The menstruation of the bitch, commonly called the heat cycle, begins between 9 and 12 months of age. Sexually mature females go through this stage twice a year; we tell you everything you need to know about her.
The menstruation of the bitch consists of four stages: proestrus, estrus, right-handed and anestrus. During this phase, three hormones are essential: estrogen, responsible for initiating the cycle, luteinizing hormone (LH), responsible for causing ovulation, and progesterone, which makes pregnancy possible.
Stages of the menstruation of the bitch
The first phase of the dog's menstruation cycle is called proestrus. It lasts around 9 days, but it can vary between 3 and 17 days. During this phase, the vulva of the animal swells a little and excretes a reddish brown discharge.
It is the second phase of the heat cycle, which should not be confused with heat. The estrus lasts around 9 days, but can range from 3 to 21 days. In this period, The female has a mild inflammation of the vulva and presents pink or straw colored vaginal discharge.
When estrogen levels decrease in the late proestrus, the levels of progesterone and luteinizing hormone begin to rise. LH stimulates ovulation within 2 to 3 days and the female becomes receptive to males.
It is the third phase of the heat cycle. It can last between 50 and 80 days, with an average of around 60 days. In this phase, the body of the bitch acts as if she were pregnant; At this time, you may enter a false pregnancy.
It is the fourth and last phase of the heat cycle; It can last between 130 and 250 days. Some dog breeds, such as Dingo or Basenji, They have very long anestrus periods and only go through one heat cycle per year. During this stage, the females are not sexually active; It is a resting phase, in which the body begins to prepare for another cycle of heat.
Signs that indicate menstruation in bitches
- Change of mood:the animal can be strangely excited, which also generates the attraction of the males.
- Puffy nipples: Sometimes, but not always, the nipples swell slightly. This can also be a sign of a ghost pregnancy.
- Sudden interest of the males: dogs can smell the change in bitches' hormones before they go through the heat stage.
- Inflammation of the vulva: The vulva may show some inflammation, but it is quite variable. In some bitches it hardly swells, while in others it can be seen as a golf ball.
- Stop queue: When a female is ready to mate, she will keep her tail upright and move it from side to side to make sure the male can smell it.
- Presence of blood: This is usually the most sure indicator that the heat cycle has started. Some females are kept extremely clean and it can be difficult to know if they are going through that stage.
Caring for a bitch during menstruation
Keep a close watch on your pet, especially to protect it from an unwanted reproduction. The males can detect the odor of the bitch in heat and will do everything possible to find it. Also, remember: a dog is mature for mating from 4 months and up.
Have extra patience and be gentle with your pet: make love to her and protect her.
Avoid bathing your dog until the bleeding stops completely: thus you reduce the likelihood that you may develop a vaginal infection.
Control your pet against brucellosis: This disease is a bacterial infection that is transmitted sexually. It can cause abortion of the offspring and infertility in both sexes. It is fought with antibiotics; the dogs, to avoid contagion, must be castrated.
On the other hand, In case you want to cross your dog, you should go to your veterinarian. He will perform a vaginal cytology or serum progesterone test to determine if your pet is currently ovulating.
Finally, if you want to eliminate any possibility that your pet will ever have a litter, Ask your veterinarian about the best method to sterilize her. That way, you will not have to deal with your zeal and you will avoid the overpopulation of animals.