What To Do if Your Dog Has an Inherited Disease

If you have bought a dog from a ‘reputable breeder’, ie a breeder whose dogs are registered with the Kennel Club and who also belongs to a breed club, there is action that you can take if your dog develops a genetic disease associated with the breed.

  • Obtain a written diagnosis of the disease from your vet.
  • Write to the breeder, preferably by registered letter, informing him/her of your dog’s diagnosis and enclosing a copy of the vet’s official diagnosis. You may need to obtain your vet’s written permission to do so.
  • Include in the letter your dogs’ pet name, pedigree name, date of birth and age at which the symptoms of illness were first noticed.
  • Politely request that the breeder takes action to eliminate the parents of your dog from further breeding.
  • If your breeder does not own the stud dog, ask that s/he informs the stud dog owner and that he is also removed from future breeding. Alternatively, you can write to the stud dog owner yourself.
  • If your dog became ill at a young age, ask for a refund on the purchase price of the dog.
  • Copy this letter to the Breed Health Co-ordinator (this information can usually be obtained from the national breed club’s website)
  • Copy the letter also to the Kennel Club’s Breeder Services department:
    HBS@the kennelclub.org.uk
  • Request that the breeder replies to you in writing and not by telephone.
  • If the breeder does not respond satisfactorily, write again to the breed club and Kennel Club, requesting that they take some action on your behalf.
  • If your dog was bred by a Kennel Club Assured Breeder the Kennel Club is more likely to act, especially if ‘required’ or ‘recommended’ health testing was not carried out by the breeder.
  • If the breeder you bought your dog from is a local authority licensed breeder, you can contact the local authority’s Trading Standards department.
  • If your dog’s breeder does not fall into any of the above categories and did not supply a pedigree, the only redress you have is normal consumer protection. You were sold a ‘product’ which turned out to be faulty, so you should be entitled to a refund of the purchase price of the dog.  This can be done through the small claims court.