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wolfsoul
04-13-2006, 09:06 PM
Visa is having signs of coming into heat -- though she is not due for another 3 months. :confused: Does anyone know if it is possible for her to have another heat so soon after the last one? I really hope she isn't -- we can't afford to go to Washington where the male is right now, and we haven't had her hips certified yet.

Dixieland Dancer
04-14-2006, 07:32 AM
If there are no male dogs around, the first physical signs of heat are the enlarging of the vulva. She will start to lick herself more also. You may also see a very light strawberry color discharge depending on how clean she keeps herself. I've known some dogs who never show any discharge because they are obsessed with keeping clean. If there is a male around, he will become crazy and will start sniffing her as early as 3 weeks before you notice any physical signs.

How old is Visa and when was her last heat? There is no set amount of time between cycles just because of the breed. I know some dogs that come into season every 5 months or so and others that come into season every 9 to 12 months. Their age when they first have a heat cycle can be an indication of how frequent they will have a heat cycle.

You mentioned you are going to breed her but don't have all your clearances yet. Then I would STRONGLY discourage you from breeding her for this cycle. A reputable breeder will ALWAYS make sure all the T's are crossed and the I's are dotted before breeding and getting clearances should be done before even determining what Stud dog to use. For instance if Visa gets her OFA (hips) clearance as a fair or good rating, you might want to consider finding a male with and excellent rating. If hers are excellent you will want to find one with Good. Breeding two excellents is discouraged too because the hips can actually be too tight in the offspring. In large breed dogs, even though fair is an ok rating, I do not consider it an option. Smaller breeds are a different story.

Then you need to consider heart clearances and eye clearances. What if the heart clearance shows Visa has a heart murmur? Letting her get pregnant under those conditions could put her life in jeopardy.

Being a reputable breeder means you have to do a lot of homework up front in order to produce the best of the breed you are involved with. It means you are breeding for the right reasons and not because you expect to get money out of selling the pups. If done correctly, having a litter of pups is basically a break even proposition for the first litter after all medical costs and proper care of the newborns are done.

I mention all this because you sound like you want to do it right. If that is the case and she is coming into season, then wait until her next cycle. When I bred Dixie, she was 3 1/2 years old and had several heats so I was able to determine exactly what her cycle was. I actually had it pinned to 3 days of her actually coming into season. Her cycles were 6 1/2 months apart from each other. Knowing when they come in exactly is also critical in breeding because it's normally between the 12 and 15 day they concieve.

Again, if she is coming into season and you're not ready, wait until her next season when you are ready. Do your homework first. There are enough backyard breeders out there and you don't need to be added to that list. The welfare of Visa's future pups depends on you!

wolfsoul
04-14-2006, 02:46 PM
Her vulva is not swollen, but I've heard that even before it becomes swollen, males will start to go crazy -- I babysat her brother and he was constantly sniffing her back end and mounting her -- and she would stand for him, which is unusual behaviour for her. Now I'm babysitting a chihuahua who also seems very interested in her back end. She is three years old.

We would never breed her if she was in heat right now -- she needs her hips done. Her heart isn't a concern for the breed -- Infact, there are no major health concerns in this breed. It is relatively underbred because they are difficult to find homes for. Eyes and hips are done as a precaution though. It is mainly behavioural problems that are the issue in the breed. She is already CERF clear. Her hips will be done before her next heat. I am going with OFA and Pennhipp, because Pennhipp is a much more reliable source. Almost all of the dogs in Visa's pedigree are OFA excellent, so hopefully she will be the same. I am not sure of the male's rating, but Visa's breeder knows all that. The male she is bred to is her decision, but she would never breed to a dog that has a rating less than Good.

If she is coming into heat, will she have another heat this year? I mention this because Visa's breeder wants to have her done this year. She doesn't like waiting until a dog is after three years old for their first litter. Visa's heats have always been 6 months apart from eachother, but even her breeder looked at me the other day and said "The dogs say she's coming into heat early." :confused:

Thanks for the advice :)

lute
04-14-2006, 03:54 PM
a friend of mine had two belgain sheepdogs. both females. she said they always had weird heat cycles. one o them didn't come into her first heat until she was almost 15 months old! the other one(her sister) would have anywhere between 1-3 heats a year. i think it's the breed. could your vet find out of she's comming into heat or not?

wolfsoul
04-14-2006, 05:09 PM
Wow, 15 months old. :eek: I am heading to the vet today anyways to buy some tripe, so I'll ask her while I'm there. :)

Dixieland Dancer
04-15-2006, 10:59 AM
If she is coming into heat, will she have another heat this year? I mention this because Visa's breeder wants to have her done this year. She doesn't like waiting until a dog is after three years old for their first litter. Visa's heats have always been 6 months apart from eachother, but even her breeder looked at me the other day and said "The dogs say she's coming into heat early." :confused:

Thanks for the advice :)

If she is getting this much attention then she is coming in and should be in with a couple weeks. I'm glad to hear you will wait to make sure she has proper clearances first. I don't see why the breeder would be upset at waiting until the dog is a little over 3 years old. I bred my Dixie when she was 3 1/2 and we didn't have any issues. The only issue I can see is that she wants her to have more litters and sooner rather than later. I strongly encourage you to wait!