June 4, 2012

Vizsla Heat Cycle - A Female's Perspective

I went on a trip to the pet store this past Tuesday to pick up some dog undies and liners and was absolutely shocked to find only a few, dusty packages of items that have probably been sitting there for over a year. It made me realize just how spay-happy our country has become!

Just recently, I had someone ask me why I didn't get Riley spayed before her first heat and tell me they didn't think it was "nice" or "fair" to make a girl go through it. My remark was that they must think it's so much nicer for the pup to be cut open and her ovaries ripped out when she is just a baby. I go through this every month... why are people so afraid of it?

Riley - modeling her stylish blue underwear

Here is what my breeder has to say about spay and neuter:

"A little truth on Spay and Neuter. First, you all know that I run the Southern California Vizsla Rescue. I am a huge proponent of Spay and Neuter (at the right age). Your vets will try to talk you into spay and neuter way to young for your Vizsla. My vet recommends 18 months for a male and at least 12 months for a female. Many females will never experience their first heat at 12 months. However, if yours do I will walk you through how to keep her safe! Just contact me. The tactic used by the vets is a scare tactic - the big C word (cancer). So let me give you my personal experience. No Vizsla that I have ever had contact with has EVER had: breast cancer, cervical cancer, or testicular cancer! So how many could that be? Lets see, between mine, my puppies I have bred, my vizslas parents, grandparents etc - well over 250 Vizslas. Please contact me if your vet is pressuring you to spay an neuter young. Spaying a 6 month old female is like giving a hysterectomy to a 6 year old girl! Please dont fall for the cancer scare."

Riley is on day #6 of her first heat cycle. It's been very easy to deal with so far. She wears a pair of undies inside the house with liners that we replace every few hours. If she is in her crate, we leave the undies off and change out her blanket every day. She actually does a really good job of keeping herself clean most of the time. I used Nature's Miracle Pet Stain and Odor Remover to clean up any little blood spots she left behind (they were very tiny). I was a little nervous about her first heat cycle, but now that we are about 1 week into it, it's really no big deal. The one thing I was not prepared for was how many bully sticks she would go through... she's chewed through an entire bag of 12 inch sticks in 6 days!

Our breeder gave us this advice on preventing any unwanted pregnancies:

"I want to cover how a heat works for a girl - in case any of you experience it and how to keep them SAFE: Usually between 12-18 months (but some can go as early as 6 months - very rare) their back end will swell - you will know. It looks like something is inside and making them pooch out. They will start bleeding. This is subtle, and you don't see a lot of blood but may notice red drops on your floor"... "Bleeding will last for 7-10 days. Then the discharge will turn pink or clear. THIS IS WHEN they usually get PREGNANT. I say usually because Cheyenne conceives while bleeding - which the vets tell me is NOT possible. The pink/clear part lasts 10-15 days. I keep my girls inside for 30 days from beginning to end to be safe so I never have any unwanted pregnancies."

So there you have it... the Vizsla heat cycle is not very difficult to deal with at all. I actually ENVY Riley - she only has to go through this every 6 months! :) 

If you're looking for some cute undies for your Vizsla, these undies are both adorable and useful. I just purchased women's pads and used those as liners. It worked perfectly!


  1. Go figure! Luna is in heat right now too, just came in Friday. The biggest inconvenience is keeping her on leash, and the boys we live with now. Due to us having 2 intact males upstairs and 2 other neutered plus 2 other intact girls (I work for a boarding/training/hunting facility) things get a little crazy in the house when they go into heat. So once she gets about a week in I have to move her out to the kennel to try and contain the scent and chaos. Big bummer to have to go out there every day and see her, and leave her out there. We used to do the same routine as you with what we like to call "fancy pants" but sadly this is just how it has to be while we live here. The boys are a bigger pain in the butt to live with than the girls when all this is going on.
    Luna broke some breeder records and came into heat at 9 months of age, she was the runt too of all things. Every other dog from that breeder has come in at 12 months or later. We show our dogs so that is also part of the reason many of them stay intact, I may breed Luna this next spring, but if not then we are spaying her. I don't think she should have to go through the heat for nothing after a point, thankfully we have never had to deal with a false pregnancy or anything crazy like that.
    Good luck to you through the rest of your heat, kudos to you for being so aware too. Soooo often I am the one who notices the dogs have gone into heat around here and among my friends... amazing how clueless some people are.

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