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Peggy's currently going though heat #2.

I don't know if she's worse this second time around, or if she was so young and obnoxious the first time around, we didn't notice much difference. But oh my goodness. It's been 48 hours and I don't think I can handle much more of this.

I tried talking to a neighbour yesterday and she threw herself against the fence! (Peggy, not my neighbour.) She was literally shaking the fence, barking, and I couldn't even tell what she wanted. It wasn't "Come here!" but it wasn't "Go away!" either. It was just hysterics.

Trying to get her to potty on leash is nearly impossible. She's on the highest alert. If she sees or hears anything in the distance, game over. Last night we finally just had to put her in her crate without a pee and then try again in the middle of the night. She actually was barking in her crate! But if she's not in her crate, she doesn't seem to know what she wants.

Is this normal? Of course she's cuddling me as I type this. Last evening she lay fully on top of me like she was dying and I was her only hope.

Please give me any tips or tricks that have successfully calmed your poodles, in heat or otherwise. I'm irrationally scared she's forging new neural pathways and is going to stay like this forever.
 

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Yes the anxiety and paranoia can be normal. The dog I fostered that went through a heat cycle became very unreliable around strangers during that period. Hopefully it won't be long before things quiet down. I would probably give her some benadryl in a dog-appropriate dose. I know it's one medication that's safe for pets. And the side effect is drowsiness and calming. I actually have a medication for anxiety that is very similar to benadryl. The same thing that causes drowsiness will calm a hyper-active anxious mind. Of course it's good to check with a vet before giving... but I've used it with enough dogs that I would not have any concern giving it.
 

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Thanks, Raindrops! I used to give Gracie Benadryl for seasonal allergies, and was seriously considering using it last night.

I'll give Peggy some tonight.

This is giving me a whole lot of compassion for people who live with neurotic dogs. It's such a helpless feeling.
Hopefully she will feel better! I know with my over-worrying mind I would also worry about behavior changes becoming permanent... but I think that they usually aren't. I know Peggy was also more on alert during her first heat and I believe that went away so hopefully it will be the same with this one. I also have similar responses to hormonal changes myself, though not to the same effect thankfully!
 

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Hopefully she will feel better! I know with my over-worrying mind I would also worry about behavior changes becoming permanent... but I think that they usually aren't. I know Peggy was also more on alert during her first heat and I believe that went away so hopefully it will be the same with this one. I also have similar responses to hormonal changes myself, though not to the same effect thankfully!
I try to remind myself of how maddeningly erratic I felt as a teen, when my hormones were surging. Clearly I came out the other side of that, so I have to trust Peggy will, too.

But then I start googling.....and I'm sure you know how that goes! Always straight to the worst case scenario.

I think what I'm seeing right now is the drastic change relative to her more mature baseline. When she was 8 months old, she was still barking at strangers from a distance, for example. So it wouldn't have been quite so alarming when she barked a little extra while in heat.
 

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I went and picked up some Benadryl. Might need some for my husband and me! Eeeeesh. It's crazy watching her boomerang from cuddle fiend to wild-eyed guard poodle back to cuddle fiend. Just taking treats, it looks like her eyes are going to pop out of her head.

Here's a picture of her during last night's emergency training session (I had to do SOMETHING to burn off her jitters):

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Some people might think "Aw! A happy, smiling poodle!" but nope. That's not Peggy's normal face. That is a very stressed poodle.

After I took this pic, I made her a little tunnel and started stringing together commands I've never used together: "Go around. Wait. Through." That part was pretty cool. I'm surprised she was able to focus, but it wasn't normal focus. It was hyper focus. And when she started grabbing at my hands because I was moving too slow, I called it quits.

What a gal.
 

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FWIW Robin, Mia's second heat was harder than her first as well - heavier flow, more up-and-down in her energy. You're handling it well, and I'm super impressed that she was able to focus on the commands.
 

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Poor Peggy! She does look super stressed in that picture. No help here, Annie hadn't had her first heat when I spayed her at 18 months.

Hope benadryl helps her settle a bit - it's also what I used for Annie's kennel cough, and worked great for that.
 

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Poor Peggy! She does look super stressed in that picture. No help here, Annie hadn't had her first heat when I spayed her at 18 months.

Hope benadryl helps her settle a bit - it's also what I used for Annie's kennel cough, and worked great for that.
She won't even get up for a treat now. Just wants to snooze and cuddle and snooze some more. I can't even imagine what she must be feeling!

Did you use the Benadryl to help Annie sleep when she had kennel cough? Or did it actually help with the cough?

Such a nasty illness, and another one of those situations where you feel so helpless.
 

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She won't even get up for a treat now. Just wants to snooze and cuddle and snooze some more. I can't even imagine what she must be feeling!

Did you use the Benadryl to help Annie sleep when she had kennel cough? Or did it actually help with the cough?

Such a nasty illness, and another one of those situations where you feel so helpless.
Oh lord... long story, thread here somewhere. Vet prescribed an opioid based cough suppressant and an antibiotic I think, said it was a really bad case. Except... apparently Annie cant handle opioids. So inbetween coughing up bits of flesh she was throwing up pink syrup. Middle of the night, no sleep, very worried, stumbled upon robitussin. None in house. Found some ancient ask a vet thread that recommended benadryl. I had liquid version. Stopped the coughing and we both slept. (This was the same week she lost 5 lbs due to anxiety, and likely picked it up when I took her to the vet).

Long story short - yes it did work, and I now have benadryl in ALL my first aid kits.
 

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Here's a picture of her during last night's emergency training session (I had to do SOMETHING to burn off her jitters)... Some people might think "Aw! A happy, smiling poodle!" but nope. That's not Peggy's normal face. That is a very stressed poodle....
Look at those shiny eyes!

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Oh my, that is a terrible time you are all going through, Peggy included ! I have no tips but you have my sympathy. Beckie was at the other end of the spectrum when she has her only heat (I really didn’t want to see a second one) : she had deep depression. That wasn’t too thrilling either but at least she wasn’t disrupting the peace most of the time.

Let’s hope this hormonal surge dies down really fast !
 

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Oh my, that is a terrible time you are all going through, Peggy included ! I have no tips but you have my sympathy. Beckie was at the other end of the spectrum when she has her only heat (I really didn’t want to see a second one) : she had deep depression. That wasn’t too thrilling either but at least she wasn’t disrupting the peace most of the time.

Let’s hope this hormonal surge dies down really fast !
At this point, I regret letting her have a second one. This isn't fun for any of us.

I bumped into her while I was in the kitchen and reached out to pet her to say "sorry" like I always do, and her head whipped around like she was going to bite me!

She didn't, thankfully. Just nudged me with her nose. But it's unnerving being around a dog that's simultaneously extremely prickly and also begging for human contact.

I might get a male puppy next time. Lol.

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"Touch me but don't touch me, k?"
 

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My poodle had a very similar reaction for her first two heats! She went nuts even when the TV was on if she saw anything like a cat or dog. She finished her 3rd heat last week, but she was much calmer. She is just past 2 years old now and the main thing is that since her last heat I she was having digestive problems, allergies causing massive itching, so I had to find a food that agreed with her - AND I started her on Pro biotics. My understanding is that her gut flora was really messed up from the wrong diet - and since dogs intestines produce essential vitamins, she was probably missing some vitamins. She is a different dog now. Her behavior was still more timid and she seemed insecure (needing a lot more cuddling),but she also needed less stimulation for a few days. I kept her in most of the time and set up a potty spot with an old exercise pen. I find it helped a lot to know that other poodles can have these issues. I used massage too, gentle in circular motions to help her release her own endorphins. My Vet suggested she MIGHT be in pain like some women have during their period and he offered to give her Metacam if needed. He told me when a dog is in pain they sometimes express it in aggression. I hope this helps. Be cautious using meds unless your Vet gives guidance.
 

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My poodle had a very similar reaction for her first two heats! She went nuts even when the TV was on if she saw anything like a cat or dog. She finished her 3rd heat last week, but she was much calmer. She is just past 2 years old now and the main thing is that since her last heat I she was having digestive problems, allergies causing massive itching, so I had to find a food that agreed with her - AND I started her on Pro biotics. My understanding is that her gut flora was really messed up from the wrong diet - and since dogs intestines produce essential vitamins, she was probably missing some vitamins. She is a different dog now. Her behavior was still more timid and she seemed insecure (needing a lot more cuddling),but she also needed less stimulation for a few days. I kept her in most of the time and set up a potty spot with an old exercise pen. I find it helped a lot to know that other poodles can have these issues. I used massage too, gentle in circular motions to help her release her own endorphins. My Vet suggested she MIGHT be in pain like some women have during their period and he offered to give her Metacam if needed. He told me when a dog is in pain they sometimes express it in aggression. I hope this helps. Be cautious using meds unless your Vet gives guidance.
Thank you! This is helpful. It's nice to hear about all the poodles that have come through this intense experience unscathed. :)

We've done some relaxing touch work in our training classes, so I'll draw on that knowledge to try and soothe her.

And I've been re-evaluating her diet lately. I'll be working to get her in tip top shape before her spay this fall.
 

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Pekoe is the Mini Poodle that had heat issues. I felt so bad for her. I am still working on her championship (hope to finish her when the covid thing ends and she can be shown again). I am in Southern Alberta and there are so few miniature poodles here that it took me YEARS to get one that was health tested in the colour I love (RED). your Girl is a beautiful Parti (my daughter has a male that is mostly black with some white).If I was not planning to breed my dog I would have her spayed after heat 2 if her vulva had matured.
Many people spay very early and end up with a dog that suffers with bladder infections/incontinence because the genitals are not matured. My friend ended up with her female spayed at 6 months - having to have genital surgery at 1 year (about $2,000) to change her vulva so it would allow the urine to leave properly.
My second Mini Poodle is one year (from a different breeder in Quebec) and she had no issues at all in her first heat. She is an undersized mini - only 1 inch bigger than a TOY!, but her personality and digestion is amazing. The breeder imported her Sire from Italy to get better genetic diversity. BUT because he is European (they are only allowed to be up to 13" in Europe) he is small. Many people have told me to forget showing Sorella. I say she has every right to show, she is healthy, happy, and has a great coat. She is a valid dog! WAY too many snobs showing dogs. I just want to improve the breed. Sorry for the rant...LOL
I hope your baby feels better soon, I still wonder if she might be hurting. I would not give her aspirin during heat because it can cause more bleeding, but vet may give you something to try and see if she settles? all my best to you.
 
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