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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Zara was born on 3/9, so she was 14 weeks on Tuesday. We weighed her at home and she was 14.8 pounds. (The week previous she was 13.1) She was the smallest in her litter. My vet said "she's a little small." Everything I can find online says she's about half the size she should be. Maybe even a bit less. She was given a clean bill of health (via exam and fecal check) and dewormed and given vaccines. I am trying not to drive myself crazy about it but I am concerned there might be a health reason for her size. She is currently eating 2 1/2 cups of food per day, given in 3 meals. She gets Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy, which says at 10 pounds feed 2 cups and day and at 20 pounds feed 3 cups a day. So when she weighed in at 14.8 I figured that was close enough to 15 and split the difference on her feeding instructions to decide on 2 1/2 cups per day. She has had consistent diarrhea. I did give her 3 cups for a couple days then thought I was overfeeding her and that might be the cause. So I cut back to 2 1/2. First thing in the morning when she goes it's solid. Then every time after that when she goes after a meal she will go multiple times per trip out and it's softer and then after that it can even become liquid. She gets plenty of water, and eats all her food almost every meal. She definitely has an appetite. Her energy level is good. She goes in spurts of running and playing, then plops down and takes a nap.

Standard fecal check was negative and she got de-wormer anyway. But this wouldn't include testing for giardia. So that's my first guess. But she wouldn't have gotten it here, this means she would have had it since before we got her. (Our other 2 dogs are fine. I usually just let them out to do their thing, but have been monitoring them now just to be sure.)

After that I venture into scarier territory. Bloodwork to see if her organs are functioning properly and she is metabolizing her food properly. I guess my biggest reason for posting is what I should be aware of that is Rottweiler specific. I've had dogs all my life and I'm pretty well versed with animal health (I use to work in my vet's office) so I really want to make sure I'm covering all my bases.

She is AKC, I met both parents and the older brother that the breeder kept from a previous litter. I have her pedigree that goes back to her great grandparents, to rule out the idea that she's actually a mix. The breeders would have had to flat out lie about her parentage, but I don't think that's the issue here. Just to rule that out. Although if we go through all of this and she checks out fine, I might do the Embark DNA test to be sure she's 100% rottweiler. Does it matter? Only in the sense that I want to know she's healthy, so I'm looking for answers to her small stature.

Please tell me I'm not crazy puppy lady and let me know if there is something else I'm not thinking of or questions you might have that might help me understand this better. Thanks!
 

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You are right your pup is small for her age. Female pups are usually smaller than male pups...at 14 weeks a healthy, well bred Rottweiler female pup I would think would be around 25 + lbs.
I would have her checked out for giardia....sometimes in fecals they do not show up...if the cysts are not in the cycle. Your older dog has a developed immune system and may be able to fight it off. The having solid poops, and then getting softer during the day...is a real sign of giardia. It can be difficult to get rid of also...with multiple treatments needed.

Having AKC registration on your pup does not mean that she is well bred. Having both the sire and the dam in the home sounds very much like a BYB operation. Do the sire and dam have their hips,elbows, eyes and heart all certified and are you able to verify on OFA?? You pup may have come to you with giardia already. Another thing I would worry about is her heart. Rottweilers do have genetic heart problems...and that is why good breeder have their dogs seen by a cardiologist vet before being used for breeding.

With bad hearts they also fail to grow and thrive. I'm sure she may just be small just because of giardia....but I thought I would mention things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You are right your pup is small for her age. Female pups are usually smaller than male pups...at 14 weeks a healthy, well bred Rottweiler female pup I would think would be around 25 + lbs.
I would have her checked out for giardia....sometimes in fecals they do not show up...if the cysts are not in the cycle. Your older dog has a developed immune system and may be able to fight it off. The having solid poops, and then getting softer during the day...is a real sign of giardia. It can be difficult to get rid of also...with multiple treatments needed.

Having AKC registration on your pup does not mean that she is well bred. Having both the sire and the dam in the home sounds very much like a BYB operation. Do the sire and dam have their hips,elbows, eyes and heart all certified and are you able to verify on OFA?? You pup may have come to you with giardia already. Another thing I would worry about is her heart. Rottweilers do have genetic heart problems...and that is why good breeder have their dogs seen by a cardiologist vet before being used for breeding.

With bad hearts they also fail to grow and thrive. I'm sure she may just be small just because of giardia....but I thought I would mention things.
Thank you for your reply. I called the vet, they don't have time to see her until Monday so I made an appointment. She is eating and playing and acting normal, it's just the inconsistent diarrhea. So I guess we will get through the weekend and see what happens on Monday.

I realize the people who bred her would be considered BYB. I let my excitment over finding a puppy overtake my common sense on exactly what I should be looking for in a breeder. Her parents don't have the testing, but generations before her do. Which kind of makes me wonder why the previous generation let them have full AKC registered dogs for them to breed. But that's neither here nor there. My concern is for Zara and her health. So I guess we will take it one step at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Went ahead and weighed her again. Wanted to wait until Tuesday as she was born on a Tuesday and I am planning to track weight by weeks. She's up to 17.2 at 14 weeks and 3 days. Up from 14.8 on Monday when she was a day shy of 14 weeks. So she is steadily gaining weight.
 

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Good to hear! Has she been weighed on your vets scale also? Sometimes home scales and vet scales are different. I think once you get her tummy settled and the diarrhea goes away...she should gain weight and grow. Is she teething yet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good to hear! Has she been weighed on your vets scale also? Sometimes home scales and vet scales are different. I think once you get her tummy settled and the diarrhea goes away...she should gain weight and grow. Is she teething yet?
She was 13.1 pounds on the vet scale on 6/7. That was a day before 13 weeks. We have been weighing her at home with our digital scale, the same way each time to be sure we have consistancy. I think the scale is pretty accurate.

She is definitely teething. Chewing on everything, including my daughter and the other two dogs. She has tons of chew toys, including teething ones that go in the freezer. I am spraying everything in the house she takes interest in with a chew deterrent. It kind of works but I keep it with me. She is starting to get flyaway puppy ears that I think might be from teething.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I wanted to update that on Friday I cut back on the 2 1/2 cups a day back to 2 cups a day and yesterday we almost made it through the day without diarrhea. Only the last trip out did it look a bit problematic. So far so good today. Still going to the vet tomorrow just to rule out giardia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
there are things they can pick up from just the soil that could be causing your dog’s issues.
When I say she wouldn't have gotten it here, I'm just saying it's been the same situation since we first brought her home. As in, since the first time she went potty after we brought her. Could it be something here? Maybe, but I just feel whatever it is had probably been going on for longer.
 

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and you may be right. my room mate is a vet, with 30 years experience under her belt. i learn new things each day regarding her knowlege base.

my intent on the previous post was to share something i learned regarding your issue, that may or may not be the nexus of your problem. the more we know, the better we are positioned to solve problems. please keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
and you may be right. my room mate is a vet, with 30 years experience under her belt. i learn new things each day regarding her knowlege base.

my intent on the previous post was to share something i learned regarding your issue, that may or may not be the nexus of your problem. the more we know, the better we are positioned to solve problems. please keep us posted.
I totally agree. I worked at a vet clinic for years, but I also continue to learn news things. And I greatly appreciated the input, that's why I posted. I will update tomorrow night after she's been to the vet.
 

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Glad that you found what could be the loose poop problem! Giardia does not let the nutrition be absorbed in the lining of the intestines. I would not be cutting back on her food. At this age she should be eating 21/2 to 3 cups of kibble per day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Glad that you found what could be the loose poop problem! Giardia does not let the nutrition be absorbed in the lining of the intestines. I would not be cutting back on her food. At this age she should be eating 21/2 to 3 cups of kibble per day.
Oh yes. She got a full cup for breakfast with her first dose of the meds. Will give her 3 cups a day now that I know I wasn't overfeeding her. Here's to hoping that's all this was. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to reply and provide input.
 

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I've had the same situation as you. My little guy was 5 pounds at 8 weeks and became very ill and nearly died at 9 weeks old. He come to me with Giardia and Coccidia. The vet wasn't worried about Coccidia but I read on the forums that they usually go together. He was positive for both. 5 days on the treatment he started gaining weight but not as much as he should. He is now 12 weeks old and only 11 pounds. I am wondering if he has underlying issues or if he will catch up and be healthy. I hope your girl recovers well and starts growing well.
 

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I've had the same situation as you. My little guy was 5 pounds at 8 weeks and became very ill and nearly died at 9 weeks old. He come to me with Giardia and Coccidia. The vet wasn't worried about Coccidia but I read on the forums that they usually go together. He was positive for both. 5 days on the treatment he started gaining weight but not as much as he should. He is now 12 weeks old and only 11 pounds. I am wondering if he has underlying issues or if he will catch up and be healthy. I hope your girl recovers well and starts growing well.
Oh my. I hope your pup grows up healthy and strong. I weighed my girl today as she was born on a Tueday so she is 15 weeks. Came in at 18.4 pounds. Will ask about Coccidia when she goes back for her next round of puppy shots. Keep us all posted on your pup's growth. Maybe they both got a rough start but will overcome it in the long run.
 

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Oh my. I hope your pup grows up healthy and strong. I weighed my girl today as she was born on a Tueday so she is 15 weeks. Came in at 18.4 pounds. Will ask about Coccidia when she goes back for her next round of puppy shots. Keep us all posted on your pup's growth. Maybe they both got a rough start but will overcome it in the long run.
I really hope so! I love him so much, its been a hard ride so far. Good luck to you as well!
 
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