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Thread: Worried she doesn't weigh enough

  1. #1
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    Question Worried she doesn't weigh enough

    Carly is 30 weeks old...OR...she will be 7 months old on the 22nd. I took her to the vet today to get a check up/physical, because she is getting spayed this Friday. Well she only weights 11 lbs. The vet said he was worried she isn't gaining weight like she should. Asked me how much she eats, etc. She eats twice a day. Once at 7am and again at 4pm. She eats half a cup each time, so she gets a full cup of food a day. Which is what the bag says is okay. What do you guys think?

    Here is a picture of her from just a couple of days ago:
    http://www.cavaliertalk.com/forums/a...2&d=1371680041
    Kristy & Chuck Married since May 15, 2004!
    Proud Parents to Cassie 13, Kailey 12, C.J. 8, Kristopher 7
    Carly (Blenheim) Born 11/22/12! R.I.P. Chloe (Blenheim) 4/24/08~3/9/2009!

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    I wouldn't be worried about it too much if everything else about her is healthy and she is active and happy. I just took my 6 month old male to the vet today and he is only 12.8lbs and females are typically smaller. I think often we are so used to seeing plump pets, those that are on the lean side appear skinny to us. Also I don't think they are considered full grown until 12 to 18 months so there is most likely some more growing to do.
    Sir Remington II (Remy) Oct. 17, 2012 -

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    I used to worry that Fletcher was too thin. I feed Fletcher 3/4 cup of kibble with mixed in fruits and veggie TWICE a day. He's 16 months old and weights just about 17 lbs. perfect for his build. He is very active, walks about 4 miles a day and now swims a lot. So how much you feed a dog is going to be different for each dog. I think your girl is just on the small side and if the vet would like you to see if you can't put a pound or two on her then I'm sure (if she's like most cavaliers) you can try increasing her food a touch. However, I think with a cavalier you would rather be in the slimmer side considering their heart history. I won't spent too much time worrying about it, for now. Years ago when my now 17 year old daughter was a year old my doctor became worried she was underweight and there was SOME reason. We went to see specialists, have testing done only to find nothing....it was NOTHING but genetics.
    Melissa
    "If you don't own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life."
    -Roger Caras

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    Thank you for kind words. I will try not to worry about it to much. She had her spay done today and is at home resting now.

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    I think she looks great. Some dogs are just smaller, or leaner, and she may yet fill out a bit more.

    My Claire only weighs 12 lbs, but she looks great and my Vet has said she wished more people kept their dogs slim and lean Which is not the same as skinny, but rather fit.

    Your pup will be fine. Enjoy her! She is very cute.
    Cindy and Claire
    Claire was born on Feb7, 2010

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    I think the key issue here is that your vet, who has seen her and knows how she has been developing, has some concerns.

    The guidance on bags of food is generally only a basic guideline and some dogs would need more, some less. A more typical problem though would be the opposite -- people giving too much, according to what the bag says! Almost always, the amount is in excess of what most dogs would need (this is really true of treats in particular -- they will say a dog the size of a cavalier can have for example 4-6 small milkbone/Bonio style treats and for most cavaliers, this would be nearly an entire day's calorie intake, in treats alone ).

    Most puppies about her age would be eating about a cup of food daily. Puppies at that age can also get lanky; some are thinner and some are more plump.

    I would ring back your vet and ask for more detail about their concerns. For one, most vets would not wish to spay or neuter a dog that is underweight. If they expressed a worry about this yet did the neuter, I would want to understand why -- that would indicate they felt the weight issue was pretty minor.

    If the issue is simply that they think she isn't eating enough, I would certainly try increasing her food. Puppies this age will almost always eat what they need and she may not be getting enough food, particularly if she is active. All foods are different too. Doid they recommend feeding more? I'd increase by another half a cup daily.

    It is always pretty difficult to make a judgement based on a picture. Unless a dog is severely underweight, it is hard to see meaningful detail that a vet can see and feel. A more important view is actually looking down from above when the dog is standing -- to see how defined a waist they have. Also -- how prominent ribs are as well as spine and hipbones. These are things generally better felt, as a dog would be emaciated if these were visible, but a vet can feel whether a dog is underweight.

    But going back to the starting point -- as your vet -- who would have seen your pup, felt her, and known her as she has developed -- feels concern, and you are understandably concerned about what they said, I would phone the office, and talk through your worries.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Here is a scale that vets use to determine if a mature dog is at a proper weight: http://www.cavalierhealth.org/images...ring_chart.jpg Actually, there are two such scales, and here is the other one: http://www.cavalierhealth.org/images...tion_chart.jpg

    I don't think these charts apply very well to growing puppies. But, we've had female cavaliers that have been at a proper weight at 12 to 13 lbs., and we've had males that properly weigh 20 lbs., based upon these charts.
    Rod Russell

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    I agree with what Karlin said and the vet expressing concerns stood out to me too. Also Rod gave good charts for others to use. My 6 1/2 year old cavalier weighs between 11 and 12 lbs. I am not concerned with his weight and neither are his vets because he has a smaller frame. So if he was 18 lbs he would be way overweight. Then there are bigger/heavier cavaliers so its not the actual weight but how it the dogs look and feel.
    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

  10. #9
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    Thanks for those links Rod.

    Correct weight is totally dependent on the build of the dog. I have cavaliers that are 11 and 12 pounds as their adult weight. I had a rescue cavalier come through Irish Cavalier Rescue that was over 30lbs and the correct weight -- for that dog.

    One thing about cavaliers is many have full coats making them look larger than they are so a good time to evaluate adults and compare to Rod's charts, is when they are wet.

    The most common issue though remains overweight, not underweight dogs; and owners tend to think their dog is in good weight when it is overweight, according to studies I've seen included in articles on pet obesity. And many people tend to think their pet is just a bit overweight, when it is obese! Slightly underweight is an easier issue to resolve.

    PS I have always found I need to alter amounts fed to adult dogs depending on the food, time of year, amount of activity, level of health etc and of course the given dog. My Jaspar can eat a lot more than the others, for example; he is far more active and has a faster metabolism. Puppies often eat a bit more daily than an adult would, too.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  11. #10
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    Luke is my first dog for whom the amount on the bag was correct. He was 13.5 lbs at one year old, and he now goes around 14.5. He's very active, and he's also a smaller build. I also keep him leaner because he does flyball. I keep him at a 4, maybe just barely making a 5. If he's going to be doing something tough on his joints, and the breed has a history of heart problems, then I shouldn't give him extra issues with weight. My vets sometimes tell me to put a little weight on him, and I do not. We saw a new guy in the office yesterday we did not tell me this. I took him to a class down at UPenn,and Dr. Cindy Otto saw him. She said he looked good at 14.5 lbs. Luke is probably the only lean cavalier my vets have ever seen, and they do usually back off when I mention the activities he is in.

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