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Bitch in season for the first time

(12 Posts)
oxocube Mon 06-Jun-11 13:06:25

My Golden Retriever has come into season for the first time aged 16 months. My vet only neuters three months after the first season so I plan to have her speyed in September. She is my first female dog so this is a new experience and quite difficult as she obviously has to be kept on the lead when she usually has two long walks off the lead every day.

I have noticed that she is quite restless and smells horrible despite being shampooed one a week and going swimming every other day. Is this normal with bitches in season?

Any advice? TIA

LetThereBeCupcakes Wed 08-Jun-11 15:49:57

I've only ever had already-spayed dogs or males, so can't advise re the smell I'm afraid. Regarding her restlessness, does she have any female / neutered male friends who can come over for a playdate to help her burn some energy? Some bitches can be a little aggressive when in season, as they warn off unwanted boys, so just be aware of that. Otherwise, mental stimulation helps tire them too - try doing short training sessions with her at home throughout the day.

Slubberdegullion Wed 08-Jun-11 19:07:06

hiya oxo, long time no see smile

Elsie certainly smelt a bit off when she was in season, and the smell of the blood wasn't that great either. She was very, VERY restless for the first week or so, pacing about when I went upstairs, crying, being generally odd and twitchy. It does pass.

I kept her indoors for most of her season (too many off lead entire dogs round these here parts). I upped the clicker training and ball retrieving in the garden to keep her busy.

It was all over in a month and now she has been done NEVER AGAIN hurrah hurrah

oxocube Wed 08-Jun-11 19:28:15

hi slubber smile

Were you also advised to let Elsie have one season before having her neutered? Am walking her in the woods at odd times when there is no one else around. Can't wait until she can be speyed in September smile

DooinMeCleanin Wed 08-Jun-11 19:32:43

I was advised to let Whippy have one season before neutering her, so she is due to be done at the end of next month. I didn't noticed her smelling, but she hardly bled at all and is very tiny, so maybe that is why.

Her behaviour seemed normal too, but she's very laid back. If she was anymore laid back she'd be horizontal (which she is for most of the day hmm)

My mum's little lab used to be exactly the same as you describe your dog to be when she was in season.

Slubberdegullion Wed 08-Jun-11 19:52:18

oxo, yes well I had conflicting advice from my vets re to spay before or after her first season which led to the altogether unpleasant glistening vulva incident.

She was done three months after. I did read on my lab forum that there was a recommended number of days for labradors to wait after she came into season before spaying, rather than the generic 3 month rule. midori would probably know if this was the case for goldens.

oxocube Wed 08-Jun-11 20:35:30

Thanks everyone for the advice. Can I ask how old your dogs were when they came into season for the first time. Phoebe is 16 months and I thought it would have been earlier. Is this normal for goldens/labs?

grin at Slubber and the 'glistening incident' - must say I'm glad this is a one off!!!

MrsChatalot Wed 08-Jun-11 21:45:54

My Golden Retriever came into season at 9 months. I walked her on a lead for 4 weeks as advised by our vet to be on the safe side as I was told they're usually at their most fertile at the end of the 3 week season and you can't be exactly sure when it starts. I avoided all busy parks and mostly used the time as an opportunity to walk on streets past shops which had the effect of significantly improving how she walked to heel! Your dog is older so walking to heel is probably is something she does better than mine did. My dog also liked the interesting smells of walking past shops - especially the cheese and fish shops! Walking on the lead did mean that I was out a lot longer to give her decent enough walks. Maybe you could find a pavement cafe on the way that's friendly to dogs. I sat outside in October with a hot chocolate while the dog had a hide chew! Every few days I also took my dog on hilly wooded walks at lunchtime (only during the week and not the weekend) when it was usually deserted. My dog was still on the lead and I was ready to run if I saw anyone I didn't know! It is a bit of a pain but at least you only have to do it once if you get your dog spayed three months after it's over which is what I did. My dog was a bit smelly too and was thoroughly shampooed when her season was over. Good luck!

Slubberdegullion Wed 08-Jun-11 21:48:59

I think Elsie was about 10 months when she came into season. Not sure about average age sorry.

Poor Phoebe, hope she is back to normal soon.

oxocube Thu 09-Jun-11 06:02:05

MrsC thanks. Phoebe is not very good on the lead blush. Fine if we see no one else but still pulls like mad to say hello to every dog and person we meet. Because we are so close to woods, she spends almost all of her walks off lead so you are right - this will be very good practice for her!!

midori1999 Thu 09-Jun-11 10:02:00

It is usual for Goldens to get their first season between 6 and 12 months, most often between 7-10 months. Then every 6 to 10 months after that, although usually 6-7 months.

Bitches do have a certain smell when they are in season, some more than others. I find it a kind of sickly sweet smell. If it is especially unpleasant or foul smelling I would get her checked by a vet as although pyometra doesn't usually happen during a season, it would still concern me. Also be vigilant a couple of months after her season ends for any foul smelling discharge, illness etc.

Bitches are most often most fertile between days 9-14 of their season, as this is the most common time to ovulate. However, they can ovulate at any time of their season and so need to be kept away from male dogs during the whole time, an dpreferably a little after to make sure. The bleeding changes to a straw like colour and lightens around ovulation. Usually, not always!

I would personally be extremely cautious when walking her in season and even consider not doing so at all. Male dogs can smell a bitch from quite a distance and if a male dog approached your bitch on a walk it's possible you'd be unable to prevent a mating, especially if she was ovulating and receptive to him. It's also possible that if a male is persistent and the bitch not ready or nervous that a serious fight could occur, causing injuries. Of course, it's entirely your decision, just making you aware of possible scenarios.

oxocube Thu 09-Jun-11 11:53:43

Thanks midori. Wow, 16 months seems very late then. Do you think she could have come into season quite young and I've missed it? There was certainly no bleeding until this time. She doesn't smell 'foul' but just strong and yes, a bit sickly sweet.

I'm managing to walk her at the moment by picking my times very carefully - eg when many parents are picking up their kids from school or very early in the morning. We did come across another bitch yesterday (both dogs were on leads) and as someone said here, the other dog was snappy and a little aggressive towards mine who just backed off.

I wish I could not walk her for now but I have a tiny garden and it doesn't seem fair (mind you, neither does an unwanted mating sad). She has gone from being very distracted and restless to sleeping more than usual and is less affectionate. Am so glad she will be neutered in three months and all this worry will be over!

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