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GNRH implant

Species: Dog
Breed: Golden Retriever
Age: 1-2 years
I am asking about the GnRH implant to bring
a dog into heat. MY FIRST MAIN QUESTION IS,
DOES A DOG NEED TO HAVE HAD THEIR FIRST HEAT
IN ORDER FOR THE IMPLANT BE SUCCESSFUL? I have
2 female Goldens that are over a year old and
neither one has had their first heat yet, so I
wanted to know for future reference.
What is the fertile success rate of the implant? Can a dog come into heat naturally on
its own afterwards if they have never had any
natural heats? Are they fairly safe?
I was thinking about this as a possibility later this year if neither dog comes into heat.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

There are some dogs who don't have a heat until after two years of age, so don't give up hope! Your girls may yet come into heat on their own.

The GNRH implant is also known as deslorelin or ovuplant. It usually works 90% of the time and produces a heat cycle within 5-7 days. The implant is inserted under the skin inside the vulva of the dog. Usually a dog will need to be sedated in order to do this. Then, when it is time for breeding (i.e. 10-14 days into the heat) it is removed.

You asked about the "fertile rate of success"....really the only thing I can tell you is that it is 90% successful at causing a dog to come into heat. It won't really have any bearing on whether or not she gets pregnant and holds a pregnancy though.

I don't know whether your girls could have a normal heat afterwards, but I really can't see why not.

Regarding safety, I could only find one study on safety and this was done on horses and not dogs. It is considered very safe in horses. A few horses had some mild swelling at the injection site. The fact that I couldn't find any safety issues in dogs is a good thing and likely means that it is safe!

If these were my patients I would definitely recommend waiting at least until they are 2. Most likely they will come into heat on their own!

Hope that helps!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I just realized I didn't answer part of your question. You asked whether a dog had to have already had a heat in order for this to work, and the answer is no. It has been used successfully in dogs as young as 4 months of age, so no prior heat is necessary.



Customer reply:

MY MAIN QUESTION WAS:
I HAD HEARD FROM A BREEDER THAT THE DOG WOULD NEED TO HAVE A
FIRST HEAT ON THEIR OWN IN ORDER FOR THE IMPLANT TO WORK.
IS THIS TRUE?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

No, it's not true. It is used quite often to bring a dog into heat who has never had a heat before.



Customer reply:

My other Golden who is 2 years old had a few brown stain periodically for around 3 weeks after coming into heat 4 1/2 months previously.
She would not be receptive to the male at any time. Could
this be a non fertile or false heat? If it wss a silent heat
would that affect her receptiveness to the male? I am not
sure what to make of it.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

It definitely sounds like that was a heat. It could have been a silent heat where she just didn't display any outward signs that she wanted to breed.

There are other possibilities. If the male was inexperienced, or if he lives with her all the time sometimes they just don't do the right things.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.