Normal vulva for a female in heat?

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Normal vulva for a female in heat?

Postby Amanda » Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:51 pm

My friend's dog is a French bulldog. She's going through her first heat cycle right now. She's going to be spayed after this cycle, but they decided after a lot of research to wait one heat before spaying. Anyway, her vulva is HUGE. She's not a big dog, but her vulva is about the size of a ping pong ball. Is this normal? We are afraid she has an infection as neither of us has ever seen an intact female go through a heat cycle before.
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Re: Normal vulva for a female in heat?

Postby whiteboxerboy » Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:58 pm

i don't know for sure, so this is ONLY a completely uneducated thought:

their vulvas do enlarge when they're in heat. i've seen some boxers with HUGE vulva's....

hopefully you'll get an educated opinion soon.

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Re: Normal vulva for a female in heat?

Postby jadakei » Mon Aug 31, 2009 1:16 pm

Yes the vulva does get swollen during heat cycle and goes down afterwards.
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Re: Normal vulva for a female in heat?

Postby JudyL » Mon Aug 31, 2009 1:48 pm

Sounds normal to me. I wouldn't worry unless they are seeing pus discharge or really stinky.
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Re: Normal vulva for a female in heat?

Postby Trademarkbark » Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:58 pm

The Frenchies in heat I've seen seem to appear unusually large for their size ...
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Re: Normal vulva for a female in heat?

Postby Amanda » Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:25 pm

Thank you. We were aware that they swell, it's just that it is so swollen we weren't sure how much swelling was normal. I think she's ok, no pus or anything. This is another reason why I am not interesting in breeding. Keeping her clean and not dripping on my floor (they live with us right now) is such a chore. She's not even my responsibility and it's no fun for me either!
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Re: Normal vulva for a female in heat?

Postby whiteboxerboy » Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:32 pm

do you have any, ahem, pardon me for saying this, 'protection' for her?

LOL

our childhood dog, mini schnauzer, went into heat and she had a really humiliating 'belt and pad' contraption she was forced to wear.

good luck, i'm sure this girl is not in the best of moods, either. look out freddie and landis....just don't even look at her! LOL
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Re: Normal vulva for a female in heat?

Postby CatStamm » Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:57 pm

[quote=whiteboxerboy]do you have any, ahem, pardon me for saying this, 'protection' for her?

LOL

our childhood dog, mini schnauzer, went into heat and she had a really humiliating 'belt and pad' contraption she was forced to wear.

good luck, i'm sure this girl is not in the best of moods, either. look out freddie and landis....just don't even look at her! LOL [/quote]

My thoughts exactly :) ...I've seen those oops or dog fights too often.... just curious, why did they want to wait?
I think it's best to alter them right before there 1st heat cycle.
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Re: Normal vulva for a female in heat?

Postby Amanda » Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:33 pm

Oh yes, Piper is being forced to wear GI Joe underwear (her dad is a big fan :p ) with a pad in them. Last night we had to tie a string from the waistband to her collar to keep them from sliding off. It is quite the sight to behold. lol

We aren't having any dog relationship issues at the moment. Both of my boys are very submissive to dominant females (probably from living with Sadie for so long). Piper isn't even really dominant and hasn't snarked or anything. Should I be on the lookout for this?

As far as I know, the research they did showed that it was best to allow the body's hormones to fully develop to influence growth and growth plate closure appropriately, along with some possible decreases in cancer rates and such. I don't remember the details, but that's the gist of what they told me. A lot of their decision was based on a holistic vet they were using in Georgia.
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Re: Normal vulva for a female in heat?

Postby JudyL » Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:47 pm

As her cycle progresses, your males may become more interested and until she'd be ready to breed, she'll be all snarky. And when the proper timing to breed arrives, she might turn into a slutty girl (can I say that here?).

Your dogs are neutered, aren't they?
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Re: Normal vulva for a female in heat?

Postby whiteboxerboy » Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:47 pm

yep, all the growth plate stuff is what i've learned as well, from my trainer friend who just got a new dobie puppy after losing her heart dog 18 mos ago.

i've always heard they get a little snarky when they're in heat, glad to hear she's handling it so well! sounds like you have a nice crew over there, no surprise those boys are SO cute and look like angels!
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Re: Normal vulva for a female in heat?

Postby Amanda » Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:18 pm

Yes, both boys are neutered. Landis was neutered latest at about 2 years, Freddy was 13 months. Landis was showing some interest in mounting today and Piper politely declined. We are making sure no mounting of any kind happens though because the boys are so much bigger than her.
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Re: Normal vulva for a female in heat?

Postby Tatyana » Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:45 pm

My former boss who bred/showed english bulldogs referred to the swollen vulva as a donut because on the super hormonal days it really looked like that. The more robust breeds tend to have more robust girly parts it seems.
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Re: Normal vulva for a female in heat?

Postby Sabine » Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:05 pm

[quote=CatStamm]I think it's best to alter them right before there 1st heat cycle.[/quote]

Actually it isn't. Amanda is right. This might be of interest to you:
http://www.caninesports.com/SpayNeuter.html

It doesn't only relate to canine athletes either. Personally I'm not at all in favor of spaying dogs before maturity.

Of course in certain cases it can't be helped, like for example when adopting from a shelter that won't release a pet until it's spayed/neutered, but as a whole the procedure is not as harmless as many of the animal rights people want to make pet owners think. That's why I am so vehemently against this whole "mandatory spay/neuter" bullshit - it's a major decision for a dog's life-long health, and should be up to the owner, not the government. (Sorry to be blunt! :p lol)
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Re: Normal vulva for a female in heat?

Postby Trademarkbark » Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:00 pm

[quote=angel51431]My former boss who bred/showed english bulldogs referred to the swollen vulva as a donut because on the super hormonal days it really looked like that. The more robust breeds tend to have more robust girly parts it seems. [/quote]

Very well put ... :thumbup:
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Re: Normal vulva for a female in heat?

Postby Sabine » Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:27 pm

I can only second what everyone else said. My standard Dachshund girl wasn't exactly "dainty" either. lol
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Re: Normal vulva for a female in heat?

Postby Amanda » Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:34 pm

How long does the bleeding typically last? I assume it varies between bitches, but we're going on 13 days now.
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Re: Normal vulva for a female in heat?

Postby Sabine » Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:59 pm

It's really individual even in females of the same breed, but it can last up to around 3 weeks.
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Re: Normal vulva for a female in heat?

Postby Colleen » Wed Sep 02, 2009 5:56 am

One of my duties at the kennel I worked at was to check the female Newf's to see if they were coming into heat. I would take a tissue and swab them for any discharge which sometimes started out as yellow and then changed. It was not fun parting those big hairy butt pants to see the vulva. With Tori she had a bit of bleeding but it was pretty easy to clean up after her.

Basically the initial stage of the heat cycle "proestrus" lasts an average of 9 days they do drip. After proestrus they go into the Estrus part, this is the phase of the heat cycle which is referred to as "standing heat". Estrus lasts 7 to 9 days. When estrus begins the vulva softens and becomes pliable and the discharge may become watermelon colored or pink. I used to get a kick when grooming a Newf in standing heat as soon as you got near her tail she would flag and send soap in every direction :) During estrus the female will become flirty and flag males. They will become receptive to the male in many cases at the end of proestrus cycle. Then lastly they go into diestrus when the female no longer stands for breeding (or flags when you rub them or pat down in the bum region). The males loose interest at this point as well.

Tori was spayed at about 5 years of age due to developing silent heats then pyometra. Dylan was neutered around 6 years of age. For our past Newf's the males were never neutered. Dylan was neutered as he was having so many issues with Beau that we hoped neutering him would help.
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Re: Normal vulva for a female in heat?

Postby biscuit » Sat Sep 05, 2009 2:53 pm

We let Sophie, the MS, have three heat cycles before she was spayed. He vulva swelled and she essentially went through a three week period. We bought her a dog diaper and I used cheap cotton wash cloths as liners and soaked them and washed them. She would pull off the overpriced dog pads we bought.

She turned into a kinder, gentler dog during her heat cycles and got cuddly, not really "slutty" as you would imagine. I don't know if the simple fact of time passing and her growing up made a difference or if it was the heat cycles. She is better dog for it.

Tess, the mix, was fixed at six months because of nutty, loose dogs in the neighborhood that wrecked havoc and caused a neighbor to loose two dogs. No chance of having that happen here! Tess is not as mellow as Sophie and I wonder if that made a difference?
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