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Joni, Certified Vet Tech-Canine Specialty
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1683
Experience:  20+ years as dog specialist at vet clinic (all aspects)- raise Great Danes
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bassett hound heat cycle

Customer Question

my bassett hound just turned 6 months old. the last 2 days she has been playfull,dosnt act sick, but is very winney. her privats dont look swollen. could she be getting ready to go into heat? and do they get cramps like humans?
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Heidi Chambers replied 11 years ago.
Heat cycles vary, but average two to three weeks for most dogs. Heat is usually to begin with the first signs of discharge and with the female is paying attention to her vulva. The vulva will begin to appear swollen. It ends when all discharge ceases and the vulva has returned to its normal size. The most visual sign is vaginal bleeding. This doesn't normally become noticeable until a few days after the female has actually come into estrus. Swelling of the vagina should be taken as the first sign of heat. She will most likely also pay increased attention (licking and sniffing) to her rear end area. She will be more attractive to male dogs from the beginning of her heat period, but does not usually allow mating until about 7-10 days later. At that time, the discharge will normally become less bloody. Some dogs experience heavy vaginal bleeding during estrus. And, yes, they can experience cramps as women due during their period but usually not as intense. You may also notice her urinating in small quantities and more frequently than usual. (Her urine contains pheromones and hormones signaling to any interested males that she will be receptive soon.) Larger breeds tend to start their first heat later than smaller breeds. On average, a Bassett will start her first heat between 6 to 8 months of age. If you're not planning on breeding her, I would suggest getting her spayed right now. The best time to do that is before the first heat. If it turns out that she is in heat, you can still have her spayed but many vets prefer waiting until they are finished. (The surgery is also a bit more risky, takes a bit longer due to dealing with more blood vessels, and can cost a bit more money.) Your girl could just be whiney because she's a puppy and still wants as much attention from you as she can get! However, if you want to know for sure, a visit to your vet should give you the best answer. If I can help you any further, feel free to let me know!
Expert:  Joni replied 11 years ago.
Hi- Sorry I was not available when you requested me. Heidi gave you an excellent answer though. Joni