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Thread: Cavalier Weight?

  1. #1
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    Default Cavalier Weight?

    Just curious, how much did everyone's cavaliers weigh at 1 year old? My ruby Cavalier Lexy will be 1 on April 15th and she weighs between 6 and 6 1/2 pounds depending on the day. She's completely healthy, but is this normal for a cavalier to be so small? Our boy Cav just turned 1 on March first and he's a healthy 20 pounds!

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    Our Abigail was 14 pounds on her 1st birthday. She was a tiny pup, 4 pounds when we got her at 10 weeks.

    Has your vet said anything regarding the weight? Also, does Lexy eat all her food at mealtime? I know that the minimum desired weight for a cavalier is 13 pounds.

    Hope someone else has more insight.

    Heather R

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    Our Sophie's breeder said she would be smallish. Sophie is now 15 months old and weighs 20 pounds, and she's not fat. Small indeed.

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    6lb is very, very small - I presume your vet has checked her over thoroughy? There are several health issues which cause dogs to be very small.

    Is she the right weigt for her size, or underweight?

    Alternatively it could be that her breeder was deliberately breeding tiny Cavaliers - sadly not a practice which should be encouraged, as it does raise serious health and welfare issues.

    I have two girls who are between 12 and 13 lb, they are the smallest Cavaliers I've had over many years of ownership. In the UK that would be considered very small.

    {Out of interest, one of them was recently MRI scanned for Syringomyelia and had a fantastic scan!! }
    Nicki and the Cavalier Clan Our photos www.scotlandimagery.com
    Supporting www.rupertsfund.com and www.cavaliermatters.org

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    Riley is my smallest cavalier and she weighed about 11 pounds at a year and weighs in at a whopping 12 pounds now. She's very proportionate size-wise, just a petite cavalier although certainly not as petite as Lexy. Oliver, who is my biggest, weighed about 28 pounds at a year and now weighs 25 which is a better weight for him - again he is also size and weight proportionate.
    Bev
    Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)

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    That is definitely not normal -- I have never heard of a cavalier that small at adult size that didn't have some underlying health cause for that size. But. on the other hand, perhaps she is just surprisingly small, or there's actually some smaller-breed genes in her, for example? To be honest, though, I think you do need to at least be prepared to potentially have some health issue emerge at some point as the cause of this very small size -- a good breeder would generally have gone through potential issues with taking on such a very small dog, not told you (as you have said) that this was normal for the litter . I wouldn't allow it to dominate your enjoyment at all, and she may live a perfectly happy, normal, healthy life, but I'd always be watching such a very small dog very carefully for any signs of any problems, and given her size, a really good vet or specialist might wish to do some basic tests to make sure there isn't some existing issue that could be addressed from the start. Vets can miss underlying issues and also may not be aware of how extremely small she is compared to breed standard.

    Often, abnormally tiny size like this is caused by something like a liver shunt, or hydrocephalus, or open fontanels (the skull failing to close completely). As Nicki says, just as a general warning to anyone looking for a cavalier puppy, breeders who are deliberately aiming for very small cavaliers are to be avoided. Sadly, breeders who deliberately breed for extra small/'teacup' cavaliers do this by breeding extra small dogs -- meaning health-compromised runts, or dogs that are extra small because they have some underlying health issue.

    The other possibility, depending on where the pup came from, is that this is actually a cross -- to a chihuahua, chin, papillon or other smaller breed. Some breeders are actually breeding many breeds of dogs and are not particularly careful of how they mix. A cross can come out looking exactly like a larger or smaller version of one of the breeds, with the second breed not apparent at all. So that is one possibility. If the breeder is a reputable, health -focused show breeder, then I'd certainly go back to discuss this puppy and her size with the breeder, as tiny size would be a major concern for a good breeder, who also would be there to offer excellent advice and support (that's the benefit of working with good show breeders ).

    In short: if this were my dog, I'd go to the vet and explain the dog is less than half the size of the very bottom end of the breed standard (13-18lbs in the US) -- which is quite alarmingly small for the breed, even allowing for the norm for some dogs to be slightly under or over breed standard. I'd ask for a full health assessment and ask what can be tested if there is any obvious underlying, potentially treatable issue like liver shunt. I'd be moving proactively now. With something like liver shunt, this is very important -- she would benefit from monitoring tests (like a bile acid test) and a special low protein diet, for a start:

    http://www.petplace.com/dogs/portosy...ogs/page1.aspx
    http://www.peteducation.com/article....2+2103&aid=882

    I'd definitely have such a dog spayed too if she is not yet -- you would never want to risk putting her through an accidental pregnancy or risk carrying forward any of the potential health issues that could underly or be connected to severely small size.

    PS I note from previous posts that your breeder sounds a bit worrying, as Lexy had many problems when you got her which the breeder said were not caused by her though obviously the pup could not have gotten any of those things 'after' as she claimed -- and also claimed such tiny size was 'normal' -- and she was diagnosed as a very young pup with hip dysplasia as well (if she has HD, this won't have gone away -- it will be a permanent condition for her -- thus would be surprised the vet would be saying she is 'perfectly healthy' ). If the vet is actually saying this about a young dog with HD and hasn't yet tested for any possible underlying issues, I'd change vets for a second opinion. And I'd never go near that breeder again. I'd say given the sounds of the breeder that you may need to be on the lookout permanently for future possible issues, which is frustrating for an owner, but try to have that in the background, not foreground, and just focus on loving and caring for Lexy.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Another thought, and I hope you won't take this the wrong way because I truly do not wish to offend. Is it possible your dog is the runt of the litter? My next-door neighbors have a Maltese runt. She weighs half what she should, but they knew it when they bought her. She's been a very healthy dog for 13 or 14 years now.

  8. #8
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    Default Wow thats a tiny pup!

    My girl too is really petite, she's 9 1/2lbs and will be one March 30th. People always comment on how tiny she is compared to their cavaliers (she was the runt) I can't imagine her being any smaller at her age. She has been thoroughly examined and is perfectly healthy and comes from a very responsible and experienced show breeder so I'm not too concerned. Her parents were 12 and 14lbs. 6 1/2lbs is seriously tiny..I was reading your other posts and am appalled by the reaction of your breeder. She sounds very irresponsible!
    Last edited by Erin2854; 19th March 2010 at 12:56 AM.

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    Had Sophie in for a checkup today, and I overestimated her weight above. She is 17 3/4 lbs. She hadn't been weighed in six months and I assumed she had gained weight, but it's her thick winter coat of fur that makes her look heavier. She's not fat...she's fluffy.

  10. #10
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    Waldor; I wish that I could use that excuse for Abigail. Weighed her at vets and she is a bit over 16 pounds. However, since she is small vet had said she shouldn't weigh over 15 pounds and I don't think vet will accept Abigail's fluffy coat as reason So I'm cutting Abigail's food back a bit. it works!

    Heather R

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