Extra Long Heat in Young Unbred Basenji

I searched the site and found a couple of answers but none that covered my situation (or none that I found anyway). Here's the deal:

Phoebe started bleeding bright red blood that dripped off her hind legs on August 13, 2019. She was 7 months old. I've been keeping close tabs on her since. There was a slowing of the bleeding (sort of pink-tinged liquid) around week three and then she went back to bleeding pretty prolifically, bright red droplets. Her vulva is swollen, but aside from the bleeding she is her normal self.

My question: We are in week six as of yesterday and counting. How long will a young unbred Basenji stay in heat or should I be concerned that something else is going on? Signed, Lady Macbeth.

While there are huge variations in seasons, six weeks is getting to the long end though probably still in a tail of the distribution. I'd probably wait one more week or a week and a half and then take her to the vet. But the vet might not find anything. Sorry that the two of you are having to deal with this. The fact she's her normal self suggests there isn't anything untoward gong on.

One thing you might do is look at what she's eating. Don't know what you're feeding her, but you might want to cut back on her kibble and eliminate any additional food, especially milk products, if those are in the mix.

@donc Thanks for this info! Yogurt, she does get a dab of yogurt with her combined raw meat and Nutri-source small and medium breed puppy kibbles twice a day. Do you suggest cutting out the meat and yogurt?

@morgansc said in Extra Long Heat in Young Unbred Basenji:

@donc Thanks for this info! Yogurt, she does get a dab of yogurt with her combined raw meat and Nutri-source small and medium breed puppy kibbles twice a day. Do you suggest cutting out the meat and yogurt?

Yes. The yogurt for sure but I'd probably skip the meat as well. I'd also feed her less than usual. This will probably work because her season is probably/hopefully going to stop shortly regardless. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I'm pretty sure I've read that more calories are associated with seasons. Makes sense when you think about it. My observation is that milk products make a difference but I have no scientific evidence to support that.

FWIW my guess would be that the change from red discharge to pink in week three marked the Luteinizing hormone surge, which suggests a longer but normal cycle. Keep a record because they tend to repeat the same pattern.

One thing about all Basenjis is that they are unpredictable and don't follow any rules ! I've had a bitch stay in season for 7 weeks and longer.

The changes in colour are normal. Dark red, paling off to almost straw colour when she is actually ovulating and then turning dark red again.

That said, I would consult the vet - but make sure you find a vet who really knows and understands Basenjis or you may not get good advice. These are once-a-year girls and do have longer seasons than other breeds who have two annual seasons.

Good luck !

@zande Hi. Thank you, Sally. I did see a post from you several years ago that indicated you've had bitches with long heat cycles and thank you for weighing in again here. Very helpful. Yes, the vet is an issue where I live (end of the road in very rural Costa Rica) and they know nothing about Basenjis. In the meantime, I'll follow Don's advice and see if I can dry her up with reduced dairy and meat. I'll keep you posted.

@donc Thanks again. I will cut those two items from her diet for the moment and see if I can dry her up that way. Yes, I've kept a record of her cycle in my journal just because I wanted to track it. She seems fine otherwise and I'll keep you posted. Such a great resource you all are here on BF. Especially since I live in a remote area without Basenji savvy vets!

Vets can be a problem. I find, even with experienced ones, I have to call them to heel from time to time with reminders !

You have to educate them. Start off with the 'longer seasons just once a year' theme, go on to 'only use external preparations suitable for cats because Basenjis clean themselves like felines' and get them to read up specifics on-line.

The worst case of ignorance I have ever come across was a US military Vet, stationed in Germany. He was unaware that Basenji boys carry fore and after, not side by side as other breeds.

He insisted on castrating a perfectly normal, healthy young male on the basis he mustn't be allowed to pass on such a deformity ! The UK Breeder was given a hard time by the new owner of the pup, but enough of us had seen the boy before he was shipped out to a US serviceman stationed in Germany. . .

@zande OMG, what an idiot vet! And... refused to educate himself. My vet is curious and that is a good thing. I have talked with her a lot about Basenjis, about single heat cycles, coming into heat earlier than the local mutts here, and she is receptive. She just knows she'll never care for another other than mine. I'll let you know how things go this week. I can tell you that Miss Phoebe looked at her food this morning and then at me as if to say, Really? Green beans and kibble? This is what it''s come to between us? ๐Ÿ™‚

Is Miss Phoebe in the on-line database ???

@zande I don't know what that is so... probably not. What is it? ๐Ÿ™‚

@morgansc An online pedigree database with over 103,500 Basenji pedigrees ! Many with photos. I need her registered name, Mom, Dad, date and birth and breeder and I will add her. But take a look - [www.pedigrees.zandebasenjis.com]. Ask it for any dog you can name, or just ask it for 'zande' and you'll see my present and past Basenjis.

@zande said in Extra Long Heat in Young Unbred Basenji:

Vets can be a problem. I find, even with experienced ones, I have to call them to heel from time to time with reminders !

This might be different in rural areas, but most vets in urban areas have very little experience with puppies. There aren't many breeders and of those many do their own vet work to save money. It's a bit sad actually. One reason that many vets are unhappy with their jobs is that they got into the profession because they love animals but their practice mainly involves animals in pain, including the unappealing job of putting animals down.

@morgansc said in Extra Long Heat in Young Unbred Basenji:

@zande I don't know what that is so... probably not. What is it? ๐Ÿ™‚

Wonderful resource for all of us!

@zande Nice. I'm flat out with an international move but when I come up for air, Feeb is neutered ( a requirement by the breeder,) and subsequently registered, I'll definitely fill this out. I'm trying to hold out until she is two...at least to spay her...

Hold out till she is three - at the very least. There was as excellent piece on these forums recently about why spaying was contra-indicated. I am sure it would be acceptable to repeat it (or I can email it to you privately, cos I kept it).

@morgansc said in Extra Long Heat in Young Unbred Basenji:

@zande Nice. I'm flat out with an international move but when I come up for air, Feeb is neutered ( a requirement by the breeder,) and subsequently registered, I'll definitely fill this out. I'm trying to hold out until she is two...at least to spay her...

Agree with Zande that 3 is the youngest. Let them develop first. The breeder "requirement" is more or less BS. You can't be forced to neuter. The actual leverage is registration. If you don't neuter then you can't register the dog or any puppies produced by the dog.. But if you're not interested in breeding then registration isn't terribly important. I don't blame breeders for holding registration. They may not know you and having someone turn a dog into a breeding machine isn't what they want. My guess is if you told the breeder you weren't breeding but you didn't want to spay for health reasons they'd be fine with that. Lots of times it's the opposing case. People agree to keep the dog intact and then spay/neuter.

I also think that breeders are overly confident in thinking they can determine what a puppy will be like as an adult. Michael Jordon couldn't make his high school basketball team and he turned out to be a decent player! LOL

@donc said in Extra Long Heat in Young Unbred Basenji:

I also think that breeders are overly confident in thinking they can determine what a puppy will be like as an adult. Michael Jordon couldn't make his high school basketball team and he turned out to be a decent player! LOL

Happens with children / school teachers all the time ! One breeder I knew (sadly no longer with us) used to say she could tell the quality of a pup while it was still wet from the womb. By the time it had been licked dry, it was too late.

Never worked for me !

Spay/neuter or leave intact, and when, ... all the data isn't in. I think you need to really read the research and make your own decisions. But I certainly would wait until 2 or 3 or not at all. And realize even then, both can have deadly consequences. IOW, it's your dog and choice as you'll be the one carrying the loss if it goes bad.

My big concern for long cycles is pyometra. The longer the cervix is open, the long bacteria has to enter and cause an infection.

Have you talked to your breeder? Seems like she should have told you. Call and ask.
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