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My golden retriever Pixel is 10 months now. She is licking her vulva a lot in the past few days. I saw it is swollen but no bleeding. I hope it is not some infection, just her first heat is coming. I will bring her to check with the vet tomorrow. I want to get her spayed after her first heat. When did you spay your female golden? Instead of the normal spay surgery, is there any other options which is easier or keep the growing hormone? Thanks.
 

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My then 11 month old BorderCollie/Lab cross did that as well, with the same observation about a swollen Vulva and constant licking..no discharge at all that I noticed, and I LOOKED very carefully.
I put off the Spay that was scheduled that month for another 30 days to be safe. (the vulva returned to normal) Upon a cursory examination and my description..the Vet believed that she had had her heat and had cleaned herself up.

I am facing it once again with my almost 10 month old Golden right now..I actually want her to have it earlier than later. I would rather have her confined in the warmer weather (for both of our sakes..LOL)

I will go with a traditional Spay after the heat and when she is a bit older; and most of the growing is over. (maybe at 18-20 months) I fear Pyrometra most of all.

Of course..your own vet will know what to do, and can advise accordingly.
 

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If you feel your bitch is cleaning herself so well you cannot see a bloody discharge, you can always either use a white paper towel or tissue, and just slightly insert into her vulva as you wipe, looking for any color.. or a qtip (not the length of it, but just the tip) again looking for color.
 

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We waited until after Amber's second heat. Some folks feel it's better for proper growth but I'm sure others will comment. After the fact we used an inflatable collar and surgical shirt instead of the cone.

20190126_113505-941x1122.jpg
 

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We waited until after Amber's second heat. Some folks feel it's better for proper growth but I'm sure others will comment. After the fact we used an inflatable collar and surgical shirt instead of the cone.

View attachment 870094
She actually looks pretty comfortable in the collar + the surgical suit.

I have two other dogs that will be trying to remove whatever I put on mine when the time comes for the spay. I think that I will use your idea and go with both!

My others had always worn the soft cones with plastic windows, so they could see out..Kudos on your idea and beautiful dog!
 

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She actually looks pretty comfortable in the collar + the surgical suit.

I have two other dogs that will be trying to remove whatever I put on mine when the time comes for the spay. I think that I will use your idea and go with both!

My others had always worn the soft cones with plastic windows, so they could see out..Kudos on your idea and beautiful dog!
The shirt has a flap in the back so it does not need to be removed when the pup needs to do her business. And the collar also acted as a pillow so it seemed pretty comfortable for her.
5451-1115x627.jpeg
 

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Haha..You read my mind..
Doing her business was my next question! THANKS!

My 10 month old is highly suspicious of anything new. She is NOT fond of the "pants" that I have already purchased, and it is a job and half trying them on, before her first heat.. Not to mention fighting off my others, when I attempt to separate her for these trial runs.

It took over a week, before she was comfortable with a pin brush. Two weeks for her to trust my motorized grooming table!
 

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Maggie is almost 16 months. Our vet is almost positive she has had her first heat. I saw nothing and I roll her over every morning and give her belly rubs. I am waiting until after 18 months or until I can actually be certain she has had a heat cycle to spay her.

Jules
 

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Maggie is almost 16 months. Our vet is almost positive she has had her first heat. I saw nothing and I roll her over every morning and give her belly rubs. I am waiting until after 18 months or until I can actually be certain she has had a heat cycle to spay her.

Jules
It was when I mentioned to the vet, that I had also observed pretty swollen nipples, that she drew her conclusion. I know that some dogs's nipples don't swell during a first heat though, and that alone is not conclusive.
 

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Debbie624
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My golden retriever Pixel is 10 months now. She is licking her vulva a lot in the past few days. I saw it is swollen but no bleeding. I hope it is not some infection, just her first heat is coming. I will bring her to check with the vet tomorrow. I want to get her spayed after her first heat. When did you spay your female golden? Instead of the normal spay surgery, is there any other options which is easier or keep the growing hormone? Thanks.
Coco is 11 months and had her first heat on Christmas. I am considering an ovary sparing spay which would remove the uterus but keep the ovaries and hence she would keep hormones. However, there is a risk of pyometra so I am not sure we will do this spay. I still need to talk to my vet about it and other vets would do the OSS bc I am pretty positive my vet does not. Keeping the hormones, from my understanding, would protect against some of the nasty cancers like lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma but would increase the risk of mammary cancer but I am told this is a rare cancer. And I believe it is treatable. I go back and forth with this trying to decide if the risk of a less nasty cancer by keeping the ovaries vs the risk of worse cancers if do a traditional spay. I would love some others' opinions on this too.
 

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Well, almost 16 months to the day and Maggie just started what I believe is her first heat. Guess I had better find where I put those pants I had made for her when she was 6 months old :) Hope they still fit!

Jules
 

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Coco is 11 months and had her first heat on Christmas. I am considering an ovary sparing spay which would remove the uterus but keep the ovaries and hence she would keep hormones. However, there is a risk of pyometra so I am not sure we will do this spay. I still need to talk to my vet about it and other vets would do the OSS bc I am pretty positive my vet does not. Keeping the hormones, from my understanding, would protect against some of the nasty cancers like lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma but would increase the risk of mammary cancer but I am told this is a rare cancer. And I believe it is treatable. I go back and forth with this trying to decide if the risk of a less nasty cancer by keeping the ovaries vs the risk of worse cancers if do a traditional spay. I would love some others' opinions on this too.
I have a 19 month old who’s been through two heats. She’s considered late spay at this time and HSA worries me more than mammary cancer. I lost a lab at 7 to HSA (confirmed) and a lab at 5 (clinical symptoms/death same situation). Both were early spays. I also lost a golden, early spay, to lymphosarcoma, which is also an increase in early spay. So...for me...I’m Not spaying at this point. Not sure I would choose to do surgery if I don’t have to either for OSS. Talk to 3 different vets and you’ll get 3 different opinions.
 

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I am so sorry about your losses. How devastating. Yes you are right that it all depends on who you talk to. My vet is in disagreement with me regarding risk of early spay. How that is possible bc the research is out there and not difficult to find. I plan to talk to a vet who does the OSS and would like to consult with a holistic vet who is more like minded. Thanks for you feedback.
 

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I am so sorry about your losses. How devastating. Yes you are right that it all depends on who you talk to. My vet is in disagreement with me regarding risk of early spay. How that is possible bc the research is out there and not difficult to find. I plan to talk to a vet who does the OSS and would like to consult with a holistic vet who is more like minded. Thanks for you feedback.
my traditional vet said, “good” when I wasn’t spaying early but never heard of OSS and told me she would have to research to see if she would do it. I told her I would never put her in a position to do a surgery for the first time on my girl. And really, I don’t want to be the first. I went to a holistic vet this fall and she was completely dismissive about choosing not to spay or OSS. But I also got the vibe she thought it was wrong I purchased a dog and didn’t adopt from a shelter. She threw in the “diet/environment” spiel, which I’m 100% sure do have an effect as the ONLY reason dogs get cancer. But I am certain hormones have an effect too. It’s just like women who have a hysterectomy...they usually leave at least one ovary unless they’re being removed due to ovarian cancer risk. Why? Because women who have both removed face a higher risk of death from things like cardiovascular incidences or lung cancer. So if one mammal has a beneficial effect why wouldn’t another, which is my theory. I have an appointment for my pup’s rabies with a well respected integrative vet, so I’m going to talk to her. But I’m sure I’ll get a third opinion totally different! 😂
 

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my traditional vet said, “good” when I wasn’t spaying early but never heard of OSS and told me she would have to research to see if she would do it. I told her I would never put her in a position to do a surgery for the first time on my girl. And really, I don’t want to be the first. I went to a holistic vet this fall and she was completely dismissive about choosing not to spay or OSS. But I also got the vibe she thought it was wrong I purchased a dog and didn’t adopt from a shelter. She threw in the “diet/environment” spiel, which I’m 100% sure do have an effect as the ONLY reason dogs get cancer. But I am certain hormones have an effect too. It’s just like women who have a hysterectomy...they usually leave at least one ovary unless they’re being removed due to ovarian cancer risk. Why? Because women who have both removed face a higher risk of death from things like cardiovascular incidences or lung cancer. So if one mammal has a beneficial effect why wouldn’t another, which is my theory. I have an appointment for my pup’s rabies with a well respected integrative vet, so I’m going to talk to her. But I’m sure I’ll get a third opinion totally different! 😂
I'd be curious of what you learn from the integrative vet. I do worry about mammary cancer but hemangio and lymphoma scare me more which are correlated with early spay. Ugh! there's no perfect answer.
 

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The shirt has a flap in the back so it does not need to be removed when the pup needs to do her business. And the collar also acted as a pillow so it seemed pretty comfortable for her. View attachment 870096
I love the surgical suit. I use it on my Lab once her puppies are weaned but still with us. The first time I used it, I forgot to undo the pouch when I took her out to "hurry." Oopsie. Never made that mistake again.
 

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I'd be curious of what you learn from the integrative vet. I do worry about mammary cancer but hemangio and lymphoma scare me more which are correlated with early spay. Ugh! there's no perfect answer.
it all comes down to you have to do what you are comfortable with. And when the science seems to match up (for me) as to early spay, why wouldn’t late spay (which my 19 month is considered) for increase in HSA match up?! I’m excited for the integrative vet. I’ve heard great things about her.
 

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I am trying to decide if I need to wait for one more heat cycle since I truly believe this is her first, or just spay after 18 months. We will see how this one goes. Maggie is my first female and have never experienced a heat cycle with a dog.
Jules
 

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My golden retriever Pixel is 10 months now. She is licking her vulva a lot in the past few days. I saw it is swollen but no bleeding. I hope it is not some infection, just her first heat is coming. I will bring her to check with the vet tomorrow. I want to get her spayed after her first heat. When did you spay your female golden? Instead of the normal spay surgery, is there any other options which is easier or keep the growing hormone? Thanks.
I recently asked my breeder what she recommended as there is so much contradictory information out there. She recommended to wait at least a year until her growth plates have closed and she has had her first heat.
 
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