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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19767
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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False Heat

Customer Question

My 6 year old saluki bitch, according to my male, has been in heat for about 9 days. It has only been 4 months since her last heat and she usually comes in every 5 months or so. Her heats have gotten progressively difficult to "see" she has little discharge and little swelling and she is fastidiously clean. My male is certain and she is flagging for him. She has no discharge and no swelling. I had hoped to breed her, AI to a different male on this cycle. Is it possible for a bitch to have a false heat? I had a vaginal cytology preformed on her two days ago and again tomorrow but today my male seems less interested what do you think?
Thank you Michelle
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 years ago.
Hi Liberte,

Dogs can have silent heats where there is little to no outward signs and like you have discovered, males are still attracted to the females. You can read more about it here:

However, some males will be attracted to a female who has bleeding in the same general area such as with a vaginal infection or urinary tract infection. I am assuming that your vet would have told you if they thought the dog was not in heat.

There are many reproductive problems that can occur in dogs including short heat cycles, split estrus, and other causes. Your dog might be having an abnormal heat cycle. The following site goes over these potential problems.

I hope this information is helpful to you.