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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-28-2006, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Average age of first heat?

My son is coming to visit and his new puppy has began her first heat. She is a rescue type mixed breed puppy and he had no idea how old she was. He usually stays with my daughter when he visits and she has a neutered Rottie. Everyone agrees he can't stay there. I live in an extremely rural area where everyone has outside dogs so he obviously can't stay with me either. To make a long story somewhat shorter, we are all advising him to leave the dog with his roommate.

But this got me to thinking. My wife and I are going to the beach in September and one thing we want to avoid at all costs is having Karma come into heat during our vacation. Even though we have read it is best to avoid spaying until after the first heat, that is something we just are not willing to do.

So my question is, at what age do Dobes usually have their first heat?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-28-2006, 11:27 AM
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I've always had my girls spayed @ 6 months, so I'll let someone who keeps intact bitches answer as to when. I'd guess about 7-9 months. I've never had an leaking problem with any of my girls, except the one I pulled out of the pound when she was 5 - I have no idea when her spay was.

I know of rescues who routinely spay/nueter at 8-12 weeks of age and they seem to have no ill effects, but you will see a lot of people argue both sides of the "when to alter" fence.

As with anything else, though, your mileage may vary.

Last edited by Blackdog; 07-29-2006 at 04:10 PM.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-28-2006, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackdog
I've always had my girls spayed @ 6 months, so I'll let someone who keeps intact bitches answer as to when. I'd guess about 7-9 months. I've never had an leaking problem with any of my girls, except the one I pulled out of the pound when she was 5 - I have no idea when her spay was.

I know of rescues who routinely spay/nueter at 8-12 weeks of age and they seem to have no ill effects, but you will see a lot of people argue both sides of the "when to alter" fence.

As with anything else, though, your mileage my vary.
I think the 7-9 month range is a pretty good guesstimate, but every bitch is different. I'm thinking most of the dobe bitches I've left intact came into season the first time at about 8 months. Razzle was almost 10 months.

And yes, there are arguments for both sides of the when to spay issue. I'd tend to spay prior to the first heat due to the greatly decreased risk of mammary cancer.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-28-2006, 12:38 PM
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My lot all tended to be around 8 months except for Mischa who is only 4 months anyhow.


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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-28-2006, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback. Dogma, a Dach/Jack Russell mix, adopted us when she showed up under the deck so we had no idea how old she was. She went into heat before we had a chance to spay her. That was an experience I certainly don't want to repeat.

We had Niki spayed at 6 months so she never came into heat. I read somewhere that bigger dogs came into heat later than smaller ones but I couldn't remember the time frame.

As far as when to spay, I thought that was a controversial subject. Our vet is against doing it before 6 months and I've read that dogs who are spayed before their first season have a greater propensity to "leak" urine as they get older. That was the case with Niki but an estrogen pill once a week took care of that.

Karma will only be 5 months come vacation time so I think we'll be ok. Again, thanks for the responses.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-28-2006, 01:48 PM
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Lindsey was 13 months the first time, we spayed her when she was 3 years, because every time afterwards she has the illusion she was pregnant, and was really sick about it, she is 10 years now and since 2 years she is having "leak her urine" she gets medicines for it.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-28-2006, 03:56 PM
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This brings up a question I always wondered. Since spaying a female before she goes into her first heat cycle, How much does this influence her growth factor. I would figure that their are necessary hormonal changes that occur during the first heat cycle which would be related to growing proportionally. If this is true, would they not fill out correctly and may look leggy, or something like that, if these hormonal changes do not occur. Or would it just take longer for them to fill out.



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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-28-2006, 04:47 PM
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I wouldn't spay/neuter prior to 6mo. I know some shelters will alter their dogs at an extremely young age, but that sais nothing about this being good for the dogs. In most of these cases it's simple logistics. The shelter does not want the dogs to procriate and does not want to have to trust the new owners to spay/neuter their pup and the appropriate age. This simply ensures that the dogs leaving the shelter are fixed.

Majority of vets recommend to spay/neture at about the 6mo mark, and for the average pet owner I think that's the best option.

Recently I've been reading some articles about this issue (I should have bookmearked them and I didn't!). The hormones present in a young dog's body are responsible for shaping the dog's physiology. Without these hormones present (ie. post altering) the body will grow differently, and the articles suggested that not for the better. I think this would be most evident in males who's hormones help them pack on a lot more meat. A number of breeders I spoke with say there is a very noticable difference in how a neutered and un-neutered dogs will develop both physically and mentally. The dogs that were neutered at an early age act and look more puppy like when compared to unaltered males of the same age.

More specifically according to the articles, the ill effect of robbing the dogs of their hormones too early are the affects of this on their muscle and bone structure development. I can't remember the specifics, but the neutred dogs developed a more thinner and stretched out physique. That in turn lead to some what under-developed bones which became more prone to damage. Dogs fixed at an earlier age had a higher occurance of things like hip dysplasia and other joint disorders. The study did mention that this effect was much more prominent in larger breeds.

Now this doesn't mean that all dogs spayed at 6mo will be horribly crippled by old age, it simply stated that altering the dog before it was done growing was a contributing factor. The article didn't make any detailed description of the group of dogs being used in the study (such as hereditary predisposition to such degenerative diseases, if the dogs were over exercised while young, etc).
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-28-2006, 06:19 PM
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Big dogs tend to hit maturity a little sooner then small dogs, they seem to mature quicker the bigger they are (not the gospel spoken Word mind you) With my time as a tech, I have seen larger dogs start their first heat right at the 6 month mark or even a little before. Lexus was right about between 6-7 months for her first.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-28-2006, 08:51 PM
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Raven was 1 year before she went into heat. We had her spay at almost 2 and she also has had a problem with leaking urine every since and also takes med..
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-29-2006, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elly
Lindsey was 13 months the first time, we spayed her when she was 3 years, because every time afterwards she has the illusion she was pregnant, and was really sick about it, she is 10 years now and since 2 years she is having "leak her urine" she gets medicines for it.
We had this problem with my beloved Juno who under vets advice we had "fixed" before her first heat and had to take meds for the last 4 years of her life and she was always self-conscious about it.


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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-29-2006, 07:54 PM
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What is the medical reason that some bitches leak urine or have less waiting control. Is this 10% that have this problem 20% 50% what is the statistics on this one. The earlier one gets spade or is it worse or for the older bitches closer to two. Do women that have hysterectomy's have the same problem, seriously not being rude just curious since the procedure is basically the same.
Does anyone have any info on this not just from the vets who want the dog or bitch spade as soon as possible only for the fact, the earlier the better to eliminate unwanted pregnancies and being a responsible pet owner.
Instead of us responsible pet owners who's bitch will not get pregnant or let their male get a bitch pregnant, and to allow some time for the bitch/dog to mature mentally and physically. I realize this is a personal opinion I myself prefer the dog/bitch to mature to 1 1/2 to two years. As I said not just physically mentally as well.

Last edited by waiting; 07-29-2006 at 07:58 PM.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-29-2006, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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"What is the medical reason that some bitches leak urine or have less waiting control. Is this 10% that have this problem 20% 50% what is the statistics on this one."

I can't remember where I read it but it has something to do with estrogen not being available, so the correct development of the muscles that control bladder function are impeded. Not sure of the stats percentage wise but I seem to remember a higher incidence of incontinece the earlier a dog is spayed.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-29-2006, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting
What is the medical reason that some bitches leak urine or have less waiting control. Is this 10% that have this problem 20% 50% what is the statistics on this one. The earlier one gets spade or is it worse or for the older bitches closer to two. Do women that have hysterectomy's have the same problem, seriously not being rude just curious since the procedure is basically the same.
Does anyone have any info on this not just from the vets who want the dog or bitch spade as soon as possible only for the fact, the earlier the better to eliminate unwanted pregnancies and being a responsible pet owner.
Instead of us responsible pet owners who's bitch will not get pregnant or let their male get a bitch pregnant, and to allow some time for the bitch/dog to mature mentally and physically. I realize this is a personal opinion I myself prefer the dog/bitch to mature to 1 1/2 to two years. As I said not just physically mentally as well.
As I remember, it's believed the loss of sex hormones causes affects the strength of the urinary sphincter muscle. Estimates are around 10-20% of spayed bitches will develop urinary incontinence.

I can't remember ever seeing any data that would lead me to believe the age a bitch is spayed puts them more or less at risk for this problem. My own personal experience leads me to believe there is no correlation...I've spent my life around spayed bitches, most of them spayed prior to their first season. Only one of my spayed bitches has ever had spayed bitch incontinence-and she was a rescue who was spayed after maturity-probably at around 3-4 years of age.

I couldn't say whether incontinence can be an issue in women who have had hysterectomies..but weakness of that sphincter muscle is certainly part of the aging process for many women.

Having done my share of research into the issue, I think the benefits of spaying prior to the first season greatly outweigh the drawbacks. Urinary incontinence is something that's easily treated, and not life threatening in any sense of the word-the same can't be said for mammary cancer.

I'm not saying you're NOT a responsible owner who could handle the responsibility of keeping a bitch intact until 12-18 months. But realistically-MOST people *think* they're responsible and can handle it...until they can't.
I'd always have mandatory spay/neuter requirements before six months for any litters I had in the future, and would even seriously consider spay/neuter prior to placement.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-29-2006, 09:01 PM
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Waiting, nerves supporting the muscles used to hold urine in are damaged during surgery (either from the surgery itself or from resultant infection).
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-30-2006, 06:46 AM
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Thanks for the info. Interesting.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-30-2006, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sooz
Waiting, nerves supporting the muscles used to hold urine in are damaged during surgery (either from the surgery itself or from resultant infection).
This is something that I have read also that during surgery the nerves are damaged which leads to the incontinence.. as being a "SPAY" woman myself. at the age of 38 when it was done.. I also started suffering from the same thing and have to take MEDS for it..I joke with the Vet when I go to refill Raven's med that I just as well take hers because it is cheaper that mine..LOL
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-31-2006, 06:58 AM
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Frznbuns that is hillarious about the meds, thanks for sharing that one.
So it seems for bitches if you leave things intact and it's past the age of two and they don't have puppies uterine cancer increases If fixed then there is nerve damage and that might lead to urine leaking.
So my friend is right being a female is hard sometimes. Yes cancer is worse but yet it is not fair that there are side effects one might say after surgery is completed.

Last edited by waiting; 07-31-2006 at 07:00 AM.
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