Dog ate chocolate?

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How often is heat cycle?

Species: Dog
Breed: Labrador
Age: 5-8 years
Bonnie is a pure chocolate labrador & was 6 in september (2011). I'm wondering how often labs go 'on heat', how do you tell, & at what age it stops. I would like her to have a litter before she's to old.
Thanks fpr your time
Naomi :)


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

A dog will generally go into heat every 6 months. It can vary though as some dogs will be every 4 months or every 8 months.

Usually the first heat will start any time after 6 months of age. They can continue to have heats throughout their whole lives but often do stop as they get older. There's no specific age though.

I would highly advise against letting her have a litter. There are a few reasons for this:

1. If we can spay her before her first heat then she has a greatly reduced risk of getting mammary cancer later on in life. (I see though that you say she is between 5-8 years...I didn't know if you meant months.)

2. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with breeding. If she needs a C-Section you're looking at a 2-3000 bill and there is no guarantee of puppies surviving.

3. I recommend leaving breeding to the professionals, especially in a lab. If you do plan to breed her, ideally you should be screening her for hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia amongst other things.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---



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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.

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