Puppy Underweight? Questions

Discussion in 'Akita' started by Sast, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. Sast

    Sast New Member

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    Puppy Underweight?

    Just found out my Akita puppy is only 23lbs at 16 weeks old. I’ve done some research, and this is like INSANELY underweight. I’m surprised because he isn’t skinny or anything, and everyone who sees him says he looks like he’ll turn out to be big. He stands at only 18 inches tall as well(45cm). I’m starting to think perhaps the breeder lied about his age? It’s plausible he was just the runt of the litter, but he has big paws, and has a very sturdy build. Anyone have any ideas or been in a similar situation?
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  3. who owns who

    who owns who Member

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    That does seem very small for his age. My male, who was diagnosed with parvo 12 hours after I picked him up at the airport, weighed 13+lbs when he was weighed at emergency vets in the middle of the night at just over 10 weeks old. As he almost died it took him awhile to put on weight as he recovered. He was 25lbs at 15 weeks and 30lbs at 17 weeks. He now goes at about 85lbs and is coming up on 2 years and 4 months. He has huge feet and tree trunks for legs!!

    I feel like I’ve written this all out not too long ago in response to someone else...

    My female, who I got at 4 months, weighed about 36lbs when I got her and is now in the low to mid 60lb range, at 14 months. She may put on a little more weight, but I don’t think it will be that much.

    “They” say that in general dogs will end up being double their 4 month weight at full size. This is a huge generalization IMO. My female has not doubled her weight, although she may as Akitas take a few years to reach full physical maturity, and my male more then doubled his weight from 4 months, although he may be a unique case because of the parvovirus.

    My previous male Akita was a big boy at around 120lbs, and I just don’t remember his weights as he was growing.

    So my male is on the small size for male Akitas and my female is pretty tiny for a female Akita. My vet thinks this is good as they may have less physical problems as they grow old, as they have a good sized skeletal system without a huge amount of weight to carry. My previous boy ended up with a bad shoulder, which I think was caused by jumping out of the back of my pickup truck. He was very long legged and narrow boned for his size. It ended up being his demise, as his other shoulder gave out eventually from being overworked at the 11 years and 8 months. This was hard as his head was still in the game, put truth is he had been in pain for years. Akitas will hide their pain, they don’t want to show any weekness, especially around strangers.

    Has your pup been wormed recently. I’d consider taking a stool sample to the vet to check, as that can make it hard for them to put on weight. Overall I’d try not to worry about his size because he will be whatever he is going to be... I know that doesn’t help much, and honestly I was concerned that my male was small and was kind of upset about that for awhile. Then he started to get bigger and a kind of liked the cute small Akita by this point... lol. Smaller also means less food and less dog hair to deal with. Your pup is an absolutely stunning looking dog, and as long as you weren’t planning on showing him or breeding him I don’t see an issue with his size. I don’t remember exactly what age they start to lose their puppy teeth, but when he does that should give you some indication of his actual age, if you don’t think the breeder was honest.

    What brand of food do you feed him? It may mean nothing to me as I live in US. If you are really concerned I’d call or make an appointment at the vets and take in a stool sample. Remember dogs come in all sizes, just like people. My father was 6ft (he’s getting old and is no longer that tall..) and my mom just barely over 5ft.
  4. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    We had a few posts about underweight puppies last yeat. The last Akita one was by @lojo, just about four posts back on this forum page.
  5. Sast

    Sast New Member

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  6. Sast

    Sast New Member

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    Thanks, you definitely helped reassure me that I shouldn’t be too worried. Glad to hear everything turned out okay with your boy! I as well think that it’s unreliable to expect a dog to double the 4 month weight. Even if my pup ends up being tiny, I can’t really imagine a 45 pound Akita.

    I actually JUST got back from the vet a few minutes ago. I did in fact give them a stool sample. They’ll let me know if he tests positive for a parasite tomorrow. Vet said based on teeth, it looked like he was around the 4 months of age which I was told by the breeder he was. But he wanted to check the progress of the teeth in a few weeks to get a better idea.

    The only thing that worries me is that his lack of size seems to either be the source, of affect of a greater problem. He was doing great when I first posted about a week ago, but now he has EXTREME signs of pica; eating rocks, dirt, dust, acorns, etc. I’m having trouble taking him on walks because literally every 10 seconds he stops lick up pebbles or dirt. I am constantly prying open his mouth to extract something before he swallows it. And on top of that, he has really bad car anxiety. Throws up or pees every single time he’s in the car, along with excessive drooling. I’m aware it’s not too uncommon in puppies, but I have a hard time believing his lack of size, pica symptoms, and car sickness are all just coincidental. If he has a parasite, that would explain the weight and pica symptoms, as the vet said, but if not, I can’t help but feel he’s not healthy.

    Sorry to bombard you with problems, but I should also probably mention that it is international regulation that a puppy needs to be at least 4 months in order to be shipped out of country. Once I obtained all the paperwork, I come to find out that the breeder and/or agent, lied about the puppies age, in order to ship him. Which means he either didn’t get his specifically required travel vaccinations, or he was given them prematurely. I was told specifically by the breeder that even though the dog was only 14 weeks, he was legally allowed to travel. But now I see that on his paperwork they put his age as a month older than he really is.
  7. Sast

    Sast New Member

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    anks, you definitely helped reassure me that I shouldn’t be too worried. Glad to hear everything turned out okay with your boy! I as well think that it’s unreliable to expect a dog to double the 4 month weight. Even if my pup ends up being tiny, I can’t really imagine a 45 pound Akita.

    I actually JUST got back from the vet a few minutes ago. I did in fact give them a stool sample. They’ll let me know if he tests positive for a parasite tomorrow. Vet said based on teeth, it looked like he was around the 4 months of age which I was told by the breeder he was. But he wanted to check the progress of the teeth in a few weeks to get a better idea.

    The only thing that worries me is that his lack of size seems to either be the source, of affect of a greater problem. He was doing great when I first posted about a week ago, but now he has EXTREME signs of pica; eating rocks, dirt, dust, acorns, etc. I’m having trouble taking him on walks because literally every 10 seconds he stops lick up pebbles or dirt. I am constantly prying open his mouth to extract something before he swallows it. And on top of that, he has really bad car anxiety. Throws up or pees every single time he’s in the car, along with excessive drooling. I’m aware it’s not too uncommon in puppies, but I have a hard time believing his lack of size, pica symptoms, and car sickness are all just coincidental. If he has a parasite, that would explain the weight and pica symptoms, as the vet said, but if not, I can’t help but feel he’s not healthy.

    Sorry to bombard you with problems, but I should also probably mention that it is international regulation that a puppy needs to be at least 4 months in order to be shipped out of country. Once I obtained all the paperwork, I come to find out that the breeder and/or agent, lied about the puppies age, in order to ship him. Which means he either didn’t get his specifically required travel vaccinations, or he was given them prematurely. I was told specifically by the breeder that even though the dog was only 14 weeks, he was legally allowed to travel. But now I see that on his paperwork they put his age as a month older than he really is.
  8. who owns who

    who owns who Member

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    GsdSlave likes this.
    Don’t worry about bombarding with problems, that’s why a lot of people come here. Sorry to hear that the papers were falsified. My male liked to eat dirt, found some creasote that I’d cleaned out of my chimney too... the girl use to like to eat acorns as well but seems to have stopped, or maybe they just aren’t in season right now.

    Remember he is just a little pup, agewise, and they explore the world with their mouths a lot of the time. All my dogs have always liked riding in vehicles, but a friend had a littermate of my first Akita, and that dog hated going for drives, especially as a pup. He peed and pooped in the car all the time. He wasn’t crated, and the interior of that car stank.. he eventually sold it.. lol.

    Have you wormed him since you got him? Very glad to hear you’ve been to the vets!! Please keep us posted on his progress and keep reaching out with any questions. There are others here with far more experience on dog behavior than I have.
  9. Sast

    Sast New Member

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    Yes, hopefully he’ll grow out of the eating, as both yours did. And with any luck, I won’t need to get rid of my car .

    He has been wormed, once by the breeder (or so he says), and then yes, once again a few days after we got him.
  10. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    GsdSlave likes this.
    We worry about so many things with our pups, and it sounds as if your chap has had a poor start. A good broad-spectrum wormer from the vet should make sure that you are not feeding any parasites, and if you are using a good quality food with mineral supplementation, you can't go far wrong. If it helps, most of the underweight puppies do catch up given time. Feed generously, but don't overfeed, it will only come out at the other end!
    He is a little young for walks yet, 5 minutes for each month of life is the puppy rule. You have to look after those elbows, hips and knees until the growth plates in the joints have finished developing. Rather important in large breeds, and another reason why he might be better just gaining weight steadily.
    I would be inclined to get a crate or a tailgate for your car. Let him sit in there and munch on a bone when you aren't going anywhere. When he starts to see the car as fun, and not something that takes him to strange places - like the scary vet that pokes in his ear - I'm sure he will settle to it.
  11. Sast

    Sast New Member

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    Perhaps I’m worrying a little too much, and all these “problems” will just get better with time. I’ll take your advice on the method of alleviating his car anxiety. And yes, I’m making sure he is not over-walked. Though his excessive eating of dirt and rocks does a good job of cutting walks short, and having indoor playtime take its place, so maybe it’s all a blessing in disguise.
  12. GsdSlave

    GsdSlave Member

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    Sast and CaroleC like this.
    I wouldn’t worry too much, there are all sorts of things that factor into the eventual size/weight/height, depending on genetics, build, bone structure ect: plus some pups mature faster than others.
    It’s best to go by body condition and not focus on a numbers.
    As for picking everything up, as previously said they usually grow out of it.

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