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I've never owned a female dog. I read that toy dogs have heat cycles at a earlier age. Gigi is 9 months. I haven't decided if I would spay her or not. I have no intention of breeding and she is strictly a house dog and not around male dogs.

I'm just wondering what is the average age Chi's have their first heat and will I be able to tell by her behavior? Could she have had one and I missed it or is it something you can't really miss?
 

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H i! If I were you I would spay just to be on the safe side. It also prevents her chances of different cancers. Toy dogs can come into their 1st cycle up to 11 months of age. You will know as you will see a bloody disharge.
If you live in the USA there are many low cost spay programs available. You will be doing your female a favor as soon as possible.
 

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I believe I read recently that the rate of mammary cancer in unspayed female dogs is 25%. (I'll try to find the article tomorrow when I'm not on my cell phone.) The surgery to remove tumors can be a lot more invasive than a spay (it can involve taking out the mammary glands completely which involves long incisions on the abdomen). My mom had the same mentality about our female cat and never got her spayed. The cat was miserable each time she went into heat and she now has aggressive mammary cancer that our vet says won't benefit from treatment (too painful, too expensive and the cancer is in her bloodstream already so it won't help). It sprung up very suddenly. She is only 7 years old and still very kitten-like. It's a shame that her life will be cut short by this..
 

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It's normal she hasn't had a heat cycle yet. They can have them from 5-12 months...depends on the dog. Lulu is 9 months & has yet to have a heat (she's being shown so no spay for her) but after talking to her breeder found out her mom was 11 months when she had her first heat so the fact she's not had a heat yet is normal for her lines.

Anyway, if you have no intention of breeding or showing spaying is the best thing for her & will be less of a pain/inconvinience for you as well. I would definitely suggest spaying...
 

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You will know for sure, she will be irritable and there will be bloody discharge. I would spay her! It is better for the dog and a lot easier for you. Especially if you don't intend on breeding or showing her.

Even if she is an inside dog, crap happens. She could get out of the house, or get away from you at a dog park. It would only take one such incident to end up with puppies you don't want. Sure the chances are low, but it's better to be safe than sorry, right? Not to mention the health benefits of spaying.

If cost is an issue, check your local animal shelter for low cost spaying. Mine offers a voucher for people who can't afford to spay or neuter their dogs and cats. Your vet might know about resources too.

Luna+Ichi
 
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