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Hello,

I recently brought home an 8-week old Tervuren. He had his first vet visit a day later. Although he didn't look "small" to me in person, he was smaller than his brother when I went to pick him up, but not concerningly so. His weight was 6.8 lbs. Granted, his breeder didn't feed him past the morning on the day I came to pick him up, and on the long drive home I only fed him very lightly and late so as to not encourage car sickness, but this shouldn't account for too much difference I would think.

When at the vet I hadn't looked at what his weight should be and the vet didn't mention anything about it--only asked how his appetite was (seems fine after getting settled). But looking at what typical weights are for Belgian Tervuren pups (and Malinois, since there's more info available for this variety), it appears he's very small for 8 weeks.

He has had some loose stools--not diarrhea, but not solid, and quite frequently. I'm taking a sample to the vet just to be safe. And I will inquire about the weight issue there, too. But the vet wasn't experienced with this breed, so I wanted to post on here and get some insight. Is this something to be very concerned about? I freaked a bit using a adult-dog weight predictor "calculator" that asked for variables of pup's exact and and weight (and date of weigh-in) and suggested he will weight 30 lbs as an adult. That's just too small for a Belgian, if there's any validity to it. He he's not skinny. And he's energetic. The only slight concern otherwise I'm seeing is it looks like he might be having some issue following with his vision some toys that I'll toss for him to go after and (usually) bring back. I'll toss a toy and he'll follow it but seem like he sometimes doesn't see where it went, even when not too far away, but this isn't a consistent thing, so I'm not sure. But at 8 weeks, maybe that's normal. I"m just concerned if he's too small what that might entail for other developmental issues.

Any insights and, especially, experiences, are appreciated.
 

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Did U see his parents? // In the flesh, or in photos?

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I realize that sires may not be on scene, but did U meet his dam & other sibs, besides the one brother?
Was his mom particularly dainty? - Did U see photos of sire & dam, so that any size discrepancy could be compared?

BSD-Tervs aren't big dogs; they're a bit like sighthounds wearing fancy-dress - wiry & athletic, not beefy.

Did the vet look at his TEETH? - dentition [erupting vs emerged baby-teeth] can help to age a young pup.
Do U have his registration? - is there a DoB, & does it seem to agree with his dental age?

I wouldn't worry about smaller-than-brother, so long as it doesn't appear that the breeder altered the DoB in order to get the litter out the door. THAT would be an immediate concern, & is reportable / actionable, if they sold the pup underage.

If he's otherwise happy in himself, bright-eyed, active, appetite good, alert & responsive, i wouldn't worry about size at 8-WO. // Pups in the same litter can be a few days apart in conception, & that can mean visible differences when they're tiny, but they catch up post-birth. By 9-MO, he might be bigger than that brother [& i don't mean heavier or fatter, i mean taller & larger].

- terry

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Thanks so much, Terry!

I did not get to meet sire and dam in person as the breeder thought it better to meet at his apartment than the farm if it was going to be very cold out or late when I was arriving (it was later at night when I arrived). I did see pictures of sire and dam and did verify they were the dogs (and he was the owner) and which kennels/breeders they came from. They weren't the largest of dogs, and as you said these aren't massive dogs, but I'm generally seeing reports of Belgians being twice the weight of this guy at 8 weeks, so that's more my concern, I guess. Relative to others of the same breed, from what I'm reading.

The AKC registration form shows the DOB suggestive of the pup being 8 weeks when I picked him up. Or 8 weeks and a day. The vet didn't suggest he looked younger by dental observation and said his teeth looked good.

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not sitting here thinking my dog isn't going to be a hulk. I'm just genuinly concerned there might be something wrong if my pup is as much as half the weight of a typical (?) pup of the same breed (Terv or Mal, etc). The vet did say she felt as though both testicles were there but it may be that they are small or one of them is small (I can't recall which she said). So maybe he's just behind on the growth curve? He can be smaller, that's fine...but if he's too small there's probably a reason for it I would think, and that might come with other developmental issues as well, perhaps, that might express themselves behaviorally? These are just some of the things I'm pondering and trying to figure out.

I'll ask specifically about the teeth/growth. Thanks again. :)
 

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Congratulations on the new arrival. There are a few things I can think of off hand that would make a pup smaller. Things like a heart condition or a liver shunt, they usually appear after a few months. The heart is noticeable earlier (i.e. your most recent vet visit) but the liver shunt may not be until the pup is a few months old.

I had the same concerns about my pup. I also know someone who has similar concerns about her German Short Hair pup. Her pup didn't get ideal nutrition as a young one and mine was orphaned, which isn't ideal. They will recover and catch up as long as they are on balanced diets and receive routine veterinary care.

I wouldn't worry to much about him not being able to follow a ball. Pups have both short attention spans and some don't understand or can't focus on the game. If your pup has a vet visit again in a few weeks to get vaccines, pop them on the scale. As long as he is gaining a reasonable amount I wouldn't worry to much. You can't make him grow faster than he is able to and you don't want him to grow too fast.
 

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maybe get a vet-insurance policy, as that's a good precaution in any case.

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He wasn't "half the size" of his brother, was he? - his bro was presumably born on the same day.

I'd worry less about breed-specific weight averages, & consider his own individual state.

I'd take a photo with someone's help of his upper & lower teeth -- from the side, with his mouth wide open.
I'd have him comfortably on a table, lay a towel on it for traction & to protect the surface, & snap a couple of pix with a mobile phone, SQUATTING to get the upper arcade on the near side, then shooting again for the upper arcade on the other.
Pups' teeth change daily, so an immediate record for comparison is a Good Thing.
I'd ask another nearby vet for their opinion of his age per his dentition - just in case.
[Be sure to reward him well for this weird restrained activity. Every photo, treat!]


A full blood-panel is not costly, & by including kidney & liver enzymes, can be very revelatory.
[A cardiac issue, ex: PDA, is found in auscultation or by ultrasound.]
If he's genuinely stunted & has a shunt, the sooner U know, the better for all - most shunts are surgically fixable.
If he might have a shunt, vet-insurance would be a good thing to have BEFORE U GET a diagnosis.
He's not at risk of dying at this moment - I'd find a policy & get thru the waiting period, then ask about a blood panel.

Tracking his weight at home is simple, too - every couple of days, pop him on a scale. Pups grow very quickly from birth to 5-WO, a little slower from 8-WO to 5-MO, & the larger they're going to be, the longer - & slower - they grow after 6-MO or in the case of giants, after 9-MO.

He's bright, happy, & active, so i wouldn't worry too much - but i would take precautions; a vet policy can't hurt. ;)

- terry

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Thanks, Bertie! I take it your pup turn out normal on the health/size spectrum?

Well, I can't say with certainty this explains his relative "smallness," at least in terms of weight, but it turns out the little fella has gardia. Got him on the antibiotic now and I'm going to add a course of Safeguard to it, since my research indicates the antibiotic isn't highly effective on its own. Here's to hoping. It's got me further concerned as well, though, as I'm not sure if the training and socialization classes I had planned for the guy beginning this upcoming week will disqualify him for it, at least until he can be retested and cleared (he'll be 12 to 13 weeks by that point, with a "prime socialization" window closing in).

I'm sitting here now watching him sleep his deep sleep for the night--he's been breathing fast, panting if you will, for the first half hour to forty-five minutes of his night-time sleep, beginning last night. His breath is calming down now, but it's strange. But he acts healthy--hungry as a hippo (but gardia might be affecting that, too!), and today he was following the ball much better outside and running it down with tenacity. So, thanks for the reassurance on the vision/ball/stick issue. You were right!
 

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He wasn't "half the size" of his brother, was he? - his bro was presumably born on the same day.

I'd worry less about breed-specific weight averages, & consider his own individual state.

I'd take a photo with someone's help of his upper & lower teeth -- from the side, with his mouth wide open.
I'd have him comfortably on a table, lay a towel on it for traction & to protect the surface, & snap a couple of pix with a mobile phone, SQUATTING to get the upper arcade on the near side, then shooting again for the upper arcade on the other.
Pups' teeth change daily, so an immediate record for comparison is a Good Thing.
I'd ask another nearby vet for their opinion of his age per his dentition - just in case.
[Be sure to reward him well for this weird restrained activity. Every photo, treat!]


A full blood-panel is not costly, & by including kidney & liver enzymes, can be very revelatory.
[A cardiac issue, ex: PDA, is found in auscultation or by ultrasound.]
If he's genuinely stunted & has a shunt, the sooner U know, the better for all - most shunts are surgically fixable.
If he might have a shunt, vet-insurance would be a good thing to have BEFORE U GET a diagnosis.
He's not at risk of dying at this moment - I'd find a policy & get thru the waiting period, then ask about a blood panel.

Tracking his weight at home is simple, too - every couple of days, pop him on a scale. Pups grow very quickly from birth to 5-WO, a little slower from 8-WO to 5-MO, & the larger they're going to be, the longer - & slower - they grow after 6-MO or in the case of giants, after 9-MO.

He's bright, happy, & active, so i wouldn't worry too much - but i would take precautions; a vet policy can't hurt. ;)

- terry

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Greatly appreciated, Terry.

No, he definitely wasn't half the size of his bro. In correspondence with the breeder, he said another pup that went out at the same time (only 3 of the 9 were sold/scheduled at that time) was 9 lbs in weight. That wasn't the same bro, though. If I had to guestimate, however, I'd say his bro probably weighed 9 or 10 lbs, comparing what I remember of him. That is to say, I look at my little guy and have difficulty believing he barely weighs 7 lbs. He's not a Hoss, by any means, but he must be hollow or something!

I took some pics of his teeth after reading your post, when he was asleep and tolerant, but I'm not sure I got all the appropriate shots/angles. I had been communicating with the breeder about these guys since late November, and their bday (or purported bday) was early-mid of the same month. Still, better safe than sorry. There's a few other vets at the clinic I can ask about age/detention, too.

I'd only read about the health insurance in passing and wasn't sure if it was a ripoff or not. I'm looking into it more after reading more about it. I did see mention of preexisting disqualifications, as I believe you were referring. Good advice there.

The bits about heart and liver shunts sound quite serious and concerning. More the justification for insurance, I suppose--that or potential instances akin to it. I'm hoping it's not that in this situation though. I'm rather "hoping," if it's anything health related, maybe this can be explained by the gardia that was just discovered (after our last communication), since it can cause weight loss in young pups and malabsorption of nutrients. He's not skinny. If anything he looks still a bit rounded, but not fat on his ribs. Sometimes I look at him and think he's twice the size of when I got him last week. Then I stepped on the scales with him in hand (my scales don't acknowledge him solo), and he's not much weightier.

I am in the process of changing his food from Taste of the Wild, which the breeder had him on, to Orijen Large Puppy. I was doing this before the fecal results came back, thinking it would help his loose stool. It certainly seems to be, but then, too, with the gardia I can't say with certain what's effecting or improving what.

Thanks, again, for you insight and knowledge-sharing!
 

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Eek.

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Giardia is ferocious, & frankly U were lucky to get an actual DIAGNOSIS - the bl**dy stuff can lurk for months or even years, as the spores are only seen when they're shed. :( Terrible to Dx.

It's not highly contagious if U take simple precautions -
* USE DISPOSABLE GLOVES to bathe him, groom, or to handle his paws, trim claws, or go anywhere past his shoulders. // U don't want to [remote possibility] pick it up yerself.
* Wash any combs, brushes, mat tools, ________ , thoroughly. Use hot water & soap; use combs to clean the brushes & brushes to clean the combs.
* Disinfect his crate - hopefully it's an airline-approved shipping crate which contains everything, no splashes, spatters, etc.
* B4 puppy-classes, bathe him, not fussily, but spray his bum, undercarriage, & his PAWS between pads, then dry him with a towel that goes directly into hot water / heavy-duty cleaning, high-heat dry... OR, use paper-towels.

* When he poops, have him squat over a puppy-pad, spread newspaper, PAPER PLATES, or other disposable surfaces that prevent contaminated stool from hitting the ground.
U need to slide it under his butt as he squats - if he gets a bit anxious, distract his front-end with a long-handled spoon with peanut-butter + low-fat cream cheese, 1/2 & 1/2 [1 part Crm Chz, low-fat; 1 part PB or sunflower-seed butter; sunseed butter is also low-fat].
Offer the spoon as he squats, hold it as he licks, slide the {poop catcher} under his bum as he's licking.

* Avoid having him walk on places where he's VOIDED directly onto soil, grass, landscape bark, etc - he can pick up & re-ingest the spores! :eek:
U might want to use string, sticks, & flags to mark those areas as out of bounds, if it's Ur own yard / property.


Fecal matter, not the dog himself, transmits the spores - & to be infectious, he must be shedding spores.

More here -
https://www.vetinfo.com/is-giardia-in-dogs-contagious.html


Bad news? - Giardia can be chronic & lurk for years; it can also recur, he can drink contaminated water, walk on spores & lick his paws, & so on.
Hopefully he's treated effectively & it's dead, dead, dead. :thumbsup:

- terry

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Where do U live?

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Giardia is endemic in whitetail deer & beaver popns in the USA, & probly Canada, too; if there are any of those species local to U, don't let him drink from streams, puddles, ponds, or ANY water that didn't come from a treated tap-source.

Ask the local water authority if they test for Giardia in the municipal H2O - or if U use a well, test the well. :thumbsup: Regularly! - be sure the well casing is not cracked or broken.

Look for "boil water" alerts, too - municipal water can be contaminated by runoff, & U may have to boil water [15 minute rolling boil, not "simmer"] B4 using it.

- terry

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Discussion Starter #10
I didn't know that about the whitetail deer. I live in Virginia, and we have an abundance of them. Pup actually found deer scat in the backyard last week, though I've never once seen a deer in the yard in 5 years of living here. Neighbors have, only I haven't. But sure enough! Of course, they're all over these parts (Blue Ridge Mtns./valley region).
 

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Excellent advice on the handling of giardia, Terry! The create is typical wire type (heavy duty) with a divider in it. Upon receiving it and setting it up, I don't like it. Might be changing it out. Definitely isn't easy to clean all those bars and corners. But the back end, the part he's blocked off from, looks flawed, potentially unsafe.

Is there any benefit to pouring any bleach water on places where he's been deficating thus far? I'll try to start catching the poo in the meantime.

Is bathing very effective without chlorhexidine, with regard to stickiness of cysts clinging to fur? I searched for chlorhexidine shampoo locally today, but no dice. Been using Burt's Bees dog shampoo in the meantime. Found a spray that has the ingredient, and got it, but I don't know how effective it is as it doesn't indicate the % of chlorhexidine.

I'm already thinking about changing vets just due to how they went about (or didn't go about) informing me about giardia. I was given generic Flagyl antibiotic and instructions for administration. They gave me a hand out about giardia that at least mentioned the typical course of treatment being the antibiotic along with fenbendazole, but didn't say what fenbendazole was, let alone what it was in. I would have just thought it another Rx drug had I not researched giardia on my own. They gave no instructions about bathing with chlorhexidine shampoo, though I think something about bathing was mentioned, but it was vague. I added some SafeGuard dewormer to the mix to increase the effectiveness. Vet said he should be OK to go to puppy classes once the diarrhea stops. Looks better today. Here's to hoping.

Little guy (Brax) was suddenly ill the last couple of days. Thought it was the giardia getting worse. X-RAY looks like he maybe ingested something small and slow to digest--maybe cat litter (could also be gravel?), but he hasn't once been in the part of the house where the cat box is. Still, pieces travel, and he seems highly focused on rooting his nose in the corners and crevasses, along the walls, especially when he's hungry, which is constant almost, despite feeding him a bit more than the recommended amount (10 lbs dogs' serving size, per the vet, when he was only weighing 7 lbs). A rough go of it he's had, for sure. Good news was he weighed 8.74 lbs in their office yesterday, despite some difficulties with diarrhea, which was a nearly 2 lbs increase since the week prior. Portable scales might be slightly different at the vet's, but my home scales showed he gained more than a pound, too, so at least something's sticking to his sides despite the giardia and digestive issues. Other than yesterday when he had no energy and no appetitte and day 2 of the runs, he's been a (sweet) demon. Good energy, but not hyper, and hungry. Vet acted like the giardia wasn't too difficult to treat, said some clients sometimes have to go on a second round of antibiotic to clear it up. I'm sitting there just thinking I know the internet has a lot of misinformation, but I can also sort through the bull**** at this point in my life. Giardia isn't that easy for a lot of people, even with two rounds of antibiotic. And for goodness sake...why are they using antibiotics as the first go-to if its already ineffective maybe 30 to 40% of the time? Seems like it would only build resistance.
 

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Did the vet check your pup for Parvo? Diarrhea and listlessness are signs associated with Parvo. If his immune system is down due to the Giardia, he could have picked up another virus of some type. Parvo is very serious, much more so than Giardia.
 

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Did the vet check your pup for Parvo? Diarrhea and listlessness are signs associated with Parvo. If his immune system is down due to the Giardia, he could have picked up another virus of some type.
 

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Dig-enzymes, plus probiotics by the BILLIONS

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2 things i thot of can help him feel better now, & function better later / lifelong:
- hi-potency probiotics
- Digestive enzymes

Probiotics help build his gut-flora back up; the bad microbes need to be outnumbered by the nice commensals. ;)
Digestive enzymes cannot be stored; they're given with every meal, to help break food down so he absorbs nutrients better.
Basically, same amt of food goes in, but fewer nutrients are "thrown away".

RenewLife is a very high-quality U-S made brand.



https://www.renewlife.com/ultimate-flora-probiotics.html

https://www.vitaminshoppe.com/p/renew-life-digest-more-ultra-45-capsules/rw-7022

- terry

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I have raised 2 mals. And 3 of same litter purchased by friends so saw them grow at very different rates over 18 months. My boy "was last born n smallest" is now largest. Re. Worry about sight. I too worried with my first, that compared to a gsd, it had quite poor vision. But both of them seemed to take a couple of weeks to begin to see in periphary. So dont stress there. I am concerned that your vet could not find 2 testes. They r tiny admittedly but definately palpable. And wonder what the breeder says about this sick pup. Non descended testes: infertility probs. Cancer risk increase and risk of them strangulating. If not palpable in scrotum or in the canal consider seeking a refund. To locate a missing teste is a few thousand dollors here in Oz.
 

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Missed that... ??

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I can't find the post re cryptorchid / 1 testis not in scrotum.
But if that's accurate [he has 1 descended & 1 in his abdomen], i would def ask the breeder for some money back!
AND - do not let them persuade U to "give him testosterone" to make the testis come down. :crazy:


true story:
I had a previous client in Va Beach, VA, whose son bought a "working line" GSD.
[He was shipped by air from Sapphire Kennels, Montana - & cost north of $1,200 in early 2004.]

To say that they were unprepared for his temp, energy, land-shark full-force bites, & more, is the understatement of the decade, at least; within days of the pup's arrival, his mother's arms looked as if she'd slept on blackberry canes every night, & had thrashed when she had bad dreams - deep scratches & punctures all over, from fingertips to well-above her elbows, WITH BRUISES from the bite-pressure.
They'd had pet line GSDs all her adult life - this pup was off the charts.
He was also cryptorchid - & the 22-YO "boy" who still lived at home & worked PT, was more upset by the missing testis than by living with the k9 buzzsaw he'd bought. :eek:

The breeder persuaded them both that the testis would drop if the pup was given testosterone - I have no idea why this was so crucial to the young male owner, as they dog wasn't meant to be bred in any case, but he was determined his dog would be 'normal'.
They gave him enuf that he behaved as if he was in early puberty by 12-WO - humping, turfy, threat-barks at strangers passing their house on the street, leg-lifting, the works.
When i met him, one of the 1st suggestions i made was to get him desexed ASAP, not knowing at that time about the undescended testis nor the ongoing administration of testosterone "therapy" in a then-10-WO pup. :eek:

The testis never came down, but the pup's behavior continued to deteriorate - The young "man" had never trained any dog B4, he'd just lived with a series of nice biddable friendly pet-GSDs that his mum trained.

The last time i saw the dog, he was 9-MO & we met while i was walking the bike path - the dog looked as if he was undecided about biting me, & the young "man" was holding him to the outside of the path in a white-knuckled, 2-handed grip.
If anyone in Va Beach had been killed by a dog between 2004 & 2016, i'd have laid money it would be that GSD. :( Bad sale; wrong dog type, wrong home, wrong everything.
______________________________________


Spelunking to find the missing testis isn't that complex, the vet has to locate it amid the larger organs - if he's cryptorchid, i'd get him snipped sooner rather than later. The abdominal testis can strangulate, it's very likely to become cancerous, & it's highly, highly heritable in the M line of his [hopefully not planned] descendants.
Any accidental matings would only pass it along.


cached copy of a PDF from UC-Davis vet college:
What You Need to Know About Cryptorchidism

- terry

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Discussion Starter #17
RE: Probiotic

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2 things i thot of can help him feel better now, & function better later / lifelong:
- hi-potency probiotics
- Digestive enzymes

Probiotics help build his gut-flora back up; the bad microbes need to be outnumbered by the nice commensals. ;)
Digestive enzymes cannot be stored; they're given with every meal, to help break food down so he absorbs nutrients better.
Basically, same amt of food goes in, but fewer nutrients are "thrown away".

RenewLife is a very high-quality U-S made brand.



https://www.renewlife.com/ultimate-flora-probiotics.html

https://www.vitaminshoppe.com/p/renew-life-digest-more-ultra-45-capsules/rw-7022

- terry

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Thanks for this, Terry. The vet gave him a blister pack of probiotic (and a paste) for the short-term and, after your post, I got some more of the capsules/blister pack that I put in his food. He was doing much better after a few days of the upset stomach, but it looked quite terrible, for sure.

A question about probiotics as I've been trying to read up on them more since reading your post and ordering another month's supply. With regard to RenewLife, etc., do you find these are better for dogs than those (allegedly) formulated for dogs? I know how the supplement industry can be for humans, and I question almost everything, but had read that at least some probiotics for humans might not survive the digestive system of dogs long enough to become effective, and that some others might actually have too high a number of bacteria and/or too many species, causing unnecessary competition. But, again, its a supplement industry, and all it takes is going into a health food store to hear why a person absolutely needs to buy a $70 bottle of multi vitamins instead of the $10 bottle at the grocery store. :)

I'd also noticed many doctors recommend (humans) taking a probiotic daily, whereas some label warnings state intended for intermittent use. Others caution daily use for chronic ailments only. Do you have thoughts on daily use of probiotics for dogs?

I'd read that either probiotics or digestive enzymes might help with skin conditions. Pup seems to be doing a fair bit of scratching and biting, both before and after the puppy food transition. I'd found a flea on him, and the vet said to give him his next flea med dose (NexGuard), which was quite early. I haven't seen another flea but he's still scratching and biting almost as badly. During his vaccine booster the other day the vet didn't see any creepy-crawlies either, but didn't think much of the scratching/biting and said in her opinion, when pups are growing, they often seem to be a bit scratchy. idk though. Tervs are prone to skin allergies, as I recall. Maybe a combo of digestive enzymes with the probiotic will help.
 

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On the descent?

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I can't find the post re cryptorchid / 1 testis not in scrotum.
But if that's accurate [he has 1 descended & 1 in his abdomen], i would def ask the breeder for some money back!
AND - do not let them persuade U to "give him testosterone" to make the testis come down. :crazy:


true story:
I had a previous client in Va Beach, VA, whose son bought a "working line" GSD....
________________________


Spelunking to find the missing testis isn't that complex, the vet has to locate it amid the larger organs - if he's cryptorchid, i'd get him snipped sooner rather than later. The abdominal testis can strangulate, it's very likely to become cancerous, & it's highly, highly heritable in the M line of his [hopefully not planned] descendants.
Any accidental matings would only pass it along.


cached copy of a PDF from UC-Davis vet college:
What You Need to Know About Cryptorchidism

- terry

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Frightening story about the testosterone side-effects! I'd read that there was "anecdotal" evidence it could be used to help them descend, and had read suggestion that testosterone issues could be behind them not descending, but nothing convincing.

So, not long after these thoughtful replies about cryptorchidism were posted (I saw them from my phone but was slow to get on my laptop to reply, sorry!), I was able to see what appeared to be his testes along his shaft, maybe 2/3 of the way down. Both were there, but they were not always visible--usually visible when lying on his back, maybe relaxing or maybe during belly rubs, I can't recall. The other day the vet said she did palpitate them. Rather, this was in the notes, when I asked the vet tech (a friend) about neuter costs and complexities with retained testicles. Of course, I don't know if the now-sometimes-visible rocks are anything to feel positive about. Ultimately, I don't plan on breeding him anyway, but I prefer him to have as few complications and health risks as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Also, as a general update, the little guy is consistently gaining weight. He's still "small" of course, weighing at the vets at 13.3 lbs on Monday, at about 11 1/2 weeks of age, but appx. doubling his weight of 6.8 lbs from his first vet weigh-in from exactly 3 weeks prior. Vet said she could stand to see a little more meat/weight (?) on him, feeling his ribs, which I was glad to hear because I thought he was looking a bit round though I could see his waistline still. I'm feeding him Orijen large puppy breed, which, when I follow directions, has significantly fewer calories and significantly less volume than the TOTW his breeder was feeding him. The vet said to feed him as a 10 lbs dog when he was 7 lbs (irrespective to dog food brand), and when he was 10 lbs I was feeding him a fair bit more than the 10 lbs portion. It's difficult to determine these things--just gotta feel the ribs, I guess, but given this is a protein-dense kibble diet, I hope it's safe to up the ante on. One things for sure, he's voracious! He eats out of a puzzle game, usually, and in no time is looking at me like "really, that's all you've got for me?!" Then he tries to scavenge, looking for bits of dropped cat food or, if lucky, human crumbs. This excludes kibble used as training during the day. I don't really do "treats" per se, at least not regularly.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Parvo/Vet

Did the vet check your pup for Parvo? Diarrhea and listlessness are signs associated with Parvo. If his immune system is down due to the Giardia, he could have picked up another virus of some type.
You know, I thought they would have with the initial fecal test. When I read your question, I called the vet to ask what he was tested for--nope, just the typical parasite tests. I'm not sure why the vet (not the vet he's beginning to see regularly, but whatever vet was available during an urgency call) didn't consider parvo instead of only suggesting treating the diarrhea (though, as the vet pointed out, the Flagyl treats diarrhea, thus the vet suspecting something else) or possibly having an obstruction from ingesting something. But sure enough, the X-Rays showed several gravel-like objects in at least two different spots in his tract. I have since found him eating a small pebble in the living room--a pebble about the size that lodges in one's shoe tread. But I also caught he trying to root out isolated, albeit tiny pieces of kitty litter at in my mom's carpet when we visited last, so there's no telling which it was. Whatever it was, it seems to have passed through his system, thankfully. Still concerned that Parvo wasn't an immediate suspect.

Thank you for your trouble-shooting!
 
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