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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19257
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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Jane, Lilly, my female shitzu has just started to spot blood

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Jane, Lilly, my female shitzu has just started to spot blood and her vulva is swollen. If I've understood you correctly she is already in heat but had always thought that they had their period first and Then went into heat.
Either way I going to keep a keen eye on the males at the 'dog club' on walks! Kindest regards, woof!
Oliver and Lilly
Hello, I'm Dr Gary. I've been practicing veterinary medicine since 2007. I look forward to helping with your questions/ concerns.

There are different stages to estrous or a heat cycle. The spotting and bleeding is typically seen in proestrus. They are not ovulating at this time. This stage lasts ~ 9 days. They then ovulate and go into estrus. They are fertile at this point for ~ 9 days, but anywhere from 3-21.

You should keep her away from males for the next month to be safe. Once out of heat, you can spay her if you don't plan on breeding her.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19257
Experience: DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
Dr. Gary and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Dr Gary, Thanks very much for this! It clarifies the situation perfectly and I have just one, well 3 follow ups. My daughter Clara(whose dog it is and the one who wanted her to have puppies) is now calmly sitting in Oxford, while I'm the one looking after Lilly and if I'm honest, wary of the dangers of a large litter that we would in any case just sell or give away... What is the point of 'breeding' if you're not a professional? Will Lilly 'miss' the experience of not having children?! Is she less likely to catch something nasty if she is spayed - in short should she be spayed if no litter is envisaged? You are the umpire on this one! Kindest, Oliver

I am an ER vet, so I see all the problems with breeding and intact dogs. I would only advise breeding if it is to promote the breed and improve the quality of the breed. This means having the stud and bitch checked over for any congenital problems and making sure they are healthy and good representatives of the breed. The next step would be to have a good 2000-3000 set aside to deal with the breeding. This would cover a c-section, if needed, and puppy care. The bitch would need x-rays before whelping, an ultrasound at some point and then x-rays and an exam after whelping. This is pricey. Breeding dogs is an expensive hobby, not a way to make money.

It really bothers me when people come in with a dog that has been in labor for 12-24 hours and no money to pay for the c-section. I have had to euthanize dogs, including the litter in them, on occasion. It really sucks to be in that position. Shih Tzu's are a breed that commonly requires c-sections given their larger heads and narrow pelvis.

Once older, there is the risk of Pyometra (infection in the uterus) when not spayed. This is another good reason to spay when healthy. We also run a much higher risk of developing mammary cancer in dogs that are intact.

I hope I made my point! Spay her!

Hi Oliver,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Lilly. How is everything going?

Dr. Gary
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dr G,

She's fine thanks but reluctant to go far on her usual walk - perhaps 'cos she knows that the boys will be there - indeed I had to pick her up yesterday to keep a sex-craved acquaintance at bay - I shall take your advice in a few weeks (though haven't heard from Clara yet!) O

ps Gave you a glowing report and thank you!

You're welcome.

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