Olive’s Problem

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Olive is bleeding from her, umm, private parts and I don’t know why. I came home yesterday from work to find drops of fresh blood all around the kitchen floor. I initially thought, oh no. The kitten. One of them bit Simon. But I checked him over, and he was just fine. Then I wondered if maybe Simon had accidentally scratched on of the dogs. Checked them over — no. Was it a bloody nose or mouth? I checked all three pets for any problems like that and again, nothing. Finally I knew it was time to check the butt area on all of them. And when I rolled Olive over, I saw where the blood was coming from. It was in her fur, back near her vulva area, and she did not want me to get close to it at all. Was she in HEAT?! I grabbed the phone and called the vet.

“Can I bring my dog over? She’s bleeding and it seems like she’s in heat, but she’s spayed. I just want someone to check in and see what the deal is, because maybe our new kitten scratched her there or something?”

I did bring her over, and the two vet techs on duty had a look. It did appear to be coming out of her vulva, as there were no open wounds, bites or scratches. They seem to suspect it’s coming from her urethra, like she is peeing blood. They gave me a urine collection kit and an appointment for today at 4 to bring her back so the vet can examine her.

Of course I have had no luck whatsoever getting the urine sample. It’s a tray I slide under her, and then use this dropper-thing to suction it up and put it in a sterile container. I’ve tried sliding the tray under her about four times now, and she always jumps away and now won’t even go if I am following her around the yard. She glares at me like, “Stay away from me, Tray Lady.” The one time I managed to catch a few drops, I also caught a ton of dead grass and dirt. The drops didn’t look red or pink, though, so that could be a good sign.

Has anyone heard of a supposedly spayed female dog going into heat?

My vet felt her belly and didn’t feel a uterus there, and even said she felt “what feels like a spay scar” when I brought her in for her very first visit. So I have always assumed that, yeah, she is spayed. I knew nothing about the heat cycle for dogs, so I read up on it today and honestly, she has a lot of the symptoms of being in heat.

* She has been VERY restless and anxious for the past month or so, almost to the annoying point,

* She licks almost obsessively and rubs herself along the carpet; I’ve taken her to the vet for the carpet thing and they determined it was likely because of anal glands that were impacted (which they treated) and the red rash on her belly was carpet burn. But I have been thinking about bringing her back to find out why she licks so damn much. It’s gross, to be honest. Just lick, lick, lick… and you can try to stop her, even physically,Β and she will do everything in her power to push you off so she can keep going. I was thinking it was a form of Doggy OCD or something; or anxiety for some reason and wanted to look into some sort of medication to help her relax. And to find out if she had allergies or something.

* Related to all of this is the constant rolling around on her back out in the yard. What a mess.

* She has a weird mothering instinct with Simon, and that injured bird in the yard two weeks ago.

* And finally, the spots of blood. That seems to be the most tell-tale symptom. Duh.

Apparently it is possible for a spayed dog to go into heat. If they didn’t get all of the ovaries, the remaining tissue can be activated by hormones coming from the brain. So even though they can’t get pregnant since there isn’t a uterus, they’ll still go through heat. Or, more likely, she wasn’t really spayed. After all, it’s not like me or the vet (or yard sale woman) know her history before she ended up at the canal asΒ a stray. Poor thing.

I’m hoping she just has a little infection that an antibiotic or something will clear up. I don’t want her to be in heat. Hell no. And I hope this isn’t something that will require expensive surgery. I already know just the cost of the urinalysis today will be $125… whew, boy. Here we go again. And this time, I have no credit card I can use to pay the bill (because of that horrible AMEX ‘trick’ when they lowered my limit down within mere hundreds of my balance). She’s getting to be one expensive dog! πŸ™‚ But I love her anyway.

What if it’s not an infection, and not a heat cycle, but…something else? What if her cancer has come back, just in another part of her body? I doubt it. Chances seem kind of slim. But I’m freaking myself out wondering what’s wrong with her. She seems OK otherwise– she’s eating, drinking, pooping just fine.

Like I said earlier, has anyone heard of this before? I know, I will find out more in three hours, but…I AM SO NERVOUS! Argh! 😦

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11 responses »

  1. I see a line that looks like a scar…but I can’t tell if that’s what it is, or not. It’s not very pronounced at all. The reason I’m not sure is that Hurley also has a similar line!

  2. I think what you said about it possible that they could have not taken everything out may be possible. Anything is! My sister worked at a vet hospital in 2005 and a little kitten came in and was hit by a car. He almost died. My sister and the doctor along with other techs nursed him back to health. My sister wound up adopting him and *thought* the vet had neutered him. Turns out, he didn’t and Little Man was spraying all over the house. She had to bring him to the SPCA to get neutered. When she approached her boss about it, he SWORE up and down that he neutered him. It’s a mystery to us all but the bottom line is, accidents happen. You think doctors do the right thing and they don’t always do so.

    I agree with Shades that unless you see an actual scar, it may not be anything. Maybe the scar was from an inguinal hernia or something; Ruby had surgery as a pup for that.

    I think trying to get urine from a dog is such a torturous task for humans and dogs alike so good luck with that. I wish they could come up with something easier like bribery and/or trips to Hawaii or something. πŸ˜‰

  3. It IS possible for tissue to be left behind during spaying and to “grow back” or form enough to create the hormones necessary for a heat cycle.

    It’s also possible for spayed/neutered animals to continue to spray/mark their territory, once the hormones and organs have been removed, if it has become a learned habit instead of an instinctual practice. All of my females are the only cats of mine that can, will, do and have sprayed. Only when they have lived where there has been an abundance of other cats present. It’s also worse when male cats spray, because (I’ve heard) the males have the ability to mix anal fluid with their spray, whereas females don’t do that. I mean, you can remove the balls, but that doesn’t always nix the spraying problem.

    I tend to feel like it seems that Olive has had so little vet care of any kind that I’d be surprised if she actually was spayed. I guess only an x-ray or MRI would tell you for sure…

    Why can’t they just cath dogs to get a urine sample? They do it to cats all the time…

  4. I was just thinking the same thing as Shades about the urine sample — why wouldn’t they just catheterize her? I can’t imagine either of our dogs letting me go near them with a tray when they’re peeing.

    This is so strange. I think you’re right, that she’s in heat. Maybe there’s some residual lady parts up in there. Of course, I’m not a vet. I just attempted to become one in college until I all but failed out of organic chemistry. Apparently they like for dem docs to know the chemistries and such to treat dem sick naminals.

  5. Well, she IS in heat!

    The vet did a urinalysis (a needle straight into the bladder so it would be an uncontaminated-with-possible-uterine-blood sample) and there was no sign of infection or blood. He also shaved her and searched for a scar. No scar. The line I was looking at was just a fold in her skin. Explains why Hurley has the same one!

    The weird thing is when palpatating her belly, he did NOT feel a uterus. That’s why the other vet in the practice made the error in the first place… if that was all you were going on, it would feel like she was spayed! He said some dogs just have organs in different spots…just like people. (I used to have a tilted uterus before my endo surgery in ’03 got it back into the right spot–scar tissue had caused the shift!)

    But yes… diagnosis: NOT SPAYED.

    I am applying to the county’s program for a low-cost voucher for her, and Simon, this weekend… maybe I can get a 2-for-1 discount or something? πŸ™‚

    Honestly, how weird this is. Never a dull moment!

    But DAMN, I have had her at the dog park and everything. And I know there were lots of intact dogs around there. I can’t even imagine how horrible it would have been to find her suddenly pregnant! YIKES. Dodged a bullet.

  6. Does your vet participate in any kind of multiple-pet discount? Usually you have to have 4 pets in order to get it, but…everybody’s different. It’s worth asking.

    I had a feeling, when you started comparing her behavior to the list of “symptoms”… I really did. Particularly given her history. I honestly didn’t know they could feel the uterus while palpitating the belly, though. It makes sense, as my own doc does such things to me… but on the other hand…I always just thought they were feeling for other abdominal/stomach abnormalities. I mean, I know you can feel when an animal is pregnant, but… there’s a whole litter in there growing and taking up space, dang it! So that makes sense!

    Goodness! At least you caught it before Hurley got interested! Even neutered males can still “get it up” and have been known to go through the whole shebang, just because of instinct. And males can rupture that thing, too! which is why serious breeding is always supervised and someone is there to hold onto the male during the deed.

    What an adventurous life you guys have all of a sudden!

    Oh, and sometimes, if you know where to look and what to look for, you can still find the scar on your dog’s belly where they lost their umbilical stump. πŸ˜‰ Yeah, sometimes it leaves a “belly button”.

  7. Ooh, I want that job; they one who holds the male dog while he has hardcore sex with the female!

    (shudders and vomits a little)

  8. I mean THE one who holds the male….

    I got a little excited and typed like a moron! πŸ˜‰

  9. This reminds me of the time I got Portia and Nerissa spayed and the vet tech calls me in the middle of the procedure and tells me “Yes, we have Nerissa open on the table and she is pregnant. Do you want us to close her up so she can have the kittens or not?” Uh, WHAT? Nerissa was only 6 months old and had only been around her SISTER her whole life so unless it was immacculate conception she wasn’t pregnant. Vet tech assured me she was. So I said, uh, no kittens please and hung up confused. When the vet herself called me back to tell me everything was fine I asked her about the previous call. Turns out the tech had it wrong, the vet had mentioned Nerissa was in heat and could have kittens now IF she had been around a male. The tech had taken it upon herself to call me and ask if we wanted that option. So yes, sometimes, they can screw up.

    Glad Olive is not sick though. Or pregnant. πŸ™‚

  10. Janine- LOL! Don’t forget the holding part happens after they tie together and have turned around butt-to-butt, so you’re holding the male’s head. The one with the brains in it, not the other one.

    VP- That’s insane!

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