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spaying a dog in heat

Discussion in 'Dogs - all breeds / types' started by Jamiya, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. Jamiya

    Jamiya New Member

    There's a dog in one of the shelters we work with that was on the euthanasia list for today. I got her off the list, but she is in heat and they are going to spay her. Isn't this bad? I suppose it's better than being PTS.

    The dog is really timid and may be a cat-chaser, but the people who turned her in had really fishy stories that kept changing, so who knows what's really going on. The shelter says she is okay with people but very timid around dogs, but not aggressive with it (i.e. no fear aggression). I'm not really sure I can handle two fosters, but if Chomper doesn't get adopted I may have to try it.

    My question is, are there short-term consequences of spaying her while in heat? Can I expect wierd behaviors? Will Chomper (neutered two weeks ago) still possibly react to her as being in heat?
  2. Jamiya

    Jamiya New Member

    Whoa. Our guy got to the shelter just in time. I guess they sedate the dogs before they put them to sleep, and she had already been sedated. He got her out of there and she is on the way to the vet. Whew!!
  3. dogangel

    dogangel New Member

    One of my fosters was spayed while she was in heat. My local vet does laser surgery, I don't know if this has any bearing. Anyway, there was nothing wrong with the baby afterwards... The one thing you may want to keep an eye on though is the fact that she will still SMELL like being in heat for 2-3 more days after the surgery. That may cause some problems with the little boy... :roll:
  4. Shineillusion

    Shineillusion New Member

    One of the vets I worked with wouldn't spay a bitch in heat. The rest of them would do it, but didn't like to, and would prefer to wait a week or so after they were out. There tends to be more blood loss, and more risk of internal bleeding after the surgery.

    I'd keep her pretty quiet for several days, even if your male isn't interested in her. As common as a spay is, it's still major surgery.
  5. charmedagain

    charmedagain New Member

    A bitch in heat should not be spayed as this can cause serious hormone problems afterwards.

    My vet would not spay one of my girls until 12weeks after her cycle as this gives there bodies and hormones time to go back to normal.
    Each vet is different and everyones opinion is different but i agree with what my vets says.

    If she gets spayed during her cycle i would keep a very close eye on her for the risks of infection and blood loss are greater as shine mentioned after surgery.

  6. winnie

    winnie New Member

    We spay dogs that are in heat all the time cause our hospital gets all the pound animals from the shelter in our area. With the pound they dont care if the dog is in heat or not cause it HAS to be fixed before going to its new home. The only time we dont do the surgery is if the dog is showing signs of being sick, then we cancell the surgery. Just the other day a female dog came in from the pound and she was pregnant, almost ready to give birth but they made us spay her anyway. The girls at my office have been known to try and save the babies in situations like this, as the doctors pulls the babies out the girls take them and try giving them cpr, usually it doesnt work, but we try, we feel bad for the moms and the poor babies who never get a chance. This particular dog had discharge after surgery which is common for dogs that get spayed that were pregnant. Im sure spaying a dog in heat would cause hormone problems like someone else said too.
  7. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    So Mike I have a question then.....

    The incontinence that somtimes occurs after being spayed, is this one of the hormonal problems? Ive only had one dog that was incontinent but she was like that prior to spaying (I have a pretty good idea what caused that and after about a year on PPA and gradually being weaned off the incontinence stopped).
    Does the incontinence probelm occur in dogs that are spayed when they are not in heat?
    Are there any other long term hormonal problems, if so could you be more specific. Im just curious, of all the spays that have gone through the hospitals Ive worked at, I know there have been quite a number that were in heat....I knew the incontinency was due to a hormone problem/imbalance but it never occured to me that it might be strictly a result of spaying a dog in heat (if that is the case).

  8. charmedagain

    charmedagain New Member

    I am not sure what the hormonal problems will be i never asked that he just said that i would need hormone treatment for her if her done it while she was in heat.

    I have never had a dog with incontinence apart from when she had a urinary infection and that stopped after her course of antibiotics finished.

    All i am saying is that my vet told me that its best and safest 12 weeks after there cycle.
    With the pup i have i have to wait 12weeks after her 1st cycle to have her spayed, How they worked it out was most dogs have a cycle every 6months so it works out 12weeks after the cycle 12 weeks before the next i dont know how correct that is, I know with mitzy she was a 6monthly dog and i could get an exact month she would be due to come back in.

    I have known people that have had there dogs spayed during there cycle and while they were pregnant i have had a litter aborted due to one of my girls escaping but that was some time ago.

    My uncle had one of his girls spayed as she came to the end of her cycle and she was ill for awhile after surgery, They had to re operate and found that there was a small bleed his vet told him it was due to her still being in heat when they done the operation.

    I am not saying that problems will arise from spaying an in heat bitch but there is always that small chance that it will.

  9. Jamiya

    Jamiya New Member

    I don't have a choice in this case, but at least I know what the possible issues are so I can keep an eye out. Thanks for the info!
  10. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    Okay, thanks Mike, I have been looking for info on the internet on it but its really hard to find any. Ive got a couple of vet friends that I can ask, the one that I would have asked, she is in Reno now and I havent been in touch for a while but she is a reproduction specialist.
    If you know of any sites with any info about this could you post it, I cant even find it in Merck. Im really curious now if there is a direct corealation between them being spayed while in heat and the incontinence.

    Thanks again.
  11. charmedagain

    charmedagain New Member

    Hi Delauk, I found this information i have copiued and pasted it ifs from the following website http://www.stationvets.co.uk/neuter.htm

    When should my bitch be spayed?

    There is a lot of debate about whether a bitch should be allowed to have her first heat before spaying. The arguments in favour of spaying before the first heat are that the mess and upset of the heat is avoided, there is no risk of unwanted pregnancy, and there is less risk of breast cancer in later life. Also the cost will be less as the bitch will be smaller and slimmer. The arguments for allowing a bitch to have a heat before spaying are that bitches spayed before the first heat seem to be at greater risk of developing urinary incontinence and some skin problems later in life. While these problems usually respond well to treatment, they are nonetheless a nuisance. Personal circumstances, such as a male dog in the house, can also affect the decision.

    It is not advisable to spay a bitch within the first three months after a heat. False pregnancy is a common problem in bitches, with the development of milk and often a change in character. While it is more common in older bitches, it can occur after any heat. The false pregnancy is 'switched on' by the pituitary gland at the base of the brain, a certain time after the heat. If a bitch is spayed say three weeks after a heat and her pituitary is 'programmed' to give her a false pregnancy seven weeks after the heat, then she will still develop the false pregnancy at that time regardless of the operation. A problem then arises because the false pregnancy is normally 'switched off' by the ovaries, so if the ovaries have been removed by spaying the bitch she may end up with a long-term false pregnancy that can be very difficult, if not impossible, to get rid of. This is a very uncommon problem, but can be so severe and difficult to treat that it should be avoided at all costs. By waiting three months after a heat the bitch will have shown signs of a false pregnancy by then if she is going to, and can be spayed after this has subsided.

    To dispel an old wives's tale, it is not necessary to a bitch's health or temperament to have a litter before spaying, it just increases the dog population still further. If a bitch has a suspect temperament, then by breeding from her you will produce a litter with poor temperaments, which cannot be a desirable thing. Character is passed on strongly from a bitch to her litter, which is one reason why the British Veterinary Association, RSPCA and other responsible bodies always advise that a new puppy be viewed with its mother before deciding to purchase.

    I also found some info on another website on incontinence after spaying but my computer shut down and i could not find the webpage again.

    It stated some dogs that are spayed before there first cycle can suffer from it and some older dogs but this usually passes within a couple of weeks after the surgery.

  12. nern

    nern New Member

    Way to go Jamiya!

    Regarding spay during heat, the only thing I've ever heard about it was that it is riskier hence the reason most vets prefer not to do it. Worth taking the risk over being PTS, I agree.
  13. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    Thanks Mike, appreciate it.
    So the incontinence is a result of spaying before the first heat cycle, I never knew that. I guess the over-population and people in general being unreliable in preventing their dogs from getting pregnant outweighs the risks involved. :?

    With BJ (my dog...actually my daughters dog), she was hand raised, someone gave her to my daughter to raise without my knowledge, so I dont know if the incontinence was maybe a result of her not stimulating the dog to urinate often enough or it may have been a genetic problem. She was actually house trained by between 4-5 weeks old to the point were she would go to the door and whimper to get outside when she needed to go so there was obviously some feeling there, it seemed to happen more often when she was sleeping (but did occasionally happen when she was awake), its as though the muscles around the bladder or the sphincter were okay until her bladder was about 'half full' and after that maybe it cut off the nerves around it all so she lost sensation and didnt know, she would get so upset also when she woke up in a puddle. Like I said though PPA took care of it eventually, shes 5 and a half years old now and the problem hasnt come back or anything.

    Thanks again for the info. :y_the_best:
  14. Shineillusion

    Shineillusion New Member

    According to my texts on canine reproduction false pregnancy is common in dogs because the corpus luteum is not lysed, like it would be in most other mammilian species. The corpus luteum continues to produce hormones in levels sufficient to sustain pregnancy for about 80 days, and almost all female dogs develop some symptoms of pregnancy, whether they are pregnant or not. Often the symptoms are mild and go unnoticed, especially in younger dogs. Spaying a bitch during a false pregnancy may intensify the symptoms of a false pregnancy for a few days to a week, sometimes longer.

    Spaying after the dog has had a heat removes not only the uterus but the ovaries, including the corpus luteum. The hormone levels obviously drop dramatically from the removal of the corpus luteum, which probably accounts for the false pregnancy intensifying in those animals who experience it.

    As for urinary incontinence; I've found conflicting opinions. The larger concensus being that spaying before the first heat does not increase the incidence of the problem, but may decrease the age at which it is likely to occur. In other words, the same number of dogs spayed before their first heat will develop urinary incontinence, but at a younger age, as dogs who are spayed after their first heat.

    Spaying before the first heat decreases the risk of developing breat cancer to around 1%. After the first heat that risk rises to about 8%, and after the second heat the risk is roughly the same as an unspayed bitch; 25%.

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