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Old 07-31-2017, 02:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Don't buy from this IL breeder!

We learned our lesson about finding a very reputable breeder the hard way and I want to save other people this heartache. I went to visit Merckx' breeders page (4selfboxers.com) only to find that they are still breeding his mom Amber, 6 years later, and 5 years after we told them about Merckx being diagnosed with canine meningitis. The vet told us it is inherited and he was born with it, but he didn't show symptoms until after a surgery, when he wasn't recovering normally. After a lot of tests and a spinal tap, they told us that he had meningitis, so we contacted the breeder, not to ask for anything, but so they knew they had a bitch that was carrying the gene for a terrible autoimmune disease. They offered us a FREE puppy, red flag number one. We obviously didn't want another possible special needs animal. I assumed they would stop breeding his mom and dad immediately. This is GENETIC. If you want to better the breed, you would not continue breeding a bad gene.

Fast forward 4 1/2 years later, a month ago, Merckx was diagnosed with ARVC, also known as boxer cardiomyopathy. After collapsing 3 times within an hour, two of those times we were already at the emergency vet, they did tests and diagnosed him. He died in my arms 5 minutes after leaving the emergency vet. It was the saddest day of my life. He was my child and my whole life. I was a dog walker for 3 years and he is still the sweetest, smartest, funniest dog I've ever met. I have again contacted the breeder and told them about his second genetically passed down disease and begged them to stop breeding Amber.

We are just starting to look at breeders, and we know a lot more of what to look for, price is not an object anymore, we are in no hurry, and I'll be utilizing this website and it's wonderful community of people. We will also be rescuing a second dog, after we get our puppy settled and trained, Merckx would have loved a doggy playmate.
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Old 07-31-2017, 04:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That's so unfortunate. I am sorry for your loss and what you're going thru.. A free puppy? Wow! I don't have experience with this however There R members on here who have a ton of awesome insight on breeding/raising boxers and recommendations/ testing. Hopefully they will chime in
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Old 07-31-2017, 11:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm very sorry you went through such a horrible experience with your boy but I need to clarify a couple things.....

Steroid responsive meningitis IS NOT GENETIC. I am getting rather annoyed lately with vets claiming everything to be genetic. Yes, it is caused by a stressed immune system and it commonly pops up under a time of stress such as a spay/neuter surgery. However it can have many causes such as a reaction to vaccines, a poor diet etc

As for the ARVC, well that absolutely is a genetic issue that our breed is known for.

This just goes to show that it's important to have a meet and greet with your potential breeder, make sure they do the suggested health tests for our breed as well as meet the adult dogs within the breeding program.

I wish you all the best in your search for a new happy and healthy puppy.
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Old 08-01-2017, 09:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Our pups are are heart & soul.
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry!! I'm curious to know if this breeder had you sign a contract that you needed to get their OK if you were going to breed Merckx. Did they say they'd replace one of their dogs if it became ill before it was 12 months old?

I think you'll find that many Neurologists treat large numbers of Boxers, and other breeds, for SRMA. No research really, but they suspect a genetic component. It's very prevalent in Bernese Mountain Dogs, and I admire the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America who have started the Berner-Garde Foundation which collects DNA, and tumor tissue through Michigan State University to help study these disease, and eradicate them, if possible, through research. Sadly, I don't see anything like this going on within the Boxer dog community. Maybe somebody will start this initiative.

About The Berner-Garde Foundation | Berner | Bernese | dog health
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