Heat Period in Female Dogs
DURATION AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT PERIOD
When a female dog goes into heat, it's important to know how the cycle goes and what needs to be done. There are various signs that indicate different stages of heat.
WHEN DOES THE FEMALE DOG GO INTO HEAT PERIOD FOR THE FIRST TIME?
Dogs grow at different rates: A small dog can be fully grown at 7 months of age, while for a large dog it takes longer than a year. Dogs mature as a breed at the earliest age when they reach their adult weight and have the ability to reproduce. Therefore, it is variable when a female dog will go into heat. On average, they can go into heat at the age of 9 to 11 months. But some dogs first go into heat when they are only 6 months old or only 18 months old. This period also depends on strong hormonal changes, which in part mostly affect the behavior of female dogs.
HOW OFTEN DOES THE FEMALE DOG GO INTO HEAT?
As in the case of the first heat period, there are differences in the time passed between the heat periods. On average, a female dog go into heat every six to eight months. However, depending on the breed, body development and size of the dog, they may go into heat again after only four months or only after twelve months. The beginning of the second heat period is an indication of the intervals at which heat can occur for the female dog in question. However, there is no strict rule that the heat period will necessarily take place during these time intervals. These intervals can be shortened or extended by influences such as the nature of the herd, the progress of the seasons, or other hormonal processes occurring in the female dog's body. In any case, you have a reference value, and if the female dog's heat period exceeds this reference range, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian.
Also, female dogs continue to go into heat even into old age because dogs do not go through menopause.
BEWARE OF "SILENT HEAT"
In most cases, heat is fairly easy to detect because of the bloody vaginal discharge. There may also be what is sometimes referred to as "silent heat". In this case, there is no bloody vaginal discharge and the vulva does not swell. The problem here is that heat is not noticed and therefore no action is taken. If mating occurs at this stage, as a result of which an unwanted pregnancy may occur. Because of these reasons, you should take your dog to the vet if heat does not occur visibly. The vet can determine the current stage of the cycle by checking hormones.
THE CYCLE IN FEMALE DOGS
Her birkaç ayda bir, dişi köpeğin döngüsü baştan başlar. Bu döngü aşağıda belirtilen dört aşamaya ayrılmıştır:
• Every few months, the female dog's cycle starts over. This cycle is divided into four stages, which are indicated below:
• Proestrus: At this stage of the cycle, the female dog's vulva is conspicuously swollen and bloody discharge is observed. This is a fairly distinct discharge. To what extend the owner realizes this depends on how clean the female dog keeps herself. At this stage, female dogs give off a seductive scent to male dogs, but are not yet ready to mate.
• Oestrus: After about 7 to 10 days, the female dog enters the second phase of the cycle. During oestrus, the dog is fertile and does not resist the approach of other dogs. The female dog pricks her tail and makes a mating sound. Some female dogs court their chosen male dog or proactively seek a partner. Those owners who do not want puppies should be very careful with their female dogs during this 5-to-10-day phase.
• Metestrus: If the dog became pregnant during the oestrus period, the development of the offspring begins during this period. Pregnancy lasts about 62 days, after which puppies are born. If the dog has not gotten pregnant, she will experience a false pregnancy stage. This phase can be experienced quite prominently. This is quite difficult to distinguish in some female dogs, but in others, their nipples become enlarged, nesting behavior towards the end of their "true pregnancy" and exhibit major mood swings.
• Anestrus: Anestrus is the longest time in a cycle and lasts for 3 to 7 months. The female dog does not show any signs of heat until the initiation of the proestrus phase of the cycle.
PRECAUTIONS THAT SHOULD BE TAKEN DURING HEAT PERIOD
In heat, female dogs smell irresistible to male dogs. That is why male dogs may disturb female ones. To relieve the female dog from stress, walking trails should be changed if needed, or often visited meadows may not be visited for a while.
Usually, female dogs know how to defend themselves during the proestrus phase, but still putting her on a leash during the heat is a safe method to avoid mating. This "heat phase" begins about 10 days after the first bloody discharge is observed and is spotted by the fact that the vagina is more watery and less bloody. Also, female dogs are not averse to mating with male dogs.
If you want to know with absolute certainty the dog's fertile days, you should consult a veterinarian. As a rough reference value for "oestrus", we can say that it lasts about 8 to 10 days. However, this varies widely from dog to dog (and partly from heat period to heat period), and external symptoms signs and behaviors do not always indicate a desire to conceive. During this phase, female dogs should not be left out without their collars and should not be left unattended in the yard.
If you are unsure whether your female dog has been in contact with a male dog against your inclination during "oestrus", seek advice from your veterinarian. If necessary, the veterinarian may prescribe a drug that prevents the embryo from settling in the uterus, thereby preventing pregnancy.
HOW TO PREVENT FEMALE DOGS FROM GOING INTO HEAT?
A female dog experiences heat more or less intermittently throughout her life. Usually people who own a dog can cope with this phase just fine - after all, this condition is a sign that your dog is healthy. Many female dogs can wear "heat sanitary panties" at home during this period. This helps keep your home clean.
Prevention of the oestrus phase is possible by sterilization (castration) of the female dog, in which both the ovaries and the uterus are removed. In any case, it is advisable to wait until at least one or two periods of heat have passed for the sterilization process. Only then will the female dog be matured physically and mentally so that the negative effects of sterilization will be limited.