My girl started her first cycle…advice please!

Hello all! My B Scarlett started her first cycle yesterday (OMG the spots of blood). We are not breeding her and I have never owned a female dog before so I need all the advice possible for getting through this first heat, what to expect! I am picking up some doggie diapers after work today but other than that we are clueless.😕

Good luck with the "doggie diapers"…. mine have never kept them on...ggg.. but really there is nothing special that needs to be done other than:

Biggest thing is to keep her away from males... and don't think that something like a closed door will deter them... I have a friend that when his GSP came in season, they put her in the garage and left the male in the back yard... and... he ate through the door to get to her. I have another friend that had their bitch in the house, left open a window that was pretty accessable to climb to... right though the screen and got to the bitch... Years ago when my girls came in season there was a 11yr in-tact old lab that lived two streets over from us. We never saw him "except" when the girls were in season.. he would escape his fenced yard and paced up and down the side walk in front of our house every single day.

Wow… now I am starting to think that having a male puppy maturing is way easier! Just kidding. Sounds like females and males both have their fair shares of challenges as they mature.

It's been a rough couple of days to say the least Fran.

My girl just finished her season. It was her second but my first time having her at home. She went on vacation to my breeders for safe keeping the first time around last fall, as I do have an intact male at home.

Her cycle will last 3-4 weeks. I have been told to keep her safe and away from intact males for a full 30 days after showing signs of being in heat. I even went a step further and only allowed supervised play between my male and her for the fifth week. Mine only bled for 2 1/2 weeks of the 4 week cycle. I didn't use diapers or anything, just regular washing of doggie laundry and I kept blankets out on the couch (I allow mine on my furniture)

Keep an eye on her if she spends time outside as Pat said. Dogs will come from all over to get to her if they can!

You can expect swelling of the vulva (some get very large), bloody discharge and increased urination (territory marking). Afterwards she may experience a false pregnancy, common among 1st seasons, where her nipples may swell up and can produce a little milk and she can develop a little bit of a tummy. This can last a few weeks. Her nipples will probably be bigger after her season and won't be as small as they were before.

My girl becomes a total love, super snuggly/cuddly and slept a lot while she was in season.

@Kipawa:

Wow… now I am starting to think that having a male puppy maturing is way easier!.

Having had both male & female pups - Fran, I'd say you are right on, lol. 😃 Can't really think of ANY challenge with my boy Ozzy as he has matured. Remind me, what are the challenges with a male maturing? 😉

All kidding aside, I was lucky though with Aaliyah as she read the "basenji manual" and only had a fall season. She went with her breeder to the National that first year and I kept praying she would go into season while she was away with them for 3 weeks. No such luck - she waited until late November and was home with me. My house was like a maximum security prison with lockdown because of Brando being intact. Longest 30 days of my life, lol. Brando would wake up in the middle of the night and start howling - it was lovely. That was her only season…she finished her Championship the following summer and was spayed the week after I received her Certificate from the AKC. 😃

Walter good luck with the panties - there was zero chance of those working with my girl. 😉 I just did a lot of dog laundry as I had blankets to put down everywhere.

Thanks PACNWB for all the info…4 weeks OMG! Her nipples have gotten big, she is less active, she has started to swell (vulva) and she seems to be having cramps. I feel bad for her. I'm gonna get her the doggie diapers, less washing blankets and hilarious to see her wearing a diaper:) I too doubt the diapers will work well but what a sight.

Isn't that the truth, if you have an in-tact male in the house with a bitch in season…. it is the longest 30 days of your life!!!!

Here's what it sounded like at my house when Aaliyah was in heat. Brando would just suddenly burst into sorrowful wail (morning, noon & night). Excuse the quality of video - from my cell phone before I had one with a good camera.

@renaultf1:

My house was like a maximum security prison with lockdown because of Brando being intact. Longest 30 days of my life, lol. Brando would wake up in the middle of the night and start howling

This is SOOOOO true. I burst out laughing when I read this description because it is perfect … to a tee. Been there, done that.

Good luck Walter!

@tanza:

Isn't that the truth, if you have an in-tact male in the house with a bitch in season…. it is the longest 30 days of your life!!!!

do you use a DAP during that time period? I found it really took the edge off of my trying boy.

It was many years ago…. way before they came out with DAP.... LOL, but honestly... I don't think it would have do any good.... he was a basket case... and in fact when it was Basenji Breeding season and we didn't have any in-tact bitches or any bitches in season, he would wimper for the entire month of October.

It gets easier if that helps at all. :rolleyes: We gave up on the doggie diapers (toddler training underwear with a hole cut in them) with Zoni after a day or so and realized we could manage with just covering the furniture and the bed with sheets. Usually spotting was more of an issue whenever she was running around alot, so we just wiped her more often then. Usually when she was more sedentary, she kept herself more clean.

To avoid false pregnancies, I would suggest to cut her food back, maybe back to about 3/4 or 2/3 of the current amount you are feeding. 2/3 seems to be the general rule of thumb from several breeders I've talked to. It definitely helped me to manage her weight and when I did she didn't have any false pregnancy symptoms. I didn't cut Zoni's food back her first season (didn't know to do it) and she did have false pregnancy, which freaked the heck out of me at the time when all of the sudden she started filling with milk (her teats would swell and shrink almost randomly, it reminded me of the movie Aliens, lol) and she was going through all of this frantic nesting behavior. I thought she was having some sort of medical emergency at the time until I started counting back the days from her heat cycle and caught a clue. I was on the phone with several breeders I knew trying to figure out what to do about it, lol.

I made Z's seasonal panties out of fleece in Z-appropriate colors. the first set was purple and gold (BOB ribbon colors), but then it sort of looked like maybe we were Viking fans, so the second set was pink and purple (princess colors). She did very well with them, but I didn't leave them on her when in the crate. Fleece is nice to work with for the novice sewer as you don't have to finish off the edges, but it does tend to stretch. Of course if you do decide to use panties, I strongly suggest you tell your little girl how wonderful they look on her and NEVER laugh at her with them on.

Okay question to breeders… WTH? Two on this thread with heats now in spring, and one in her 2nd heat. Is that usual? We got Arwen, she didn't go into heat at ALL (born end Oct, had spayed in early Sept). I had (wrongly it seems) assumed most waited til at least early fall for first heat. Will they then settle into yearly or if 2 first year indicates going to be 2x a year forever?

LOL on the crying for love on Youtube. When a bitch was in heat, my male Rottie howled for hours on end, slept a bit, howled more. It was hell. What was funny though is I had him and anywhere from 3 to 5 females. Obviously I didn't let him out with the one in heat but he'd go around continuously checking the others crying "is it you? is it you? is it you?" I was so happy to no longer have intact bitches.

Oh, and on the determination of dogs... i have heard of several being bred THROUGH the fence so even with great fencing, you have to supervise!

not a breeder, but my bitch came into season twice a year. But that was pretty common in her pedigree. I know of several dogs in that line that started out with two a year and then cycled down to one a year.

Yup, there are some lines that have always had two seasons… Kathy Britton's Basenji come to mind.... not uncommon at all, really.

And many puppies will have an early puppy season at 5 to 7 months of age... most times you find that if an older bitch in the same home comes in 4 to 6 months after whelping, but not always.

Luckily I avoided false pregnancies and twice a year heats with both Ruby and Aaliyah. Yup, once a year was bad enough. 😃

With Aaliyah - there is nothing feminine about her (except her looks) - she is (and always has been) a complete tomboy and when she went into heat, she actually lost weight (and she could have stood to gain some as she was super lean) as she didn't really want to eat - and didn't want to do much of anything. Her appearance didn't change and even her vulva hardly swelled. She had the "blue funk" and just seemed depressed and disgusted by the whole ordeal. And it only made her mark Brando's pee, more than she did already. :rolleyes:

And to Debra…the rottie sniffing all the girls to see if they were the ones in heat...that same thing was happening to Ruby from Brando and I finally ended up separating those two (even though Ruby was spayed by that point), because Ruby was about ready to rip Brando's face off. 😃

@agilebasenji:

Of course if you do decide to use panties, I strongly suggest you tell your little girl how wonderful they look on her and NEVER laugh at her with them on.

What happens when you laugh - do they immediately get shredded? :D:D

My bitch was co bred by Kathy Britton & John Gaidos and this year she is the only one that has had a spring season per KB & JG. Lucky me (she is my first female)

Mine was born December 14, 2009 and had her first season the day we pulled into the BCOA national on August 31. Her second season started on April 26th.

I saw Therese at a show on May 8th and she had a young female that had started her first season. I also saw a post from Tad on Facebook today saying 2 of his adult females have just come in.

In my case, I think a neighbors bitch must have come in nearby because about a month before my girl started my dog KNEW something was up, he would check her all the time and all he wanted to do was hang out in the yard.

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