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Discussion Starter #1
hi, just wanted to ask when do our furbabies get their first season? what can i expect with regard to behaviour changes etc?

Dixie has been licking her little flower (genitals) alot more lately (she's 5 and abit months). Today, i noticed she's lick lick lick and wen i had a look she is very pink, and tiny bit of red colour inside the split and the hairs are wet around from the constant licking! blur!

so, doubt its her first season or anything? she's probably just caught herself?

but it made me think and i'd like to know what to expect
her personality is the same

thanks
 

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Dogs can come into heat for the first time as early as 5&1/2 or 6 months, but usually the toy breeds are a bit later.

Do you plan to have Dixie spayed? Now would be a good time to do it as the health benefits from spaying are maximized if a dog is spayed before her first heat.

Did you know that a dog spayed before her first heat has only a 1% chance of developing mammary tumors as opposed to 50% in intact (non-spayed) females over age 5?

If she's licking herself a lot, you might want to have her checked for a urinary tract infection, especially if she has to pee more often.

UTI's, BTW, are more common in unspayed female dogs, too!

This is from the Humane Society of the United States:

Spaying or Neutering Is Good for Your Pet

Spaying and neutering helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives.
Spaying and neutering can eliminate or reduce the incidence of a number of health problems that can be very difficult or expensive to treat.
Spaying eliminates the possibility of uterine or ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the incidence of breast cancer, particularly when your pet is spayed before her first estrous cycle.
Neutering eliminates testicular cancer and decreases the incidence of prostate disease.
Spaying or Neutering Is Good for You

Spaying and neutering makes pets better, more affectionate companions.
Neutering cats makes them less likely to spray and mark territory.
Spaying a dog or cat eliminates her heat cycle. Estrus lasts an average of six to 12 days, often twice a year, in dogs and an average of six to seven days, three or more times a year, in cats. Females in heat can cry incessantly, show nervous behavior, and attract unwanted male animals.
Unsterilized animals often exhibit more behavior and temperament problems than do those who have been spayed or neutered.
Spaying and neutering can make pets less likely to bite.
Neutering makes pets less likely to roam the neighborhood, run away, or get into fights.
Spaying and Neutering Are Good for the Community

Communities spend millions of dollars to control unwanted animals.
Irresponsible breeding contributes to the problem of dog bites and attacks.
Animal shelters are overburdened with surplus animals.
Stray pets and homeless animals get into trash containers, defecate in public areas or on private lawns, and frighten or anger people who have no understanding of their misery or needs.
Some stray animals also scare away or kill birds and wildlife.
Fix That Bunny!

When being conscientious about the pet overpopulation, don’t forget to spay or neuter your pet rabbit. Altering rabbits can reduce hormone-driven behavior such as lunging, mounting, spraying, and boxing. Spaying females can prevent ovarian, mammarian, and uterine cancers, which can be prevalent in mature does. Also, rabbits reproduce faster than dogs or cats and are the third-most surrendered animal to shelters.

Spay or neuter surgery carries a one-time cost that is relatively small when one considers its benefits. It's a small price to pay for the health of your pet and the prevention of more unwanted animals.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
hello, we haven't discussed this as an option, just because she doesn't go out of my site so no chance of getting caught out. didn't realise all those health benefits though.

i wonder how much that would cost in england ... she's still licking... eek
 

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Originally posted by beccypaul@Feb 23 2005, 12:23 PM
hello, we haven't discussed this as an option, just because she doesn't go out of my site so no chance of getting caught out. didn't realise all those health benefits though.

i wonder how much that would cost in england ... she's still licking... eek
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You may want to call some vets... the price may vary among them. Doing this now will save money in the long run due to it helping her avoid certain medical issues. Just about every responsible dog owner in America spays and neuters. The operative word though is "responsble".
 

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Along with Marj's good reasons another good reason to get her spayed is just the pure fact that it's more sanitary. You don't want her bleeding all over your couch, bed, and carpets.
Also the first heat is usually light and some owners don’t even notice their dogs went through it because there wasn't any blood. The dog can lick up all the blood if there isn't that much so it's not as noticeable.
I would research the cost of a spay in your area. Ask your local shelter and vets. You can also look online for low cost spay and neuter.
You can help your pet live a long and healthy life by getting her spayed.
 

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Originally posted by beccypaul@Feb 23 2005, 12:23 PM
hello, we haven't discussed this as an option, just because she doesn't go out of my site so no chance of getting caught out. didn't realise all those health benefits though.

i wonder how much that would cost in england ... she's still licking... eek
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Just because she doesn't go out of your sight now doesn't mean Dixie wouldn't when in heat. The urge to mate in both sexes is very strong and dogs can become escape artists so you can't say that she has no chance of being caught out. An unplanned mating with a larger dog can be fatal for a tiny Maltese.

The scent of a female dog in heat can carry for miles. You will have male dogs waiting on your doorstep, just hoping that she will escape. They will fight with each other and can become aggressive towards people who come in contact with them, too.

My opinion (and, yes, I know I am opinionated on this subject) is that everyone who gets a puppy should expect and be prepared for the cost of spaying or neutering at 6 months. You have 2 puppies now, don't you? That's double the expense, but a major part of responsible pet ownership, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
no, i only have one. my auntie has her sister.

i appreciate your opinion and need to do some research.

What about the licking and slight redness? do you think this is a sign?
 

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I think only your vet could tell you for sure. I would take her in with a urine sample to rule out a UTI and ask about their spay prices when you are there. Fantasia licks down there often and when I asked the vet he said it wasn't a UTI and I should just stop her when she does it because the licking was irritating her and causing her to bleed a tiny bit. It's hard to make her stop but I try. She will even continue to lick even when I push her head away. She just goes back to licking or she will leave and lick out of my sight. She's a snot that way.
 

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Originally posted by FannyMay@Feb 23 2005, 12:48 PM
I think only your vet could tell you for sure.  I would take her in with a urine sample to rule out a UTI and ask about their spay prices when you are there.  Fantasia licks down there often and when I asked the vet he said it wasn't a UTI and I should just stop her when she does it because the licking was irritating her and causing her to bleed a tiny bit.  It's hard to make her stop but I try.  She will even continue to lick even when I push her head away.  She just goes back to licking or she will leave and lick out of my sight.  She's a snot that way.
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It would seem that something is bothering her "down there". Is it normal to lick so much? My first Maltese, Rosebud, would get infections in her vagina and it would be very red and look almost bloody. The vet had me squirt some sort of medicine up there. You might want to have your vet check Fantasia out in that regard. All that licking just doesn't seem "right" to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
they are funny little things.

i will take her to the vet for a check and discuss spaying/neutering with him

thanks
 

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beccypaul,
I am glad you are taking her to the vet and discussing spaying.

Kallie/Catcher's Mom,
I did take her to the vet. He checked her urine and he checked "down there" and she wasn't happy about it either. He said he didn't see any bleeding or anything unusual so she probably just irritated it with her licking and made it bleed that time I noticed. He said to stop her from licking too much or it would bleed again. She also has a problem with licking and chewing her paws but her old vet just shrugged it off and said to stop her when she does it. That's even harder to stop.
It's been less than a year since that check up. It was not her yearly, I brought her in because I was concerned with her licking and the bleeding. Her yearly is coming up. I have to make an appointment for next month. I assume it's going to be the same answer though when I bring it up. I am going to bring up the paw chewing too because it's really getting bad. I don't think it's her food because she has been doing it for a couple years now and she has been on several different foods before we decided on Canidae and she still does it. It's not yeast either because I checked and there is no smell or color. Hopefully the vet can figure it out. I would hate to change her food again now that we found a good one.
 

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We use the white tissue test. When you get some blood, they're in heat. Their vulva will also start to well up quite a bit.

With all of the licking, I would be worried about a UTI, but she may just be a very early bloomer as well. I agree with spaying her if you aren't planning to show and health test her and breed under a mentor. It is much healthier for them to be spayed.
 

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Originally posted by JMM@Feb 23 2005, 02:12 PM
Their vulva will also start to well up quite a bit.
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YEAH! That is sooooo noticeable! I freaked when I saw that! And also, their nipples may swell a little bit.
 

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Originally posted by FannyMay@Feb 23 2005, 01:39 PM
beccypaul,
I am glad you are taking her to the vet and discussing spaying.

Kallie/Catcher's Mom,
I did take her to the vet.  He checked her urine and he checked "down there" and she wasn't happy about it either.  He said he didn't see any bleeding or anything unusual so she probably just irritated it with her licking and made it bleed that time I noticed.  He said to stop her from licking too much or it would bleed again.  She also has a problem with licking and chewing her paws but her old vet just shrugged it off and said to stop her when she does it.  That's even harder to stop. 
It's been less than a year since that check up.  It was not her yearly, I brought her in because I was concerned with her licking and the bleeding.  Her yearly is coming up.  I have to make an appointment for next month.  I assume it's going to be the same answer though when I bring it up.  I am going to bring up the paw chewing too because it's really getting bad.  I don't think it's her food because she has been doing it for a couple years now and she has been on several different foods before we decided on Canidae and she still does it.  It's not yeast either because I checked and there is no smell or color.  Hopefully the vet can figure it out.  I would hate to change her food again now that we found a good one.
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Gosh, that is perplexing. .... do you know if he scoped her? I believe I remember that my vet looked in Rosebud's vagina with some sort of tiny scope ??

However, based on what you are saying, I'm wondering then if she isn't allergic to something in her food, even though Canidae is a good food and you've switched a lot... could there be a common ingredient in these foods that she is allergic to? If she is licking because she itches it must be terribly uncomfortable for her ???

If this vet doesn't take all this licking and chewing seriously then I'd find another one. Surely he doesn't think it is A-OK for her to be so uncomfortable as to be constantly licking and chewing?
 

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I agree that you should check with your vet about spay/neuter. We once had a cocker spaniel (the one we made all our mistakes with) who went into heat before I could get her spayed. It was kind of a mess. Little droplets of blood here and there. Not having them go into heat makes everything so much easier, IMHO. Plus its better for them and for the dog population of the world.
 

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This is a bit off topic, but our breeder is upset with us that we have scheduled our pup's spay for next week. She will be six months, exactly. The breeder feels we should wait til she's eight or nine months old. According to her, Malts are very slow to mature and don't go into heat until then. The vet doesn't agree, and I am inclined to go with her over the breeder on this issue. Could there be any harm in having her spayed at this point? I mean other than general surgical risks? My vet was telling me that six months is now a bit late for a spay. She does larger breed dogs at 4 months.
 

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Originally posted by saltymalty@Feb 23 2005, 08:08 PM
This is a bit off topic, but our breeder is upset with us that we have scheduled our pup's spay for next week.  She will be six months, exactly.  The breeder feels we should wait til she's eight or nine months old.  According to her, Malts are very slow to mature and don't go into heat until then.  The vet doesn't agree, and I am inclined to go with her over the breeder on this issue.  Could there be any harm in having her spayed at this point?  I mean other than general surgical risks?  My vet was telling me that six months is now a bit late for a spay.  She does larger breed dogs at 4 months.
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I had my first Malt and Kallie spayed at exactly 6 months. How much does Valletta weigh?
 

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I would go with the vet's advice. I had Sassy and Sadie spayed at 6 months and 2 weeks. They each weighed around 4.5 pounds. I this vet specializes in smaller animals, then he/she knows her stuff.
 
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