The big question when pups reach this age is whether to de-sex or not - I always thought de-sexing was the right thing to do and didn't question it much, but having actually now read the research for myself it appears that it is a far more complicated decision than many acknowledge.
If she is spayed, the good news is she'll be:
-At lower risk of mammary tumours (breast cancer)
-At almost no risk of pyometra (uterine infections)
-At no risk of pregnancy
-At lower risk of ovarian and uterine tumours
But the bad news is, if spayed, she will also be:
-At higher risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer)
-At higher risk of hemangiosarcoma (another common fatal cancer)
-At higher risk of orthopedic disorders (hip dysplasia and other bone problems)
-At risk of spay caused urinary incontinence
-At higher risk of hypothyroidism
-At higher risk of potentially fatal adverse reactions to vaccines
-At higher risk of urinary tract tumours & TCC (bladder cancer)
How on earth do you weigh up which risks to take and which to avoid? The risks avoided by spaying or the risks caused by spaying? It's a horrible decision, especially for large and giant breeds who are such high risk of all of the spay-risk conditions, and especially for Akitas who are at even higher risk of some of those listed. I don't know what to do... *worries*
Anyway, Saki's growth chart to date:
2 months old: 6.5 kg (14 pounds)
3 months old: 11.6 kg (26 pounds)
4 months old: 17 kg (37 pounds)
5 months old: 23 kg (50 pounds)
6 months old: 27kg (60 pounds)
Her growth rate slowed a bit in the past month - I hope she has another growth spurt soon! :)
Saki passed the assessment for Ideal Dogs of Australia tonight!!!
(This is the Australian equivalent of the Good Canine Citizen.)
It's the only legally recognised qualification for dogs - Saki not only got a fancy satin Ideal Dog of Australia sash (heehee), she also got official government certification - yay I'm so proud ;)
I wish you could post photos in diary entries, I have to put a graduation photo of Saki in her sash! ;)
This means Saki can go on to become a therapy dog, or a doggie actress, or do obedience trialling... But she's only 5 months old, so I think we'll start smaller and just try out some different doggy sports at first.
I'm a little worried Saki isn't as large as she should be!
The puppy trainer said most dogs at full grown are double what they were at 12 weeks - that doesn't sound right to me for an Akita, they don't reach full size til 18 months old, she's already more than double what she was at 12 weeks, surely she'll keep growing and getting bigger for a while yet...?
Can a puppy who's 23kg (50 pounds) at 5 months grow to over 45kg (100 pounds) at full grown? In other words, can she still grow to double her current size?