Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Owner Relieved after Action Is Taken against Breeders

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Owner Relieved after Action Is Taken against Breeders

Article excerpt

Byline: Ashley Clark and Melanie Plane

WHEN Susan and Geoff Simons bought a beautiful malamute pup four years ago, little did they know they would be thrown into years of genetic health problems.

Their dog Willow was purchased from Peter and Faith Dykstra of Sandown Alaskan Malamutes in Chatsworth and has been suffering with hip dysplasia due to the negligence of the breeders.

"She was diagnosed just before her second birthday. I didn't know when I bought her but I got involved in malamute rescue groups about six months after I got her and started to hear more and more about others having issues with the breeders," the Bundaberg woman said.

Hip dysplasia is a genetic disorder that causes the ball of the hip to not sit properly in its socket, causing pain, restricting movement and leading to arthritis.

Mrs Simons said Willow's hip dysplasia would get worse in time and that it had already cost a 'pretty penny' in vet visits.

"So far we manage her with a six-monthly injection which is $90 each time, supplements and anti-inflammatories.

"We took her to the vet recently because she is starting to get worse and that was a $350 visit," she said.

"She hurts herself weekly. If she has to have both hips replaced, it will cost $12,000 for the surgery."

When Mrs Simons found out about the disorder, she contacted the breeders to inform them and was told that they weren't the problem.

"Peter came back to me via email stating that I had caused it myself and that Willow was underweight. She is actually the perfect weight for her age," she said.

That prompted Mrs Simons to create a Facebook group where she found a lot of people with similar stories.

"A group of us then decided to go to Office of Fair Trade to get something done," she said.

The two Gympie dog breeders were on Wednesday ordered to pay $22,143. …

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