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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

My Mini American Eskimo girl has gone into her heat cycle quite early.
The other day while she was playing and rolling onto her back, we noticed that there was dried blood around the vulva. Upon further inspection we noticed the vulva was slightly swollen.
She just started to lose her baby teeth, so boy she is young!
She is one week shy of being 5 months.

I guess this more or less confirms her cycle because she started to aggressively hump everything, including our arms and the air! It is cute but we just cannot get over how young she is to be going through this already.

So my question to the experienced owners on the forum is...
Should we be concerned that she went into her 1st cycle so young? I Understand small breeds mature rapidly but no one ever mentioned one full month early for the heat cycle.
I am also aware that for each cycle she has, her risk of mammary cancer goes up slightly. So should we be on heightened alert for mammary cancer signs then? Or are we just being paranoid?

Thanks so much for the advice!!
 

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Dogs tend to go into heat when spring is coming (at least that's what I've been told) and small breed dogs do go into heat at a younger age than large ones. My St Bernard went into heat at 10 or 11 months (also around Feb/March) and it totally caught me unawares. I had her spayed immediately after she went out of heat. Being intact does raise the odds of mammary cancer, but being spayed after one heat cycle still reduces the odds. Just talk to your vet about it, especially if you're going to have her spayed anyway. 5 months is young, but I don't think it's out of the ballpark for small dogs. There are others on here who have way more experience than I do when it comes to heat cycles, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the advice cmoorewv!
I just read somewhere that 5 to 10 months is quite common. We are mainly concerned about the mammary cancer risk because the vet's receptionist said it is quite common (that form of cancer in dogs) and they see it often -- but now we know and it is something to discuss with the vet for sure.

Thanks again for your help!

Dogs tend to go into heat when spring is coming (at least that's what I've been told) and small breed dogs do go into heat at a younger age than large ones. My St Bernard went into heat at 10 or 11 months (also around Feb/March) and it totally caught me unawares. I had her spayed immediately after she went out of heat. Being intact does raise the odds of mammary cancer, but being spayed after one heat cycle still reduces the odds. Just talk to your vet about it, especially if you're going to have her spayed anyway. 5 months is young, but I don't think it's out of the ballpark for small dogs. There are others on here who have way more experience than I do when it comes to heat cycles, though.
 

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I think the risk for mammary cancer is still quite low after one heat cycle. I'd have to google it to be sure but spaying after the first heat is way better than not at all. Cujo (my girl) is now almost 11 years old and she has some other health issuses related to being a giant breed, but no cancer. She has a very large lipoma or granuloma up around the top of her chest (maybe where the first nipple would be) but it is benign. She's had it several years. The vet told me it was unlikely to be mammary cancer. The mammary tumors they worry about, he said, are the ones affecting the lower nipples. Don't worry yourself too much yet about something that may or may not happen. Just be aware and watch for any symptoms later in life.
 

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Dogs in general actually have no set schedule for when they go into heat, spring, summer, fall, winter, it doesn't matter at all. Tho once they go into heat they wont go into heat again for at least another 4 months, but more commonly every 6 months, some bitches even go a year between heats.

While 5 months is quite young it's not unheard of in the smaller breeds. A heat cycle lasts on average 21 days, tho anything from 12-30 is not strange. Bitches become fertile approximately 10 days after the first sign of bleeding and that fertile period lasts roughly 4 days, this is the time she can get pregnant and will bring the most attention.

Mammary cancer is not a major concern if you plan on getting her spayed before two years old. In fact if you do plan on getting her spayed I would make the appointment for four months from now, she will not go into heat again before then and it will give her extra time to mature before spaying.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think the risk is quite low too... but being a first time dog owner, I want to be as educated as I can. Do you think this is something I should have the vet check yearly or more like every 3 to 5 years? My guess is that they would be checking for this during most check ups anyway?

Thanks again for the help cmoorewv!

I think the risk for mammary cancer is still quite low after one heat cycle. I'd have to google it to be sure but spaying after the first heat is way better than not at all. Cujo (my girl) is now almost 11 years old and she has some other health issuses related to being a giant breed, but no cancer. She has a very large lipoma or granuloma up around the top of her chest (maybe where the first nipple would be) but it is benign. She's had it several years. The vet told me it was unlikely to be mammary cancer. The mammary tumors they worry about, he said, are the ones affecting the lower nipples. Don't worry yourself too much yet about something that may or may not happen. Just be aware and watch for any symptoms later in life.
 
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