French Bulldog First Heat and Estrus Cycle

My female bulldog just turned 1 in September and still has not had her first heat. Is this normal?

bulldog in heat with a diaper

1 Answers
Dr. Roy Kraemer Staff answered 3 years ago

Answer for French Bulldog: First Heat and Estrus Cycle

French bulldog females can reach puberty as early as 6 months and as late as 18–24 months.

Bulldog Heat Cycle 4 X PHASES

A sexually mature French bulldog female usually goes through four heat cycle phases

PROESTRUS HEAT PHASE:

This is when male bulldogs are interested in a female bulldog, but she is not ready to mate.

  • The vulva swells and there may be bloody vaginal discharge
  • Lasting for about 1–2 weeks

ESTRUS HEAT PHASE:

This is the time when a female bulldog is ready and willing to mate, and this is what most owners call “heat.”.

  • The bleeding usually stops or lightens
  • Lasting for about 5–10 days but can be anywhere from a few days to 3 weeks

The estrus phase is the only stage she can get pregnant.

DIESTRUS HEAT PHASE:

This comes after mating; at this point, your Frenchie is either pregnant or not, and her hormone levels return to normal.

  • Lasting 2-4 months

ANESTRUS HEAT PHASE:

This is a period when there is no attraction between male and female bulldogs. This is the resting stage, lasting until the next cycle begins

  • lasting for about 4-5 months, but could last longer

“IN HEAT”: Bulldogs and French bulldogs in heat usually mean that they are in Proestrus or Estrus.

Answer for Bulldog Puppy First Heat Cycle PRESENTATION 

  • D/C: small to a large amount of vaginal bleeding
  • SWELL: Puffy vulvar lips
  • ROMANCE: Attract males
  • LICKING: Vaginal area
  • FREQUENT URINATION

Answer for French Bulldog: First Heat Cycle DURATION and INTERVAL 

HEAT DURATION:

Heat can last 1–2 weeks

HEAT INTERVAL:

Typically recycles every 4–10 month interval. Most mature, productive, intact female bulldogs have two heat cycles per year, but the interval can vary depending on the individual.

Cycles may be irregular, especially in young dogs, taking up to two years to become regular.

French Bulldog Missing First Heat and Estrus Cycle: NORMAL Versa ABNORMAL

Heat can start as early as a few months and as late as 1.5–2 years, depending on your puppy’s genetics and health; on average, most will have their first visual heat at 8–12 months old.

BULLDOG PUPPY SILENT HEAT

Some female bulldogs and French bulldogs will have their first ovulation “silently.”.

This is considered a “normal first heat” without the common visual manifestation of bleeding and swollen lips.

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SILENT HEAT: “Silent heat” is common to young bulldogs ovulating for the first time.

REASONS FOR ABNORMAL FIRST HEAT:

Abnormal heat due to a longer than normal delay, irregularities, or complete absence could be due to:

  • DIET: Poor nutrition, vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • RX: Adverse effect of medication
  • DISEASE: Venereal diseases and general disease
  • HORMONAL: Lack of reproduction hormones.
  • GENETIC
  • INFECTION
  • CYTE or TUMOR: Ovarian cysts and tumors can affect egg production and ovulation.
  • CHRONIC STRESS: due to
    • parasite infestation
    • environmental
    • chronic illness
    • hormonal disease

heat problems bulldog cystic ovaries

Answer for French Bulldog Missing First Heat  WHAT TO DO

  1. WAIT If she is otherwise normal, you can wait until her next cycle. Maybe she had a “silent heat” that you missed.
  2. TEST: If you are worried, you can visit your vet and run some tests (vaginal cytology, brucellosis, blood, ultrasound, etc)
  3. SPAY: You can spay your dog if you are not planning to breed her
  4. DIET & SUPPLEMENTS: Upgrade the diet and add supplements like

Bulldog heat and estrus Ultimate Bundle

Best of luck

Send us photos and updates

Dr. Kraemer, Vet4Bulldog

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The information provided on this platform is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian regarding any medical condition. It's important to always consider professional medical advice promptly and not to delay seeking it based on information you've read on this platform. Any reliance on the information provided here is entirely at your discretion.

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