When you have a female puppy of any dog breed it is important to know when she will be going into heat for specific reasons. Some may want to neuter the dog to make sure it does bring any puppies. Most vets encourage dog owners to wait for the first heat cycle before actually spaying the dog. So the question comes, when do labs go into heat. Read through to get your answer.
Signs that your lab is in heat
Physical appearance and swelling
The first thing you will likely notice is a change in your dog’s appearance. The first thing you are likely to notice is that your female dog’s vulva becomes very swollen and puffy. It may be three or four times its normal size.
With the swelling, if you check properly you will notice that there will be a bloody discharge. Together with bloody discharge, these symptoms tell you that your girl has come into season. Although you might expect the main sign to be profuse bleeding, it isn’t always obvious. In fact, sometimes all you will see are very small markings on the floor or in the dog’s bed.
Increased cleaning and licking
As we all know that labs are very smart and clean dogs they always clean themselves. However, if she is swollen and she is licking her genitals considerably more than usual, her heat has probably started. You may as well check the dog yourself by slightly running a white and soft cloth or cotton on her vulva to check for any pinkish discharge.
How long will your dog’s heat last
Under normal circumstances, for a female Labrador, it’s heat season will last approximately three to four weeks. The time that she will ovulate is about ten days to a fortnight. At this point, you will notice a lot of flagging and that discharge may become colourless from its pink colour.
How long a female dog spends in each stage of her heat (proestrus and oestrus) varies widely from dog to dog. On average oestrus begins 7-10 days after the start of your girl’s season, but you simply cannot assume that she will be average.
In a Lab’s hormonal cycle, there are four stages. The following are these stages stated and explained.
During this period your Labrador is not sexually attractive to male dogs and she cannot get pregnant.
The time when her uterus (or womb) is being prepared for pregnancy. This is the part where her vulva swells and she starts to bleed and you become aware that she is on heat.
This is when your lab becomes fertile. At this point, her bloody discharge may become paler and more watery, and your dog will probably be willing to stand and allow a male dog to mate with her.
This is the part of the cycle following oestrus and in a wild dog will almost always embrace pregnancy and whelping. During dioestrus, the hormonal levels of progesterone in the dog which would normally support a pregnancy can cause problems.
So with the above information, you can finally understand your Labrador when it somehow seems to be acting clingy and new to you. At this point, you know what to do and how to handle it.