Knowing when your vizsla will go into heat is important, yet it’s something many owners aren’t sure about. This article will guide you through your vizsla’s heat cycles, signs to look out for, and what to expect. I will also run through additional tips and best practices.
On average, vizslas enter their first heat cycle around 11-12 months of age. But keep in mind some may go into heat as early as 8 months old, and others as late as 18 months old. Vizslas are often considered late starters compared to other breeds.
When Will Your Vizsla Go Into Heat?
The most common age vizslas enter heat is around 11-12 months. This, however, isn’t set in stone, and many vizslas may enter their first heat as early as 8 months.
It can also work the other way too, with some vizslas entering into heat after 12 months. In fact, when compared to many other breeds, vizslas are considered late starters in general.
So, honestly, the answer is maybe 11-12 months, but it could be before, or it could be after. Unfortunately, there’s isn’t an answer that fits all.
How Often Do Vizslas Go Into Heat?
After your vizsla completes her first-ever heat cycle, how often can you expect it to happen from then on?
Most vizslas experience TWO heat cycles PER YEAR. It’s also important to know that it can be two or three years before the heat cycles regulate and become consistent.
The size of the breed has the biggest bearing on heat frequency, vizslas being of a medium to large dog it stays quite consistent of around once every six months.
Signs Your Vizsla Is Going Into Heat
So, what should you expect to see when your vizsla is going into heat?
Take a look at the following common signs your vizsla is entering into heat:
● Lots of swelling of the vulva
● Extra attention to the genital area (licking)
● Discharge (bloody)
● Change in behavior (tired, mopy, clingy, irritable)
● Going off her food (temporarily)
● Vomiting (although this typically happens when already in heat)
● Increased aggression to male dogs
All of these signs are common indicators that your Vizsla is going into heat. Although vomiting may not happen right in the beginning.
Most of these symptoms will happen together or at least a few of them at the same time. This makes it quite easy to know when she is in fact going into heat.
What To Expect When Your Vizsla Is In Heat
The next most important question owners ask is what to expect while she goes through heat? And how long will it last?
To give you the best possible answer and expectations, I scoured vizsla forum groups, vizsla Facebook groups, and any kind of vizsla webpage that had information to offer.
Here are the summaries of many different vizsla owners. Most tips were from this source – Credit.
The biggest behavioral changes you will notice is that she will be much less active, tired, generally looking “under-the-weather”, and the biggest one, very clingy to you. Owners agreed upon this nearly 100% of the time.
It’s also normal for your vizsla to be fairly whiny, uncomfortable, and discontent, which may cause you to feel quite worried and as if you need to do something extra to help her.
Honestly, this is how it is for most and it’s “normal”. You just have to be there to support her when she wants your support.
Extra things like going off her food, experiencing a decrease in appetite, and becoming cranky, moody, and unpredictable in her temperament are all normal behaviors you may witness. Vomiting is also somewhat normal but you should be ready to call your veterinarian if vomiting becomes excessive.
Bleeding picks up substantially and will last for around 2-3 weeks. It’s a good idea to have A LOT of old bath towels and liners at the ready.
You’ll need to keep replacing them as frequently as possible to keep her area as clean as possible.
Many owners also recommend nappies or even male undies where you can use the hole for the tail, if you do, they too will need replacing multiple times per day.
One owner mentioned how it helps to mark on a calendar when you think she has entered heat. Then you can count 21 days from this moment (sometimes you will be accurate or a few days off). But this will help you gauge her duration.
One of the most important safety tips is when out for walks or in your backyard. When out on walks, always keep her on a leash and avoid other dogs at all costs, even if this means changing your usual walking area or going at inconvenient hours.
Extra caution needs to be taken when she’s out in your backyard, her scent will travel throughout your neighborhood and male dogs will often try reaching her.
During the first stage, she will be infertile and will want nothing to do with males, but this won’t stop the males from coming to her.
Plus, once she enters the second stage, she will be fertile and will actively seek to find a male. This is when many female dogs escape. Her time in the yard needs to be supervised!
Be understanding of unusual changes
All in all, you can expect her to be very demanding, needy and you may feel like you don’t know how to help her, but that’s normal. As long as she has someone with her for support, and you are keeping her area as clean as possible, that’s enough.
For some, it’s more distressing than for others. Some vizslas may be more clingy than grouchy, and others may be far more distant and grouchy than clingy.
The whole duration for the majority of vizslas takes around 3 weeks, give or take some days.
Popular Vizsla Articles on The Puppy Mag
- Can A Vizsla Live Outside?
- Can You Leave a Vizsla Home Alone?
- Why Is My Vizsla So Skinny? 5 Reasons Why
How To Help Your Vizsla When In Heat
Let’s run through the do’s and don’ts when it comes to how you can help your vizsla throughout her heat cycles.
It’s understandable to have many worries when this moment arrives, I’ve felt the same when my dogs experienced their first heat. (german shepherd and labradors).
Common Do’s and Don’ts to remember:
● If you can take time off work you should as she’ll need A LOT of supervision and support
● Don’t let her in the yard unattended. Male dogs may try coming to her or she may try escaping
● If you have male dogs too, keep them separated as much as possible
● Keep her located in a few areas of your home to help with cleaning and to keep tabs on her
● Keep all areas as clean as you can, replace towels multiple times per day when bleeding
● Remember that all walks must be on-leash and preferably away from busy areas
● Be there as much as possible to support her when she wants it (her mood will fluctuate a lot)
● Keep her food interesting and appealing (consider adding a small amount of wet dog food to the kibble)
● Ensure she keeps drinking and eating. If she completely refuses to eat or drink give your veterinarian a call
● Hang on in there! Everything will be fine 🙂
The most important thing to remember is that everything will be fine. It can be a bit of a rollercoaster for a few weeks, especially when it’s the first time around.
Her mood will change, you’ll think she’s not herself, some days will be good and some bad. The best thing is to simply be there to support her and ensure her health and safety needs are always met.
This is original content produced and published by The Puppy Mag | www.thepuppymag.com
Different Stages of Your Vizslas Heat Cycle
Once your Vizsla enters into heat, it doesn’t mean she’s capable of getting pregnant right away, and in fact, she’ll want nothing to do with any males for a little while.
Although there are 4 parts to the overall heat cycle, there are just 2 main ones to talk about.
Proestrus Stage: First 7-10 Days (infertile)
The first main stage of your vizsla’s heat cycle is called the proestrus stage. She will likely be significantly swollen, there will be bleeding, and you’ll be experiencing the full effect of her mood swing changes.
Please note: Your vizsla will NOT want to mate during this period. Although male dogs will already be attracted to her.
Keeping her away from males throughout the entire four weeks is recommended, but it’s exceptionally important now. If males get near her it will likely end in aggression and fighting.
Estrus Stage: Second 7-10 Days (fertile)
The second main stage of the heat cycle is known as the estrus stage. This follows directly after the proestrus stage and now your vizsla WILL want to mate and is capable of getting pregnant.
Her discharge may become very watery at this point, meaning that she is at her most fertile stage.
She will become flirty and will accept any male that gets to her. Extra supervision should be taken now as it’s common for females to try escaping to find a partner.
Should You Spay a Vizsla Before Her First Heat?
This topic has a lot of heavy debate surrounding it. And there’s a whole range of mixed advice out there.
I should start by saying, I don’t have the expertise to give you a definitive answer on this one, so it’s best to listen to the professionals (your veterinarian and breeder).
It’s known that spaying before the first heat cycle does in fact help to prevent many serious health problems like mammary tumors in the future.
At the same time, there is also a range of negative effects of having her spayed before her first heat cycle. Which includes behavioral issues for the rest of her life as well as other health problems related to their pelvis, joints, and other serious conditions.
The reason it’s hard to make a final decision is that this should be analyzed case-by-case as all dogs start with a different level of health. And this does affect the decision. Your veterinarian can carry out the necessary health tests and checks to determine what will be better for your vizsla and your vizsla only depending on their current health.
I would say, however, that there is much more overall support from breeders and veterinarians (and my unprofessional self) for spaying after her first heat cycle than there is before.
Many veterinarians will themselves claim the evidence to be “weak” about the mammary tumor findings. On top of that, there seem to be just as many if not more risks and downsides to having her spayed before. But as always, there is still a portion of people who think otherwise.
This question will involve you doing a lot more research for yourself, as well as visiting your veterinarian for their professional advice.
Most Recommended For Vizslas
Best Online Training Program
Brain Training For Dogs has become increasingly popular in the last few years and is now recognized as one of the best ways to train dogs in the most stress-free, positive way.
Best Low-Calorie Treats
Keep your Vizsla lean and agile by switching out the high-calorie treats and opting for something healthier. Zuke’s Mini Naturals contain only 2 calories per treat and are made from natural ingredients, making these some of the healthiest treats on the market.
The best harness we have found for vizslas is without a doubt the Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness. It’s not only lightweight, but it’s strong and has adequate padding.