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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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.

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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.