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Please can anyone pass on any tips on how to deal with our first season...

(15 Posts)
bobkate Mon 20-Jun-11 22:44:22

Hi, I would really appreciate any help with this. She's our first puppy, a springer, who is 9 months old. We've also got a 6/7 year old neutered springer boy and we previously had another springer girlie, who we sadly lost last September. All 3 are rescues, our first girlie we got when she was 8 ( she was very nearly 12 when she died ) so the long and short of it is we've no experience of a bitch in season.
I've been expecting it but not sure what to do now I think it might be here.
She's got very swollen bits, haven't seen any blood, and no other signs that I have noticed. Is this the start of it? As our other dog is neutered do we have to do anything different at home? I may be naive in thinking ( and please put me right if I am ) that if he's neutered they don't need to be kept apart as nothing can happen anyway?
Also now her bits are swollen is this the time that we need to keep her on a lead for her walks? Poor love, that'll be so hard for her, she really is a pocket rocket, but I'd rather her be totally miserable and peed off than risk her getting pounced upon.
Any tips/pointers/advice/words of wisdom will all be very gratefully received!

bobkate Tue 21-Jun-11 20:50:48


bobkate Wed 22-Jun-11 19:53:30

please...pretty please? I am starting to get a complex that I've committed some major MN posting booboo without knowing it!

Happymm Wed 22-Jun-11 19:59:27

You haven't, but have no idea how to help. Will watch with interest in case anyone does though! Have this joy to come grin

KnickersOnOnesHead Wed 22-Jun-11 20:02:05

Do not take her out for walks, at all! Lead or otherwise!!

Apart from that, just make sure that when she does bleed, that is isn't loads or clotted.

bobkate Wed 22-Jun-11 20:12:14

Thanks, so knickersononeshead ( wondering if I could put knickers for short?! ), would you say that because she is swollen her season has started for sure?
And thanks too Happymm - strangely finding it a bit stressful. Can't wait for her to be speyed.

HopeForTheBest Wed 22-Jun-11 20:24:34

Well, I am no expert but will tell you how it works for us, as our 5ryo bitch has just come off heat.

It usually starts with bits getting swollen and I usually don't notice this until she actually starts bleeding.
The "dangerous" part is at the end or after the bleeding when it's more a clear stuff coming out (I think). At any rate, that is the time when she is all like "Hey boys, here I am!". She sniffs around a lot, leaves a lot of wee messages and is less interested in playing on walks because she is looking for BOYS.
At the point when if you gently rub your hand across the base of her spine (where her tail is) and her tail moves to one side, that is when she is ready and will let any male dog have his way with her.

I only take her on the lead when we approach other dogs. I tend not to let other dogs (regardless of whether male/female/neutered) sniff or mount her as she has had dreadful problems with phantom pregnancies and I try to discourage anything which might make her think she has been impregnated.
I am not convinced that this actually works, by the way.

Whole thing lasts 3 weeks pretty much to the day.
9 weeks later she thinks she's having puppies and starts nesting.

She is a Parson Russell Terrier, so amount of bleeding and mess is minimal. She has been getting better and better about cleaning herself. Any drops of blood I spot I call her over and she cleans them up too.

I find the on heat bit quite easy and not at all problematic tbh, but the nesting etc is harder (for me).

Um. Not sure any of this is really going to be very useful to you grin

bobkate Wed 22-Jun-11 20:38:20

Yep, very, thankyou. She seems to be being quite flirty with our other dog, kind of sticking her bottom in his face, flaunting herself it seems, and keeps trying to have a nibble of his willy - he just looks confused, bless him.
Sorry - another question....does the bleeding phase vary time wise, is there an average?
Great tip about getting them to clean up any drops smile

HopeForTheBest Wed 22-Jun-11 22:25:18

I reckon it's about a week altogether of bleeding. But it changes from blood to clear stuff after a while and that (I think) is the actual time when she can get pregnant, not the bloody-bleeding time. (I am just now realising how little I know about this). She has got better and better at keeping herself clean, spent a lot of this time washing herself.

There is a point when the behaviour changes from a bit flirty to COME AND GIVE IT TO ME NOW, BIG BOY grin You want to watch out for that (the tail moving aside when you stroke the back is a good sign). Mine will then actively offer herself up to anything that moves, regardless of sex or even species eg STOP eyeing up that RABBIT grin

Happymm Wed 22-Jun-11 22:35:43

Eugh, this all sound a bit grim. We are so definitely going down the neutering route grin

KnickersOnOnesHead Thu 23-Jun-11 09:12:10

Expect her first season to be longer. My bitch's first season lasted four weeks, then you have to wait 12 weeks before spaying, but mine came back into season at around 12 weeks!!

I wouldn't risk taking her out at all tbh. A dog can smell a bitch in season from a far way away and all it takes is one aggressive/wilful dog and then you could be in a possible situation.

alp Thu 23-Jun-11 10:16:04

Our vet has told us they can spay at 6/7 months so before first season. Has anyone heard of this before?

My neighbour has dogs that I'm pretty sure aren't vaccinated/neutered etc and are pretty rogue so I would be worried to have out dog in the garden if there is a chance they could get at her iykwim so neutering before her first season would be an answer

OnlyWantsOne Thu 23-Jun-11 10:23:51

My lab is having her first season. Bleeding now for 1 week - started last Thursday. Shes a mental mess of hormones. Very clingy, wont leave DP and I alone = shes not great at clearing herself up and looks in a constant state of worried!

Took her to vets as she had swollen face, vet says its fine and to be expected. Shes also been off her food - VERY unlike her

bleeding normally IMO lasts 10 to 14 days, that is when they are most fertile about days 10 to 14!!

I cant walk her, as all the other dogs just surround her at park - so with two kids its a night mare, but DP has been walking her super early and late at night without too much trouble.

We are thinking of breeding her - so thats why we didnt get her done before, but yes, you can have them done before their first season, or wait 3 months after

midori1999 Thu 23-Jun-11 16:41:58

Seasons last for around 3 weeks, give or take a few days. A few bitches do have seasons that last for almost/around 4 weeks. The vulva and teats swell just prior to the bleeding starting (one or several days) and remain swollen until after the season. After the season the vulva will no longer be swollen, although after a first season the vuvla and teats will not be the same as before, both will be larger/fuller. Bitches bleed for the full duration of the season, although the initial bleeding will be heaviest, then turn lighter/straw coloured at around ovulation and then remain light but redder for the rest of the season. Bitches most commonly ovulate around day 10-14 of a season, but they can ovulate/be fertile at any time during the season and get pregnant from a mating at any time during the season.

An in season bitch can attract a male dog from several miles away and most dogs will have no trouble clearing a 6ft fence to get to a bitch in season, so you should be careful even if the bitch is in your own garden. Some male dogs can be very forceful with in season bitches and lots of bitches can get scared by male dogs approaching them and so a fight is always a danger, as much as a mating in fact if you walk a bitch in season and it can turn very nasty. If mating occur between inexperienced dogs and bitches, serious injuries can happen, some ending in death for dog or bitch, so an unwanted pregnancy is not the only risk from an unwanted mating. If an unwanted mating did occur you can have a bitch injected to prevent a pregnancy up to 6 weeks after the mating, but the earlier the better. However, there is an increased risk of pyometra (life threatening womb infection) after using the injection, so it's not something to be taken lightly.

Phantoms pregnancies, irregular seasons, over-frequent seasons and lengthy seasons are all associated with an increased risk of pyometra, so IMO are medical reasons to spay a bitch. Plus, none are pleasant for the bitch either.

Hope this helps. Must feed newborn baby now (who DH asked if we could take out before her vaccinations! grin ) but if I have left anything out I will reply later.

bobkate Thu 23-Jun-11 22:29:06

Thanks ever so much for all your's really helped. Bless her, she has changed, just seems to be a bit morose. Also quite sleepy and not so hyper as usual ( which in a purely selfish way I'm quite enjoying! ).
Love the comment from your DH Midori! And congrats on your newborn. My 2nd is very nearly one....this year has flown by.
Thanks again for all the pointers smile

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