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Okay, this is going to sound stupid.

We have a 6 month old Australian Shepherd cross (part lab, part border collie according to the breeder -- our old vet said she can't see anything but Australian Shepherd in her). She's acting weird. The dog, not the vet :)

For the past day or two, she's been running from door to door, acting really out of sorts, wanting to be outside ALL the time, cranky, barking a really high, sharp bark, and generally being very attention-seeking. Very out of character for her. She's very loving, and wants to lay at my feet wherever I am. If I'm not there, she's laying on the kids. She's not snarky, just a little.. off. More demanding than usual is the best way to describe it, I suppose.

She's drinking a lot, but not eating much. She is eating and eliminating, though -- no real problem there -- I think she just doesn't have much interest in food.

The new vet (we've just moved from one province to another) told us he prefers to wait to spay her -- until she's seven months old at least.

My question is, is she in heat? And if so, what can be done to stop the antsy behavior?
 

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most dogs become swollen in their feminine area, the cycle usually lasts 3 weeks, 1 week coming(no bleeding) in, 1 week in(bleeding) and 1 week going(no bleeding) out, some dogs can bleed for two-three weeks plus the 2 weeks coming and going, every dog is different.
attitude changed can be a sign of them coming into heat, and mood swings can occure.

as for getting her to stop, if she's coming into heat, probly not unless you want to get her on hormone therapy. :shrug:
 

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I recommend that you strictly confine her!!!!
Keep her inside. Give her only supervised leash walks for her constitutionals.
Perhaps you can secure her in the garage while you are gone at work for the duration of her heat. She MUST be securely confined indoors. Many an accident is caused by fence failure and determined dogs.
Her excited behavior will continue for the duration of her heat.
The scent WILL draw dogs from a LONG way away. And they will find a way!!
It is your responsibility to keep her from any "accidental" (haha) breedings.
IMO, these are not "accidents", they are carelessness.
And, call your vet again to schedule her spay now.
 

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Here, many will if the animal is in heat, but it does cost more, and I worry it might not be as safe as a usual spay (not sure, but it seems if things are swollen enough they feel the need to charge extra, I'd rather wait the month and put up with it).

Is she UTD on her vaccinations? And I second the keep her confined thing she'll try her darndest to find a way out, or a male will find his way in. Two of my boys are the result of their father bending down the poles of a chain link fence to get at their mama, among other feats... never underestimate a determined doggie.
 

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As has already been said- she will first start swelling in the vulva, then will start bleeding and then the bleeding stops and it will be large and soft. Her behavior may be different and she may urinate small amounts all over the yard (marking). Do contain her in a crate indoors for the duration and walk her on lead with your eyes on her at all times- surrounding males will go through closed windows to get to the ***** (happened to me- but fortunately ***** was in crate and I was home), jump or climb or dig under fences. They are quick too- a male can approach your ***** and be tied in under 30 seconds. Plastic crates are best- I have seen males breed a ***** through a wire crate before. Also be aware that split seasons can and do occur- especially with first heat cycles. That is where she will go through her cycle then come back in several weeks later. I recently had a 2 yr old ***** do that and I missed it as I had only seen it in first time heats before, so did not recheck- resulting in an oops breeding with her brother.
 

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She's up to date on all her shots, and she's in great health -- it's just that she's only six months old. I thought it was rather early for a heat cycle, but I guess I'm wrong :shrug:

We live two miles from town, and the closest farm doesn't have a dog, so I'm relatively confident that I won't have TOO many males hanging about -- but the boys have been told to keep her leashed or tethered at all times outside, and that they're to be with her. When she's out with them, DH or I are generally there, too.

Is there a reason why the vet said he would prefer to wait until she's at least seven months old? We have friends in Calgary who had their dog fixed long before that -- granted, it's a "pocket dog", not a large breed -- but I don't understand why seven months is some kind of magic number?

Tracy
 

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Tracy Rimmer said:
Is there a reason why the vet said he would prefer to wait until she's at least seven months old? We have friends in Calgary who had their dog fixed long before that -- granted, it's a "pocket dog", not a large breed -- but I don't understand why seven months is some kind of magic number?

Tracy
Every vet has their own "magic age" (the magic age is just when the vet feels they have the least amount of complications and the age when the vet is most comfortable doing the surgery). Usually at my clinic we wait until around 6 months (anywhere from 5 months in larger dogs to 7 months in little dogs). One of the main reasons we wait until then (esp. with the little dogs) is because we want to wait until all the adult have come in. It is very common with little dogs to have retained baby teeth, so if we wait until all the adult teeth are in we can removed any retained baby teeth at the same time as the spay/neuter surgery. It is pretty uncommon for dogs to come into heat before 7 months (but it CAN happen!), so we are almost always spaying before the first heat cycle.

As to the question of spaying during heat, yes it is a more complicated surgery with more risks. All the blood vessels are swollen and the uterus itself is swollen which means that the vet has to be even more careful and take more time in the surgery. Most vets don't like to spay in heat dogs because if we just wait a few weeks there is much less risk to the dog.
 

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6 months is not uncommon for a first heat. Even if your neighbors do not have dogs- a stray or feral dog can come out of nowhere- and it only takes one and under 30 seconds. Even if the boys are with her, it can happen quickly- even on lead with someone at the end of the lead who is looking where they are going. Personally I never trusted my sons to take bitches in season out to potty- I did it myself and did not take my eyes off them for even a second. Just my experience.

Tracy Rimmer said:
She's up to date on all her shots, and she's in great health -- it's just that she's only six months old. I thought it was rather early for a heat cycle, but I guess I'm wrong :shrug:

We live two miles from town, and the closest farm doesn't have a dog, so I'm relatively confident that I won't have TOO many males hanging about -- but the boys have been told to keep her leashed or tethered at all times outside, and that they're to be with her. When she's out with them, DH or I are generally there, too.

Is there a reason why the vet said he would prefer to wait until she's at least seven months old? We have friends in Calgary who had their dog fixed long before that -- granted, it's a "pocket dog", not a large breed -- but I don't understand why seven months is some kind of magic number?

Tracy
 

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I talked to the boys this morning and I'll be doing potty runs for the next little while. It's unfortunate that she'll have to be kept inside more than she's used to -- she loves being out -- but we'll do what we need to to keep her safe.

Thanks, everyone -- I appreciate your input!

Tracy
 

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I have bitches that will act 'weird' up to a month before they show any physical signs of coming into heat. It's pretty normal with some breeds and lines. Just FYI.

Jess
 

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I've only had pets from rescues and shelters, spayed or neutered of course. I'm pretty naive about pet animals and their heat cycles. I knew my border collie was in heat when we got a visit from "Dewey" the smooth collie mix from SOMEWHERE around here. The pups are due August 9th.

My indoor only cat just surprised me with a kitten two days ago. I need to get a serious grip here.
 

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Idahoe said:
I've only had pets from rescues and shelters, spayed or neutered of course. I'm pretty naive about pet animals and their heat cycles. I knew my border collie was in heat when we got a visit from "Dewey" the smooth collie mix from SOMEWHERE around here. The pups are due August 9th.

My indoor only cat just surprised me with a kitten two days ago. I need to get a serious grip here.
Oh, dear! :help:

On the up side... you get a kitten and puppies for a while :) Hopefully there are good homes for them to go to.

I wouldn't MIND Lucy having a litter -- there are plenty of people who have told me if she ever were to have a litter they'd take a pup -- she's a beautiful, happy, loving dog, but health-wise, I think it's important for her to be spayed early. That, and I believe that there are too many unwanted pets in shelters. I *DO* think she'd be a good mama, though :)

I don't know how I'd feel about being presented with an unexpected newborn, though -- that must have been a shock!
 
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