What is HELP FIDO?

Humane Education Leads to Progress
For Informed Dog Owners

Vision Statement: We envision a society free from discrimination, where responsibility, education, love and compassion allow humans to fully respect and understand man's best friend.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Do spayed dogs get hot flashes?

I wrote this up on my personal blog, so in the art of being lazy I am going to copy it here as a Saturday funny-haha-post.
Our first dog, Maggie, was about 6 months old when we adopted her from Capital Area Humane Society. When we adopted her she was intact, but when we picked her up, as we knew would happen, she had been spayed. For the first couple years of her life she slept in a crate at night. But slowly she made her way into our bed. First she took naps, then when I came home from my mastectomy surgery, she slept at my feet (due to the type of surgery I had I had to keep my knees bent so I used her as a way to keep my knees up), and eventually she slept all nights with us. We always made fun of how wish-washy she was about being under the covers one minute, then out and panting, then back under the covers . . . this would go on through the night. When Sasha came into our lives, we noticed that she too, moved in and out of the covers through the night.
I had hot flashes when I started chemo, and they never completely went away though they did lessen with time. Recently, I had my ovaries removed as part of ongoing prevention and also as a way to finalize the decision not to have children. As fully expected, my hot flashes increased both in frequency and intensity. And I noticed that my nightly temperature fluctuations seemed eerily similar to those of Sasha's.
And so I began to wonder...do spayed dogs get hot flashes? (okay I just got a crazy vibe as I read back through this ending with the question that this post sounds like something out of 'Sex and the City'. I can almost hear SJP's voice in my head as I re-read it!).
I have done some preliminary online research and I am not the first to ask this question. However the answers are incredibly unsatisfactory because they mostly fall into a "no they don't because we are removing their ovaries so no estrogen left to go through menopause." Oh yeah? Because let me tell you, my ovaries are completely gone and I have RAGING hot flashes. So this answer just doesn't cut it.
And how would one know? You can't survey a dog. I discussed this with Dr. Mandi here at HELP FIDO , and she immediately had some good questions one could ask a dog: "Do you find yourself trying to lay on cold tile floors? Do you want to hang your head out the window inappropriately in the winter?"
I asked my mother-in-law about her current spayed female, Belle, and her previous spayed female, Chloe (RIP) and she agreed - both dogs exhibited signs consistent with running hot and cold. And neither of her male dogs have.
I don't quite know where I am going with this other that to say that I find it fascinating!

4 comments:

Caveat said...

Well, why woudn't they? They're mammals, we're mammals, we're closely related, we all live together as one big happy family.

I imagine dogs get a lot of symptoms related to a variety of things - headaches come to mind - but due to their extreme stoicism, don't whine about it the way those namby-pamby humans do LOL

Anna Cluxton said...

LOL...yes I definately think they have a much higher tolerance for all things annoying to us :-)
>>goes to put fan on high while suffering through yet another hot flash<<

Jennifer said...

Yes... my 7 year old 100 pound Labrador has HOT FLASHES! I feel them come and go randonly on her head. She was Spayed at 4 months of age. She needs HRT relief. Anyone know anything on this subject? I am searching.

Unknown said...

LOL...our Golden Retriever, also Belle, was spayed at 2 years about 12 weeks after her only pregnancy. We are in SoCal and have a pool. Within the first 2 weeks after spaying she chunked up about 10 pounds (obviously fatter.) Also she started showing up wet to her shoulders several times a day. We discovered she'd trot over to the pool and sit on the second step for about 2 minutes, then get out. Hot Flashes? Wouldn't swim around, just sit. She'll interrupt a game of fetch (with the ball in her mouth) to go sit in the pool. She stopped doing it through the "cold rainy" season in SoCal, but now that it's April she's back doing it 2-3 times a day. Hot Flashes! Even her visiting daughters will follow her to go sit in the pool. Her son Crowley dislikes the pool and won't do it. Now her daughters will come sit in the pool 1-2 times a day, even when Belle doesn't. ("Why do you sit in the pool Indy?" "It's something the women in our family do!" "Why???" "Dunno...")

These are the dogs of HELP FIDO...our dogs...this is why we are here...