She is 22 weeks old. I think she may be coming into season, keeps moving her bum towards me? But doesn't like others to touch her bum area. Do I spay? Have a litter? Wait for a season? What's better for her health? (I've heard different things re having a litter first)
The advice is to have her spayed 3 months after her last season began. My 2.9 year-old is having it done on Monday. I have had her since January this year, but don't think she has had a litter. I know of 2 females who had 1 litter at about 2 years-old before spaying, but the biology of being beneficial is uncertain. One was a small Bichon frise. She had 7 pups but 4 were born dead. Very distressing. She is now 6 and fine.
Certainly don't let her have a litter. There are myths about it being healthy to have a litter. But I've heard of several bitches dying whilst giving birth, so I'd never do it personally on a whim. I had mine spayed 3 months after her first season. Arguably a bit early.
It's very unlikely she's coming into season at 5m old. Take her to the vet and get her anal glands checked. Then have a chat with them about neutering. There are two times to get them spayed - either at 6m old which will be well before a first season, or wait and allow them to have one or more seasons then spay 3 months later. The advantages of doing it early are no season to get through, no chance of unwanted litter, surgery is simpler, most protection against mammary tumours. Potential disadvantage is it can make them more prone to urinary incontinence later in life if their vulva is under-developed. Spaying after one or more seasons risks an unwanted pregnancy if you are not v careful, reduces the protection against mammary tumours and makes the surgery a bit more complicated as the organs and blood supply are bigger (and potentially increases the cost as the dog likely to be heavier). There is the positive argument re urinary incontinence as outlined above. The main risks in leaving the bitch entire longterm are unwanted pregnancy, false pregnancy, mammary cancer in later life and pyometra which can be life-threatening. All of these are common in entire bitches.
Please do not casually wander into letting her have a litter because you think it's a nice idea. A responsible breeder will have had all the relevant health checks, have at least £1000 in the bank to pay for a middle of the night Csection if necessary, be up for hand rearing puppies if something goes wrong and have a waiting list of people wanting the puppies. There are hundreds of dogs being put down every day because people bred thoughtlessly and there are not enough good homes out there.
Thankyou bakingtins that was very helpful, I won't let her have a litter, I just heard was healthy for her. But like I said, heard others saying its not. So looking into it. But your completely right and I shall get her booked in.
I personally wanted her spaying at 6 months so will look into that with the bet, the Incontinence issue later in life I. My opinion out ways the risks of waiting. When shes oldee and if she becomes incontinent i will just have to reassure hwr and care for her. So thankyou