10 Questions I'm Most Asked about Dogs
- By Louise Louis
1. What is heat?
Heat is more properly called the estrous cycle.
During this cycle, female dogs may get pregnant.
Its equivalent to human menstruation.
2. What are the symptoms?
Females bleed from the vagina sometimes with swelling
of the vulva and increased urination. Dont
expect bleeding comparable to a human female.
For small dogs, its usually not much and you
may need to pay close attention to your puppy to
identify her first cycle. Other than the bleeding,
the most noticeable symptom may be
male dogs hanging around your house.
3. When does a dog come into heat?
The average female dog has her first cycle about six
months of age. A few dogs start earlier and few dogs
later, even as late as 14-months.
If you have a new female puppy, you should watch her
and note when she has her first cycle. If shes
14-months old and still hasnt been in heat,
you should take her to a veterinarian.
4. How long does the heat cycle last?
The average is three weeks or 21-days. In some dogs,
it lasts only two weeks while others go four weeks.
5. How often will she be in heat?
Most female dogs have regular cycles usually every
six to eight months. Its quite typical to be in
heat twice a year.
6. When can she get pregnant?
She can get pregnant only when in heat. Some breeders
test for progesterone levels to identify the most
fertile days but the rule-of-thumb is that the most
fertile days are 11-15 of her cycle.
Note when shes in heat, the average dog
will permit any male
dog to mount her. Few females, however, will accept a
theyre not in heat.
7. Can she get pregnant her first cycle?
Yes. However, responsible breeders generally would
not breed a dog that early. For one thing, you need
to do genetic testing and some serious problems such
as hip conditions do not show up until a dog is
approximately 2-years of age.
8. Can I take her on walks during this cycle?
Yes with care. She has no problem with the exercise
but shes a walking magnet for male dogs.
Even the best trained and behaved female dog will
succumb to hormones. You cant trust her off a
leash or out of your control. Never let her outside
by herself even in a fenced yard if there is any
possibility of male dogs nearby.
For walks, if there are male dogs in your
neighborhood, its a good idea to take your dog
in your car and drive to a remote area. Take her for
the walk there and drive back home. Otherwise, the
scent of her urine and vaginal discharge will blaze a
trail to your home.
9. When I can have her spayed?
The answer to that one has changed continually over
25-years Ive been in the dog business. People
used to be told to let their dog go through at least
one cycle or let them have one litter.
Today, veterinarians are doing it much earlier. Some
vets spay as early as 6-weeks of age! Talk to your
veterinarian about your dog and the vets
preferences. The state of veterinary medicine also is
much improved over the past 25-years.
10. If I dont have her spayed, will she go
No. Her fertility may decline but she will not go
through menopause comparable to a humans. She
wont lose her ability to become pregnant even
as a senior so if you dont want to her to have
any (or more) litters, she must be spayed.
Louise Louis is a certified canine specialist and the
creator of http://www.ToyBreeds.com, your online
resource for Toy breed dogs.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Louise_Louis
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