Daily Mirror about some Staffie owners whose dog experienced difficulties while giving birth. They took her to the vets and were shocked to find the bill for a Caesarian would be at least £1,240. They were given an ultimatum, pay £1,200 in the next 24 hours or have the mother and pups put to sleep. The bitch couldn't be moved, so there was no chance of shopping around - although I have to say that doesn't sound an expensive C-section to me.
They paid £90 for the mum and unborn pups to be put to sleep.
They had their dog's mother at home, too - so presumably they'd bred their current dog themselves so this wasn't the first litter they'd bred. They weren't complete novices.
The headline and the tone of the article instantly makes you think the vet's been a bit harsh, but unlike a car accident or a sudden diagnosis of a serious unforeseen illness, if you allow your dog to get pregnant you know there is a risk to the mum.
Why should the vet pick up your bill?
And why were these people breeding yet another litter of Staffies? Is there a world-wide shortage of them suddenly? Aren't the rescue kennels already completely over-flowing?
Was it to make money?
If you breed for money there are definite costs you should be off-setting against your profits. What would a litter of Staffie pups fetch, if you were able to sell them of course in a very over-crowded market? Around the cost of the C-section perhaps?
If you plan to breed a litter you must always be ready for the possibility of a C-section or another medical emergency in your budgeting. And if you can't cover the emergency vet's bill - in my opinion you really shouldn't be breeding. There is after all no NHS for dogs.
Please support the introduction of a Universal Puppy Contract which will hopefully dissuade people on the breadline from finding having litter-after-litter of pups attractive financially.
Very sad for the mum and pups, but logically, should they have ever been conceived?