It might seem like a simple question to some, but “Can spayed dogs go into heat?” is one that many dog owners ask.
Your dog is an integral part of your family, and you want to do everything to keep her healthy. Part of this is making sure that she gets spayed to not add to the pet overpopulation problem.
One common misconception is that once your dog spays, she will never go into heat again. Here is what you need to know about the heat cycle in spayed dogs and why it can happen.
Spaying (ovariohysterectomy) eliminates the possibility of heat cycles, pregnancy, and uterine infections. While many people assume that female dogs cannot experience a heat cycle after being spayed, this is not true.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), it is possible for a spayed female dog to show false signs of estrus and even bleed vaginally.
To understand why spayed dogs go into heat, you need to know how the reproductive system of female dogs works. Every month, the female dog ovulates and releases eggs, and it causes the bleeding that we see as a “heat cycle.” If she mates with a male during this time, she can become pregnant.
Spaying removes the parts of the ovaries and uterus that create hormones in preparation for mating and pregnancy, so there are no eggs released from these areas.
However, female dogs still have other parts of the reproductive system that produce hormones, such as the adrenal glands in the kidneys or portions of the ovary left behind by an incomplete spay or regrowth after a complete spay.
These areas continue to release hormones even though there are no eggs to be fertilized, so your dog may continue to have heat cycles after being spayed.
2) Dog spayed while in heat
It’s not a great idea to spay a dog while she’s in heat. While it’s physically possible to do so, it can be a more complicated surgery than usual. Some risks are associated with this procedure, and we do recommend waiting until she is out of heat before performing the surgery.
The main difference between spaying a dog while in heat and spaying her while she is not in heat is the increased risk of bleeding.
The endometrium — the tissue lining the uterus — swells up during the estrus cycle and becomes more difficult to remove from the body when the spay procedure performs. Bleeding during or after surgery can lead to more severe complications, such as prolonged anesthesia time and post-operative infection.
Other potential differences include:
- A longer recovery time:Bleeding can require veterinarians to spend extra time suturing incisions and cleaning the abdomen.
- More pain medication needed: Bleeding can cause a lot of pain and discomfort, so veterinarians may need to use larger doses of pain medication or change their technique to minimize pain for your pet.
- Increased cost: Bleeding typically adds extra time to an already lengthy surgery, increasing surgery cost.
3) Spayed dog in heat behavior
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3) Spayed dog in heat behavior
If your dog has been spayed and is in heat, she is experiencing a phantom heat cycle. During a phantom heat, your dog may act as if she is going through a regular heat cycle. She may bleed or have vaginal discharge (a yellowish liquid).
You’re once calm and collected pooch may be decidedly moody and become very affectionate toward you and other family members. The mood swings should subside after the first week or so.
She may want to escape from the house to seek out male dogs for companionship. In some instances, she could get into fights with other dogs in her attempt to solicit attention from them. She may also be more vocal during this time than expected.
A non-spayed female dog goes into heat about every six months. Phantom heat can occur at any time following the procedure, and it generally occurs within the first two years following the surgery.
4) Can a spayed dog still give off a scent?
A female dog that spays will not come into heat, and the dog will not give off the same scent that an intact female will attract a male. Your dog may still “mark” objects in your home or yard with urine.
But a spayed dog can give off a scent. Being spayed will not change the fact that your dog has an odor, and that’s because spaying will only remove the uterus and ovaries of a female dog.
At the same time, there are still other organs in places like the anal glands, kidneys, and stray pheromones responsible for producing scent.
If you think your dog’s odor is becoming more apparent or noticeable than it used to be, you may consider taking your pet to see the vet. Your veterinarian could help you determine whether or not underlying medical conditions are causing this change in scent (or if there was one before).
5) Can a spayed dog get pregnant?
A dog cannot get pregnant after she has been spayed. It is a common myth that a dog can get pregnant if she is spayed during her heat cycle; it is not the case. If a dog spays during her heat cycle, she will immediately protect herself from unwanted pregnancy.
The ovaries remove during the spay procedure, and there are no eggs to be fertilized.
Spaying does not always prevent a female dog from going into pregnancy, and this condition refers to as pseudopregnancy or false pregnancy. Pseudopregnancy occurs when pregnancy hormones produce, but a dog is not pregnant.
It can happen in both spayed and non-spayed females, but it is more common in those who are not sterilized. Signs of pseudopregnancy include milk production, weight gain, reduced appetite, and nesting behaviors.
Pseudopregnancy generally lasts for about three weeks but can continue as long as six weeks in some dogs.
The symptoms of pseudopregnancy are similar to those of actual pregnancy, so you should see your veterinarian if you think your dog might be pregnant or experiencing a false.
6) Why is my spayed dog bleeding?
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It’s normal for a dog to bleed after being spayed. The blood may be bright red at first but will turn darker as the endometrial (uterine) tissue dies off. The bleeding should taper off over time until it stops completely (usually within two weeks).
Contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice more than just spotting or if the bleeding suddenly worsens.
The bleeding is generally light, but it can get heavier in some dogs. There are many signs of bleeding that you can look out for:
- Swelling of the vulva
- A slight discharge from the vulva
- Bloodstains on your pet’s bedding and furniture
- Blood in your pet’s urine and feces
- Your pet is trying to urinate more frequently than usual
7) How long does a dog stay in the heat after being spayed?
Some dogs are in heat for a long time, and others are only in heat for a few days. A spaying procedure performs to remove your female dog’s ovaries and uterus, thereby preventing the dog from going into heat.
A female dog in heat may be very uncomfortable and experience several symptoms.
When a dog goes into heat, she will bleed. The bleeding can be light, moderate, or heavy. She may only bleed for a few days to a week; however, it can last as long as three weeks. In addition to the bleeding, your dog may become moody or irritable.
A female dog in heat will also urinate more often because she tries to attract male dogs.
The heat cycle in an average female dog lasts six months; however, it can last anywhere from 5 days to 21 days. A female dog is ready to mate when bleeding occurs with the swollen vulva.
8) Female dog hormone imbalance after spaying
Two hormones called estrogen and progesterone, control a female dog’s reproductive cycle. During the heat cycle, levels of these hormones rise through the proestrus, estrus, and diestrus phases.
The rising estrogen followed by increasing progesterone causes ovulation, allowing a dog for breeding and pregnant.
After spaying, a female dog’s hormone levels drop significantly. Because the ovaries no longer release the hormones estrogen and progesterone, the dog’s body begins to rely on the adrenal glands to produce these hormones.
The adrenal glands of non-spayed dogs produce only a tiny amount of estrogen and progesterone. After spaying, these hormones’ production increases to maintain an average hormone balance.
The increase may not be sufficient, however, causing the dog to experience symptoms of low estrogen levels. The symptoms include incontinence and urinary tract infections.
After spaying, low estrogen levels also reduce bone density, making it more difficult for a female dog to heal from bone fractures. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, low bone density is also one of the causes of arthritis in older dogs.
9) Do female dogs get periods after being spayed?
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the answer is “No”. Spaying a female dog will eliminate any future estrus cycles and prevent pregnancy and uterine infections.
When a dog spays, she will no longer have her regular heat cycles—the procedure performed on female dogs between 5 and 8 months.
However, they go through a false heat cycle; the dog can still have a blood-tinged discharge for a few days after spaying. Sometimes, it depends on the dog. Some dogs stop bleeding within 24 hours of being spayed, and some take several days.
To be safe, you should probably keep it inside for a week or two after the surgery to make sure the dog will not bleed anymore.
10) Female spayed dog acting strange
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It is not unusual. Spaying is major surgery, and your dog will go through some discomfort as the incisions heal. The dog may also have some mood swings due to the anesthesia. If a female spayed dog is acting strange, it could signify a serious medical condition.
A female spayed dog is fixed and cannot have puppies. A female spayed dog that acts strange may also suffer from separation anxiety.
An owner said: “She walks around in circles and even goes to the bathroom on herself. She also is acting very aggressively towards other dogs. After spaying, she doesn’t want to be touched and has started growling at her owners”.
It could be dangerous if she begins to lick at her incision site, and it could lead to an open wound on the skin that would need to be treated by a vet, or you could end up with a severe infection on your hands.
11) Recovery for spayed dogs
After the dog returns home, it is essential to keep your dog calm and quiet for a few days so she can heal properly. She should not be allowed to run or jump during this time because it could cause her stitches to open.
Your dog may have more complications after surgery and need a second operation to repair the tear if this happens. While you can neuter your pet during her life, it’s best to have it done for optimal health benefits when she is young — usually around six months of age.
It takes about two weeks for your dog to recover from spaying surgery fully. During this time, you should continue limiting your dog’s activity level, which will help prevent complications and allow it to heal faster.
You can expect your vet to perform a physical exam on your pet before surgery and take X-rays to ensure there are no abnormalities within her abdominal cavity.
12) How are female dogs spayed?
- The first step in preparing a female dog for spaying is to clean her and shave an area from her stomach to her hind legs. It helps ensure that the area is sterile and prevents stray hairs from getting into the incision site.
- Then, you will administer a general anesthetic through an intravenous catheter or gas anesthesia to put your dog to sleep.
- Once your dog is in deep anesthesia, a small incision will make around the umbilicus, through which the ovaries and uterus will be identified and removed by the veterinarian.
- Once all of the reproductive organs are removed, they will close the incision with stitches (sutures), and it will be bandaged or stapled shut.
- The entire procedure takes 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how many other animals are still being spayed or neutered that day.
13) Spaying dogs benefits
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There are many benefits to spaying your dog:
- It eliminates heat cycles and prevents unwanted pregnancies.
- It decreases behavioral problems such as aggression and roaming, leading to injury or death from cars or fights with other animals.
- It reduces the incidence of mammary tumors. A dog spayed before its first heat has a 0.5% risk of mammary cancer. A dog spayed after one heat has an 8% risk of mammary cancer, which increases with each subsequent heat.
- It decreases the risk of pyometra, a life-threatening infection of the uterus.
- It helps prevent unwanted puppies which euthanize in shelters.
- It helps reduce the homeless pet population.
- It eliminates the “heat” cycle in female dogs.
- Spaying increases your canine buddy’s life by 2-3 years.
14) Dogs spaying and neutering
Spaying is the procedure of surgical removal of a female canine’s ovaries and uterus. The medical term for this procedure is an ovariohysterectomy, and your veterinarian will remove both ovaries and the uterus.
Neutering is a standard surgical procedure performed in male dogs. The operation involves removing both testicles through incisions made in the scrotum. When performed by a veterinarian, the surgery is very safe.
Neutering your dog often adds years to his life. Neutering eliminates the chance of testicular tumors and decreases the risk of prostate melanoma, perianal lumps, and hernias.
Sterilizing can help your canine friend live a lengthier, better, and healthier life. It helps control the dog pennilessness disaster, causing millions of hale and hearty dogs to be euthanized in the United States each year due to the unavailability of enough homes.
15) Can Dogs Go Into Heat After Being Spayed?
The ovaries and uterus are removed when a dog spays, eliminating all reproductive capabilities. However, even though the spay surgery eliminates the possibility of your dog going into heat, it does not eliminate the physical symptoms associated with it.
As a pet parent, you are liable for keeping your female doggie healthy, strong, and safe. Spaying keeps your furry fellow healthy. But spaying doesn’t always prevent a dog from experiencing false heat, which is when the cycle occurs without ovulation.
Some veterinarians believe that the ovaries are not entirely removed during the procedure, while others feel that the hormonal changes in the body may cause this to happen.
Dogs that go into heat are fertile and can get pregnant unless they spay. A false heat means your dog went through one or more cycle stages without actually ovulating.
False heats happen in dogs that are not neutered and in dogs that have been surgically sterilized but still have some reproductive remnants and hormones left over in their bodies.
Spaying is thesurgical sterilization of a female pet. It involves the removal of the ovariesand uterus through an incision in the animal’s abdomen that will keep a dogfrom going into heat. But in rare cases, the female dog can go into false heat that does not lead to pregnancy.
A Sterilize dog may live longer, and better than those dogs that aren’t sterilized or spayed. And that means you’ll have moreyears to enjoy them!