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Old February 10th, 2006, 01:29 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 04:24 PM.
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Old February 10th, 2006, 08:08 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, 08:23 PM
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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, 10:40 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, 11:35 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, 12:33 PM
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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 11th, 2006, 02:36 PM
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not sure if this helps

I personally have something called polycystic ovary disease. I causes very irregular periods, makes it very difficult to get pregnant and increase rate of miscarrage. It also can cause a higher level of birth defects. It is very difficult to diagnose and i spent 5yrs before i had a dr to the proper hormonal testing to figure it out. there are other symptoms as well.( can gain weight easily,pelvic pain,can be prone to diabetes but not all women have them) It sounds to me like she may have a hormone imbalance. I can't see why a dog couldn't have this same disease. also there is no "cure" just managing symptoms. see if the vet can check to see if her "male" hormone(androgens) levels are 2 high.
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Old February 11th, 2006, 02:48 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. I have the PCOS too. The vet has done blood work on her the last two times were were there and nothing was amiss. I"m pretty sure she doesn't have that. She doesnt have any other symptoms of anything being wrong. That's the wierd part. She's not gaining/losing weight, she's eating the same as always, same level of energy. If there were other signs something was wrong she'd be at the vet in a heart beat. However, she has an appointment for her annual visit a little earlier this year in March instead of April. I brought up her late heats to my vet (the beeder to her vet) they have all stated its normal, just like woman, for dogs to have shorter or longer times between heat cycles. Who knows. If nothing else I"ll know for sure when we go to the vet. Still..........
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Old February 11th, 2006, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
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).
When did she start showing and when did she retire?

And did she retire with her Championship?

Also,what testing was done and at what age?

Is there a specialist that the vet can refure you to?

It just seems very strange that she is having these late heats...Something just doesn't seem right.

Has the vet done an ultrasound on her?....If not,I suggest that it gets done...

After what happened with her last litter,I just can't see the breeder taking a chance and having her bred again.


See my breeder only had 2 contracts...A S/N contract,and a Non-Breeding contract....And only she could take you off the Non-Breeding contract..And the only way that was done is if the dog was pointed to Champion,which meant has become Breed Standard,or has be Titled.

I can honestly say that all the reputable breeders I know(including mine) who retire their dogs have them fixed before adopting them out to new homes.That goes for having them go to friends or family.
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Old February 14th, 2006, 09:49 AM
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bethaliz bethaliz is offline
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When did she start showing and when did she retire?

Started showing at 6months. Completed her championship at 8months (Only 4 shows!)

And did she retire with her Championship?

Yes, As far as I"m aware she has her championship. She did retire with the required points, but I'm not sure if she needed anything beyond that to champion. she did very well and was going to go into specials, but the breeder ended up with open heart surgery and decided to let be homed and decided to wait until the following year to re-evaluate her for breeding.

Also,what testing was done and at what age?

Testing was done by my vet at one year, with her annual check up. I did not do anything fancy. Just made sure that there was nothing wrong with her, did blood work to make sure there was no genetic or other heath issues (ie. Hip dysplasia). She checked out.

All other testing was done by the breeder. I have no idea what they were, I just know my dog went with her for a week. When she came back, she asked for a copy of the vacinations that I had done on her and what heart wrom and or other meds the vet ad her on.

Is there a specialist that the vet can refure you to?

I'll have to check into that, and get back to you. I"m not sure.

It just seems very strange that she is having these late heats...Something just doesn't seem right.

Her and her sister both have late heats. The vets have always said it can be normal for some to go late. I she had her heat at 8months I would not have thought anything of it, thats just the way she's been. But being almost a year is somewhat odd.


Has the vet done an ultrasound on her?....If not,I suggest that it gets done...

Yes, For what I understand from the breeder this was done during and after to birth of the puppies.

After what happened with her last litter,I just can't see the breeder taking a chance and having her bred again.

The breeder is taking this step on the advice of her vet. He indicated the reason for the trouble with her last litter was an outside toxin that she came in contact with that harmed the puppies during development. That is was not genetic and that there was no harm to the Dam or the living pups.

See my breeder only had 2 contracts...A S/N contract,and a Non-Breeding contract....And only she could take you off the Non-Breeding contract..And the only way that was done is if the dog was pointed to Champion,which meant has become Breed Standard,or has be Titled.

My breeder has the same set up. She does not sell ever on a breeding contract. She owns my dog, I just get to home her for the time being and then once she has done her breeding or the breeder decides to fix her, then I get her ownship and she's mine.

Those that she does sell that are bred are people she knows personally and works with them to ensure each dog checks out before being bred.

I can honestly say that all the reputable breeders I know(including mine) who retire their dogs have them fixed before adopting them out to new homes.That goes for having them go to friends or family

Normal situation for my breeder would be the same, however, (poor lady's had a really rough go of it in the last few years) I had expressed an interested in learning about showing/breeding, I had be helping her groom etc and when she went for her surgery and she could not properly care for her dogs, she fixed those she was debating on and found them homes. Those she had not finished showing, but wanted to contiune another breeder(s) took and finished, and I got to take care of Roxie as she was done, but was to be bred. It's a very odd situation and not normally how the breeder works with dogs that she's breeding.

In the end if there is something that needs to be done test with the vet, specialist, she will pay for it and Roxie will probly end up back with her for a while. I'm just waiting hear back from her (probly wont until after the funeral and that), but I want to learn and know what I can.


Thanks again
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  #11  
Old February 14th, 2006, 04:39 PM
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Sneaky Sneaky is offline
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Bethaliz,

Im sorry you have to go through all the questioning
on here ...some people just want all the "right" answers.

Im sure that if anything were amiss the vet would have found
it by now. Being a woman myself, I have abnormal periods,
and its no surprise a dog may as well.
My dog was 10 months old before she had her first heat,
and the next one came 9 months later, just before she
got spayed. The vet also found nothing abnormal, and
said it is common for some female dogs, just like women
to have abnormal cycles.

Good luck! Im sure everything will be just fine!
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Old February 20th, 2006, 12:27 PM
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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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