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  1. #1
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    May 2014
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    Default Can You Recover Vet Bills After Buying a Dog With Parvo

    Hello, I recently (7 days ago, sunday, May 11) purchased a puppy. I took him for a checkup which was mandatory according to the contract with the breeders and he was clean but he got sick soon after and we brought him back and he was diagnosed with Parvo (they don't check for this in puppy checkups). This was 4-5 days after purchase but Parvo can not show up until at least 6 days so according to the vet it is impossible for him to have contracted it while with us so it must be from the breeders. They are adamant that they are not at fault but the issue is that we had to bring the dog to the hospital and had to leave him in for treatment or he would have almost certainly died. This led to over $1000 in hospital bills and climbing (and its only been 2 days). I want to know whether we can take the breeders to court for the medical fees if they refuse to accept responsibility? Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can You Recover Vet Bills After Buying a Dog With Parvo

    What does your contract say about your rights and remedies in the event that the dog is determined to be sick?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States
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    Default Re: Can You Recover Vet Bills After Buying a Dog With Parvo

    They say the dog must be checked out within 48 hours and that no refunds will be given but a replacement dog will be made available if something occurs within that time period. They say that they will not cover any minor issues and that contractual diseases like parvo will not be covered if contracted within our care. (But the dog contracted Parvo in their care so I don't believe this will be of issue)

    http://imgur.com/Lnutby9

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can You Recover Vet Bills After Buying a Dog With Parvo

    Not that I want to sound heartless, but it has to be asked: Did you request, or did they offer, a replacement dog?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States
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    Default Re: Can You Recover Vet Bills After Buying a Dog With Parvo

    Yes, I asked about one and they refused to acknowledge my statement and gave us, according to the veterinarian, "horrible advice to take the dog out of care which would have almost certainly led to his death," which could be considered as animal cruelty by taking him out of necessary care in a life/death situation. They refused to answer questions about a replacement dog and kept saying the dog was going to be fine and to take him out of the hospital immediately.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    18,340

    Default Re: Can You Recover Vet Bills After Buying a Dog With Parvo

    Your first mistake was buying from a breeder (puppy mill) in the first place.

    You are welcome to sue the breeder in small claims court and try to prove that the breeder knowingly sold a defective dog.

    Unfortunately, given the terms of the contract and only speculation, I doubt if you'll win.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can You Recover Vet Bills After Buying a Dog With Parvo

    Also, the contract may limit the breeder's liability to the cost of the dog. If this is a "puppy mill" breeder, they know what they're doing and likely cover themselves quite thoroughly in their contract.

    Parvo has a three to seven day incubation period (UC Davis says "The incubation period is well defined and relatively short (3-4 days but can be as long as 14)") and, although the period may be longer, it may in fact be difficult to prove that the dog was infected when you acquired it. If the state or local government that has jurisdiction over the breeder's location offers appropriate oversight, you may be able to have the breeder investigated for a possible health violation which, if conducted, may establish whether or not the breeder has or had a parvo problem.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    7,056

    Default Re: Can You Recover Vet Bills After Buying a Dog With Parvo

    OP, I'm sorry you had to go through this. Buying a puppy is supposed to be a good experience when welcoming a new member to the family. My advice is to pay the Vet bill and forget about all the other stuff.

    Next time, do your homework about who you are buying a puppy from. Most reparative breeders will have their dogs vaccinated for all the known possibilities before they will sell. This one did not.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States
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    Default Re: Can You Recover Vet Bills After Buying a Dog With Parvo

    Well this is disheartening. Is this the case even if the veterinarian said that the Puppy had to have had parvo before we received him? He said he is willing to write a statement of all their medical results and stating that the dog could not have gotten Parvo with us.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can You Recover Vet Bills After Buying a Dog With Parvo

    I can't promise what a court would make of the letter; if the court accepts such a letter in small claims court, or even if the vet appears and testifies, the breeder can be expected to present evidence to the contrary including published data on incubation periods. Again, if there's a state or local agency that might investigate this breeder, you may be able to get an outside confirmation that they have, or have had, dogs infected with parvo. Some states and localities are pretty diligent about inspecting dubious breeders and pet stores; other's, alas, don't much care.

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