Why is My Spayed Female Dog Attracting Males?
Are Spayed Dogs Still Attractive to Male Dogs?
You may have spent quite a good chunk of money to spay your dog and now that your dog is spayed she's attracting males dogs, what gives? Isn't she supposed to no longer be interesting to male dogs? Well, for a good part yes, but if this attraction started out of the blue, you are right to be puzzled and think that something is amiss. First of all, let's take a look at what causes male dogs to become interesting to females.
An intact female dog is a dog who is capable of reproducing. She is intact by definition because she is still equipped with ovaries, oviducts, uterine horns, and the uterus. A female who is spayed instead has been opened up and has undergone a medical procedure known as an ovariohysterectomy (OHE). This surgery basically removes her from her capacity to reproduce. At the same time, since her reproductive organs are removed, the production of hormones such as as estrogen and progesterone is also halted. These are the hormones responsible for triggering the dog's heat cycle.
Most dogs are generally not particularly interested in females from a sexual standpoint until the female gives signs of going into heat. Blessed with over 220 million olfactory receptors in their noses, a male dog's nose certainly "knows" when a female is in heat. Indeed, a female dog gives off very powerful pheromones which help her advertise her availability. There are countless stories of male dogs capable of detecting the smell of females in heat from a distance. Many of these pheromones are released in the female dog's urine which is why male dogs are so obsessed with smelling areas intact female dogs have urinated on.
So if your dog is spayed, and as such, not capable of going into heat, how can she be attracting males? Great question! There are some explanations for this that we will look at in the next paragraphs.
Why is Your Spayed Dog Attracting Males?
So things definitively are not adding up..your dog was spayed, her reproductive organs removed and her capability to produce hormones associated with the heat cycle is halted, so yes, how can a spayed female attract males out of the blue? A good assessment would be obtained by analyzing if the female attracts only one specific male or all males in general. Let's look at some possible explanations.
Warning: Dog in Heat
No worries, the dog in heat is not yours. Indeed, if your dog was spayed correctly, she should never go into heat or act as if in heat. In this case, we're talking about some neighbor's dog in heat. Indeed, if you own a spayed female, and now suddenly your male dog is obsessed with her, it could be there's a female dog in heat in heat somewhere in your neighborhood. This is what happened once to a client at the vet's office, her male suddenly was obsessed with her, and after obtaining a clean bill of health, she casually noticed one of her neighbor's dogs was in heat. Unable to gain access to the dog in heat, her male dog redirected his pent-up frustration towards the spayed female dog!
Tissue Remnants Left Behind
If your dog is spayed and is now acting as if in heat and your male dog is sure interested, yes, you are right to be concerned. In some rare cases, a dog's spay may go wrong. In this case, it's likely that during the spay surgery, small parts of ovarian tissue were left behind. Left in the body, this tissue grows and then triggers the brain to produce the hormones associated with the heat cycle, explains veterinarian Janet Tobiassen Crosby. In this case, if the uterus was successfully removed, your dog technically cannot get pregnant, but if in doubt, go on route to your closest vet's office to have your dog checked out!
Undiagnosed Medical Condition
So there are no female dogs in heat that you know, yet, male dogs have shown some definite interest in your dog, what else can be the problem? Consider that in some cases medical conditions may cause your dog to smell a bit like a dog in heat. What medical conditions cause this? In this case, we're probably looking at a possible bladder infection, infection of the cervix, vulva or a case of vaginitis. In some cases, the anal sacs may be also to blame. All these conditions can sometimes make a female dog attractive to males. The reasons though aren't still entirely clear, explains veterinarian Mike Richards.
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