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First heat, very grumpy

February 16th, 2012, 02:04 AM
My dog Lily just went through her first heat. Vet recommended she go through one before being spayed. She bled, went through the second phase where she would present and all that and now nothing. She won't let our other female dog hump her anymore so I figure she's over the second phase. But now her vulva is still swollen like she is in heat, her teats are still swollen and she's so moody and possessive over things, and well, is just plain bitchy towards the other dog and sometimes towards us. Not aggressive but will "complain" more I guess? When we give her commands now, that's what it sounds like she is doing, she groans and grumbles while doing it. The second phase ended over a week ago.

Let me stress, there is no possible way that she is pregnant. Not at all. She is never out of our sight and we live in England with a tiny yard and 6 foot tall fence surrounding our tiny yard. She goes outside to potty and comes straight back in. She is, and will always remain a virgin.

So what could cause this change? It's very frustrating for all of us wondering if she's going to attack our other dog, she's come very close. And having to take away any little thing she feels is hers and will lunge at our other dog for. She even felt that a tiny piece of clothing was hers and she was protecting it!

February 16th, 2012, 06:18 AM
Hi cassingermany -

First, I have to say that I think it's very weird that your vet recommended that she go through one heat first. I thought that this causes the vulva region to become more vascular, making the surgery more difficult. Plus I thought it increased the risk for mammary tumors. Not that I'm a vet! But our dog also went through two heat cycles before we we able to get her spayed, due to health problems, and this is what our vet told us. Plus the surgery costed more.

When our dog was in heat, she was extremely irritable. This lasted for quite some time, until the swelling went down. She barked more, got annoyed more, and generally was hatin'. Hahah. I was so happy when she got spayed so that we didn't have to deal with it anymore. If you're worried about her hurting your other dog, maybe you can keep them separated when you're not around. It'll give her some peace and ensure their safety :) Also, your dog will go back to normal! It's just like how women get PMS I think. Hahah.

February 16th, 2012, 06:37 AM
He is a British vet through Pet Doctors. I don't know if that makes any difference or if different countries recommend different things? Anyway, he said something about some hormones that come with a first heat are being shown to prevent other things later in life? Something to that effect. But now they won't spay her for another 2 months or so. They said the dog should be right in the middle of their season cycles.

I have another dog that also needs spayed and we tried getting her in but they said 2 months before her season, they couldn't do it. Turns out she didn't go into heat for 4 (8 months between her seasons) more months. I did find it a tad strange as other vet doctors don't make a big deal out of getting the pets fixed but then I thought that if they are strict on it, then maybe they know what they are talking about? I've been around female dogs before but I've never been around a female dog who is so grumpy due to her cycle. I guess it really is just normal but it threw me for a loop. Guess I will have to wait it out then? Bleh.

February 16th, 2012, 08:13 AM
Behaviour is normal, just keep them separated, she'll come around.

February 16th, 2012, 08:29 AM
False pregnancy? Possiblity?

Serenalambe, there are many good reasons to not spay till after at least the first heat and some wait till the second or third. Yes, it does increase some health worries but it decreases others. In large breed dogs there is good research to show that pre-pubertal spay allows the long bones to grow longer and is thought to be the reason neutered and spayed dogs have more joint problems than intact dogs do, just as one small example. Some cancer risks are greatly increased by neuter and spay. PM me if you want, I have a huge list of links to this research.

In the U.K. and some other countries neuter/spay is not the only method of birth control, responsible ownership is also key. Sounds to me that the OP is a very responsible owner.

OP, have you checked out the Champdogs website? It is in the U.K. and you might find there more like minded dog owners who live happily with intact pets their whole lives. It really is common here for Vets to be very pushy about spay/neuter and on this site in particular it is a favoured form of birth control.

February 16th, 2012, 08:37 AM
That's really interesting, Longblades. Good to know. Of course I'm not surprised that there are different opinions on it and honestly I'm kind of glad because I got a lot of dirty looks for not spaying my dog until she was over a year old. It was dye to her health and unavoidable, but still. Hahah.

I think the behaviour is fairly normal, cassingermany. We were also told we had to wait halfway between her heat cycles, but we scheduled the surgery and she went in to heat like three days before, so these things are obviously not exact.

February 16th, 2012, 08:38 AM
The physical things you're seeing are normal, too, cassingermany. The dog's body can't tell if it's pregnant or not so it just runs through the hormonal cycle as if it were. I think that's why false pregnancies are so common in unbred intact females. But all that should subside in a couple of months.

One of our rescue girls went into heat right after we got her. They did the spay anyway, and she still had a false pregnancy. Some two months later, all of a sudden she was nesting and acting strangely and it suddenly dawned on us that if she'd been bred during her heat, she would have been whelping about then. Hormones are persistent things. :D So don't be surprised if your Lily goes through the same thing.

February 18th, 2012, 09:05 AM
Thanks, everyone! I think she is, indeed, going through a false pregnancy. Everyone sign points to it and her teats are just getting larger. So hopefully this will go away in a couple months (hopefully less!) and then I can get her fixed and never go through this again!