling results, and now, out of my class of 100, I am one of perhaps 5 people who know and understand what it means to be a 'good breeder'. I will always defend the right to breed, but I will vociferously stand against poor breeding practices. So forgive me if you ever come to me one day stating that you're a breeder. If I look skeptical, give me a chance to know you, your dogs, and your practices. Because once I bestow the title of 'breeder' on someone, they've earned a champion for as long as they're my client - it's not the kind of commitment that I take lightly.

  13. I want to thank each and every one that has taken the time to comment on this blog and to everyone that has cross-posted it across the internet.

    The reason I do this blog is to raise awareness to what is happening around us and to hopefully get more people involved in the fight for our rights and the fight to be able to choose for OURSELVES what is best for our pets/animals.

    I am lucky that I have wonderful, knowledgeable vets that have not been brainwashed by the AR agenda. But as Walt said, by all means talk/share with your vet...but the vets coming on board with us will not win the war for us...

    Once again, thank you all!

  14. On vets and breeders, here’s the flip side: As a veterinarian who did day practice for 16 yrs and am now an ER veterinarian, let me tell you what we as vets see. “Breeders” are often those ill-informed members of the public who decided to breed their pet store toy dog to recoup some of the money they spent purchasing the dog. They haven’t a clue about breeding, whelping, health screenings, puppy care, or anything else. After all, dog breeding is so easy that dogs can do it, right? So, when Fifi goes into labor, they start calling. “Something green is coming out”, “there’s a sac thing that comes out and goes back in”, “she had one puppy 6 hours ago and the next one won’t come out” (no, they didn’t have her x-rayed and don’t know how many pups there are). The dam is often shockingly undernourished and my staff and I spend 4-8 hours testing, monitoring, trying to manually assist delivery, getting the poor weak bitch in shape to undergo a C-section, then tube feeding, warming, providing nursing care for the pups, if they survive, and recovering a bitch that was a poor risk for any type of surgery, never mind a C-section.

    The breeders who are more informed and competent DON’T establish a relationship with a veterinarian by having routine physicals, vaccinations, heartworm tests, fecals, puppy exams, etc, done. They want to save money, so they vaccinate their own puppies and dogs, even sometimes having their puppy owners come back to them to complete puppy vaccines, except for taking 10-15 dogs to the office in their van and expecting the vet and staff to come out to them to give rabies vaccinations once a year, then expect the vet to drop everything and come running if one of their bitches gets into trouble, because, after all, she’s a prize show bitch and her puppies are valuable. Believe me, I’ve seen it more often than I’ve seen a good breeder establish a good relationship with a veterinary practice. I have bred a litter myself, and have good friends who are dog breeders, but we don’t see eye to eye on veterinary care. So, before the veterinarians all become the bad guys, maybe breeders should take a look in their own houses.

    Beth Cochran, DVM
    "To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe."
    -Anatole France

  15. I too am a veterinarian and see the truley disgusting breeders. For every one good breeder there are 10 like Dr. Cochran described. I do work with responsible breeders who have taken the time to establish a relationship with me and I do recognize that there are good breeders out there. However, the bad ones are BAD and totally overshadow the good ones. Course, I breed rabbits, and hate the AR people more than I hate the average bad dog breeder.

  16. Looks like the vets so far have missed the point.
    Instead of being hostile, educating their clients to bring them to a better understanding of responsible breeding would be nice and so much better for the resulting litters. Of course that would require the vets to have an understanding of breeding beyond a c-section.
    I cringe when I hear 'got the animal from a shelter' not because I'm against shelter adoptions but because I know that they likely got a poor example of any breed if they got a purebred with all the attendent health and temperament problems or they have a dog that has already had behavior issues in one home that the newbie owner won't be able to handle with generic training from one the the pet supply stores.
    And for the vet who complained about the breeders not letting them do the puppy shots - why on earth would anyone want to expose puppies to a vet office's other clients which could be ill or carrying parasites if they didn't have to?
    Why wouldn't a vet be willing to drop everything routine for an animal with an emergency situation - even if it is a dog that is being bred or if the emergency is a whelping issue?

  17. Here, here to the vets comments. Its not just about shots, but making sure the puppies get a physical before going to new homes. Checking for murmurs, eye, ears, and what goes along with that physical. As far as parasites if the breeder is responsible to do the 3 wormings before the pups physical one wouldn't have to worry about parasites.

  18. What an ignorant, right-wing nut case argument. If you don't like your Vet, find one that will cut the dog's tail and ears off. There are still a few of those who'll doing anything for a buck.

  19. I, too, have seen the anti breeder vet spreading. I have a clinic less than a mile from my home, yet I go to a clinic 30 miles away. Yes, I do have a wonderful relationship with my vet and the staff. I send up to the minute studies on health issues for my breed to him and he reads it all. He realizes that a breeder can teach him some things just as he teaches me. He is *not* a proponent of the new AR type stances the AVMA has been taking. He has bred in the past and surrently has working hunting dogs.

  20. LOL of course one should provide a buyer with a vet health certificate for a pup when its ready to leave or an adult dog for that matter (and I think this should be required of shelters too) but for parasites nothing beats bringing flea free animals to the vet and bringing home fleas from there because the previous pet wasn't flea free. Not to mention the chance of bringing in parvo, distemper, kennel cough or any of the other diseases readily available in veterinary waiting rooms.
    I also found it pretty funny that its OK to worm at home but not do shots. I even own a stethescope or two and an opthalmascope, and know how to listen to hearts or look at eyes yet I wouldn't hesitate to bring a sick pup to a vet for care above and beyond what I can provide and barely cringe at paying through the nose for such help. I budget for the annual vet visit to my home which runs into thousands for rabies shots, tick and heartworm tests, plus a years supply of heartworm meds.
    Pet puppy s/n comes out of my pocket as a part of the purchase price too. I'm just another awful breeder who prefers not to expose baby pups to things they don't need exposure to.
    Though I do understand vets make a nice profit on shots considering I purchase the top brands and they typically purchase the cheapest ones IME.

  21. kudos to other DVM's that have posted. When I graduated vet school, I made a pledge to myself and my profession that I would always be true to my ethics. I hold all of my clients to the same standards, breeders, non-breeders, cattle producers, etc. I will not put my license and/or career on the line for anyone. I will willingly do work for breeders as long as they respect my professional opinion. If I find a bad knee, cryptorchid, heart murmur, terrible mouth, fleas, snotty nose, you name it, I'm going to bring it to your attention and may not pass it on a vet-check or sign a health certificate. Because I too often see the results of those puupies that get passed along and end-up in the homes of people who did not know any better to look. And they're are potentially out of a considerable amount of money, and potentially a puppy. If you want your vets to treat you fairly, then offer them the same respect. Another word of advice, keep your dogs clean. What am I supposed to think when your breeding bitches come in caked with urine and feces. I understand that whelping is a messy process, but there is NEVER an excuse for urine and fecal staining.

    It's been my experience that the reason most breeders drive excessive distances is because they can get their work done cheaper, with no questions asked at other clinics. If it was truly about being treated better than you wouldn't argue prices and expect poor puppies to be approved.

    I will also take this moment to voice my opinion about all of the designer half-breeds that have become so popular. How can you, as "responsible" breeders, live with yourselves by charging $300, $400, $700 or more for what was a breeding accident only 5-6 years ago? I tell my clients not to waste their money on half-breeds when they can go to a local shelter and save one from being euthanised. You say that you all raise pups so that you can better the breed. Which breeds are those improving? Seems like a great way to make money to me.

  22. I would bet that most vets (and most Americans, for that matter) are not even aware of the AR shift that the HSUS has made over the last several years. Most people, vets included, would likely be mortified if they knew HSUS real stance on Animal Rights vs Animal Welfare. Most people think they're the latter, and donate accordingly. If they knew HSUS was more closely aligned with PETA in their philosphy, you'd see their support drop. They've made a very calculated, and quiet, move to the fringe; one that has been virtually unnoticed by the mainstream. Besides, people have always linked, however erroneously, the HSUS with their local humane society that heroically rescues strays and adopts out cute little puppies.

    So to hear that thousands of vets are members of HSUS doesn't necessarily surprise me much.

  23. Sadly, I'm not shocked at the comments by some of the veterinarians posting here.

    A couple of years ago I moved halfway across the country, away from the skilled vets who I had worked with to keep my dogs as well as the dogs I rescued in optimal condition. Arriving in a new city, I was stunned by the poor attitude regarding my status as a "breeder". I visited vet office after vet office bringing one or another of my animals in for a "check up" ~ certainly not concerned about wasting money I was merely concerned about finding a vet who I could work with who would not have a poor attitude about the fact that I show/breed my dogs. Finally, in great frustration I phoned one of my veterinary specialists in my home state and asked (begged) for assistance in finding a vet. She was gracious enough to phone a colleague at the college of veterinary medicing 300 miles away who phoned me to help me locate a vet who wouldn't A) disparage me for being a breeder B) talk to me as if I'm an idiot. I love the vet he referred me to.

    Throughout the years I have made a practice of supporting my vets. I buy my flea control from them, my worming meds etc... I bring the dogs in for checkups as necessary. I buy my shots from the vet (he would prefer I NOT bring my pups in again after their 6 week checkup) I support my vet so that he will support me (and my animals) when he's needed. His interest is in the best interest of my animals to the extent that he has asked me NOT to bring the 19 year old cat in unless he seems ill... his thought being that its too much stress for an animal that old.

    I'm willing to pay whatever he charges. Interestingly enough, of all the vets I met while screening, he's within a mile of my home and while he is more expensive for some things, he is less expensive for routine care.

    I sometimes wonder if the fact that he is an older vet has something to do with his balanced attitude.

  24. It's not the breeders giving the shots I've got a problem with. It's where most "breeders" GET their shots that bug me. A shot from the feed store is worthless and so it one that's been warm. If I had a breeder willing to buy shots from me I'd throw them at them... because then I 1) wouldn't be exposing them to a possible parvo situation, and 2) I'd KNOW the vaccines were good. A good vaccine is the only issue for me.

  25. Unlike the breeders and vets that have responded, I am simply a dog owner. However, I feel compelled to reply.
    When I started my research to find a reputable breeder of labrador retrievers, I was fortunate to locate a breeder who truly has the interest of her breed at heart. When I acquired my puppy, she advised me of the stance of the veterinarian community regarding many issues. I was a little skeptical of her comments, but have now experienced these differences of opinion firsthand.
    While my breeder provided me with statistical data related to spaying, vaccinations, etc., my veterinarian provided me with his "view". Yes, he provided me with data, but it certainly wasn't statistical data related to my breed and his research was inadequate. So the question is whose advice do I take? Without question, I take the advice of my breeder. Who else better than the breeder would know what is best for the breed? If your vet is insistent on certain issues, it's time to find another vet. Do your research - there are vets who will work with pet owners and breeders alike.
    Also, I need to add one more point. It is imperative that people who are looking to acquire a pet, must do extensive research to find a reputable breeder. My breeder continues to answer my questions (which seem to be endless) and she provides me with documentation to substantiate her advice.
    Next, I truly believe that the veterinarian schools need to provide mandatory courses to their cirriculum regarding the value of reputable breeders.

  26. I'm a South African breeder of boxers. We have not routinely cropped ears here for some time, but still dock tails. Our Veterinary Council has decided that docking is unethical; and has lead the profession to believe it is illegal. I learned to band in anticipation as I do not wish to put my vet in a dilemna. This means that whereas the vet saw the bitch and pups immediately for a post-natal check, then for tails, then 2X for shots and microchipping, he & his staff now only see them when they need shots/are sick. Who wins? I travel a long way to this vet, and not because he's cheap. He respects me and my dogs, and truly wants the best for them. I have seen local vets occasionally and have encountered much hostility! A friend with a seriously ill (docked) pup (she'd lost the mom in the c-section!) was threatened by a vet when she sought help when her regular vet was unavailable! The attitude is unbelievable; seems we all have the same problem.

  27. In the past I've tried to give some of my custom to the two best vets in my home town. However one is a breeder and she gets the lion's share of my work. The reason is that she has common sense.

    I wouldn't stay with a vet that was negative about my efforts at breeding. She also respects my ability to deal with my animals. Her business is large and successful so she isn't hyper if I am saving some with my own shots and worming. My vaccines are purchased via specific vet catalogs that have a good policy about the manner they handle their vaccines. I've called and asked for their policies about vaccines and the manner in which they are handled prior to purchasing. They are sent over night on ice in packs of 25. When I give a shot I peal the label to put on the shot record.

    My vet receives all the spaying/neutering, shots, testing and worming on dogs I've accepted for re-homing (not dogs I bred but only that I agreed to try to re-home). All my business that is not routine as well as brucellosis testing, etc. In addition, I recommend her to all my puppy buyers and to anyone else in town that asks for the name of a good vet. She is the best. I told her she wasn't allowed to retire until after I did! LOL

  28. Something that just came up this week in conversation with another breeder was a new trick being done at a local animal emergency clinic.
    They are spaying the dogs that come in for an emergency c-section without owner permission. You have to sign a general release form before they will help your dog and apparently they are using that to justify spaying the dogs on grounds its animal cruelty to breed dogs so small they need a c-section.
    We are talking champion bitches being spayed all because the emergency clinic is being is being relied on for off hours care!

  29. It is really no wonder that breeders try to save a bit in doing their own vaccinations (and you can get very good quality vaccinations from reputable companies). My friend is a newly minted vet and was fired from her first job out of school because she was only making $25K per MONTH. Frankly, that number boggles my mind. There are good vets out there who truly care about our animals, but there are many who are only interested in making money. It makes me wonder whether or not the procedure being done is for the benefit of my veterinarian's pocket book or for my animal's well being.

    I breed and show and have also encountered the skeptical attitude pervasive in the veterinary community. I have more than one veterinary clinic near me that I use, but there is no one vet in my area that I am completely comfortable with.

    My co-breeder lives in a semi-rural area and has an older, farm oriented vet. I will admit it was most welcome to only pay $5 per puppy for dewclaw removal and $32 for the health check on our litter of five puppies this time. These procedures are not that difficult to perform - my veterinarian usually charges $32 per PUPPY for the health exams and $30 per puppy for the dewclaw removal. Breeding and raising a litter is a very expensive proposition, and one thing that goes wrong even beyond the necessary procedures can escalate that cost beyond reason in short order.

  30. I think the majority of Vets here are missing the point. There are 'breeders' and there are "Breeders." Someone who breeds Muffy to Buffy to make a buck or recoup their expenses should be treated with a large ladle of education about excess puppies, health concerns and generally the wear and tear on the owner's dogs from breeding. Bringing in a dog coated with ANYTHING that doesn't have to do with an accident of some kind, matted or in generally awful condition? That person isn't a Breeder. They're making money off the short, miserable lives of their dogs. They're Vermin.

    When I go in to my Vet (and I have switched three times in the past five years thanks to the addition of too many young, hateful people wanting to "save" the world from people like me), I have to field the "when are we going to schedule the spay/neuter" question first and foremost. No, I'm not altering my dog because he or she is a show and possible breeding animal. They get yearly checkups, heartworm checks, a limited schedule of shots, etc. Plus a diet a heck of a lot better than the universally recommended brand that funds so much veterinary education.

    What's got me hopping mad? I spend time I don't have EVERY TIME I GO telling the vet why I don't alter that dog. Then I pay them a small fortune to do a blood draw for a disease they know nothing about (PRA, vWb, whatever), and have to educate them on that problem and why it would preclude using my dog as a breeder. Then there is the OFA Xray that I have to show the young Vets how to take (and I'm NOT supposed to be in that xray room per local law - but they have no idea how to take a diagnostic xray), explain why we do them routinely as a measure of health and to help decide if we'll be able to breed this dog for healthy puppies. All the testing (and this is a small example - other varieties of my breed need yearly testing that runs into the thousands of dollars)is before we even THINK about breeding that dog. Maybe the Vet I talk to THAT day now gets it, maybe not. But I can be sure the next visit and the next newby Vet will treat me like something they'd like to scrape off their shoe.

    Ok, so I do my testing (padding their pockets very well, thank you very much), fight to get paperwork signed to register that testing and my dogs are always clean, healthy and happy at the Vet's office. Makes not one whit of a difference in the way I'm treated by the office staff (sniffing and looking down their noses), the new Vet I'll see next week (who doesn't read anything in my charts, just asks "when are we scheduling the spay/neuter?") or the ER Vet I'll have to agree to spay my dog (yes, it has happened) before they'll do an emergency c-section to save her life. That dog sleeps in my bed, has claimed my husband as her own and will never leave us for any reason. But I'm "EVIL" because she had a litter of puppies that needed help being delivered.

    Vets, why can't you see that a responsible breeder is your partner and not your adversary? When you finish working with PETA and H$U$ to get us all limited to one or two spayed dogs and cats at a time, where do you think your "business" will come from? The mills or "Large Production Facilities" as they prefer to be called, are USDA inspected. We are just a family who shows, breeds and knows what's best for our breed and our own dogs. You used to be our champion and our savior in times of need. Now you're just another millstone around our necks and people turn to those pet shops and "puppy farms" because we are terrified of having one litter a year let alone the number of healthy, happy puppies that the public is looking for daily.

  31. Even to just pet owners, a lot of young, snooty, "new-age" vets and vet techs are really difficult. I find many vets like that get an attitude with me, blaming me for something wrong or pressuring me to do things I don't want to do, like buy the more expensive, less effective flea meds instead of what I know works with MY animal. They're rude, skeptical, and quick to pull the "cruelty" card. On top of that they usually know nothing about the animal at hand -- it's hysterical to pay a vet or vet tech to call you "cruel" and put you down because you reject the antibiotics they prescribe your rabbit -- because you know that the specific antibiotics they prescribe will kill your rabbit! Try fighting them on that.

    I am lucky, after a few dead critters, a lot of rudeness and arrogance, and thousands spent, I have finally found a vet I love -- willing to learn what little she doesn't know, knowledgeable, cares about the animals, not the cash, etc. Too bad the snotty little vet techs at the practice are rude and judgmental and pushy.

  32. "What an ignorant, right-wing nut case argument. If you don't like your Vet, find one that will cut the dog's tail and ears off. There are still a few of those who'll doing anything for a buck."

    I am painfully left-wing, to the point to where I am lucky not to be shot in a semi-red state, and I agree with this article whole-heartedly. We're nut-case's for not being animal rights fanatics? For not agreeing with the HSUS and PETA, who found everything on, not facts and logic, but insanity? Go sit down and eat your tofu, and let the adults talk.

  33. A veterinarians bread and butter is "ANNUAL" vaccinations and rabies shots. Breeders can do all of that themselves. Some states have made it a requirement that a rabies shot be given by a licensed vet. No reason for that. Anybody could give a shot like that. It isn't difficult. I was once told the army gives a guy an orange to practice on, then puts them to giving vaccinations to soldiers. Not exactly brain-surgery. But it is to the vet's advantage to have simple procedures required to be done by a vet. It does mean they can make money at it. Reputable breeders breed healthy dogs that don't require much veterinary care, so of course they see what comes from bad breeders. Sorry to say, the stories about purebred dogs being less healthy than mixed breed dogs just isn't true. Some breeds have known problems, those breeders know how to deal with (or not). At least those "known" problems are to be expected. Mixed breeds have all the known problems of all the breeds they are composed of. Who knows what that might be, so, of course, people are befuddled and don't know what to do when there fluffy looking poodle type comes up with a problem known to be in collies. That would confuse anybody.
    The cost of raising dogs is astronomical. Knowledgeable breeders will do all they can on their own. They have to. Most people can't afford to pay the price of a puppy as it is. You think more vet care should add to the cost? How come its ok for vets and pet stores to make a living treating dogs and selling dog supplies, but it is not ok for a breeder to make a living raising and selling puppies?

  34. And when asked, my vet answered:
    "I will stop cropping, dock and dew claw removal when they (the VMA) stops demanding that I perform pediatric neuters."

  35. I have a few vets that I routinely use. Two are in the interior of British Columbia and the other is in Calgary, Ab.

    The one vet is a fellow Boxer owner and a member of the same local Boxer club that I am. I use her when I'm in a pinch. Not because she's not good but because she costs quite a bit more.

    The 2nd vet is about an hour and a half's drive at the Tri Lake Animal Hospital in Winfield, BC. I use her because she's an excellent vet, has a vet tech who is a fellow Boxer breeder/exhibitor and she does a fabulous ear crop.

    The 3rd vet is Dr.Mark Norman at the Fishcreek 24 Hr Pet Hospital, my favourite and he's a 6 hour drive away in Calgary. Yes, I have taken my pups all of the way to him for their 1st vacs and microchipping. When we lived in Calgary, he would come to our house to give the shots and implant the microchips so that we would not have to take our pups to the clinic where they might pick up something. Then he graciously taught us how to microchip ourselves so that we could save a little bit of money. He has done ultra sounds on our pregnant bitches at no cost simply because he wants to see what's going on inside. He always takes the time to talk with us, meet our dogs and discuss different issues with us. He simply loves his job and loves his patients, the animals. Although he doesn't crop, he respects our decision to have it done and does not berate us for having the procedure done elsewhere. We band our puppies tails between 3-5 days and remove the dew claws at that time, ourselves and his only comment has been "well done". We learned to band because most vets do not know how long the tail should be according to the breed standard.

    On the negative side, I've only had one receptionist ask if we wanted our new show prospect puppy spayed when she came in for her 2nd set of shots, and that was when we first moved to British Columbia and were looking for a vet. To say the least, we never sheduled anything with that clinic.

    I'm sure the tide is changing in Canada as well where all breeders, reputable or not, will be faced with hostility but hopefully not while we're still in the Fancy.

  36. Don't you all understand that it's all about property and the right to own it and also to make money from it?

    I love my dogs as much as anyone, and if I want to breed them it should be my right to do so even if they are mutts! Have you ever considered how all these pure-breeds came about? People bred muts, or one purebred dog bred to another breed to get the desired dog they wished. The successful breeders got a following who showed approval with the pocketbook.

    In addition...all these righteous breeders breeding pure bred champions should take a good hard look at themselves. The breeder who breeds English Bulldog champions knows that the dogs will have eye and tail infection problems, a dog who has difficulty breathing, require a C section to have the pups, in addition to many other health problems. A champion German Shepherd conformation breeder in the US knows that their champions may have hip and elbow problems due to the deformed sloped back that is popular in the show ring. These poor deformed animals are often considered the champions. I wouldn't take one of these deformed dogs that were bred for politics more than improving the breed for any amount of money. I think they should be put to sleep to end their agony and under no circumstance should ever breed. Yet these supposed professional breeders who supposedly know what they are doing by adhering to the political arena by breeding these poor deformed animals are held above the back yard breeder who I believe is actually producing a better animal, even if it is through ignorance. At least they are not producing political animals that are deformed, and stand a better chance at actually improving the breed through their ignorance.

    If our rights to make money with our animals are stripped away, it's just another way that we can be controlled and unable to make a living.

    What is wrong with breeding a dog? That's what they were made for! Otherwise they would not have reproductive organs! What's wrong with making money from producing some nice pups??? They are PROPERTY!!! I love my dogs dearly and am still mourning the loss of 2 of my dogs in April, to the extent that I cry every day and am losing my hair...but...even though I love them dearly...they are property! I own them! And that is the issue at stake.

    We are being stripped of our right to own all property, whether that be animals, houses, etc.

    I feel that what is beginning with the animal breeding will carry over to humans in the near future...can't you just imagine how people in the near future will need a breeding permit? I can...

    You got to read this article...I thought it was very well written... The Facts Behind Anti-Pet laws-- Nation-Wide:
    What “They” Don’t Want You to Know... and Why

    Here is another good article that I recommend... The Population Control Agenda

    Here is a great website where you can read info to understand the big picture and be sure to check out the broadcasts at

    Here is a good site to learn what is happening to our rights to own pets....

    and here is a document that I stumbled onto many years ago, but I feel is the best summery of what is happening that I have read. I had to find it again, and it appears that others have re-published it. Check it out...

    Here is another good article...

    Wake up people! Most vets (and doctors) are not your friends! It all boils down to control!!! Of you!!

  37. I have had it with vets and their arrogance. If they want to be buddy buddy with HSUS, PETA and the animal rights movement, they don't deserve my business. I just had a friend that took a top winning Chihuahua to an emergency vet for an emergency C-section..they purpously left in 2 placentas in hopes of steralizing the dog..all the pups died and he almost lost the mother...they said it was because he breeds for money...this is crap and is against the vets Oath that they took when becoming a vet. I hope they get closed down..and he does not breed for money, he is a top show breeder who breeds for the love of the breed. Can't wait til this movement comes back to slap you in your faces...your chumming up with the wrong side, we breeders are your bread and butter, not the animal rights movement. Some day you people will learn.