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Old 03-21-2008, 03:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Can someone please tell me what is the typical age that female Maltese begin their menstrual cycles or their first heat? I ask because I noticed that Dini has been licking her private area a lot lately (which I thought was just her way of cleaning down there, even though I bathe her about every 4-7 days) but my brother in law mentioned to me that it could also be a sign that she will be in heat or at least starting soon. I didn't know that could happen at such a young age. She's not quite 5 months old and we don't plan to spay her till she's at least 6 months. I was hoping that we would be able to avoid having her doggie period altogether! Can anyone please shed some light on this? That way too I know at least that if it is something completely out of the norm, I can go take her to the vet and get a consultation for this. Thank you!!!
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Old 03-21-2008, 03:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It's usually around 6 months I believe. But it depends on each dog I guess.. oh and the correct term is heat, dogs don't go through menstrual cycles - lucky them, I wish I didn't have to go through mine!
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Old 03-21-2008, 03:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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LOL!! Thanks for that! And all this time I've been calling it "puppy period!!"
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Old 03-21-2008, 08:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Could she maybe have a little skin irritation or rash near her privates? It might explain the licking & fussing.

I certainly wont to pretend to be an expert, but 5 months does sound quite young to me for a first heat - but hey, I could be wrong.

Dakota was a tad shy of 9 months when she was spayed, and at the time the vet commented that she didn't look like she was about to go into heat - how on EARTH he could tell just by looking at her privates, I'll never know!!

It does sound a little weird saying this - but there is no harm at having a good look 'down there' to make sure there is no skin irriation or something. Good luck!
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Old 03-21-2008, 08:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Each dog is different, but the average age is 6 months. Abbey didn't go into her first heat till she was close to 8 months. If she goes into heat before you have her spayed, she won't be able to be spayed for several months after the heat cycle.

For Miss Abbey, I used newborn huggies and cut a rectangular hole in the back for her tail and so she could still do her poopies.
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Old 03-21-2008, 12:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Usually after 6 months.

Female puppies are prone to urinary tract infections and vaginitis, both which can result in increased licking. It if continues, it would be a good idea for the vet to check her out.
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Old 03-21-2008, 01:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you everyone for that. I'll keep a watch on her and see just how "excessive" it gets. I mean, its not like she does it every minute of the day. But just to be sure though, I'll probably contact my vet and see what her opinion is too. I guess I can't be too cautious! Thank you again!!!
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Old 03-21-2008, 03:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I hope you're planning to get her spayed.

University of Minnesota Vet. Medical Center - Benefits of Spaying & Neutering

Benefits of Spaying and Neutering

This information is provided for general animal health education purposes only. Specific advice on diagnosing or treating an animal health care problem should be obtained from a veterinary care provider. For a list of veterinary services at the University of Minnesota, see About the Medical Center.

Written by Teresa Hershey, D.V.M.

Benefits of spaying

Prevents unwanted litters

Eliminates heat periods

Eliminates the risk of your pet developing a life-threatening infection of the uterus called a pyometra.

Reduces the risk of mammary (breast) cancer. In dogs, a female spayed before her first heat will have a near-zero chance of developing mammary cancer. After the first heat, this incidence climbs to 7 percent, and after the second heat, the risk is 25 percent. If your pet has already gone through one or more heats, we still recommend spaying. Spaying can help shrink mammary cysts and prevents pyometra.

When to spay

We recommend that cats and dogs be spayed before their first heat, generally at about six months of age.



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Old 03-21-2008, 04:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
I hope you're planning to get her spayed.

University of Minnesota Vet. Medical Center - Benefits of Spaying & Neutering

Benefits of Spaying and Neutering

This information is provided for general animal health education purposes only. Specific advice on diagnosing or treating an animal health care problem should be obtained from a veterinary care provider. For a list of veterinary services at the University of Minnesota, see About the Medical Center.

Written by Teresa Hershey, D.V.M.

Benefits of spaying

Prevents unwanted litters

Eliminates heat periods

Eliminates the risk of your pet developing a life-threatening infection of the uterus called a pyometra.

Reduces the risk of mammary (breast) cancer. In dogs, a female spayed before her first heat will have a near-zero chance of developing mammary cancer. After the first heat, this incidence climbs to 7 percent, and after the second heat, the risk is 25 percent. If your pet has already gone through one or more heats, we still recommend spaying. Spaying can help shrink mammary cysts and prevents pyometra.

When to spay

We recommend that cats and dogs be spayed before their first heat, generally at about six months of age.[/B]

Oh yes, we definitely plan to spay her as soon as we are given the good to go from our vet. We got her at a little under 4 months old, and she was barely over two pounds then. Our doctor recommended that we wait till she was at least 6 months old till we put her under that trauma. So we still have at least one more month to go. But thank you for all that information! I know that I have no idea about breeding, and that there are so many things to go with it, that I know that I have no reason to breed her or have her reproduce. In fact, it would be most reponsible on our part to not breed her just for that matter. But yes, we are pro- spaying/ neuterting!!!
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