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

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.

Estrus Symptoms After Spaying Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$350

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.

arrow-up-icon

Top

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.

arrow-up-icon

Top

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.

arrow-up-icon

Top

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.

arrow-up-icon

Top

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.

arrow-up-icon

Top

*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

arrow-up-icon

Top

Estrus Symptoms After Spaying Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

question-icon-cta

Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Chihuahua

dog-age-icon

Three Years

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Smell

My dog has been fixed but sometimes smells like period/fishy smell. Is this normal? She doesn’t act different sometimes she just smells even after being bathed.

July 20, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. That is not normal for dogs, no - she may have an infection that can be treated. It would be best to have her seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine her and see where the odor may be coming from, and get treatment so that she is healthy again. I hope that all goes well for her!

July 20, 2020

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Chihuahua

dog-age-icon

Three Years

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Smell

My dog has been fixed but sometimes smells like period/fishy smell. Is this normal? She doesn’t act different sometimes she just smells even after being bathed.

July 20, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. That is not normal for dogs, no - she may have an infection that can be treated. It would be best to have her seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine her and see where the odor may be coming from, and get treatment so that she is healthy again. I hope that all goes well for her!

July 20, 2020

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Chihuahua

dog-age-icon

Three Years

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Smell

My dog has been fixed but sometimes smells like period/fishy smell. Is this normal? She doesn’t act different sometimes she just smells even after being bathed.

July 20, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. That is not normal for dogs, no - she may have an infection that can be treated. It would be best to have her seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine her and see where the odor may be coming from, and get treatment so that she is healthy again. I hope that all goes well for her!

July 20, 2020

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Chihuahua

dog-age-icon

Three Years

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Smell

My dog has been fixed but sometimes smells like period/fishy smell. Is this normal? She doesn’t act different sometimes she just smells even after being bathed.

July 20, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. That is not normal for dogs, no - she may have an infection that can be treated. It would be best to have her seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine her and see where the odor may be coming from, and get treatment so that she is healthy again. I hope that all goes well for her!

July 20, 2020

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Chihuahua

dog-age-icon

Three Years

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Smell

My dog has been fixed but sometimes smells like period/fishy smell. Is this normal? She doesn’t act different sometimes she just smells even after being bathed.

July 20, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Gina U. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Hello I recommend bathing her weekly with a pet shampoo that has aloe and oatmeal in it. You can also try starting her on a skin vitamin like omega 3 fatty acids. If your dog goes outside, she may occasionally have an odor but it should go away. Good luck.

July 20, 2020

dog-name-icon

Nyla

dog-breed-icon

Labrador Retriever

dog-age-icon

19 Months

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

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Vaginal Bleeding

I adopted my dog a year ago from a local shelter, she was about 1 year 7 months old. It states on her paperwork that she was spayed. They also told me she had a litter. So I have had her a year! Just the last couple of days, though, she has had some bleeding. I took her to the vet and her bloodwork and urinalysis came back normal they said. They did give her a shot of antibiotic and some pills - a steroid taper that I am still finishing up. She seems to have stopped bleeding, but I am worried she is not okay. She is acting fine.

dog-name-icon

. Unfortunately she did not get to the vet. Can she still be helped or is she too old?

dog-breed-icon

terrier

dog-age-icon

9 Years

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

Moderate severity

thumbs-up-icon

1 found helpful

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Panting, Licking, A

My female dog is nine years old. She was spayed when she was a puppy. For the past few years she’s been showing signs like she goes into heat. Constantly panting , And licking. Unfortunately she did not get to the vet. Can she still be helped or is she too old?

dog-name-icon

Truffle

dog-breed-icon

Lab/Pit mix

dog-age-icon

10 Months

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

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Clear Liquid Dripping From Vulva

My 10 month old puppy Truffle got spayed yesterday and I brought her home today. She has clear liquid coming from her vulva and it looked like a string dangling that wouldn't come off unless wiped away. What can this be?

Estrus Symptoms After Spaying Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$350

Cannanine