The sexual cycle in dogs, the place of estrus in it
The sexual cycle of a dog includes 4 phases, each has its own name and characteristic features:
- Proestrus (forerunner). The first phase of a dog’s sexual cycle lasts about a week. During this period, the female’s body prepares for the onset of estrus. the genitals swell, red discharge appears. The behavior of the animal changes: the dog becomes incredibly active, begins to show interest in males during a walk, can react aggressively to the commands and actions of the owner. While walking, he tries to mark every item on his way. To prevent the pet from staining furniture and walls in the house with secretions, it is advisable to purchase special underpants for dogs.
- Estrus (stage of the sexual hunt). Comes after proestrus and lasts from 5 to 15 days. Ovulation occurs 48 to 72 hours after estrus begins. At this time, as well as 2-3 days before ovulation, the chances of pregnancy in the female are very high. Bloody discharge is replaced by transparent, and when trying to stroke the pet in the tail area, she takes a characteristic pose and freezes in anticipation of sexual intercourse.
- Metaestrus. The duration of the third phase is 2-3 months. During this period, the female’s sexual activity decreases. The behavior of the animal also changes. the pet is aggressively disposed towards other animals.
- Anestrus. The fourth phase of the sexual cycle is the interval between estrus. The duration of this phase is 6–8 months, the duration depends on the breed and size of the female. The animal’s body is being restored and prepared for the beginning of a new cycle. When anestrus ends, the dog is ready to reproduce again.
When a bitch goes into heat for the first time?
How to determine the approach of estrus? Usually, a female’s first estrus occurs at 7-12 months and is often false. Dogs of small breeds mature a little faster. by the age of six months, the female poodle, Pekingese, Pinscher and many others look mature and physically ready to reproduce.
It is difficult to find out the time of the onset of the first heat. it lasts a short period of time and has no characteristic signs. False heat is characterized by the presence of a discharge that begins due to hormonal changes in the puppy’s body. A dog cannot get pregnant during false estrus.
It is undesirable to allow a bitch to mate during the first estrus. the young body of the female has not yet matured, the sexual cycle has not been established. A pet should be knitted no earlier than 2-3 estrus, that is, at the age of two years. This period is optimal for the first pregnancy. Typically, a dog has 10-12 lesions over a lifetime, with an average interval of 12 months.
What is heat?
How do you know if heat is coming soon? Under this term, it is customary to understand the period when the female is ready for mating and procreation. The duration of estrus depends on the state of health, physiology of a particular pet, characteristics of the breed, and it lasts on average from 20 to 30 days. The frequency of estrus is 1-2 times a year.
When dogs start to estrus and how many days it lasts, how often does it occur in small and large breed bitches?
A dog under 12 months old is considered a puppy. During this period, the owner does not have any special problems with the pet. the main thing is that the little four-legged friend is healthy, well-fed and vaccinated. Approximately 1 year after birth, the female puppy reaches puberty. the first estrus begins. This means that the bitch is ready to mate. How to properly care for an animal during the estrus period? What should the owner worry about when a shepherd or husky asks for a walk? Are there ways to prevent heat and how to do it??
Why heat lasts too long or starts too early?
If heat goes on for a long time, how dangerous is it? This is an extremely alarming situation that requires an immediate examination of the dog in the veterinary clinic. There can be several reasons for this phenomenon. from a simple hormonal disruption to a malignant tumor. The doctor, on the basis of instrumental and laboratory examination, will determine the cause of the failure and prescribe treatment. Prolonged estrus is common in mature dogs. Juveniles rarely face this kind of problem.
What is the normal flow rate? It all depends on the size of the individual: large females can leave small pools of blood behind them on the floor, while small dogs secrete scanty drops. The smell of discharge during estrus is specific, without signs of decay.
Another abnormal phenomenon is the complete absence of estrus in the pet. If for 12 months the dog has not had any discharge, you should not panic. sometimes heat can be bloodless. In such cases, ovulation occurs, but without any characteristic symptoms. Owners planning to breed offspring are recommended to undergo an examination in the veterinary clinic to confirm ovulation in the pet.
What to do if during the period of sexual activity the dog has ceased to control urination? This condition is not a pathology. during critical days, the synthesis of estrogens in the pet’s body increases, as a result of which a decrease in the sensitivity of the bladder sphincter is possible. After the sexual hunt is over, the problem of incontinence should be resolved without medical intervention.
How often are bitches in heat??
A healthy dog has a lifelong chance of becoming a mother. In mature females, the sexual cycle does not stop; maturity only affects the quality and quantity of eggs produced. In young females, the optimal frequency of the onset of leaks is twice a year; as the animal ages, their number is halved.
The owner of the dog throughout the life of the pet needs to mark the dates of the onset of leaks in the bitch. this will help determine their frequency and regularity. If the number of leaks unexpectedly decreases or increases, it is necessary to take the dog for examination to the veterinary clinic.
Signs and Phases: Dog Behavior and Physiology
It is not difficult to determine the onset of estrus in a female: during the period of sexual heat, she becomes overly active, restless and disobedient. Before the onset of estrus, blood is released from the genital tract. After about 10 days, the bloody discharge is replaced by light and thick. the animal’s body prepares for ovulation and fertilization.
- swelling of the genitals;
- bloody marks in the dog’s habitat. on the floor, on the litter, near the bowl;
- frequent urge to urinate;
- constant licking of the genitals;
- excessive interest in males and aggression towards other bitches while walking;
- change in eating behavior. the dog may constantly demand food or, conversely, completely refuse to eat for a while;
- when trying to stroke, instantly arch its back and raises its tail up.
On average, the female’s “critical days” last 3-4 weeks. Estrus in an adult is repeated every 6–12 months. Pets have their period 2-3 times more often than stray animals. they do not have to adjust to weather conditions.
Estrus lasts longer in young females than in mature females. In the latter case, sexual activity gradually dies out, but does not completely disappear. Animals, unlike humans, do not have menopause. a dog can become pregnant at 10 years of age or older. It must be remembered that pregnancy and childbirth in older pets negatively affect the health of the animal.
Signs of sexual activity of a bitch
Usually, the first heat is accompanied by signs similar to all subsequent ones. In terms of severity, it can be half-hidden or, conversely, pronounced.
The main signs of the first heat:
- increased activity of the bitch, playfulness, outwardly it seems that the dog is constantly fussing, does not find a place for itself;
- frequent urge to urinate, the dog may constantly rush to the street;
- there may be a slight swelling of the mammary glands;
- there is an increase in the size of the external genital organs, discharge appears, with which the dog can stain various surfaces in the house (furniture, floor, carpets, etc.)
Important: the discharge should be of a homogeneous mucous consistency, without foreign inclusions and impurities, without pungent odors, color from bloody to pale pink and straw, depending on the stage of the cycle. If you find any changes, be sure to show the pet to the veterinarian!
- shows attention to males and actively lets them in (the moment of clarification of discharge);
- appetite may increase, it may disappear altogether;
- when a dog approaches a bitch, she freezes in place, lifts up and takes her tail aside;
- molting. the bitch sheds decently when estrus begins;
- by the end of the cycle, the animal may look tired, sleeps a lot, and categorically does not let the dogs come near it anymore.
The main reasons for the delay / absence of the first heat:
- poor living conditions, improper or insufficient feeding;
- violation of hormonal regulation of the reproductive system;
- congenital disorders in the development and structure of the genital organs;
- dysfunction of the ovaries (hypofunction, lack of appropriate hormones in the appropriate period);
- dysfunction of the pituitary gland and / or thyroid gland;
- tumors and / or other neoplasms, cysts of the pelvic organs or directly on the ovaries;
- endocrine pathologies;
- chronic inflammatory processes in the uterus;
- hermaphroditism (for example, when underdeveloped testes are found instead of the ovaries).
What the master can do
To intervene in the natural processes of hormonal regulation without a sharp need for that is not only unnecessary, but also not advisable. What should the owner do at the first heat? It is important to alleviate the condition of the pet and make the hunting period safe.
- Be sure to record the time of the onset of estrus and the age of the dog at that moment. Pay attention to the duration and nature of the manifestation of the stages in the cycle. Recognize behavior and clinical manifestations of estrus throughout the cycle.
- The dog should be monitored with increased attention, but do not scold her for behavior unusual for her during this period.
- So that the bitch does not stain anything around her with secretions, it is recommended to put on special panties or keep her in a separate room, regularly changing the bedding in the place where the animal sleeps.
- Walking the dog should be carried out only on a leash to avoid escapes and unnecessary contact with males.
- Strictly prevent the dog from licking the dog’s noose with other people’s dogs, in order to exclude the introduction of infection.
- When estrus starts, bitches are usually not taken to exhibitions, festivals or dog competitions.
- Swimming in open natural reservoirs is not recommended to avoid infection with various infections.
- To interrupt estrus medically should be done only with the strict indication of the veterinarian.
- You should monitor the diet and the frequency of feeding. it is not recommended to overfeed.
- Fertilization of a bitch in the very first estrus is not desirable, because the body has not yet prepared for bearing puppies.
- It is imperative to redeem the bitch after the first estrus, washing off from her a kind of “willing” smell that attracts males to itself, which will allow you to quickly go to the resting stage if fertilization did not happen.
- If the owner of the dog does not plan to breed puppies, then at the end of the first estrus it is better to spay the dog.
Why is there no heat
With good general health and the state of the reproductive and hormonal systems, the first estrus in a dog occurs at the established usual time and then repeats with a certain cyclical regularity. If the dog is over 18 months old, and the first estrus has not come, you should consult a veterinarian to find out the reason for such a delay.
Metamorphoses in the body of a bitch during estrus
How is your first heat going? In dogs, it consists of 4 successively passing stages:
Stage 1. proestrus. Lasts from a week to 10 days. The initial signs of estrus are noted: there is an additional flow of blood to the genitals, they increase, the vulva swells, scant spotting is noticed. The dog can “drip” around the apartment, so you can put on special underpants or keep it in a separate room. The first day of heat can pass completely unnoticed or be noticed only by a very attentive owner.
Here the dog is not ready for mating, although it flirts with males. Explanation. there is no ovulation yet. Outwardly, some excitability of the animal is manifested, playfulness can be replaced by disobedience and vice versa. Can make marks in different places with urine while walking.
Stage 2. estrus. This is already the period of direct hunting, when ovulation occurs (conditionally from the second day after the beginning of the period). Approximately occurs 1.5 weeks after the first spotting was detected. Right now the bitch begins to be interested in males with reciprocity. Mating can happen once, and the bitch can continue to reach for males further. Consider this when you need to get clean litter from high breed dogs.
The guideline for this period is the enlightenment of the bitch’s discharge. the red turns into light pink, their number decreases. The vulva swells even more. When the dog approaches, the bitch freezes, raises her pelvis, reflexively moves her tail to the side and pulls up the loop.
Stage 3. metaestrus. It lasts for about a decade and is characterized by the end of estrus. Discharge disappears, the bitch does not admit more males, the vulva decreases in size.
If fertilization has not occurred, then the body is gradually interspersed into a state of rest. Sometimes a state of false pregnancy can occur due to an excess of “pregnancy hormone” (as progesterone is called). Ideally, everything goes away by itself, otherwise you should seek help from a veterinarian.
Stage 4. anestrus or the period of sexual rest. The duration of this period reaches up to 150 days (about 5 months). This is the period of a dog’s normal life.
A dog’s first heat: when does it start, how long does it last
The presence of estrus indicates that the dog is ready to mate and carry a pregnancy. At the physiological level, the first heat indicates that eggs have begun to mature in the bitch’s body, and the genitals are ready to perform their reproductive functions. What are the features of the course of this period every owner of a female dog should know so that the process does not catch by surprise.
Causes of Prolonged Heat in Dogs
According to veterinarians, prolonged estrus may also indicate serious health problems in the dog.
In veterinary practice, the following factors are attributed to the reasons provoking a violation of the female’s sexual cycle in the direction of increasing its duration:
- Chronic inflammatory processes in the reproductive system. Endometritis, purulent inflammation of the uterus, genital infections most often, according to veterinarians, lead to prolonged estrus in pets.
- Diseases of the thyroid gland and pituitary gland can disrupt the normal reproductive process in the female’s body. The mechanism of pathology in this case is associated with a malfunction in the production of hormones that have a direct or indirect effect on proliferative processes in the uterus during estrus.
- Neoplasms in the genital organs. Tumors of the uterus, cystic formations in the ovaries, oncological lumps in the mammary glands are no less common causes of estrus disturbance in dogs after inflammatory processes.
- In some cases, chronic stress, a history of contraceptive hormonal drugs, can become the cause of prolonged estrus in a pet.
Hormonal contraceptive drugs
- Avitaminosis and depletion of the animal can lead to pathology.
The mechanism of development of the disease ultimately occurs due to the overproduction of female sex hormones. Excessive concentration of estrogens in the female’s blood leads to the fact that morphological changes occur in the uterus. Hyperplasia develops in the tissues of the organ, which leads to pathological thickening of the endometrium and provokes chronic endometritis.
A change in the morphology of the epithelium leads to the fact that there is a lengthening of the estrus period. Veterinary specialists attribute the pathology to endocrine disruption associated with morphological disorders in the structure of the uterine epithelium.
According to the observation of breeders, the most common problems with prolonged estrus are observed in boxers and poodles.
We recommend that you read about when dogs are in heat. From the article you will find out when the first estrus begins in a dog, symptoms of onset, features in small and large breeds.
And here is more about the causes and treatment of ovarian cysts in a dog.
Treating Disorders in a Dog
When the diagnosis is confirmed, prolonged estrus in a dog, treatment is largely determined by the type of pathology. At the first type of ailment, the dog is prescribed estradiol at a dose of 0.01-0.02 mg. If the second type of prolonged estrus is found, then choriogonadotropin is used for treatment at a dose of 50-100 IU.
If a third type of pathology is detected in a dog, in addition to the use of choriogonadotropin, a course of antibiotic therapy is prescribed. Broad Spectra antibiotics are also used to treat the fourth type of pathology of sexual heat.
Given the high risk of pyometra as a complication of prolonged estrus in dogs, veterinarians may suggest hysterovariectomy as a definitive treatment. Sterilization can be applied to animals that do not have breeding value, as well as at the risk of developing purulent inflammation of the uterus.
We recommend that you read about the causes of uterine prolapse in a dog. From the article you will learn about why uterine prolapse occurs in dogs after childbirth, during estrus and in nulliparous, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of pathology.
And here is more about the causes and symptoms of urinary incontinence in dogs.
Prolonged estrus in a dog refers to hormonal disorders of reproductive function. Professionals distinguish between four main types of ailment. A favorable prognosis is characteristic of the fourth type. The first three types of prolonged estrus have a cautious prognosis due to the high risk of developing a serious illness in sick animals. pyometra.
Conservative treatment is based on the use of hormonal therapy and a course of broad Spectra antibiotics. In some cases, dog sterilization is indicated.
Types of lingering estrus
In veterinary practice, four main types of pathologically proceeding sexual heat are distinguished:
- 1type. It is characterized by lengthening of the proestrum up to 3 weeks. During this period, the female is attractive to the males, causes their excitement. The external genitals of the dog are swollen. Wearer may observe watery pink-red discharge.
- Type 2. This type of pathology is characterized by an extended proestrum phase and is most often diagnosed in middle-aged individuals. Unlike the first type, in this type of ailment, males are not excited when in contact with a female. Against the background of swollen genitals, the dog has a slight reddish-brown, sometimes dirty discharge.
- In some cases, a sick animal is worried about severe itching. The dog constantly licks the crotch area, which leads to the appearance of bald patches.
- Type 3. Prolonged estrus period (more than 12 days). According to the observation of experienced breeders, females aged 5-7 years are more likely to suffer from the disease. A sick individual may experience pseudolactation, accompanied by intense thirst. Unlike previous estrus disorders, with a prolonged estrus period, there is practically no discharge from the external genital organs in the dog, or they have a mucous character.
- 4 type. It is characterized by an extended phase of metoestrum. Pathology is common in young animals. Vaginal discharge is serous and, in some cases, purulent. The condition of the dog is depressed, there is an increased thirst.
Some experts also distinguish between the so-called split estrus, when after fertilization, after 3-6 days, the dog again shows signs of sexual heat.
What to do for the owner in case of prolonged heat
If you suspect a dog is in prolonged heat, the first step is to get advice from a professional. The veterinary specialist, having collected anamnesis, will prescribe diagnostic procedures. an ultrasound examination of the abdominal organs, microscopic examination of a smear from the vagina. A complete blood count will also help establish a diagnosis.
Consequences for the dog
The pathology of the reproductive cycle, which is based on a hormonal disorder, according to veterinarians and experienced breeders, can lead to the following consequences:
- The development of chronic endometritis with the subsequent development of infertility.
- Infection of the reproductive organs with pathogenic microflora due to a violation of the local protection of the mucous membrane. Vaginal discharge is an excellent breeding ground for viruses and bacteria.
- Pyometra is one of the most unpleasant consequences of prolonged heat. As a result of hormonal disorders, proliferative processes occur in the endometrium, and the penetration of pathogenic microflora against the background of weakened immunity leads to purulent inflammation in the genital organ.
Decreased immunity, emaciation of the pet, deterioration of the condition of the coat are the most common consequences of prolonged estrus in an animal.
Symptoms of violations
Each type of hormonal disorder is characterized by specific clinical signs. Veterinary experts recommend that owners pay attention to the general symptoms of prolonged estrus in a dog, on which the treatment of pathology will depend:
- Prolongation of the female sex drive phase.
- Pseudolactation. Under the influence of estrogens, swelling of the breast tissue occurs, and milky liquid may ooze from the nipples.
- Vaginal discharge. Their nature depends on the type of prolonged heat. The owner can observe both scanty mucous outflows and abundant discharge of a purulent nature.
- Skin lesions. The discharge leads to maceration of the skin and causes itching, which prompts the dog to lick the affected area.
Most often, the owner is faced with foci of baldness, redness and rashes on the external genital organs of the animal.
In some cases, with prolonged estrus, there is an increased thirst, a sluggish state, deterioration of the coat.
Watch this video on how to spot a dog in heat:
Causes of prolonged estrus in a dog
Techka, or estrus, in domestic animals is a natural mechanism for procreation. The complex process is controlled by hormones, normally its duration does not exceed 3 weeks. In the event that hunting lasts more than 21 days, experienced dog breeders and veterinarians talk about prolonged estrus in dogs. This phenomenon negatively affects the fertilization of the female. About the causes of prolonged estrus, types and treatment in our article.
Postpartum heat: how soon it comes?
Often, the vigilance of the owners lulls the birth of puppies. The birth of babies into the world and feeding them with milk does not mean that the dog will not be in heat after giving birth. Certainly, estrus can appear as early as a few months after childbirth. As a rule, the maximum time interval between the date of birth and renewed heat is 6-7 months. You can judge the new sexual activity of a pet by the same signs that occur during estrus in all dogs.
Meanwhile, if after childbirth the animal begins to estrus, this does not mean that the dog is ready for mating. Many breeders try to do everything possible to prevent early unplanned mating, which can negatively affect the health of the female who has not yet recovered from previous births.
Estrus lasts in four-legged pets as long as in nulliparous females. In general, changes in the behavior of the animal and discharge from the vulva can be noticed within 20-30 days. When the first bloody divisions appear in the female after giving birth, approximately 9 days should be counted from that moment. This period is the beginning of ovulation, which can last from 5 to 10 days.
After giving birth, the number of techek per year in dogs should not exceed their number before the birth of puppies. As a rule, estrus in an animal, occurring 3-4 times a year, indicates problems in the functioning of the reproductive system against the background of hormonal imbalance.
The first estrus in tetrapods
It is easy to determine that an animal is in heat for the first time if you know how everything happens. Typically, the first signs of estrus can be seen between the ages of 6 and 12 months. Heat often begins in almost two-year-old pets. The owner of a pet should be alarmed if the pet’s estrus does not make itself felt even after this age.
An indicator of the health of an animal is also the cyclicality and correct periodicity of the process. In most cases, female discharge occurs no more than a couple of times a year. Otherwise, with more frequent estrus, its frequency may be the reason for a visit to the veterinarian. Most likely, the four-legged pet had serious hormonal disruptions in the body.
How heat manifests itself?
To understand what this phenomenon looks like, you need to have a clear idea of where it all starts. Symptoms that your dog will soon be in heat:
- Frequent urge to urinate.
- Bloody discharge from the vulva.
- Aggression and behavior change.
- Interest from males.
The first heat in dogs is an extremely important stage in life. Often it passes when the female has already completed the change of milk teeth to permanent ones. But it is almost impossible to determine the period of its onset for sure. Meanwhile, it is worth paying attention to some features of estrus in four-legged favorites, due to breed differences. If the dog has significant deviations from the expected timing of estrus, it is worth contacting a doctor.
Features of estrus in animals of different breeds
So, in small animals, estrus begins at 6 months. Generally, the deadline for signs of estrus in small dogs is 10-12 months. By the age of one year, females usually have fully formed cyclicality, and the duration of excretions becomes the same. Signs of the process in dogs of small breeds can be called pronounced, regardless of whether this is the dog’s first estrus or not.
Meanwhile, in larger animals, as well as representatives of medium breeds, they often appear only at 7-8 months. The occurrence of heat closer to the year is also considered the norm. At 14 months, in the absence of pathology in all healthy dogs, you can see the main manifestations of estrus. However, it often happens that their first heat is sluggish. This is indicated by minor, mild symptoms. Due to the low intensity of secretions, males practically do not pay any attention to the female. But no matter how estrus proceeds, it is a full part of the dog’s sexual cycle.
How many days do dogs have estrus??
Estrus is a natural phenomenon known as estrus in a dog. The first signs of this natural process indicate that the animal is ready for mating, since the main phase of puberty by this moment is completely completed. Breeders of four-legged females need to know everything about what estrus is, when it first appears and if there are any peculiarities in the behavior of the pet during this period. The owner can do everything possible to ensure that unwanted fertilization of the female does not occur.
Phases of estrus in a pet
For breeders who would like to breed puppies, it is extremely important to know how this process generally goes, how long it takes and when is the best time to mate. To do this, you need to understand each stage of estrus that takes place in the dog’s body:
- Proestrus lasts on average from a week to 10 days. At this time, there is a significant change in the reproductive system, although there is no ovulation as such yet. The first manifestations of the process in the form of bloody discharge, swelling of the external genital organs help to determine that soon the pet will be ready for mating. During this period, the males’ interest in it becomes noticeable, but when trying to mate, the animal does not make contact. This behavior is due to the dog’s excitability and uncharacteristic playfulness.
- When ovulation begins, the female’s tactics change dramatically. In the first couple of days from the moment when the pet becomes ready for mating, she is in constant excitement. She can admit males to mate for several days. The dog begins to do everything in order to attract the attention of the males. If the discharge has not acquired a pale pink hue by this period, it is likely that ovulation has not yet occurred.
- The fact that heat is passing is evidenced by both the external symptoms of the genital organs and the behavior of the female. If she ceases to allow males to approach her, then such a manifestation can only speak of the cessation of flowing discharge.
As already mentioned, dogs are in heat in different ways. Both the duration and the frequency of the cycles in representatives of different breeds may differ. Typically, estrus often occurs twice a year in dogs: in the winter and in the middle of autumn. But often, for example, in northern breeds, estrus occurs once a year, in early spring.
How long does heat last?
How long does estrus last in dogs is also an interesting point, about which it is important to know at least some general information. The duration of this biological process in animals depends on many factors:
- at what age the pet;
- her breed;
- general condition of the body;
- living conditions, etc.
Often the duration of estrus in tetrapods is about 20 days. Although it often lasts up to 35 days. In any case, the duration of estrus for all pets can be different and is predetermined by some features.
What should the owner do during pet’s estrus?
If it is extremely important for the dog owner to avoid new “consequences” of estrus after labor, it is advisable to walk the pet only on a leash. You can forget about precautions when estrus is completely over. If the appearance of another litter from the dog is not part of the owner’s plans, it may be more appropriate to consider spaying, which can be done even during estrus.
What problems related to estrus may be faced by owners
As mentioned above, dogs in heat are accompanied by bloody discharge. Animals can leave marks on floors or furniture. If you do not want the dog to stain carpets and furniture during this period, either use special underpants, or limit its movement around the house to such an area where it will be easy to clean up after it.
The behavior of an animal during estrus can vary significantly. Some animals become more lethargic, passive, eat worse. Others become less controllable, aggressive towards other animals, agitated.
In any case, it is not recommended to let go of the dog during this period. This will help to avoid unpleasant consequences, such as the manifestation of aggression towards other animals and people, possible injuries (an animal in a state of excitement can run out onto the road and get hit by a car) and unwanted mating.
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As a result of unplanned mating, the dog may become pregnant. If the male was larger, problems may arise during childbirth. If the fruits are very large, the dog will not be able to give birth on its own, and surgical intervention (caesarean section) will be required.
Another consequence of unplanned mating may be inflammation of the uterus (endometritis, pyometra), which will require treatment, and possibly even surgery. There are a number of sexually transmitted infections that can lead to inflammation and even infertility.
It is not recommended to allow the dog to swim in open water during estrus, to give it the opportunity to sit on the ground or in contaminated areas. During this period, the female genital tract is more open, as a result of which bacteria penetrate there more easily, which in turn can lead to inflammation in the organs of the genitourinary system (cystitis, endometritis).
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Signs of cystitis. frequent urination in small portions, urine may acquire a pungent specific odor, blood may appear in the urine.
Endometritis is an inflammation of the lining of the uterus. This disease can be manifested by the appearance of mucous, mucopurulent or bloody discharge from the external genital tract. If treatment is not carried out on time, endometritis can lead to the development of pyometra. a purulent inflammation of the uterus. This is a very serious systemic disease. If at the same time the cervix remains closed, then all this pus accumulates in the uterine cavity, toxic substances are absorbed into the bloodstream and affect the entire body. If the cervix remains open, then you may notice a purulent or bloody discharge from the loop, sometimes with an unpleasant odor, the fur around the loop, the tail area and inner thighs may be stained with these secretions. The animal may become more lethargic, apathetic, drink more, refuse to eat, he may have a fever. This is a serious medical condition that can threaten your pet’s life! If you notice such symptoms, this is a reason to see a doctor immediately! Inflammation of the uterus can occur a few days after the end of heat, or a month or two.
During estrus, it is recommended to avoid visiting exhibitions, walking on dog grounds, where a large number of animals may accumulate, for the reasons mentioned above.
It is not recommended to carry out routine vaccination during estrus, it is recommended to wait until it ends.
When keeping opposite-sex animals in the same apartment, it is better to separate them for the period of estrus. Placing animals in separate rooms is not enough. Males can smell a bitch in heat several kilometers away. The best option is to take one of the animals to another house for a while. The presence of a female in heat in the house is very stressful for the dog. The animal becomes uncontrollable, can refuse food, whine, scratch the door and try in every possible way to get to the female.
At what age does the first heat start
The first heat begins between 6 and 18 months of age. This may vary depending on the breed and size of the dog. Small breed dogs tend to be in heat earlier, at the age of 6-9 months. In dogs of medium and large breeds. closer to a year, and sometimes after a year. If your dog is not in heat until 1.5 years old, do not be scared, this is also a variant of the norm, in some dogs the first heat begins closer to 2 years. If estrus has not begun even after this time, you should contact your veterinarian. Perhaps the animal has some kind of hormonal disorders or pathology in the development of the organs of the reproductive system. In this case, you should consult a fertility specialist.
Heat in dogs
Techka, or scientifically, estrus, is the period of a dog’s sexual cycle, during which it is ready for mating and fertilization. That is, this is the period when you can mate a dog if you want to get puppies from it, or, on the contrary, take additional precautions to avoid unscheduled mating.
How long does estrus last for dogs?
On average, estrus lasts 3 weeks. The estrus period can be divided into several phases.
Proestrus (forerunner) lasts 7-10 days. During this period, a change in the behavior of the dog can be observed. The animal becomes less controllable, can show aggression, actively mark the territory, not follow commands that usually did not cause difficulties. Some animals, on the contrary, become more lethargic, apathetic, fearful. Also, females can actively respond to males, but at the same time do not allow them to come near them, and when they try to get closer, they will snap and move to the side.
The external genitals also undergo changes during this period. The vulva (loop) swells due to the rush of blood, and the mucous membranes of the external genital organs may acquire a more intense color (bright pink or even bluish). Bloody discharge from the loop appears. Often, it is by the presence of bloody discharge that the owner can determine that the dog is in heat.
If possible, it is recommended to do without such devices. Dogs are constantly licked, and thus, carry out hygienic care of themselves, and the presence of underpants will prevent this. To avoid unwanted contamination of floors and sofas, carpets can be rolled up during estrus and do not allow the animal to jump on the sofa, but lie only in its place.
The next phase is estrus, the phase of sexual heat itself. It lasts 7-9 days. This is the phase during which ovulation occurs, and therefore, pregnancy is possible. Usually it is 11-13 days from the time of the onset of heat. The behavior of the dog during this period also changes. She becomes more affectionate and friendly, willingly allows males to approach her, takes her tail aside and freezes, demonstrating readiness for mating with such behavior. Discharge from the loop acquires a lighter shade, becomes almost transparent, the loop becomes softer, but remains swollen and increased in volume.
The third phase of the cycle is diestrus (metestrus). It lasts approximately 60 days. During this period, the discharge stops, the puffiness of the loop subsides, and it acquires its usual color and size. At this time, the onset of falsehood is possible. Usually, this condition is manifested by swelling of the mammary glands and secretion from them (it can be transparent or whitish, like milk; if the secret becomes brown, this may be a sign of mastitis, in which case it is recommended to consult a doctor). The dog may be more lethargic, apathetic, refuse to eat. Sometimes the animal begins to look for a place, as if preparing for childbirth, digging bedding, carrying toys. If you notice these symptoms, it is recommended to contact your veterinarian.
The next phase of the cycle is anestrus. This is the period of sexual rest, which lasts until the next heat begins, and can last from 4 to 6 months.
With age, the period between estrus may increase. Symptoms of estrus in older dogs may be less severe, but this does not rule out the possibility of pregnancy.
There is also such a thing as split heat. The animal has symptoms characteristic of the first phase. spotting, swelling of the vulva, and so on, but after a few days these signs disappear and resume after a few weeks. Owners may think that the animal has gone into heat two times in a row. For a young animal up to two years old, this is a variant of the norm; at an older age, this may be a sign of a malfunction of the ovaries. In this case, it is better to consult a specialist.
Some animals experience so-called latent estrus. At the same time, the dog has no or mild symptoms of estrus, such as swelling of the vulva, spotting, attractiveness to males. At the same time, the ovaries are functioning normally and ovulation also occurs. Therefore, if you are planning to breed a dog, it is better to focus not on the external signs of estrus, but on the test results.
How to get rid of male attention during estrus
Of course, the most effective and efficient way is to spay the dog. After the operation, heat stops as the uterus and ovaries are removed.
If this option is unacceptable for the owners, or it is a breeding animal, there are various sprays that mask or eliminate the odor during estrus. The animal must be processed several times a day before each walk. It is recommended to start treatment a few days before the expected date of onset of estrus. Treat the area of the croup, tail, inner thighs of the dog. Avoid contact with the spray directly on the mucous membranes. Also, some manufacturers recommend processing the owner’s clothes, as they may retain odor.
Heat in dogs
Heat in a dog (estrus) is a natural process, which is one of the important periods of its life. The presence of estrus indicates the beginning of the female’s sexual activity, her readiness for mating and bearing offspring. The first estrus occurs between the ages of 6 and 18 months, when puberty occurs. Usually in small dogs estrus occurs at the age of six months, and in large dogs a little later, from one to one and a half years.
However, the organism of each individual is individual, so the period may vary. Duration of estrus: about three weeks or in some cases up to a month. Periodicity is considered normal: once or twice a year. The main thing that pet owners should remember is that mating can occur after the second estrus, only in this case the dog will bring healthy and strong offspring.
Stages of estrus
Proestrus (or forerunner). The duration of the period is from 7 to 10 days. At this time, the dog’s blood flow to the external genitals increases, due to which the vulva swells, the first dark spotting appears from the vagina. During the cycle, there is no precursor of ovulation, so the dog is not yet ready for mating.
However, her behavior changes markedly. the dog becomes overly excitable (playful, disobedient), during a walk he constantly marks the territory with urine, sniffs, scratches and scatters the ground. She shows aggression towards other individuals, she flirts with males, but when she tries to mate, she growls, jumps away, not allowing herself.
Estrus (rut or hunting). The period lasts on average from 4 to 12 days. During the first two days, ovulation occurs, but the female can let her “gentlemen” approach her for mating for another number of days. Discharge in dogs of different breeds with estrus may vary.
But in a normal state, the onset of rut begins after the cessation of bloody discharge or when they become light pink, and the external genital organs swell considerably. At this time, the dog lets the males come closer to him, having previously assumed a posture characteristic of mating. a raised pelvis and a loop, tail set aside.
Metestrus. With its onset, after 5-10 days, the discharge ends, the swelling of the vulva decreases, the female stops letting the males come in. The dog’s progesterone (pregnancy hormone) jumps sharply, regardless of the result of fertilization, that is, whether it happened or not.
In many individuals, this leads to a state of false pregnancy, which happily passes by itself, as soon as the amount of hormones is normalized. Fully metestrus lasts 2 to 3.5 months. After a maximum of 10 days, the visible part of this period and estrus ends, all subsequent days the dog’s body is restored.
Anestrus. This is a period of estrous rest, which can last 3.5–5 months. During it, the female replenishes the supply of vitamins, trace elements and nutrients, preparing for the future sexual cycle.
What to do for a dog owner during heat
If the owner during this period does not intend to mate his pet, then you need to be very careful and follow simple rules.
- Walk the dog exclusively on a leash and under close supervision.
- Avoid visiting dog-gathering areas during this time.
- Protect the dog from communication with males. Try not to allow the dog to land on her, otherwise it will be impossible to separate the dogs during copulation without damaging their genitals.
- During estrus, exclude visiting exhibitions and other events. If this cannot be done, then it is advisable to use special sprays that beat off the smell, also keep the female at a distance from the cables.
- In case of abundant heat, you can use special absorbent pants for dogs to maintain cleanliness in the house.
- If suddenly there was an unwanted mating, you should not give the female drugs to terminate pregnancy. this can be fraught with complications that can cause infertility.
Flows in dogs continue until old age, on average, in dogs, up to 20 cycles over a lifetime, in small breeds of dogs. about ten. Every dog owner should remember that his pet, after the end of estrus, is always very weakened and very much in need of enhanced nutrition and vitamins.
What it is?
Heat or heat is a physiological process during which an egg matures in a female’s body. Mating on the right day will result in healthy offspring. However, the absence of a sexual partner will not harm the physical or psychological health of the animal in any way. The egg cell, having lived its period, will simply be removed from the body, the dog will calm down, and normal life will continue as usual.
For the first time, full ovulation occurs at a young age immediately after the change of teeth, usually at 6-13 months, depending on the breed and size. Subsequently, it will be repeated 1-2 times a year at the same time throughout life.
Owners usually start a calendar in which they note the start time, duration and main signs of sexual heat in the animal. This allows you to track all changes, take timely measures and prepare the house.
A dog is in heat: what to do?
When a new pet appears in your house, the question arises about the correct conditions for keeping it. In this case, it is necessary to take into account not only basic needs (food, walks), but also the characteristics of the breed and gender. One of the main phenomena in the life cycle of a female dog is the period of estrus or sexual heat, when she can conceive offspring.
This significant event in most breeds occurs twice a year and requires certain changes in the daily routine and rules of daily grooming.
The main signs of estrus
It is impossible to predict in advance how long ovulation will last, but usually it is 2-3 weeks, depending on the age and personal characteristics of the female. Its approach can be identified by quite definite signs:
- The bitch becomes more active and playful. Behavior changes. Shows more interest in males.
- Stops obeying commands, tries to control the owner during a walk.
- Behaves more nervously in the house. Looking for secluded places.
- When walking, he constantly sits down to urinate. She actually leaves marks to mark her territory and attract males.
- At home much more often than before, your darling can be found licking the genitals.
- The loop is swollen, spotting appears.
- Moulting may occur before the start.
Techka is a special time in a dog’s life, during this period special care is required and small changes in the usual schedule of the day, which every owner should know about.
Due to the physiological characteristics of the course, bitches have an increased chance of contracting viral, parasitic and infectious diseases, and their immunity is significantly reduced.
This must be taken into account when walking:
- Reduce physical activity.
- Don’t let the dog off the leash so it doesn’t run away or make unwanted acquaintances.
- Reduce walking time in cold and rainy weather.
- Do not vaccinate during this period.
- Don’t give anthelmintic pills.
- Avoid using antibiotics.
To avoid blood stains throughout the home, special protective disposable underpants can be used. However, veterinarians advise to refrain from them the first time, as the dog must learn to lick more often at this time and clean up the tags in the house.
During the first estrus and during subsequent periods, if the animal has not developed the necessary reflexes, it is better to remove all carpets and easily dirty things from the space accessible to the pet. In this case, it is necessary to ensure that the animal does not freeze and is clean.
No dietary changes required.
Having noticed the first signs of impending estrus, the owner must decide for himself whether this time mating will be carried out in order to obtain offspring. If you are not going to engage in breeding, then it is possible to protect the pet from excessive male attention and casual relationships during a walk with the help of:
- Special products that eliminate the smell that attracts males. This is usually a spray that is used to treat the back of the animal’s body, especially in the genital area, before walking.
- Special panties that not only do not allow the smell to spread, but also provide a mechanical barrier in case of unpleasant moments of crawling to honor the dog.
- Walk the bitch on a short leash, so you can definitely protect her from undue unwanted attention.
- If unwanted mating does occur, contact your veterinarian with the problem. Do not give your pet early abortion pills, as they are not suitable for all animals and very often have an extremely negative effect on future health.
Remember that the psychology and physiology of dogs is different from that of humans. Reproduction is not a vital necessity for them, so if you do not plan to breed puppies all the time, but you need to mate a young bitch “for health.” It will hurt rather than help. Castration at a young age will then be a more beneficial step for maintaining health.
What to do if your dog is in heat
The first heat, it is. puffiness occurs in a dog at the age of 8-12 months. This age is individual and depends on the breed. Generally, small breed dogs develop and mature faster. There may be some deviations from these terms, but if the first estrus began before 8 months or it does not exist even at 15 months, then you should immediately contact your veterinarian.
Even if you intend to breed or just have puppies at least once, you should never knit a bitch for the first time. The fact is that the body has not yet fully formed, early pregnancy and childbirth can cause significant damage to a young animal. In the Russian Kennel Federation there is an official age limit for first mating. Dogs of small breeds are allowed to mate from 15 months of age, medium and large. not earlier than 18 months.
The flow usually occurs once every 6 months, although there are individuals in whom this process repeats after 8-9 months, or even after a year. This is quite normal and even convenient for many owners. If you are going to regularly engage in breeding puppies, then remember, you cannot mate a bitch in every estrus, the optimal period of rest after giving birth and feeding the puppies. a year, and after a complicated pregnancy or a cesarean section. at least two years.
Duration of emptying. 18-21 days. Deviations of 2-3 days are also acceptable. However, if you are in heat for more than 30 days, rush to see your veterinarian. The first puddle is not yet an indicator of the character of the next. The cycle in an animal can be established for 2-3 flows.
In the first 1-9 days, the discharge is scanty and bloody, the vulva (loop) looks swollen, but dense to the touch. The dog is already characterized by a playful mood, however, the dog will not let him in. She is not ready for mating these days. On days 10-16, the color of the discharge changes to yellowish-pink, the bitch takes her tail in front of the dog or simply if you stroke her rump. During this period the bitch is ready for mating. It is impossible to say with absolute certainty which days in this interval are most favorable for conception. It happens that breeders have been trying to mate an animal for years, but they cannot guess the very day. But it is better to choose not the first and not the last day of ovulation. Knitting should usually be repeated after 1–2 days. If you are not planning puppies, then be especially vigilant these days. But by 17-21 days, the amount of discharge disappears, the dog stops letting the males.
Regardless of whether you need offspring in this pushover, keep your eyes on the dog. Walk her only on a leash and preferably away from walking areas where there are usually many dogs. On any day of estrus, unnecessary anxiety is not needed neither for you, nor for your pet, nor for other people’s males. In addition, even the most exemplary and obedient dog can completely forget about all commands, habits and rush wherever they look. It is at this time that dogs very often run away from home or fall under the wheels. If the dog walks in the courtyard of a private house, you can be a little calmer, but carefully examine and close all the holes in the fence, believe me, a bitch overwhelmed by instincts and a neighbor dog burning with desire, a hole in the fence is not an obstacle. And the netting, from which aviaries are often made, may not save at all. If you have a dog, place the animals in different rooms for the entire period of the empty space and walk strictly separately from each other.
But hormonal drugs that interrupt estrus or an already onset pregnancy should be used only in the most extreme cases, for example, a trip to a large exhibition, where there are inevitably many dogs and the money for which, in case of refusal to participate, is too late to return. But if you have your own car or even just a pet carrier, then estrus is not a problem either. You can keep the dog there most of the time and bring it only to the ring, where it is naturally compared with individuals of its own sex, or even agree that an expert will evaluate the animal on an individual basis.
Do not forget about the large number of contraindications for taking hormones. If the dog has not yet given birth, especially if it has its first pity. forget about these drugs altogether! In any case, consult your veterinarian. And if you are never going to have puppies and estrus is just a regular “headache” for you, consider maybe spaying your dog.