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Female maturation?
by Leslie R
Female maturation? I have noticed a few changes in Phoebe in the past week and am curious if these are signs of "growing up"? At five and a half months she has lost over half of her baby teeth, her tear stains have greatly reduced. During some of her play time she is exhibiting a gentle agression; wrapping herself around my wrist and hanging on and so on. She is spending noticeably more time washing her genitals and there is a brownish tinge instead of the yellow hint from urine. Is she in early stages of estrus? I have her scheduled for spay surgery the third week of March - (she will be six months old on March 8th) or can move it up two weeks & I'm frankly confused! I haven't dealt with female maturity in a long long time - so appreciate any advice that anybody can give me.


Lucky went through her "maturity" just before Christmas and started bleeding Christmas Day (what a present, huh!) I noticed that before she actually bled, her genitals enlarged a little more than normal. She was "humping" everything from her favorite stuffed animal to my mom's arm (which was quite embarassing). I called my vet to see if I could have her fixed and they said that they would have to wait until she was out of heat. I guess there could be more blood loss than usual if they tried to fix her during that time. I have her scheduled for surgery this Friday and am feeling a little anxious about it. She doesn't have to stay overnight but was wondering how sensitive they are to their scar. Which is why I'll probably post a message about it. Good luck with your situation!

Steph - how old is your Lucky? I haven't noticed any swelling with Phoebe, but that's why I wondered if she was in early stages.....
Leslie R
Hi Lesley: Lucky is 10 months right now but she was only 8 months when she went through her heat. Phoebe seems too young to do what she's doing but I think Lucky was just around Phoebe's age when she was starting to hump her stuffed rabbit and lose her baby teeth rapidly. Her agression has tamed down a bit and she's become a lot more independent (not having to always follow me around the house) so I think it's a good thing as well. Good luck and keep me updated on how things go!
Leslie ! I would wait til she is over her first heat, that way she will have all her female characteristics. You need to wait @ 30 days after she is thru with her cycle, that way no un-neccesary bleeding and complications ! Some vets like to spay as early as 3 month...nuts to them ! They just want their money as quickly as possible ! Good luck ! Don't worry @ the rest !
Actually, its better to spay before the first heat. That way you almost elminate chances of mammary tumors when they get older. With really little dogs though (under 3lbs), you may want to wait a bit longer though. I don't like the idea of spaying at under 6 months, some vets do this with rescue dogs and shelter pups so they don't have to worry about the new owner not having them spayed/neutered later. It sounds to me like she is just starting to get those female hormones going. This is a good thing IMO (although the agression should be discouraged). You want them to have the hormones needed for proper growth and maturation (hence, waiting until 6 months of age), but don't want them to get so much that they are prone to mammary tumors and other estrogen sensitive cancers (hence, doing it before the first heat). Spaying while in heat is not a good idea, (more bleeding, more fragile tissue, etc.), but your vet can determine if she is in heat when you take her in. I'd keep the appointment unless she shows any more obvious signs.

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