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05 Jan 2005

Mating habits of dogs
Hi Doc

What is the age that dogs should be spayed at? A few people have told me that I should keep my dog away from the male during her firts period, and allow her to mate at her second period. They say that a dog has to have at least one litter or it will lose its spirit. Is this true? Do they have to have at least one litter? Do they mate during their period or after? How long does a period last?

Thanx
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Expert
CyberVet
cybervet

01 Jan 0001

It is absolutely not true that a dog must have a single litter before it is spayed. In fact, it rather poses a significant health risk to the bitch compared to the bitch that had never had pups. Once the bitch has gone through a season or has had pups, her chances of developing cancer of the mammary glands is much greater than a bitch that has never gone through a single season. Also, a bitch which is very young and has pups, may not develop fully as she is still a puppy the first time she comes into season. I can honestly only recommend you have her spayed without having her have a litter. The heat period lasts about three weeksand she will be mated during this period.

Dr Malan van Zyl
Veterinary Specialist Physician
Cape Town
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