Zara came into her first heat season this past Saturday. She is 10.5 months old and we knew that it could happen any time after six months of age. I had read that some vizslas don’t come into heat until a year or 18 months, so I was a little surprised that it happened so soon.
We didn’t have much warning either. I had also read that her vulva would swell significantly prior to her heat beginning. I had been keeping an eye on it just in case for the past couple months. On Friday night, Chris commented that her rear end looked a little more swollen that normal. It wasn’t very obvious but I Googled “signs that your dog is about to go into heat” and some of the other symptoms were excessive licking and humping owners’ legs. Zara had been doing both of those things in the previous couple days. The article said that after her vulva became swollen, it could be anywhere from a day to a week until she started bleeding.
I was hoping that it would be a few days before it started but lo and behold, the next day she was bleeding a little bit when we woke up. Thankfully, I had already purchased the “doggie panties” that our breeder recommended. These are fabric diaper-type panties that fit over her behind. You put a pantiliner inside and change it out every few hours or so. Zara wasn’t too enthused about the panties at first and tried to bite at them. After giving her a stern “leave it” a few times, she left them alone. She’s been really good about them overall. And I also think she looks pretty cute!
I was also not excited that she came into heat right now because she just got rid of the cone last week! We were only able to go to the dog park for a day or two before this happened. Now we have to wait at least three weeks before it’s safe to go back. Dogs generally come into heat every six months and the cycle last about 3 weeks.
Chris and I are also on vacation this week in the Outer Banks, North Carolina. We rented a house with our friends Erin and Dave who own Zara’s dog buddy Jax. He is neutered so that is not an issue. Being here with her in heat hasn’t been too much of a problem. At least she doesn’t have to be alone much. She has definitely been more clingy and whiny since she came into heat. Whenever I am sitting on standing, she will lay down next to my feet so that some part of her body is touching them. I’ve also noticed that she seems a little more protective and vocal. She’s been barking more so than normal.
I had read that dogs are often more tired when they are heat. I think this was only the case on Tuesday. Chris and I were working during the day and Zara just wanted to be in her crate so she could clean herself and sleep. She never wants to be in her crate during the day. She slept most of the day and was also passed out pretty early at night. The other days, she hasn’t seemed particularly tired.
Almost one week down, two to go.