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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A miracle has happened right here on Earth: I actually found a holistic vet within reasonable driving distance who can do a partial spay. Although I am sad that my 8 month old still has to lose her ovaries, I do understand the scientific and objective reasons why that is necessary for her to keep her uterus without any risk of pyometra.

I'm thrilled and I don't care if it's more expensive; it's a small price to pay for the public health benefit of more experience for the vet and another warm body to be a statistic and make word-of-mouth recommendations.

Of course I'm going to do as much damage control as I can and treasure this brief butt-sniffing, marking, arm-humping season of my intact bitch's life before I have to neuter her. I'm interested in learning more about alternatives to the "cone of shame", the optimal timing after her first heat, and whether it is even worth dragging my heels on the financial end to buy her the time to have a second heat.

If there is any research on any sort of HRT for dogs to ease the hormonal crash at all, I would be interested in reading about it. It doesn't make me sad when I realize that I can't afford or access the best of the best or cutting edge care for Laurel. It makes makes me happy to know when others can and that knowledge is power to access the best care for Laurel that I reasonably can.

The holistic vet has actually been here for awhile and upgraded from a van to what look like a repurposed portable classroom. I drive right past it every day, I just didn't notice the small sign or think that our little rural county seat had the resources to support a holistic veterinary practice for pet dogs, cats, and rabbits, even one with no advertising budget and very low rent.

I guess I just wanted to share the good news. :D
 

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I'm happy for you, my pretty. And your little dog, too.;)

...I'm interested in learning more about alternatives to the "cone of shame"...
Try googling inflatable dog collars. I used one on my dog, Shadow, after he sustained a bite injury. It's an inner tube that fastens to your dog's collar and restricts how far she can turn her head. Doubles as a wearable pillow and there is less banging into stuff. It also eliminates the echo chamber/ sea shell/ white noise acoustics of the cones.

It might not work for your gal depending on where the stitches are located, but it's worth a look.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I am going to learn more about the health advantages of delayed spay because that is just the way I fidget, so I thought I might share this:

https://time4dogs.blogspot.com/2010/12/rethinking-spay-and-neuter.html

Of course I find this research to be fascinating rather than tedious. I accept the fact that I do not have the resources to do everything I want to do with this dog. She does exhibit sexualized behaviours that would make many pet owners uncomfortable and this is an extremely personal decision, just as choosing a natural menopause and avoiding standard, routine but invasive procedure's on one's own female reproductive system is.

As I have mentioned before, my refusal to accept a doctor's orders to "just stop trying to vaccinate your children against whooping cough" has had a small but direct impact on moving medical science forward. My youngest received the same, much safer vaccine that everybody else his age did thanks to his older sibling and all the other test subjects whose parents wouldn't "just leave it alone".

I'll post updates if there is interest. Laurel could go in to heat at any time. I am prepared with cute, velcro-style reusable dog diapers (Mom used abusively small toddler's training pants with a hole cut out for the tail). I am aware that she will bleed for about a week, but it is the following week, when she stops bleeding, that we will not be leaving the house unless I need to crate her and run to the store for flour or something. The third week I will still need to keep her on leash, carry her to the car, and drive to the forest to make things less unpleasant for any neighbour dogs who might smell her.

She will also be grumpy and out of shape and need some compassion when it's over. IIRC, the best time to schedule gonadectomy is 22 weeks after the beginning of the first heat cycle.

I almost didn't even ask my new vet if she could do anything other than a complete ovariohysterectomy. I didn't get what I want, but I definitely want what I'm going to get. This is all new information and I am in a very economically depressed little Podunk town so perhaps your own vet might offer sterilization (lubal ligation or vasectomy) or an ovary-sparing spay if you are interested in those options.
 

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I had a beautiful cat who died a horrible death from mammary cancer due to being spayed in middle age. My Mom's cat. She used to go through awful heats every week or two and cry horribly. My male neutered cat was always so worried about her. No one slept . My mom refused to spay her no matter how the poor thing suffered.
I finally convinced her when the cat was older. She had such an awfully infected uterus she had to stay overnight, be on a few different antibiotics for three or four weeks, and painkillers and it was a miserable time. She had been a feral street kitten who was difficult to handle because my mom never tamed or trained her.
Guess who got to wear protective clothes including a face mask when she jumped right at my face twice a day to medicate her? And got scratched through oven mitts?
My mom died and I inherited her. Got her tamer, had her for five years. Then she got very winded from a simple nail trim. I thought I felt a couple of tiny lumps in her belly. Brought her in, mammary cancer spread to her lungs. For cats, if they go through three heat cycles the risk goes up exponentially.
I had two weeks with her feeding her treats and cuddling with her with a traveling hospice vet giving her pain and comfort meds. She couldn't handle any stress that would affect her breathing.
She was almost sixteen when she didn't want her favorite treats one day. I had her euthanized with her best buddy cat and my last dog with her in her favorite bed. She had no other health problems and could have lived to be twenty happy and coddled if not for the selfish decision to let her suffer with those awful heats in pain for years.
Women suffer with great pain from their menstrual cycles and many I know that have hysterectomies are very happy.

Even neutered male dogs can smell females just starting to go into heat and go crazy. My dog was neutered early and every time some idiot brings an adolescent or unspayed female into the dog park and he fixates on her and starts humping her nonstop, I ask and the answer is ALWAYS "oh she could be starting to go into heat, I don't really know".
When I first got him I brought him to the vet for some minor thing and he literally snapped a strong leash in two to get to a German Shepherd in the waiting room. Turns out she was in heat. Which he clearly knew and I didn't.

You have to keep her inside and completely away from other dogs the whole three weeks they're in heat.

Neutered males produce testosterone their whole lives, according to several vets I've talked to. My dog can certainly tell and reacts very strongly. He doesn't act neutered at all. I've taken him to be ultrasounded to make sure he was fully neutered and not a cryptorchid. They said he was and was in fact neutered early. That's when I was told neutered males still produce testosterone and just aren't fertile.

But after watching my beautiful cat suffer with those awful heats, the uterine infection and die from cancer that was completely preventable I'd never leave an animal of mine unspayed or unneutered. There's so many homeless dogs and cats killed daily that can be adopted or take in as strays that i wouldn't breed and want to prevent any cancers I could

So at least isolate her the whole time she's in heat to avoid torturing any neighborhood dogs.
 

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Female dogs in heat...keep the boys far, far away!

I'll post updates if there is interest.

I am aware that she will bleed for about a week, but it is the following week, when she stops bleeding, that we will not be leaving the house unless I need to crate her and run to the store for flour or something.

The third week I will still need to keep her on leash, carry her to the car, and drive to the forest to make things less unpleasant for any neighbour dogs who might smell her.
I am interested in all this heat topic, so please keep posting your updates!

From all that I have studied (which is a lot, as usual because I, too, like to research and study) it seems the recommended time to keep female dogs in heat indoors and away from all male dogs is one month, or 4 weeks from start of heat cycle. Which can generally be recognized by the dog's incessant licking/ and swelling of the "girl parts" or vulva.

I was still a bit confused by all this even after studying so I asked a few local vets here and they all said to be safe to wait one month before taking a dog in heat out in public. Or maybe I was honestly just hoping a vet would tell me less time...lol.

As others here have said, male dogs can sniff out a dog in heat from a zillion miles away, jump their own fences, dig out of their yards, break leashes, etc to get to a female in heat. Crazy stuff.

Plus I read that male dogs can fight with each other to get to a female dog in heat. Yikes! Imagine two big dogs fighting and charging at my Puma pup....scary!!

Because of this, we waited one full (arghhh) month to take Puma pup out on walks. I certainly had no desire for a male dog to find us and then who-knows-what? No thank, no way. A month is a reaaaallllly long time to wait, but so much better than any other consequences, right?

I take no chances with my dogs, or the safety of other people's dogs, for that matter.

Anyway, please do keep us updated. Knowledge is indeed power!:)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am interested in all this heat topic, so please keep posting your updates!
I will, then.

I was hoping to stay away from controversial topics, but maybe next lifetime, lol.

Do keep in mind that Laurel is much tinier than Puma and I do have lived experience, even though nobody remembers their childhood perfectly and of course I am prepared to isolate Laurel completely for a full month. So many stars had to align in just the right way for me to be able to do this.
@Monster Much respect. I wish I were prepared to follow in your footsteps without having to reinvent the wheel. We have local issues with the gentrification of dog ownership. I will have to leave the activism to those with better people skills who are better able to present as college educated professional homeowners.

Unfortunately, an ovarectomy will not reduce Laurel's 61% chance of spay incontinence even down to my own postmenopausal risk of becoming a loyal customer of the Depends disposable adult diaper corporation since that is a function of estrogen. I don't remember if it is someone on this board or another board who was able to get just a hysterectomy.

That would require a lot more trust in the vet, since there would still be a risk of stump pyometra. The dog would still have her normal endocrine balance and her normal cycles. No vet would want to go to all the trouble of such an experimental surgery for an unknown dog owner who might come back a year later complaining about the nuisance of the bitch's reproductive cycle.

It would also be a bit much for a shy, elderly, low-income female to handle the nasty comments afk if my puppy were a dog, and therefore visibly intact, rather than a bitch who can just not be around during her cycles.

None of us want unplanned pregnancies, we just want healthy dogs and better options for managing their normal biological functions.

Sure, you (wealthier people in power) could have ripped out my own ovaries or chopped off my sons' balls before we were allowed to go to kindergarten. We wouldn't have missed them. We probably would have been more obedient workers and loyal coca cola consumers. I'd most likely have died of "(un)natural causes) before I ever developed enough of a mind of my own to discuss controversial topics on the internet, lol.
 

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Laurelsmom, the size if the dogs matters not at all to the dogs. My neutered male 93 pound dog will go absolutely crazy and incessantly harass and try to mate nonstop with a ten pound six month old female just starting to come into heat at the dog park. Her owner had no idea that this was possible so he brought her.

My dog is normally very gentle with puppies and small dogs and won't even play with them. He rolls over and let's them chew on him non-stop. So I knew immediately when he instantly fixated and kept trying to mount this small dog that she must be in heat. He's the same with females in heat of any size.

A large 100 pound plus lab mix I'm watching now incessantly harasses other dogs and tries to mount them no matter what size or gender they are. So by bringing a dog in heat in public, they are put at risk by attracting much larger neutered and unneutered dogs.

Athenalove has a good point about male dogs fighting over unspayed females whether in heat or not. Christmas day last year I brought my dog to my local dog park to try to let him have some fun as he was just recovered from being hurt and attacked by his archenemy Newfoundland a couple of weeks ago. His nasty open wounds over his eyes and all over his face had healed enough to risk going.

There were two unspayed female dobermans (mother and daughter) in there and an unneutered male Airedale. He always tried to hump my dog despite getting growled and snapped at.

That day it was crowded and I didn't even see the Airedale was in there or we wouldn't have gone in at all. We we're just walking in and the obnoxious Airedale immediately ran over and started trying to hump my dog. My dog had sniffed and said hi to the female dobermans. My dog as usual growled and snapped at the Airedale. He has early hip dysplasia and arthritis on one side, no way am I letting him make enemies with everyone.

The Airedale instead of listening to my dog's warning, immediately attacked and bit my dog aggressively in the face. Blood everywhere, both eyes, nose, mouth areas. Owner does nothing even when I point out my dog is bleeding. He both reopened vulnerable areas and gave him completely new gaping gashes all over his face and surrounding both his eyes, even an eyelid. Just being near two unspayed females NOT in heat. I really didn't like that owner's lack of care or interest training his dog. So I took pictures of my dogs injuries and sent them to Animal control. His dog was quar my it'sntined for ten days and he ticketed and fined. Haven't seen or heard from that owner or hi.s dog since.

There's never any issue at the doggy daycare he loves. Because they simply don't allow any unneutered or unspayed dogs. Simple. Problem solved. I don't take any either when dog sitting. No fights ever. Simpler for everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I do not take my dog to places where unneutered dogs are not allowed.

Puma is a fairly normal sized dog. I would not feel comfortable telling AthenaLove to pop her in a purse, carry her to the car, etc. because this would not be helpful.

When my doggie wants to meet another dog on a walk and the other dog's owner says that this is not a good time because she is in heat, I do not speak to that dog's owner the way shadowmom speaks to me on this thread because that would not be helpful.
 

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Laurelsmom I'm sorry you feel that way but you're free to directly address me instead of the passive aggressive approach. In my work with both people and working with owners of horses and dogs, I often find it very helpful to reach people with both evidence based information and personal anecdotes about how best to keep their animals safe.
You were saying you planned on taking your dog out in public for one week out of four that she will need to be confined while she is in heat. Not only for her safety and yours but for the safety of other people and their dogs.
Female dogs will attack other females while they are in heat and both neutered and unneutered male dogs can and will go crazy and both get aggressive and get loose and get hurt or killed running into traffic.
I certainly had my Christmas ruined by one idiot with an aggressive dog and many weeks of worrying about if my dog's sight would be permanently affected as well as being asked incessantly if he was a fighting dog and all kinds of stupid questions. He was attacked and didn't even fight back.

If you don't find personal anecdotes helpful about the very real risks of bringing any sized unspayed female dog in heat out in public, then by all means go ahead and try it.

I never told you or anyone to pick up their dog or put it in their purse. That's actually worse since my dog and many others go crazy when they see a picked up dog and jump incessantly to get to it lol. Definitely not advice I would give so at least a cute me of something I actually did.

I know I get frustrated by having to incessantly call my dog away from females in heat of any size that some ignorant owners persist in bringing to public places that they're not allowed at.

I educate myself about my dog and his hormones and paid to have him tested and ultrasounded to make sure he was fully neutered. I try very hard to learn and take the best care of him I possibly can.

Other owners take their dogs out not even knowing how old they can go into heat at and create a public hazard for themselves, their dogs and everyone else in the vicinity.

Unhelpful? Dangerous to not fully spay your dog and keep her fully confined the whole time she's in heat. I'm not at all trying to be rude just very safety conscious as someone who's had to pull my 90 plus pound dog off a ten pound female in heat, a fifty pound female in heat, a sixty pound female in heat and whose dog literally snapped a strong leash to get to one gsd in heat. Male neutered early! All these females at public dog park or vet waiting room and places strictly prohibited. People don't care and do what they want and blame the other owner/dog.
 

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Puma pup in a purse...thanks for the chuckle:)

Puma is a fairly normal sized dog. I would not feel comfortable telling AthenaLove to pop her in a purse, carry her to the car, etc. because this would not be helpful.
Ohhhh, the image of me popping my Puma Pup into a purse cracked me up! LOL.

If only I could...some days it may be so much easier....she is a bit big for that now at 54 pounds. :)LOL

BUT---I did actually pick her up today in our yard when it was time for her to come inside for breakfast. She was like "Whaaaaaat, mom, are you doing?" as it kinda caught her as a bit of a surprise.

I normally never do that as a surprise, because it is kinda rude and I wouldn't like someone to do that to me as a human or a dog. Plus---I hardly ever pick her up anymore bc she is too heavy for my lame injured shoulder/arm.

She was enjoying her squirrel watching time and I needed to have her come inside to eat with everyone else, as per our normal pattern. So I picked her up this one time as a test to gauge her comfort level on this, and I brought her inside. She did fine with it (amazingly!) and I rewarded her compliance with some sincere thank you's and some amazing home cooked chicken livers and gizzards...and a tiny spoonful of delicious peach ice cream! Gotta always remind her brain that being picked up is a GOOD thing, right?

Ok, ok, back to the original topic here! Seems like we are getting into a kinda sensitive topic here (I totally get that!) so I thought I'd offer a short break... and maybe even a smile, since I smiled and chuckled at the mere thought of popping Puma in a purse!

Hey, sounds like a good idea for a Dr. Seuss book...Popping Puma Pup in a Purse!:)

Smiles and happy thoughts to all here on our forum from me and my doggies, Gracie, Sparky and Puma pup (not in a purse!)
 

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OMG Has anyone noticed Everytime someone "answers" aquestion on this forum they never ever answer it just hundreds of brags and horror stories and supposed expert opinions good Lord get over your selves try and help someone sometime or write a book and get paid I AM OUT OF HERE
 
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