View Full Version : Milly, smaller than average?

2nd September 2012, 07:07 PM
Hi and thank you for your welcome.

I wanted to ask a question about Milly, she is 17 weeks old now and weighs 7lb 2oz. When I brought her home she was very small indeed and nothing I did seemed to make a difference, then my vet asked for a stool sample and it was discovered she had Isospora and on further investigation by me, found she had brought it with her. Milly's body is nicely covered, no ribs or spine showing but she seems very slender and not very tall, although this last week or so she seems to be getting 'leggy', but given her overall size that's probably not saying much! Is there anything I can do to help Milly, will she catch up, am I worrying over nothing? I don't mind how big or small Milly is when she's fully grown, she's gorgeous and so pretty, I just want to know that I'm helping her to be the best little girl she can be. Any advice? Milly is fed 3 times a day at the moment on Oscar food. When it was discovered she had Isospora the vet gave me Hills i/d until Milly was well again, I then transferred her to Oscar as this is what my other Cavalier, Henry, is fed on and he's wonderful on it. Oscar does seem to suit Milly, no tummy problems or anything.

Many thanks
Helen, Henry and Milly x

3rd September 2012, 12:12 AM
In my (not vast) experience, if pups get good food, love, and good exercise, they will reach their genetic potential just fine. Its possible Milly will be small due to her early illness, but from this point on she'll most likely grow just fine. Have fun and keep feeding her appropriately. If she's leggy now, she'll grow into it soon. And we really do need pictures! :D

My Henry Boy
3rd September 2012, 12:57 AM
My Henry is just a few days shy of 9 months and weighs in at 8.5 pounds or 3.86 kg. he's small framed. He eats 2x a day we feed EVO chicken and turkey grain free very high quality kibble. He only eats 1/2c or 120 grams. I can put down more but that's all he will eat out of the bowl.
He's been tested for worms and the vet says he's very healthy and he will be small.
Can it be that she will just be a petite little lady?

3rd September 2012, 01:48 AM
I think its nothing to worry about my Charley is 11 months and only 6lbs. He was the smallest of his litter but is very healthy. Milly is still growing into her shape just monitor and if you become very worried contact your vet thats what they are there for

3rd September 2012, 11:30 AM
Even at that size now she is most likely on track to being within breed standard so she wouldn't likely be smaller than normal. :) Most pups that are smaller or suffer a setback do catch up to their littermates. :D

The key thing is for people never to deliberately go for smaller cavaliers (and avoid breeders who advertise same like the plague!) as there is some evidence that smaller means more prone to health issues and breeders who deliberately breed small undersized cavaliers are generally breeding the runts -- the dogs most likely to already have health issues later -- to get undersized cavaliers. But there will always sometimes be larger and smaller cavaliers that go slightly outside breed standard, in a good breeding programme.

Far more common for dogs to be on the larger end especially with males. Some health researchers believe the breed should be revised upwards in size anyway for health reasons and show breeders themselves tend to not show dogs at the very low end of the scale so this would seem to make sense for the future (many male show dogs are already above breed standard and it is just ignored).

I have two smaller rescue cavaliers around the 9-12lb range but 9 lbs is pretty small for this breed with very small skull -- not good generally for a breed in which most have a brain already too large for the standard skull size. Hence I think the push may come eventually to size the breed up a bit. Both have syringomyelia.

For really small dogs, vets do need to keep an eye on them as there are many reasons over time that a dog may be shown to be really small, eg liver problems, hydrocephalus etc that won't be easily spotted when young. Most will be perfectly fine but for anyone with really small cavaliers, it is important to monitor health. :thmbsup:

3rd September 2012, 12:01 PM
Thanks to everyone for your responses. Milly was the smallest of the litter and no, I won't be breeding from her she is strictly a pet, as is Henry - he is neutered by the way. It has been useful to receive this feedback, I think I just needed some reassurance. Milly has put on 2lb in 5 weeks. I don't mind what size she is, I just wanted to make sure I'm doing everything I can for her, as I would any puppy and really appreciate your comments. She's gorgeous whatever size - aren't they all! Milly's mum is 'average', if a little leggy, didn't see her dad though but her sister who was still there was a fair bit bigger. I'm sure Henry would much prefer it if she was quieter and less active but she's like a little whirlwind!

Thanks again
Helen, Henry and Milly x

3rd September 2012, 04:45 PM
I had to look up Isospora to find out what it was. Now that your girl has been treated she will be fine. My rottweiler had giardia for a long time as a youth (months). We kept bringing him to the vet and the test came back negative but he was bone thin and had constant loose stool. Once we treated the giardia he gained weight. He is ninety lbs vs 100 lbs of his brothers but he is healthy.

At 17 weeks your pup is entering in the leggy stage of normal growing. Usually dogs grow tall then fill out as they age.