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Dog's Heat-Cycle 

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Modified:  06/29/22 10:17                        " LEARN  MORE,  BE MORE "  1999

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Dog's Heat-Cycle

 

General Information of the Heat-Cycle of the Dog - ESTRUS  / OESTRUS

Firstly, irrespective of any heat-cycle it is highly recommended that no bitch is mated until at least 24 months old. A dog may not be fully grown until it is this age, and it is therefore unreasonable on several levels to put a dog, or any domestic animal, through this until they have reached maturity. Also if you do breed, give your dog a two year rest in between litters.

Estrus, can mean heat, estrum or oestrus can also be used. It is a recurring period of sexual receptivity in many female mammals. Oestrous is the describing word, i.e. : the Oestrous-cycle, and comes from the Greek, oistros, meaning frenzy.

The mating period of female animals, whilst mainly goes unnoticed in the wild, unless you are one of those animals, is important to dog owners, for obvious reasons. When Estrus occurs, animals are said to be, in - heat or in - season

Dogs generally have their first estrus cycle at 6 -12 months of age. Some females of the larger breeds however, may not have their first heat-cycle until they are 12-24 months of age.

The complete cycle happens over about 6 months, resulting in TWO estrous, heat-cycles, or breeding opportunity times, each year. Individual variation does occur, but a given female's pattern tends to be repeated regularly, once affirmed.

The menstrual - cycle lasts for about 21 days in total.

After a female dog has given birth, she can be ready to breed again after, anywhere from 20 to 24 weeks. Watch for signs. 

 

 

 

 

The estrous or heat-cycle can be divided into 5 stages:

1.   Proestrus -  This stage, unlike humans, begins with the appearance of vaginal bleeding / blood. Beware of your dog staining furniture etc.

From the very start of the bleeding is DAY 1.  It generally lasts from 4 - 9 days. Male dogs become very interested in the female; however, she will not yet mate with them, as her body is not ready to conceive. She will be a bit more nervous than usual. Her vaginal area will seem more puffy and reddened. For young dogs take note of this first date and subsequent dates to obtain any future pattern.

2.   Estrus / Oestrus  -  Ovulation begins. This is the stage in which the female will accept the male and conception can occur. The vaginal discharge is much less and more yellowish than bloody. Ordinarily, the stage lasts for 4 to 13 days. Your female will generally stand still, appear servile, and hold her tail to the side when you touch her back, or a male dog tries to mount her. This can start around DAY 5.

3. and 4.  Metestrus and Anestrus - Diestrus These 2 stages are periods of ovarian activity, but with no significant outward signs. This basically means, out of heat, but there could still be things going on inside. False pregnancies frequently occur during Metestrus. From DAY 1, your dog may still be going through her cycle until around DAY 21.

5. Dormus - This stage is the remainder of the six-month-cycle, where the bitch appears normal, about 160 days.

UNTIL he has had TWO inoculations and you have waited about five days after this, keep him away from other dogs and places where other dogs have been.

 

Some Important Points

You should then consider your dog to be in - season or in heat, for 21 days, just to be safe. Add an extra day or so, at the end just to be very safe. Always, watch males reactions to her, and her reactions to them.

Your aim, in watching menstrual dates in a female dog, is important if you want to breed or you do not want to breed.

 7 days coming into heat -  Proestrus 

Mark the date of the first signs; bleeding, on your calendar or in your diary. Consider that your breeding window might be around 5 - 10 days from this day. 

 

Mark the day, the Proestrus starts. Now mark a day 21 days ahead, when it should be finished and Dormus starts. Mark a day 150 days ahead AFTER the 21 day date. This will remind you that she is coming up to this period again. Mark 10 days a head from here, or 160 days from when she finished, as this day should be very close to when she starts again.

 

7 days in heat - The actual Estrus, where the bitch is more receptive to mating and her body is more likely to get pregnant, due to the female-egg's placement in the womb. If you are breeding more than one mating will increase the possibility of pregnancy AND possibly a greater number of puppies. Arrange, if you can, with the stud owner, that any deal includes up to three visits.

Puppies numbers for small dogs, number anything from 2 to 5. For larger dogs, 8 is possible, but 12 - 15 is not unheard of.

7 days going out. Though conception is most likely during the middle of the 7 days, Mother Nature does not always follow the rules. If NOT breeding, confine your dog for the entire 3 weeks, if you do not want a pregnancy, or the dog is under 24 months.

The time when your dog is just like a male, and can act just like any other dog with no disabilities or hormones to worry about, is called Dormus. Dormus lasts for about 160 days after the end of the in-season period; then it starts all over again. Note how you female is influenced when she is in-heat, as the signs might be important to you. Bitches often act differently and will have their own characteristics, that you must watch out for.

When she finishes the 21 days or so. Mark your calendar or diary, on a date 150 days ahead. This will remind you that she is due to be on-heat again soon. Around 10 days from here it will starts all over again.

Remember that the above information is general. Not all females follow these patterns. Consult with the vet if your dog does not seem typical. Sometimes, cycling problems can be an early warning of more serious problems, and the sooner they are dealt with, the better. Stress, trauma, cold, lack of good food, can influence the timing of heat-cycles.

 

 

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Reasons for spaying your dog

Spaying - ovarian hysterectomy - is a procedure that involves surgical removal of your dog's ovaries and uterus, by a vet. 

This surgery may be performed at any age after the dog has usually reached SIX months. But the preferable age is between 9 - 12 months. There is NO medical evidence to suggest that your dog will benefit in any way from going through a heat-cycle, or having a litter prior to being spayed. In fact the opposite might apply.

Spaying Benefits

  • It eradicates the heat-cycles and therefore eliminates the bloody discharges The discharge during estrus and the odors associated with being in-heat OR in-season. It stops male dogs from being attracted to your dog because of the estrus and the associated scent that she will give off.

  • When performed before the first or second heat, spaying greatly reduces the risk of mammary cancer, to less than 1%. A common cancer of female dogs.

  • Generally, eradicates the risk of future ovarian and uterine cancer.

  • Generally eradicates the risk of pyometra - pus-filled uterus, a serious uterine infection, common in older female dogs, which usually requires emergency surgery. 

  • Generally eradicates the problems of false-pregnancy experienced by many female dogs. This can be a normal occurrence in female dogs following a heat-cycle. This condition mimics pregnancy, complete with mammary development and milk production.   Generally helps control the unwanted-pet population crisis by avoiding unwanted pregnancies. Millions of unwanted pets are destroyed in animal homes every year across the world.

There are many good reasons to have your dog spayed early in life. Unless you are convinces that you would like to show and breed your dog, we recommend spaying at the earliest convenient time.

 

 

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