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Hi,

I rescued a Golden Retriever puppy (8 weeks old) and she only weighs 3 lbs. Her original owner tied a USB cord around her neck and dragged her around. She was filthy and had a terrible infestation of ticks and fleas. The rescue family took her in and tried to nurse her back to health. She eats well and drinks a ton of water! She can be active when she wants to be, and she does sleep the same amount that puppies do! But she’s extremely small....multiple vets have said that she’s a purebred and doesn’t know what she could possibly be mixed with. So, I’m worried that she’s only 3 lbs...

She has her parvo vaccine for now and other than the horrible infestation of ticks/fleas she had when she was abused, her health is all good now!

Just wanted to ask if anybody has had a puppy who was significantly smaller, if I should follow a specific diet to help her grow, or anything else I should know!
 

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While a poor start in life can cause a stunted adult size, you're way more likely to see emaciation, malnutrition, and deficiencies with a baby puppy before you see stunting. Assuming she's in good body condition (eg the vets don't think she's too skinny), this is really unlikely to be diet/nutrition related, and it's best for her health that you take care to feed her based on her current size/condition, because it's easy to over-feed if you overestimate her adult size.

There's two options. Either she is a purebred and has some kind of dwarfism, or she's a mix who happens to look like a mini golden retriever as a puppy. The latter is way more likely, and probably what you actually want, because dwarfism tends to come with a whole host of medical problems. But she's half the size my 30lb dog was at her age, and puppies are notoriously difficult to identify as a specific breed. I honestly think you have a mix, which doesn't make her any less lovely, of course!

Do you have pictures?
 
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