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Old February 10th, 2006, 12:29 PM
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bethaliz bethaliz is offline
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Exclamation Late Heat in dogs - Answered by Dr. Van Lienden

Hi,

Have a 3 year old shih tzu. Shes beautiful and I love her to bits. I do have some concerns about her heat cycle. Her annual visit to the vet for her check up is in April and I will be addressing my concerns at that time, if the issue persists, but I will like some feed back as to weather or not I should be concerned and possibly make an earlier trip to the vet.

I have Roxie on a breeding contract and she is therefore not spayed. She has always had irregular heat cycles. She did not have her first heat cycle until she way 11 months and has been going anywhere from 6 to 8 month between cycles. It has been almost a years (in three weeks) since her last heat, and I am concerned. In March of last year she had her last heat, at that time she was bred and had 5 puppies. According to the vet she must have come in contact with something toxic to the puppies as there were developmental problems in which we lost two of the puppies and one was born with three legs. According to the vet the remaining living puppies and Roxie were fine and healthly with no adverse side effects. He indicated there was nothing to worry about. However with her having gone so long I wonder if she wasn't affected.

Anything thoughts would be appreciated. I Hope someone answers.

Last edited by bethaliz; February 10th, 2006 at 03:24 PM.
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Old February 10th, 2006, 07:08 PM
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mona_b mona_b is offline
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I need to ask a very important question.

Since you have her on a "breeding" contract,I take it she is being shown and reached her points to Champion?

And she has been health/genetic tested and certified?

Has any bloodwork been done on Roxie?



What has your breeder said about this?I'm sure he/she is concerned about it.
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Old February 10th, 2006, 07:23 PM
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doggy lover doggy lover is offline
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That is why I would never breed dogs. Your dog could have internal problems, take her to the vet sooner. I would also look into having her fixed, so you and her don't have to go through this again. Poor little puppies.
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Old February 11th, 2006, 09:40 AM
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bethaliz bethaliz is offline
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Question why is it everytime I ask any questions online, people go off about the breeding contract and having your dog fixed? Clearly if my dog was not on a breeding contract I would have her fixed.

Allow me to explain the situation before everyone gets all up in arms. The breeder is a friend of the family. She only places dogs on a breeding contract with people she knows. (ie there are two families mine and another friend of the family). She is a small breeder and enjoys showing her dogs. Only has select dogs that she breeds, however she feels that the dogs would be better in a loving home where they will be for their lives, instead of finding homes after they have been bred. This works very well for her and we enjoy getting a great pet.

Roxie was a show dog and has completed her show career. She also went through testing both from the breeder and through my vet. Roxie was check both before we started breeding and after the litter. She was cleared (again by both vets).

The breeder and I have discussed what happening, however at this time the breeder is not in a right state of mind. Her son recently committed suicde and is not thinking clearly. When we last spoke, we discussed that Roxie has normally been late, so to watch and see. I"m just concerned that it's been almost a year, which is a long time, and that she might have been affected by toxin that affected her last litter.
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Old February 11th, 2006, 10:35 AM
jawert1 jawert1 is offline
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Hi Bethaliz, given the current situation with Roxie, I think it's time you find another vet. While the vet tests have proven nothing, your concerns over what you consider to be abnormal prove EVERYTHING. Find another vet, either by talking to someone else you know and trust, or by networking with your breeder (regardless of state of mind) to find out where her other puppies have gone and contact those folks for vet info. If you're concerned enough to join a very pro-spay/neuter forum, then your dogmommy senses are tingling and need paid attention to NOW. And as an aside, if something proves to be abnormal, then please get her spayed so further complications don't occur and put your baby at risk Hopefully you continue to visit here, and keep us posted on how she's doing
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Old February 11th, 2006, 11:33 AM
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bethaliz bethaliz is offline
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I understand everyone's concern about the whole spay thing. I am 100% for having pets spayed. I'm not concerned about that at the moment, as it's a non issue, she will be spayed - when her contract is over or something else proves to be the reason. The breeder is not a bad breeder, I have seen her (recently actually) have a damn that she didn't feel would fair well with breeding and gave the dog to the family as planned, just with the breeding. The dog was perfectly fine the blood work was great, but the breeder didn't feel was very motherly. So she's not a bad breeder. Right now she's just not making any decisions, and I"m not going to ask her too. She's my friend and I certainly wouldn't want anyone bugging when my son just died. At this point the only reason she gets out of bed is to take care of her puppies. But dress, eat for herself,.....not happening right now. She's suspended all breedings for the time being.

I have to question the need to get a new vet, considering the dog has TWO vets and both have made the same conclusions. Let me say both are from different clinics (so it's not like the same place is telling us the samething) The breeder uses a Vet in town that everyone I know uses. I live out of town and my vet is closer, it's apart of the local animal hospital and everyone that I nkow out of town goes there as well. The other vet, I've heard horror stories aobut and would never ever trust my dog there.

I must admit at first I was not concerned about Roxie when her heat took so long. She's always had late heats. The last heat when she had her puppies was 8months. The vet told us some dogs are different. I've only recently started to get concerned and spoke with the breeder (before her son died) and we were going to wait a little more incase she was just being late (Roxie's sister (lives with the breeder) is also late as well she's gone as long a 10 months). I was just thinking the other day tho that she last went in to heat in march, that's next month so were at month 11.


Has anyone expereinced that? Is it normal for a heat to be delayed that long?Is there anything else I should be looking for? She is other wise healthy, no trouble with bowel movements or urnation, no change in energy level, no change in food or enviroment. She still my crazy happy go lucky baby as always......just no heat.
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Old February 20th, 2006, 11:27 AM
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petdr petdr is offline
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Heat cycles (estrus) can be unpredictable in some individuals. We usually see some type of schedule unique to that individual, but others are as regular as the seasons. The missed heat cycle may have been a "silent heat", the cycle occurred but the evidence was not obvious. Of course, there may be an underlying cause to suppress cycling, and this would need to be addressed before breeding occurs. Discuss this concern with your veterinarian.

As to stillbirth and developmental anomalies, they can be caused by a multitude of things: infection, drugs, environmental elements (toxins, etc.), genetics et al. Unfortunately, I don't have a simple answer for you. Close monitoring by you and your veterinarian over the next few months may aid with an answer.

Dr. Van Lienden

Dr. Raymond Van Lienden DVM
The Animal Clinic of Clifton
12702 Chapel Road, Clifton
Virginia, U.S.A. 20124
703-802-0490
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