How soon after first heat can we spay? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-05-2016, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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How soon after first heat can we spay?

Greetings! Sometimes it's easier to create a new post than it is to comb through all the previous posts in order to find a specific answer . . . (We are asking these same questions of our vet but value the opinions of you Havanese experts!) Shama will be a year old on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. Our breeder told us to wait until after her first heat to have her spayed. My husband and I are both teachers, so we originally thought we might be able to have her spayed after Spring Break. When SB arrived, however, she had not yet gone into heat, so we rescheduled for the beginning of summer, June 13. She finally went into heat (that we noticed) on May 6. By May 16, we broke down and purchased diapers for her. By May 20, we no longer needed the diapers. Today (June 5), to our amateur eyes, she shows no sign of being in heat. A groomer friend and a dog trainer friend have both suggested that we reschedule Shama's spaying appointment to avoid spaying too soon after her first heat cycle. They said her hormone levels won't be down to a safe level yet. They said it can be "hard on the dog" if the hormone levels aren't down to a safe level yet, but I don't quite know what they meant by that. On the forum, I saw frequent mentions of being prone to extra bleeding due to reduced ability to clot related to being in heat, but I didn't see any mention of hormone levels. The biggest problem I have is knowing when one can consider a dog's heat cycle to be over. (I've read to wait at least a week or at least a month from the end of the heat cycle, but I'm not even sure when that technically is. "The heat cycle lasts approximately 21 days but can be shorter or longer depending on the dog.") Shama is the runt of a runt and weighed 7.2 pounds when we last checked. We are wild about her. I'm attaching a photo of my latest topknot attempt. I will appreciate reading your responses to my post. Thank you!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-05-2016, 12:35 PM
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Greetings! Sometimes it's easier to create a new post than it is to comb through all the previous posts in order to find a specific answer . . . (We are asking these same questions of our vet but value the opinions of you Havanese experts!) Shama will be a year old on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. Our breeder told us to wait until after her first heat to have her spayed. My husband and I are both teachers, so we originally thought we might be able to have her spayed after Spring Break. When SB arrived, however, she had not yet gone into heat, so we rescheduled for the beginning of summer, June 13. She finally went into heat (that we noticed) on May 6. By May 16, we broke down and purchased diapers for her. By May 20, we no longer needed the diapers. Today (June 5), to our amateur eyes, she shows no sign of being in heat. A groomer friend and a dog trainer friend have both suggested that we reschedule Shama's spaying appointment to avoid spaying too soon after her first heat cycle. They said her hormone levels won't be down to a safe level yet. They said it can be "hard on the dog" if the hormone levels aren't down to a safe level yet, but I don't quite know what they meant by that. On the forum, I saw frequent mentions of being prone to extra bleeding due to reduced ability to clot related to being in heat, but I didn't see any mention of hormone levels. The biggest problem I have is knowing when one can consider a dog's heat cycle to be over. (I've read to wait at least a week or at least a month from the end of the heat cycle, but I'm not even sure when that technically is. "The heat cycle lasts approximately 21 days but can be shorter or longer depending on the dog.") Shama is the runt of a runt and weighed 7.2 pounds when we last checked. We are wild about her. I'm attaching a photo of my latest topknot attempt. I will appreciate reading your responses to my post. Thank you!
We were told, both by our vet and by knowledgeable Havanese breeders that they are typically safely out of heat 21 days after the first signs of blood. That was about a week after Pixel was receptive to Kodi's advances. (he's neutered, so no worries there, but it did give us a good idea how interested SHE was!)

Then our vet told us to schedule her spay for about 6 weeks after the END of her heat. She said that some people do it earlier than that, but she likes to be conservative, because it is easier on the dog and easier in terms of the surgery.

We have also opted for a laparoscopic spay, which has a shorter recuperation time, and (hopefully) less pain. But the vet was careful to explain to us that it is STILL major surgery, and because the insides still need the same amount of time to heal, even though the incision is small. She says she's heard of people running their dogs in agility a week after laparoscopic spay, and that she REALLY discourages this. Dogs, especially little dogs, often hide their pain, especially when they want to please their owners, and she thinks it's really important to keep that in mind during recovery.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-05-2016, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much, Karen. Somewhere I read about an ovariectomy as opposed to spaying. Do you know anything about that?

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-05-2016, 01:55 PM
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Thank you very much, Karen. Somewhere I read about an ovariectomy as opposed to spaying. Do you know anything about that?
I know it's a possibility, and I do know one person who had it done. Supposedly, without ovaries, you no longer need to worry about Pyo, even though the uterus is left. We only have a couple of hospitals in the area who will do it, (major teaching hospitals, and I'd rather not have a student working on her) and they are not close and are very expensive. Since they are going to be in there anyway, I think I'd rather have them do a complete spay unless there were compelling evidence that an ovariectomy was a healthier choice... and I' haven't read that.


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-05-2016, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Good to know. Thanks!
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-05-2016, 06:56 PM
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Truffles had a ovariectomy. She had a very small incision and healed quickly.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-05-2016, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Heather!

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-06-2016, 02:10 PM
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after reading this thread, and another on this topic, now I do not know what to do . . .
my vet said spay at 6 mos.!?
Looks like most people are waiting until after first heat

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-06-2016, 02:25 PM
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We were going to spay our Ruby before her first heat but it snuck up on us before the spay appointment so we ended up spaying her at 8 months. She had a hard time recovering from the anesthesia of the spay operation and in hind sight I am glad that she was an older, bigger, and stronger puppy when she had to go through that. Six months seems young to deal with any complications.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-06-2016, 04:19 PM
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after reading this thread, and another on this topic, now I do not know what to do . . .
my vet said spay at 6 mos.!?
Looks like most people are waiting until after first heat
Jeff - I wouldn't say most people are waiting; this is a complex topic and what works for one family may not for another. There are a lot of posts about spay/neuter timing and at the end of the day, you'll need to do some research to determine what's appropriate for you and your puppy. Good luck!
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