Estrus Symptoms After Spaying in Dogs

Estrus Symptoms After Spaying in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Most common symptoms

Bleeding / Licking / Swelling / Vaginal Discharge

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Rated as moderate conditon

11 Veterinary Answers

Most common symptoms

Bleeding / Licking / Swelling / Vaginal Discharge

Ask a Vet
Estrus Symptoms After Spaying in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Jump to section

What is Estrus Symptoms After Spaying?

Female dogs go through several stages during their reproductive cycle. Symptoms of estrus usually occur about twice a year with an infertile resting period in between. The spaying operation, called an ovariohysterectomy, includes complete removal of the uterus and ovaries, the tissues that release hormones and create the estrus cycle. After spaying, your dog’s reproductive cycle should cease and she should not exhibit any more estrus symptoms. Sometimes however, over the course of the operation, part of the ovarian tissue is overlooked and left behind. This part may continue to release hormones which activate fertility and your dog may appear to be in heat even though she is no longer able to get pregnant. This is called ovarian remnant syndrome (ORS.) This condition is usually reversible with surgery. The longer the tissue is left, the higher the risk of complications.

Sometimes female dogs will continue to exhibit symptoms of being in heat after they have been spayed. This usually happens because part of the ovarian tissue was left behind during the operation. Veterinarians define this condition as ovarian remnant syndrome.

Symptoms of Estrus Symptoms After Spaying in Dogs

Your dog may develop symptoms shortly after the operation, especially if she was already in heat. Symptoms may be cyclical and resemble a normal period of estrus. Try to see a veterinarian during the time your dog is exhibiting symptoms:

  • Swelling of the vulva
  • Increased licking of the vulva
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Behavioral changes
  • Lifting the tail (flagging)
  • Standing to be mounted

Types

 

There are four periods to a female dog’s reproductive cycle. The first two constitute the fertile period of being in heat:

  • Proestrus – the pre-mating period which lasts for 7-10 days, symptoms include swollen vulva and vaginal bleeding
  • Estrus – the mating period which lasts up to 10 days, symptoms include flagging and attempted mating
  • Diestrus – the period when your dog is either pregnant or resting between mating cycles, it can last from 10 to 140 days
  • Anestrus – the non-fertile dormant period which lasts until the beginning of the next proestrus.

The time between cycles as well as the length of the mating period can vary based on the breed and the individual dog.

Causes of Estrus Symptoms After Spaying in Dogs

  • Failure to remove all of one or both ovaries during surgery
  • Accidental dropping of ovarian tissue into the abdominal cavity during surgery
  • Ectopic ovarian tissue – ovarian tissue which develops in another part of the body (rare)

Surgical error or poor technique is the cause of most problems, although occasionally a dog may have a genetic abnormality and generate ectopic tissue outside the ovaries.

Diagnosis of Estrus Symptoms After Spaying in Dogs

The veterinarian will be able to diagnose a swollen vulva and signs of bleeding on a physical examination. Anesthetic may be required to make a more thorough examination and insert a catheter to check that the blood is not coming from the urethra. Vaginoscopy will allow the veterinarian to examine the inside of the vagina to check for injuries or other problems. Biopsies of the vagina will often be also taken to evaluate estrogen levels. Bloodwork can often show elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone as well.

Ultrasound of the abdomen will usually reveal the presence of abnormal tissue. Some tissue can be difficult to see, so, if your dog has strong symptoms of estrus, the vet may decide to perform exploratory surgery even if the mass is not visible. Biopsies will be taken and any removed tissue will be evaluated for malignancy.

Cannanine

Treatment of Estrus Symptoms After Spaying in Dogs

Treatment of Estrus Symptoms after Spaying in Dogs

Surgery is the recommended treatment for ORS. The surgery is called an exploratory laparotomy. This is typically a low risk surgery, similar to the ovariohysterectomy that is performed during spaying, although the remaining tissue may be more difficult to locate. Your dog will likely be released the next day. You will need to check the incision for signs of infection and the veterinarian will schedule a two week follow-up appointment.

Some dogs with additional medical issues may not be good candidates for surgery. If this is the case, the veterinarian may still be able to treat your dog’s symptoms with medications that prevent her from going on heat, including megestrol acetate and milbolerone. You should discuss any medication with your veterinarian as these drugs often have significant side effects.

Recovery of Estrus Symptoms After Spaying in Dogs

Most dogs who receive surgery make a full recovery and do not have any further complications. If possible, it’s advisable to treat the condition through surgery, however. The longer the tissue remains in the body, the more likely it is to develop into a cancerous tumor. Studies of groups of dogs with ORS have found a link between the length of time after the original ovariohysterectomy and the development of malignant neoplasia.

If your dog is not able to have surgery, or if the veterinarian is not successful in finding the abnormal tissue, then the condition will have to be managed with medication. Try to use the medication with the least number of side-effects and the lowest possible dose. The behavioral changes in your dog can be difficult to manage, but they are not necessarily hazardous to her health. The main risk with untreated ORS is the increased chance of cancer development and this isn’t greatly affected by medication.

*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.

Estrus Symptoms After Spaying Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $300 - $1,200

Average Cost

$350

Estrus Symptoms After Spaying Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

dog-name-icon

Vada

dog-breed-icon

Pit bull

dog-age-icon

1 Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

thumbs-up-icon

1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Watery

1 year old female Pitbull. Sudden wet spots appear underneath my dog's rear area on the couch. After further investigation it is a clear thin odorless watery substance. The dog is spayed, and recently received her boosters! No issues with this ever before. Now the dog is forced to lay on towels everywhere she goes. Please dont tell me to go to the Vet we went to the vet today and paid $175 for them to say it's nothing to worry about.

Aug. 4, 2018

Vada's Owner

answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

Spotting of fluid may occur a few different reasons and may be related to a slight loss of urine incontinence (normally presents a few years after spaying), vaginitis or other discharge; without examining Vada I cannot say for certain and cannot look at the fluid. I would recommend returning to your Veterinarian (or calling them) to discuss possible spay incontinence or possible vaginitis. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 4, 2018

dog-name-icon

Lili

dog-breed-icon

Labrador Retriever

dog-age-icon

5 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair condition

thumbs-up-icon

1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Spotting Blood

I’m waiting for results on a blood test for ovarian remnant syndrome on my 5 year old Labrador. She was spayed 11 weeks ago and is spotting blood. Is this not a mistake by the vet if it comes back positive, that he did not do the job correctly first time?

July 30, 2018

Lili's Owner

answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

In cases like this, I don’t like the word mistake since it can be difficult to visualise the ovary in large and/or fat dogs; it would be best to read the article in the link below. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/38888/1/Ovarian%20Remnant%20Final%20Submission.pdf This article was published in a reputable British veterinary journal (read last two paragraphs of page two)

July 31, 2018

dog-name-icon

Mimi

dog-breed-icon

German Shepherd

dog-age-icon

One Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea

My dog, a one year old German Shepherd, was just spayed on a Thursday, July 19th. Since then, she has had diarrhea with the occasional vomiting. Other than those issues, she’s completely fine. I contacted the the vets and they said that it is normal for those symptoms, even without pain medication. How long after the surgery, should I begin to worry?

July 25, 2018

Mimi's Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

1611 Recommendations

Mimi may benefit from a bland diet, or probiotics if her diarrhea was caused by the stress of surgery. I would expect her signs to improve over the next few days, and if she is not improving, it would be a good idea to have her rechecked by her veterinarian.

July 25, 2018

dog-name-icon

Honey

dog-breed-icon

Pit bull

dog-age-icon

1 Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair condition

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Spotting Blood

Hello, My dog was spayed on May 28 of this year, it is now June 5th. Her incision healed up fine after a course of Clavamox because she had an allergic reaction to the sutures they used inside her body. Everything seemed normal after that, until I recently noticed she was spotting blood from her vulva. The bleeding was not super dense at first, but then it almost seemed like she was on her period. Every time she urinates there's at least a couple of drops of blood in it. She seems fine other wise, but I'm wondering if it may be ovarian remnant syndrome...the last thing I want is for her to have to go through surgery again.

June 5, 2018

Honey's Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

1611 Recommendations

Honey may have a bladder infection, or she may have a retained ovarian remnant. The best thing to do for her is to have her see a veterinarian, and have a urine sample checked. It isn't uncommon in larger breed dogs for them to develop a bladder infection after the surgery, and that may be what is going on. If she does have a remnant, she may need surgery again, but your veterinarian can examine her and advise you on what the best options for her are.

June 5, 2018

dog-name-icon

Hannah

dog-breed-icon

Mutt

dog-age-icon

10 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

thumbs-up-icon

-1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Yellow Discharge

Hi, my female dog was just spayed about 4 days ago. All seemed to be going well but she has yellow discharge coming out of her vagina. It's very little but it smells. Could this be a result of poor surgery technique or residual heat or a stump left in her? I am going to the vet in a few days but just want to check in

May 22, 2018

Hannah's Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

1611 Recommendations

4 days post op is early for any of the problems that you have mentioned, but sometimes dogs do have infections related to the surgery. She may be having normal discharge, or she may have an infection, but it is good that you are taking her in to make sure that she is okay.

May 22, 2018

dog-name-icon

Joss

dog-breed-icon

cockapoo

dog-age-icon

7 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Bleeding

My Cockapoo was spayed 18months ago. We have had 3 visits to the vet since with symptoms of swollen vulva and constant licking. The first visit was diagnosed as an infection antibiotics were prescribed. Around 6 months later same symptoms and lactating she was given hormone treatment and antibiotics. The most recent episode was vaginal bleeding I researched this on line and all symptoms pointed to ovarian remnant syndrome. I approached the vet and suddenly after over 900 pounds of tests it is ovarian remnant syndrome. The vet accepts no responsibility Now we are broke and feel very strongly that this is not our responsiblity. How can we fix this.

dog-name-icon

BELLA

dog-breed-icon

Bully/Pitt Bull

dog-age-icon

8 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

I found all of this information helpful but it still did not answer the one question that I was coming to find out. I have a 8 1/2 year old pitbull that was spayed a little over a year ago. We took her over to some friends where they had a male boxer and we paid no attention because she was spayed and somehow they manage to still lock... It did not last for long so it wasn't a full on lock but they were stuck together and she was in an immense amount of pain and then today she has been very whiney like in pain and she has vomited several times.... I know that for the 1st few weeks following the slaying ,it could be detrimental and possibly even deadly if a stud is able to get to them, but does this rule still apply year or so after? Please help, I'm low on money but I'm terrified that the stud may have really hurt my Bella

dog-name-icon

Betty

dog-breed-icon

Redbone Coonhound

dog-age-icon

4 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair condition

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Discharge,
Discharge, Licking

My rescue pup is 4.5 months old. She was spayed at the shelter. But every so often she has discharge - yellowish. Not sure if it’s worth all the money to go to the vet?

dog-name-icon

Sophie

dog-breed-icon

potcake

dog-age-icon

1 Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Swollen Vulva And Nipples

We adopted our dog from St. Lucia, where she was spayed at a very young age. She's a year now and the last few months we've noticed her vulva and nipples are enlarged/swollen. Is this likely ovarian remnant syndrome? Or could this be something else? To check if she has ovarian remnant syndrome, is a blood test recommended? If it comes back negative, what else can it be?

dog-name-icon

Sweetness

dog-breed-icon

chihuahua mix

dog-age-icon

4 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical condition

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Vicious Behavior

My 4yr old Chihuahua was a rescue. She was fine with my other female dog til she went in heat. In heat she started viciously attacking my little dog. We had her spayed while still in heat, about 2 months ago. We brought her home and she is still viciously attack my other baby every chance she gets. I am so distraught and having a bad case of nerves. When I try to separate them it is horrible. It is like she is so zoned out and she has bitten me 4 times and I am scared to death she will kill my Baby. Not to mention the biting hurts horribly. How long does it take for hormones to die down, and what can I do? When not around my Baby, who is 7 years old, she is sweet. But I can not accept this behavior. My Baby has been fixed many years ago, and the other dog has affected my Baby's life style.

Estrus Symptoms After Spaying Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $300 - $1,200

Average Cost

$350

Cannanine