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Following contract

Discussion in 'Cat Breeding' started by Siameezers, Dec 11, 2019.


  1. Siameezers

    Siameezers PetForums Junior

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    I posted this on another cat site but I was curious as to how you guys would handle this.

    At the end of June I brought home a new stud boy that ended up with conjunctivitis. He tested positive for mycoplasma after doing a full respiratory PCR panel (he was negative for herpesvirus, calicivirus, chlamydia ect and negative for FIV/FeLV). Very very long story some what short, during his quarantine period he was accidentally exposed to one of my queens (she was immediately put into a separate quarantine room after exposure). She ended up with conjunctivitis as well but tested negative for everything on the full respiratory PCR. Both were treated for conjunctivitis, my vet said they could come out of quarantine.

    I had a litter of kittens at the time, and despite my best efforts (and the fact that my vet said the two originally infected cats could come out of isolation because they were fine), two kittens from the litter and two of other my queens ended up with mild congestion and one kitten ended up with conjunctivitis.

    I decided that in order to be on the safe side, I would treat all cats/kittens in my cattery with antibiotics in order to prevent them from passing around the bacteria. The antibiotics cleared ever one up and I have since not had any issues with my cats, or any of the other kittens from the litter.

    Because I didn't want to risk sending kittens to their new homes with the bacteria, even though they were no longer showing symptoms, I opted to have each individual kitten tested for mycoplasma (and all adult cats in my cattery too, because I wanted to make sure the bacteria was completely gone before I resumed breeding).

    The company that did the testing accidentally lost the original kitten swabs, so they had to be redone and sent back in. My kittens usually leave at 13 weeks, but because I was having issues getting the results of the swabs they left as 17 weeks, so I did their 16 week vaccinations at no cost to the new owners because I had to keep pushing back their go home dates.

    All kittens came back negative for mycoplasma. But 6 days before kittens were supposed to leave, the kitten that had both conjunctivitis and mild congestion initally, started doing this weird coughing/gagging thing. Almost like she was trying to cough up a hairball. I brought her back to the vet, the vet said she thought she may have eaten something she shouldn't have because her symptoms were different than before. She prescribed a med (can't remember the name now) to coat the kittens throat. Two days later I found a small pile of vomit with a tiny piece of plastic it. The coughing/gagging stopped.

    I spoke to my vet, she said because there had been no more issues that kitten should be fine to go to her new home. I explained what had happened to the new owners and they seemed fine (unfortunately this stuff does happen despite our best efforts).

    Well I guess after she left she started with the coughing/gagging thing again. I never would have let her leave if I didn't think this issue was resolved.

    She has been back and forth to the vet MANY MANY times since they got her for this issue. The vet asked for a video of the coughing/gagging (because of course the kitten would act fine at the vet!). New owners were having a hard time getting the video. Vet prescribed probiotics initially. Then L-Lysine because they thought the mycoplasma initially weakened the kittens immune system and she then caught a virus (I am SO careful when I take my cats to the vet, like I wont put the carrier on the floor, they are only allowed on the sanitize table and I wipe all carriers down immediately with lysol wipes when I get home). So once they finally got the video the vet prescribed prescribed another round of antibiotics (because they initially didn't think the issue was as bad as it was..) however they prescribed the same antibiotics the kitten initially had, just with a different name.

    Kitten seemed to get better with the antibiotics but once finished, she has started to wheeze and cough. So they put her on the same antibiotics again but for a longer duration at a higher dose. The kitten so far seems to be doing better (hopefully it stays that way)

    I am a new breeder (I have been doing this for about 3 years now) and I have been fortunate enough that I have never had a sick kitten. Especially not like this. And on top of everything, the owner took two kittens from the litter. They came home a few weeks ago to the other kitten limping, turned out she had some how broken her leg in 3 places. Thankfully the pet insurance I send with all my kittens with was able to be renewed with no wait period, so the new owners won't have to pay out much for the cost to fix. But they have been back and forth to the vet with her too because the kitten put her cast in the water dish and it dissolved and then she removed the cast somehow the same day she had a cast change...

    So between both kittens they have pretty much lived at the vet. Out of all of the kittens that we have produced not one has had any issues and this lady ends up with TWO!! I feel absolutely awful because this is not how getting a new kitten is supposed to go.

    Her two resident cats haven't had any issues, however the kitten with the broken leg ended up with mild conjunctivitis at one point that was cleared with eyedrops.

    This lady's vet had actually recommended me and got my info from another person that had two of my kittens (I know a few other of our kittens go to the same vet as well). Apparently the vet really was impressed with health and temperament of our kittens. I bet they are regretting that now..

    I am curious of what y'all would do in this situation?

    My contract covers congenital/hereditary issues but not viruses. I would never have let the kitten leave if I didn't think the coughing/gagging issue was resolved.
    She hasn't asked for money to cover the costs and has been really good at keeping me updated on everything.

    My mentor and others have said to stick to the contract, but I feel absolutely awful that the new owners are going through this.

    I was thinking of covering the costs related to this issue or reimbursing them the cost of the kittens (whichever is less) once they send me all copies of the vet receipts. I know that the contract is there to protect me, however the vast majority of my kittens are sold by referrals (not that she will be singing my praises to any one given the circumstances), but I want to make sure that I am doing things right.


    Any thoughts?
     
  2. gskinner123

    gskinner123 PetForums VIP

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    It seems that you have done everything you possibly could to eradicate or minimise any potential problems; it's just very unfortunate and bad lack for the owners with the other kitten breaking a leg.

    If they have the kittens insured, it would be a nice gesture to offer to pay the excess and/or any percentage of the vet bill they might be liable for with their policy.
     
    Siameezers likes this.
  3. spotty cats

    spotty cats PetForums VIP

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    I would cover the bills related to conjunctivitis and coughing.
    Insurance would likely exclude that as a pre existing condition.
     
    Siameezers likes this.
  4. lenanowa

    lenanowa PetForums Junior

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    Contracts... Some breeders should remember that even though pets are considered as "goods" under law, ultimately they're selling a pet that becomes someone's family member.

    Kindness should trump any contract.
     
  5. lenanowa

    lenanowa PetForums Junior

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    @Siameezers , it sounds like your heart is in the right place
     
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  6. Rufus15

    Rufus15 ~ Orrono Maine Coons ~

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    Should kindness extend to bankrupting the breeder though? Where does kindness stop and sense begin?

    I agree that the @Siameezers should cover the cost for the conjunctivitis and the cough but the rest is bad for the owner, unfortunately
     
    #6 Rufus15, Dec 18, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
    lorilu likes this.
  7. lenanowa

    lenanowa PetForums Junior

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    Good point. However, I think a gesture of good will, no matter how big or small, monetary or not, can go a long way.

    I was at the other end of, well, not exactly a similar thing, but ended up with a kitten close to death. I said that a contribution would be appreciated, but not expected. To be honest, even an offer to have a phone call would help. Instead, I got blocked. So, just be kind, and remember we are talking about family members.
     
  8. gskinner123

    gskinner123 PetForums VIP

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    I don't think you mean literally 'bankrupting'. I do believe there are circumstances where financially recompensing an owner is absolutely the right thing to do.

    As a breeder, I don't use a contract and never will though I did wonder a few times if I should as they seem to be the thing these days. There is no replacement for kindness and fairness. It goes an awful lot further than asking new owners to read and sign on the dotted line.
     
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  9. spotty cats

    spotty cats PetForums VIP

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    Contracts are often used just to set out expectations, a lot of things happen at the breeders discression regardless of the paperwork.
    Many of us have given away kittens or helped in situations - sometimes where we didn't even breed the kitten, for sake of doing the right thing or healing someone's heart.
    Contracts are a good start but they're not always the ending .
     
    Siameezers likes this.
  10. gskinner123

    gskinner123 PetForums VIP

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    I can't feel convinced that they are a good start but I absolutely accept that many breeders who use contracts are doing so for the right reasons.
     
  11. OrientalSlave

    OrientalSlave Shunra Oriental Cats

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    In the UK most contracts cannot be enforced. I know someone who says hers can be, though I don't think she's ever put it to test.
     
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  12. Rufus15

    Rufus15 ~ Orrono Maine Coons ~

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    I agree that there are situations where breeders should be financially supportive or emotionally supportive. I didn't say otherwise.

    What I was referring to was:
    It came across, to me anyway, as implying that Siameezers was not meeting their obligations of kindness and was putting the contract first.

    Sometimes one has to put the contract first to protect oneself, but in this case Siameezers was looking for advice on how to further support the kitten owner.
     
  13. lenanowa

    lenanowa PetForums Junior

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    I was quoting what some other breeders told Siameezers.

    It wasn't my intention for it to sound like Siameezers was not meeting their obligations of kindness. I then said that their heart is in the right place.
     
  14. Rufus15

    Rufus15 ~ Orrono Maine Coons ~

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    So hard to get the meaning behind the written word sometimes, and reading the thread again I think I've misunderstood a few posts. I think I need to go back to bed until after Christmas :oops:
     
  15. gskinner123

    gskinner123 PetForums VIP

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    Indeed it is difficult sometimes to convey meaning on a forum :)

    I think my main point was...that the title of this thread was 'following contract'. Speaking generally, not necessarily about the OPs situation, I believe there are times when a breeder should forget the terms of their contract in favour of just doing the kind and fair thing. I also believe that too many breeders use contracts to protect their interests, usually financial, and not those of the cat.
     
  16. Siameezers

    Siameezers PetForums Junior

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    I offered to reimburse the new owner for costs relating to the cough/conjunctivitis about a week and a half ago, as long as the new owner sent me copies of the vet bills pertaining to the issue.

    She thanked me, stated that she didn't keep the receipts for this kitten as they didn't want to mix them up with the kitten that broke her leg, and that they had made sure to save extra for emergencies. So far I have received lots of updates on the kittens but no copies of the vet bills and she hasn't brought it up.

    I have made sure that I have extra money set aside for when I receive the copies. Given the amount of times she has had to take the kitten to the vet I am sure the vet bills incurred haven't been small.

    Thanks everyone for your input! I definitely wanted to make sure I was supporting the new owner the best way I could, but I was receiving a lot of advice to stick to the contract and I didn't really think that was fair.
     
  17. lenanowa

    lenanowa PetForums Junior

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    NFC slave likes this.
  18. Siameezers

    Siameezers PetForums Junior

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    Something else that has frustrated me and I am not sure how to deal with is;

    I offered to pay to have her vet run a full respiratory PCR panel on the kitten a while back, as her vet kept perscribing the same amoxicillin/ cavulanant acid antibiotics (just with different names and for different durations) and the kitten would get better for a little while but then go back to being sick after the antibiotics were finished.

    Her vet said that the test was unnecessary, as they would just treat her with antibiotics any way. The vet is convinced it is a virus. Which maybe it is, and all that can be done is to treat the symptoms. However from my understanding it's impossible for the vet to know exactly what is causing the issues without testing; as there are so many overlapping symptoms with each of the viruses/ bacteria that cause upper respiratory infections in cats. (My vet initially thought my new boys symptoms were caused by either herpesvirus or chlamydia, mycoplasma wasn't even mentioned so I am glad that I did the testing!)

    At least if we knew the exact cause of the problem it could be treated accordingly without the new owner bringing the kitten back in constantly. I would imagine that constantly being on antibiotics is not healthy for the kitten and could cause other issues as well :(

    Do you think I would be out of line requesting her to bring the kitten to my vet for testing because her vet is refusing? I would pay for the test for sure and gas if need be. I just want to make sure that the kitten is being treated appropriately.
     
  19. lenanowa

    lenanowa PetForums Junior

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    Jeez, I wish I got kittens from you! You're definitely going above and beyond. If it was me, I'd welcome this suggestion.

    Just make sure you phrase it right so it doesn't sound like you think the new owners are doing a bad job.

    Personally, I was quite sensitive on that front, but unfortunately in my case while the breeder was quick to question the diagnosis, she wasn't bothered to ask her vet for a second opinion even though I asked, so :Wtf
     
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  20. Rufus15

    Rufus15 ~ Orrono Maine Coons ~

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    Why on earth is the vet giving antibiotics if they think it's a virus :Banghead I think make the suggestion to seek a second opinion to see how open they are to that, and follow up with an offer to take the kitten to your own vet
     
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