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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

I know there are many, many threads just like this one, but I too am concerned about my puppy’s weight and size (yay for puppy parenting!).
Diesel is currently 4.5 months old and weighing 25 pounds. His father was around 78 pounds and mother was 65. We have been battling giardia for the past month or two and we think we finally got rid of it, but we’ve been giving him the W/D Hill’s prescription diet food (1 can for each meal plus rice) and are worried that he hasn’t been growing as much due to that.
The vet said he’s healthy, but it’s something we need to watch. He also wants him neutered at 6 months due to a testicle not dropping.
I’m particularly worried about this since Diesel is going to be trained to be a service dog. One of the tasks needed by him is deep pressure therapy and we were hoping he was going to be at least 60 pounds to help implement the soothing pressure effectively.
I wanted to see if there was anyone out there who had a puppy who started off smaller than average but still ended up weighing 50+ pounds in the end. I’m incredibly thankful my puppy is happy and healthy, I just want to see if we are destined to be in the 45 range.

Thanks all :)
Here are some photos 090F0771-C9FC-48D9-A13A-3AF6E2BFD3F5.jpeg 4124D3D4-57E8-4EDE-AED7-4213B319F663.jpeg 8D72F212-8B28-4184-B8F4-CD1B09FC8F9D.jpeg BFC5442B-BE96-44A8-8615-8721A03E7C87.jpeg B5477809-F530-48F7-BD4B-D63CBFB6FA0C.jpeg
 

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Diesel is a cutie! It’s good he’s not growing too fast as it’s much better for them to grow slower. The adult weight won’t be affected. I’ve also been one that’s always curious about how big my pup will get! Aidan was also around 25lbs at 14 weeks, 54lbs at 29 weeks, and is now around 70 at almost 9 months. He’s always been on the thin side and could stand to gain a few lbs. I’m expecting him to not be over 80lbs, but you never know. How big were his parents? At 14 weeks Aidan also had a testicle that hadn’t dropped, but our vet said it probably would and to give it a little time. Sure enough, it dropped! We were also going to have to neutered early if it didn’t happen, except our vet was recommending neutering him around 10mo or so. I’m happy because he’s already 24” and neutering them can extend the growth plates and possibly cause them to be taller than normal.
 

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He should catch up since you treated the giardia. He will probably be somewhere in between his parents weights when he is an adult. Slow growth is good, but he will have growth spurts. I am sure he will be well over 45 lbs.
 

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puppies are genetically programed to be a certain size- and as long as there is nothing interfering w his digestion, he will end up as large as he was meant to be. Giardia is hard to get rid of ... be slow in your transferring to normal food that's not made for digestibility for GI issues. Unless you want to have longer than normal legs, I would wait on the castration til he's puberty age. It is going to be an abdominal no matter when you do it, and while the vet may be citing abdominal testes as becoming cancerous, I do not believe there is any evidence that happens before puberty.
 

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Diesel is precious. Mine was smaller younger and he ended up weighing 72lbs. Both testicles were undescended and I waited until a year to have him neutered. They didn't drop and I went ahead with the surgery because the vet said there would be future cancer or other health related issues if I didn't.
 

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I can't address your size question but did want to encourage you to get a second opinion on neutering at 6 months. I agree if that other testicle doesn't come down he should be neutered, but doing it at 6 months has other health ramifications (potential increase in the risk of some cancers, orthopedic issues because his growth plates won't have closed by then, etc.). And I saw above someone else reported that a retained testicle DID eventually descend (which would make neutering safer, easier and cheaper than going "digging" for the missing testicle.). I would speak to a repro vet, rather than just your general vet, and get a second opinion re risk level if neutering is delayed until your pup is done growing (esp if you hope he'll be a fairly large, or at least heavy, dog).
 

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Esquire Golden Retrievers
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As Prism intimated, genetics will determine your dog's final size. The only question is how long it will take him to get there, and no worries, slower is better for him in a lot of important ways.

I also agree that an undescended testicle need not be removed at 6 months, and that doing so will affect him orthopedically, including giving him longer, spindlier legs, a greater chance of hip dysplasia, and a greater chance of arthritis in older age. In my experience, you should feel comfortable waiting up to age 3 or so before neutering him.

Vets have an economic interest in getting you to neuter early. They even have practice management courses that provide them with strategies for maximizing profits through vaccines and spay/neuters. Most vet practices work on very small margins, and they use vaccines and spay/neuters as their "overhead" income. It's important to their survival that they get lots of them. Studies have shown that every month a puppy owner waits to spay or neuter their pet decreases the percentage chance that that vet will ever get to spay or neuter that dog (and see the income from the procedure), whether it's because the owner decides not to have the procedure, they move or change vets, the dog dies, or some other reason.

So vets are told to get dogs in as early as possible for spay/neuters, and are given a host of medical literature they can use to justify the early spay/neuter. The scary word cryptorchidism and the fear of testicular cancer are a big lever they can use to pressure the client into performing the surgery early. They are taught to trot out general statements about risk, without regard to the actual risk to the individual dog. Warnings are spread far and wide on the internet. VCA Animal Hospitals -- a corporate vet all about the benjamins -- warns that you should neuter your dog "as soon as possible," without the slightest actual medical reason to back it up.

In fact, dogs almost never get testicular tumors before three years old. In one study, they found the earliest tumor related to cryptorchidism occurred at 3.5 years old, and no others under 5 years (Arq. Bras. Med. Vet. Zootec. vol.52 n.1 Belo Horizonte Feb 2000).


868422


Of course, we all rely on vets, and we don't really want to believe that they do things for economic reasons rather than for the health of our pets. But that's the world we live in. And in a case like this, it's actually at the expense of the health of our pets, as it has been pretty conclusively demonstrated that early neuters of male Golden Retrievers increases the risk of hip dysplasia and a significant number of cancers, particularly the ones that Goldens are most susceptible to. In 2013, the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine published a study revealing that neutered golden retrievers are seemingly at a higher risk of joint disorders and cancers compared to sexually intact dogs of the same breed. "We found in both breeds that neutering before the age of 6 months, which is common practice in the United States, significantly increased the occurrence of joint disorders - especially in the golden retrievers," Benjamin Hart, DVM, Ph.D., lead investigator and professor emeritus at the veterinary school said. "The data, however, showed that the incidence rates of both joint disorders and cancers at various neuter ages were much more pronounced in golden retrievers than in the Labrador retrievers."

All this is to say that there is zero need to neuter a cryptorchid dog at 6 months old, and indeed doing so is likely to have a negative impact on his health. The Davis study found that hip dysplasia was twice as high in dogs neutered young, yet zero incidents of testicular cancer were found before three years old in cryptorchid dogs.
 

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Denver was one of the smaller puppies in his litter. He was 8.6 pounds at 8 weeks. He grew very slowly and is now 15 months and 68 pounds. I agree with the above posters that mentioned weight is genetic. So think about how big his parents were. You can expect him to be in that range. Denver's Dam was 55 pounds, and his sire was 65 pounds. Denver is 67 pounds. So basically right around what he sire weighed. The other males in the litter range from 60-71 pounds and the females that I know of are 56-58 pounds.
 

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Just curious... have you had bloodwork done? Just to rule out any serious reason why he's undersized?

With the new forum mess, it's not that easy to go hunting down old threads (and no, I don't need a tutorial LOL) - so I'm not sure without checking how far off he is from where my last 3 pups were at the same age.

However I'd have expected him to be in the 30-40 pound range at almost 5 months.

Somebody I know has a golden who is supposed to get extra testing to verify what's going on with her kidneys, but she's one who is not 50 pounds (I honestly think she's closer to 30 now that I'm trying to remember) yet and she's over 6 months.

***If need be, you could have them locate and remove the undescended gonad at 6 months and leave the other one until he's full grown or don't remove at all. If I were you, that's what I'd do. I'd otherwise leave him intact.
 

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Denver was 42 pounds at 5 months, 50 pounds at 6 months and by the time he was 9 months he was 64 pounds.
 

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My female came home at 7.9 lbs but she was a liter of 11. She’s 59/60 pounds on average. Solid. To put it in perspective, my Labrador weighed the same and she felt 10-15 pounds lighter than my golden, who weighs the same at 17 months. I joke picking up my golden is like getting ready to participate in a log roll. ? I too never thought she’d get beyond 40 pounds but she did!
 
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