Growth problems in the Flat-Coated Retriever: what do you need to know?”

Dog owner question

"Hi! My Simashair Retriever (flat-coated retriever) dog, Bella, seems to be too small for her age. She's over a year old now, but she still looks like a puppy. Is this normal for this breed?"

Veterinarian's Answer

"Hi! Congratulations to Bella, I'm sure she's a great companion!

Flat-coated retrievers are fantastic dogs, full of energy and love. However, as you mentioned, some may grow slower than other dog breeds.

In flat-coated retrievers, like other large-bodied dogs, it takes longer to reach full size.

The majority of dogs usually reach adult size by about one year of age, but for large dogs such as flat-coated retrievers, this process can take longer.

Growth problems can be caused by genetic factors, such as hip and elbow dysplasia, which can affect the dog's growth rate.

These problems are developmental abnormalities of the joints which can cause pain and limited mobility in the dog.

In addition, a number of endocrine problems such as hypothyroidism can also cause slow growth in dogs.

Flat Coated Retriever 2

Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid gland that affects the dog's metabolism and growth.

It is important that if you have any concerns about Bella's growth rate, you should always consult your vet!

The vet will be able to examine your dog thoroughly and, if necessary, carry out tests to find out what is causing the slow growth.

Vets will usually check the diet and nutrition first to make sure that your dog is getting the right amount and quality of nutrients.

If nutrition is not the cause of the problem, the vet may look at genetic and endocrine problems as another possibility.

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Slow growth is not uncommon in flat-coated retrievers and other large-bodied dog breeds, but if you are concerned, be sure to consult a specialist to rule out any potential health problems. I'm sure Bella will thank you for it!"