by kylie brown
Hi I have an 8 1/2 month old girl and was concerned about her past diet and the potential lack of calcium it contained.
She's currently about 22 1/2 inches at the base of the neck (I'm not sure where to properly measure "at the shoulder") and about 85 lbs. At 10 weeks I found she had a severe case of round worms and subsequently, she was put on special food by the vet for a month. She hated it and when she was able to eat kibble again, I mixed it with cooked chicken and carrots to entice her. So until recently her diet consisted of roughly 1-1 1/2 breasts daily with veggies and about 4 cups of kibble (BW large breed pup).
Now i'm concerned that this diet might have been too low in calcium. Compared to her brothers and sisters she is considerably shorter and her head is much smaller. And it is interesting that, while they are going through the awkward scrawny stage, she is very muscular and much more "filled out". Also, her parents, especially her mother, have very large skulls. A vet has suggested that along with just feeding kibble alone, that I should add calcium as well for the next 4 months.
So I was just wondering, in your infinite wisdom, would an addition of calcium beyond what is in the blue buffalo be of any benefit considering the short window she has remaining for skeletal growth? Most of what I've read regarding calcium supplementation was negative and it's actually possible to stunt growth. But she is a vet and I don't know if the negatives resulted from a year of extra calcium or a few weeks. Her idea of "making up for lost time" seems logical I guess but I just want a second opinion. Sorry this so drawn out.
Thanks in advance, this is a great site.
Interesting question. I wish I had some 'infinite wisdom' to share, but not being a veterinarian this is a situation where you're probably best to follow her advice. But I can give you my personal opinion and hope that it helps too :)
At 8 1/2 months your Rottie is still a puppy and has a lot of growing to do. However, she is past the stage where she's growing rapidly, so to me it would seem that giving her extra calcium at this point wouldn't carry the risks that it does for a younger puppy. Now, it may not help in terms of her growth, but it also may not hurt. That's something you'll have to rely on your veterinarian to advise you on.
As for her size - adult height, weight and conformation is 99% genetic. Diet, exercise and general health obviously play their roles, but genetics is the major factor. So, your pup's head size, height, weight and musculature are going to be mostly down to what she's inherited from her parents. My Rottweiler Puppy Growth Chart page has lots of information that you might be interested in.
Also, all puppies grow at different rates, and it sounds as though your girl is developing on a slightly different time-scale to her siblings. This isn't unusual, and the biggest male pups often take much longer than the smaller females to reach maturity.
Her muscle development is probably more a genetic tendency than anything to do with her diet too. She will probably be a strong, sturdy adult and although her head may (or may not) grow to be similar in size to that of her parents, she will be exactly what her 'genetic blueprint' set out to achieve.
As long as she's happy and healthy, that's what really counts and it sounds as though she is. Just be patient and wait for her development to be completed, then you'll know for sure how she's going to look.
Hope this helps in some way. I'm so glad that you're enjoying my site and finding it useful. Best of luck with your Rottie.