what age did your femail go into heat - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-19-2009, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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what age did your femail go into heat

the reason im asking is because kyah is almost 6 months old and im still debating whether to spay or wait.

my breeder said to wait until at least 11 months, my vets saying 6 months, to help prevent certain cancers. though as ive read and my breeder has told me, those horomones help with the growth process, so its better to wait. but then again i dont really want to go through her heat process, and like the idea of helping to prevent cancer. but ultimately i want whats best for her. so im quite torn at the moment.

anyways, i realize every dog is different, but im just wondering. if i do decide to wait, when i could expect her first heat.

- Chris

Kyah (born 09/09/2008)
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 03:04 AM
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Re: what age did your femail go into heat

my first gsd, Sierra, was 8 months.

my current female, Gia, was adopted at 9 months and her stomach showed evidence of being shaved within the last month... she had not yet gone thru her first heat cycle.

as far as the "correct" age to spay - doing it before or after her first heat both come with their own set of risks... it just depends on what you're comfortable with. every time the topic comes up on this board, the general consensus is still split 50/50. Sierra was spayed after her first heat... Gia was spayed before... i havent had any ill effects with either. Sierra died at 10 (lymphoma), Gia will be 10 this year.

all of my other females were spayed before their first heat, again, no ill effects.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 03:52 AM
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Re: what age did your femail go into heat

Wny not print out this article & discuss the pros/cons of an early spay of your dog (ie taking into account her breed & individual history/physiology) with your vet.

http://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/pdf...ma.231.11.1665

For example:
An increase in reactivity toward humans with
strange (unfamiliar) dogs and in aggression toward
family members has been reported after OHE of bitches
in several studies. The reason for this possible tendency
has not been defined but may be attributable to
a decrease in estrogen and oxytocin concentrations,
both of which may exert antianxiety effects in some
species. This tendency also may be a breed-specific
phenomenon.

One of the studies was done on GSD's so I'd ask my vet for details of this study, then consider my own dog's temperament (a friend's non-GSD had significant behavioral changes post spay).


The reported incidence of hip
dysplasia is 1.7%, with an increased incidence in largeand
giant-breed dogs, most particularly in the Chesapeake
Bay Retriever, English Setter, German Shepherd
Dog, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Samoyed,
and Saint Bernard breeds. In 1 large study of 1,842
dogs, there was an increased incidence of hip dysplasia
in dogs spayed or castrated prior to 5 months of age;
however, it was not clear whether the diagnosis of hip
dysplasia was confirmed by a veterinarian in all affected
dogs.

I'd do preliminary scans given the incidence/consequence of HD in GSD's & take this into account when deciding when to spay.


Urinary tract disorders—Spayed female dogs reportedly
have an increased risk of developing urinary
tract infections. A cause-and-effect relationship has
not been defined.
<snip>
Urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence,
formerly known as estrogen-responsive urinary incontinence,
is a common problem of spayed female
dogs. The condition is evident with equal frequency
in ovariohysterectomized or ovariectomized female
dogs, with the reported incidence ranging from 4.9%
to 20.0%. Studies have failed to detect a correlation
between age at time of OHE and likelihood of
developing incontinence. In a study of 983 female
dogs, bitches were significantly less likely to develop
incontinence when spayed at > 3 months of age.

If you're concerned about going through a heat process, this may be a significant concern (not all dogs respond equally well to medications).

Some previous discussions:
Early spay -- information I wish I'd known
My bitch in season is driving me crazy
& lots more if you keep searching

Note, pre-anaesthetic screening significantly reduces surgery risk factors.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 11:29 AM
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Re: what age did your femail go into heat

They can come in heat ANYTIME after 6 months. (I have heard of them coming in a little younger than that.)
I have had 1 that came in heat the first time at 6 months, and my current pup is 11 months old today and has been in heat for a little over a week.

Tracy

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: what age did your femail go into heat

ok thx for the info.

and duhh, i just realized i mispelled female in my title. lol

but i have a few more weeks to decide. shes 5.5 months old today.

- Chris

Kyah (born 09/09/2008)
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 07:07 PM
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Re: what age did your femail go into heat

My bitch went into heat at 9 months, her sister at 10 months. Since we are working our female, we want her to finish maturing before we spay her and will probably let her have 3 heat cycles.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 10:33 PM
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Re: what age did your femail go into heat

As a vet tech, we hold to the general suggestion that you spay at 6 months. This is because the "average" pet owner isn't up to dealing with the heat cycle. It can be messy, and it's amazing how many male dogs end up showing themselves when they think the time is right.
On that note, if the owners are compentant, it is now belived that allowing a dog to reach sexual maturity is better for their growth, especially in large breed dogs. If you leave them intact, they tend to grow slower, and form a bit more muscle.
I own a pet Gsd with an ortho problem. After discussing it over with several specialist in my field, I have decided to let him remain intact until he is at least 2, so that his muscles and body can develope fully.
If he was sound, I might have neutered him already.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 02:36 AM
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Re: what age did your femail go into heat

Isa was 11 months when she had her first heat. I let her go through 2 heats before spaying her. The heats aren't as bad as most people think. Isa kept herself clean and if you don't want bleeding on your carpets, etc, just get her a doggy diaper. Of course the only problem I had with it, was the fact that I kept forgeting to take it off when she went to go potty.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 09:22 PM
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Re: what age did your femail go into heat

I'm going to have Lainey done at six months. It's mainly because I work full-time and can't deal with the diapers etc. even if I wanted to.

Kim (MSPCA Vol.), Lainey (Lainey Express Destiny Ryanhaus) and Beau (formerly Booker GSD/Lab?- Rescue)


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 12:56 AM
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Re: what age did your femail go into heat

Mens boxer briefs work great too! They have that really nifty opening that is just right for the tail.....
On a more serious note, my girls have kept themselves pretty clean as well, especially when they're in their crates. And they are remarkably tolerant of their underwear!

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Sar K-9 Skye (GSD)
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