|Barked: Tue Nov 27, '07 9:24am PST |
|There are two kinds of "runts" you can get. One is a "runt" because there is something genetically or developmentally wrong with the puppy. The other is because the dogs mated more than once over the course of the bitch's heat, and one or more of the puppies was conceived a few days later than the main part of the litter. The second kind of runt is perfectly normal, just a little behind the others in development.
Watch that runt carefully, and if he's growing and developing normally, and checks out well with the vet, you're probably not taking a huge risk.
The same thing can happen with cats, and I've had two "runt" kittens. One had congenital defects in her internal organs, and was a sweet, loving pet for four years before everything failed her quite suddenly, and the only thing I could do to end her pain was have her put to sleep. It was heart-breaking. The other one was just a late conception compounded by some food intolerances, and is still with me at nearly fifteen years old.
So watch carefully, and check it out with the vet (make sure the vet knows your concerns), but don't rule out the runt just because it's the runt, if that's the one you and your kids like. Just be prepared to put your foot down if the vet does think the puppy is unhealthy, or you see that that puppy isn't growing and developing normally.
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