When will my B get her first period?

This is our first basenji! Our girl is 8 months old this month. I am just wondering when she will get her first period? I know Basenji’s only go into heat once a year, so is this the same for them getting a period? Or their first one? I am not sure if this is a stupid question or not. My parents really want to wait To have her spayed, until after her first cycle so we are trying to figure out when that will be. TIA!

last edited by jenmar

@jenmar said in When will my B get her first period?:

My parents really want to wait until after her first cycle ...

Can you clarify what is going to happen after her first "cycle'?

Basenjis usually come into season once a year, typically but not always in the fall. You are confusing human biology with canine, dogs don't have "periods" as women do, they have heat cycles (coming into season) which is the equivalent, and in Basenjis that will be once a year, when there will be discharge so you will be able to see when it happens. I am assuming from your question that your parents want to wait to spay her until after her first heat? That is a good plan, IMO.

Could be anytime from 6 months to 1yr for their first season

@elbrant ok wow sorry i totally didn’t read that while writing! My parents want to wait til she has her first cycle to have her spayed

@eeeefarm i completely forgot to add that they want to spay her after she goes through her first cycle. Oops!

It is different in the southern hemisphere - we are six months behind, or in front, if you wish. The spaying is a hysterectomy, so she may need attention later in life.

Why spay ? And certainly not before she is hormonally and structurally mature or you are likely to be building up problems for the poor girl in later life. Let her mature naturally and then ask yourself if spaying is really necessary ?

Although it might be a possible convenience to you, it can be positively harmful to the bitch when she is older.

Congrats for waiting on the first cycle. I'd say at least two. It takes at least that long for all the development to occur. Or take Zande's sage advice and don't do it.

As people have said, could be anytime from six months to a year. So best guess would be 9-10 months. Like human girls, Basenji girls are unpredictable (joke).

@zande said in When will my B get her first period?:

you are likely to be building up problems for the poor girl

A number of comments on this thread indicate that spaying is harmful later in life. Can anyone explain this?

  • What happens if you spay too soon?
  • What happens if you spay at an older age (say, 18 months)?

The best reply is to reproduce the email which was circulated a couple of months ago. In its entirety ❗

posted in Basenji Health Issues & Questions 30 May 2019, 15:49 • read more
@zande said in Spay Early or Spay Later:
Six months is far too young.
Yes...
Thanks, everyone, for weighing in on the side of waiting. I had a nice long WhatsApp chat with Liz McCargo of Bellator Basenji's last night and even though I did not buy my pup from her, she took the time to share her thoughts, which she said I could share here. This was her original answer.
“For the most part, I recommend delayed spaying and neutering in nearly all cases. For my puppy buyers I recommend waiting until 12-18 months old at the very least, ideally around 24 months old. For a majority of cases, this is best and best for the dogs. Although it means a little more management for the owners, it’s better in the long run for the lifetime of the dog.
“The best resource regarding spaying/neutering is the spay neuter booklet from puppy culture. It goes into all the nuances of why, from a scientific standpoint, and explains things a ton better than I ever could. What it boils down to is it’s better physically, emotionally, mentally, and psychologically for dogs to be allowed to fully mature before removing their sexual organs.
“The sexual organs help regulate the endocrine system which controls growth of joints, bones, organs, and the regulation of the thyroid. This is why many pets become fat after being fixed, the thyroid is negatively impacted by altering pets, and weight control becomes a bit more difficult. So with earlier spay/neuter, a dog can essentially grow disproportionately to what it was genetically designed since early removal of the sexual organs alters the dog genetically.
“So physically you may see no difference but their organs may be smaller or larger than originally designed which may lead to complications in the long run. So your dog may live to 10-12 years old, but had the potential to live to 15. We never really know the full impact as we cannot see into the future. Delayed altering can also reduce risks of many different types of cancers. The issues cited that support altering your pet are still there once you alter at a later age, so you’re not missing out on any of the benefits by waiting, but adding to the ultimate life long benefits by waiting.
“As long as a family can reasonably and responsibly contain their female when in season and contain their male apart from females in season, there’s no need for early altering. Many vets push it because it came from an era of pets breeding at their own will and resulted in many unwanted litters. In today’s day and of age of more fences and less farms, I don’t know any responsible owners who have unwanted litters.
“Most of Europe doesn’t alter their pets ever, but are able to responsibly contain them and prevent unwanted breedings. Anyway, that’s my two cents on it, the puppy culture book is a wealth of knowledge and the more educated you are, the better a standing up to pushy veterinarians.”
https://shoppuppyculture.com/products/puppy-culture-spay-neuter-booklet
So a) I will be buying the puppy culture booklet and b) will do everything in my power to keep my girl from being spayed until she is at least a year old and preferably two. Where I live is rampant with unneutered mutts but I have a secure house for her and am with her 100% of the time, so...we should do fine.
My other two Bs (littermates) were neutered younger than a year. One died of lymphoma at age 9 and the other of a brain tumor at age 10. Not sure if it was the early neutering, disreputable breeder, or what, but I really want to do everything I can to give this little girl the longest and best life possible.

last edited by Zande

I agree that Liz spells it out far more logically and coherently than I could, too. I tend to become marginally incoherent when people tell me spaying without specific health need is necessary / desirable.

In later life, if neutering is going to increase the quality of life for an old friend, then yes. I have done that - twice in 39 years of breeding and keeping these wonderful animals..

But to cut young Basenjis about, just for 'convenience' - because that is the real reason I suspect people do it for - is something I can't get my head around.

@Zande Thank you for the explanation. It certainly presents quite a lot of information to aid in such a decision.

@zande
I know this board is a few months old but any recommendations on what to do when your basenji girl does go into heat? I’m doing research on whether or not to have our almost 8month old basenji spayed, and leaning towards waiting, but feel apprehensive on the potential mess!

You can get pads for bitches in heat, much like a human sanitary napkin. Keeps the mess to a minimum. It goes without saying that you keep her away from intact males! Usually heat is no more than a minor inconvenience.

Could be any time.... typical is between 7 to 10 months... and not all Basenjis have read the same book for a once a year season.

@tanza
Good to know about the potential of going into heat more than once a year!

@eeeefarm
Great, thanks! I haven’t known anyone who has let their dogs go into heat before getting them spayed so this is all new territory for us!

@kova1212 said in When will my B get her first period?:

@eeeefarm
Great, thanks! I haven’t known anyone who has let their dogs go into heat before getting them spayed so this is all new territory for us!

That is so very sad ! and so totally unnecessary. Just imagine subjecting your daughter to a hysterectomy just because you worried about her having a season, the potential mess ? But we have rehearsed all this so many times. . . don't spay until you absolutely have to - for her quality of life in old age.

I'm ahead, or behind, whichever way you look at it, Kova1212, so others have responded to your post before I awoke this morning, however - to set your mind completely at rest -

Basenjis are very clean animals. Even a puppy will pay scrupulous attention to hygiene ! It is perfectly possible you won't even notice her dripping anywhere, so attentive will she be to cleaning herself.

What you will see is a slight swelling at her rear end, a slight puffiness, along with a dark discharge. You can put pants on her, or just put a towel on her favorite chair. The discharge will get much lighter, almost straw colored. That is when she would be most receptive and likely, if mated, to become pregnant.

When it darkens again, you still need to keep her away from the boys, but the ''danger' is less. Actually, most Basenji bitches have quite a narrow 'window' - less than 4 days. But you need to be careful for much longer.

During her season, it is possible that she becomes more affectionate, even clingy. Remember this is the first time for her and she will be aware that her feelings are perfectly natural but may nonetheless be a little confused. So lots of cuddles and absolutely no fuss if she does drip on the carpet ! Pat it clean with cold water and move on.

Once you are through the first season, you will wonder why you worried at all, and hopefully you will let her have her annual season normally for many years to come. Incidentally, because they are (usually) once-a-year girls, a Basenji's season can last longer than that of a mere 'normal' dog !

It goes without saying that you don't take her to dog parks or anywhere she might meet a randy male for the duration of the discharge. I have always found that my girls don't attract other breeds, just as my boys would come and tell me next door's Labrador was in season - but it was something they mentioned in passing, not anything they got excited about.

I am aware others don't agree with me on this - but in my almost 40 years with a pack of Basenjis, I have never had any problems with other breeds. And in this farming community, entire dogs of all shapes and sizes abound.

So let her have her first season, and the ones that will come after that and don't worry. It is all perfectly normal. All it takes is a bit of vigilance and maybe a damp rag or two !

Good luck

last edited by Zande

@zande
Thank you so much for your informative reply! This makes me feel so much more at ease about it all. Unfortunately it’s in our contract with our breeder to have her spayed eventually, but he also did recommend that we wait at least until her first season so I feel like we can do that! She already seems to like to keep pretty clean, so hopefully that will continue on to when she goes into season.
Thanks again!

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