Another Heat Thread! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-09-2011, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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Another Heat Thread!

Hi Everyone!

Milou is 6.5 months now and I am on the look out everywhere for the slightest sign of heat. Thus far I've seen nothing, no swollen vulva, no presenting her behind, no change in behavior etc. etc. We are still on the fence about spaying before/after her first heat but I know we want to give her as long as possible before we mess with her hormones and permanently alter her growth.

If she did go into her first heat, I am fairly confident that we would be able to handle it. Someone is almost always home, she is crate trained, we have a 6ft fully fenced in yard, and she is NEVER out unsupervised. To my knowledge, there are no stray dogs in our area. Were she to go into heat, her potty breaks in the fenced in backyard would be leashed and we would not be walking her. We'd have to stop going to her obedience class since there are several intact males and it would be unfair to everyone.

That said, our almost year old neutered Sheltie Tintin has been trying to mount her several times today. It's not new behavior and she sometimes turns around and mounts him back, usually his head instead of his rear since she doesn't quite seem to get the concept. I have been taking this behavior as a sign of dominance instead of a coming heat. We were in puppy class today working directly next to several intact males and none of them showed even the slightest interest in her besides the "oh look there's another dog".

We probably sound a bit paranoid but we do NOT want puppies. Not only do we know nothing about our girl's genetic background, there are way too many puppies in the world already and we would NEVER risk her health having a litter. One of my friends is currently in veterinary school and upon checking out Milou's goods admitted that while the official line is spay and neuter early to prevent unwanted litters, Milou's vulva looked too immature for her to recommend spaying just yet. Our vet cites the reduction in breast cancer risk as a reason to spay before first heat. My other friends breeder (Czech working line GSDs) who makes our raw food, says she wouldn't spay before first heat and that a raw diet reduces her risk of cancers overall.

What do you think? Is Tintin's mounting a dominance thing? Any signs to look for in Milou? More thoughts on for or against spaying before first heat vs after?

Pippin, Shetland Sheepdog (1997 - 2011) - RIP sweet boy
Haji Baba, Tabby Cat (1996 - 2012) - RIP my heart
Button, Black Long Coat Cat (~June 5th, 2006)
Milou Van Der Maas, Long Coat GSD (March 23, 2011)

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-09-2011, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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ETA: Milou did have dandruff today, Saturday, for the first time. On Wednesday we brought her to a family party. One family member there told us that his wife currently as Typhoid Fever that she got from fleas. There have been 5 other reported cases and there is a flea epidemic in his area. A house was recently foreclosed near their property and the owner left behind all their animals, multiple dogs, cats, horses, bunnies etc. This family member took several of the animals to foster and unfortunately brought their fleas home with them.

After telling us this, he brought two of his dogs (he has 12 dogs and 3 puppies) into the yard and let them play with Milou. While I'm sure he has flea preventative on them and I don't think we'll be getting Typhoid Fever, Milou is allergic to fleas so I was not comfortable, removed her as soon as possible, and when I got home I rubbed her down like a crazy person with diatomaceous earth, literally handfuls into her fur. DE is a drying agent so it makes sense that a few days later her skin would turn up dry.

I gave her an oatmeal shampoo bath this afternoon and her skin appears to be okay this evening.

Pippin, Shetland Sheepdog (1997 - 2011) - RIP sweet boy
Haji Baba, Tabby Cat (1996 - 2012) - RIP my heart
Button, Black Long Coat Cat (~June 5th, 2006)
Milou Van Der Maas, Long Coat GSD (March 23, 2011)

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-09-2011, 07:29 AM
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me next! jk. Its good her skin is getting better. I like to hear about such dedicated owners on here makes me smile and Typhoid fever is scary.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-18-2011, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Still no signs of heat yet! She is going through a major growth spurt right now though so I'm wondering if her first heat isn't far behind. Anyone have first heat follow a growth spurt?

Pippin, Shetland Sheepdog (1997 - 2011) - RIP sweet boy
Haji Baba, Tabby Cat (1996 - 2012) - RIP my heart
Button, Black Long Coat Cat (~June 5th, 2006)
Milou Van Der Maas, Long Coat GSD (March 23, 2011)

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-18-2011, 08:06 PM
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My pup is 8 1/2 months and no sign of her first heat yet. Her mother didnt have her first heat until closer to 10 mos anyway. It can take up to the first 18 months for the first heat cycle. You will know when she is in heat, vulva gets swollen, discharge, nipples swell also (and will never be as tiny as they are now again). If you are fairly certain you can handle her heats and not risk pregnancy, then wait until she is done growing. If something were to accidentally happen, you can just spay then as well. You only need to wait until she is 18 months old or so.

Dawn Brogan

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 01:15 AM
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I've personally have had GSDs start their first heat at from 6 months to 10 1/2 months. Siren started her first heat at 10 1/2 months. Unfortunately it lasted 6 weeks, so she was 12 months old when it ended.

Tracy

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R.I.P. Wrangler male ACD/Aussie mix. 9-29-99 to8-29-11.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackGSD View Post
I've personally have had GSDs start their first heat at from 6 months to 10 1/2 months. Siren started her first heat at 10 1/2 months. Unfortunately it lasted 6 weeks, so she was 12 months old when it ended.
Wow that sounds awful! If we let Milou go into heat I really hope it's quick and painless. She's not allowed to go to class in heat and she won't be going anywhere there might be intact dogs. Plus, where we live we have to license her but we can't do so until she's spayed.

Would most people really recommend 18 months for females? I think they generally say 18 - 24 months for males but females are a little more up in the air.

Pippin, Shetland Sheepdog (1997 - 2011) - RIP sweet boy
Haji Baba, Tabby Cat (1996 - 2012) - RIP my heart
Button, Black Long Coat Cat (~June 5th, 2006)
Milou Van Der Maas, Long Coat GSD (March 23, 2011)

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 01:53 PM
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I'm one that believes that hormones are for more than reproduction, so I believe in waiting to spay. Providing of course that you can guarantee there will be no "oops" litters. To me, having them be in heat ready isn't that big of a deal. And mine are 100% house dogs. (In other words, I don't just stick them in a kennel so they don't bleed in the house.)

Tracy

Siren vom Banach { Sable female GSD 3-20-08}

R.I.P. Wrangler male ACD/Aussie mix. 9-29-99 to8-29-11.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackGSD View Post
I'm one that believes that hormones are for more than reproduction, so I believe in waiting to spay. Providing of course that you can guarantee there will be no "oops" litters. To me, having them be in heat ready isn't that big of a deal. And mine are 100% house dogs. (In other words, I don't just stick them in a kennel so they don't bleed in the house.)
I agree that hormones are absolutely for more than reproduction but I know we'd still like to get her spayed eventually. She's actually only the second animal we've brought home that didn't come to us already fixed from the shelter. The other was a kitten I rescued off my college campus and I had her spayed at 6 months. Having Milou intact goes against a lot of years of "fix fix fix!!" so waiting has been a tough sell to my DH and even my vet.

Milou is absolutely a house dog as well so I think we'd have to go with doggie diapers or we'd be washing a lot of sheets. If she's not playing with Tintin in the backyard or out on a walk, she spends her days laying and napping on our bed, her giant dog bed next to our bed or in her crate which I'm pretty sure I could sleep in comfortably

Pippin, Shetland Sheepdog (1997 - 2011) - RIP sweet boy
Haji Baba, Tabby Cat (1996 - 2012) - RIP my heart
Button, Black Long Coat Cat (~June 5th, 2006)
Milou Van Der Maas, Long Coat GSD (March 23, 2011)

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 05:27 PM
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Waiting on a first heat can be scary but having gone through 2 now I can tell you it really not a huge deal. Yes you have to be more vigilant but it'll be over before you know it. Rio's first heat was a breeze. We walked her past a few intact males (both on lead of course) when we were moving house and they didnt pay any attention to her. I expected dogs to be coming out of the woodwork to get at her but it was no where near that.
Rio's second heat was a little more extreme with the amount of blood and the whining/clinging and we had one stray dog that hung around like a zombie for a few days but it was just a case of staying in the house without walks. No biggie..
Just a bit of moral support but you're clearly a very caring owner who is doing all the right things
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