My name is Claudiu and along with Alexandra we adopted Sollie from Spotted Angels in March, 2014. We, my girlfriend and I, had been thinking of having a dog for more than half a year and we stumbled upon this kennels which had really good looking dogs with apparently no health issues. The puppies were born on Christmas eve (parents Jilloc’s Vic Junior and Spotty Diamant Champagne Jazmin) and we were really anxious to have one of them join our lives. We were leaning toward a female and were not sure which one to pick. As months passed, the smallest one of the litter caught our eye – nevertheless we were a bit reluctant in getting her in order to avoid any health problems. Monika, the owner of the Spotted Angels kennel, reassured us that she was absolutely fine and we would be happy in adopting her – she showed us test results from the BAER checks and everything looked OK.
We were extremely glad in having her into our family, she was a breath of love and happiness every day. We took great care of her and got a lot in meeting other dogs and keeping her well-socialized. Once she hit the 5-6 months of age we started training and she was extremely sharp in getting all the exercises (we were astounded of how smart dalmatians really are – along with sometimes being stubborn :-D). One of the behaviors which were a bit odd were related to her drinking a lot of water and not being able to spot where sounds are coming from. Finally, on July 3rd, 2014 she graduated the Obedience class so we were extremely happy with how she was making our lives happy day-by-day.
Ten days later, on July 13th, we had the first sign that she was not feeling OK at all – after going shopping and her greeting us happily with her wagging tail she got into a crisis similar to a hipocalcemy at humans (her muscles got tensed, she was having foamy white saliva and uncontrolled bladder). We took her to vet emergency and she got stabilized – upon first blood tests she had hipocalcemy as well as high BUN (blood urea nitrogen) values. The next day we had her also an ultrasound and the results were grim – her kidneys did not develop and were really small and not correctly built. She was later diagnosed with Juvenile Kidney Disease (a genetic disease) which was meant she would have to be kept on close attention while treatment for the rest of her life. We contacted Monika about this and all we got a reply saying that she would not expect Sollie to be that bad and she couldn’t give us our money back, but maybe a new puppy. She showed interest at that point and supposedly checked her other dalms for this.
At this point I have to mention that Sollie, our little dalmatian was the best thing that happened to us – any kind of way to keep her along our side we would take. After a month of finding her problem we managed to get her into a stable state with proper medicine and regular (2-3 days) vet checks. There were good periods when she would be stable and then some bad ones when her organs would be “tired” and she would need a lot of rest and medicine. However, the love she gave to us every day is still the best thing that I experienced ever in my life. After talking to some other dog owners we got info that there were other dalmatians from the Spotted Angels kennel that had other genetic issues – however they were not vocal about this so we had to ask for the info instead of finding it ANYWHERE on the web.
Starting March, 2015 she caught an infection to her leg due to a sting which started her downhill. While we could treat the infection it meant hurting the kidneys so either way that we took, she did get good. Her energy started to downgrade, as well as her BUN and CREA to get up through the roof. At the end of June we were desperate, the only for her to get better would be to get blood transfusions (which for Dalmatians is really hard to do since they have some kind of a special antigen). We asked Monika for help in this direction and all we got was “we have never need any blood transfusion and we hadn’t need this tests”. This was the only other possible way of getting her better so I would have expected some more interest (especially since that was the largest chance of finding a compatible donor). She did not reply to anything since then. Either way, after a couple of days of desperate calls we found a dalmatian which was compatible and gave us the blood but was all too late since her health got really bad. On June 4th she left us and that was the most grim day I have ever lived.
[TL:DR] I’m just making this information available so that you can have a better decision when getting a Dalmatian (I wish I could have had it!). They are the most elegant and beautiful dogs to me as well as being overly human and intelligent. I would however double-check anything that I get and I would advise each and everyone thinking of getting a pup from Spotted Angels to be overly cautious. Health issues can arise in any kennel, but along with Sollie at least 2 other dogs had genetic health issues – which make it a high probability to get one with such a type of disease. Whatever further info that might help you make your decision, I would be happy to offer (either as reply to or private message).
Having a dog is one of the best gifts of life, you should keep one along your side as long as possible!