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· Cooper's Mom
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all!

My puppy, Cooper, is undersized for his age. Two days ago we took him to the vet, and at 1 week away from 6 months old, he is only 44lbs and 22in tall to the top of the shoulder!!

Although we feed him DOUBLE what he's supposed to get (according to bag), he still seems just barely thin. Our vet said that because we don't feed him enough, it has stunted his growth. Well, obviously, we are feeding him more now, but is there anything else we can do to help him hit a growth spurt? We didn't realize that going by the bag was a bad idea.

I feel like because he is so young, there's still a chance he could grow substantially? Thoughts?

P.s.- I posted a picture of him that I just took. Yes, that is demodex on his head (our poor baby), which we are in the process of fixing with Ivermectin.
Thanks!!
Mal
 

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· Holier Than Now
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The quality of the nutrition he's getting, making sure he's totally parasite-free, and his genetics, will determine how large he ends up growing.

What are you feeding him (brand)? How many times a day?

The guidelines on the back of any bag of kibble are simply that--guidelines. Some dogs will need more or less than suggested.

How large were the pup's parents?
 

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What were the size of his parents, their parents, their littermates? What does your breeder say?

I would not overfeed him though. You run the risk of pano, etc.

I'm a little confused about the vet saying you stunted his growth mostly because he doesn't look emaciated to me, which is what i"d expect if you were to stunt his growth.
 

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Hi Mal, cute boy! He doesnt look thin to me, would you say the picture is an acurate representation of him? I cant see any ribs, and he doesnt really have much tuck up.

As has been said, he is likley a product of his breeding and at 6 months lots of dogs go through a gangly stage. I wouldnt overfeed him to try an dbuild him up, he will bulk up around 2-3 years old.

I would get a second vets opinion personally.
 

· Cooper's Mom
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well,

We began feeding him more two days ago, so his ribs are starting to hide a little more. That picture is the best representation of him.

His dad was HUGE. His dad was imported from Germany, and the breeder said he was close to 110lbs, and his mom was 75lbs. He was the last of the litter, which makes me feel like maybe he was the runt?

I think what the vet meant was that he isn't getting enough of the nutrition he needed to help his growth, that it was slowing him down. Right now, he's on Iams Healhy Naturals, and we just bumped him up to 5 cups a day (2 1/2 morning and night). Also, he is on 400IU of Vitamin E, 1,000mg of Fish Oil, and a raw egg three times a week.
 

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I have a bit of an odd question.... how often and how large are his stools?

Also 110 is very big for a grown dobe, even overstandard...is it possible his father was less, or perhaps on the chunky side?
All dobes grow at different rates and your boys weight looks fine to me, i'd get a second opinion from a different vet.
 

· Cooper's Mom
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
He probably relieves his stools about twice a day, usually shortly after meals and they are fairly large. In fact, they are almost as large as my future in-law's 90lb weimaraner's stools.

Unfortunately, this was our second vet opinion. We got another vet opinion when the first vet said he didn't have demodex (which it's obvious that he does). I have posted another picture of him before we took him to the vet and began feeding him more. I know he is laying down, but you can see that he is sorta thin.
 

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He probably relieves his stools about twice a day, usually shortly after meals and they are fairly large. In fact, they are almost as large as my future in-law's 90lb weimaraner's stools.

Unfortunately, this was our second vet opinion. We got another vet opinion when the first vet said he didn't have demodex (which it's obvious that he does). I have posted another picture of him before we took him to the vet and began feeding him more. I know he is laying down, but you can see that he is sorta thin.
growing puppies are often on the lankier/leaner side. I wouldn't call him thin, thin to me is when ribs are prominent, and extra thin is when hip bones are showing as well.

A sign your dog is getting the right amount and the right kind of food can be seen in their stools.
2 solid, size appropriate stools is proof that more of the nutrients from the food is getting absorbed, a large soft stool is generally the opposite.
 

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110lbs is really huge, not the norm for German dobes and unfortunately bigger is not better for dobes. The larger Euro males where I'm from tend to be much lighter than that so hopefully the breeder was over exaggerating?

Im not much help with the food i'm afraid as there as im in the UK and recipes differ, but over here Iams is not a very good brand. Large poops are a sign that there is a lot of stuff not being used! Do the poos start hard and then end up soft? If so, this is a sign you're feeding too much. Maybe you could have a look at a food with less filler in, someone else could recommend some available to you.

If his energy levels are good, the vet says he's healthy (I would get a 3rd opinion in this case!) and you cant see a lot of rib, I wouldnt really be worried about him being a little on the thin side at 6 months old. My boy is from lines which are known to mature later, so I know he wont bulk up until around 2-3 years old. Is he intact? Hormones tend to keep boys thinner too!

But honestly, he looks sine in the photos I wouldnt want him any bigger.
 

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If he's having large stools, especially if they are loose or runny, you might be over feeding, or possibly the food you are feeding doesn't agree with him.

I've had a couple of dogs with demodex. I had better luck with the Mitaban dip than the ivermectin with mine.
 
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I would switch him to a better kibble with less fillers. If you can buy your dogs food at the grocery store, then it is not good food. Even though better quality kibble costs more, in the long run the extra expense will not be so much as they will eat less of the better quality kibble. Right now, 5 1/2 cups is not a lot for a 6 month old male and I do think that he looks a little thin in the pictures - you should be able to just see the last couple of ribs and never hip or shoulder bones.

Also your puppy is a blue and is very prone to skin issues - I'm giving you a link to a website for dilute colors. About 75% of blues are going to be affected by hair loss by the time they are mature. This can range from simply a thinner coat to complete baldness. Nutrition is very important for any Doberman, but critical for the dilute colors.

Storm's Regimen
 

· Cooper's Mom
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank y'all so much for the help!

At one point we had him on Blue Buffalo food, so we will more than likely switch back to that. I will have to pay more close attention to his stool to be tell signs if he is eating too much/ not enough nutrition is being absorbed.

Thanks for the updates on the blues! I knew they had some skin problems, but it's nice to read more detail about them. And he is still intact, as of now! But, we already have plans to change that, since we won't be breeding him anymore. :(
 

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I know this is comparing a female to your male but our Brinks weighed 47 lbs and was 24 inches at the shoulder at 6 months. Not that much of a difference in weight, especially considering that Brinks was a bit taller than your boy.
 

· Cooper's Mom
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I know this is comparing a female to your male but our Brinks weighed 47 lbs and was 24 inches at the shoulder at 6 months. Not that much of a difference in weight, especially considering that Brinks was a bit taller than your boy.
Well, maybe he will only be the size of a female doberman when he is fully grown. We would love him to be a big doberman (who doesn't want a big doberman), but of course will love him the same :)
 

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He doesn't look terribly thin to me, just poorly bred and of course the mange (and the ear pockets, you really need to keep posting those ears) all effect his look. Once you get the mange under control and fix those ear pockets he will look better just from that. Of course he will probably turn around and lose his coat eventually again from CDA being a blue (and a poorly bred one), but he should have a window of a nice coat after the mange clears up and before the CDA sets in.
 

· Holier Than Now
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He probably relieves his stools about twice a day, usually shortly after meals and they are fairly large. In fact, they are almost as large as my future in-law's 90lb weimaraner's stools.

Unfortunately, this was our second vet opinion. We got another vet opinion when the first vet said he didn't have demodex (which it's obvious that he does). I have posted another picture of him before we took him to the vet and began feeding him more. I know he is laying down, but you can see that he is sorta thin.
Wow, that's very obvious demodex, as you say. I'm so surprised you had a vet who didn't think so.

I gather you're now treating him for it, though?

I've got a foster pup here now who's going thru tx for Demodex, and is already much improved, just a couple weeks in.

As for Iams, it used to be a good food, but was bought out by P&G a few years back, and the formula, unfortunately, is just not up to par now.

Dog Food Analysis - Reviews of kibble will give you ratings on different brands to try. You can see how many "stars" certain kibbles get, and then just see what brand(s) your boy does well on, since they are all individuals.



Well, maybe he will only be the size of a female doberman when he is fully grown. We would love him to be a big doberman (who doesn't want a big doberman), but of course will love him the same :)
Well, as to your question--who doesn't want a big Doberman?

Sorry, but nobody who has been out to trials and shows, and had the opportunity to watch these athletic dogs really work, wants a "big Doberman".

That is not meant to be an insult to your little blue puppers, not at all.

It's just...I think that some not-great breeders market and hype the "Superior Size" Doberman to appeal to folks who haven't really had mentors to alert them to the problems.

I have a very good friend who rescued a HUGE Doberman, and while he is a very sweet boy with a nice shiny coat because she takes awesome care of him and so forth...despite all that, he has movement issues, can't keep up with smaller Dobermans at all, isn't nearly as agile or athletic, and you can tell he gets really frustrated on play dates because of all that. And, of course he will face a higher risk of arthritis and lameness as he ages--he's young now and already has stamina issues and gets tired and sore faster.

So, to sum up--you might just get lucky if he doesn't get oversized to the standard ;)
 

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I'd say find the foods that fit in your price range, write them down, and pick the best one as far as ratings according to dog food advisor :)

Personally i'm an American Natural Premium and Fromm fan, and mabel loves her fish and duck flavors.

Good luck!
 
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