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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-11-2018, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Question 7 week old Doberman puppy only 4 pounds?

I got a 7 week female puppy (so I'm told) from a BYB and I'm told that she is a purebred doberman. Now, the dad was studded out so I couldn't see him, and I was told that the mom was very aggressive and killed a couple puppies so I couldn't see her either. I have a few concerns here:

1. She looks very very small weighing in at only 4.1lbs and she does look malnourished. I am kinda getting the feeling that I got 'okie-doked' and was sold a min pin or something similar.

2. She barely eats right now. I took her to the vet immediately when I got her yesterday and they best guessed her age at 7 weeks due to the teeth. I got her some worming medicine as well and also submitted a fecal sample (which I will provide when I get the results tomorrow or the day after). I am currently feeding her "Wellness" large breed / puppy and I add a little water and put it in the microwave for 10 seconds. She barely even looks at it.

3. It is worth mentioning that out of the 3 vets I went to, they say its kinda big for a min pin but VERY small for a doberman. To them it looks like a doberman and only expect her to get 50 lbs maybe. Due to her being lathargic, they don't believe she has parvo because she can be playfull when she isn't sleeping for 18 hrs the past 2 days.

When I look at the forums, 4lbs is almost unseen (other than a couple occurrences). Mainly I am asking is this okay? Is this a true doberman?

pics:https://imgur.com/a/O3HlL7V
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-11-2018, 09:57 PM
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I don't think she is a purebred doberman, but not a pure minpin either.....and she is malnourished for sure (poor baby) and looks wormy as well.

Did any of the vets give you some specialized instructions about diet? Her lack of energy and appetite is concerning to me.

I hope you can improve her health....she looks like she could be a sweet pup when she feels better.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-11-2018, 10:30 PM
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Oh, my... she looks way younger than 7 weeks to me, and in very poor shape. With that pot belly and ribs, hip bones, and spine showing, she's probably full of parasites. Her rough, dull coat is another indicator of parasites and general neglect.

Personally, I'd switch her to canned food, and warm it up a bit to make it more appealing. Maybe even thin it out a bit with water or puppy formula to make it easier for her to slurp up. She should probably be fed small amounts every couple of hours to avoid hypoglycemia.

Hopefully with getting rid of the parasites and getting some groceries into her, she will make a good recovery.

ETS: Reporting this "breeder" to your local animal welfare authorities would be a good idea. It's possible that mom and the other pups are in just as bad, or even worse, shape.


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Last edited by Rosemary; 07-11-2018 at 10:32 PM.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-11-2018, 10:36 PM
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OK... Let's assume your pup is 7 weeks old. That is too young, IMO, to separate a pup from her mom and sibs. I have never heard of a Dobe pup at that age being that small.

So two thoughts:

1) It is not a Doberman. Lots of breeds have the same coloration as Dobes. And as a puppy, to the uneducated (even vets) the actual breed might be hard to determine

2) She is way younger than you were led to believe. Let's say 5 weeks. That might explain not only the small size, but also the lack of solid food appetite.

Either way, you are going to have to bite the bullet and deal with it. It won't just "go away"

I am not pleased with your veterinarians' (3?) responses.

You need to find a vet who knows Dobermans. Any vet worth my attention would never mistake a Doberman puppy for a Miniature Pincher. Or vise versa.

Where are you located?

Please get back to us (me). I think we can help.

John
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Edit to say: Oh crap.. I just was able tp pull up the pic. I also saw Rosemary's post. That pup IMO is MAYBE 6 weeks old . That is unless is was seriously deprived from day 1.

I would find a different vet and ask what can be done to make her healthy
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-11-2018, 11:03 PM
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Hey Andrew

I hate being an alarmist, but I just reviewed your photos. If I were you, I would jump on getting this little girl into a knowledgable DVM and get her on the road to health. She definitely looks very young, malnourished and probably hosting parasites.

Please don't wait

Oh... And everything Rosemary said. ^^^^
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-11-2018, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your reply. I am located in Colorado. The age estimate mainly comes from her baby teeth and I have heard from 2 vets that they normally lose the "blueness" in their eyes around 7 weeks, so that was another indicator of the age (coming from the vets). I am really hoping that she is not another breed, it would break my heart truthfully. My family really want a doberman and honestly a lot of the decision to get our girl was not only the price really but we were helping someone else out. She is just toooooo damn small and I am trying to get her to eat, she has only eaten like a 1/2 cup total in 2 days.

Hopefully her diet will be better now that we got her dewormed.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-11-2018, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah this is concerning. I am doing the absolute best that I can to get her back to health. I took her to the vet immediately, and actually I went to 4 different ones and got exams from 2. I am anxiously waiting for the stool sample to get her treated for whatever else she may have.

So what age are we thinking she is?
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-12-2018, 12:55 AM
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For what it is worth, in Colorado the law reads:

SALE OR TRANSFER
1. Reasonable care shall be taken to release for sale, trade or adoption only those dogs that are
free of undisclosed disease, injury or abnormality.
2. It is unlawful to sell, transfer or adopt dogs under the age of 8 weeks.

and applies to any person with no exemptions, not just commercial businesses or kennels.
C.R.S.A. § 35-80-108 1(k), 1.5, 2(g)

I have no idea what the penalty is or whether this is just a toothless statement, but at least you could report the guy.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-12-2018, 01:33 AM
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It may be just malnutrition and overall neglect, that makes her look so much younger, but she looks more like 5 weeks old to me. Maybe stretching to call her 6 weeks.

You can pretty much guarantee that she’s got round worms, at least. Even if the stool samples come back clear (and I’d be shocked if they did), due to the life cycle of round worms, puppies are generally dewormed every two to three weeks starting at two weeks of age.


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Last edited by Rosemary; 07-12-2018 at 01:35 AM.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-12-2018, 08:21 AM
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You have nutritional problems that you have to deal with first with this pup , which you should easily overcome. I really think you may need some help with training and just raising a pup that was taken away from his mother at young age. You also mentioned the temperament of the parents were suspect , and much of these issues can be passed on to the pups.

I do not want talk down to you in any way but you purchased from a BYB and probably one of the lowest form. They pair dogs with no thought of health issues (inherited) and little understanding in regards to temperament. I would advise you to stick around on this site since many members are familiar with pups like yours. I am really speaking of training and not letting a quirk or bad manners get started that could lead to a doberman that does not live well with people or other dogs.

Just my opinion.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-12-2018, 09:35 AM
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Andrew, I'm glad you found this forum, and it sounds like you care about this pup and have her best interests in mind. It's unfortunate that she clearly did not have a good start in life and is in poor condition - the priority right now is to get her healthy.

If she's really only 4 pounds and isn't eating, I would be searching for a veterinarian that can help you immediately address that to get her healthy.

My suggestion to you is to contact Dr. Mona Fasth in Denver, immediately (https://fasthvet.wixsite.com/fasthvet). You may not be near her, but she is a very experienced Doberman vet and breeder. Explain the situation and ask for a referral to a veterinarian in your area.

Please stick around the forum. There are a lot of people here with a lot of experience who can help out. Whatever is going on with this pup, whether it's a Doberman or a mix, or whatever...we have good people who want to help.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-13-2018, 07:41 AM
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Sadly, I don't think your puppy is a Doberman, which is probably why you weren't allowed to see the parents. As for age, puppies do start to lose the blue eyes around 7 weeks, but some sooner and some a bit later. This is a picture of one of my puppies at exactly 7 weeks, weighing 17 pounds. His eyes really didn't start to change until about 8-1/2 weeks.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-13-2018, 09:18 AM
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I'd be interested in knowing if you saw any of the other puppies? If so, did they look the same? This is NOT a healthy 7 week old Doberman puppy..... it MAY be a Doberman, and it MAY be 7 weeks old, but for sure, it is NOT healthy.

I would buy puppy milk replacer, soak the kibble in it till it is soft (say 30 minutes) then mix in some ground chicken or hamburger to make it really tempting - do this about 4 times a day.

I would also take the advice given about finding a better vet for a Doberman - a Doberman savvy vet could really help with this. I would ask for a parvo test & personally would do a full blood workup. There could be other things going on. You are going to find that buying cheap really did not save you anything.

Good luck - hope it all works out.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 08:59 AM
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Please do update us on this pup when you have a chance...


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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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UPDATE:

Got the stool samples back this past Friday and we guessed it: worms and two parasites (Giardia & Coccidia). They gave medicine out in the form of a pill and some powder that I sprinkle on her food. Her stools are very liquidy, like the audible squirts actually. Is this normal during the treatment? Also, her eating seems kinda light to me, but I can't really do much more other than shoving food down her throat. Right now she is eating roughly 1/3 cup 4x per day I would say is the max she will even look at. Normal range for having parasites as well as roughly guessing at her young age? Now that I know she is eating at least a little, I will get her weighed this coming Tuesday, which marks 1 week since I have had her and 1 week since the pictures and the weight.

In terms of the recommendation for Dr. Fasch, she no longer works out of that clinic but runs her own practice. I reached out to her and she has yet to return my phone call. I will try again next week.

I was able to see her sister, and she was like the same exact size. These people treated them very very poorly and of course they fell off the grid.

The link below is what was prescribed to me:

Medicine: https://imgur.com/a/Ijb0KSj
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 08:46 PM
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The Panacur is a good broad spectrum dewormer, and will take care of the intestinal worms, as well. I can't see the name of the other drug, but I seem to remember Albon being used to treat coccidia.

The loose stools are pretty common with a heavy intestinal worm load, and giardia and coccidia can also cause loose stools. Both giardia and coccidia can be hard to get rid of. Make sure that you immediately clean up where she's pooped, and try to not let her step in any of her poop.

The amount she's eating seems about right, given her size. Looking at one of the Wellness Large Breed Puppy kibbles, it recommends 2 cups a day for a 10 pound puppy. It's possible that her appetite will pick up as she starts to feel better.


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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah Alban is what was prescribed. Because of her poop being all liquid, I have been using the "jet" mode on the hose to blast it away every single time. Also, I am using the Wellness brand large breed puppy food. Its highly rated and will hopefully fatten her up. Much appreciated for the reply!
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 09:08 PM
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Rather than hose the poop down, which just scatters it around, do your best to pick it up using a baggie.

Alban, yes, not Albon. I'ts been a few decades since I've dealt with coccidia, thank goodness.


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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 09:29 PM
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Coccidia is notoriously difficult to remove from the environment - not only does it continue to live in the environment, but it is zoonotic, which means you can catch it from your pup if you aren't careful about how you clean and aren't super careful about handwashing.

From what I remember, ideally you'd have your pup use one area of the yard, for now, while the pup is infected. Use rubber gloves and poop bags to pick up and then discard the feces. You need to pick up EVERY time - she can reinfect herself by being in that same area. I've read you can use a solution of highly diluted bleach (or maybe it was highly diluted amonia) to clean that space, but you need to then hose it down after dry to further dilute it and make sure it's safe for puppy. It takes a lot of time and sun to actually eventually kill off the coccidia.

I'd talk to the vet about the best way to keep from reinfecting.


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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-15-2018, 04:18 PM
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You had it right the first time Rosemary--Albon is the specific treatment choice MOST of the time for coccidia.

I'm trying to pull up the information about the other things being used in the treatment for this puppy but so far I'm not having much success (probably because I'm dial up).

Usually the first treatment for giardia would be metronidazole (or sometimes both metronidazole and Panacur). And as Rosemary said Panacur is a good broad spectrum dewormer.

Both giardia and coccidia will cause diarrhea--so until she's free of both of those you'll probably have to expect diarrhea. And you should expect to do multiple doses of Panacur to completely get rid of the worms. Typically puppies need to be rewormed every three weeks or so for intestinal worms--because of the life cycle and breeding and egg laying cycles. Usually that would be four wormings with Panacur.

The best solution for keeping the yard from ending up contaminated with either coccidia or giardia is to keep them from using the yard at all. The last three times I've had puppies who arrived with coccidian or who picked up giardia I was lucky enough to have a cement driveway and could put an ex-pen in the drive way and scoop as much poop as possible and dispose of that in the garbage (required here) and clean the cement with a bleach and water solution which I could squeegee off into a flower bed (which was fenced so the dogs couldn't get in it by accident).

It meant that the 8 to 12 inches of the flower bed closest to the cement grew nothing for about a year but it definitely meant the puppy who had coccidia or giardia wasn't infecting the adult dogs.

Good luck--considering just how parasite ridden this puppy is it's a wonder he survived at all.

PS Never could get the information on what was prescribed to load.

Last edited by dobebug; 07-15-2018 at 04:38 PM.
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post #21 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-17-2018, 09:09 PM
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Wow, that’s a tough load for that poor pup. Please keep us posted!!

Be sure to get back to your vet QUICKLY if you see any downturn in progress. Coccidia can go from from bad to Urgent very quickly.

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post #22 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 12:54 PM
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@Andrew Clinton , any updates on your pup?
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post #23 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-25-2018, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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UPDATE:

Rosa's diet has increased and I would say that she is eating roughly 1 1/2 Cup of Wellness dog food per day (drastic increase). I just finished her Albon treatment and her stools are starting to become more solid now. Did a blood panel on her and she doesn't have Parvo or any other diseases which is good. I have another appointment on July 30th (next week) where I will provide another stool sample as well as get her weight checked. All signs point to her gaining weight, however I do see her ribs all the way down her body. She is a work in progress. I will provide another update next week with weight / height metrics.
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